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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Fix a mower? Heck, I can't even fix lunch

Posted Monday, May 7, 2012, at 2:14 PM

Like many suburbanites I have two mowers -- one is a pusher, trimmer and the other is a Craftsman 18.5 horse powered rider.

I was mowing the yard. So what you say, don't all home owners do that? Yes. I must say that lawn mowing is not my favorite way to spend the day or any time. The thrill is gone. With one swath to complete I heard a low clicking sound and my magnificent machine stopped. The engine was running smoothly and sounded like the International Humming Bird Festival held each year in Birdseye, Ind. The blades continued to fling grass out the side like the rooster tail on an offshore racing boat. But it was sitting still. It could have been a monument in the lawn mower cemetery.

I tried every gear. Nothing. I got off and of course the engine dies when that happens. I kicked each tire opened the hood and pretended I knew something about it. Nothing. So my role changed from driver to wrecker while pushing to the garage.

The next day did not avail an opportunity to check on it which was followed by four days in Granddaughterville and the next day it rained to who tied the pup. Then it was time for me to engage all my skills to diagnose and then repair the problem. So I checked the tires pulled on the belts and decided the problem was huge. So I removed the mower deck, replaced the bearing on the shafts, replaced the blades, scraped the deck and painted it and proceeded. The shaft on the bottom of the engine looked suspect so I took it out made sure it was not bent, replaced the pulley wheel and moved on. Next, I rebuilt the differential and replaced the rear axle and the tires. Then I went down to the John Deere dealer and purchased a new small 65 horse power tractor engine. With a little help from an adapter kit I mounted it hooked up the mower deck and started the engine. I don't mow grass now I pulverize it and any limb up to six inches in diameter. It also serves as a post hole digger.

I realized that now I have a wongo bongo, rider, romping, stomping, take no prisoners, no fooling around, get out of my way, testosterone pumping, four-wheel, steel charging, ethanol whomping, super-charged, double clutched, "souped up" internal combustion, hard charging, man machine, gear grinding, patch laying, wheel popping, turbo charged, mountain climbing, jet powered dueling diablo dream machine, heart thumping, crowd pleasing, river crossing, grass mulching, dragon slayer, stampeding, home owners braggadocio bomb. And that isn't all. I had to go to ground school to attain a license to drive this macho mighty machine.

Now the truth. I told Ray about my dilemma. Ray can fix anything. I can't even fix lunch. He came over looked under the deck and said, "Push down on the clutch pedal. Do it again. I see the problem. The belt slipped off the retaining bracket." He pushed it back in place and off I went grass flying. I hate him, no I envy him. He is a true friend.

Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State University. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656.

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Larry Vandeventer
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