Ride Report: 08.03.10

Took the Quaker Road loop after dark.  It was warmer and more humid last night, but still great to get out.

A mouse ruined our lawn tractor.  We had been using a 15 year old MTD mower for our lawn – a little beat but the engine was strong and everything worked well mechanically.  Over the winter, at least one mouse decided to build a nest in the engine compartment.  I thought I had cleared everything out, but recently the engine just stopped.

After tearing it apart, I was amazed at where I found stuffing.  Basically, the whole works had been insulated with some carpeting that I had stored in the shed, and couldn’t help but overheat eventually.  The damage was a broken rod in the engine (that’s as far as we got), and figured the repair bill would be higher than what the tractor was worth.  I ended up giving it away to an old guy who tears them down for parts.

The prices for new ones were pretty sobering, so I put two of my friends, both retired guys, on the hunt.  These guys love doing stuff like this and within two days I had a 20 year old Massey Furgeson 20 hp garden tractor with a hydraulically powered 48″ deck.  This beast is a tank!

I paid $250 for it and will probably put $300 into it to get it running and looking good.  So far I’ve made some carburator adjustments, but it will need to be rebuilt this winter; and some cosmetic improvements.  Last night I buffed out the paint since it had been sitting outside and oxidized.  It really made a difference.

I told Red that this is going to be my retirement tractor.  You know…whenever a guy retires, he goes out and buys “his last mower”, and gets a really good one because it has to last forever…

To add insult to injury, I pulled down my panniers from the shelf in the garage and discovered that another mouse had feasted upon a pack of dehydrated spaghetti.  I don’t think he liked it because not much was gone.

Life in the country.

Distance: 9.8 miles  2010: 635.3

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4 responses to “Ride Report: 08.03.10

  1. I love old tractors…got any pics?

    Sounds like your tractor is big enough to plow under the yard and plant crops:-)

  2. Actually, I lost my camera for a few days and finally found it this morning; so pics will be coming again. I think once I get the engine tuned up right and the hydro pump working properly, she’ll be pulling up stumps!

  3. any chance on the pictures?

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