Went To Bat Again…

Yesterday was my once a month trip to the grocery store in the big city.

I dragged my ass out of bed around 9, girded up my loins, and headed to the big city. My first stop was to fill the wife’s tank, as it seems every time I use it these days, I have to fill it.

I so arrive in the big city, pull into the gas station, reach for my card and…no wallet…again. @#%$&*!!!

I had no other choice but to turn around, and head back home. Will I return same day? Heck no.

When I arrived home, the wife was already up and surprised to see me back so soon. “What happened?” when she saw I was empty handed.

I shrugged “forgot my wallet”.

You see, this was pretty much my plan for the day…when I go to the grocery store and return and unload, that’s pretty much it for the rest of the day, except to cook something delicious with all the new goodies.

Not so yesterday.

The wife made a comment something to the effect of “well, if you’re not going back to the store, then you’re not gonna sit here all day on your computer. The grass is not too wet to mow…” (like she would know).

“I can’t mow until I fix the mower” was my usual lame assed excuse.

“There ya go” she replied.

I thought I heard thunder in the distance…

So, once again I girded up my loins to go out to the shed, and replace my new starter solenoid.

As I approach the shed, I see 4 kittycats playing under the truck, that scattered when I got too close for their comfort.

First order on the agenda, move the truck out of its stall sose I can work on the mower with some elbow room.

I get in the truck and start it and the dashboard comes alive with every single light illuminating, accompanied by a bunch of ‘clicks’…no starty.

I shut off everything, and repeated the attempt…just clicks.


I hook up the charger and set it to jump start, after which it started.

Everyone out there knows this is a warning sign, and I figured I might as well just replace it. I found the receipt where I had replaced it 4 years ago…likely out of any warranty.

I called the Car Quest and they had one, so I pulled the truck up to the house under the shady tree, removed the battery, and stuck it in back of the wife’s car inside a milk crate, and headed to town.

Of course, I had to stop first and fill the tank, as it was now on fumes.

OK, I picked up a new Diehard from the Car Quest to the tune of $165, and headed home again.

Fortunately, replacing the battery on my Ranger is very simple; each battery terminal cable, and the clamp. Done.

Now on to the real job at hand; the Beast.

I removed the battery from the mower, and upon some detailed examination, realized to my horror, that I was going to have to remove the body off the mower to access the starter solenoid.

It was buried very nicely behind the battery compartment, and even though I gave it my all to exhaust every avenue of getting to it without pulling the body, no way José.

I thought well maybe I can just remove a few bolts, and just bend it up to reach it.

NFW, dude.

So I proceeded to begin figuring out which of the bolts actually remove it.

Of course, you realize that this process does not happen unless X is crawling around on the floor, getting up every now and then to find a different socket, or ratchet that will fit into whatever compartment necessary to make this happen.

I put on my knee pads again, as my knees still hurt from the last mower repair job.

Four bolts under the seat loosened the rear section but still was bolted down hard, but where? where?

A bolt under each side floorboard, and two under the center console floor (if you wanna call it that), and i was able to pull the body high enough to see the solenoid…as long as I had a 2×4 crammed between the fender and rear tire to hold the body up…

They put a “strain relief” on the cable containing the wires that led to the solenoid, making it extremely difficult to reach the solenoid terminals, but I got it done, and it worked, after several more !!@#$%&!!, and trips up and down off the floor.

The mower started like it should and my thanks go out to those of you who stated from the getgo it was the solenoid.

So, I’m happy now, right? A dim bulb in a dark room with the beast laughing is more like it.

I noticed on both of the rear tires in the sidewalls, that they were wet. Upon further examination, I discovered that the wetness was the flat proof I had put into the tires, and was now leaking through the huge cracks in both rear tires..!!@#$&*!!

Do you know what they get for those?

A complete wheel ass’y is $104 for each wheel at Lowe’s.

The tire alone I found on Ebay for $75 (they are tubeless).

Replacing tubeless tires is not a specialty of mine, but have been successful with the smaller tires using a rope and a hunk of rebar to seat the bead. I figure if I leave them out in the sun a while, it may help in ‘softening’ up the tires for an easier seat.

So, by then, I was wiped out, and decided to call it a day.

The wife ended up going to the big city for groceries, as as I write this, I am enjoying my coffee with whipping cream…and Irish Cream.

Looking forward to mowing later…NOT.

Not a strikeout, but another victory for the Beast throwing slow balls.

6 thoughts on “Went To Bat Again…

  1. Damn, X; the solenoid on my John Deere is right up front in the engine box, in FRONT of the battery! It stares right at me when open the hood. That’s why I said “super easy fix.” You’ve got the luck, alright! I have the same thing happening on the rear tires of my tractor. The front tires fell prey to a crack attack a year ago. I’ve seen folks put inner tubes in these things for a cheap fix, but it’s actually “working twice.” The cracks allow outside air/pollutants, and UV to get at the inner tubes. Within a few months the tubes will be rotten and leaking as well. Better to spend the money. I bought my tires from the Evil Smile… Amazon… Lowe’s and Tractor Supply simply wanted too much. The rear tires on the tractor were oozing, so I added more Slime. So far, so good…

    I’ve had the “wallet” experience several times. These days, if I know I’m headed out the next day, I put the wallet where I can find it, and the truck keys on top of the wallet!

  2. My “wallet” contains DL, FOID,CCL and CC.
    I check and double check every time I leave to make sure I have it. I would be totally boned if I did not have my CCL and got stopped by the cops !!!!
    Yeah, tubeless tires are a pain if you don’t do a lot of them and know all of the tricks.

    • The problem with me is that my truck keys are in a drawer with the wallet. When I drive my truck, I always have my wallet. When I take the wife’s car, I grab her keys off a key rack, hence no reminder to grab the wallet too.

  3. Tubeless tires are my nemesis. Regardless of my method – including ratchet straps – my success rate is way below 50 percent. The last time I had to repair one with a plug, I brought it to town, and had a tire buster do the honor. He didn’t charge me anything, and said it was his way of keeping my business. It was a good thought, but I’ve moved since then, and have never been back.

    It’s rare for me to forget my wallet, but since I’ve retired, it’s usually my phone I forget. My work phone was a flip phone, and stayed on my belt. My new smart phone is bulky to carry, and usually on the counter.

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