Rants, raves, funny stories . . .

Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:17 pm

A little background first . . .

I'm 52 and have always been a "tractor-ass". Love to take things apart and see what makes them work. Always had more time than I did money so we've always tried to repair things instead of replacing them. I remember rebuilding wheel cylinders on cars when I was old enough to buy a car. Been in the automotive business since I graduated high school, (no . . . I don't wrench for a living). So I'm quite familiar with the "fix it correctly" and also "pretend someone is going to critique/look-over your work the day after you did it.

So anyway . . . I get my Loboy that I've always wanted, (of course much worse shape but it was all I could afford). I get it home and start looking it over and find out that everything pretty much "functions" as it should. Correctly . . . ? Not everything, but I'm happy with the purchase. I get looking closer and almost every rollpin is replaced with either lock-wire or nails. All the return/helper springs are missing, wrong bolt/nuts are everywhere. Also a few wood screws for good measure. The PO had put a "newer" battery in and it was too long and the little lips/fingers kept it wedged at an angle in the battery opening. Had to use a big screwdriver to wedge it up and out after I had the rear sheet metal removed. A different starter/generator was installed that didn't have provisions for the voltage regulator to be mounted to it. A NAPA VR was mounted on the frame rail with "extension" wires running to it, (they were just 12/2 house wire). The PO did have the old S/G which he gave me. I got thinking that this thing has had the complete charging/starting system replaced. The odds of all of it going bad at the same time are slim to none. So I took the S/G up and had it tested, works like a champ. Ordered the correct VR and got the correct size battery to fit in the box. Oh . . . and the battery cable ends were cut and stripped and the bare wires were nutted to some sort of adapter terminal. So this weekend I'll swap out the S/G to the original and get the correct VR put back where it should go.

I guess I just needed to rant/rave about the extra work people do when it would've taken less time and money if they had just repaired/tested things like they should've.

Feel free to add your own horror stories . . .

Re: Rants, raves, funny stories . . .

Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:37 pm

Well i see the samething on every tractor just about with the quick fix nails in the place of cotter pins and car VR's inplace of the right ones. With my cub cadets, Heck one PO was trying to start the tractor with the condensor on the points missing. A quick clean of the carb, the gas tank and clean the points and add a condensor and it ran with a new battery of course. The other machine from the same PO was pushing my patiance for sure. I finally figured out the points were shorted. He told me its engine was replaced but its the same color and weathered the same as the frame plus its just hanging in there.

Ok now with my first 154 its ok, my second 154 the PO had it apart to fix the engine knock, but it was the pulley on the PTO shaft because they ran the twin belts over tightened. I notice with a bad bearing on the mule drive or bad bearings in the mower deck its puts an aweful load on the PTO / engine to turn everything. Don't ask me how i know but if your pulling the PTO engagement lever 2 or 3 times to get it all turning or the engine stalls you better pull your belts and check your bearings.

When installing a new throttle cable make sure it doesn't snake or wrap around the charge wire from the VR. The outer casings on the wires aren't that healthy to begin with so all of a sudden its not charging. Or it shows a charge and its not going to the battery.

Trust me its not the awesome int154 its the lack of maintenace by the previous PO's. Most tractors are run into the ground then the PO's think they have gold when they want to sell it. I see this in backhoes too and other machines. I'm about to say the heck with tractors, repair or fix what i have and stay with them and run them. Then i going to get another hobby or go back to one of my old hobbies. Having so many tractors is taking up too much of my time now. The misses has been waiting for me to remodel the new place so when duty calls :||): :||): :||): :)): :)): :)): :)): :)): :||): :||): :{_}: No rant i need a brake so i'm throwing the tools down and going bass fishing!!!!!!!!

Re: Rants, raves, funny stories . . .

Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:19 pm

Like you I have seen lots of "farmer fixes" and they are often interesting. Some are really good ideas and some........ well, we'd be better off if someone else had fixed it. I expect to find something on virtually any old tractor or piece of equipment available nowadays. The only ones that I really have issue with is where threaded holes have been drilled out and re-tapped over size. There just is not a lot you can do with some of them. While operationally they are not a problem I really feel for the guy who buys a tractor with hopes of restoring it and something like this really creates a problem for them.
Helicoils and inserts make it easy for some repairs but if a casting hole has been drilled out extremely over size there is just not a good repair.

