Saturday, September 22, 2012

It has been pretty quiet her on blogger lately.  I guess everybody is getting back in the groove of school and teaching jobs.  

Well, it is time for another episode of "The farm that has more broke down junk than any other farm in the world!"  The exciting docudrama that gives an inside look at the busted knuckle garage and what life is really like on the Embry Acres operation.  Blood, sweat and tears flow as we watch the Knuckle Buster himself tear into his aging derelict  equipment all in the name of trying to save a buck.  

In this episode we are dealing with a 1979 International tractor that has been on the farm since the late Machinacambrian period.  It is an awfully dependable tractor, up until the last year.  Last fall we started getting coolant in the oil.  Not good.  Last winter I put a new oil cooler on hoping that was where they were trading places.  I thought it was all good until this summer when 2-3 gallons of coolant ended up in the oil.  

So, the classic debate here on the Busted Knuckle Garage.  #1 Junkyard? #2 Sell it as is? #3Sink more money into it?

That's right! #3 Fix it up, then decide if we need to sell it or keep using it.  SO, I started tearing into it thinking it was probably a cylinder sleeve that had a leak.  And that is in fact the problem.  See the pistons run inside a heavy sleeve and coolant flows all around it keeping it cool.  Since water tends to rust out and eat up steel, they often eat through it.  Also a contributing factor is heat and what we call "cavitation".  Cavities in your cylinder sleeves so to speak.  Little bubbles form in the coolant, settle against the cylinder and cause a hot spot where they explode and eat out little holes.  After years of this they will eat all the way through to the point the water surrounding the sleeve leaks through, putting water in the oil. Time for an overhaul.  I am not going to do a total teardown and overhaul.  I am going to do what we call an "in-frame" overhaul where we just put in new sleeves and pistons and bearings on the crankshaft.  $1300 for parts, plus my time which is pretty much worthless anyway.  (Pictures from my phone which may have possibly had grease smeared on the lens.  

The sleeves are what these pistons are laying on top of.  I've got everything apart and mostly cleaned up.  Just waiting for the overhaul kit.  Maybe next week sometime.


  1. Your mechanical knowledge and know how always leave me astounded. Hope it all works out well.

  2. Well I suppose $1300 as opposed to 100 times that for a new tractor isn't too bad! And you would have to change the name of your blog without all these wonderful projects that you give such great TLC to!

  3. Hmmmm. Constant question arouses here as well and we usually choose #3. Don't know how much longer #3 is gonna work on the Isuzu. Had to get it towed right off the front doorstep this morning. Hope you tractor makes it to 2019!

  4. Hey, on the plus side, those used sleeves make very handy blocks/stands for other projects. Score!

  5. I thought they might make nice pencil holders to give out at Christmas.