Wednesday, December 28, 2016
No it isn't a half human half ghost driving that tractor. It's my dad and I blurred his face to protect his identity in case the picture gets ripped off and used for malignant purposes elsewhere on the internet.
As you probably guessed, my pet project that I worked on during downtime this fall was the John Deere 3020 you see above. My dad bought it sight unseen from the daughter of a former neighbor that we farmed for who died in one of those interstate pileups a few years back. It was also his farm that my mom bought while going through her ordeal this summer.
When we got the tractor back home, it wouldn't run because it hadn't been used in a number of years. It also had a 24v starting system on it which were notorious for causing dash fires and why John Deere quickly switched over to the 12V system for most of the production run. My job was to convert it to a 12V system which I did. After much troubleshooting and fiddling with this or that, I got it to turn over but never could get it to fire on up. After more troubleshooting and fiddling, I suspected it was a fuel pump issue and I took it off for my father to send it in to the parts dealer/repair shop to get rebuilt.
As one might expect with parts dealers/repair shops, they accumulate quite a backlog of stuff from fall and my father only received the rebuilt pump a couple weeks ago. I couldn't make it down so my dad put the new pump on, called me to troubleshoot an electrical issue with the starter which turned out to be a knocked off wire behind a control panel and finally got it started. As I would have done in the same situation, he took it for a spin so everyone could see it running. It still needs all the guards put back in place and a good cleaning but it will be ready for its job next year, running a grain auger in the fall. I still hope to take it for a spin sometime before then too.