Winter Project

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Fawteen
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Winter Project

Postby Fawteen » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:59 pm

Okay, a little back story. There's a local feller, does odd jobs: lawn care, cuts firewood, sweeps parking lots to get the sand off in the Spring, whatever he can find.

Nice enough feller, but he has the World's Worst Case of Mechanical Black Thumb. He can kill any machine smaller than a D8 Cat in record time. Just flat beats the living shit out of everything he gets his hands on. Complete knothead around equipment, even he will admit he's his own worst enemy when it comes to things mechanical.

Of course, being a semi-reformed drunk/druggie, he's not about to change, nooooooooooo, that'd be too easy, so he continues to thrash everything he owns.

One of his victims is a John Deere 455 tractor. One of JD's nicer offerings, 22 HP, water-cooled 3 cylinder Yanmar diesel, hefty hydro trans, beaucoup hydraulic capacity, mid and rear PTO, all sorts of attachments available.

He finally beat that poor thing until it gave up. Not an intact piece of plastic on it, instrument panel all stove to hell, no evidence of electrical power anywhere, won't even TRY to start. He's shopped it around to several folks trying to get it fixed and nobody will touch it for two reasons:

1. There's about lebendy-seven electrical interlocks and two circuit boards. The general extent of electrical knowledge around here (outside factory shops @ $100/hr) is "hit it with a hammer".

2. Randy hasn't had two nickels to rub together in the 20 years I've known him. Getting paid is a crap shoot at best.

When he came to me, I mulled it over and came up with this:

I'll haul it down to my shop and spend an afternoon to see if I think there's enough left of it to mess with. If so, I'll BUY it from you for a price to be agreed upon. Then I'll spend the winter fixing this and that and get it back to a usable state. When I'm done, I'll sell it back to you for the original purchase price, plus what I spent on parts, plus what time I've got into it @ $25/hr.

If you can come up with the money, it's yours and good luck. If not, I keep it.

My thinking is that's easier than screwing around with a mechanic's lien or him trying to get John Law to believe I screwed him on the repairs.

So, I charged the battery, checked the oil (ewwwww....), checked the fuel filter (likewise...), checked the air filter (also likewise...) topped off the radiator, hot-wired the fuel pump, tied the fuel shutoff solenoid open with a zip tie, jumped the solenoid on the starter and Wooooooooo! It started! Ran pretty good too.

So, as soon as he signs the bill of sale, I'll have a winter project.

I suspect the major problem is the "Diesel Control Module" that controls the fuel pump, fuel shutoff and starter solenoid. Question is how much Mother Deere wants for one, and do I pay up or do I wind up exercising my Kenyan Engineering skills?
What do you mean I can't do that?

Dave Smith
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Location: Boston, NY

Re: Winter Project

Postby Dave Smith » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:42 pm

Remember liability if you pass the tractor on. If you bypass a safety interlock. It may come back to bite you in the keester.
Lawyers love such things.
Dave <*)))><
Dave <*)))><

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Fawteen
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Re: Winter Project

Postby Fawteen » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:10 pm

Well, it turns out to be a non-issue.

In spite of all the dire predictions about complex electrical issues and obscenely expensive electronic modules, the problem was a bad fuse.

Visual inspection looked good, the fusible link was intact, but it had high internal resistance and was dropping battery voltage below what the Power Control Module required to operate.

I went ahead and changed the oil and replaced all the filters so for $100 worth of oil and filters and another $100 worth of my time, he has an operational tractor back.

As soon as he pays up, that is...
What do you mean I can't do that?


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