Pleasant Valley Farm

  (Tionesta, Pennsylvania)
Real Family Farming in Tionesta, PA
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It's Alive!

We're really proud of doing lots of things here the old-fashioned way, usually with horses.  But there are some tasks that are easier to do when you're using motorized equipment.  We have both a baler and a feed grinder here, but we're not able to run either of these without a motor.  Stored away for the past 15 years or so has been a large Wisconsin 4 cylinder engine.  It hasn't run for all that time, and wasn't the most reliable piece of equipment on the farm when it did.  Stories like "the time the motor caught fire"  "the other time the motor caught fire" and "the time it almost cut Dad's finger off and we had to rush him to the ER" make me very nervous about trying to use it again.  It's surprising it never was hauled away to the scrapyard, but Dan thought that someday it could be rebuilt and be a real asset to the farm.  He's been working on it for a good part of the winter; tearing it down completely, cleaning the gunk that forms when hay, dust and motor oil combine, and looking for parts, mostly online, and waiting on UPS/FedEx/USPS to deliver them.  I was amazed it's not that hard to locate parts for a motor that was manufactured from the 1940's through the mid-60's.  Because it was a popular, commercial engine, we were able to find pretty much everything.

 Yesterday, it fired and ran for the first time in well over a decade.  Sure, there are still adjustments to be made, but it's possible that we will be grinding our own feed here at the farm before Valentine's Day.  We have the luxury of a feed grinder & mixer system in the top of the barn, and it will be a huge time and money saver compared to hauling our corn to the closest feed mill that will grind, which is well over an hour's drive each way.  This motor will spin a large belt to run the grinder, baler or other equipment.  It's a heavy motor, nearly 500 lbs, but with only about 25 horsepower.  It's exactly what we need, and still a rather old-time piece of equipment itself.  To start it, you need to crank a handle around until it fires.  It also needs a special additive to the gasoline, as it was built to run on leaded fuel.

I know Dan is beyond pleased to hear it roar to life.  I'm really proud of him, it was a pretty big project, but he had patience and figured it out.  And I've been told some plug wires or an electric start are right at the top of his list of nice Valentine's Day surprises...

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