I repair all years, all brands, and all types of motorcycles, small engine equipment, ATVs, and snowmobiles in my home garage workshop at 829 Washington St., Anoka, MN 55303.
Please call David at 763-421-4417 to ask questions or to schedule work.
My fee is $25.00 per hour of productive shop time.
I can pick up a bike or machine for $25.00 per hour plus $0.25 per mile.
Cash is the preferred method of payment, and after the job is done.
I will call for approval before any sizeable espenses.
I provide an invoice with a detailed description of the work and the parts.
I have done this since the 1960s in my spare time, but I started full-time in 2009.
I troubleshoot and fix all kinds of starting and running problems.
I fix carburetors, electrical systems, ignition systems, and engines.
I fix transmissions, clutches, and starters.
I mount and balance tires, fix brakes, and lace and true spoke rims.
I replace fork seals, chains, sprockets, btteries, oil, and filters.
I get a lot of carburetor work and I am good at it. I have developed methods that reduce costs and reduce turn-around time. I replace the parts that need replacing, but I do not buy repair kits because they are expensive and usually do not contain what is needed anyway.
I use many different tiny gauge pins to measure the actual sizes of the metering holes in the jets. Many pilot jets have the inside diameters stepped-down in three steps and I always clean all three diameters so there is no hidden debris to re-clog them.
I always check the fuel-supply portion of the carburetors with low-pressure air and I correct all sources of leakage. I keep a stock of all the o-rings that are needed. I often make float bowl gaskets out of metric o-ring cord and they always seal very well. Since float valves are expensive and usually take a week to get, I developed lapping tools for the seats that make them seal just like new with good needles. Float needles ae usually reuseable, but I replace them if they are too worn to reseal or if corrosion has caused the viton tips to begin to separate.
I also have a special method of truing brake rotors, because replacements are expensive and sometimes not available. I can do it, using the caliper, with the new sharp ceramic abrasive paper. The particles are now hard enough and sharp enough to make the cutting force low enough to correct the few ten-thousandths of an inch of thickness variation that is commonly called "warp", that is what causes disk brakes to pulsate in harmony with the wheel rotation. This could not be done in past decades because the abrasives that were available did not cut freely enough.
If a transmission is slipping out of gear, I can usually undercut the old gears to repair the problem. This costs less than replacing the gears and sometimes new gears are not available anyway. I built a special machine for this, using skills that I developed while working as a tool & die maker and prototype machinist in the 1980s and 1990s. I use a precision rotary table and dial indicator to locate and index the gear, then a stylus-and-template tracer with a parallelogram linkage system makes repeatable 2D toolpaths for the tool holder that floats on a flat plate. The tool holder holds a dremel mototool at the desired angle so the cutting can be done with diamond burrs by feeding in small increments with the rotary table.
Small engines includes snowblowers, ice augers, lawnmowers, yard tractors, leaf blowers, trimmers, chain saws, tillers, pressure washers, generators, air compressors, compactors, go karts, and mini bikes.
I can do whatever is needed to fix the problems.
I fix carburetors, belts, controls, tires, chains, bearings, friction-disk drives, and internal engine parts--anything that doesn't work right.
I also do some fabricating, straightening, and welding.
I was born in 1953 and grew up on my dad’s farm about 3 miles from Willmar, MN. When I was 8 years old in the summer of 1962 I tried my hand at installing a new V-belt on my dad’s self-propelled lawnmower. The belt had to be twisted 90 degrees in the right direction to make the wheels turn the right direction and it had to be tensioned properly. I got it right with no help and my dad was pretty impressed. He said I was a natural mechanic. He was the type of guy that was never impressed with anything I did, so this stuck with me. I learned how to fix my bicycle, then a mini-bike, and by 1968 I was working on motorcycles. My Dad respected and appreciated my ability to fix things, but he did not speak kindly about the professional mechanics up town that he had to pay to fix his cars, trucks, and tractors. He referred to them as “those damn grease monkeys” and he clearly meant it in the most negative way. I loved to do mechanical repairs, but because of my Dad’s attitude I made myself view it as a hobby or as work to be done only because of need.
I rode motorcycles on the streets as soon as I got my drivers license in 1969. I raced snowmobiles in the 1970s and I did quite well. I did all my own maintenance, tuning, and modifications and the thrill of winning motivated me to learn all I could about the technologies involved. Many of the same technologies are still in use today.
