Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Working on Another Project


We have a Craftsman Lawn Tractor that we got under unusual circumstances 21 years ago. This may bore some of you, but I have to give you some of the background. In the mid 80s, I had a house built for my mother’s older sister, Aunt Louise. Actually, calling her “Aunt Louise” is not doing her justice. For all her life she was known as Wee Wee because when she was a toddler her siblings couldn’t say “Louise”. Years ago she worked for Raytheon in Quincy, Mass, and I would frequently run across one of her co-workers in my business. When I’d say that my Aunt Louise Coletti also worked there, they would respond that they did not know her. Then I’d mention Wee Wee and they would grin because EVERYONE at that plant knew my Aunt. She could also claim that she was called Wee because she was so short, but as short as she was, she was a BIG woman.

So, she had the new house and we had the yard sodded with a hardy grass. My Aunt was never known for her domestic prowess as a cleaner or doing maintenance of any kind. She was also loath to have to hire anyone to do the job for her, calling me if anything needed to be done, a leak in the toilet or burned out bulb. I never minded. I moved in with my Aunt right after high school as my mother and I could never get along. The fact is that Aunt Wee was a larger part of my life than my mother and father together.

I was working at the nuclear plant, often putting in 12 hour days and 7 day weeks, so I couldn’t get to her yard as often as I should have. The grass in this 50 foot by 75 foot plot really bothered her, so she went down to Sears and bought the cheapest riding lawn mower they had. Then she called me because she couldn’t run it. As I mentioned earlier, she was a BIG woman. When she sat on the seat, she couldn’t reach the ignition. If she got in a position where she could reach the ignition, her foot couldn’t reach the brake pedal that had to be depressed to start the mower. Disgusted, she gave the mower to me. I continued to do her lawn or a paid a guy to do it. It would not have killed her to pay the $10.00, but……..

So, the cheap riding lawn mower came to my house where we had a large yard and were able to us the riding mower. Coincidently, the battery in Helen’s car died at about the same time and I took it to Sears to get  a new one. Having to wait awhile, I was looking at the riding mowers. There was the model Aunt bought at one end, and at the other end was the one I would have preferred.

A salesman approached me about my interest in the mower and I told him the story of getting the cheap model from my Aunt, though I did like the one on the other end. I mentioned that when the mower was delivered, she couldn’t operate it. The salesman exclaimed “I remember her, and I tried to get her to try it, but she refused, she just wanted it delivered ASAP.” Then he thought for a moment and asked if I would be interested in the best model if he could get me a complete refund on the other. “Sure”, I said. He said he would look into it and call me later. Soon after I got home he called and we made arrangements for Sears to deliver the new one and take the old one back. That was 21 years ago.

It has been running very well until yesterday, when it wouldn’t move because a belt had slipped off. I put the belt back in place and it ran again for a few minutes and failed again. I removed the mower deck and raised the chassis up so I could see underneath. There were only a few reasons why the belt would keep falling off. I took the belt off all the pulleys and tried to turn them by hand. Aha!!! One of the pulleys was seized. The friction of the belt melted part of the pulley once the bearing froze.

A quick trip to “Easy Wheels” a major mower and chainsaw dealer in our county and I soon had an exact replacement. An hour later the mower was back to running like new.

Last year, my weed-eater/brush whacker/tree pruner died. I got the part to fix it, but I never was able to get it working again. Since I had all the attachments for the old unit, particularly the power branch pruner, I decided to buy another. The last one was purchased at Wal-Mart and that’s where I went. They no longer carry the brand I had, but had switched over to Poulan. Ugh!! Then I noticed that the Poulan model was “modular” and had “Universal fit” attachments. Plus, it was much cheaper than the brand I had. I bought it with every intention of returning it if my attachments didn’t fit. It was a perfect match. Now I have a riding lawn tractor, a weed whacker/etc. Now that I’ve had a respite from the motorhome, I can work on the motorhome awning.

Tropical Storm Isaac was a “no show” in Citrus County. It’s August, so we have the thunder storms every day, some time several storms in one day, but no winds or real rain from Isaac.


1 comment:

  1. Before I had my John Deere I had a Craftsman mower with an opposed piston 25 horse Briggs motor, it ran like a watch, the first Brigg's engine to have real main bearings instead bushings.I gave it to my Grandson's Dad when it was about 20 years old and he trashed it. I have had John about 8 years now and their is definitely a marked increase in Deere product.Hope life is going well for you guys, All is well here at the Ranch. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...