The Dipstick Diaries

Discuss non-crawler related issues here (keep it sane, please)
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Stan Disbrow
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The Dipstick Diaries

Post by Stan Disbrow » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:04 pm

Hi,

Where we can tell our Dipstick stories! ;)

I had a Dipstick moment on Saturday. Literally. To set the background, this is on my Mom's car which we wound up with during the summer of 2016 when my Mom passed on. It is a 2003 Chevy Cavalier. With, get this, 26,000 miles on it when it became ours. Well, actually my wife's. Yup. The stories of Little Old Ladies sometimes *are* true! :)

So, we call it the Mom Mobile. It wasn't worth even trying to sell. Around here, a 1 yr old car from NY state is considered a rust bucket. Here is a lot older one, and from up in the Adirondacks to boot. Mom lived in Hague, which is practically unknown, but she drove it the 8 miles to Ticonderoga once or twice a week. Now, we here on this board know it isn't rusty and not likely to be, and that I see it as a practically new car. A new car with manual windows and door locks, because Mom was 90 when she passed and didn't need 'fancy stuff' back when she bought it. So, even more unsellable. But, we know how to use a key and a crank. Heck, I am tickled that it doesn't sport a three on the tree!

Anyway, I check things once a week, typically on Saturday. When I checked it this past Saturday (prepare to laugh) it was a cold 10 deg F out. Yes, that is cold for the middle of North Carolina. Anyway, what I saw was that the oil level was well above the full mark. OK, it isn't a diesel so it wasn't fuel. It had to be coolant. I then checked the plastic coolant tank. Empty. Maw Dang! So, I 'red tagged' the car.

So, here it is Monday. The sun was out and it hit 40F by 3 PM. Time to get started on the car. A quick check of the dipstick to see how much further it came up revealed...normal full. Say what? Then, I open the coolant tank and the level is exactly half. Right on the seam. Ok. So it isn't empty, or I have the first leak that works via anti gravity. Why then was the oil so far up the dipstick on Saturday? I wiped it, put it back, pulled it out, and it was up too far again.

Then I spotted it: the dipstick is a stiff cable. The tube is 'S' shaped. The cable allows it to follow the curve of the tube. When I drag it out the first time, the thick oil drags up the tube. The second time, it gets all over the cable. Sheesh!

Now, the top end of the dipstick has 'O' rings on it. So does the one on my wife's Ford Escape. We have that since 2008 and it habiltually shows a quart low unless I pull it, wait a few seconds, put it back, then pull it out to read it. See, the O rings prevent the oil from coming up the tube as it drains back into the pan after the engine shuts down.

I was doing the same on the Mom Mobile on Saturday and it formed a 'gotcha' which I hadn't run across before due to the combination of this particular dipstick, cold oil, and the fact I had just checked the Escape two minutes earlier. Meaning that I did exactly what I had just done for a straight dipstick on that curved one. Plus, the 'can't see the coolant when the level is at the seam' issue to compound the confusion. The Chevy does not need the Ford trick when checking the oil. Time to stick that into permanent memory!

So, what we have here is a Dipstick at the Dipstick and, so, a Dipstick story for the Dipstick Diary! :P

What is nice is that, in this case, my 'sheese' means I *don't* have to do a bunch of work!! :)

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

Steven Walters
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Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by Steven Walters » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:09 pm

Stayed in Hague several times, when we go to Lake George. That’s my favorite lake.

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amos
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Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by amos » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:36 am

Back in 1975 when i was 14 my first truck was a 1966 Ford short-bed stepside. On first oil and filter change I was "thinking" black gasket sealer would be so much better than a film of oil on the filter O ring so I used that. Next oil change it only took 4 hours to get that filter off....
Ultimately the truck was painted Cadillac midnight metallic blue,had the white spoke wheels,quadriphonic 8 track tape player with radio,240 6 cyl and 3 on the tree. Lots of good times in that truck. :lol:
Amos
Pushin hard or diggin deep life is good.
What's ahead is what matters. What's behind is already done.
A fool of a man is he who doesn't ask questions...
God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason...

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Lavoy
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Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by Lavoy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:27 am

What's an 8 track player? :lol: Just kidding!
Lavoy
Parts and restoration for antique and late model John Deere crawlers.
Owner and moderator www.jdcrawlers.com

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shinnery
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Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by shinnery » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:58 pm

I think an 8-track player was a device invinted by the Lear Aircraft people for use in their planes and semi-adapted to be used in cars and/or trucks, including pherds. LOL
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dtoots1
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Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by dtoots1 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:45 am

careful with 3 on a tree....younguns will get huggers out.....they aint seen em...!!!!

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CuttingEdge
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Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by CuttingEdge » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:01 am

I have to be very careful when I check the oil on my skidder. It is not like most engines where the dipstick is nearly vertical, or close to it. On my skidder it is almost horizontal, like 15 degrees. Not only does just a little bit of movement off from seated mean the line is wayyyyy down making me think it is really low on oil (and it is a Detroit Diesel so it always leaks oil), it is hard to reinsert the dipstick!

