Senile Texas Aggie - comic relief for the rest of you

Bruce

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This morning I plan to do the 50 hour service on the tractor, which requires changing the transmission hydraulic fluid filters and engine oil and filter.
You have been working hard if it is already time for the 50 hour service! I hope you had less trouble getting the hydraulic filters off than I did at my 50 hour. Especially the one next to the left rear tire. I'm sure the backhoe frame adds to the lack of space. I ended up buying 3 or 4 filter wrenches and somehow managed to get it off eventually. I
d bet the dealers put the tractor up in the air a bit and take off that tire.

The dealer concluded that probably my grapple and tree shear are not meeting spec for quick attach compatible attachments.
Yet they worked fine with the NH QA didn't they. I might smell smoke.
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

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All,

Thanks, everyone, for the compliments on the bridge. My Beautiful Gal is really happy with it. Prior to replacing it, the narrow bridge together with the rough corduroy made her quite concerned about crossing the bridge. Now she is not at all afraid to drive over the bridge and corduroy.

Regarding the quick attach adapter, I plan to test the bucket by trying to put forces on the bucket that often cause the grapple to come off. The grapple often comes off when I try to pick up brush by putting the grapple in the dump position, lowering it onto the brush, clamping onto the brush, then picking it up and curling up with the grapple. The force on the grapple is to pull at both the top and bottom attachment points. Because a bucket normally does not have force on it in the dump position, I plan to chain 3 or more cross ties to the bucket while in the dump position and then lifting up. If the bucket comes off then I think I have proven the quick attach adapter on the tractor needs adjusting. If the bucket does not come off, then I will simply have to live with the situation until I can figure out a better way.

After installing the bridge and having swapped the grapple for the bucket in order to move dirt to put on top of the corduroy, I decided it was time to fill in the trench. The trench never did dry up. That tells me that there is a SLOW leak in 1 or more of the connections on the pipe. But because the leak is so slow, with the water usage not even causing the meter to turn, I decided to live with the leak until it gets worse. So I moved the dirt from the side of the trench back into the trench. Unfortunately I was not as thorough in ensuring that the dirt was spread evenly across the trench. So the east end of the trench got more dirt and the west end of the trench got less. Here is what the trench looks like after I finished. The pictures were taken from the north side of the trench.

western end of trench looking southeast: 20200716_095735_trench_looking_east.jpg

eastern end of trench looking southwest: 20200716_095651_trench_looking_west.jpg

I plan to let the dirt settle by itself. I don't want to try to pack down the dirt by driving over it with the tractor. I think that if I did drive over it the water line would end up bending and 1 or more of the connections would fail. I have placed T-posts around the trench to discourage folks from driving over it.

After I finished filling the trench, I decided to mow the overgrown pastures, since I had been unable to do so this year until now. Prior to the old tractor dying, I had cut A LOT of tree limbs and small trees, intending on picking them up with the grapple later. While I was cutting those limbs and trees, I managed to rut up the ground in several places, because the ground was so soft. When I started mowing over in the overgrown pastures again, I often would strike the tree limbs and small trees that were in the grass but I could not see because the grass was so tall, or I would strike the ground where there were walls of dirt pushed up from the sides of the tractor ruts. If I had been using my old tractor, then the mower would have made a noise but nothing awful would have come of it. With the new tractor, with more horsepower to the PTO and a mechanical rather than a hydraulic PTO clutch, I often break a shear pin. During my attempts at mowing the overgrown area over a 3 day period, I probably broke 5 shear pins!

To be continued...

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Bruce

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I decided it was time to fill in the trench
Keep those T posts in because next year the grass will have hidden the area nicely and if you end up with a leak again the T posts will tell you where the pipe is :D

Time to run the landscape rake over where you plan to mow to get rid of the limbs in the grass? Hard to get much done when you have to keep replacing shear pins. Sounds like you want to buy them by the 100 pack ;)
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

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Good idea about the T-posts marking the spot! Regarding using the landscape rake to remove the tree limbs and small trees, I tried that, but due to the landscape rake having flexible tines and the grass being so deep, the landscape rake simply stayed on top of the grass! I have since learned to go VERY slowly around the edges of the pasture looking for the limbs and small trees and picking those up and out of the way before I mow. Regarding the shear bolts, see below.

After breaking my last shear bolt on Wednesday of last week, Thursday morning I decided to go to Tractor Supply to buy 10 shear bolts and 5 T-posts, a transmission filter from the dealer, and pick up a few items from CV's Family Foods, small regional chain of grocery stores in the area. On the way there I remembered the old lawn mower I had dropped off back in April to have possibly repaired. Since I had already bought a replacement I kept forgetting about it, but this time I finally remembered. I got the lawn mower from the shop. The repair guy confirmed that the crankshaft was bent and thus the mower wasn't worth repairing. I figured I could use the mower for spare parts for my new mower, as they were almost identical. So I loaded the mower in the bed of the truck, closed the tail gate, and went to Tractor Supply. I bought the 10 shear pins and 5 T-posts. Because the mower was in the back and because of a large container I keep in the truck which holds battery cables, tools, etc., I was unable to slide the T-posts in far enough to close the tail gate. I decided I would drive slowly to the grocery store, avoiding the mower rolling out the back.