Re: Rants, raves, funny stories . . .

Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:33 pm

I love it when people "shotgun" parts on something to try to fix it. Starter/charging systems, we used to call that the "Winter-time tune-up".

Nowadays, we get people that have spent $400.00 trying to fix a problem themselvesand then they bring it to us and when we find it and tell them it's $200.00, they about have a kitten because they already spent so much already.

Gotta love people sometimes. . .

Of course . . . I remember trying to rebuild a 5hp Tecumseh. Spent $90.00 parts and labot on it. Lasted 1/2 hour and was right back to where it was. A shortblock was $105.00. DOOOH . . . ! ! !

Re: Rants, raves, funny stories . . .

Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:31 am

You know the saying "why is there never enough time to fix it right the first time but always time to fix it a second time" or something like that.

Re: Rants, raves, funny stories . . .

Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:45 am

Put the old S/G on yesterday along with the correct VR. Also found an extra coil in the box which reminded me that coil on the tractor was too big in diameter so only one bolt was used on the clamp. Put the old coil on and it was also a good part. So now I'm trying to figure out why the PO put all these parts on, whether it was running poorly or wouldn't start.

Still have the problem of of trans fluid leaking out of the shifter tower when driven in 3rd, anybody have any thoughts on that?

Re: Rants, raves, funny stories . . .

Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:21 am

Phazer wrote:Still have the problem of of trans fluid leaking out of the shifter tower when driven in 3rd, anybody have any thoughts on that?

You may have already done some of these. Try in this order:
1) Crack the drain open and see if there is any water in the transmission. If so, change the fluid. Be sure to use good hydraulic fluid.
2) Make sure the transmisson isn't overfull. Correct as needed.
3) Check the suction lines from the transmisison to the hydraulic pump for any leaks. Air drawn in here will tend to froth up the oil.
4) Replace the o-ring on the shift lever.

Re: Rants, raves, funny stories . . .

Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:14 pm

I already drained and refilled it. There was alot of water in it. Maybe it needs drain a couple of more times.

No leaks in any of the lines that I could see.

Does/is the trans "vented" anywhere?

Re: Rants, raves, funny stories . . .

Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:36 pm

Between the two mounting bolts on the PTO there is a stone screen thats flush on that boss. Just look under the PTO shaft/bracket between the bolts on the tranny in the rear were the PTO mounts to the case. Thats the breather

Re: Rants, raves, funny stories . . .

Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:17 pm

Ahhhhhh . . . I'll check that this weekend.

THANKS ! ! !

Re: Rants, raves, funny stories . . .

Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:14 pm

Well . . . the sintered breather isn't/wasn't plugged so I'll pursue that at a different time. I can't even remember why, but I decided to pull the gas tank yesterday. Found the front mounting bracket was broke so I rigged it up temporarly. But lo and behold, found that the back of the dash had open access with the tank removed. I was wanting to check the wiring because 1 outta 3 times, I'd have to reach through the open side panel and wiggle wires to get it to crank.

After I got the tank off, I deiscovered the PO had replaced the solenoid with a small, light duty one. It was only mounted with one nut and it was only finger tight about halfway onto the stud. One of the battery cables was pretty much the same way. Got that replaced and fasten securely and the nuts tight on all the cables. Replaced the oil psi bulb while I was in there also. Then I found out the fuse holder was just about to fall apart so I went searching for a new one. I found one at Radio Shack, (pt# 270-364). The only think that was wrong was the terminals were much smaller across and the chassis terminals wouldn't lock on. So I soldered short pigtails on and put the correct size spade terminals on the end of the wires so I didn't have to hack anything. So all in all, it was a very succeddful weekend. Opps . . . forgot, put new plugs in also.

Removing the fuel tank was a piece-o-cake. One bolt on each side at the rear for the strap, one bolt at the rear of top radiator hose neck, and the fuel line, (make sure you shut the fuel valve off). And it really helps to have almost an empty tank.

Next wekends project will be new plug wires. I'm gonna use 90* boots on both ends to try and clean up the look a little.