Thursday, June 1, 2023

Another 3 Steps Forward 2 Steps Back Sortof Day


Had a small load scheduled to come in today but since it came in from a terminal out of state and was for a partial load anyway there is just no telling when it will actually arrive so by 8AM I just decided it was going to come in late enough in the day I could get some more pressing home issues taken care of. Like getting my mower fixed.

As it turned out I called this one spot on but when I turned to my old favorite mower that I thought had a bad starter I was totally off. I pulled the thing up from the garden shed through the pasture and my dad showed up and tried to convince me the engine had locked up and the only thing I could do was scrap it. This was his opinion because the fly wheel wouldn't turn, which I knew but I couldn't get it to back off either. It was stuck. He was convinced it was locked up but something seemed off to me so I loaded it up on my little tilt trailer. 

My dad knows how much I love this old mower and tells me every year it needs replacing but I won't do it so he is just waiting for an "I told ya so moment".

I have not loaded a dead garden tractor by myself in probably 10 or 12 years and I quickly figured out  that A. I am not the man I was 10 or 12 years ago and B. I now know this without question. After finding tools I haven't even looked at in years (like come alongs and such but failing to find all the pieces to my electric wench) I got the tractor just high enough to tilt it maybe 2 inches before it would slide back down to the bottom again. My 83 year old dad who I told needed to stay by the front of the trailer to put the holding pin back in when I got the mower level on the trailer then decided he would help.

Last I heard from him he was whining so much about his back I offered to just forget the whole thing and take him to the hospital but he refused. I did call him about an hour ago and he did say he was fine but was going to need a week to recover. I then called my son in Oregon and told him it was all his fault :)

A little guilt is good for the soul and all ya know.

So to make a long story short when I got to the Mower repair shop the guy who works on my mowers just reached down and backed the fly wheel off and then started the mower in a snap like it was nothing. Turns out some gear had slipped up like 1/16th of an inch too far and locked up the whole thing. I just wasn't turning it hard enough which I knew but I was afraid I would break it worse if I forced it. I didn't even know you could turn em that hard honestly. The repair guy just readjusted the offending gear, commented on how if I had a newer model it would have wrecked the gear and he would be replacing it and now I loaded the working mower with ease. 

Dad continued to whine I will add.

Took me the better part of another 2 hours to put everything back where it belongs but I did manage to get a patch of thistles cut down which is what started this whole mess like 6 days ago now. My weeds (which are the hated Thistle and Buffalo Bur) are coming up again although I think I did finally get a couple of the infected area sterilized last year.

Since the garden is all in now tomorrow after noon is scheduled for weed control work or I will be up to my eyeballs in Canada Thistle before too long. Those two weeds varieties have been an enemy of my blood for 30 years now but now that my pastures are horse free for a change I have actually been making progress against em. I call em Democrat weeds myself.

At least I am once again armed and ready to continue the Spring/Summer battles before I lose too much ground.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!



  1. My old Joh Deere lawn tractor, the one the previous owner threw out.. er... IN... with the purchase of the house, had an issue with one of the valve pushrods falling out of place and killing that cylinder. The rod would either bend or break altogether. I'd pull the valve cover off, replace the pushrod, and I'd be going again... for another two hours. Lather rinse, repeat. The valve lash was adjusted correctly. The valve wasn't stuck. The mechanism was getting plenty of oil. What the hell?... The last time it happened the pushrod bent and fell into the nether regions of the engine. I then noticed the valve guide had pushed its way out from its seated position. Long story short, the cooling fins surrounding the valve guide areas on BOTH cylinders were so PACKED with dirt and debris that the valve guide overheated, temporarily trapping the valve in its travel, and allowing the pushrod to fall out. as soon as the engine cooled a little the valve would free up.
    The displaced valve guide was the only clue that something had bound up. Unfortunately, I found this out too late. The motor was ruined.

    Do yourself a favor; if you love that old lawn tractor, take the time to pull the engine cowling and cooling fin covers off and clean all that crap out of the cooling fins once a year or so. It's a moderate PITA, but it will save the engine!

    1. Oh boy… in my family, if you let your engines get covered in schmag… Pope would unleash holy retribution on your butt! Your fins were clean, and your rads were even cleaner - or else! 😂👍

      Did you scrap the mighty JD or re-motor it Pete?

    2. I actually have a brand new well rebuilt engine for that mower in storage I got from a guy selling an old one just like it. I had my mower mechanic guy even get it ready for storage mode for when/if I need it!!!

  2. Funny how our strength and vigour incrementally creeps away unnoticed - until you have a moment when you _really_ notice. Seeing an exercise physiologist was the best move I have made for years. Two sessions and I feel like my old self again. The body adapts until it reaches a point where it can't and it needs help to restore the proper alignment and function. I have stretches I'll need to do for the rest of my life, (and I'll need to drink much more water), but the difference is genuinely tremendous.

    I too try to keep my old machines going as long as I can. The new stuff is never built to the same standard, lasts 1/4 as long and costs way more than the properly made kit.

    1. Anon - At this point I am just hoping my wife outlives me. She never listens to me anyway so she is better geared for life without me than the other way around. I only plan on out living our retired pets :)

      But ya getting old sucks.

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