My Dad’s farm where I grew up raised 80,000 turkeys and farmed 400 acres of crops per year. There was a lot of machinery and equipment to repair and maintain and I learned a lot. Much of the work involved breathing a lot of dust and dirt and I felt that I was cut out for a higher position in life.
I graduated with honors from Willmar Senior High School in 1971. I started attending college in Willmar with no plan for the future. My scores in scholastic aptitude tests were high in every subject and I was unable to set a goal in any one subject. I started training to be an engineer, because I was very good in math and science and I did not want to be a grease monkey. I had found many uses for the algebra, geometry and trigonometry that I had learned in high school, but I was disappointed that the college calculus and physics seemed to have no practical application. I wanted to learn things that I could apply in the real world and I did not believe in paying the school tuition, so I gave up on college in the summer of 1972.
I started attending technical school in Willmar. I completed a 2-year program in Machine Tool Technology and Tool and Die Making. At that time the school blurred the two fields into one. When I graduated in May, 1974, I had already been working nearly full-time in a local Tool and Die shop for a year. I was not committed to that kind of work, I was low-paid, and my boss was abusive, so I got a machinist job in Hamel, MN.
I had been learning the skills of tool and die making and precision machining in those two jobs in 1973 and 4, but I was laid off due to lack of work in December, 1974 and I went back to farming for 3 1/2 years, during which I got married. The farm work was still not for me, so I re-entered manufacturing in 1978 when I took a job in New London doing metal fabricating and wire-feed welding. I had done stick welding on the farm, so this was easy. After about two years the shop machinist quit and I took over his position for a year. There was a Tool & Die shop in Paynesville that needed help, so I started there in 1981. There, I designed and build stamping dies and injection molds, designed and built special machines, and programmed, setup, and ran CNC lathes and CNC mills. It was a low-paying insecure job, and I had 4 children to support. I had skills to sell, so I got a job in Minneapolis in 1989.
After I moved to the Minneapolis area in 1989, I gradually began to realize how wrong I had been. I had always thought that the world of work would allow me to apply multiple skills in one job and more was better. I continued to learn new skills expecting to find that job. But in the big city job descriptions had gotten so narrow that I was unable to apply the skills that I had learned. Tool making, tool and die making, CNC programming, CNC setup, CNC machining, manual machining, and engineering were all things I had done in the past in one job, but in the bigger world they were positions held by separate people.
Aside from that personal frustration, employers didn’t believe my resume. I did not look old enough to have had so much experience. I couldn’t help the fact that I looked 25 when I was 36. And, co-workers who did believe my experience saw me as a threat to their job security.
I soon tried different employers and I was very disappointed to find that being multi-skilled was a disadvantage to me as an employee. In the Minneapolis area, I worked in separate jobs as a toolmaker, tool and die maker, CNC machinist, and CNC programmer. My resume showed a lot of different experiences, but only a small part of it could be applied to any one job.
In early 1996, I started a new job programming CNC machines that I thought was going to be good. I started out thinking it would lead into engineering. It turned out to be a temporary position with no advancement. It was the most frustrating and stressful 13 years of my life.
In February, 2009, I was laid off because of the economic downturn. The company had a deeply imbedded doctrine that a college degree was necessary in order to be qualified. By that, I was not qualified, so when I performed all the complexities of the job very well, many people who relied on their degree for qualification despised me. They perceived that accepting me as a colleague would invalidate their own qualifications. Rather than do that, they wanted to get rid of me so they did many things to make me look bad. My goal was always to make manufacturing work better for the good of the company. I refused to play company politics, and my honesty cost me my job.
I don’t think there is a manufacturing job that fits me. I can’t get another programmer job without a college degree, and I’m not going to college at the age of 61. I can’t work full-time as a machinist because of my bad back, so I’m unemployed.
I enjoy doing what I am naturally good at, mechanical repair work. I do an excellent job and I can do it for a fraction of what dealers have to charge.
Repair work has always been my main interest activity. Aside from working on my own machines, I did repair work in my spare time for a few years in the late 1970s, early 1980s, and again in the early 2000s in which I worked on motorcycles, snowmobiles, and small engines. I have lots of insight into how things are made from working in different manufacturing disciplines for many years. The knowledge and skills I’ve learned in my past jobs helps me a lot in my repair work. I continue to develop knowledge and skill by studying manuals and doing lots of different repair jobs.