With jobs that expose them to high levels of dust and dirt, your Billy Goat equipment gets dirtier than most lawn cleanup tools. These tips will help you keep them clean so they perform better and last longer.
Vacuums and loaders are exposed to high levels of dust, and that means their engines will need to be cleaned more frequently than on other equipment.
This is particularly true of the engine: the fan will coat the cooling fins in dust, increasing operating temperatures and decreasing performance.
To clean the engine, start by disconnecting the spark plugs and removing the top cover of the engine. It’s usually held in by two or three bolts. Set this cover aside, taking care not to put weight on the starter rope. It may be tempting to use water to clean an engine, especially if you have a pressure washer, but this can do major damage, causing internal rust and turning the oil into a thick, pasty emulsion. Instead, wipe down exposed areas with a damp cloth and use a stiff bristle brush to remove buildup from the cooling fins and other hard to reach places.
Check your engine’s owner’s manual for instructions on cleaning the air filter. Depending on the model, it may have a dry foam filter, an oiled foam filter, a paper filter or a paper filter surrounded by a foam element. If your equipment is being used in dusty areas, it’s a good idea to inspect the air filter daily or before each use, cleaning as needed.
Some engines may be equipped with a spark arrester. This metal screen fits inside the tailpipe. Carbon buildup is normal and should be cleaned off with a wire brush.
Do not use standard solvents or high-pressure water to clean the chain. This can force dirt deeper into the chain, increasing wear.
To clean a chain, first, wipe it off with a rag to remove surface contaminants, then soak the chain in kerosene or chain cleaner to the chain. Use a brush to scrub off dirt between the links.
Always lubricate the chain immediately after cleaning. Any motorcycle chain or general purpose chain lubricant will work fine. Do not use chainsaw bar oil. This high tack formulation will gather dirt, increasing wear and tear on the chain.
Under normal use, the belts on your machine shouldn’t need to be cleaned. However, exposure to oil can decrease friction, causing the belt to slip. While you may be able to wipe off oil shortly after exposure, a belt with a glossy appearance is beyond recovery and should be replaced.
Dirt should be removed from tines after each use to prevent rust. These can be washed by hand or by using a pressure washer. Always wear gloves when handling tines: they’re self-sharpening, so the ends will always have a sharp edge.
If you have hollow core tines that aren’t ejecting cores, they may be due for replacement. Check your owner’s manual for recommended minimum tine lengths for your machine.
How often your vacuum’s bag needs to be cleaned will depend on how much dust it’s filtering. A clean bag will have soft fabric that will become stiff as the pores become clogged with dirt. Vacuum bags can be machine washed or the dirt flushed out with a power washer. Allow the bag to air dry before use.
If you have a QV Quietvac, the dust sock needs to be handled delicately when cleaning. Simply dump out any gathered dust, and shake it out. You can also use compressed air to blow out the pores as long as the nozzle is kept at least 6 inches away from the fabric.
Lawn Vacuum and Debris Loader Impellers
The impeller and housing may need to be cleaned occasionally to remove jammed debris. Impellers on loaders can be accessed by removing the hose from the intake and unbolting the impeller cover. On vacuums, the engine and top plate need to be removed from the rest of the unit. Check your owner’s manual for full instructions.
The bolt that holds the impeller to the driveshaft is one use only. If you need to remove the impeller from the driveshaft for any reason, install a new bolt and washer, tightening it to the torque specified in your owner’s manual.
Apply new grease as directed in the owner’s manual. By pushing new grease through Zerk fittings, you’re displacing old, dirty grease that can cause bearing and joint wear. Billy Goat recommends using waterproof lithium grease. Wipe off any grease that pushes past the fitting seals.
Need Something for Your Billy Goat?
Do you need a new bolt for your machine’s impeller? Did you just find a hole in your debris bag? If it’s Billy Goat, you can find it at www.billygoatparts.com. We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their manufacturing partners, including Briggs & Stratton, Honda Engines and Subaru Power.
We ship to the U.S. and Canada.