netcurmudgeon (netcurmudgeon) wrote,
netcurmudgeon
netcurmudgeon

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So much easier when you have the right tools

I am working on my Dad's 1987 John Deere tractor -- fixing lights that don't work. Yesterday was a bit of a goat-screw as I started my trouble-shooting with a bad assumption about where the problem was. With electrical, always start at the edge of the system and trouble-shoot your way in. Starting in the middle (in this case the main headlight / warning light selector switch) is a bad idea ... no matter how confident you are in your assessment of the problem. Some lessons you just have to re-learn from time to time.


This machine is like ours, except that it has ag tires instead of turf tires, and has a lower roll bar


Today, however, has been a different story. I'm installing some new lights to replace the broken-to-pieces headlights. The new lights are going up high on the roll bar -- where they won't be blocked by the front bucket like the original hood-mounted lights were. To attach the lights I'm using the mounting holes for the canopy (which we have never had). They're 12mm coarse thread holes ... which have been out in the weather for 25 years. I started clearing one side the hard way -- squirt in WD40, run the bolt in until it get really hard to turn, back it out, clean the rust and crap off of the threads, repeat -- and then decided that I needed to get real.

A trip to Home Despot and my local hardware store later, and I had two things I really needed. A vise for my drill press -- to hold the mounting brackets while I enlarged the mounting holes to accommodate 12mm bolts instead of the supplied 3/8" bolts -- and a 12mm tap and handle. In five minutes I had the threads on both sides of the roll bar cleared. In another five minutes I had both brackets drilled -- on center, with no risk of the pieces being flung across the room. Nice. So much easier with the right tools.
Tags: backhoe, life lessons, turning wrench, vacation
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