Instructables - $70 DIRT COMPACTOR

Introduction: Instructables - $70 DIRT COMPACTOR

About: English is not my first language. I use Google Translator and patience of friends to write Instructables. Feel free to point out style, syntax or grammatical errors. Actually I work in TECHSHOP Menlo Park CA …

I found an old dirt compactor in a warehouse and made an offer on it.  The agreed price was $70.  I was more than happy with the price as it costs that much to rent a compactor for one day!  The previous owner did warn me "I don;t know if it will work again, I put it aside a while ago and do not remember why."

This then became a challenge to get this compactor working.

Step 1:

I took it home and tried to start it up but had no luck :(

Step 2:

The first thing it noticed was that the spark plugs were dead.  I changed them and still no luck.

Step 3:

Then I decided go to TechShop and try to repair this vintage (30 years old) dirt compactor.

Step 4:

After spending a lot of time and not getting a spark  a DC approached me and offered to help me with this project.  Dream Consultant s, "DCs" are  the guys walking around and assisting people like me who have a project but no experience on that particular project.  He helped me to take the ignition system apart and check the platinum contacts.  These had no contact whatsoever. 

Step 5:

After filing the contacts, he told me that we needed to adjust the gap of the contact to 0.020.
I started looking for a blade caliper, after inquiring at the front desk I was informed that Techshop Menlo Park did not have one.
I then started to look for a thinner blade to use as a blade caliper.
I measured everything from business cards to potato ships bags trying to find a fit.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the the cover of the box for the platinum contact was exactly 0.020.
I used the cover as a tool of measurement to adjust the platinum contact gap.

I was able to reassemble everything was even able to get the plugs to spark!
(thanks to the DC (Dream Consultants from Techshop) and a good luck :))

Step 6:

Then I put gas (everything was completely dry: carburetor, gas tank)

I was so surprised to push the switch and the motor started, coughing and chugging, but starting, WOW :)))

Step 7:

I adjusted the carburater and was ready to get busy

Step 8:

The end result of this project will be the compaction of dirt shoulder in front of my house in La Honda, CA

This project will take approximately 40 hours.  If I had to rent a compactor at the rate of the more than $70/day,it would have cost quite a bit.  Thanks to the DC from Techshop the repair was done, the dirt compactor works great. I made it at Techshop.

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    Have you ever operated a Jumping Jack before? I've run a few Jumping Jacks. There is a bit of a knack to getting on with them. Yours looks pretty rough. That shoulder you've pictured looks pretty rough too. It is too wet.

    Pro tips: Spread some dry material on top of that mud before you try to tamp it. It'll keep the foot from getting mud caked, and the JJ will pump water up out of the ground to wet it anyways. Oh, and keep moving with it. Bad things happen when you try to stay in one place. You can always go back around, but keep moving forward. If your JJ starts to growl at you and pogo up and down. throttle down, move forward, and throttle back up.

    Other than that it is just like trying to ride a motorcycle with no wheels from behind it. heh


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I was in the union commercial construction. My name doesn't end in a vowel though so I'd get the "tough" jobs, hence my expertise with Jumping Jacks :) They're not so bad once you come to an understanding with them.

    I guess the secret to running Jumping Jacks is when they go haywire don't try to fight it back under control, just throttle it down, then run it back up and it should straighten out for you. Like taking the wind out of its sails a little.

    The other general rule I figured out is the harder the surface you're on the lighter you have to tamp it. That is why you have to keep moving forward. It doesn't take too many tamps sometimes before the ground is too hard for your throttle setting. Then the craziness starts!