Mechanical maintenance may get the most attention, but if you want to get the most from your Billy Goat equipment, you also need to keep it clean. Dirt buildup can hide damage, reduce performance and lead to overheating. These tips will help you safely clean the engine, body, and tools that make up these machines.
Most engines should be cleaned after 25 hours of operation, while motors exposed to high levels of dust such as those on debris vacuums will need to be cleaned more frequently.
Before you start cleaning, the engine needs to be cold: the head and exhaust may retain heat for up to a half hour after the engine has been shut off. The spark plug wires should be disconnected to prevent accidental starts, and the engine shroud needs to be removed for full access to the motor.
Wipe off any debris that has gathered on the cooling fins and flywheel screen using a thin bristled brush. Engine and parts brushes work best: they’re strong enough to lift dirt, and since these surfaces are bare metal, there’s no danger of leaving scratches.
If there is still material left on the surface, use a non-flammable solvent to loosen it; water should never be used as it can seep into the engine and contaminate the oil while using compressed air can force debris into inaccessible areas on the motor.
Check around exposed moving parts including the throttle cable and governor, making sure they move freely. These can be cleaned using the same brush and solvent method.
If there is grease or oil buildup on the outside of the motor, use a paint-safe degreaser to remove it. Household degreasers, cleaning formulations designed for removing stickers and light penetrating oils like WD-40 work well for this. After wiping off the treated area, use a damp towel to remove any remaining residue.
The deck and handle can be cleaned the same way you would wash a car. If you’re using a pressure washer, never aim the nozzle directly at anything filled with grease including wheel bearings and joints. As with the motor, the water contamination can cause premature failure.
Tips for Specific Equipment
If you spray water into the intake of a wheeled blower, make sure the impeller and housing have had time to dry completely before use. If the impeller blades hit water that has pooled in the base of the housing, the impact could damage the blade surface.
Weeds and other materials that have wrapped themselves around brushcutter spindles and impeller shafts should be cut away to prevent binding. Thick buildup inside brushcutter decks can be scraped off using a putty knife.
Aerator tines are self-cleaning: if there’s dirt or mud on them, this will be pushed out once they cut through soil again. If the tines want to clog, the cutting surface may be dull and due for replacement. Leftover dirt should be washed off before putting the machine in storage for the season.
Pressure washers have filters on the detergent hose and water inlet that need to be cleaned before each use. Usually, a simple rinse will be enough to remove debris, while stubborn buildup can be safely removed using a toothbrush. To clear clogged nozzles, use a small pin to push through the hole from the outlet side, being careful not to widen the hole. Always draw clean water through the detergent hose to flush chemicals from the soap system after use.
Keep Your Billy Goat Working
Find something broken while you were cleaning? Need parts to maintain your Billy Goat? You can get everything you need at www.billygoatparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat as well as Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, Honda Engines and Subaru Industrial Power Products, so we stock parts to replace everything on your equipment. Our site makes it easy to find parts by integrating factory parts diagrams and descriptions into our search system, and we can ship your order to any address in the U.S. and Canada.