Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sidetracked

So let me think.. what did I get up to today. It's terrible when you cant even remember what you did in the morning. That's right, serviced the tractor.

Yeah the John Deere 8200 was due for an oil filter change (although the oil wasn't due yet - cant have changed the filter last time I changed the oil). So first job was to run the tractor for 15 mins or so at a high idle, then take out the sump plug and drain the oil. While it was draining I slipped the filter off and put the new one on, and to keep track of the service hours, even though the tractors computer does store it, we scratch the date and hours on the filter.

I also had a chance to tighten up the drive chain (well actually all the chains) on the air seeder box. This involved loosening off the bolts and sliding the gear box back a little bit. They're lovely and tight now, should work like a dream. I also oiled up the chains with chain bar oil and put the guard back on that I took off a coupla weeks ago so I could put my clutch switches in.

With that all done I put the sump plug back in the Johny and filled her up with oil again. I would have greased, well, both the tractor and the seeder box.. but my grease gun is empty and the bulk grease happened to be at Dad's place. I contacted him to see if he had it and to bring it over, and at the same time he could give me a hand to get the John Deere 4440 to move. It seemed like the transmission had locked in park, and hence... it wasn't going anywhere. All I wanted to do was put it in the shed - rather than having it sitting out there in the big blue shed like it has been for the last... very long time.

Quick trip to the Bakery for lunch. Today's excuse was that I needed to check on the welding progress on my aluminium tipper. And the progress is... slow. It'll be another coupla days yet. And they found more hairline cracks that are very interesting, at intervals all the way along the tipper. I think they were just going to leave them for now and see what happens. The cheese and bacon pasty and iced coffee was lovely.

Couple more maintenance jobs after lunch. I finally got around to taking the battery out of my courier ute and put it on the charger. I'm going to change the battery over with the one that I've been jump starting the ute with for a few weeks now. (Yeah that's right I've been carrying around a spare battery and jumper leads for weeks and quite often have had to use them - the leads are long enough that I don't even have to get the battery off the back. I was really getting it down to a fine art... that's why I've been too slack to do anything about it). Also slipped a new exhaust manifold gasket into the Ford 8401 tractor. I cant remember If I told you that I''d been working on this a coupla times with no success. I've got an old motor for spare parts and it still had the manifold gasket on it. So first time I used that... actually no first time I tightened up the studs... which were so loose I could easily move them (2 of them on the front cylinder outlet). Needless to say she had a nasty exhaust leak. Tightening the studs didn't make much difference. Putting on the second had gasket off the old motor made no difference. And today I put on the brand new gasket which also made no difference. But that's how it's going to stay now.

Also fixed up a little thingy on the boom spray... should I go into that any more. Ok. One of the spring thingys on the wings of the boom that hangs down to stop the thing ploughing into the ground, fell off last year. I happened to find it and just had to make a stronger clamp bracket for it and bolt it back on. I did that.

Then Dad rolled up with the grease. We went and looked at the tractor. Funnily enough it didn't fix itself overnight, but luckily we found the transmission hadn't locked up. The linkage was just very VERY stiff and it hadn't moved at all when I thought it had. So basically I was trying to move the tractor while it was in park. We ended up forcing the linkage (after trying to pull the tractor - both forwards and backwards - trying to free up the transmission). That when we thought it could be linkage, and yep forcing it did move it. I could then select which range I wanted to. The 4440 Johnys with a quad box (transmission) have 2 gear levers. 1 selects the gear, just like an ordinary manual transmission (basically) and the 2nd one selects which range the gear box will work in. It has 4 ranges, A, B, C and D and also park. That's the lever that was jammed. Once we got it moving relatively freely we could also move the tractor and I put it away in the shed.

Here's the big sidetrack of the day. There's a few box thorn bushes around the shed (which is the old hay shed that I decided to put tractors in) and while dad was there with drag chains we decided to clean a few of them up. We a few turned into quite a few. There were a lot more bushes hidden under the old pepper tree in there than we thought. The rest of the afternoon was taken up pulling boxthorns and the whole yard is now boxthorn free... and we've got a big pile to burn sometime.

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