Saturday, January 16, 2010

An Inside Job

Got the skid-steer running. Replaced the Coil, Distributer Cap, Rotor, Spark Plug wire and the beast sprang into new found vigor. After I got it running I plowed the snow banks back on the driveway and moved the skid-steer into the shop.
That's brother, Tiny, Explaining T.D.C. timing to the wall, as I wasn't getting it.

Here's some of my learning so far:
  • Number Four Spark plug wire was missing an end. ( explains the feeling it was only running on three cylinders..)
  • Number Three and One spark plugs were only hand tight ( Can't help the compression)
  • Pickup Coil had a mashed thread ( hard to maintain proper spacing)
  • Working in a heated shop, with Vivaldi playing, is way better than struggling with frozen or wet parts and tools, outside in the weather.
  • Panic and frustration rarely lead to the desired results.
  • Yelling at broken machinery might temporarily help me feel better but it doesn't get the machine working.
I am proceeding with removing the old wiring harness. I cut it all out yesterday for the rebuild.

As Mike Holmes says: " It's all gotta come down." It was a mish-mash of different wire sizes, loosely crimped splices, cut off ends, corroded, cobbled together connections, and non working gauges.

I am replacing this with seven conductor cabling, new wire, soldered connections, a simple gauge system and replacing the keyed ignition switch with a simple on/off switch. I started with a wiring diagram I made from the combination of what is in the machine and what is in the original schematics.

While It's in the shop I will also:

  • Replace the oil-soaked, frayed seat belt with a new Three point system
  • Fix the broken seat and bolt it down to the frame
  • Add an external post to make charging the system easier.
  • Add some driving and back up lights.
When I get that done and it running again I will have a mechanic adjust the carb and timing and the old girl should have a new lease on life.

This has been a good lesson in taking things one step at a time. Preparing for the job and not settling for "It'll work for now" thinking. That's what led to the hoogie balled wiring in the first place. Something cut off there - not a big thing. A gauge not working - who needs it. Just one little thing at a time. Until it all ends up being a piece of crap that's hard to keep running and makes maintenance difficult at best.

I think its a great metaphor for life. My life never goes to crap all at once. It's done a little at a time —over time. A decision to take the apparently easier way out. Not to do a thing to the best of my ability. Too much of a hassle to learn about something I need to know.

Doing things right the first time, just like my Daddy said, pays off big time.

Not that my life is crappy now. I have never felt better or been happier. But I know how to change that in a flash - one little thing at a time.

So I think I will spend the rest of the day metaphorically putting a little piece of my life back to running order. One connection at a time.
We've noticed a bunch of headless dogs roaming the territory. Maybe it's the warm weather making the field mice friskier. And no, Cleo—this picture doesn't make your butt look bigger:

Hope your weekend is a restful one. No butts about it.


Donna OShaughnessy said...

Wrenches, all lined up by size. I am so impressed Art. And your blog was great too !

Art Blomquist said...

That's another thing I've learned in life: "Having the pitch fork close at hand makes cleaning out the barn a lot easier."

I don't know how much time I have wasted looking for the pitchfork only to find it in the fridge.

Endako Jo said...

ya....right next to the toilet paper!!!