I have this old Briggs & Stratton 11 HP gas engine I bought at a garage sale last year to use on my antique log splitter. But the engine has been sitting around for a while with old gas in it. And I discovered later that it needed some more care as well.
I have an antique log splitter that I got for free a few years ago. It was rusted up and nothing moved or worked. All but the antique cast iron 12 HP Wisconsin engine that was on it. The wood platform under the engine had rotted through and the engine was sitting on a slant halfway through the bottom of the log splitter. But the Wisconsin engine still turned over freely and it came with the original hand crank starter handle.
You can see the original YouTube video where I brought home the log splitter here: Snow And My Huge Craigslist Haul For The Off Grid Homestead
And here is where I fixed up the antique log splitter and put the little 3 HP gas engine on it: Restoring An Old Rusty Gas Powered Log Splitter
The little 3 HP gas engine from Harbor Freight did the job but it was too weak for larger logs. Eventually I wanted to replace that engine with a stronger one. Last summer I found this old 11 HP Briggs engine at a garage sale for only $50. It is an electric start only engine so I will need a battery for it later.
Now is the time to put the larger engine on the log splitter because we are clearing out trees on our 56 acre homestead to make space for our animals and equipment. Trees become fire wood so each tree we drop gets cut up into logs and then eventually has to be split and stacked to cure. Since we are working with so many trees recently the time has come to really beef up the antique log splitter.
The engine was sitting with old gas in it so first I have to clean out the carburetor. At first glance the air filter looked good because it was soaked in motor oil. Well, the prefilter is supposed to be soaked but not the air filter. I later learned that the entire thing was saturated with motor oil and had to be replaced.
Repairing Old Briggs & Stratton Gas Engine
I had to analyze the carburetor linkages and connections to be sure how to take it off the engine. And you have to remember how things go back together again. The choke cable was long gone from this engine so I only have a throttle cable to deal with. There is a throttle plate under the carburetor with all the linkages and springs so all I have to remove is a single throttle linkage. There is also a crankcase breather tube on the carb which had to be removed.
And three screws held the carb onto the engine. Next I took the carburetor over to the work bench to clean it out.
First I always clean a carburetor on the outside before I do anything else. I do not want to clean out a carb and then have a piece of dirt fall into it when I am putting it all back together again. I did this one time only and never again.
So I sprayed the carburetor down with carburetor cleaner and then used a stiff brush to gently clean off all the dirt from the outside of the carburetor. I also use a small flat tip screw driver to clean off any stubborn dirt and to get into crevices. I fired up the generator to run the air compressor and spray down the carburetor with compressed air to remove any loose dirt before proceeding.
Opening the carburetor is easy – normally. In this case it was different. But first I removed the jet screw from the bottom of the carb. Next I removed the four screws that hold the carburetor together. Now I found out that this carb was a bit tough to open up. The bottom and top pieces fit snugly together. One metal ring fits snugly into another. And a brass tube goes from the bottom of the carburetor up through the top half. This makes it a bit tough to deal with especially since the air filter mount is in the way a bit. But eventually I got it open.
Cleaning Old Briggs & Stratton Carburetor
Inside I found some old rust particles but the carburetor was generally in good shape. I have seen much worse before. I soaked the fuel bowl in carburetor cleaner and carefully scraped out the dirt and rust particles with a small flat tip screw driver. I work carefully so I do not scrape the metal at all.
The main body of the carburetor had a bunch of melted gunk in the bottom. I had to spray it out and scrape out all the garbage. You do not want any dirt or particles in your carburetor or they will clog the jets in a hurry. So I used the air compressor again to help clean it out fully.
Thank you for reading. Watch for part two of the article coming soon….
You can watch the full video of today’s work on YouTube here: Cleaning Carburetor On Old 11 HP Briggs & Stratton Engine
I was sent the BYB E430 LED desk lamp to try out and review. I was impressed the moment I opened the package. This is made of aircraft grade aluminum and has touch controls, 4 LED color modes and 6 brightness settings. Plus it has a memory so it always turns on in your favorite setting.
The BYB E430 desk lamp stays put where you place it. This is absolutely the best desk lamp I have ever used, hands down. Not to mention that it is an LED desk lamp and only uses 8 watts of power. This lamp comes with tools to adjust the hinge points. When you set it, it stays. The clamp is the best one I have ever seen on any clamp on desk lamp to date. I put it on my 1/2 inch wide space on the edge of my antique writing desk and it is still there months later. This light has seen bumps, spills and even cats running around. It never budged once. Not one bit.
I am sure you have all seen those clamp on desk lamps that keep falling off or swinging around. The hinges do not stay in place and the lamp never stays on. But this LED desk lamp from BYB will stay where you put it. I am very impressed.
I mentioned it above but this light only uses 8 watts although it is super bright. This light is the perfect match for my off grid tiny home because of the high LED brightness but the low power consumption. For off grid homes and energy conscious people this is perfect.
One cool feature on this lamp is that it has touch controls. There is a physical power button as well. You plug in the power pack to the wall and then turn on the physical inline switch. Now you see some subdued LED lights on top of the desk lamp which show you the way. When you touch the power on button the light turns on. Touch it again to turn off.
