Saturday, May 22, 2004

It's Alive!

The 285 is running again.

I had to call in a consultant this morning to get it to crank. TC talked me through getting it running. I ended up having to bleed the fuel lines, which was irritating and time consuming to the extreme. I then had a bad moment when I did get it started... it wouldn't steer. Since working on the steering was huge part of this overhaul, I was about to go spastic. Whereupon TC asked the simple question; "did you put any fluid in it?"

"ummmm, nope"

"Well, put some fluid in and try it"

After about (what seemed like) three gallons of hydraulic fluid, the front wheels finally turned when I turned the steering wheel.

I made a quick check for major leaks, told TC I'd holler at him later and commenced to tightening bolts and suchlike.

About three hours later I had everything but the sheetmetal reattached, so I hopped up into the cab and fired it up to pull it out of the barn... for the first time in two months.

I immediately found a slight little problem that I hadn't noticed earlier...

I turned the steering wheel to the left...

and the front wheels turned right...

Turned the steering wheel to the right...

and the wheels turned to the left.

hmmm, this ain't gonna work.

I realised then that I'd had the lines going to steering cylinders crossed, which actually wasn't that big a deal to fix. I swapped the two lines (which wasn't difficult, but did involve laying in the dirt and getting covered with hydraulic fluid, which is sticky slimy stuff) and headed out in the field for a little shakedown cruise.

Everything seemed to work ok, only two leaks, which I fixed when I got back to the barn. In the morning I plan to hook it up to a disk and work it pretty hard to make sure that it's ready to start mowing with.