Monday, July 15, 2013

Rain Dances, Machines, & More Machines

After many many rain dances, we finally have rain.  You can almost hear the critters, plants, & grass sigh with relief.  We needed it and although it didn't last long, we'll take what we can get.

Not only does the rain bring nourishment to the plants, cool the air down a bit, but it also gives me some time to sit down and update the blog.

I learned my first rule of blogging, never   promise updates in a week or so.  Farm life can easily consume your time and by the time you settle in at night you are ready for a tasty beverage and a good movie.  Blogging is furthest from your mind.  Blogging rule #1: leave a little mystery for when you might post next.  It is a lot more realistic.  Trust me...I am about 30 blog posts behind based on my initial promises.  So I officially wipe the slate clean...and I'll leave it to the weather to predict my next blog post.

Okay, back to SweetWater!  Been busy little bees here.  All you have to do is step outside and you can see SweetWater is bustling with life.  It has been fun watching the transformation.  Nate & I often find ourselves stopping and catching our thoughts.  Amazed at how much we have accomplished in such a short time.  Pretty "Sweet" if I do say so myself.

Speaking of accomplishments, Nate has been making amazing progress on the Super Dexta.  Of course it has been one of those projects where you open something up to fix it and realize you have two more parts you have to fix before you can get to your original fix.  Given the desperate TLC this tractor has needed, I am surprised I have not heard more colorful languages filling the air.  Nate really deserves a lot of credit on this project.  He takes his time and focuses on doing it right.  So far we got the tractor all painted up and he started putting the parts back on her earlier this week.  

Then he was able to finally get her started up for the first time since we bought it and I am happy to say it starts without using the glow plug and runs pretty clean.  He was worried we might have to do an engine rebuild but looks like we are in the clear.  Unfortunately, once running, he realized the clutch will not disengage and was suspicious of the fork and or throw out bearing being damaged.  Well, he got the engine/trans separated and found the cause.  This has a dual stage clutch, one for the transmission and one for the PTO.  The trans/drive disk was obliterated and not much left on the PTO disk either.  So he ordered the rebuild kit and got it all back together by end of the week.  Now he is putting the finishing touches on the electrical which needed to be completely replaced.  Here is a list of all the new parts that we have purchased for the Super Dexta thus far.

Owner and Parts Manual
Ignition Switch
Proofmeter and Cable
Oil Pressure Gauge
Rebuilt Water Pump
Water Temp Gauge
Glow Plug
Remote Single Spool Hydraulic Valve Assembly 
PTO Seal
Misc. Bolts Pins Etc.
Spin On Oil Filter Conversion Kit
Fuel Lift Pump
Fuel Filter
Foam and Vinyl for Seat
All New Fluids
Air Filter Element
Coolant Hoses
Fuel Lines
Steering Control Arm Ball Joint
Head Lights
Rear Lights
Down Light

Not to mention all the welding and fabrication Nate has had to do to get the original parts back to serviceable condition.  He eventually wants to design a canopy/brush guard over the top of the tractor to protect us from the sun and branches and I am sure some new tires are in our future as well. 

 Soooo....yes, it has been a lot of work but we did only pay $800 for the machine and it will be a "better than new" machine when we are done.  They sell for well over $3k in average operating condition so it leaves a lot of room for parts.  We've done a lot of research on these particular Fordsons and they seem to be very well respected around the world.  Quite the little powerhouse for the size.  

So like I said, Nate is doing an amazing job on getting this tractor up and running.  I am having fun helping where I can.  I mean you should see the amazing paint job.  Perfection I tell ya! Oh and I am pretty good at holding stuff in place while Nate adjusts this and that.  I can tell you it is hard work, but hopefully it will pay off with lots of little square hay bales!
Speaking of hay bales, we also have purchased a Hesston 1071 Mower Conditioner for $1500 and a New Holland 276 Hayliner Small Square Baler for $2400.  These are very good prices on older but great machines.  Fortunately the mower and baler are field ready so just add grease and go.  Now we are on the lookout for a good herbicide "Wicking/Wiping" apparatus to start dealing with our Johnson Grass situation.  Considering the simplicity and fairly inexpensive parts required Nate would like to try and make his own. 

So this is where I have to make a confession. About halfway into writing the blog, I called Nate over to explain all the parts he has fixed, my mom called, and Nate took over a writing a good chunk of the blog.  I am glad he did because I could never have remembered all those details.  That being said I think I should translate some of what he said for those of us who are less mechanically inclined.  So let me summarize...

We pulled the blue tractor apart, sanded, and painted it. Then Nate began putting it back together.  It started without needing to replace an expensive part.  YAY!  We like when the expensive parts work.  Except that one of the pedal thingies wasn't working right. So he had to pull the tractor apart. (See the picture above) As he thought one of the inside gut parts wasn't working we had to replace it.  Now he is replacing all the electrical lines, so she will be as good as new.  Well that is how I understand it all. Although, Nate has been doing a great job explaining the parts to me and I am learning more technical stuff as I go.  So if you don't understand the technical stuff just yet, I hope my summary helped a bit.

Off to bed for now.  Hopefully the weather will allow me to update again soon.  There is still so much to share.  I am updating the website. If you visit, remember it is in progress.  Anyone who has played around with designing websites knows it ALWAYS takes longer than you think.   Hopefully, I can link this blog to the updated website in the near future.  Of course, I will probably have to start mowing again now that we got some rain.  So I won't promise any time frame.  

Oh and I should probably post more pictures of those cute baby goats too.  Trust me, I could write an entire blog about what we have learned about raising goats in just a few days of owning them. I can tell you that they are worth every penny! I guess that post will be coming soon....stay tuned.

Thanks for visiting SweetWater.

Nathan, Lily & our critter crew

Old Promotional Video for the Super Dexta
More Super Dexta Footage

Oh you should be able to leave a comment now.  We would love to hear from you.


  1. Funny... I was going call shinanigans on your new found knowledge of engine parts... That or you were just pretending ignorance to get out of helping. See you in a couple weeks.

  2. Amazing all you have accomplished. It is true...two are better than one when both parties have similar goals. Lily, thank you for simplifying the re-build process for us mechanically challenged. Nate has always been amazing at figuring things out and fixing things. You are both wonderful additions to Sweetwater and I hope to visit next year when the Park family comes. We can have a little reunion and you should make a list of project we can help with. We are all a little project oriented...ha Love, Mom

  3. Nate -- great use of skills honed from a life time of learning! And from what we can see the learnign curve is still in full lclimb mode :-). And Lily...thanks for the blog in total. It is kind of like being there and here at the same time. Of course i do think that the goats being there is better than here... Hope to hear your voices soon. Big doings this weekend and next with Aunt Denise and family and frieds fro coast ot coast all showing up to celebrate Vicki's 60th birthday. She is the msot special lady in my and many other's lives. Blessings, Rick

  4. great stuff guys! Nate glad to see your still hard at work playing with machines. sorry to hear in your later post u had trouble driving the ATV :) take it easy farmer dude, and enjoy a sunset and pacifico from time to time salude!

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