Should Preppers Know how to Fix Small Engines?

If the ships stop sailing, how long will you be able to keep your generator, chain saw, or other small engines running?

Last week, I pulled out my old wood chipper to chop some fallen limbs into wood chips for our raised beds. I bought it more than fifteen years ago, used it for a while, and then gave it to a friend on a long-term lend. When he heard I was moving, he gave it back. It’s been sitting under my deck ever since.

The good news was that there was no gas in the tank or the carburetor, so he had stored properly it. The oil was full, but dirty. I decided it was sufficient to let me start it, so I grabbed the pull-cord and gave it a yank. Instead of the engine turning over, the entire device slid towards me. The engine and flywheel would not turn over.

If you have ever had this happen with a lawnmower, you can guess the problem: something was blocking the blade. Perhaps this is why my friend was so willing to give it back! I had to remove the housing of the shredding/chipping assembly and use a wood chisel and hammer to bust up a big chunk of wood that was jammed in there, locking it up.

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