I had hooked up my little red pancake so that my wife could detail her car and get the little crumbs and fur out of the crevices for the shop vac. I was quietly enjoying a cigar as he raged his little motor when I spotted flame. Then he sputtered and died. I drained the tank one last time.
First I looked up parts to replace. In the olden days, garage shops would disassemble and repair. The part in questions was $148, which was more than it would cost to replace him with a comparable model. Next stop, upgrade at a pawn shop. In looking, I found used tools that were either overpriced, or simply just too good to ‘be true’. Price point again (after haggling) $145, with possible failure or repair in an uncertain future.
Craigslist turned up bub-kiss. Again overpriced, more machine than I will ever use and out of the price range. In the end Harbor Freight delivered. I replaced it with 4 times the volume, which means less raging noise, and only went $20 beyond the replacement price. It also means I can run a paint gun, which was going to be sketchy at best with the poor little pancake.