Saturday, April 24, 2010

Not as easy as I thought...

Here's Molly with her lamb born last weekend.

And here's me trying to get that old tiller sorted.

I was able to get the new tire and a tube to match, and the other tires or wheels I was looking for on my expedition this morning.

I resorted to the chainsaw (one of the older saws with a trash blade) to get the old tire off. I was then forced to grind a whole bunch of nasty crumbly rust off the rim, rust that might have punctured the tube. I used an old tube for a liner, holding it on tight with lots of tape.

The new tire went on easy and inflated just fine. Starting the tiller up went just fine. The problem occurred after I tilled a couple rows. That old green Tecumseh engine seized solid.

I tore it down to see whether it was crank bearings or piston and cylinder. It was the crank. Not much point in rebuilding it right away, I thought, seeing as how I had a whole other engine.

But then I realized that my spare engine, the red one in these photos, had a slightly different drive shaft, too big for the tiller's main pulley.

What to do?

Luckily the shaft was too big, not too small, so I assembled the fuel tank and carb to it, got it started nicely, and then ground down the shaft with the angle grinder while the engine was running.

This rather ad-hoc lathe worked fine and I finished up with the correct taper on the shaft, if a little off-round. I decided that it would hold fine, and put the whole thing back together and tilled the pea patch as planned, only a few hours late. All worked just fine. I think the tiller looks pretty spiff with its new red engine.

I then fitted all the other wheels to all the other equipment.

I now have good tires on all our equipment.

That would have been plenty excitement for me for one day, but then our friends and occasional farm-helpers Anders and Alysa came by, so we had drinks and let our dogs play on the lawn with their mutt, Gusto.

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