Saturday, March 31, 2012

More scenes from the Busted Knuckle Garage

We had a weird thing happen with my granddad's Ford tractor. The end of the starter just broke off for no good reason and fell down into the belly of the tractor. We were afraid to just leave it in there roaming around, no telling what kind of damage it could do. There was no way to get it out other than break the tractor in two! Just like if you were putting a clutch in it. So away we go, took the loader off, and split it in about 3 hours. We fixed a couple other little things in there while we had it open like an oil leak and changed a bearing that was getting a little old. So hopefully we won't have to do this again.
The little piece next to the starter is what fell down into the tractor.

It seems this winter especially I have had a bunch of little nagging repairs I have had to do along with the bigger projects like this one and the Great Stieger Brake project. I thought about what all I have worked on the past several months, wrote it all down and how much time it would have taken in a Professional shop. I figured the hours at a conservative $65 per hour shop rate (some shops are $100 per hr. now) I also added up all the $ I have saved by shopping around and buying parts that are not from the original equipment manufacturer. Just like the Steiger brakes and an oil cooler on another tractor that was less than half price to OEM. Anyway adding it all up I figure I have saved somewhere in the neighborhood of $8000. Basically that is what I have "paid" myself the past 6 months or so. Besides that I can run older cheaper equipment too. (we won't get into the theory that a dollar saved is worth more than a dollar earned, that will be for another blog another day)

If we couldn't fix some of this old junk ourselves I would have two choices. Buy newer (hopefully) more reliable equipment. $$$ Or hire all these projects done in town. $$$ Right now with the drought and missing our second wheat crop in a row I am glad our equipment costs are very low. Makes me appreciate my old junk a little more when I don't have to make equipment payments. I think I will go vacuum out the cab on the tractor now, maybe clean the windows a little extra good........


  1. Your mechanical abilities always amaze me. Seems you can make stuff and come up with your own parts and do the repairs. Way to save all that $$$.

  2. Don't I have the smartest brother in the whole world??? Wish he hadn't hogged ALL the brains but I'm glad it's paying off for him! :-)

  3. I wish I'd gotten some of those mechanical skill genes. I think I probably could have saved us about a bazillion dollars in car repairs. Oh well, we've kept all the mechanics across West Texas and Colorado well fed. :)