I am learning so much! After cranking out posts for about three months now, I finally figured out how to get more people to view my blog, mention Bernie Madoff! Normal for my posts is to get around 30-35 views when it comes out, but the last post which described my visit to Bernie and the tractor show yielded 132 views. My website advisor, son Andrew, says that including any “hot button” words or phrases such as Mr. Madoff’s name will generally raise viewership. Another post where I got over a hundred hits was the one where I used the word euthanasia in reference to possibly putting The Pony out of its misery. I’ll admit it, when views go up it makes me happy. So, in future posts, look for the insecure author to be inserting the occasional reference to something like “5% CD Return, Guaranteed.”
You know a horseshoe is a kind of placebo; it has no real effect, but it makes you feel better (at least for a while). There are all kinds of placebos out there. Here’s a real fancy (read expensive) one that our local authorities just installed at a nearby intersection. You can push that button once, you can push it multiple times, you can push and hold, the guy behind you can occupy a little bit of time too by going through these motions (and he will), and for a while this makes you feel better, you know like you’re actually doing something, but none of this makes a dang bit of difference. You’re going to wait at that stupid intersection the same amount of time you always have before.
So, although I was hoping the horseshoe might bring some luck, a little dark cloud floated overhead immediately when I called the machine shop, and they said that I’d better come in to take a look at the engine. This is another Pony good news, bad news thing, and this time I’ll give you the bad news first. Here’s a shot of the fire deck on the block.
I had a shot that was more of a close-up, but I shook the camera. Clicking on this photo though will show several real nasty valve seats, with the rest not so good either. By the way, Buster was adamant that hand lapping the valves was not an option in this case. So, the engine needs a new set of valve seats installed. In addition, only 3 valves were salvageable, and all valve guides need to be replaced. I pinned buster down on the “decking” or “fly-cutting” of the head and firedeck and he said that he thought I’d probably be “ok” on that, but he’ll check again for any warping. Here’s the good news.
This is a pretty nice looking head, both inside and out. Buster magna-fluxed it (can’t wait to see what spell check does with that one) and there are no cracks. Yea! There is another complication, however, again caused by The Pony’s engine being so small. The shop does not have a cutting tool small enough to cut-in the new valve seats, so after the guides are installed, it will be sent over to another shop in Raleigh that does have the right size tool and seats.
It looks at this point like to get out of these multiple machine shops is going to run approximately as follows:
Clean engine: $60
Install valve guides: 50
Install valve seats: 80
Valve grinding: 70
Clean-out gas tank: 20
There is actually some other good non-engine news. My secret weapon, Gene, has been hard at work on the starter and generator and he sent me an email last night. He’s cleaned them both out, got them operational and has even prime coated them for their final coat of Pony red paint. At least one of us is making some progress. Thanks, Gene.
The Princess and I are enjoying a week-long visit from our son, Andrew. We’ll go out to dinner Saturday night to fete The Princess on her 49th birthday, again. I’m sure she will reign with dignity and grace over all her subjects at the Carolina Inn.
Andrew is going to help me with some upgrades to the website, so look for those with the next post. Some of you who usually just read your subscription email may want to actually go to: www.thatidiotictractor.com and take a look at the site.
Scientific breakthrough: Scientists successfully train goose to take interest in walking his compound; goose lays eggs with compound interest.
Thanks for reading.