That Idiotic Tractor Celebrates 1st Anniversary!

I’m pretty proud of myself.  After finishing the refurb of the sol…excuse me…ignition coil, I checked the service manual to see where on the engine to hang it.  Here’s a photo from the service manual that shows the coil hanging from a bracket that’s bolted to the hydraulic fluid tank (circled in yellow).

The problem was, in pawing through my parts boxes I couldn’t find anything that looked like it would work as a bracket to attach the coil to the tank.  Just coincidentally, a few days later I was going through old photos of the Pony when it was still out in the woods, and I came across this photo.

Aha!  There’s that dang thing, and it’s not on the hydraulic pump, but rigged up below the distributor.  I went back to the parts boxes and sure enough, I found an “L-shaped” bracket all nice and painted-up already and in a zip-lock bag labeled “engine mount, distributor side (of engine).”  Sure enough, when I attached that bracket to the motor mount stud I had the perfect platform to attach the coil in the same position as it looked back in the woods.  Here’s the proof.

The things in life (including the life of the Pony) that are the scariest, I tend to put off as long as possible.  I’ve had the distributor torn apart and the outer case cleaned up for months, but the guts of that thing so confused me that I kept putting off the attempt to put it back together.  Here’s a diagram showing all of the distributor’s parts.

I did order and receive a kit that included  a new condenser, points and rotor, the typical things one replaces when overhauling a distributor.  So, since it was now time to install it right next to its buddy, the ignition coil, I got to work.  First, I built a little stand, so that the thing could stand upright while I worked on it.  I also printed-off a bunch of blow-ups I took of the inside of the distributor before I had dismantled it.  Those, combined with the diagram above were an immense help.  Here’s a little sequence of photos. 

In the third photo, the item circled is a .020 feeler gauge that I am using to adjust the points.  Finally, here she is tucked into the engine block.

Time sure gets away from a person.  Today marks one year since the first post on That Idiotic Tractor was published.  Since then, a total of 90 posts have been published all containing crucial factual details about the Pony’s rebirth, but also (I have to admit) innumerable lies and half-truths in the interest of having some fun.  Those posts have received over 9000 views, and  I hope along the way they’ve touched a few hearts and more importantly a few funny bones.  If yours is permanently affected, it’s not covered by insurance or medicare.  The only thing for it is to keep reading and get used to it.

Apart from the knowledge about, and appreciation for, all things mechanical that I’ve gained during the “Pony Project,” I’ve learned a few more important things along the way:
*  Nuthin, I mean nuthin, was easy, but the harder it was, the better it made me feel to have done it.
*  Women love wedding pictures!  “The Royal Wedding” post (5/3/11) got more comments (all women) than any other post.
*  A martini can improve a post, but with two the Idiotic Author’s head just hits the desk top.
*  Gene has more tools than Lowes.  Every time I break one, two new ones magically appear.  I think there’s some kind of worm hole to another dimension inside Gene’s garage.
*  When my lack of knowledge has left me floundering, greater minds of folks like Gene, the Idiotic Brother, Dr. Fullofit, Maggie and Bob up at Kuhn’s, the tractor forum guys (remember “Fire in the Hole,” 9/3/10), even some of you readers have stepped in to give me a boost.  Two minds, or even one-and-a-half, truly are better than one.  Thank you everyone!
*  You can teach an old guy new tricks.  Son Andrew pulls his hair out trying to drag me further into the computer age, but Holy Cow, I’m YouTubing now!  
*  Never walk around behind the Pony, you just don’t know what might come out of his…rear end compartment…and on top of that, that little bounder kicks like a mule!
*  Good stories begin with a seed of truth, but truly great ones need to be nurtured with some imagination.
*  The internet is not an impersonal medium.  I feel closer to a lot of people now than before.

So what will the next year be like in “ThatIdioticTractorLand?”  First, if at all possible, there will be no 2nd anniversary.  I could not stand to still be working on that bucket of bolts (sorry Pony) for a whole nuther year.  As much fun as this has been, I’ve just got to start seeing the “fruits of my labor” soon.  Then too, there’s that issue of the C-O-M ceiling.  The Princess, I don’t know…I’ve started reviewing our various budget accounts in Quicken, and there are a few that, given a few tweaks, might cause her to finally budge.  Of course, a good last-ditch effort will always be gifts, lots of expensive gifts.

Elsewhere in ThatIdioticTractorland there will be prosperity, low but improving interest rates, no inflation, gradually improving employment numbers and good weather for plowing.  If this all sounds pretty good to you, then you are a candidate for citizenship.  To immigrate though, you’re going to have to suspend belief in the real world, find an unguarded spot along the border to slip across, and above all else LOVE THE PONY!

Your Idiotic Author is leaving Sunday for a week of cycling in the Finger Lakes region of New York.  I’ll be just inside the Fingeronkill Triangle (see “Maggie Simpson, Parts Detective,” 12/17/10), so you never know what might happen.  I’m sure there’ll be stories to tell though, if only I can find my way back out; wish me luck.  Thank you so much for sticking with the Pony and me for the last year, and I really mean this, thanks for reading.


2 responses to “That Idiotic Tractor Celebrates 1st Anniversary!

  1. Billy Vollenweider

    I love the photos. This is like watching a child grow up. The life lessons and experiences written and provided by you have brought me many hours of joy, laughter and warmth. I look forward to every post. Please start to look for your next project. Thank you.

  2. Keep it coming BRB….

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