04 November 2018

Splitting a kubota L3750 tractor and BF900 front loader

Holey Chit!!
It's been almost 3 months...
Let's not waste any more time!!
Two posts ago I wrote about this tractor.
Since then a half day was spent on it
to get the steering working.
We were planning on using it to pull an aerator,
the thing that makes holes in grass fields.
It didn't take long,
one weekend,
before the guys busted it yet again.
I realized at that moment,
my job here at PIR is fixing wounded soldiers,
sending them back on the battlefield 
to fight against hack equipment operators.
My coworkers are an interesting bunch,
good guys just not mechanical.
I've had to show them what a temperature gauge does,
how to read an oil dipstick,
why not to put gas in a diesel mower,
how to drive a stick...
These are the guys using our equipment!
It reminded me of an old friend that was a movie set painter.
He'd spend weeks/days/hours building and painting,
they'd shoot the scene(s),
and tear apart the set the next day.
Sadly frustrating.
The carrot on the stick 
is the check every 2 weeks,
and not having to pay for parts.
That's enough to overcome my personal issues!!
That fateful weekend resulted in a burnt out clutch.
It was running so good too.
To replace the clutch,
the front loader needs to be removed,
then the tractor is split in two.
Sounds like fun!!
Before the misplaced manual was found,
I watched videos and read forums on
"How to remove a front loader from a tractor".
Not surprising,
a ton of videos on the newer idiot-proof machinery,
with kick-stands that are permanently hinged.
No info on tinker-toy engineering from the  1980's.
this post is for you internet mechanics.
Hopefully you find it on your Google searches!!
This procedure took two of us about an hour,
including not fully reading the manual.
(I just needed the one assembled picture
to steer me in the right direction.)
We had added the two vertical arms too early,
and the wedge pins didn't pop out easily.
Hey I didn't grow up on a farm...
I'm new to this tractor game!!
The next time will maybe take 20 minutes.
I'm hoping pictures are worth a thousand words,
cause I'm not writing a play by play...
But this guy did years ago!
Just one picture woulda been nice!
Thanks J.D.!!
So yea here's the start to hopefully more regular posting.
The race season was so crazy here,
lotsa pic-stories comin up,
and I got a couple more projects...
there's a bunch to write about.
Until next time...

10 August 2018

Quick fix - toro 4000d smacker

Here's a "day in the life" episode...
I was buzzing around in the smaller wing mower,
and smacked a hidden trap.
After all these hours 
you'd think I'd know every nook and cranny,..
But dirt moves and wadayado.
This gave me a good slam bang,
totally unexpected.
I wondered why it wasn't cutting grass anymore!!
But what a great excuse 
to pound out a quick metal patch,
while also brushing up my hack repair skills. 
This wood wedge 
is probably how Stonehenge was built.
Typical cardboard template 
and an old scrap bracket for donor steel.
It's been hot,
and getting showered with sparks wasn't happening,
so far welds were doubled up outside,
and only a few small beads inside.
I think it will hold.
The bracket had a handy outcrop piece, reutilized as a stiffener to the banged up inner vane.
Here's a re-enactment of the boom boom.
Even at 5-8 mph it was a jolt!
Smacking something hidden 
doesnt give much to talk chit about.
However when one of the other guys 
fills a diesel machine with gas,
that's another story...
Good times...

01 August 2018

Kubota L3750 - gremlins

Unbelievably this is my second season
working at PIR - 
Portland International Raceway.
As recently as 2 years ago,
 I'da never expected my trajectory 
to be a union/government employee.
Honestly the exact opposite!!
Much less moving the entire family north.
What the heck happened!?
Well so far there are no major complaints or regrets,
luckily the wife and kids are adjusting to a seasonal life,
hot sun-rain-snow-cold... 
Not so-cal!
So working at a racetrack is about as glamorous
as building hot rods or fixing boats.
Not very!!
Fortunately I like this type of work.
Keeps ya busy,
and at the end of the day there's visible accomplishments.
Last year I fixed up the mangled grill,
and zip tied it into place.
It didn't last!
It didn't last long!
If you look in the above pics,
the grill lines up with the flatbed rails...
The plastic grill was beyond any timely repair,
and it would've just been destroyed again.
The battery sits in the lower half,
but there is nothing above it.
May as well make a recessed screen grill.
Function before form...
Next was straightening the deformed bucket.
That left side dent stress-warped 
the bottom scraper edge.
I tried our leaky portapower,
and was left with an oily mess.
The easiest fix was my trusty clamps,
and a couple thru-bolts.
This clamp crate can do wonders that's for sure.
Ultimately the goal was only to straighten the bottom edge,
as the tractor basically acted like a bent dustpan,
always leaving a mess.
Next was a ten year electric glitch.
It would take a magic key twist to start,
and previous mechanics were stumped.
Once started,
the guys would just leave it running.
Nothing worse than getting stuck 
on the other side of the property.
After dismantling all the sheetmetal,
the problem was obvious.
A worn safety switch wire.
I made a guard to keep muddy boots from snagging it.
Now that it was working,
the last goal was to make it useful.
With no weight on the back end,
the tractor couldn't lift too much.
Rotors, flywheels and weights were scrounged at the auto swap meet in April,
and a simple post bracket welded to the rear.
Each change in weight made a huge difference.
I ended up cutting the hats off the rotors,
adding as much weight as possible for the height.
I'll make something out of those...
Gremlins are gone...
Now back to work!!

19 July 2018

Klunker nope Bomber #33

Let's welcome the new two wheeled addition
to the Perich quiver.
Yes Houston we have a problem...
These things multiply like rabbits!

It all started with a chance Ebay score.
Okay it wasn't really by chance.
With the rainy season dwindling early,
it's possible to explore the local paths.
With two older kids,
we don't need to be fighting over rides!
What a great excuse...
So I hunted and scrounged,
scoring this bitchin 1936 Schwinn C model frame,
80's gold wheels and a truss fork.
Of course a budget frame will have issues...
The rear axle dropouts were seriously splayed out.
Good thing I know a welder!
This is quality 80 year old metal,
TIG rod beefed up the deadened space.
The worst were the fender crosspieces,
mangled by over tightening fasteners through the years.
The tubular steel was replaced with stronger solid rod,
sourced from a couple of long bolts.
A little heat and coercion,
the curves were matched better than original.
Most important was filing and sanding
the leftover braze,
allowing a clean weld.
Lotsa splatter and holes if you don't.
Since fenders aren't in the future,
no holes were drilled yet.
There's a possibility for BMX style brakes,
then the overbuild will be needed.
A couple seat posts welder from some shop scrap,
ready to roll...
But let's throw some paint on there first.
We went hog wild with the patina.

And beyond hog wild on the badge.
Can't ride it without an overpriced one of those...
Fortunately there are cheap-ish badges around,
even if you go Gucci with an Excelsior or Ace.
Beaters shine up sweet with some paint and time.
The gold BMX wheels needed hand brakes.
Decisions of drums, cantilevers, welding pivots...
Too much thinking.
For now a set of coaster brake rims will do,
changing the klunker build to a bomber.
Back in the 70's,
klunkers had gears and hand brakes,
bombers used more simple foot brakes.
The aluminum cranks and wheels make this super light,
resulting in a quick and fun ride.
The old road bike Brooks saddle is softer than it looks!