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Maintenance - property and machines



IMG_4230.thumb.jpeg.c320f30cc89930f2e3ea32a6f6a8996e.jpegMany of us do a lot of maintenance stuff outside our hobby but it may include our hobby equipment too.  Linda and I have 26 acres surrounding our house that requires a lot of maintenance. So, I thought I’d start this blog with a wide scope in mind and cover some of things I do and probably reflect back on things I’ve done too. 

Sept 18-19, 2021  

Now that I've retired its time to put at least a little emphasis on improving our yard. We live at the bottom of a hill and there is a rock shelf not far below the surface. So, water from uphill comes our way washing what little topsoil we have on farther down into the woods. I let my career get in the way of yard improvement for the last 11yrs and I've vowed to get started. Picked up a nice Simplicity revitalizer in OH while attending 2021 GOTO. Set it to lightly work the surface and loosen thatch in the shady parts of our yard. Some say its late to over-seed but we’ve been dry for the latter portion of the summer and rain is in the forecast. FC1A19DC-1342-4C4A-BE4A-DF0BEBBAE560.thumb.jpeg.2c73016ea0da5de2bf46250e18ceec48.jpegA052DDAB-84EB-40A2-B9CB-7316C570BB6C.thumb.jpeg.5ace5fb41cc7ac81a97e159fc34a89f8.jpeg

Equipment used: Conquest 16-44 with turbo blower, Hydro-18 with revitalizer, the Bumblebee 10 with Agrifab seeder. I used a shade mix including creeping red fescue, bluegrass and perennial rye. Sunny spots are covered w/zoysia.  Found the revitalizer likes more even ground than we have but it worked well carving slight groves for a good seed bed. Blew out a turbo belt (2nd one this season @$22ea) and I used 25# seed at $1.95/lb. Finished up seeding some points and harder to get to areas by hand. DB78EC07-80D1-47D1-B3E5-06B520252D77.thumb.jpeg.20cc95573a5ea1e5c5c514f7c8295e13.jpeg

September 21, 2021  Received 2.1" rain last night so timing was good. We do have a yard irrigation (needs adjustment and more heads) but you just cannot beat a good rain at seeding.  Cleaned up the equipment after use with leaf blower and today I removed excess dirt and debris before placing it on the pallet racks for storage. 6C49A179-4F97-4B9F-A087-8FA830CE0259.thumb.jpeg.c3aea9ea1b1fa9fd838b84f60c7f8a42.jpeg

Found the one way to grease this zerk was to pry the bearing cover out of the way - ugh! Blades and spacers are spring tensioned from middle so I did get it to take grease!3C49A949-BBD0-4517-BC4B-76C4010D6F53.thumb.jpeg.3260c62a5b4a6e467499ca80a9b6c1e8.jpeg

Time to reload equipment on shelving. 

September 21-22, 2021

Zoysa along our drive has elevated to a level that’s above the drive causing water to travel from the street nearly to our house. I am in need of grass in sunny areas around the shop so I used the Agco 2025 loader tractor to dig a strip along the drive and relocate them to around the shop. 

my good neighbor brought his long handle flat shovel, som gutter nails, and string to mark the strip and cut the sod. Worked great after a 2.1” rain. 


strips were cut length of the bucket. East to cut new digits for the sod 


sod strips awaiting placement


not sure why this happened 


luckily I saw the cap quickly so I raised the front off the ground, replaced the snapring and dustcap, and was back in business


I must not have made sure the ring was completely set in the groove


September 23, 2021  Watered in the new sod transplant strips, listened to the Cardinal game, and changed out the blades on the Conquest 44” deck to gators. It’s that time 


Never pass up a chance to grease so while on the floor I greased the Conquest front axle and front wheels. 


