(Note to future generations: If you type “Zombie Tractor” into a search engine looking for pics to spice up your otherwise lame morning post, you will be distracted by many, many suggestions for using tractors to squash zombies. Proceed with caution if at all.)
I’m beginning to think Ian’s tractor needs to be definitely killed. Like, if I took it completely apart so that no part was bolted to any other part, then scattered the parts for miles, would it stop tormenting me? If the tractor were definitely dead, I’d just forget it’s there. But a tractor that runs is an enormously useful thing, especially when it’s got a really good backhoe, so when it’s not definitely dead I can’t stop picking at it like a scab. Even though I know from bitter experience that even after I get it running it’ll only wait till I’m miles from home and then die again, leaving me stranded and embarrassed, running around looking for a tow home. There’s something terminally wrong with the injector pump, I’m convinced of it, but it won’t stay dead.
Ian’s tractor has a tell for when it’s definitely not going to start, and a tell for when it might start today. If fuel is getting into the cylinders, smoke leaks from the base of the muffler stack while cranking. Crank the engine for two seconds and you’ll know: no smoke, no hope. I’ve cranked it several times since it humiliated me in front of the neighbors last month, and never a hint of smoke.
But Spring is coming. I happen to know Ian wants to plant more trees in Spring. He owns the damned thing, and hasn’t actually gotten a lot of benefit from it. It would be really good if I could get it running. So yesterday I tried again. No hope, just something I’ve gotten into the habit of doing.
Not a lot of smoke, but some. Hey! If I can get this thing running again, even a little, then even if it breaks down again it’ll do it on Ian’s property and that’s not so bad. An hour’s running time will let me dig a bunch of holes.