After coming out of CV's and starting home, I got less than a mile away (still in town driving down city streets) when I noticed that I could not see the lawn mower handles in the rear view mirror. I backtracked to the grocery store, but never saw the mower. I went all the way back to Tractor Supply, again never seeing the mower on either side of the road. While at CV's, I asked the manager of the store if they had security cameras, as I began to suspect that someone stole the mower while I was in CV's. He said no. So if the mower was stolen, as I believe it probably was, I would love to have seen the look on the thief's face when he got home and realized he stole a worthless mower!

To be continued...

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Senile_Texas_Aggie

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On Friday morning of last week, I decided that it was time to do the 50 hour service on the tractor, since it had 52 hours on the tractor when I parked it Thursday afternoon. I went out to the shop to start removing the transmission filter. When I got under the tractor, I discovered that the tractor had 2 filters, not just 1. So I went to the dealer (about 6 miles away) and got the 2nd filter. I then came back and tried to remove the 1st filter. The filter wrench I had, a rubber strap with a handle, would simply slide on the filter casing rather turn the filter. After placing sand paper between the strap and the casing so the strap wouldn't slide, the strap stretched until I had no more room to use the wrench. (Between frames and bracings on the tractor, there was room for only about an 1/8 of a turn of the wrench before the wrench handle encountered the tractor frame.) I then tried other tools I had, but could not get them to work. I decided to go to the local auto parts store just across the highway from the tractor dealer to see if they had a a wrench that would fit and could remove the filter. I met a neighbor there who overheard my conversation with the folks in the store, and he showed me what they used remove the filters from their tractors. (He works for the guy who is leasing our land for hay and so uses and services several different tractors.) I bought that filter wrench and went back home. But because it was already afternoon and really hot, I decided to wait until Saturday morning to try to change the filters.

Early Saturday morning I started trying to remove the 1st filter using the new wrench. It could not go around the filter completely due to interference from the tractor frame on one side and the other filter on the other side. Well, it was time for drastic measures, namely to drive a long shafted screwdriver through the filter casing and use that to twist the filter. I was unable to drive the screwdriver directly into and through the casing, so I had to drill through the casing using a long drill bit I had bought to tie the railroad cross ties together. Then I was able to drive the screwdriver through the filter. Then I tried removing the filter by pressing on the screwdriver handle. I could not get the filter to budge. Finally I used my foot on the screwdriver handle and pressing with almost all the strength I had, I finally got the filter to start unscrewing. But since there was not much room for the screwdriver handle, I could turn the filter only about 1/8 turn. Trying the other tools I was unable to get the filter to turn, so I drilled a 2nd hole through the filter, inserted the screwdriver again, pushed with my leg, and turned it another 1/8 turn. I had to drill 4 separate holes into the filter casing, turning 1/8 turn each time, until the filter had turned enough that I could reuse the holes to insert the screwdriver and continue turning. It took almost 3 hours to remove the 1st filter!

With the 1st filter removed, I had enough room to try using on the 2nd filter the tool I bought the previous day. I could not get the tool to grip the casing of the 2nd filter -- it simply slipped and I didn't have the hand strength to get the edges of the tool to bite down to prevent it from slipping. "This is nuts!" I thought. I couldn't believe that the dealer had to go through this work to remove filters, so I decided to go talk to them. Since it was Saturday, the shop was closed but the parts department was open. After talking to them and learning what they used, I went to the auto parts store and bought that tool, which is a nylon strap attached to a square hollow rod that accommodates a 1/2" ratchet. After getting back home, I tried using the tool. The casing started collapsing from the strap, but the filter would not budge. So, back to using the drill/screwdriver combo. Because the 1st filter was no longer in the way, I could turn the 2nd filter about 1/4 turn, instead of only 1/8 like the first filter. Thus, I only had to drill 2 separate holes through the casing instead of 4 as with the 1st filter, and was able to remove the 2nd filter faster. Once I got the second filter out, I was able to add the new filters back and to change the engine oil and filter fairly quickly. So, after 6 hours of work, the 50 hour service was done!

First filter after removal: 20200718_095618_filter.jpg

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Bruce

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but due to the landscape rake having flexible tines and the grass being so deep, the landscape rake simply stayed on top of the grass!
Maybe put the forks on the tractor and run them slightly tilted up in float?

when I noticed that I could not see the lawn mower handles in the rear view mirror.
Reminds me of :flypig

Your hydraulic filter experience is WAY too similar to mine though I did manage to get them off without resorting to the last ditch "stab and turn" method. I was quite happy to see that while the fluid needed to be changed again at 200 hours the filters did not. Obviously the people who design the engine and the people who make the tractor frames don't talk before they build. Like the unreachable cooling fins on the bottom of my refrigerator I bet if the people who design them had to do the maintenance the design would change REAL fast.
 
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