1.21.2012 – Saturday
While my attempts to understand the electrochemistry of cold batteries are stalled until spring, when warmer temperatures will give me a true comparator, there is another mystery at the cabin: The Ford-New Holland TC33 compact tractor.
The sturdily built 33hp 3-cylinder diesel tractor suffers from one small defect… it doesn’t start. Well, sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. Less than ideal when it is relied upon for snow removal. While we love spending time at the cabin, we’d prefer not to get snowed in until the spring. The tractor has proved to be a valuable asset to our activities at the cabin, but lately the privilege of ownership has been less than pleasant. Recently some $1000 dollars was sunk into replacing a gear that engaged the PTO – it was never “properly adjusted from the manufacturer” and over time it was ground down into an impressive bit of malformed metal. Right now it resides on the workbench in the garage – I’ll have to snap a picture sometime. Oh, and this happened just a tad after the warranty was up. Nothing like paying extra money to fix something that was more or less broken on the day of purchase.
So that brings me to the issue at hand. The starter will not “go” when called upon to turn over the engine. The starter was replaced… twice, without fixing the problem. Fuses were inspected and one was cleaned up and replaced. Now a few relays are under investigation. It could just be one of the safety switches acting up – in order for the tractor to start you must, A) sit in the seat or have the brake engaged, B) have the PTO off, C) have the tractor in neutral. We’ll see… maybe.
When functional it’s a great tractor. For now it seems to be working alright. It’s all back together and fully functional – though it sounds like the Ol’ man managed to strip a bolt somewhere under the hood, in such a manner that it can’t be easily fixed, while in the process of attempting to check the relies/fuses. I guess the bolt threads through some plastic and holds the lid on a fusebox or some-such.
Overall, things are well at the off grid cabin. My wife and I recently spent some time at the cabin and visited Marquette for a day. The Ol’ man and mother have been spending some time at the place, and it sounds like this winter might be the winter someone finally has a successful coyote hunt.