Dad’s Alaska


22 May 2020 Friday Not a bad day. The sun was in and out all day long. Yesterday Summer picked up an account for most all of the vegetables that she can grow this season. Which means that we will recoup most, if not all, of her expenses for the seeds, dirt and plant starts that she purchased. Maybe she will make some money next year after getting past all of the startup expenses this year. I spent the day moving dirt and rocks. The tractor is leaking gear oil like running it through a sieve. I quit about 3 PM and used the bucket to lift front end of the tractor. I needed to take the axle oil seal out and attempt to find a replacement in town. Not much chance of that but I had to try. I couldn’t keep putting $40 a gallon oil in it just to see it drip out on the ground. I was so frustrated with the damned thing that I just parked it, put the jack stands under it and went inside.

Young moose next to our road

About an hour later, I felt ready to tackle the removal of the wheel, the axle extender and, finally, the six bolts that retain the axle. Again I had to use my homemade slid hammer to get it out. When it came out, I realized that the bearing had stayed in the axle housing. It had done the same thing when I pulled the axle earlier in the week. This led me to inspecting the axle and I found that there was supposed to be a retainer snap ring on the tractor side of the axle bearing. That snap ring was was supposed to hold the bearing in place but it was missing. The missing snap ring allowed the bearing to move just enough that it was not in contact with the seal ring. Net result oil pouring out onto the ground. Apparently, the previous owner of the parts tractor had disassembled the axle and had failed to reassemble it properly. This discovery meant that I had to pull the bearing all the way out of the axle housing. This led to a further discovery that I had nothing with which to pull the bearing. I fumbled around through the tools I have for awhile. After some thought I decided that a smaller piece of metal put on the end of the slid hammer might get the bearing out. I cut a piece of metal just small enough to go through the bearing, drilled a hole in the center and bolted it to the slid hammer. I was able to put it through the bearing. Then by leaning it right or left I was able to use the slid hammer. The leaning made it contact the bearing properly without doing any damage. It only took 4 whacks to pull the bearing. Once the bearing was out I was able to see how the whole thing was supposed to be assembled. The job was simple: find the missing snap ring in all of the extra parts I got with the parts tractor; put the bearing on the axle and install the snap ring put the entire thing back into the tractor. Wrong!!! It turns out that the bearing is a pressed fit. It doesn’t just slip onto the axle. It was about 7 PM when I gave up. Saturday I will get the bearing pressed onto the axle and finish this oily project. Yep. I was splashed with oil again just like the last time. By the time cleaned my hands it was 7PM and quitting time at Tara. I had plenty of daylight left but with no ambition to continue.

Well it’s Vodka:30. Sayonara.


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