Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Junk A (Clodhopper Popper)

One of the tractors we have is a 1947 John Deere Model A. I bought it at an auction about 8 or 9 years ago for $400. It wasn't running when I bought it but I figured I could get it going for a few hundred bucks and have something that was half decent. So I started fixing it. Basically it turned out to be a tractor that someone had built from broken parts. After I invest enough time and money into something I get pretty reluctant to quit. I always think that maybe the next hundred dollars will be it and we will finally have something. By the time I was done I had a $1500 $700 tractor. In the meantime I ended up buying another Model A figuring I could always use the Junk A for parts, plus I knew how to work on them. That was the Good A. I did finally get the Junk A going and it was a pretty good tractor for jockeying hay wagons and pulling the manure spreader. Until last winter. I started it on a really cold day and got distracted before I checked the oil pressure guage. As it turned out there was water in the crank case which had frozen, keeping the oil pump from doing its thing. It sheared a coupler which runs the oil pump. The tractor ran for about 15 minutes without any oil. The final result was that the connecting rod journals got worn out of round and the connecting rod bearings got destroyed. So now $400 later I have all the parts repaired or replaced and I'm ready to spend a day putting it back together. So I guess I still don't know when to quit. The next time something breaks I'm parting it out.


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