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!!