May 9, 2009

The saga of the John Deere RX 63

The meeting on Thursday evening was a good one, but I was exhausted from another day of driving my school van, and working on my John Deere ride on mower. So, I left right after the main part of the meeting and got an early night.
They had 4 people in various stages of post op, including a lap band. One guy had the surgery back in November and has already lost 100 pounds! He looks good, so he must be following the rules to the letter. I am at 91 pounds, so I don't feel so bad.
We are going to have a clothing exchange in July, but I will probably pass. I am planning on taking all my stuff to Goodwill, or the Salvation Army. Lots of clothes that are in good shape, and a few pairs of pant that never got worn. And the best part is that I am too small for all of them!

The John Deere has obsessed me since I got it. I bought an IH Cub Cadet a few years ago that was ancient, with the intention of fixing it up and restoring it eventually when I was fat. I even went so far as to buy a snow thrower attachment. The work overwhelmed me, and I had to sell it due to lack of energy. I really liked that machine. There is nothing quite like the older machines with all their problems, and quirks. They were made before everything went plastic.
So, this past week, there has not been one day that I haven't been to Deere country, the local dealer.
The people there have been great, taking the time to answer my questions and print out pictures of the various parts and how they fit together.
  • Fuel line replaced along with the fuel filter.
  • Lots of carb cleaner sprayed over everything to cut the gunk.
  • Mower deck removed, cleaned.
  • Blade sharpened.
  • New Belt for the mower drive.
  • New pulleys/spindles installed.
  • Mower deck put back on.
  • New rope for pull start
  • New spark plug
  • bolts tightened to spec.
Now, with all this work, you would think that I have been able to use the machine, but sadly, I've only used it twice since the season started. The darn thing just won't stay fixed! This is not a bad thing because I am learning so much. But I sure would like to run it already.
I plan on draining oil sometime after I finally get to use the mower this morning. This will be a chore since I have to tilt the whole unit to do that. It has a drain plug on top of the deck, which is kind of dumb. It should be underneath, so the oil would drain and not spill over everything, but the dealer said they did this sometimes back then.
I have to wear ear protection because the mower is very loud, especially with the blade moving, but I don't mind. I did have headphones and music playing, but it was too loud to hear the music, so I just use the basic ear plugs.
I would like to learn more about the mower and engine, and maybe get a job repairing them, but I really don't know how to do that. The Vo Tech school is not the best place for learning that. They have been infiltrated by advertising for particular brands, rather than teaching tips and tricks for good old fashioned hard work.

The great thing about all this is, I am able to function as a normal human being, even after spending hours climbing all over the mower and getting to do everything except sit in the seat and drive it. No collapsing after labor for me anymore! Yippee!
I plan to take pictures of the mower and maybe send out an article to Stacey David's "What are you working on" to see if he likes it.
So, what are you going to work on?

Update: I finished the lawn, but the belt for the mower broke. I am trying to figure out what went wrong, and they can't get a new belt until Thursday. I am not sure I want to repair it after all this. So, I went for a ride on my Helix, and felt better. But, I still don't know if I should bother anymore next week with the JD. I have a life to live, and am tired of laying on a piece of cardboard in the garage. Oh well....

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