We have a blue bird house attached to the post that supports our second floor deck. Every year we have lots of fun watching all of the stuff that goes on in and around that house. This time of year when they aren’t nesting, for some reason the blue birds have to fight off other birds like house finches and sparrows, that want to take up residence in the house. There’s all kinds of dive bombing and posturing going on, pretty exciting. During the spring and summer we watch them rear two broods of babies, and sometimes we’re lucky enough to see the little ones fly the coop. I’ll insert 4 photos here, the last one showing how the little ones look, when they’re about ready to take off (note claws on edge of hole).
That chick with its mouth open in the 3rd picture reminds me exactly of how the idiotic brother used to look at the dinner table when we were kids, hell, he still eats like that. To this day, even when it’s just The Princess and me at the table I’m always watching my plate, first to make sure I got my fair share, and second to make sure it stays there until I eat it.
This whole business was just preamble leading up to the cute thing I saw in the bird house today, and here it is. Yeah, that’s the Gecko alright, and I think he’s set-up an insurance sales office in there during the off-season. Don’t forget, you can click on any of these images to make them bigger.
With this little diversion I guess I’ve been trying to put off talking about some more really disgusting tractor news. I’ve spent a few hours out at Gene’s the last few days trying to take advantage of some really nice weather. The area where the engine will be bolted back on needs to be wire brushed, cleaned, primed and painted, while it’s still easy to get at.
So with that as a little mini goal, I got all Gene’s tools out and ready. But when I looked at the cavity that houses the clutch I noticed some kind of nasty oily substance oozing out. The large cavity connects to a much smaller tunnel like cavity that extends all the way to the back of the tractor where the transmission is.
I figured I’d never get the engine area clean with this oily junk constantly flowing out, so started fishing up into the tunnel to see what the heck was up in there. With a small stiff wire I began pulling out gobs of oil laden organic material which I eventually recognized as the ancient stash of some idiotic squirrel or chipmunk. This stuff looks bad, feels worse and smells awful. I’m going to give out some free advice here. DO NOT EVER BUY (EVEN FOR $50) A TRACTOR THAT HAS BEEN SITTING IN THE WOODS FOR 20 YEARS!
After mucking around in that drive shaft tunnel on Tuesday, I showed up again Wednesday, saw the gunk still oozing out and figured somehow I’ve got to stop that. I made an assumption that since the tunnel led back to the transmission, the stuff mixing in with the acorns, etc. was probably transmission fluid. So, I set about removing the plug from the transmission in order to drain it. Like everything else on The Pony it was stuck good, but Gene arrived as I was struggling and came up with a combination of huge crescent wrench and fat breaker bar that did the trick.
I had placed a large oil drip pan below the plug to catch the fluid, but neither of us was prepared for the deluge that followed removal of the plug. Over a gallon of ice cold, clear water rushed out, followed by a rather meager portion of tranny fluid. Please refer back to the advice given two paragraphs above. How in the hell did all that water get in there?
Ok, here’s my theory. I don’t know how the water got in there (fairies?), but I think what might of happened over the years is that the water went through a lot of freeze/thaw cycles. When it did this, it forced most of the tranny fluid out through some busted seal into that drive shaft tunnel. I was about to leave Gene’s when I remembered I had the camera in the car, so I went back, pulled the drip pan out from under the tractor and took this shot.
Always looking for the silver lining, even when The Pony takes a leak, I’m happy that what came out was clear water. The stuff in the photo that is orange and brown is the fluid that came out, not rust. Next trip out to Gene’s I’ll see if the oozing has stopped and will try to get the rest of the nasty muck out of there. All of this mess to deal with before I can even start to clean that engine area, which was the initial goal. Man, what next! Aren’t you glad you just have to read this, and you don’t actually have to deal with the muck. Maybe if I remember, I’ll try to get a nice shot of the muck when I go back out. Thanks for reading (and not throwing-up).