Friday, December 16, 2011

Reached A "Sticking" Point....

Well, as you know, I got the old Farmall "C" to fire over (FINALLY) So there was tinkering fun to do this past week. One of the first things I did was to evict Mr. Jungle Mouse from the torque tube of the tractor.

Jungle Mouse

He had to be some sort of acrobat - this hole is on the underside of a slick, round tube, and is about 30" in the air (depending on how much air is in the tires....).
I can envision a furry little creature in a loin cloth, swinging on a piece of baling twine, yelling "AHHHHAAAAAA", as he swings from the brake pedals to his "tree" house.


One small misstep, and he'd plummet the equivalent of about 30 stories (in mouse measurements), only to dust himself off, climb back on, and try again.

I'd imagine that his "Jane" probably stayed home all day to tend to the little "Cheetahs"......

Going over the edge from the top would have pretty exciting for him. It would have been a fun, head first slide of about 12" straight down over a cliff, then a 6" jump through the air back UP to the inside of the tube.

At any rate - they've been evicted now. I dug in there with "Chinese Fingers", a screwdriver, and a wire with a hook on one end. I pulled enough "bedding" out of there to STUFF a large coffee can - not to mention all of the dirt, dried grease, and other crud. No WONDER the tires were flat.....

Then came the big day - the first "test drive" of the "C". I dreamed about it the night before (when I wasn't laying awake, waiting for daylight so I could go DO it....). I did chores, a few other things around the house, then headed out to see what I could see.

I climbed into the seat, pushed the clutch pedal down, Put the transmission is 1st gear, and pulled the starter rod (I left the switch OFF, just in case)....and the tractor started to roll forward with the clutch depressed.

Speaking of depressed - it was not a GOOD feeling when I realized the clutch was stuck. It wasn't unexpected, but depressing, none the less. The problem is - on these tractors, to do any clutch work, except minor adjustments, the tractor usually has to be "split".

On this size machine, that's not ALL that hard, but I sure as heck didn't want to do it. There MUST be another way.

I called a friend, and asked what he'd do.

He promptly told me to "run into a tree". Well, that's not too bad of advice - gently bumping a tree CAN dislodge a stuck clutch - BUT - the tractor was still in the barn, and hadn't had it's "maiden voyage" yet. I for SURE didn't want to run it into the wall or the barn.

His next suggestion was to :

Jack one rear tire off the ground
Block the clutch pedal down
Put the transmission in 4th gear
"Bump" the tire over by hand

Well, I was skeptical, and SOMETHING didn't seem quite right, but I got the tractor jack out, and proceeded to try it - I was game to try pretty much anything before splitting the tractor...

It was pretty easy to turn (bump) the tire over, and I kept watching the fan blade turn as I did it. All I was doing was spinning a tire and having the cats laugh at me. Other than that, nothing.

I was running out of options, when a little light bulb came on over my head (I turned on the trouble light hanging from the ceiling....), and it dawned on me - this was just turning the motor, what it NEEDED was something to "break torque".

I climbed back on the seat (with the rear tire still off the ground), put the transmission in 1st gear, held the clutch pedal down, and pulled the starter rod (switch was still off). The airborne wheel started to turn slowly....

As the wheel turned (sounds like a soap opera..), I stomped down on the brakes as hard as I could 4-5 times. All of a sudden, the wheel STOPPED turning. At that point I KNEW the clutch was free. My depression had just turned to elation.

Since it was too late in the day for a test drive, so I settled for a "forward and back" maneuver 3-4 times inside the barn.

It was the first time in 30+ years the tractor had moved under it's own power!

I was happy, the tractor was happy, the cats had lost interest -

And I didn't feel ONE BIT of remorse at evicting Tarzan....

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