The worst of it all is that I was just really beginning to get the full winter potential out of the tractor because of the bale spear we bought. That spear really helped with the winter chores and would have been even more helpful as we transition from winter to spring. It is just so much easier to lift a bale off the ground and haul it rather than dragging it through the mud with our Expedition.
Anyways, this is what I know is wrong ... the engine is stuck ... really good. We have taken the pan off and checked underneath and now that the tractor is off the farm (it is at my cousin's where we can work on it inside) we are going to be able to really tear into and hopefully find a problem. If all goes well it won't be the worst case scenario and it will be something that can be fixed for less than $1,500. But, it could be really bad!
So, this is what I have come up with for possible solutions:
- The engine is stuck, but things are torn up so much that we can do a partial rebuild and not spend our lives away.
- The engine is stuck really bad and isn't worth fixing so we find another Farmall 450 engine and put it in the tractor. There are a couple other engine options we could look for also (400, M, etc.)
- The engine is stuck really bad and isn't worth fixing so we find another Farmall 450 tractor. Preferablly we find a narrow front tractor with a drawbar. That way it may cost a bit less and then we can swap over the wide front, three-point, and the loader. Eventually selling off our current tractor bit by bit.
- The engine is stuck really bad and isn't worth fixing so we borrow my dad's Minneapolis Moline M5 and pray that the loader and thee-point can be cobbled to fit it. I would have to swap the hydraulics ever time I wanted to use the three-point or loader, but it could work. There is a little bit of mechanical work still to do on the M5 though.
- And finally, the engine is stuck really bad and isn't worth fixing so we cut bait and run ... errr ... we just by a completely different tractor. In buying a new tractor we piece out the current Farmall 450 and sell everything by the part. The wide front, three-point, and loader are all worth more by themselves than the complete tractor would be.