I'm sure somebody here can point me in the right direction. Here's my scenario:
Mary went up to VT early last week to get some stuff done. I followed up on Saturday morning intending to put the plow on the old tractor and plow the 5” of wet snow.
First step was to put on the tire chains that I was given with the purchase of the tractor. After a hour of struggling to put on just the first one I concluded that they were just too small and I was just wasting time. I’ll have to order some new ones.
Second step was to see if the tractor would be able to get around the yard without the tire chains to see if I could plow anyway. The tractor started fine and I warmed it up. Then headed out into the yard, turned the steering wheel and kept going straight. The fat front tires just skidded along sideways. And the rear tires would spin if I gave them any gas at all. I was able to baby the tractor back around by just stomping on the brake for the right/rear wheel only and slowly crawling back into the barn. Yup, chains are certainly necessary in snow. And more weight on the front tires as well. Hopefully the weight of the plow and mount will be enough for that.
Third step was to put on the plow, connect the four hydraulic lines and make sure all of that stuff works. I got the plow on with only minimal struggling. I connected the hydraulic lines, using my best guess on which tractor ports that they plugged into. I started the tractor and pulled back the lift lever. The plow went down instead of up, lifting the whole front of the tractor off the ground, indicating that I got that circuit backwards. So I turned off the tractor and reversed those lines. Went back to start the tractor again, turned the key and got “click, click, click….”. Nothing more. What the heck?
I know that the battery is fully charged. I checked all the wiring connections and interconnects. I pulled off both engine side covers and looked to see if anything looked out of the ordinary. Found 2 acorns placed around the motor, but not in any critical spots, and nothing else. I pulled the oil dipstick and immediately saw that the oil level was all the way up to the top of the stick! That’s not normal! And I know that the level was correct because I check it every time before starting to use the tractor.
I seem to recall reading some internet post about an issue with these old tractors when the crankshaft breather port gets clogged, or hangs up, the motor internal pressure builds up and forces engine oil into places it shouldn’t be. So I took off the air inlet housing and air filter to get a look to see if anything was coming out of there, or if anything looked unusual. Another acorn, but nothing unusual. Humph.
At this point I was frustrated so I decided to just walk away before I did something that would make the situation worse. I did some reading of the repair manual, which didn’t provide much advice on this issue. It just says to check the ignition switch and solenoid if the tractor doesn’t start. No help there.
The next morning I went back out and tried to start it again with the same result. I checked everything over again, found the solenoid for future reference, and decided that this was going to take some more research and time. So I closed up the barn and told Mary we were free to head back to CT at any time. We were on the road back to CT by 10:00 am and home by 1:00 to watch the Giants game. They actually won!
So, what do you think? Where do I start with this one? I was thinking of draining all the oil and putting in something thinner for winter. I'm not sure what's in it now. I haven't changed it since I bought it since the motor was to have been just freshened up before I bought it. The next step was to change the ignition switch, and test the battery just to be sure.