Posted 02-22-2003 at 07:33:49
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Went to a used tractor dealer the other day.
All the old machines were lined up in the front looking proud for the years of service they did. There were the Cases,Ford N's,MFs,Deeres and the IHs. The 4X4 newbies were at the back with their 5ft tires and air conditioned cabs.
Like a guy who would kick a used car's tires, I'd automatically start peeking and poking. Dipstick first, then I check the greace zirts,
axle seals and the not to be forgotten rear engine
I gotta tell you what makes me more angry than anything else. Working my way to the front I'd find the air breather tube long disconnected from the oil bath. The dealer would come out and say "Yup, the guy did an engine job before he traded it in. Good running tractor this one". I'd lear at the guy, him wondering what the problem was. "Come and look at this, I'll tell you why he needed an engine job" I said. I'd show him the disconnected tube, sucking in anything that flew by,grit,June bugs and corrosive fertilizers like a vacuum cleaner. I said "Why didn't he just throw in a tablespoon of dirt in the tube and just reconnect it, has the same effect". I imagine that's why he traded it in, .... another engine job on the way.
Sad thing is, another guy will buy it, complete with the sand jambed in between the rings at no extra charge to boot, working the cylinder down like a B&D sander. He'll have a year or so's good performance, then the smoking will start again.
Maybe I'm a bit sentimental but I see these old dependable machines no different than a faithful Clydsdale. These are one of the few machines that came off the assembly line built with precision and reliability in mind for the farmer. That's why you are still looking at it after more than 1/2 a century. They'll treat you well if you treat them well. Horses need maintenance, so do their replacement.
So for you new comers, please treat your tractors kindly. Change the oil when you first get them and change them often. Make sure that air breather is connected properly. Greace them fittings and easy on the clutch, give it time to take on the load.