Saturday September 25 I musta ran over something yesterday with the loader tractor. Right rear tire flat. Luckily a tire shop could fix it today. So, off with the wheel weight, chains and wheel: forgot the lug nuts are metric


Ellie and her mother stayed a few days and Ellie wanted some tractor time


September 27, 2021 fall roundup and shop cleaning time 9D4E38B9-1773-4EBF-B9C8-18B71D9ACA58.thumb.jpeg.c9150d081a33930b60817ed7a25cae4f.jpeg

with loader assistance the Agri-Fab carryall and seeder on the top shelf and revitalizer on the bottom. Still some rearranging to be done39A76152-A9A9-475F-8D3D-9A82E4A1049D.thumb.jpeg.ec487466f65bd1cc50bc7fd17fc6a7d4.jpeg

winter 2021-22 maintenance. Washed and waxed the Conquest 16-44


and took a few pictures before removing the  deck and power bagger


new in ‘02 and she’s proven to be worthy


 winter duty clothes


and a little seat cushion maintenance inspired by @SmilinSam



Removed the chrome front bumper and replaced with original black one. Chrome bumper was kinda a rare option.



Tuesday December 14, 2021  We are experiencing an extremely warm winter. Local weather forecast for today: Clouds will increase and temps in the mid-60's. Tonight cloudy with temps near 60 at midnight, the warm to mid 60's by Wednesday morning. Wednesday forecast: very warm and windy with > 50mph winds. Temps likely reaching record in mid-70's. Dec 14 avg high is 44* and avg low 27*. So far I've probably only burned a dozen sticks of wood in the shop, mainly to take the chill off in the mornings. Have had the overhead door open many days.

December 17, 2021 Temp in 30’s, cloudy and rainy all day. Fire felt good


Wanted more light so caught this on eBay


and added in-line to a ceiling fixture9D2B4CE6-CA77-425B-ADFD-DDB5D5BF4718.thumb.jpeg.e26d2531838f0634fd0d43163993cfee.jpeg

Never been a detail guy but YouTube can help me do about anything maintenance wise. Watched several videos on dual action polishers and compounds before deciding to buy a MaxShine M8S, some Griots Complete Coumpound, and a bag of HF microfiber towels.


Should have taken a before picture but started on the Sovereign and you can see where I worked first


Bringing the old oxidized paint back to life slowly. Old girl cleans up nice 



Time to try this blogging thing again 

In summer 2017 a SimpletrACtors member alerted us of a CL Simplicity fdt loader and weedcutter for sale near Des Moines, IA. I called, took off work , and landed this beauty3CAD5732-A0F4-4DE1-9F98-644B0ABE7572.thumb.jpeg.673623fd3fa5afeff7f0561c388cb1e8.jpeg1E887334-D2ED-49EF-A739-A40B0E76B000.thumb.jpeg.9bcde871d194c3b4893555f64941c90c.jpeg

Blades we’re stuck and no hitch so I moved it to the basement, squirted PB Blaster whenever I thought about it, and bought a fdt snowblower hitch from a FB group memberD0FD86C3-57FE-47D8-869A-30473F2ADCF3.jpeg.29d3e2b7d77b39b7941e3b2bd3630896.jpeg

Fast-forward to May 2022. It’s weedcutter rejuvenation time! No amount of PB Blaster could free this up so it’s tear down time. So, I pulled out couple B&D Workmates for a work table an the fun begins

2653DC99-17CD-4644-949E-0EB4856AACC7.thumb.jpeg.02c579e51f69ef3783947946aaff08d7.jpeg38E6A372-B50D-4C14-8AFB-4A5AE74958EB.thumb.jpeg.278ff770b7fdc756f80be639e094c75d.jpegThe old machine is in pretty good shape. PO told me it was used primarily to clean up around electric livestock fences. Top shield was realitively easy to remove. Look at the crud in the corner and stiff belts-all original Simplicity 34FCB23B-1CC6-4CC8-8FD9-1F7281462C78.thumb.jpeg.d9d4cafaf49ac48ffcad09d9168d50c5.jpeg627934BC-032D-4D5F-8E39-E3A41395D36C.thumb.jpeg.d669e00cbbd71ad728fb3b0946e028f7.jpeg

Took plenty of pictures for later reference


Removing arbors was a challenge. Bolts rusted so my new Milwaukee 1/2” impact came in handyB3546D54-39F1-4BCA-A7BD-2F48BEDF2927.thumb.jpeg.299255a213bb493ed2bfea2460d4a019.jpeg

After removing all arbors a greater challenge to separate pulleys. #1 came apart rather easily. Note spacers and shims used892FD0D2-3781-42A8-9DF7-88C8BB425688.thumb.jpeg.86e964f67b2f862d57d9c4658db63945.jpeg

 #2 is the power drive arbor and most challenging to separate. I watched @GrincheyOne YouTube video https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/46497-990370-weed-cutter-rebuild/


All original Hoover bearings and same as mower deck bearings. Had 6 inexpensive EBay purchased bearings on hand so decision time: use them and buy 2 more or buy 8 new ones?

