Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I hate my lawnmower!


This is the bane of my existence. A 2000 MTD Yard machine lawn mower. I admit we have not given it an easy life. It could have ended up at some fancy house where it just went out and mowed a civilized little flat yard and spent the rest of it's time in a heated garage, but instead we got it. We have flogged that poor thing, making it mow 3 acres of pastures, ditches, the edges of the gravel driveway, occasionally running over brush and large twigs, and just to really give it a workout, tow a little dump trailer. Then we park it in an open shed and tell it it should be happy it's not being directly rained on. So life isn't easy, but does it have to be rebuilt EVERY YEAR?! Really? I have had the engine apart so many times I could put it back together in my sleep. We regularly have to replace the belts and pull off the deck. Every year it needs a new battery.

This year it needed a new battery, and even though it was the same brand and size we always buy, the poles were reversed, and I didn't notice before I had hooked it up backwards and caused some electrical damage. I replaced the starter, and the red battery cable. I found the fuses and replaced those. I replaced the battery, because it wouldn't hold a charge after that. I still couldn't get it to start. Finally I pulled a plug and grounded it to the engine and cranked it over - there was a weak spark. So I replaced the plugs and tah-dah - it started up! What a relief! It had already been out of commission so long we'd had to have a friend come over and brush-hog the fields.

But Dave drove it out to the field and took it for a test cut, and when he put the blades down he was enveloped in blue clouds of smoke! So it came back in the garage and I discovered the blades would not turn, the bearings were rusted solid. I just replaced those last year. The original equipment had made it 8 years but these rusted up in a winter! So I pulled the deck, cleaned it, applied some Kroil, then beat the blades with a hammer until they started spinning again. Luckily they weren't too stuck, else it probably would have been time for a new mower - I'm not rebuilding that deck again!

So we fought with putting the deck back on, wrestling and swearing and pinching our fingers until we had everything lined up, all the cotter pins back in, and Dave started it up - and I realized we hadn't put the belt back on. A sailor would have blushed to hear the names we called that lawnmower! Then we took the deck off and put the belt on. Then he took it out and mowed the front yard like nothing had ever happened.

Man I hate that lawn mower...

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