Friday, June 28, 2013

Tractor Battery, Old Wood Cook Stove and Rattlesnakes

The old Ford tractor in the barn.
Update: My Guest Post is on Survival Blog right now. It is titled "How to  Decide on a Homestead Location AND Get There" and you can read it here.

I was able to arrange my work schedule yesterday to get the morning off. I worked from 3pm to 11pm and was able to start working on the Ford tractor. I've had mixed responses on what type of tractor everyone thinks this old Ford is: 9n, 850, or ? I'll post more pictures as I progress with the restoration.

I've pulled the battery and have it in the farm house charging right now. It took a charge pretty quick and still has plenty of distilled water in the three chambers. The expiration says 2005 so we'll see what happens with it. I'll post a picture of the battery charger display and you guys can tell me what you think. At the time of the picture, the batter had been on the charger for about 90 minutes.

Rating a 5 after about 90 minutes of charging.
I'll follow the advice of Solarman and check the fluids, drain the gas and refill with ethanol free gas, clean the carburetor, pull each spark plug and put Marvel Mystery oil in each cylinder, and replace the plugs. With the freshly recharged battery, maybe she'll cough to life. Oh, and the tires need air. Good thing I brought my trusty pancake air compressor.

Since I was in the barn, I poked around a little more. Found some more neat stuff. As a kid, I remember this big GIANT wood stove of a beast in the farmhouse. Grandma would keep feeding kindling in it while heating the house. You could cook with pots and pans on the top side or put pans inside little oven compartments. It was the neatest thing. I found it in the barn today in pieces. It looks to be all still there. It has a baby blue paint job mixed with the metal framing.

OOOOhhh, she's pretty! Old wood stove.
I also found the old clothes washer and wringer. I remember it sitting out in front of the house. I bet it still works too. I'll need to try it pretty soon. My dirty laundry is piling up since I've been here almost a week now. Otherwise, I'll be trying out my portable Wonderwash. I caught it on sale on Amazon a few years ago and snatched up two of them. I figured it would be a great back up if the washer quit working at home until I could get a new one. Either that, or it would make a great punishment for an unappreciative teenager.

I work one more shift today and then I should have the weekend off. I might have a couple of uncles coming up to help with the Ford. If we can get it going, I'd like to brush hog around the barn and farmhouse this weekend. Then I won't have to worry quite so much about the rattlesnakes. However, I will heed the warning of fellow bloggers to start poking around with a stick in the tall grass just in case. Thanks for all the wonderfully helpful comments folks!


New Rules for the Farm

-don't blindly walk into tall grass without first stirring it up with a long stick. You don't want Mr. Rattlesnake to catch you by surprise!

-a hot catalytic converter on the bottom of your car can start a grass fire under the right conditions. Keep it moving or park it in the dirt (or keep the darn grass mowed.)

Back Home Report

Wifey was able to take the girls to see the new Monsters Inc movie and had a great time. We love going to the movies and getting the bucket-o-popcorn loaded with butter and shaker cheddar cheese. It exceeds our daily allowance of sodium by 5000x but we like it anyway.

Sis has her last day of summer school today. She overloaded herself a little this summer by enrolling in both online school AND regular summer school at her high school. I allowed it because she begged for it but we both realize now in hindsight that it made for a very dull summer break for her. Worth it,, not a bit.

Everyone else is continuing to play with neighbor children and I wonder how they'll get along when their nearest neighbor is a mile away out here in the sticks? Will they go nuts and constantly complain or will they find fun, constructive things to do around the house.  Personally, I used to be a master at making mud pies and swimming in the horse trough but hey...that's just me.


  1. Just a small add to solar mans comment. After you put oil in the plug holes allow it to soak for a couple of hours then without fitting the plugs crank the engine over for 10 seconds. Any surplus oil will be expelled from the plug holes and won't foul the spark plugs when you replace them. Also if yours has points in the distributor check for play in the distributor shaft. Even a small amount of side to side play will increase the points gap when it cranks over and it will not start. If so decrease the points gap by half and then try it. Quite common problem on older stuff!

  2. What state was the battery in BEFORE you started to charge it?
    Lead Acid batteries do not tolerate being left discharged. If it was flat and left flat for more than a handful of days, while it may appear you have been able to recharge it in all likelihood 95% of the battery is gone and you've only recharged the remaining 5%. Imagine there is now just a tiny battery hidden in the middle of a huge box.
    So when charged it will read 12.8V, it will even power a small 12V load (like a radio) but it just can't provide the amount of current required to crank the engine anymore.

  3. Looks like a Ford 8-N. I have one just like it in my barn right now. I did convert it to a 12 volt system from it's orginal 6 volt. Makes a world of difference!!

  4. The best way to find out is to tell us if it is a 3 speed or a 4 speed tranny on that Ford. I think that lever by the operators left foot is actually the older 9n style. Although 9n were supposedly all gray I have seen 9n's painted red and gray as well. It may even be a 2n.

    It also might have the number on the left side (the side in the pic) just below the front half of the battery. Mine says 8n there.

    The truth is it's hard to say from a picture I have seen so many variants of the 2,8,9n and Jubilee editions that I am constantly fooled without inspecting them up close.

  5. On a second look that's not a lever sooo I would look under the battery there 8n's usually have an 8 there.

  6. I had an old Farmall 200 that I used around this place for many years. It is sitting down at my son's house now. The lift on the front was quite handy but couln't put much weight on it with the tri-cycle wheel arrangement on that tractor. Now I juat have a lawn tractor that only cuts grass. Is that progress??? I enjoyed the bigger tractor better.

  7. Your blog is a true gift.
    It takes me back to when I was a new bride and settling in on our 5th generation homestead/farm. I was SO green back then. A total City Slicker!
    In those days every day was a new adventure and there was magic in discovering treasures left behind from the generations preceding me.You have my heartfelt prayers for all the happiness and success that I'm sure is in store for you.
    All the best,

  8. OJD,

    I was the one who said that that tractor would be your "most valuable piece of equipment" in the previous blog post.

    Im down in Texas so we know our tractors. I would follow solarmans advice, but I think the battery on the tractor is history (I could be wrong) so try to recharge it. Nothing happens, get another battery.

    hook up the new battery, pull the plug wires off or look for one attached to the solenoid I think. pull that one.

    check all fluids "most important of all is the oil level"!!!!

    see if the engine turns over.

    try that once.

    if it turns, then try what solarman recommends and get further into it.

    re-install the plug wire and see if you can start the engine.


    I'll even drink a beer for you in front of my computer if you pull that off.

    Tex Texan

    e-mail me at if you have any questions.

  9. Welcome to Okla. Been following your progress. I have a sorta homestead as will in south central area. It's good living.

  10. Also wear gloves poking around places! I'm a few months ahead of you (reno on a 70+ yr old farmhouse w/5 acres)and recently saw my first live black widow. It promptly became dead but a neighbor tells me we have years that they are bad in North Georgia. I'm a lot older than you so I imagine you'll pass me quickly in progress! Will be watching & following. Good luck!

  11. Anonymous did a much better job of breaking down the start up procedure for the tractor than I. We both forgot about the bushhog, be sure and grease fittings and check the lube in that mower before you start mowing. NEVER do anything on the mower with the PTO engaged.
    I also would love to see a video of the start up.
    OK its time for some bacon and eggs and biscuit and gravy

  12. There's a rule we all learned from Jurassic Park 3... DON'T GO IN THE TALL GRASS! DON'T GO IN THE TALL GRASS!

    Ok, as you said, at least take a stick along. It won't save you from velocoraptors nor bobcats or skunks, or even zombies, but it's good with snakes.

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