Spring is coming, which means either bringing your lawn back to life or getting your business back in gear for the season. These tips will help you get your Billy Goat equipment up and running, and address common problems caused by long term storage.
If you have a DL37 loader with the Briggs & Stratton EFI engine, it should have been stored with a full tank of stabilized gas. This fuel is ready to burn.
Honda, Subaru and Briggs & Stratton recommend storing their carburetor-equipped engines with no fuel in the carburetor, tank or fuel lines, even if that fuel is stabilized. If fuel was left in the engine, it will have trouble igniting, causing starting and running problems.
To drain the fuel from Honda GX series engines, remove the sediment cup on the base of the carburetor and turn the fuel valve on. For other engines, use a siphon hose to remove fuel from the tank, then disconnect the fuel line to the carburetor to remove the gas from the rest of the fuel system. You may need to remove the air filter and apply carburetor cleaner directly to the jets to remove varnish buildup. Once the fuel system is empty, add fresh gas.
Before starting the engine, inspect the air filter and spark plug cables. These are common targets of rodents. Damaged insulation can cause the plug wire to arc, while a chewed up air cleaner can break apart and enter the combustion chamber.
Before you move your equipment, check the ground for signs of oil. Tracing these up to your equipment will make it easier to locate leaks.
Once used in an engine, oil contains acidic components left over from combustion that can corrode metal. If the oil wasn’t changed before storage, you should do so now to prevent contamination.
Hydrostatic transmissions used in walk-behind equipment are sealed for life, so they require no maintenance. However, geared transmissions do have an oil reservoir that needs to be checked. If you have a pressure washer, check the sight glass on the side of the pump housing. If the oil looks cloudy, change it. If it’s low, top it up.
Antifreeze and Pump Saver in Pressure Washers
These fluids are biodegradable, but they’re also poisonous to animals and should not be poured into a drain. Instead, run your pressure washer and spray a wide area of open soil to flush out the antifreeze.
Electric start models use an onboard 12-volt battery that needs to be recharged during long periods of inactivity. Check the output with a voltmeter: if it’s below 12 volts, the battery needs to be recharged. Charging should be limited to two days when using a charger with a one amp output or one day at two amps. Using a faster charge rate will damage the battery.
Inspect the area around the battery for signs of corrosion and clean off the contacts. If the battery has caps on top, check the electrolyte level. Add distilled water until the level reaches the full mark on the side of the battery case.
Air up the tires before moving your equipment to keep the bead from rolling off of the rim. The recommended pressure is printed on the sidewall.
If the tire has separated from the rim, wrap a ratcheting strap around the tire tread and tighten it down. This will push the sidewalls against the wheel. Add air until the tire seats.
Make sure the control cables on your equipment are moving freely. If they aren’t, spray a penetrating oil into the housing until it starts dripping out of the other end. Gently pull and push on the controls to loosen them up. Once the lever moves freely, apply cable lube or non-detergent oil to the cable, pouring it into the housing until it drips out of the other end.
Need to Fix Something Before You Use Your Equipment?
You can get everything you need for your Billy Goat by visiting www.billygoatparts.com. We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat as well as all of their manufacturing partners including CAT, AR, Briggs & Stratton Vanguard, Subaru Power and Honda Engines. Ordering is easy, too: just select your model and serial number, and our site will show you parts with factory descriptions and diagrams. We ship across the United States and Canada.