Yazoo Mower

Yazoo Mowers are becoming increasingly rare, but they have an almost cult following of fans and owners.  They are very unique in their design, allowing them to have a zero-degree turning radius way before the modern hydraulic zero-turn mower was invented, and they have a gear shift lever that allows quick transitions from forward to reverse.

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Installing Heat Control Solar Window Film

We recently moved into a new house, which has quite a few windows. We also have had a very warm June and early July. As a result our house has been pretty warm and uncomfortable lately. Especially since I prefer to use the AC as little as possible… usually meaning none!

I am a big fan of upgrades that will reduce our energy footprint, and especially ones that have a lasting effect of several years or more. I began researching window films that I could install myself, and eventually decided to give the Gila Heat Control Residential Window Film a try. It is available on Amazon, in several sized and varieties. I opted for the 36″ x 100′ foot roll in the Platinum color. The manufacture claims an impressive reduction in cooling costs of up to 50%. They also state it rejects up to 99% of UV, and 67% of glare. I also found that the vast majority of customer reviews were very pleased with it, some stating that it has held up well even after 10+ years of use.

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Zero Dollar Fix for a Loose V-Belt

My new Yazoo Mower

I recently picked up a Yazoo mower that is a pretty neat piece of equipment.  It’s a 3-wheeled design, with the 3’rd wheel in the back providing rear steer. The Yazoo model I picked up at auction has the 23HP Kohler engine and a massive 76″ front mower deck.

I don’t know the full history of my new (to me) mower, but the folks at the site where I picked it up said they really liked it, but were selling it because parts were becoming hard to find. They also mentioned that the large belt for the mower deck was quite expensive.

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Understanding Basic Electricity & Troubleshooting an Electrical Circuit

Understanding basic electricity can be invaluable in both safety, as well as when troubleshooting and repairing an electrical circuit.  We will add more posts soon on many topics such as how to build a solar generator, and this post will help build the basics on which those posts will expand.

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Restoring a Kubota B20 Compact Utility Tractor and putting it back to work!

A friend of mine has this tractor that was been sitting unused for several years. It ran when it was parked, but at the time it was having some overheating issues, as well as we suspect at least one of the injectors was leaking down causing a surge of heavy smoke for a few minutes when it would first start up.

I am going to go through it and get it back up and running. Once I get it back operational again, I may also consider setting it up to run on waste fuels such as used vegetable oil, motor oil, etc.

Kubota B20

First up is get the front tire back on it (was borrowed to be used as temporary spare for a different tractor),new battery, and get the supplies together to change out the motor oil, and coolant.

Kubota B20

It definitely has been sitting for a few years!

Kubota B20
Kubota B20

The hours meter has definitely turned over at least once. I am also not sure what the expected lifetime is on these Kubota 3 cylinder diesels.

Kubota B20 Hours

The engine compartment isn’t too bad. There is a mouse nest in the coolant overflow bottle though!

Kubota B20 Engine

Should be a fun project! Click here for part 2 on the Kubota B20 project.

Prepping 101

Prepping is a nickname for the act of preparing.  Preppers is a label used to describe those who like to prepare for the unknown. This post will give a broad overview of the various components to a good, versatile survival plan, and hopefully start the wheels turning on your own preparation plans. A good strategy will also be beneficial to you and your family during everyday life, as well as actually save money.

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Converting a Ford Power Stroke 7.3L Diesel Engine to Vegetable Oil

Most diesel engines are capable of running on a wide variety of fuels. Several years ago I converted my 2002 Ford F250 with a 7.3L Powerstroke diesel to run on waste vegetable oil. The design was a collaboration of my own ideas combined with those of Jason Crawford’s. Since that time, Jason Crawford has continued to innovate his design, which was later to become the Vegistroke™ available from Biofuel Technologies.  This is an overview of my original conversion for those that are considering building their own conversion, or just curious how they work.

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Water Purification

Water purification, or to make water safe for drinking and cooking generally falls into two steps:

Water Filtration – the process of removing chemicals, particulates and some types of microbes and bacteria. There are many products on the market for this process, such as this  Dual Ceramic Water Filter Bag. You can also learn to improvise filters with natural materials, such as a Sand Filter.

Water Disinfection – the process of killing of any remaining microbes and live bacteria to render them inactive. Read some great techniques for this here.
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