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Author Topic: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!  (Read 6208 times)

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« on: March 25, 2014, 07:28:52 am »
While searching Gumtree and eBay for a ride-one mower suitable for our lawn and also our meadow (just paths, not the whole 3.5acres), I stumbled across an old Kubota TF60 rotavator for sale. What was so enticing about it, apart from the size, was that it has an extra set of wheels that are weighted (and after lifting one at a time I can confirm that they are seriously weighted), a till attachment and a plough attachment. I went to see it last night and just knew I had to have it, so after a little effort to drive it up the ramp (old gate) onto my pick-up, I now have a bit of kit to play with and make a start on the area that is going to become my first vegetable patch.

Annoyingly, we are going away for a couple of days so I'll have to wait until next week to play with it. Of course I'm happy to be going away on holiday...
Voss Electric Fence

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 11:04:43 am »
Sounds as though it may be big enough to haul a trailer DreichPete. I remember holidays in Greece where families used to ride into town pulled by the husband's rotorvator. There simply wasn't enough room on the farmed terraces to use a tractor. Unfortunately ours is only 6 HP. I've bought rubber wheels for it but that's only to get it from one spot to another.


Just be careful not to overdo it. I bought the wheels from a chap who developed an impacted spine after using his rotorvator for too long. Basically the disks between the spinal vertebrae exploded due to vibration!!!

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 11:18:17 am »
I'll split the work with my wife - that should save my spine.  :innocent:

I got it started first pull this morning and 'drove' it off the pick-up - I knew that old gate would come in handy -and took it into the field for a, well, field trial. Unfortunately it ran out of petrol once I was there. I topped it up with the last of my spare petrol but couldn't get it to fire up again. I know the petrol is old but it worked in my strimmer last week. Now the monster is sitting in the field and it's started to rain.  :gloomy: :rant: . Perhaps I'll have to cover it up  :raining:

The attachments are really solid and apart from the size, they wouldn't look out of place behind a compact tractor.

Now if I can just find the manual online - preferably in English.  :fc:

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 12:40:30 pm »
With our rotorvator, an Ariens (now they own Countax), the fuel outlet is very sensitive to angle. So to keep it running it needs a good inch of fuel in the tank. Think covering it up is a good idea as it will never start if the ignition gets soaked and you will be waiting a long time if you are relying on the sun to dry it out. Worth checking the level of oil in the drive box. Ours was zero and grease had been put into it to compensate for blown seals (this is common practice) resulting in noticeable power loss and temperatures that would fry an egg. I replaced the seals and put the proper oil in, which resulted in cold running and plenty of power.

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 05:28:47 pm »
I hadn't put too much of the old petrol in but I did notice it was quite straw coloured (I didn't know at the time that petrol is clear). I put 3 or 4 times as much new petrol in but it still won't start. It was ticking over nicely prior to dying. I checked the filter that sits in the fuel tank filler neck and there was a bit of yellow/orange sludge on the inside and outside of it. Do you think a combination of sludge and old petrol has got into the system, and would that stop it firing at all? Unfortunately I'm away for a few days but when I get back I can empty the tank and flush the system with fresh petrol. Any chance it'd be that simple? It fired first time when I went to look at it last night, and when I went to take it off the truck it fired on first pull so I don't think they're was anything disasterous wrong. The phrase "sold as seen" has never caused me a problem and I'm hoping it isn't now. I need to get better acquainted with engine fixes - maybe my keen tinkerer neighbour might apprentice me.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 12:07:35 am »
You will most likely have drawn some of the gunge up into the carb or even drawn moisture up out the bottom of the filter bowl and it has wetted the spark plug when it condensed after you turned the machine off.  . ( Check the needle valve and the jets are clear using compresed air  on teh jets  or a tube and blow through the needle valve ) .

One maniacs tip is to take a blow lamp , remove the spark  plug . pull the engine over  a couple of times to clear out any flooding .  Drain the carb filter bowl . refill say to 1/4 full with new fuel and  away from the area warm up the spark plug with the blow lamp to dispel any moisture on it then whilst it's quite warm re insert it, connect the HT lead and try the start sequence .

 As a electro mechanical engineer I've done the drain down , refill and drying off the spark plugs almost every time something has run out of fuel , ever since I spent 6 hours plus  in minus 23 oC miles for anywhere whilst trying to get a petrol Land Rover started after some one ran it out of fuel..
It had taken water in through the the carb & jets and also  evaporated it in the inlet manifold which in turn had wet the plugs .
As I was cleaning out the fuel pump &  carb , making sure there was as little water in the tanks as possible the spark plugs froze and had a microscopic coating of ice on the insulator .  I couldn't get the dam thing to start because the ice coating was shorting out the spark under compression but the spark was showing clear when tested in the open air.

