Sunday, February 28, 2010

Major Surgery

"Tommy Mow," my little John Deere tractor, was looking good this summer coated in fresh powder.

But while doing a particularly dusty job on a particularly hot day, I had an overheating incident.  The idiot light came on and I shut it off to let it cool down.  Tommy had always smoked a little, but now white smoke poured out of the crankcase.  There was a slim possibility that it was the injection pump.  I had it rebuilt and indeed all its internal seals had been eaten by biodiesel.

But when I reinstalled it there was still abundant white smoke.  It ran well, but smoked a lot.

A compression test revealed between 180 and 225 psi in each cylinder. Not only should the values be closer to each other, they should all be closer to 355 psi; the factory spec.

Time to Rebuild.
Sunday I started disconnecting the motor from the chassis.  

And yesterday, with the help of my neighbor and diesel mechanic, Chris, we set her up for transport from the barn to my basement workshop.

Chris guides another neighbor, Gwen, as she positions the massive bucket of her much bigger John Deere over the engine block.  Her bucket barely fit in the generous door opening.

Gwen lowers the motor outside the basement door where Chris and I will mount it to an engine stand.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Solder Station Zero

Many soldering iron workstations look like this one:

Mine did... until I decided to do something about it.

It is made entirely from scraps laying around the shop.

A piece of old heat sink is detachable to use a small work surface.

The old oil filler cap houses the wet sponge.  And behind the green cap is toxic tip restorer/cleaner.

Red Lantern

After my favorite oil lamp started to leak I decided to make it into an electric one.

The oil fill cap is the on/off switch.