Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The boys of summer

Spring is here and Sunday I spent some time puttering around the yard. Put down 6 cubic feet of mulch, put some composted cow manure on the asparagus bed, Angie raked the yard...
While all that was underway I had the oil draining out of the snowblower, got that changed and realized I hadn't changed the oil in the Cub Cadet last year since the plow has to be pulled to do it. So I got the plow off and the oil changed, it sure cranks better with 5w40 instead of the 15w50 I'd had in it previously. I'd gone with the heavier oil since it burns some, we'll see how it does with the lighter oil.

I pushed the snowblower back into the garage and brought out the Snapper. I'd changed the oil in that when I put it away last fall so its mostly ready to go although I want to replace the rubber wheel on the drive. It doesn't do reverse real well right now. The wheel thats on it is one I put on when I brought it back into service. I think that was 2009 but I can't find any record of it in my notes. 6 years would be a pretty good run anyway I'd think, its a cheap part too.

My plan is to drag the Cub Cadet to camp with us in May and drag the Cub Cadet thats there back here. I've got a mowing deck for the one at camp thats never been installed. We don't use that Cub Cadet the amount I'd expected we would, we just don't have that much towing work, so it'd be nice to have it as an additional mower. There are many times when we could get a lot more work done if we could mow with two machines at the same time. So thinking about that I decided it'd make more since to put the mower on my Cub Cadet so it can be a mower when we get it up there.

This is what they call a "timed deck" where the sweep of the two blades overlap so they use a toothed belt to keep from hitting each other. Its a nice finish mower but not the kind of bushhog mower we normally use at camp. It'll be interesting to see how it holds up. I don't think we'll use it all that much since it starts so hard. Lately if I don't run it every day it needs a little shot of carb cleaner to get going. My long term plan, as I've said before, with this machine is to transplant a diesel engine into it. Sadly the $600 diesel engines of 2 years ago are gone, these days a 10hp diesel runs $750-$800, a 13hp goes for $900 which is a temptation. The 10hp rating is really a "burst" rating, the engine isn't rated to run at that speed (3550 rpm) long term. Its rated speed is more like 2500 rpm where it makes more like 8hp. The good news is that it makes max torque at more like 1500 rpm. The chart is hard to read but it looks like 18 lb ft at 1500 rpm. An online calculator tells me that the K161 with 7hp at 3600rpm is 10 lbft so it sounds to me like the 10hp diesel will be a nearly 50% increase in usable power...

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