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Friday, March 25, 2016

Maybe I Spend Too Much Time On Red Power

4 years and 503 pages ago I started contributing vintage farm machinery ad scans to a thread on the Red Power Forum never dreaming it was going to last this long. I thought I would run out of material and people would lose interest soon and we would all move on. But it has grown and somehow I keep coming up with more ad scans. I guess there was a reason I saved all those old magazines and advertising brochures over the years. Thanks to other contributors and interested onlookers there have been some interesting conversations and knowledge gained there.
Although Red Power is an International Harvester based page we do tend to drift off topic into various other makes of machinery and subjects but nobody complains.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

March Mercury Update

Because inquiring minds and old motorheads want to know, here is an update on what is new on the 52 Mercury.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Its Been A Year

Since the 52 Mercury first started up after 30 some years of resting (rusting).
After sitting by the shop all winter , the  mild days of March, 2015 allowed me to do the necessary tasks involved in bringing an old engine back to life. I think there was more good luck than mechanical skills working for me when the old flathead finally fired up and ran.
Discovering the old Mercomatic transmission still worked (after adding much oil) was an added benefit and allowed me to drive it into indoor storage. Better late than never.
New front shocks helped hold it down on the road. New water pumps meant I didn't have to drain the coolant after every run to prevent losing all the anti freeze. A "new to me" driver seat to replace the raccoon ravaged original.
Hours of elbow grease and quantities of Turtle wax rubbing compound, steel wool all helped to bring the old original fanfare maroon paint up to a pretty good shine considering the 40 years of weathering. Good thing that patina is the latest trend in old original survivor cars like this one.
It has made a few miles up and down the driveway and the seldom traveled farm access road to get some exercise.
Looking through the pitted and cracked windshield under the big sunvisor, over the shiny chrome hood scoop, the rumble of the straight piped flathead, its like the 1960s all over again.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

More Ducks

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against ducks. This area has been their home forever and many ducks are raised on the sloughs every year. Sloughs are a fact of life that we have learned to live with and farm around.
I was a little amazed to read this info at the Ducks Unlimited site stating that we are losing duck habitat every year and need to do something about stopping it. Nothing could be further from the truth in this area at present. For the past few years of excess rainfall all our duck raising sloughs have been growing and extending ever further onto what was formerly good crop growing land. Close to half the acres on some quarters are now only producing bulrushes and ducks. Many back roads are under water and impassable. Some roads have required building up to stay above water level and keep traffic flowing.
I'm not looking to drain every slough and farm every acre. Just keep those sloughs down to their original size and not flood the cultivated land.
There is talk of unauthorized draining happening. Legally you require a permit to do any water diverting but it is a slow process from what I hear. If the dry trend of the past few months continues into summer we might see the water levels receding and wishing for rain for the crops.
This photo from April 25 of 2011 shows some of the water we are dealing with. My hundred acre quarter is lucky to see 65 acres seeded.

Monday, March 7, 2016

If You Don't Like Old Cars

You won't find much of interest in this blog post. It is just a progress update on the 52 Merc.
Brake work mostly. Napa keeps coming up with the parts I need. I am not seriously keeping track of the bill running up. Guess I won't be buying that new high clearance sprayer for the farm though.

The old rotted rubber brake hose to the rear axle was an easy replacement.

The rebuilt master cylinder bolted right in place as it should. At least one metal brake line appears to be beyond re-use. It came off in one piece but barely. I'm guessing all the wheel cylinders will need replacing if they are anywhere near as corroded as the master cylinder was.
I got wheel number one off today but not the cylinder. On the good news, the shoes and drums look ok, some actually pretty good considering. One brake retaining clip was completely missing. I was able to find and use one off an old Chevy truck so no cost there.

Interesting video showed up on facebook showing how to update the old 52 brake master cylinder with a newer one from a 1967 Mustang  . Too late for me but I'll be plenty happy just to get the original equipment working. For the few miles this car will see that will be more than adequate.

Breaking Records

Apparently a few high temperature records were broken this past Saturday in Sask.. +17C or so which is somewhere around 60 in "real Fahrenheit degrees". Of course it was not that hot right here but I think we were pushing the 50 mark. I heard talk of shorts, tank tops and flip flops from some but that is just crazy talk to this cold blooded person. Although I did take off my parka and worked outside in my coveralls quite comfortably.
Back to the parka for a short ride on the trike to check the fields. There is still enough snow to make it heavy going with the almost 30 year old worn out tires but I got where I was going.
I found there was still about a foot and a half of ice on the sloughs. It looks like a lake in the photo but there was only about 3 feet of water under the ice at that point. Those familiar with the area will recognize it as "the ravine" as named by the pioneer homesteader of that quarter.
It covers a few acres right now but in the driest year in recent history (1961) it dried up enough that my dad was able to seed oats and grow a heavy crop there.
Considering the dry trend we have seen here all winter with no change to that pattern in sight, maybe we are headed for a dry growing season here. It will be pretty ironic if we still have water in the sloughs while the crop on high ground shrivels and wilts in the dry weather.