That skidder has definitely got some stories, partly because it has never had working brakes making for some wild rides on these forested hill laden with ledge, and because we tend to be a family where the law only applies to other people!

One of the best though was this old John Deere 350 loader I had where the engine would not start. A retired diesel mechanic down the road was convinced the valves were not adjusted right, so I just had to get it down to him. So we hooked onto the back of the dozer with the skidder with my Grandfather driving the skidder and me on the bulldozer. There was no driving around, so down over the hill we go, chains all around the skidder, and bulldozer pounding down the paved road. Halfway down the hill the school bus comes up the hill and stops and so to get the skidder to stop my Grandfather dragged the blade to get it to stop in time, and I yard back on the levers. We got everything stopped, but when in the world has anyone had to stop for a a school bus while driving a bulldozer, going backwards down over a hill being pulled by a skidder? Pretty rare I bet.
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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amos
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Location: Piney Woods of east Texas

Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by amos » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:44 am

Morning Cutting Edge,
Talking about log skidder reminded me of the time i decided to sell some pulpwood(30 years ago and still a little young and dumb). Was clearing a fence row and some of the pine were gooduns. Instead of letting it go to waste I decided to haul it to a pulpwood lot about 20 miles away.
Made a rack out of 2.5" heavy wall pipe to fit my 16' 7000 pound gross trailer:rack weighed probably 600 pounds. Got trailer to where wood was and started loading it with loader on tractor. About half way loaded trailer jack started sinking into ground. Hmmmm.
Finished load and trailer tires looking kinda flat:must need more air. Hooked onto trailer with tractor and lifted: tractor rears apparently low on air as thew looked squished too.
Hooked onto trailer with my 3/4 ton Ford and headed to yard. First hill was a bear going up and going down was a heck of a ride as trailer was trying hard to take the lead:no brakes on trailer...
Long slow 20 miles but got to yard and hit the scales. Blew first trailer tire pulling onto scale. Got weight and pulling off scale blew second trailer tire.
Had 16K of wood on the trailer and if memory serves I got $170.00.
Had used pipe for the rack and took about 5 hours to build.
Bent both trailer axles: 8 hours to repair.
2 new tires:150.00
Another 12 hours labor cutting wood and loading same.
Since then I either push the trees into the woods or burn 'em.
Amos
Pushin hard or diggin deep life is good.
What's ahead is what matters. What's behind is already done.
A fool of a man is he who doesn't ask questions...
God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason...

dtoots1
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Location: akron, ohio

Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by dtoots1 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:50 am

HMMMM,

Well it was a bit of a rude awakening when i did it.
Was a bit over 30 some years ago...my girlfriend (wife who passed away recently) at the time had a fairly nice pontiac at the time...had been leaking oil and getting weaker and weaker so we commence to take her apart and check her out and get new bearings etc. takes a bit of time and using garage space in one of her (male) buddies places. get everything a going , engine upside down and putting the ole crank and caps back in....ooo.kk. so what is that torque spec...got to look it up get her started torque loose, next torque etc.....and SPANG!!! three inch gashes (6 of em in forearm) bloooody!! from the flywheel and bearing bolt sheared in block.....buried...take her all apart again and block to machine shop...where they burn it out with torch....$25 bucks and bit of education...and of course more work to get back together again.

Just so happens....in reading torque specs.....of course getting info from WRONG line certainly does not help. if i recall correctly was putting 110-120ft lbs on 80-90 bolt.,,ouch

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Stan Disbrow
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Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by Stan Disbrow » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:24 am

Hi,

Ouch is right!

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

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Stan Disbrow
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Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by Stan Disbrow » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:46 am

Hi,

This is an *almost* a dipstick story....

As you all probably know, my 420c was my dad's. So, he decides to retire and move North instead of South. We lived in the middle of nowhere hills near Pine Plains, NY. I was working for IBM in Kingston, so had a nice little Ford 1720 with a loader for plowing most snows. Mom and Dad decide to move North to the aforementioned Hague, NY. Dad decides to take the 420c with him.

So, he buys this nice 10k two-axle flatbed trailer. I have a truck to haul it with, so I pull the 420c up to Hague. Plus, additional trips back and forth with the 1720 to help at times. One day I come home from work and see where something large has been up my driveway. I get to the top of the hill and there is JD350 Straight, diesel, with an outside manual blade, sitting in my yard.

Dad showed up 2 minutes later. Seems that Christmas has come early and he was hiding somewhere for me to see the 350 before I saw he was behind it. :)

You know, he figured I would need it to plow the heavier snows. I admit I was feeling a little exposed there going into the first winter on that hill without a dozer.

So, we fast forward a few years. I had been laid off by IBM in Kingston, but was being picked up by IBM in Raleigh, NC. I had to move, but was unsure of the whole deal. I wasn't ready to sell out, but I also wasn't interested in leaving equipment sitting around. I was going to put it over at my uncle's place for safekeeping. Now moving the old JD M and the Ford 1720 on that trailer was a breeze. But, the 350?

