Jason and I deemed this year the year of the Fix It. Allow me to elaborate. It seems that virtually everything we have is in some state of disrepair. I want to share with you the straw that broke the camel’s back.
It all began over a year ago, when our 4-wheeler (the Bayou) could no longer be started with the push button and had to be started with the pull start. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to start an older ATV with a pull start, but for those of you with noodle arms like mine, it’s pretty impossible. Well, it just is impossible. If I were stranded somewhere with the Bayou, I’d have to use the 2 legs God gave me to get out, ’cause there’s no way these arms are going to be able to pull start the thing. There is a way out of that…and that is to get the ATV rolling down a hill and start it that-a-way. I hate to call my Bayou a hooptie, but….
So, looking into the start problem, we had 2 problems. The battery was old and dead and some of the battery cables were bad. Not a problem, really, if you can pull start the thing, which obviously I cannot. Since I could neither pull start the Bayou, nor was I willing to roll it down a hill to start it, it sat. And sat and sat. And that’s a bad thing for anything with an engine. So, fast forward and one day last fall, I was doing some yard work and I reeeeeeally wanted the 4 wheeler to have a trailer so I could haul some stuff. I don’t even remember what now. We don’t have an official ATV trailer or anything like that, but I figured even the wheelbarrow would do if I could configure it the right way (the ‘barrow has 4 wheels, BTW). So, Jason decided to get the Bayou running so I could haul some widgets.
Forty five minutes later, Jason comes up the driveway from the bottom of our extremely sloped hill, red as a beet and soaked in sweat with wild eyes something akin to a shark in full feeding frenzy mode. I looked up and said:
Me: What have you been doing?
J: (out of breath) I have been trying to get this #$%@ 4-wheeler going for a (bleeping) HOUR!!!
Me: Where is it?
J: Down in the woods.
Me: In the woods.
J: (if looks could kill…)
Me: okay, well, let me help you. (getting up and looking around) Where’s the golf cart?
J: In the woods.
J: (purely frustrated) I TRIED TO PUSH START THE @#$% FOUR WHEELER DOWN THE HILL AND IT WOULDN’T START, THEN I TOOK THE @#$% GOLF CART DOWN THE HILL AND THE (bleeping) BATTERIES ARE HALF DEAD AND I’M SICK OF ALL THIS @#%^ THAT DOESN’T WORK AND BY GOD I SWEAR I AM TRADING ALL OF THIS @#%^ IN ON A (bleeping) MULE*!!!
Me: Ummmm, okay. Okay.
*UTV, not a flesh-and-blood mule, though I would have happily traded for one at that point.
So clearly we were not in any kind of happy mood. We walked down the hill (45 degree angle, BTW) and there was the Bayou and golf cart sitting there, pretty as you please. The next idea was to push the Bayou with the golf cart to try and get it started. This means Jason is on the Bayou and I’m shoving the thing with the cart through the woods. I guess you probably know this didn’t work either. As punishment, the Bayou got to spend the next week in the woods alone. I don’t even know how it got back up to the house, and I sure didn’t ask. All I know is that for our New Year’s goal, we decided that, come hell or high water (or both), we were going to fix things around here for good and get rid of extraneous stuff.
Obviously, the Bayou and golf cart were high on the list, but we also had our lawn tractor that refused to start and a generator that wouldn’t crank (and many other odds and ends). I can happily say that we’ve located the problems (mostly) with the Bayou and G.C. , the genny is going and that my lawn tractor is up and running…complete with a trailer. All I wanted was a trailer in the first place, right? And this is an honest-to-God cute little mini-trailer. I hauled about 10 loads of stuff around the farm yesterday with a smile on my face.
Before I go, I’ll tell you how ‘we’ fixed the lawn tractor. After checking pretty much everything on the tractor, Jason determined that everything was working except for some reason the carburetor wasn’t sending fuel to the engine. Jason utilized the little known “Old Mechanic Method” and gave the carb about 5 good whacks with a socket wrench. Runs like a dream.