There is another touch button which cycles through the 4 color modes. This has four LED color settings ranging from cold white light to warm white. This means that it is perfect for everyone because you are sure to find the color setting that you prefer.
Another feature that I love on this LED desk lamp is the touch slider dimmer switch. By sliding your finger on the dimmer, you can make the light brighter or dimmer. There are six brightness settings built into this LED desk lamp. This is another great feature for energy savings or off grid living. I keep it on the lower setting most of the time because it is super bright and lights up my tiny house study just fine on low. On bright I can light up the entire tiny home upstairs loft. By using it on the low setting I am saving even more energy.
BYB E430 LED Desk Lamp On Dim Setting
One more thing to note is that this BYB LED desk lamp is powered by 12 volts DC. I have not yet tried it but I plan to plug it into 12 volts DC directly and save even more energy. I will ask the manufacturer first to be certain that there is no current control in the wall pack before I just plug it into DC directly.
Thank you guys for a super awesome light that is also fit for off grid living.
You can get yours here: BYB E430 LED Desk Lamp
Watch my full video review here: BYB LED Desk Lamp In My Tiny House Study
While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow my daily videos as my wife and I strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.
ThruNite was kind enough to send me another one of their fine products to try out in the field. I have been field testing their products for a while now and I have to say that I am very impressed with the quality and brightness of every single one of them. The TN40 is in a league of its own though. With 4,450 lumens of light intensity this light outperforms just about every other LED spotlight and search light on the market.
The TN40 is rated at 4,450 lumens with a range of 1151 meters which is about 1,279 yards. But the light is actually visible for way farther when used as an emergency beacon which I show in my video (see link below).
ThruNite came up with their own high capacity battery pack for the TN40 search light rated at 7.2 Volts and 6800 mAh. It is a fast charging pack and is fully charged in only 2.8 hours. While charging there is a little LED indicator on the back of the light which shows its status of charge. When you press the button the LED lights up for a few seconds.
Flashing red means under 20% charge.
Flashing purple means 25-50% charge.
Flashing blue means 50-95% charge.
Solid blue means 96-100% charge.
When using the light you also get a status of charge indicator.
Red means 1-10% capacity.
Flashing red means 10-25% capacity.
Purple means 25-50% capacity.
Blue means 50-100% battery capacity.
The ThruNite Tn40 comes with a plug in the wall power supply to charge the flashlight with. Again, it only takes 2.8 hours for a full charge. With a light of this power that is fast.
There are four CREE XP-L HI LEDs with a life span of 20 years in the TN40 spot light. This gives you some very awesome power.
There are six modes on this flashlight. Strobe, firefly, low, medium, high and turbo modes. Here are the specs of each mode.
Firefly mode = 1.2 lumens and lasts 57 days.
Low mode = 90 lumens and lasts 2.5 days.
Medium mode = 580 lumens and lasts 9.5 hours.
High mode = 1780 lumens and lasts 2.7 hours.
Turbo mode = 4450 lumens and lasts 85 minutes.
Strobe mode = 1100 lumens and lasts 9 hours.
The firefly mode is great for a nightlight. Imagine an LED nightlight that lasts about two months. When camping with my wife Melanie, I use the ThruNite firefly mode on my light to give her a sense of security in the woods. The firefly mode actually lights up the area well enough to see by in the woods.
The ThruNite TN40 spot light comes with spare seals which is typical with all the ThruNite products I have seen. There is a neck strap if needed but I found that this was not necessary for me. There is a powerful charger which charges up the battery pack in 2.8 hours. Plus the instruction and spec sheet and warranty card.
I love the ThruNite series of flashlights for their memory function. I cant stand flipping through a bunch of modes when I have predators out here in the night after my chickens. I want to grab a light and run out there to protect my flock. With the ThruNite lights the flashlight turns on in the last mode used. This is perfect. I always set the light to medium mode when I am finished with it so that when I grab it in a hurry, I dont have to fumble through a bunch of modes and switches. This has saved me valuable minutes time and again.
During real field testing of the ThruNite TN40 search light out here in the off grid meadow, I can see everything as bright as day. The TN40 lights up the forest brightly. You can see deep into the woods on turbo mode. This is great for finding what is out there. With bear, coyotes, foxes, fisher cat and more, you cant be playing around with dim lights in the woods.
I took this light to Michigan where we have flat land for miles for a distance test. I was surprised to be able to light up things a half mile away. I could clearly see anything the beam hit.
But what is really surprising is that at one mile away I could see the stop signs down the road.
Up north at the cabin we took this out at night and put it in the lake. I expected to be able to see half way across the lake with this amazing light. But I was surprised to find tiny animals life flooding the waters. The lake is literally packed with tiny little creatures which you can not normally see. This light gave me a view of the lake like never before. You could see the creatures swimming around all over the place. This dispersed the light under water. But I could still clearly see fish at 20 feet away in the lake at night. The TN40 is waterproof to 2 meters which is about 6 feet. Under water you can run this light until the battery runs out because the water cools the light. But generally the thermal shut off circuitry will protect the LEDs and shut off the light after about ten minutes of normal use.
