Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It has been awhile

It has been quite a long time since I last wrote a piece to the old blog.  Currently I am happily (and wearily) Dad to Alex who is 4 1/2 years old, in second year preschool, and is quite the little man around the house.  Also, Jonny is going to be 3 this coming Janurary.  He is the little mechanic!  Can't pry tools from his little hands, always getting in trouble taking something new apart.

These little guys drive me nuts - but in a good way:  swim lessons, soccer lessons (Alex is awesome!), Tee ball, and just playing around the yard.  Any time I am just tired of life in general, all I gotta say is whatcha doing?  A hug from either of the little guys is soooo regenerative!  They love walking and riding bikes, and the woods nearby is going to be a great summertime playplace once we destroy the mosquito population.

Having upgraded to the vehicle I always wanted, a crew cab diesel pickup, big enough for a family and camper hauler, yet still haul tractors of various varieties especially older Cubs, I have found out the hard way that getting what you want is never what you anticipated.  Diesels are powerful, fun, and can do anything vehicles....yet they are expensive, when they break down, the smallest parts can cost hundreds of dollars, even thousands.  And not to mention, getting a crew cab, 8 foot bed, is not easy to park in the urban mall parking lot.

I still love driving it though!  I smile inside every time I roll on the throttle, or look at that PSU magnet on the tailgate, or just the Ford grille in the driveway.  I especially enjoy the laughter of the guys in their car seats rolling down the road.  Faster Daddy! (sometimes I oblige)  Or just when we head out - the guys always want to ride in Daddy's truck.  Digging thru the back seat for a bungie cord or tie down strap always yields a toy or coloring book or misplaced ballcap or little sweatshirt.

I think that it is the perfect vehicle.  It is my mid-life crisis and Daddy vehicle all rolled up in one.  Not some tuner car, or a Mustang, and not just a truck, but a big truck, big enough to haul the kiddies, Momma, the motorcycle, the camper, and whatnot - all at once.  A vehicle to share, not just use.  I hope one day to instill my love of trucks on my own boys.  A 1960's Scout project should come soon enough.  After all being a Cub Cadet guy makes me an IH guy as well (that's the engine in my Ford).  I think a Scout would be the perfect reliable college vehicle.

Anyway, all is good.  Kids are great.  Projects still get done (but take weeks and months instead of days).  Momma lets me have my toy truck, and that makes me happy, too.  The best part is having the family to share it all with.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Back For A Bit

Well, it was a pretty good winter, and I didn't fix much in the garage since it was rather cold, but with an Ariens 32" snowblower, and the Cub 125 with a blade on, I kept everything cleared, including several neighbors.

Now it is time to paint and cleanup the 125. I did get the snowblower fixed with gears from the gearbox I rescued fron the Cub 76. However, I had placed it up on Craigslist, and it sold for almost 4 times what I had in it. (Not including repair time.)

To the right are pics. of the Cub 125 in the middle of sheetmetal teardown. Everything missing is sandblasted, primed and repainted. The frame was degreased, pressure washed, and I will re-spray Cub Cadet yellow of the remaining frame and exterior parts. I haven't decided whether I will pull the engine and paint it too, I may just touch it up since it was rebuilt by the previous owner rather quite well.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vacation and Time with Tom!

Spent a week with Tom, Kevin, and Mickey on the motorcycle, during a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains this past week.

It was nice to spend some time with Alex's Godfather before he ships out in November to Afganistan for a year.

We toured a little of the mountains, went on some Patriot Guard Rider missions, and ate out a lot.

In the pic from left to right: Mickey, Kevin, Me and Tom.

It was good to see him and ride in the wind for almost 2000 miles.

And Congrats to Tom and Mickey - when Tom got back to base after the trip, they got hitched! Welcome to the family Mick!

Picture of the Boy!

Here is Alex with some new stuff from his secret Santa! Now that creates competition for Dad. See he has his own laptop now - I'm sure that pleases Momma since she is a computer engineer and MIS (computer fixer) kind of person.
Dad needs to find him some wrenches and other tools, maybe a bench for him to play with. Although he may just chew them for now, there's nothing wrong with getting familiar with a good tool. At least in Daddy's eyes.

Finally Getting Back To Fixing Stuff

Well this summer sure has flown by, and Alex is now 7 months old.
But it is getting cold outside already, and I haven't fixed any of the snowblowers yet. I did get the clutch issue resolved on the Cub 125 project - the pulley that the starter drives, and subsequently drives the clutch, had a cracked keyway - thru the setscrew, so the setscrew was missing as well. A little welding, and a new setscrew, and putting it back on and we are back in business.
Now for the snowblower - as mentioned back in May the gearbox was junk and missing all the gears. I bought two Cub Cadet 76's, is mediocre to poor shape and fixed them up, and re-sold them. The coolness is that one of them came with a gearbox mounted on the front - so I kept those parts. The mowing deck does not use them, and so now I can rebuild the old gearbox to the snowblower I purchased for the 125 project. Pics of that to come over the next week or so. Also, I have a 6 HP Jacobson walk behind which did most of the work for me last snow season, but desperately needs an engine case gasket. It would leak about 1 quart of oil per hour of useage. I just kept refilling it with used synthetic motorcycle oil, and I still have plenty left from oil changes over the past two years. So I should be back to my wrenching antics within the next few weeks, just in time for a wintertime hiatus.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

SnowBlower for Cub 125 Has Problems Too

Of course my free time is typically on a Sunday. So when I hit a wall (like bad wheel bearings) that is a show stopper until I get new parts.
So when I hit one wall, I'll start another side project, the snowblower. When I bought it, I noted that the gearbox would turn on one end, but not the other. The bearings felt good, but it seemed as if a key was sheared off. So I took it apart.

Well low and behold, the key was fine - and it was there, BUT one gear had 3 1/2 teeth missing and the whole other gear was GONE! After I cleaned out the water inflitrated green grease that had the consistency of baby poo (and I have plenty of that to compare to!), all the snap rings, lock pins, and the keys were there, but no gearing is left in this gearbox.

Looks like I need new gears, a new gearbox, or at least a parts one. This Sunday was a bust, I have fixed nothing, but just found more problems. Typical of a rebuild.

Cub 125 Has Wheel Problems

As mentioned before, one of the front tires goes flat, almost overnight. The previous owner had replaced one of the front tire and rim assemblies with a new one. The rubber and the paint on the rim prove correct - it is a fairly new replacement.

New being the operative term; ie the older machines were designed to work on and maintain, the old rim has a grease fitting to put a grease gun on and the new one doesn't.

Well as I went to pull off the front rim, it wouldn't come off - the bearing was hung up on the shaft. The new bearings that couldn't be re-greased from time to time, have failed, very prematurely, I might add. The void between the bearings had grease, but both the inner and outer bearings have failed - the outer one had ground down to the point that there were no balls left and the bearing race had cut 1/4 the way thru the axle shaft.

New bearings and a new axle shaft are required, as well as fixing the flat. I had pulled both front wheels and pressed out the bearings. In the one picture, the 40 year old bearings from the old wheel are on the left and the two year old bearings are the pieces on the right. Althought the old bearings are getting rather loose, they are definately more intact than the 'new' ones. They don't build 'em like they used to.