I’ve learned a lot while restoring the Pony, and of course, the job isn’t even done yet. One thing I’ve learned is that you can do a lot if no one comes along and says, “You can’t do that.” Or, if someone does say that, just don’t listen, and go ahead anyway. If you’re lucky enough to get through the “can’t” stage, you can get through all kinds of disappointments, problems, and mistakes as long as someone else is around to say, “You can do that.” When things seem bad and I can’t figure something out, Gene will always say, “Look at all you’ve learned so far. You’ll figure this out too.” And the Idiotic Brother, he must have said a hundred times, “Don’t worry, the Pony will run.” Although, when he says that, sometimes I think he was indicating more faith in the reliability and indomitable strength of the combustion engine, than in my ability.
I was at one of those “can’t-figure-it-out” points last week. While following this blog, have you ever asked yourself, “Gee, I wonder if I could restore an old tractor?” Something occurred this past week that to me proved that anyone, I mean ANYONE, can do it. Remember the beautiful job I did of restoring the front end steering and wheels? Here are some “before and after” photos and a “way after” video.
Study the still images carefully. What puzzled me ever since I put the Pony’s steering back together was why were the tie rods bumping into the tires when they hadn’t been doing that prior to restoration? Careful study of the two still images, should give you the answer even though it didn’t help me. Of course, when was the last time I studied anything, CAREFULLY? If you think you’ve figured it out, now view the brief video below which shows the front end after I fixed the problem.
Click on the following brief video for the “way after” Video.
Ok, how many of you figured out that initially I had the wheels installed backwards? Talk about your idiotic author. I not only installed the wheels backwards, but I drove the tractor at least 3 times before figuring out what was wrong. But, the key thing is, once again I learned something, and I’ll bet I never make THAT mistake again. By the way, in my defense, the valves were sticking out of the side of the wheel that faced in. Heck, in a million years I wouldn’t have guessed the stems go on the inside. Must be a tractor thing. So, yes, if I can restore a tractor, even making mistakes like that, hell, anyone can do it!
On Sunday we had a pretty day here, and it only took me about half an hour to jack up the front end and flip the wheels around. By the time I got that done Lynne was home and offered to take some video for me. What follows are three videos of less than a minute each, which are the beginning, middle and end of a little test drive I took with the wheels properly installed.
Gradually things are coming along, and a day like Sunday gets me “juiced-up” to finish the job. With some consistent good weather, I’ll be able to get back to work painting the back 1/3 of the old beast.
Oh, I forgot to mention, I got a call from the folks at the “Guinea Pig Lab” a while back. They had a deal where all they wanted was to ream out my nose (something I usually do myself), and take a sample of “snot” containing some of my precious nasal skin cells. I know that by now y’all probably think I’ll do anything for money, and they were offering $65 for about an hour’s worth of my time, but I’ll tell you, I turned them down flat. I said, “Thanks, but there’ll be no skin off my nose!”
Have a great week everyone, and in case you need someone to say it, believe me, “You can do it!
Thanks for reading.