Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friday's Project

I have an old Bolens HT 23 tractor that I bought from a friend for $150. He claimed that it was running when I bought it, but I was skeptical, to say the least. However, it's exactly what I need: bigger than a lawn tractor but smaller than a great big farm tractor, and with big tires to climb rough terrain. It's been sitting for the last few years and it's going to be a big project to restore, so a couple of weeks ago I moved it from it's quiet resting place under a big maple tree to the side yard. I try to do that with big projects...I move them out into the open where I'll see them every day. That forces me to actually think about it instead of letting it fade into the landscape.

So I've been reading up about how to restore it to, if not glory, at least functionality. Tomorrow's my day off; I'd like to spend part of it screwing around with the tractor. The tires will hold air, and I'm thinking that instead of messing with the old rusted 23 horsepower engine that's on it, I might check into a used replacement engine.

My dream would be to get this thing running again and put it into service working on my mom's yard. It's got a PTO; I can pull a bush hog with it. Then I won't have to find someone else to clear her property, which means I won't have to work with time pressure. Also, this is the kind of project I like to do in bites: clear a few hundred feet, reassess. Clear some more, reassess. I'd feel guilty if I hired someone and then wasted his time while I walked around strategizing the next move.
So if anyone's handy with small engine repair, feel free to drop me an e-mail so I'll know who to whine to when I get hung up. Wish me luck.


Anonymous said...

"PTO" means "PAID TIME OFF" in my world, so I'm probably not your girl. However, feel free to whine whenever you want. I'll make those annoying, non-commital therapist noises ("OH!", and "Um-hum," and "how does that make you feel?") Robin

Anonymous said...

I solved my tractor problems reading about others on this forum.Some sound advice and, answers to my questions.

SP said...

I'm not your girl for tractor fixing advice but I'd love to go for a ride when you're done. I'm useful that way!

Kwach said...

Sweetie, you know too many girly-girls.

Oh, and let me know if you'd like some shiny decals or decorations for that thing.


Anonymous said...

I don't know shit about tractors, but my Dad's an ace. He goes to old engine shows all the time and has restored many an old tractor over the years. Let me know if you have questions and I'll pass them on.


Ev said...

Thanks, Anonymous Tractor Buddy. I'll check it out.

Robin, PTO means paid time off here, too. But in tractorese it's the thing that powers the accessories.

Ev said...

Ms. Pants, you're totally invited for a ride, but if you're going to my mom's with us you might want to invest in a pair of rubber boots.

We'll buy lunch. :-)

Angie said...

Small engine repair sucks the life out of me. We have more shit sitting around this joint waiting for 'my husband's buddy' to get his ass over here and fix it.

Needless to say, my husband doesn't like it much (or know anything about it) and that doesn't work well on a farm.

If I were smart, I'd take a class or something, but then I couldn't ride his ass about all the crap sitting around - that's fun:)

Good luck!

Jazz said...

You know? I have no freaking idea what the hell you're talking about.

I'm of no use whatsoever.

XUP said...

I grew up on a farm and was driving big-ass tractors by the age of 8 whenever Dad needed someone to drive the tractor because he needed to do farmer stuff while the tractor was mobile and no one else more suitable was around. He'd trail along behind screaming at me a lot. But man, I love driving tractors. I don't know much about repairing them, though -- nothing that would be useful via blog comments anyway

Cedar said...

Last small engine I repaired was on a hand mixer and that didn't turn out well.

I can drink beer and point at stuff and go, "Oh yeah that looks like shit and needs to go. Another beer?"

I can also laugh at inappropriate times and drive you to emergency.

Cedar said...

Oh and on the way to emergency I can say,

"Wow, that looks like it really hurts like hell. Does that really hurt like hell? Another beer?"