I recently purchased a Homelite leaf blower, it seems to work fine except for the carburetor requiring some tuneup, so I decided to take a look at the needle screws just to find out they used a proprietary screw everyone calls “pac-man”, the tool costs $20 usd shipped from eBay and similar sources, the fun (or sad) thing is that the whole unit cost me about $100 usd — It’s not really an option to get the tool unless you do this for a living.
So I decided to make my own, first I tried to make a mould of the carb using oil and hotglue (the oil prevents the plastic from sticking to the metal) — The cast was fine, but it wasn’t deep enough, on hindsight I should’ve pre-heated the carburetor so the plastic would’ve run hot for a longer period of time, thus filling up the cavities of the adjustment section. The idea was to cast the tool out of 2 part epoxy, it may have worked if only I could’ve got a proper cast…
Since that was a complete failure, I went for plan b: I got a random piece of brass tubing. I filed it down to size and then I used a phillips screwdriver on a vise as the template for the pac-man groove, then I whacked it with an old chisel to leave the imprint. To further strengthen the groove I decided to use regular leaded solder (60/40) to cover up the groove from the outside. I also covered up the bottom portion of the tube (capped it) and I added a handle made out of wooden dowel.
What can I say, it simply works for what it is. I may not get tons of cycles out of it but as long as I can adjust the carb a few times, I’ll be happy.
Certainly worth the half an hour I spent doing this. Too bad it looks like crap!
In case you don’t like the idea of making your own tool, the other option is to simply grab the Dremel tool with a cutoff disk and just cut the slits on each screw, this will damage the carb as well though, I’m not too crazy about this option and certainly not crazy enough to spend 20 bucks on the real tool (which by the way I think its too long for this particular homelite product)
Either way, you don’t really have to bend over to Homelite! — Take that corporations and governments!