The mayor and I spent most of the week not fixing the grader. In the end our problem was so simple I’m reluctant to admit I was too stupid to diagnose it. We had a fitting on the hydraulic cylinder that lifts the wing which just barely touched a support when the wing was fully lifted. Evidently it was touching hard enough to eventually break the fitting. We never saw it touch so we stayed focussed on the problem being too much pressure. Finally on Saturday we had a supervisory crowd of locals and one of them spotted the real problem. So ---- finally ---- that project is fully behind us.
I immediately launched into tearing the 2nd of my two little tractors completely apart.
You may recall that I bought the two tractors last fall, intending to use one while I fixed the other one. I started out using this one but the mighty Onan had so much blowby that I eventually switched to the other tractor. It wasn’t without its challenges either so the summer slipped by without any fixing getting done on either unit beyond what was absolutely necessary to get the lawns mowed regularly. There was only one time this whole summer where I drove a tractor to the other house, mowed the lawn and came home without incident. That was the final mowing of the fall. On every other occasion something happened during the mowing which necessitated returning home for repairs. Neither of them ever made me walk home but it was a near thing a couple of times.
These little Cases came with Kohlers or Onans with the Onan being the “big” engine. The Kohlers were single cylinder, rated at 14 HP. The Onans are twins rated at 16 or 18 HP. Onan eventually licensed an outfit called Linamar to make a copy of the B43M which is the engine I had in the 446 Case. Onan repair parts are stupid expensive but I was lucky enough to find a low hours Linamar that some guy in P.A bought new and stuffed into a piece of shit Roper lawn tractor. He seemed astounded that I wanted to buy his lawn tractor so I could cannibalize the engine but that didn’t prevent us from making a deal. Before I put the “new” engine in I’m going to slobber a bit of orange paint around the tractor frame. It will by no means be a restoration paint job but once its covered with grass slime and oil slobber it should look OK from a hundred yards.
Along with drooling some paint onto the frame I’ll replace the obvious things like worn out hydraulic hoses, worn out tie rod ends and boogy wiring. I expect I’ll be able to cannibalize more than just the engine from the little Roper – the seat looks good as does the steering wheel. My tractor is actually pretty tight, its just been neglected. A simple cleaning along with replacing a few obvious parts, changing the fluids and adding some grease will go a long way to resurrecting it. My goal isn’t a restoration – its a usable lawn tractor. That shouldn’t be too hard to achieve. I still haven’t figured out what to do about the tiller. The tines on the ones I got are pretty well pooched and so far I haven’t been able to find jobber replacements. We don’t have a garden so its not a big issue yet.
Today we had a few people over for Thanksgiving dinner and to watch the fiasco in Montreal. That was a particularly forgettable experience. We can only hope that Kerry Joseph injects some playoff life into the team.