Towards the end of the fourth hour after many attempts at restarting the dam thing i checked the timing thinking that the back fire as it ran out of fuel  may have caused the camshaft to go out of sync .  For some reason I'd put the plugs in my trousers pocket the last time I took them out and when it started realised that the heat of my bodyb had dried them out enough to start with .
When the inlet manifold warmed after the restart,  heat from the engine heating it evaporated the water in the manifold & water caused more problems of wetting the plugs .

But I was aware of it this time and so after four or so sessions of heating the plugs dry was able to draw all the moisture out the inlet manifiold .


Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 02:17:56 pm »
Fantastic detailed help. Thanks very much. You've more or less said what my brothe told me via email. I was hoping I could just pull the new fuel through but it sounds like my best option is to do it right to begin with, i.e.  a partial strip down. It'll delay the ploughing but probably save me hours of frustration - and maybe teach me a lesson about taking care of an engine.

I don't suppose anybody can recommend a good book on small engine maintenance & repairs?

spandit

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • East Sussex
    • Sussex Forest Garden
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2014, 02:15:41 pm »
How funny, just come on here to tell people I got a rotavator yesterday! It's a Wolseley Merry Tiller Titan, belongs to my father (not sure if he wants it back) - didn't realise you can get scythe attachments etc. for them - it's currently only got the cultivator wheels but it runs well (despite my father telling me it was difficult to get going - just cleaned the rather sooty plug and off she went!)
sussexforestgarden.blogspot.co.uk

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2014, 06:57:41 pm »
I removed the petrol tank to get at the carb this morning but then lost momentum because my neighbour wasn't available to help assess the problem. There was certainly something wet in the vicinity of the carb that wasn't petrol.

I checked the spark plug first and although it was quite sooty, it was also wet with what smelled like petrol. I got a definite spark when testing it out of the cylinder so it doesn't look like the electrical system - other than possibly being too wet.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 11:59:36 pm »
Any progress ?

If you've  got/had water in the carb bowl there is a fair chance of some dirty gunge blocking a jet .
 If you don't have an air line .. A 12 volt tyre pump compressor with the plastic foot ball inflating nozzle on the air tube should be enough to blow any jets through .
Be careful about upsetting the needle valve operation arm that controls the fuel inlet level in the carb 

Take a picture or two of the things on the carb before you remove it ..so you know where the links go back &  how.

When removing any knurled or ribbed adjusting screws . ....  Count the number of half turns you have to do to make the screw go on it's seat and write them down .. that way on reassembly you screw the screw full in ( GENTLY ) and then back it out the number of half turns .. this should allow you to get a start up before fine tuning the running speed and fuel ratio screws when it's up & running .

If  :innocent:someone  :-Jhas messed with them  , 3/4 to 1& 1/2 of a turn out is often the basic setting

Air filters..
Check they are clean and dry . A dirty or wet one will not let sufficient air through the carb , so when you pull the engine over it will tend to try and draw more fuel though the carb jets as the vacuum in the cylinder develops ( induction stroke ) thus flooding the engine .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2014, 12:46:09 am »
No progress today but I'm working on several jobs at once and also trying to speak to a neighbour about it as I can show him the carb.

One thing I was wondering about was the air filter box: the bottom section has a large volume of a yellow liquid in it, resembling a translucent custard in texture. Any idea what it is? My first thought was that it was a liquid air filter, but that makes no sense.

I'll give the carb a blow dry tomorrow but I don't think I'll get around to emptying and cleaning the tank until later this week. It's very annoying because we've finally got some good weather.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2014, 07:03:03 am »
it may be an oiled filter element DreichPete. When it gets water in it the oil emulsifies to resemble custard. I remember seeing that in my old Landrover many years ago. In which case the filter needs washing. Some don't like petrol much and disintegrate -I had a old Honda generator like that. Then drying and re-oiling.

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2014, 08:10:28 am »
Any particular sort of oil, Chris?

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2014, 08:47:59 am »
Straight SAE30 I used Pete, on the petrol generator after I bought a new sponge filter. The ancient manual I managed to download stated that. I should have washed the sponge in detergent and water, then dried it.

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: I've bought a rotavator/new toy!
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2014, 11:56:12 am »
I gave the outside of the filter box a wipe and discovered two clues as to what it was: Instructions on how to change the filter and oil - on German and French only, and a clearly marked oil level indicator.

I managed to get my neighbour to have a lok and he concurred with the change the oil advice and reckoned that once the jets and bowl had been cleaned through and the petrol completely drained and replaced, the engine should be fine, with any water in the cylinder simply evaporating away.

I've got to say, this has all been very educational and I doubt I'll make the same mistake again. Probably not. Well, maybe not.

 

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