Some days. I woke up Saturday morning and planned to fire up the Oliver, add a little antifreeze, and move on to the other projects. This year I vowed to turn over a new leaf and get things ready for winter early. For those that remember, a couple of years ago I got around to adding antifreeze somewhere around late January, when it had been below zero for weeks and weeks. After that decision (made while proudly displaying a single digit IQ) I thought for sure, I managed to crack the block. However, that old tractor has been sitting outside for more than 50 years; one little bonehead move on my part was not even noticed.
So this year – I am on it. Winterize things ahead of time before it gets too cold, what a concept.
Back to Saturday…Crank, crank, crank. Nothing. Swear, bitch, and moan. Crank, crank, crank. Nothing. Swear, bitch, and moan. Repeat till the battery is dead and every hunter hanging out in a duck blind within ear shot would really like to have a word with me (or in other words, they want my head head on a pike). Yes indeed, swear words do seem to carry for miles early in the morning.
After pounding on the steering wheel and turning the key to click, click, click. It was apparent that, as minimum, charging the battery would be in order. I located the charger (another stand alone adventure that led to additional outpouring of swear words into the wilderness and a bunkhouse clean up project later in the weekend). Eventually, the charger was located; I fired up the generator and set the battery to charging.
Back to Oliver…I had some new points and condenser that I had not changed out when I last worked on the tractor. I changed these out with only one minor setback, in that, I really had no idea on where the point gap should be set. About this same time I noticed a fuel leak on the fuel filter.
My extensive troubleshooting led me to the conclusion that fuel filter gaskets are clearly not designed to last 50+ years. The gasket could no longer really be classified as gasket, it was more or less fossilized, petrified, pieces of something that belonged in a museum and this something was utterly incapable of sealing anything any longer.
It was off to the parts store to pick up a new gasket and a new screen for the filer.
Think back, moments ago, I indicated I was clueless in regards to where the points should be set on the tractor. And, I was going to a parts store, where they can look up this kind of thing. Nope,didn’t think of it; didn’t ask.
Back to the tractor…It took me at least an hour to install the new fuel filter gasket, screen, and glass bowl. I wasn’t sure weather it was gasket, screen, bowl or screen, gasket, bowl. One of this configurations didn’t work well. In the end I chose the set up that did not result in a continuous stream of gasoline from the tank to the ground.
Eventually…the charged battery was installed, the tractor was gassed up, the fuel filter no longer leaked, and we have new points and a condenser installed. There was just one additional detail…Where exactly do you set those points? Well, big ass gap is too big; a little assed gap is too small. You just got set them somewhere in between. I got the points set such that the Oliver would fire up and run like crap. Shit…that ain’t right. I closed the gap a bit and damn that tractor, she, fired right up and purred.
I set out for a 5 minutes job; 24 hours later the tractor was running like she should. Oh, yeah. Right after the Oliver was up and running fine, I noticed a flat front tire. It just goes to show, it is always something. And, that makes me grin, like I did when I was five years old wheeling through the neighborhood on a borrowed Schwinn Stingray with playing cards ripping through the spokes.