Friday, July 20, 2012

Mechanical Mayhem

Its been one of those stretches where a large chunk of the preventive maintenance chores all came due at once; oil changes are due for two of the trucks, the car, and the four wheeler. I need to get around to replacing the shocks on the Dodge (I have them just need to do it). I ran over a piece of wire with the IH 424 while brush hogging a neighbors pasture and found that even with a new tube the tire is too shot to seat the bead to the rim because the sidewalls blow out so its new tire time and the loader control lever for the Kubota broke a weld that was a manufacturers defect but the dealer wont stand behind their product.

It was an easy fix for the Kubota but its disappointing the dealer was totally disinterested in standing behind his product. I really like the little Kubota but guess what dealer I wont be sending my friends to or buying anything from again?

Its also hot, real hot --

I almost feel like I am back patrolling in Iraq...I just exchanged IEDs and Ambushes for dodging overloaded hay trailers and kamikazi deer...the heat is about the same!

When I ran over the wire I knew the tires were shot (orginals from 1966) but I was trying to limp them know how it is. So I took off the rim and tire, went over to a friends and we used his Massy Ferguson tractor with a heavy loader to break the bead from the rim and then got the tire pulled and a new inner tube put in. you can see the sidewalls were so shot we couldnt air ir up enough to seat the bead to the rim because the sidewalls would blow out. Time for new tires.
This tractor also has rear wheel weights that are bolted to the rim in two pieces and it was apparent from the rusty bolts they hadnt been removed for a decade or more. So I used PB Blaster to soak the wheel weight bolts and the lug bolts and they came loose eventually (after a lot of muscle in the 100 degree plus heat!).
You can see in this picture there is a little rust hole in the fender from the battery acid leaking and I want to patch it so...add that to the to do list. Its a catch 22, I will eventually tear this thing down to replace all the seals, and do a repaint and now would be an ideal time to do it but we need to use this tractor right now so once the tire goes back on all that will have to wait.
The pictures are a little deceiving but these are 4000 pound tractors and it can be dangerous working on this machinery. The tractor is in gear, the brake is set, the right wheel is chocked as are the two fronts. You can also see two jack stands and a 20 ton bottle jack left in place holding everything up. I see a lot of folks around here not using jack stands when working on farm machinery or motor vehicles and it makes me shudder.
So here is the old tire and rim (I aired up the tire for ease of moving it around but it wont hold air) leaning against the old farm truck to give perspective. Its big and heavy.
We looked all over the Internet and every local shop and found two tires of the size we needed (13.6-28) out in Seymour for the cheapest price and here is one of the two waiting to be put on. Its made in India and cost $350 least of taken care of it will last long after I am gone. I will install them next week.

And here is the broken weld on the Kubota loader control lever. It attaches to the hydraulics that make the bucket go up and down, tilt, dump etc and as you can see the weld closest to you in this picture is almost completely missing and just tacked at the end. This wasnt abused or even used hard..its a manufacturers defect.
So it got welded much more thoroughly this time around.
I cleaned up the welds a bit, hit it with the wire wheel, primed it and painted it for rust protection. It gets installed tomorrow (just two bolts).
And of course we are in the middle of harvest and we ended up with a bunch of cabbages we didnt sell and we couldnt eat it all before it went bad so......
Saurkraut. This is now covered in cheese cloth and weighted and fermenting in our basement right now. We skim it daily and in two months we will bring it up and pressure can it. You put this in a crock pot in layers with some pork spare ribs and a little sugar and some sliced apples on a winters day and your house will smell so good all day as its cooking. Makes me long for winter.

We are just now getting our harvest of watermellons and these are called "Baby Sweets". They are the sweetest tasting water mellons I have ever found and we have a bunch coming.
And finally, this is Eve the feral barn cat we have never been able to catch to get her fixed but she all of the sudden decided to come inside from the heat to have a litter of kittens. Once they are weaned Eve goes to the vet and the kittens get taken to Walmarts parking lot to try and give away. In the mean time, its just life on the farm and you have to admit they are cute little creatures. None of us have ever outgrown the awe we feel over seeing things like this and I really hope we never do.


  1. Wonder if we're thinking of the same Kubota dealer....we had to write ours off because they wouldn't stand behind a $100 product. Spent upwards of $30K with them and they wouldn't help us get a special order part.

    Glad the mother cat came inside to have her kittens! Will make it easier on everyone come vet time also :)

  2. Its probably the same dealer and I guess it surprizes me more than anything else since like you we spent so much money there. The tractor itself has been great and I do all the maintenance and repair myself but when a part fails like that due to a manufacturing defect I expect a company to stand behind their product.....I am so naieve!

  3. Awesome, Because we mostly can see vehicle can move for more time. if we use better quality for our vehicle. It's insightful fr vehicle and i think protection is more important as you show in post for wheels.