Common Farm Equipment Repairs

Put your farm equipment back in working order with these instructions for some run of the mill repairs to tune up your machinery.

  • system repairs farm equipment
    Taking on these simple maintenance tasks will help prepare you to tackle more involved repairs down the road.
    Photo by Getty Images/galinast
  • Maintaining Small Farm Equipment cover
    “Maintaining Small-Farm Equipment,” Steve and Ann Larkin Hansen is a beginner’s guide to maintaining smooth-running equipment in order to maintain a successful farm.
    Cover courtesy Storey Publishing

  • system repairs farm equipment
  • Maintaining Small Farm Equipment cover

In Maintaining Small-Farm Equipment: How to Keep Tractors and Implements Running Well, Steve and Ann Larkin Hansen equip readers with their experienced guidance to sustaining smooth-running farm equipment that will last for years and save on costly services. With their clear-cut instructions and service tips, readers will learn to pinpoint problems before they get out of hand, as well as the tools and knowledge needed for basic repairs. The following excerpt is from Chapter 7, "Repairs."

Fuel System Repairs

If the engine seems not to be getting fuel, turn the fuel line shutoff valve to "off," then remove the clamps that connect the line to the gas tank and carburetor. Open the valve, and see if fuel drains at a decent rate into a container. If not, clean out the line, and any screen in front of the carburetor intake, or replace the fuel filter. Reattach the line, and turn on the fuel valve. If the engine is still not getting gas, the problem may be in the carburetor.

When cleaning or adjusting a carburetor for idle speed and richness of the gas/air mix, it's best to use a detailed instruction guide or seek the help of an experienced person. Any carburetor disassembly will require a new gasket kit to avoid leakage. Note that working on a carburetor will often void the warranty on a new engine.

Electrical System Repairs

If a battery is not delivering a charge to the electrical system, clean any debris off the top of the battery, since this can cause a short between the terminals. Then clean any corrosion off the terminals and cable clamps with baking soda and water, or by sandpapering the contact surfaces. When they're clean and bright, apply a light coating of dielectric grease or light lubricating oil, reinstall the battery cables, and see if the engine will start.

If it doesn't, charge or jump the battery, and try the engine again. If the battery won't hold a charge, then replace it. This is a simple and common repair: Loosen the nuts on the bolts that hold the battery cable clamps tight on the terminals, then gently wiggle the clamps off the battery terminals. Take the battery to a farm store or battery store, buy a new one of the same size and power rating, turn in the old one, and install the new one. Be careful of any leaking battery acid — this is hydrochloric acid and will burn holes in clothes and skin.

If the battery is good but the charge is being drained, there's a short elsewhere in the system. Wiring and connections can cause a short because of looseness, corrosion, breaks, or frayed or gnawed insulation letting a naked wire contact metal. New wire and connectors are cheap and not difficult to replace, but it can be a long job finding the short circuit.

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