7.11.2006

Stupefying Tales of My Unbounded Genius, Part 1

Not that I want to make a career of lawn mower repair, but I'm pretty self-satisfied with the work I did on the Ancient Craftsman Lawn Tractor.

The last time I used it, the brake was sticking, the clutch wasn't releasing, and then the belt that powers the blades came flying out. "No problem," thinks I, "I'll just call Sears and order the parts."

The parts showed up the next day (which astonished me) and when I went to replace the belt, I noticed that both brackets that hold the mower deck to the arms that raise and lower it had broken off. They had been welded originally. They weren't any longer.

I thought I could take the cheap route, which is my favorite highway in life, by drilling some holes and bolting in braces. Nope. Uh Uh. Would not work.

So, I pried my credit card out with the Jaws of Life, placed another order with Sears, and, to my further astonishment, the new housing for the deck arrived the next day.

I had to take off the old deck, remove all of the moving parts -- pulleys, mandrels, connecting rods, etc., -- and then install them in the new housing. Thank God for Owner's Manual diagrams.

With everything in place, I held my breath and started the Iron Horse of Lawn Care.

A terrible droning noise came out. Upon inspection, I found that the belt had slipped off one of the pulleys. So, I took the deck off again, placed the belt correctly, and re-reconnected the deck.

Again, I start the mower. No droning niose this time, but now I couldn't disengage the blades, which is not a good thing. So, I took the deck off again, wiggled some items around, and realized I had overtightened one of the pulleys. I loosened it, re-re-reconnected the deck, and tried once again.

Voila! I'm as proud as I can be with my mechanical skills. Especially since shop labor, at $45-$60 an hour, would have set me back about another $150 or so. (It couldn't possibly have taken as long when someone who might have known what they were doing was involved.)

Of course, this pride lasts until the moment something comes flying out.

Actually important (to me, at least) -- I made significant headway on the website design today. I still have many images to convert to gif. I feel somewhat ashamed that I'm using MS Publisher to do it, but it's quicker than learning GoLive.

Good Day!

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