Ranch Maintenance

Tractor Maintenance

by on May.09, 2018, under Ranch Maintenance

Last fall, I went to Tractor Supply and got some oil to change into the Ford tractor.  After making the trip up to the Ranch, I found that the tools I brought with me were not able to get a good enough bite on the oil drain plug to remove it.  I tried borrowing a different socket from our neighbor up the hill, but that one didn’t work, either.  So I ended up making a second trip a couple of weeks later, this time bringing my impact wrench and a good 6-sided socket.  That did the trick, and I was able to complete the work.

Here is the oil filter on the side of the tractor…

Oil Filter on the Ford 2000

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Screen Door Repair and Other Maintenance

by on Jan.18, 2017, under Insulation, Plumbing, Ranch Maintenance

Sometime last year, the mice or birds chewed a hole through the screen on our screen door.  We brought up some new screen and spline from Metroplex Windows & Glass to make a repairs.

We started by removing the screen door from the frame.  This involved adjusting the rollers on the bottom of the door for as little pressure as possible, the prying the door up and over the bumps which the rollers run on.  We set the screen onto our floor to work on it. We started by locating the end of the spline, and pulling it out of the channel to release the screen material.

Removing the spline

Removing the spline

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My New (Old) Tractor

by on Sep.01, 2016, under Ranch Maintenance

While visiting relatives in Arkansas this summer, My brother Roger offered a deal I couldn’t refuse on a 1973 Ford 2000 tractor.  This is a small tractor useful for light grading, pulling, chopping weeds, etc.  After returning to Arizona, I prepared my trailer for the long round trip to Arkansas and back, and set off to pick up my new prize.


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September 2014 Finishing Cleanup

by on Sep.25, 2014, under Ranch Maintenance

After Labor Day, I came up to the ranch again in the weekend of the 13th.  I wanted to finish cleaning up the back yard

It was a beautiful weekend, with warm, breezy days and cool nights.  I love this time of year.

Meadow in early evening

Meadow in early evening

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Battery Maintenance

by on Aug.12, 2014, under Ranch Maintenance

While waiting for the scrap lumber to burn down, I did battery maintenance.

First, I let the solar panels charge until the charger went into float mode (about 1:00 pm that day).

Then I checked that the water level was above the plates of the battery (it was in all cells).  I had not filled the batteries since May, so I was concerned, but all was well.

I checked the initial voltage on each battery. They were all in the 6.53 – 6.55 range (I wrote them down, but didn’t capture the figures in the snapshot I took to bring back to town).

Next, I put the charger into equalize mode. I ran in that mode for about an hour, but for the last 15 minutes or so, it had clouded up, so wasn’t fully effective.  I’ll have to run another equalize charge next time we come up.

Finally, I let the system go back into float mode, and measured the voltages and specific gravity for each cell.  All were in the good range (1.265 is usually considered 100% charged).

Battery # After Equalization Float Voltage Cell 1 SG Cell 2 SG Cell 3 SG
1 6.55 1.265 1.265 1.265
2 6.54 1.265 1.265 1.265
3 6.56 1.265 1.265 1.265
4 6.56 1.265 1.265 1.265
5 6.52 1.265 1.260 1.260
6 6.56 1.260 1.265 1.265
7 6.56 1.260 1.265 1.260
8 6.53 1.260 1.260 1.260


Checking Specific Gravity.

Checking Specific Gravity.

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