Main Picture
That is the Question?
February/March 2000
by John Billsborough

Determining if a motor is really in need of a rebuild can be a time consuming job as well as create down time on that particular piece of equipment. Simple checks before you make your decision are:

- Check spark as well as condition of the plug, does it foul, burn hot, etc.
- Fuel; is the engine flooding or no fuel at all getting to the pistion
- Engine oil, check for water in oil, filings, contamination, cracks in the block
- Compression test; this will help you determine the condition of piston and rings.
- Exhaust, does the engine push blue smoke
- Vibration is there the chance of major bearings to be replaced.

Face it, motors won't run forever, no matter how well maintained a engine rebuilding or replacing is inevitable, Which to do?

Once you have determined that your motor in question is in need of major repairs, one of the toughest questions a technician has is to rebuild or purchase a new motor.

One has to look at things such as cost of parts to rebuild, labour costs involved to rebuild, does your facility have the tools to assist your rebuilding efforts so that it may be done properly. Or does the technician have to send the engine out to a qualified shop for rebuilding. If this is to be done then check out the credentials of the shop talk to other customers to see if they are satisfied with the shops quality of work. Can the particular piece of equipment in question afford to be down for a couple of weeks or is it essential for daily maintenance practices such as a greens mower. Check previous past maintenance records and the age of the piece of equipment, it may not even be worth putting any further money towards repairs. All of these aspects have to be considered before the technician can make the final decision.

Initially it could be more costly to purchase a new motor but the convenience to have the motor delivered and installed within a couple of days can be far more valuable, as well as keeping any valuable parts off. Does the new motor come with a warranty? The purchase of a new motor can simplify your decisions and eliminate any inconvenience of a lengthy downtime.

If the technician keeps records and does regular maintenance checks the piece of equipment in question could be scheduled for rebuilding in the off-season.

What ever the final decision the equipment technician has to make, many of the above questions and checks should help you make the right decision.

John Billsborough is the Equipment Technician at Uplands Golf Club.

Turf Line News February/March 2000

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