Oil And Mowers Don’t Mix

Once upon a time, like this evening, I thought it would be really cool to replace the belts on the mower deck of our brand new 2002 Cub Cadet lawn tractor. Seemed simple enough… “Oh and while I’m at it I might as well change the oil,” I said to myself. Another seemingly simple task.

Well, a mechanic I’m not; and in the realm of garden tractors I’m thinking I have the know-how of a choo choo truck with no interior antibodies. Huh?? Let’s put it this way: I seem to have an affinity for learning things the hard way when it comes to anything with an internal combustion engine.

OK, I’m shaming myself. As you may have guessed by now, things didn’t turn out quite like I planned. I got the mower belts changed without too much difficulty; although it was a whole lot easier getting the deck off the tractor than it was to put it back on. Then for the oil. I looked here and there, and found no evidence of where the oil drain might be. “Oh wait,” I thought, “there’s a thingy with a cap off of it that might be a drainer doodad. Looks like the cap’s been off for a loooong time…

So being the thoroughly modern ignoramus I am, I got on the interwebs and found that the thingy with the cap off was indeed the drainer doodad (please forgive my technical jargon). I tried to follow the instructions: push in slightly and turn counterclockwise to drain the oil.

Well because the drainer doodad was totally gunkified, I couldn’t push in, so I turned counterclockwise and the whole darn thing came off. Now the oil is draining into the tub I have waiting below. Cool, so far. I thought. Then… OH PEEGLESNURGE!! IT’S RUNNING ALL OVER THE POWER TAKE OFF!! I made quick with the rags, but to no avail. Big mess. I did get the gunk out of the drainer doodad so I can use the thingy with the cap next time. But this was this time, and I tried to clean up everything the best I could.

OK… after much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but without throwing any tools or biting my wife’s head off, although I did ask her to quit asking me questions, like “will it start now? Did you get it? Is it going to run?” because after she asked me several of these I would run around the house screaming and crying because of the mess I made and I’m feeling pretty dumb and I didn’t want to make my Beautiful Honey Pie sad by barking at her when she was just wondering how things were coming but holy gazzamoopa I was getting really frustrated and I finally, FINALLY after much finger ouch and crawly grunty times I got it all back together and now it’s time to try the mower and wow by golly it works great but something’s wrong besides this run-on sentence you see because the tractor ain’t cruising so good so WHAT THE HECK IS THE DEAL NOW??

“Oh poop,” I recalled, “I must have oiled the pulleys.”

So now the belt thingy that runs the hydrostatic transmission whatchamahinger is oiled nicely; which of course means it ain’t gonna have much power because it be a-slippin’ all the stinkin’ time. Is that cool or what?? NO!! THAT IS NOT COOL!! So what did I do? I did what any almost-a-mechanic-guy would do: I got out my floor jack and jacked up the hiney of the tractor so I could see what the deal was and A) yes there was oil where it shouldn’t be and 34) the belt should probably have been replaced many moons ago which I think needs to happen at the dealer. Otherwise, I’m a gonna need me a tractor tutor.

I could have avoided all this cockamamie flerping around by not trying to do stuff for which I’m not really well trained. The folks at the Cub Cadet service house would have made some grocery money from me and my tractor would actually do what it’s supposed to do. As it stands now, we should be able to mow… works OK on a flat surface. Gets a little wimpy trying to go up hill though… The old Cub Cadet needs to go to the doctor soon. A real doctor that is… And of course, you probably know what I told my Most Wonderfully Attractive Wife person after all this, right??

“I want ice cream.”

Guess I could take it to these guys…