Friday, May 29, 2009

no brakes

5/29/09 Friday
The old man told me I could borrow his disc set up so I drove the tractor there yesterday to pick it up. First problem was when I went over the overpass on I-20. The turn to get to the old man’s place is immediately at the bottom of the overpass hill. I wasn’t “flying” because the old Massey Ferguson bogged way down just to get up to the top but did pick up a little speed on the downhill side. The problem showed up when I hit the brakes. There are no brakes. With this goofy transmission I couldn’t just slow down the engine speed. When you let off the gas you also disengage the transmission as they are both controlled by the same pedal. I made the turn but was extra careful approaching the stop sign at the next intersection. There are lots of tanker trucks that fly down that road and a blind spot at the overpass. Not the place where you want to be unable to stop.

The old man came out and looked at the tractor. It’s the first time he, or anyone else for that matter, had ever seen it. First thing he saw was that I was missing parts for the three point hitch. That really didn’t surprise me. He looked around for the “Third arm” (That’s what he called it) and asked that I back the tractor up to the disc. Unfortunately the tractor won’t go into reverse when it’s hot and the three mile trip to get here certainly heated things up. Carrol couldn’t find the part and I couldn’t back up so that was it for the day.

I went back this morning. The reverse works fine when everything’s cooled off so that was fine. Carrol was able to find the third arm but I still need two bars that keep things from swaying in the back. I backed up to the disc and we hooked everything up, planning to figure something out on the anti-sway bars later. Now it was time to lift the disc set. Not going to happen! The three point hitch didn’t budge.

We look to see where you might put fluids in and found a place. Looking inside the transmission housing I didn’t see any oil except maybe a thin layer on the bottom. Now it’s back to my need to get the service manual for this tractor, something that tells what types of oils and hydraulic fluids are required, where to put it in, and how to tell if you have enough. By this time Carrol had a good look at the tractor. “How much did you pay??” he asked. When I told him $3800 he said “You could have done much better than that around here”. That’s probably true but after two years I’m still a stranger here in Martin County, not really a part of the community we had hoped to find. I’m sure there are fantastic deals to be found but I have no way to find them unless advertised in the paper or something. The old man had recently sold one of his old tractors and just sold a disc set for two hundred dollars. Another part of finding good deals is having the cash to get them so that’s an issue. “I think you might have bought a piece of crap” was the old man’s last statement on it.

So now I’m home and fixing to go online to see if I can learn what I need to get this tractor going.

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