The Work Begins and Reality Sets In

With the last  post, That Idiotic Tractor hit a major milestone, 10 posts after 3 weeks in operation, well alright, 2 weeks of operation and one week on vacation.  I’ll try to keep posts coming on a fairly regular basis, but here are a couple of things to remember:
1.  You’ve got to be careful with your comments; if I get the idea that people are actually reading my posts, it only encourages me.
2.  If you want to save some time and stop wondering, has that idiotic author done a new post? I’ve included a new “widget” on the home page where you can subscribe to this humble blog; don’t worry, it’s free!  All you have to do is stick your email address in the box.  Then WordPress, my so-called publisher (ha!), sends you an email which in essence says, “Are you sure you want to subscribe to this tissue of lies and half-truths?”  Then you click on a URL in that email confirming that, yes, you are that stupid, and you’re done.  I just signed-up her majesty, The Princess, for her very own subscription; I know, I know, you think  I’m spoiling her.  I try.

Enough blathering and on to real tractor news.  Yesterday afternoon I went out to Gene’s, and there he was out by The Pony; I’ve told him before, “Don’t feed The Pony apples (it’s the gas), but he doesn’t listen.  Actually, he’d just removed the tarp, and had brought out a supply of wrenches to get started with.  With his hands and various wrenches, he appeared to be taking a “top-down approach,” so I thought, cool, I’ll start at the bottom and drain the oil and see what all comes out, kind of expecting the worst.  

So I’m down there underneath looking for, then finding the big nut “thingy” that you turn and remove, find it and, oh man it’s big.  But no problem, Gene’s got a wrench for every job, and I carry out this 30 lb tray of tools (one of dozens) and start messing around trying to find a socket that fits.  I was thinking, this will be great, something built in 1952, good, solid machinery, probably all SAE nuts and bolts… but no; I find out that a metric socket fits perfectly, then remember, the dang Canadians, they built this thing, the whole thing is going to be metric.  Oh well, looking at the bright side, I’ve already learned something today. 

I’m still down there pulling and pulling on this fairly long-handled wrench, getting pretty good torque, and not getting anywhere, so I say “Gene, under here the “righty-tighty, left-loosey” thing (note this technical term I’m throwing around) applies doesn’t it?”  He looks down, and says, “Yes, but you’re pulling the wrong way.”  Fine, my first mistake, no biggy, and moments later I’m rewarded with a rush of pitch black oil flowing into the drip pan.  There isn’t much of it, and two things occur to me.  First, the good thing, that this is all oil and no water or other extraneous matter.  Second, the bad thing, if this is what’s been flowing into the gulf all summer long, I’m never eatin’ shrimp again.

Ok, with that job done, I seal her back up and check out what Gene’s been up to on top.  Holy #%$*%@!  The top half of engine is missing, and Gene’s sticking something sharp into a whole where the manifold used to be and saying, “Look at this stuff in here clogging these ports up; it’s like mud,” and he continues gouging out big gobs of this “mud.”  “We’re going to have to take off the head and see what else is in there.”

At this point it strikes me that this isn’t looking good, and more than that, this Gene is quite a “taker-aparter;” god help us, I hope he’s as good a “put-it-togetherer.”  “Don’t worry,” he says, “I got a box I’m throwing everything into over here.” 

It was about this time that Gene’s wife, Lynn (lovely lady, don’t know how Gene got her), calls from the mailbox that Gene has a big envelope; sure enough, it’s the Operating and Servicing Manual we probably should have at least glanced at a bit before starting on this project.  So alright, with removal of the head, the next step on the agenda, I told Gene I needed to call it quits for the day; I’d promised The Princess dinner at The Carolina Inn (fabulous as usual), so after a little clean-up I was on my way.

It was later that evening, as I relaxed in my favorite chair, that I started seriously looking through the manual and became concerned.  First, the Phillies were clinging to a slim 2-1 lead in a game against the Astros, and second, I read the warning language on page 11 of the manual:  “DO NOT ALLOW NUCLEAR PHYSICISTS TO SERVICE THE TRACTOR.  FAILURE TO HEED THIS WARNING COULD LEAD TO IRREPARABLE HARM!”  Oh noooooo, Gene is a nuclear physicist! He’d told me that last week while we were clearing brush in the woods.  I blinked my eyes a couple of times, read the warning again, and it said nothing like that….I had fallen asleep.  Also found out that while I slept the Phillies blew their slim lead and lost the game, 3-2.

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