This is where I was almost a dipstick.

Like most of y'all, I didn't see where the 350 was all that much more than the 420. Certainly still pretty small. What I hadn't thought of was how much heavier it really was. So, I started backing up the trailer ramps. And, the angle started dropping. Huh? So, I stop right there and use the blade for a parking brake and climb off.

The ramps have feet, as you all know, and they are well into the ground. The trailer frame has a curvature to it. And the rear wheels of the GMC 2500 crew cab have daylight under them. The kicker is that the front idlers of the 350 are still on the ground. The sprockets are at the top of the ramps. I don't have all of the 350 weight on there yet.

So, I scramble back onto the 350 and get it off of there....and go call my uncle to head over with his Ford L8000 flatbed truck with tandem axles plus a tag.

As I said. Almost a dipstick!

Stan

The sad part is I traded him that 350 for a 1520 tractor (which I could haul down here on that trailer) once I had figured out that I was going to stay in NC.
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

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CuttingEdge
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Location: Maine

Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by CuttingEdge » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:29 pm

When I was doing diesel tech schooling, our instructor was an old duffer that knew his stuff, and knew my family, and if a person was to go back far enough would see we were related. In any case the principal of the school had an old David Brown tractor he wanted rebuilt that had the Perkins Engine.

We rebuilt it, so the first day we started it up and the vents had quite a bit of vapor coming out of it, but our instructor was adamant that to break in an engine you had to work it a bit. So he told the kid driving it to put it in 3rd gear and do a lap around the school. When he came around it REALLY had vapor coming out of the engine vents. It seems everyone else thought everyone else had put oil in it.

The instructor felt so bad that he was tearing that engine down and rebuilding it on his own after classes. He never did finish it as part way through the school year he had a heart attack and died.

In some ways I had the perfect schooling; he was old school but his thoughts were to send any injection pump out to have it rebuilt..."never mess with them" he said, but our next instructor had us tear right into them, so over 2 years I felt we got some good diesel tech schooling. Today everything is computerized so I would not be any good, but on the older stuff, I can get by.
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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Stan Disbrow
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Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by Stan Disbrow » Thu May 17, 2018 7:24 am

Hi,

So, now I have this nice 78 JD350C with an outside blade to keep Dad's old 420c company. I finally fixed the 'I wish I hadn't gotten rid of my 68 straight 350 when I moved' issue. This gets the venerable 420c off the hook for larger jobs and the 350C makes ditch work on my mile long road easier. Plus, the new 350 has wet steering clutches and a reverser which the old 350 didn't sport.

Only one thing needs doing: the new 350 needs a drawbar.

So, I go looking. Ask Lavoy, but he hasn't one. Try a few other places. Nope. Mother Deere? Obsolete. Well, this is for the no-PTO drawbar shown in the parts catalog. But, there is a different one for use with a PTO. Longer, you see. And adjustable as well. I shall try for that one now.

Hmmmm. Wait a minute. That drawing looks a lot like the drawbar on the 420c. I wonder if I could opt for a 420c drawbar and rework it. Surely the 350 is a bit larger. So, I crawl under the 420c and begin measuring everything. This, a case of go under, measure, come up, and work on a sketch on the fender. After several yo-yos, I have it. Crawl under the 350 and measure from the curved cross brace to the attachment point on the rear crossmember. The same.

Yeah, a 420c drawbar would fit as-is. That is odd.

Where was I being a dipstick? When I was being a yo-yo. Read on!

I pull out my 420/430 parts catalog and.....the part numbers for the 420c drawbar match the 350C ones! Of course it measures the same! It is the same! Except for the attachment pin. It is different on the 350 because the rear crossmember is round and the 420 is square.

Where I was being the dipstick is that I didn't pull the 420 PC down as soon as I recognized the thing in the 350 PC.

Check that. Where I really was being the dipstick is that I failed to recognize that the 350 part numbers were starting with the letter M. As in many 40, 420, 430, 440 and 1010 part numbers begin with an M. Many others begin with A. Parts for the letter series begin with matching letters. They keep the old letters when the models changed to numbers. Parts for current machines can be found still sporting letters matching old iron because the part never changed and is still used. Mostly nuts and bolts these days, but they are still there.

And, I have known this since I was a kid hanging out in the dealership across from the school. Sheesh! Talk about being a dipstick! If I hadn't been a dipstick, I could have saved myself from being a yo-yo! :P

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

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Lavoy
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Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by Lavoy » Thu May 17, 2018 7:16 pm

I'm sure I have on, home by Monday.
Lavoy
Parts and restoration for antique and late model John Deere crawlers.
Owner and moderator www.jdcrawlers.com

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Stan Disbrow
350 crawler
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 3:13 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: The Dipstick Diaries

Post by Stan Disbrow » Fri May 18, 2018 7:04 am

Hi,

That would be great. I am not in any particular hurry.

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

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