Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fixing the tractor

I do a lot of my own work on my equipment, for economic reasons. Shop rates for tractor repairs are in the $100/hour range around here, and I'd rather pay myself that wage. When I buy a tractor, I make a point of buying the service manual for it as well. The service manuals are usually pretty comprehensive, and contain a step-by-step description of how to do things, and a troubleshooting guide.

Even if I don't do the work, the troubleshooting guide allows me to narrow it down on my own time, and if it's something that I dont' want to fix, well, I can hire it done. 
  Today's repair is the top link of the 3 point hitch. This is the new holland tc33d, and it's a 30hp tractor with a small backhoe that mounts to the rear. this happened at some point, but I didn't see the damage until I took the backhoe off. On closer inspection, this isn't the factory part. Maybe softer steel than factory specs? 
It's an easy fix; 4 bolts... wait a second. Two of these are studs, two are bolts. And there's a 4 washers... hate that.

A lot of time when people do repair on equipment, they kinda use whatever is laying around. Which is fine when you're doing a chicken coop, but if you're dealing with load items like this, it's worth doing it correctly. I check the new holland service manual for bolt torques and the whether it specifies a particular grade for the stud, and I'm off to Champion Bolts in Everett.

So a quick trip to the bolt store comes up with the appropriate length and grade of stud, and a little fiddling, and it's back to factory spec.

Champion bolts in Everett has been a real resource for me, as both of my tractors are metric, and the local hardware stores, even the big box ones, have a limited selection, and it fits with my trying to steer as much of my business local as I can. Sure, I can get the bolts on the internet if I wait a day or two, but I'd much rather have the local bolt store.

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