Still White

……. And the seven breakdowns.

Cold. White and still. For a moment. Then the north winds kick in with a vengeance. I tried to put back on the farmer cap yesterday and did, for a moment. Sunday after splitting some wood and making that last post I tore into the old 1440 I’m using for parts. It was cold but things worked out nice and by sunset I was down to the unloading auger’s up and down tube just below the elbow. I had the elbow off but the gearbox bolted to the inside of the elbow was still attached to the lower auger shaft with a pin and a cotter key. It was getting too dark and I was getting too cold so I started in on the project first thing Monday morning.

By noon I had it completely off and ready to take along north to put on the 1460. By sundown again I was listening to the engine block heater sizzle on the 1440 I’d bought and used to combine everything last year. I’d flipped a coin on which one to take up north to pick the 178 acres of corn north of town. I guess it landed on edge because now both machines are parked up north of I-80 next to the bins. When I removed the little cover plate (too little) on the horizontal tube behind the elbow on the 1460’s unloading auger it had a bolt and pair of nuts instead of the original pins with cotter key. Unlike the 1440’s bolt and one lock nut that came out easy the 1460’s first nut came off easy but the second was getting harder to turn with each new bite with the wrench. Each bite of a twelve side boxed end wrench.

Half way off about a half hour later I gave up. I headed home to get the other better combine.  The 1460 has a beater going bad, the fan needs rebuilt, it could use a new rotor and cage out of the burn victim. It’s three way gearbox is starting to leak, unless it always has and the last guy had replaced the original hydraulic oil with heavy gear oil. It seems the more hydraulic oil I add the faster it leaks. The thinner it looks on the dipstick too. The unloading augers already had a bearing out of one of the under tanks cross augers before this elbow ring thing. The feeder house needs to come off the 1440 parts combine for the 1460. All things I had listed two years go on my Original CoCreator’s Blog but never got around to doing after buying the new 1440. Why that coin was even in the air to begin with is beyond me.

Oh yea. It’s because at the end of beaning I thought the 1440 acted like it was losing power. And last night in the dark when it couldn’t pull itself up hill with the separator running too I remembered why I’d taken the 1460 north. So in the dark I almost disassembled the electric fuel pump from the 1440 parts combine to put on the 1440 dream machine. I had taken all the necessary bolts out and only had left the fuel lines to be cracked open and removed. It was a completely different kind of pump than the one already on the dream machine so it was going to require taking along a couple of rigid fuel lines too. I had checked the pump with the jumper cables to make sure it ran before I’d started removing it by pickup headlights.

By noon today I was back running at full power. But when I went to start the auger tractor that had been plugged in all night AFTER a cold start on the dream machine (it was under twenty and very windy) the 4-e-h batteries were stone dead. Not frozen but stone dead.Two new ones and the starter purred like a kitten. I finally got a few wagons of corn combined today. Maybe four. I humped the hoppers over the snowy hill with the 1440. When I quit in the dark the one wagon sitting over the swing hopper for the bin loading auger was full along with the hopper on the ’40. By the time I run them up the auger on the bin the bin will be full. One down one to go. I finished the corn east of the creek ditch. Tomorrow I’ll start on the patch west and north of the ditch. I’ll start on that other bin too after moving the auger.

The fun never ends …….