July 22, 2018

It’s Starting to Be a Thing

Does your lawn mower have a name? Mine does. The machine is a Cub Cadet so I stuck him with the very original name of Cubby.

(For the record, I’m in the habit of giving inanimate objects names. We have a tractor named Hazel and a Truck named Phyllis.)

Cubby and I have a unique partnership. I drive him around taming acres of grass on our little homestead, and he challenges me to learn new skills… like lawn mower repair. He’s cool like that.

A few weeks ago, he alerted me it was time for another lesson by making a noise I hadn’t heard before. A weird, whining vibration came from somewhere below my seat and Cubby crawled to a stop, engine still running, but no longer moving forward. Searching for the cause, I found remnants of a shredded belt and under the battery a little plastic fan that had been torn from its mount.

Pushing Cubby back to the garage, I scolded him for the timing of this particular repair lesson. I had a long list of things to do and he really wasn’t helping matters. A little advance warning to clear my schedule would have been nice! He ignored me, as usual. It was lesson time, and that was that.

Now, each lesson begins with learning the names of parts. Peering through the narrow gaps, I did my best to identify the original placement of the broken bits, then went to the internet to search out a parts diagram. Armed with the names of what was needed, I rang up the local repair shop.

“I need a 72” drive belt and new hydrostatic transmission fan for a Cub Cadet LTX 1046M. Do you have them in stock?
I internally patted myself on the back for sounding so nonchalant about the whole thing. I knew this repair was a step up from the last one I’d tackled, and I was slightly concerned I was out of my depth. I would have to call in backup.

Once I had the parts, I grabbed my favorite muscle man, and we headed out to see Cubby. I was glad my hubby had agreed to help me with this repair. The guys in the how-to videos I watched used an impact wrench to remove the tightened nuts and I was fairly certain, even with an extender bar, I would need Matt’s strength to get them to move. Plus, he’s really cute. So, there’s that.

It took a bit of doing to get Cubby on the lift, but once he was up, I crawled underneath and began taking things apart to get them out of the way. The clutch was easy-peasy, but the fan mount gave me a couple new bruises. Between my straining one way, and Matt tugging the other we had the old parts removed and the new ones attached in very short order. I knew we could do it. Long ago, I learned my man and I make a great work team, and there is something wonderfully satisfying about laboring alongside someone whose moves you anticipate. You know, I think I’ll keep him.

Thankfully, Cubby decided to take it easy on us (Not a single tool was chucked across the garage, and swear words kept to a minimum. Good job, Matt!) and within a couple hours, my mower and I were once again attacking the weedy, green expanse. Triumph. I was so proud and grateful. I didn’t even change, wearing my oil stained t-shirt like a badge of honor as we circled the property.

I’m sure the cows were impressed.  

No comments: