Squidgy Muck 
Today I cracked open the back end and removed the pump and lifting parts. The inside of the back end was in a terrible state with thick muck in every crevice, it's no wonder the hydraulics weren't very effective. After flushing out the muck with petrol and a very thorough hose down it's looking much much closer to being "scrupulously clean" as demanded by the manual!





Now I just need a sunny day to dry it all out again so I don't end up with water in the oil again! (when I opened the drain tap below the gearbox I got a fair bit of water before any oil appeared...)

The pump has scrubbed up very nicely. I opened one of the valves up to check the condition inside and there's no muck in there at all. I don't think I'll bother stripping the pump down any further because there doesn't seem to be any wear or damage. With some good clean oil it should work as well as the day it left the factory



The lift gear is unfortunately not so pretty... I can't get in to clean the sludge out properly, and there's been a lot of corrosion and damage to the top link parts. I can't get the yoke part to unscrew so it's soaking in WD40 overnight and I'll try lots of heat and leverage tomorrow.



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New Bits 
Drill bits that is... I've got some tractor bits on order at my local MF dealer too, but I won't get them until Thursday.
I've been preparing for the job of stripping down the hydraulic system, which can commence just as soon as I get the bolts I need to put the wheel back on so I can get it into the garage. I've gone around and loosened every bolt on the inspection panels and where the castings mate. Three of the bolts were rusty and wouldn't budge (couldn't get any grip on them with the spanner cause the heads were so messed up) so they had to be drilled/smashed. Two of them unscrewed eventually after the heads had been battered about a bit, the other I managed to snap off and it should screw out with the big grips once I've lifted the casting off.

All our big drill bits were hopelessly blunt so I popped into B&Q and got some new ones, 8mm and 10mm. Two of each so that when the one I'm using snaps or goes blunt (or spontaneously explodes into several bits like a 5mm one did to me yesterday...) I won't have to abandon a half drilled hole!
It's amazing the difference a good sharp drill makes, it went through the metal like butter. Yesterday I could barely scratch it.

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Drilling Screws 
This is one of the two screws that secures the left hand brake drum:



That took some serious drilling and chiselling (well ok, blunt screwdrivering, I don't have a proper chisel but it's a hot day, the metal is very soft)

amazingly the only rust is on the screw head, the thread is clean and once we got it free (my dad helped, taking turns to stand whacking the screws) it unscrewed by hand.

I suspect that the screws had been overtightened or were the wrong kind of screw. looking at the thread the last two or three mm or the shaft were not threaded, but had been driven into the hole, cutting back the face of the metal. I reckon this is what was binding and it took a lot of force to free it.

I've got the left hand brake dismantled now so I just need to clean it all up the same as the other one and put it all back together. There's absolutely no sign of oil either which is great, means I don't have to get the halfshaft out and fit a new seal like the last one.

I lost an ebay auction for a new steering column casting last night so I'm still no closer to getting that bit put back together. I think the next job when the brakes are back together is to crack the top of the hydraulic system open and dismantle that. Once that's all stripped down, cleaned, and repaired (hopefully nothing needing major attention) I will be able to write the rear end off as complete and maybe even put a rough first coat of primer on!

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the next brick wall 
The good news is that my dad's friend managed to undo the wheel nuts with his hardened steel socket and huge bar. The bad news is that now I've got the wheel off I'm stuck again. I can't shift the set screws that hold the drum on, they're rusted hard. I guess I'll be drilling those out, that'll be a long and annoying job with our blunt drill bits.

In other bad news the welds to the broken casting didn't hold, so I'm still looking for a replacement for that. Oh and the steering shaft itself is bent and mangled too so THAT needs replacing as well.

And it's been raining all day, so all I did was fiddle about in the garage getting the ki gass pump to bits. bah.

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Topless Oil Wrestling 
Man vs Machine

Today's job was supposed to be taking the left wheel off, but those rusty wheel nuts aren't playing along. Yesterday I found I was bending the tommy bar trying to shift them, so today found a much bigger and more solid bar to get some leverage going...

Something had to give, but unfortunately it wasn't the nut. BANG! the socket snapped clean through.

okay then, forget that for now... Yesterday I also took the pressurised oil take of pipe off the tractor, as it is bent and just won't fit where it should. I left a washing up bowl under the hole when I finished for the day because it was still dripping a little bit.

Well today the drive was covered in oil. The bowl full to the lip, too heavy to move, and oil still dripping. I guess that proves that the seals in the pump are leaky. I found another bowl, and pushed the tractor backwards 1.5 tractor lengths so I could clean up the mess I'd made. Then once the drive wasn't swimming in oil I set to draining the rest of the oil. Every time I thought I was done I found another drain plug to open, and got another soaking in filthy oil. Three washing up bowlfuls of brown slime later I put all the plugs back in and gave the underside of the tractor and the sides of the rear castings a good going over with degreaser followed by a hose down.

The back end is now empty so I suppose the next job will be to crack the hydraulics open and clean it all up (new seals, replace worn parts, etc). Seems silly to fill it all up with new oil and then have to drain it all again in a couple of months, besides, the castings need to be thoroughly cleaned out otherwise the new oil will get just as bad as the old.

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