Decided to use the bearings on hand and order couple more from Ebay.


and bought 3 new NAPA 4L300 belts per @Chris727  https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/63531-weed-cutter-rebuild-now-completed/?tab=comments#comment-508740


Starting reassembly



of course I made a miscue: sandwiched two bearings in an arbor correctly but the spacer decided to turn on its side just before the seated blow. So, beat one bearing back out and ordered a replacement.


going back together with mostly new hardware


then a little work on the snowblower hitch I acquired for this implement. Yellow is a fdt snowblower hitchF3C1D327-2583-497F-A2F5-EB9249B58F6F.thumb.jpeg.a2084ff130619856b0ea53794dd26207.jpeg

and I modified the orange one for the weed cutter


June 16, 2022 cut off the 6 carriage bolts at top of belt(s) cover to ready for test run8FDD0EE1-91C6-41B6-B540-16AA42CC33DB.thumb.jpeg.2042d7926e71fc403b87d4965576e8c7.jpeg

(respect this warning)


Not decided yet which tractor I’ll mount to so pulled the bumble bee 10 out to see if it starts this year, and success!


Now for the early b10 that hasn’t run since summer ‘20. Swapped in battery from the bumblebee, opened the gas line valve, 3 revs and it purred like a kitten. Float sticks so gas shutoff valve is a must have.  Note I mounted the hitch to see the fit. B4EDCFA5-29D3-407D-9166-94C6A9A03611.thumb.jpeg.64f0e68ae769a6433fd7a47948aaf33c.jpeg
June 17, 2022. First time mounted


I burned though a $36 green drive belt from O'Reilly, then ordered another $12 belt from Amazon and promptly burned through it. I quickly ordered more $12 belts to have on hand for quick use since I burn em so quickly. Started looking at my converted hitch, then bought one at Portage Garden Tractor Daze for a spare, and started swapping parts. I think some of the parts on my original converted snowblower hitch were bent so worth a try. I also installed belt guides and will find a spring as in this 2003 post https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/10006-weed-and-brush-cutter/?tab=comments#comment-1000  Also want to note a picture of Richard Jay's mounted weed cutter that uses the flat style pulley same as the snowblower - and he uses it so maybe I didn't need to change that pulley??IMG_3964.thumb.jpeg.843769d9d2aed2b7675888aae15a4e45.jpeg

7/22/2022 Painted rear wheel weights removed from the sold Conquest JD yellow and let them cure in Missouri 90* heat past week. Installed them today on the X540


July 27, 2022 working on my to-do list of restorations I just never get to. This front tine AC tiller sat under a tree for a long time before I bought it in a pkg a few yrs ago. A00342C4-4C81-41B2-8DD4-6153A850CEF9.thumb.jpeg.3eddebd6b2e25e937026d354bb371f40.jpeg

Engine appeared to be a 3hp Briggs but I have two 5hp Briggs on the shelf that “run when parked”. E576E7ED-F500-4062-8463-89838BD59C49.thumb.jpeg.eed0e5e735a78fc388e87b17c66b0a8c.jpeg
So yesterday I decided to bring the tiller from the basement and get started taking the old engine off and start cleaning


Repowered and running strong. Still has that original look too! (I know, a whole $75 if I am lucky but its an AC.


9/17/2022 I attended a plow day at NEMO Old Threshers in Shelbina. A member of Central MO Plow Days FB group invited us and had convinced the group to host. Four tractors and plows showed up to try to plow the hardest ground possible! My B210 was climbing clods that I had turned over that were every bit 80-100#. My plow was sucking in, tractor rearing up the front end, and I broke 2 chain links on the lift before I called it quits. Installed 4 links upon return home.


9/18/2022 Used the revitalizer on the yard where I got carried away with roundup thinking it was 2-4D. Man I like this tool for reseeding.