ThruNite TN40 under water showing fish
Back in New York I dropped off Chris and my wife Melanie on the corner of a road and I drove about two miles away. New York is very hilly and the roads are not straight at all or I would have tried an even greater distance. Chris and I both had a handheld CB radio for communication.
At two miles away I could see the ThruNite TN40 spotlight lighting up the night sky. I was totally amazed. This light could be used as a beacon to bring down planes who are searching for you. This really could save your life one day.
When I was driving down the road directly at them, I had to ask them to shut the light off because it was blinding me.
I have been testing this light for a few weeks now and I have also been shopping around for other spotlights and LED search lights. Most of the LED lights on the market are rated between 300 – 600 lumens. This is nothing. My ThruNite headlamps are more powerful than that. At 4,450 lumens the ThruNite TN40 spot light blows away the competition. This light is in a league of its own.
Watch my full video review and field testing on YouTube: ThruNite TN40 Spotlight 4450 Lumens Insanely Bright
ThruNite has asked me to host a give away of their new TH20 head lamp which is rated up to 520 Lumens and takes either a AA battery or a 14500. This is a light weight and rugged headlamp. ThruNite has been reading the comments on my videos and they saw that many people asked for a give away. So they asked me to give you one of their new head lights.
The ThruNite TH20 headlamp is super light and small. This makes it very nice to wear unlike some headlamps that are very bulky and heavy. This headlamp is also quite convenient in that it takes a variety of batteries. This is perfect for emergency or survival.
There are a lot of nice features of the ThruNite lights, one of which is the firefly mode. This is a very low power .3 Lumen setting which is great for survival or stealth mode. This setting allows you to find your way around camp in the dark without messing up your night vision or giving away your location.
Another feature I love about ThruNite is the memory mode. Their lights turn on at the last setting you used (except firefly, turbo or SOS). This saves me time and trouble when I have to run out in the night because something is attacking the animals. No fumbling through a mess of settings while danger is near. I press the power button and the last setting I used is on.
The ThruNite TH20 head lamp has another really cool feature. By pressing and holding the power button with the light on, you can cycle through the brightness from max output to minimum output. This allows you to set your headlamp for whatever brightness that you need for a given situation.
With a long press of the power button while the light is off, you get the firefly mode mentioned above.
With a single press of the power button you are in the normal mode. Again from this mode you can brighten or dim the light as needed.
With a double press of the power button with the light on, you go into turbo mode with 520 Lumens of light. Another double press puts you in SOS mode. I love the fact that you do not have to cycle through all the modes with this light. Any other headlight blinds me before I even get to the setting I want.
With a AA battery you get 14 days run time in firefly mode at 0.3 Lumens. This is also perfect for a night light out in the forest. On the low setting you have 1.6 Lumens and 21 hours of run time. On the high setting you get 230 Lumens and about 95 minutes. Turbo mode with a AA battery gives you 250 Lumens and lasts about 93 minutes. This is quite impressive for such a bright head lamp.
With the 14500 battery you get a max output of 520 Lumens.
The ThruNite TH20 head lamp is impact resistant to 2 meters (6 feet) and water resistant to 1.5 meters (4.5 feet).
Of course the ThruNite TH20 comes with spare O rings and a spare head mount which sets ThruNite above the others in quality.
For a chance to get a free ThruNite TH20 headlamp, go to the video below and in the comments type “I Want A ThruNite TH20 Headlamp”. A winner will be selected based on a random computer generated number.
Watch the video here: ThruNite TH20 Headlamp Give Away – Get One Free
My friend from YouTube, Trucker Buck, and I have entered into a sort of business together. We are getting two Nubian milk goats. So now we are scrambling to build a goat proof fence to keep them in place. We also have to build a shed for them but that is another day.
I have a mess of Euro pallets that are all the same size and shape. These are perfect to build a goat fence with. They are 47 inches high when stood on end so they are the perfect height for milk goats.
I used the garden tractor and trailer to haul over the pallets as we worked. The trailer holds 5 to 6 pallets at a time which is way better than hand carrying them over to the work area.
We lined up the pallets and used scrap pallet frames to fasten the pallets together using deck screws. Deck screws are stronger and made to last outside in the weather. We placed a pallet frame, which is a sort of 1 by 4, inside the framing of two pallets and screwed it in place. Two frames per pallet gives us a very strong fence.
Some T posts driven in along the line help keep the fence from falling over and will stop the goats from pushing the fence out of place.
We started on the side of the fire wood shed, which is also made of pallets. The fence extends a ways out and then we made a corner using an old 6×6 post I had laying around that was the perfect length for the job. We screwed the corner pallets into the post to make a very solid corner.
To make the gate, we used a single pallet and some scrap 2x4s as framing for the gate. I had some hinges and a latch on hand already so we used them on the gate.
We managed to get the second wall of the fence up and in place before we started to run out of day light. We will continue on the fence and then the goat shed tomorrow.
You can watch the video for the day’s work here: Building A Goat Fence Out Of Pallets
While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.