Halloween 2011, The Scare is Back!

Our son, Andy, visited recently, and on one of our trips to the grocery store, one of us, I don’t remember who, suggested we buy one of the pumpkins outside the entrance.  I think we were all surprised that there was unanimous agreement that the three of us should team-up and carve one.  Because Andy likes cats, he suggested that the artist in residence, The Princess, draw a cat face on the pumpkin.  Andy and I then took over, massaged her drawing just a bit, and carved it.  The following pictures are pretty scary, so you might want to warn any small children near your computer.

Another pretty scary thing is working on the Pony.  Gene and I spent an entire afternoon this week attaching the flywheel and clutch to the engine and then sliding it into place.  It was one of those operations that took all kinds of coaxing, jiggering, ooching, etc.  This was not a “by the book” repair, far from it.  As a matter of fact, we ended-up tightening the clutch to the flywheel by going in through the port where the starter will soon be installed.  Here’s a shot of that.

Those of you who know me from my former life, know that I was a risk manager for most of it.  It should come as no surprise, therefore, that there was a piece of wire attached to the small wrench Gene and I used to do the tightening.  Our fear was that the wrench would fall down inside the torque tube and we’d have to pull the engine back out in order to retrieve it.  Sure enough, while I was tightening one of the bolts, the wrench slipped and down inside she went.  But, thanks to our risk management I was simply able to fish it back up by the wire.  Funny thing, that the wire was Gene’s idea, not mine!

We got everything tightened-up, then the engine bolted to the chassis and finally tried the clutch.  Uh oh, no engagement with the clutch when we pushed on the clutch pedal.  By this point we’d run out of day, so had to pull the tarp over the Pony and leave the problem for the weekend.  Once again I was concerned and a bit down.  What was wrong, how would we figure it out, and what would  this do to my plans for a pre-Thanksgiving engine start?  I went home and drowned my concerns with a martini.

While Gene and I pondered our clutch problem, the Pony was having some issues of his own.  As you all know, the Pony, Gene, The Princess and I, we all live in Thatidiotictractorland, and very little news filters in from other countries to spoil it.  But this week the Pony started making a lot of noise and yammering that he was the 99%.  Frankly, right now I’d say that the Pony is more like 20% (finished that is), but he wouldn’t leave it alone.  He was still at it today when I went out to Gene’s to work on the clutch.  Well, before we knew it, Gene and I had a full-fledged revolt on our hands as this next photo sequence indicates.

That Pony, I’m tellin’ ya.  Now he says he’s going to stay for a while, but I don’t know, when Gene goes for the tear gas and the rubber bullets, watch out Pony!

Now for the real explanation.  Gene sent an email this week and he said he’d done some measuring in his immence, 3-bay, (but 4-car size) garage and determined that there’d just be room for the Pony.  So today Gene hooked up his lawn tractor to the Pony, and with Gene driving his tractor and me steering the Pony, we chugged right up into the garage.  This is so great.  No longer will we be subject to the foibles of the weather, the dark of night, or insects and critters.  I told Gene I should be really mad at him for not having thought of this a year ago.  Heck, we’d probably be out driving the ol’ Pony around by now had he been inside all this time.  But I was so happy at the turn of events I just couldn’t thank him enough, but hey Gene, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, etc.

And as if to prove how great it’s going to be in the garage, we fairly quickly figured-out the clutch problem.  An adjustment in the linkage was all we needed, and we now have a reconditioned and functioning clutch.  Woo hoo!

From the Pony Laureate:

Gene’s Garage”
And now a quick trip
From outside 
to in.
Where I’ll rest, 
They’ll rebuild,
And I’ll win.

The Pony

Happy Halloween everyone, and ooooooo thanks for reading.


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