Ol’ Red and I have exchanged words over the last month. I should remember he hasn’t cost me much of anything and I’ve gotten a lot of work out of him, but it’s been a difficult breaking in period. Where to begin?
When we got Ol’ Red started in the first place, the fuel lines were clogged and after a few hours of running, the sediment bowl — a glass collector for fuel sediment — fills as much as an inch. It’s mostly rust granules from the tank, mixed with whatever.
At other times, Ol’ Red’s front tires would slide as I tried to mow through the 4 – 6 foot weed growth on the side of the hill in the front of the farm. Let me tell you, it’s not the slope that is frightening, it’s not knowing what’s under the weeds that gives me the willies. After getting Ol’ Red stuck back in May, I’ve learned to go slower and trust my instincts. Today, a farmer friend of mine came with me and decided he’s jump on Ol Red and do some cutting in. He circled the hills and cut in where he felt it was safe for me to mow inside. Now, the front 20 acres has been mowed up — except for about 5 acres of timber and 3 acres of water and maybe an acre or two of odds and ends — so 10 of it looks clean. Well, clean-er. it’s going to take a few more passes to really get it looking right. But It’s easy to guess it has been neglected a few years.
Now Ol’Red has three bad habits. The throttle linkage is missing a cotter pin and every so often it comes loose from the carb and the motor revs up. After the third time this happened, I decided to fix it (I know, why did it take 3 times?) Next, Red loves to drink gas. I had a couple of 2 gallon gas tanks lying around and I run to town to buy gas 4 gallons at a time. Really, I need to buy a couple of 5 gallon cans. I burned through 12 gallons today.
Red’s other habit is to get the sediment bowl clogged at the fuel line. This usually means taking it apart, blowing it clean. This usually happens about the time I’m really into the groove and in a rhythm. Sooner or later, we’ll have all the sediment out.
O’l Red has an aftermarket cab. And while he rested in the barn, some mice or some other tiny creature made the cab home, the carpet smells of urine — I’ve taken it out. Now, the headliner — picture an old car headliner on the inside of the roof) has come loose and the thin foam has rotted away. The headliner fell on me so I cut it out and the foam is crumbled on the floor. A good winter / fall project will be to pull all of it out, clean up the interior. And then dig into the air conditioner / heater which doesn’t work and fix up the burned out light bulbs.