St. Croix Central small engines class receives donationThe St. Croix Central High School small engines class is pretty revved up about the 24 new engines they received.
By: By Ashley Halladay, New Richmond News
The St. Croix Central High School small engines class is pretty revved up about the 24 new engines they received.
At the beginning of February small engines and agriculture teacher Bill Emery received an email from Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton. The email said “24 Kohler engines, 24 per school, first come, first served.”
“I immediately responded,” Emery said.
Emery’s quick response earned the St. Croix Central High School small engines class 24 brand new, but defective, Kohler seven-horse vertical engines. It’s an engine typically used in self-propelled lawn mowers.
“There was a mistake in the engine, where if you added any ethanol to the gas it would basically clog up,” Emery explained.
Instead of the recycling the defective engines, the company chose to let area schools have a chance at using the engines in shop classes.
There are some parameters of use, though, Emery said.
One rule is that the school can’t sell the engines.
“Not like I’d ever want to sell them. I kept the last engines we had for 10 years,” Emery said.
The second parameter is that the engines must be used for educational purposes.
Emery said the rare donation is a huge asset to the SCC small engines students.
“A donation like this doesn’t happen very often. Briggs and Stratton give out one (engine) every three years, but that’s not enough for us to really get our job done,” Emery said. “I really appreciate having Kohler Engine come forward. We need to send a thank you.”
Emery said the company gave thousands of engines away, including to some other schools in the area.
He said the entire donation process was pretty simple. Once he responded that he’d like 24 engines, he just had to drive to Appleton during the week to pick them up.
The students have already started using the engines, which have been a treat to work with compared to the decade old engines they were using before.
In the first part of the two-part small engines class, the students take the Kohler engines apart and inspect the parts for imperfections and then they put the engine back together.
“They could start this (Kohler) engine and they will start this engine. Which is different than what they used to have to do,” Emery said about the new full-functioning engines. “I’ve been working for two years with engines that really shouldn’t have been put back together again. They were missing parts and were old.”
He said the new engine defect is an easy fix.
The engines could be used by changing the aluminum inlet needle to the correct type of needle, Emery said.
Even with a defect, the Kohler engines are far nicer than what the students were previously working with.
The engines the school purchased for $25 each 10 years ago were “throw back engines” or engines that had gone bad.
The new Kohler engines are valued at about $220 each, Emery estimated.
Finding engines at low prices, like those purchased 10 years ago, is rare and buying new engines would cost approximately $5,000, Emery said.
Emery said the old engines were parted out and recycled.
“This is great,” Emery said about the unexpected donation and educational opportunity provided by Kohler Engines.