In the fall, I enrolled in the 4-H Piston Pushers Club, which helps you learn the parts of and how to fix up small engines, and then lets you bring in your projects to work on to show in the Tolland County 4-H Fair. For the first half of the year we disassembled and then assembled an engine to see the parts and where they fit together. Since then I have worked on an Ariens tractor a family friend gave to me. This week has put the tractor in the disaster category. When we started working on it, my friend Alex and I had to replace the magneto and the spark plug, and it seemed like that was going to be all. The next week we tried to start it. We were receiving spark, but it wasn’t starting. We spent the entire night trying to figure out what was wrong but failed.
The next class, my friend and I figured out that since the only other possibility was no compression, we figured out that the head gasket had blown. We took the engine apart down to this part. This class, we found a lot of problems. I worked on the tractor alone, for my friend had got his own tractor so he was working on his. At the end of class, disaster struck. I found out the head gasket was flooded with water, it was eroded and rusted inside, and the valve leading to the piston was broken! Mr. Hoffman, the club leader, said that the engine might not even be salvageable, and we might not even be able to salvage the tractor. I hope that it can be fixable. Only time will tell.