I repair motorcycles, all years, all brands, and all types, in my home garage workshop at 829 Washington St., Anoka, MN 55303.
My favorite thing is carburetors.
I have been doing this since 2009 with good success.
I charge $26.00 per hour for my time and I do all the work myself.
I provide a detailed written report
of the labor and parts and I ask for cash at pickup.
I always make sure any expenses are agreed upon beforehand.
Call me, David Hustoft, at
763-421-4417 to ask questions or to schedule work.
I troubleshoot and fix all kinds of starting and running problems involving carburetor fuel systems and electrical systems and ignition systems.
I fix hydraulic brakes, clutches, transmissions, and engines.
I mount and balance tires, lace and true spoke rims, and replace fork seals, chains, cables, sprockets, batteries, oil, and filters.
I can do a lot of different things, including wiring, fabricating, straightening, and welding.
I can pick up a bike for $26.00 per hour plus $0.25 per mile.
To calculate this, I take the google-maps time each way plus 10% and add 10 minutes for hitching and unhitching my trailer and 15 minutes for loading and unloading the bike. The total fee is the hours times $26.00 plus $0.25 per mile for gas and other vehicle and trailer expenses.
I do a lot of carburetor cleaning, which often means rebuilding and tuning and I am very good at it. I keep costs and turn-around times as low as possible while making the carburetors function properly and last a long time. I keep a stock of many sizes of rubber o-rings and I seldom have to order repair kits. The sizes that I use often fit better than the ones in the kits. I keep a stock of o-ring cord in sizes that often work well for float bowl gaskets. I keep a stock of the most common float valve needles and seats and I can tell whether they need to be replaced or if I can fix them by lapping the seats. I use many special tools for lapping. I always test for leaks with low-pressure air. Some parts I have to order if needed, like air cutoff valves and accelerator pump diaphragms. For jets, I use many different sizes of tiny pins, wires, and drills to clean and measure the metering holes. Many pilot jets have the inside diameters stepped-down in three diameters and I always clean all three so there is no hidden debris to re-clog them. I vacuum-synchronize throttles and adjust idle mixture and idle speed after I mount the carbs back onto the bike.
I have a special method of truing brake rotors, because replacements are expensive and sometimes not available. I use the caliper with a new kind of super-abrasive paper. It has ceramic particles that are so hard and sharp that the cutting force is dramatically reduced. This paper can 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.
I built a special machine for undercutting transmission gears to stop them from pushing apart under power and disengaging. Undercutting costs less than replacing the gears and sometimes new gears are not available anyway. I use a precision rotary table and dial indicator to locate and index the gear, then a stylus-and-template tracer system with parallelogram linkage arms makes repeatable tool paths. The tool holder holds a Dremel moto tool at the desired angle so the cutting can be done with diamond burrs by feeding in small increments with the rotary table.
Many of my customers ask me what I recommend for the winter to prevent carburetor trouble in the spring. Over the past few years I have fixed many motorcycles with starting and running problems after sitting for a while without being used.
The common symptoms are:
⦁ would not start.
⦁ would not idle without choke.
⦁ would not keep running.
⦁ would backfire and/or not rev normally when given throttle.
⦁ would die when given throttle.
⦁ carburetor leaked gas.
These problems are usually caused by the carburetor internal parts being clogged or stuck. It can be from fuel gum or varnish as well as corrosion or oxidation of the metal from exposure to air and water. A thin coating is all it takes to clog a hole .015” in diameter. Carburetors have air vents and they "breath" air in and out with temperature changes. In an unheated garage in Minnesota there is usually a large temperature swing every day. This causes gas to evaporate quickly from carbs, which accelerates the decomposition of the remaining gas and exposes more parts to air, which accelerates corrosion. Droplets of water can form on the metal parts inside carburetors from condensation of water vapor in the air. The water accelerates corrosion. With fuel, air, and water in the bowls trouble can develop quickly.
When I clean carburetors I often find the small amount of gas in the bowls has turned brown or green with chemical breakdown while the larger volume of gas in the tank is still in good condition. The problems could have been prevented if the carburetor gas had been replaced with tank gas more often. This is why I recommend running the engine about once-a-month during storage. I suggest do it when the temperature is at least 40 fahrenheit and keep it running long enough to reach operating temperature and stay there a while. You should regulate the throttle to keep the idle up in the range of 1500-2500 and never use choke any longer than necessary to keep it running. Too much choke will coat the sparkplugs and valves with carbon, which is bad. An easy-access idle speed screw or a throttle lock helps a lot for this. I suggest about 20 minutes for liquid-cooled engines, less if air-cooled.
Putting Stabil in the gas may help, but it has to be in the carburetors too. I would not exceed the amount in the instructions on the can.
Steel gas tanks can also rust inside in the areas exposed to air and that rust can get in the carburetors and cause problems. The simple way to prevent most of this is to keep the tank nearly full during storage.
I was born in 1953 and grew up on my dad’s farm about 3 miles from Willmar, MN. When I was 10 years old in the summer of 1964 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 some freelance 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 in my repair work. I continue to develop knowledge and skill by studying manuals and doing lots of different repair jobs. I have a gift for understanding how things work and how to fix them.