9/22/22  Been intrigued by this tractor and story  All White Early B-10 "Promotional" Tractor *Updates Added* - Show & Tell - Simple trACtors  since @MarksA-C posted. Today I brought it home and will decide over the next few weeks/months whether to clean and fix it up or restore with picture history. For sure, I will dig around to find if anyone anywhere can verify the story. 

9/26/22 had a tandem load of topsoil delivered. That will require some seat time on the Agco 2025 loader tractor. 

9/27/22 After parcelling the dirt out in the yard I decided to get the belly blade down from the storage shelf. Glad I did! I forget how good it works


Cleaned both tractors and equipment pre-storage

I bought a pkg deal: an old New Belgium bicycle to clean up a rehab this winter


and a 40” JD spike aerator. The spike tines are metal and a plastic molded insert rides on a metal shaft. This thing is frozen nearly solid!  I got the end tine off, wire brushed the shaft and cleaned out the plastic insert but that was tough. I couldn’t get the second spike assembly to move outward. Soaked it w/PB Blaster, have turned the spike with much effort, but the dang thing will not move up the shaft. 98B99A3A-C32F-41C7-9E44-1E342A692C77.thumb.jpeg.8e450ba5ef41574a8b532ec87c65f484.jpeg
the first one removed. 464577A9-ACFA-47D6-B732-0FB401AED8BE.thumb.jpeg.31711d1d56258ca52f967adca60f86c3.jpeg


44D63F65-53E6-43D9-A35A-CEE860BFE1F5.thumb.jpeg.9dc28766cda96a21a81b0736d4fe69c9.jpegMy neighbor has been helping me - we found the rust is so packed under the plastic and around the rod and the only liquid that works is water. Heating the plastic so it expands enough that the spikes will turn on the axle, then trying to dissolve the rust enough to move it by spraying water on the joints and in holes I drilled in the plastic, clean the rod as best I can after finally screwing the tine off, and move on to the next tine. I am going to have so many man hours $ in this thing!  6 tines off with only 2 (so far) that will needed to sacrifice. 6716BD0F-58DE-479C-9BB1-C2B8302D5FCF.thumb.jpeg.067a61f568dfb4d18e5bb05b4d0e5e08.jpegF1B6F60D-86C3-4FD1-B9B2-7314D5AC7AAA.thumb.jpeg.cdaff890c3ee26ef3f9cdeb4956bbc5e.jpeg39DFDD8A-ABCD-4523-BC58-0257A8630112.thumb.jpeg.eb68bfeae54d97b882bbb7de07a39157.jpeg

White early B-10 "Promotional" tractor purchased from Mark McCarren aka MarksA-C  .https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/59396-all-white-early-b-10-promotional-tractor-updates-added/?tab=comments#comment-486195  Some parts were originally yellow painted over with white while others show no yellow at all. Gas tank is rusty inside so that’s a bummer but it’s good enough to clean and coat. (Thinking of painting an AC plow white for display purposes.)





11/29/2022 I worked with the shop door up today


12/1/2022   yesterday in the 30*s and today 40*s so this026F485E-CB7F-406F-8945-128CF25DCBB4.thumb.jpeg.ed4505097ae76132b55cfead438cec8d.jpeg

4/13/2023 pulled out the bumblebee 10 from its resting place under the shelves. Haven’t mowed with it since ‘21 but today changes that. Aired up the tires, checked gasoline and oil, and put a new battery in. Started and mowed like a champ2BA1F864-B529-43F4-BDB5-7753432F3359.thumb.jpeg.5000f777a560e1c156eee6cf93b68d04.jpeg

And time to prepare the white b10 fuel tank for lining. After I ran bbs in it tied to a tractor wheel for awhile, it’s ready for Kreem solutions. Today I cleaned with soapy water and rinsed until clear19B02E27-6164-42FA-8694-1FB1B72079CA.thumb.jpeg.470e077544e81fd9609946d7c32115cd.jpeg


and filled the tank for an overnight with Prep A







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Fleet looks good. When is the proper seeding time for this region? I thought it was in the fall. It always seems to be too dry to seed around here in the fall and there's no practical way to water a large yard. 

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Thanks Chris. We usually seed in early September and water the seed in. Works better than spring seeding most times. 

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Your pictures have served to remind me of the zerks I always forget to grease on the inside of the front wheels....dOd

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