Remember that sleeve the guy at the muffler shop made for me? I hadn’t thought of it, but in order to be able to tighten the clamp and the sleeve around the muffler pipe it needed a slit cut into it. I found this out when I tightened the clamp and all that happened was the clamp tightened the new stack to the sleeve, but not the muffler pipe. Of course Gene had just the tool for cutting the slit, and here’s a photo he took of me at work on the job.
I was scared to death using that thing, but managed to get through the job without injuring myself. I used the same metal cutter to cut a little steel off the clamp. After using a file to neaten-up my work, I re-tightened the clamp. This time everything snugged right up.
While I was working on this little project I started wondering after all this time whether I had the rain cap on correctly.
In the event you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a photo of the rain cap that I bought from All States Ag Parts.
Before reading further, take a guess as to which way you think this doohickey should be attached to the stack.
In the past I have always attached it with the hinge and “tail” toward the rear as shown in the photo. I mentioned this to Gene, and he went to his computer, checked some old photos from a tractor show and said it looked like they were mounted with the hinge to the front. When I got home I checked some photos on line, and from those there appeared to be no consensus. As a final check I Googled “rain cap direction.” Whoa, back in 2009 some guy was dumb enough (like me) to put the question to the Tractor Forum, and holy cow, what a barrage of responses (over 40). After going through them all, I can report that even among “tractor nuts” there is no agreement, roughly equal numbers voting for hinge forward, backward and believe it or not, sideways! Then too there were just as many voting to skip it altogether in favor of a can, soup, dog food, Nestle’s Quick and coffee cans were among those mentioned.
Those arguing for hinge back said it helped send the smoke a few inches higher. Those arguing hinge forward said that that direction made it less likely the thing would get snagged in tree branches. More importantly, in this position the cap remains closed when the tractor is being “trailored.” Those voting for sideways claimed that this helped send smoke to the side and away from the driver. The guys arguing for soup cans, etc seemed to be a fun-loving, contrary type. They loved the fact that on occasion if one forgets to remove the can when starting the engine, it can get pretty exciting, blasting the can up to 40 feet into the air. Along those lines, one guy suggested a new contest at tractor shows where a prize would be awarded to the tractor that could blow the can the highest!
Of course, there was a voice of reason in the group, “There is no right way, just whatever you prefer and makes you happy.”
But I’ll leave this subject with this colorful comment: “Someone just told me all that diesel smoke I’ve been getting in my face over the years is going to give me cancer. ‘Son of a gun’ I told them, ‘Then I may as well take up smoking, except I already do.’ I’m a gonner, that’s for sure. Coal dust from the power plants when I hit them, diesel smoke in my face, Marlboro Lights in my pocket…I am in big trouble. May as well take up drinkin’ and women too. Oh no, I already do that too. I am toast!”
In the “It’s hell to get old” category, I offer this little story. In the last post I bragged about putting up a whole bunch of strawberry jam. Turns out that even though I have been doing this for at least 25 years, the memory failed me this year and I put one cup too few of sugar in all those jars I did that first day. Argh! After making a couple of more batches (the right way) The Princess and I sampled the two batches. We decided that they were both pretty darn good, the one that was short on the sugar was still sweet, it just didn’t set as hard. I’m calling that “Jam Lite,” and recommending it for folks that would like to use it as an ice cream topping. Since I have a little extra of the “Lite” sitting around now, I’m offering to send a jar (free of charge) to the first person that sends an email to me “off blog” requesting one.(1) You may send your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and, of course, include your mailing address.
Good luck! And as always thanks for reading.
(1) Those who already receive jam from me (you know who you are) are not eligible.