Thursday, November 29, 2012

Should Have Listened

This morning I went out to do some work and the backhoe wouldn't start. We've JUST got this thing running so it was a little alarming. Yet it had the same problem yesterday, briefly, so I figured it was a continuation of the same.

I'm fiddling with it and the wife says "Maybe it's the battery."

I ignore her. It's definitely not the battery. I think the problem is with the old and faulty starter button. Maybe a loose connection or it's sticking. So I take off the dash to get a look at it. Oh wait. Yesterday I'd horked up the key ignition (which was rotating freely in its housing) and it has some wires loose. So I fixed those. In the process I broke the starter switch. It was probably the original starter button based on the age of the plastic and corrosion. So I had to go to town to get a new one (which also doesn't fit smoothly in the housing). That didn't work so I traced out all the wiring down to the starter.

Apparently whoever did all the wiring on this thing years ago only had one color wire in stock ... blue. So every wire in the stinkin' thing is blue. Every single wire. Only by using a voltage meter and a lot of patience did it finally get resolved. Kelly plodded along in his usual methodical method while I angrily cursed and threatened the entire ignition system. The wife has long since retired to the house, her advice unheeded.

With all new wires and a new starter button there should have been no reason why it wouldn't start. Seemed like we weren't getting good current from the battery so I dragged the crash cart over to put the charger on it. BAM. The starter turns over and the engine roars to life.

So by about 2pm I had everything put back together and the engine started so we could roll out and clear out some mesquite trees here on the homestead. Yeesh. If this had been a paying job I would have lost half a day.

I've got to get better at engine diagnostics ... or start listening to my wife.

No comments: