well, shit.

So yesterday was the day I did maintenance on the tractor. 200  hour interval oil change,….Simple, right?

Drain oil,
replace drain plugs (there are two on this tractor)
unscrew old filter cartridge,
put new oil filter cartridge on
add oil,

All accomplished yesterday. Simple. 25 minutes, and that long only because the oil takes forever to drain from the tiny drain hole.

I used the tractor to haul several things yesterday, after the oil change. no issues. All chores accomplished at low throttle setting (say 1500 RPM). That is important to the story, so pay attention.

Today, I went to push some partly rotten railroad ties out of their depressions in the ground preparatory to replacing them with new timbers.

Had to rev the tractor up a bit to push and lift at the same time. Closer to three thousand RPM.

First tie went fine.It rolled out of the ground and all was good. Repositioned the tractor over about 8 feet and pushed on the second tie. Odd gurgling sounds came from the front of the tractor. I looked and saw engine oil spraying from around the oil filter.

Shut the tractor off most ricky-tic. Don’t think I hurt the engine.

Pull the side panel off and yep, there is oil dripping from the mess where it had sprayed from the point where the filter meets the engine block.

Go and get the filter wrench and figured I would give it a turn or two…..maybe I didn’t get it tight enough (this engine needs the filter hand tight plus 2 turns). The filter was tight, but as I tightened it some more it felt….funny.

Decided to take the filter off to see what is what.

The gasket had split… no longer a round shaped flat gasket, it was instead a single long piece….

Maybe I wrinkled it when I put it on, but I don’t think so. I had oiled it when I replaced the filter, and had screwed it on hand tight before getting the filter wrench on it.

Pull dipstick. Bone dry.

Now, the tractor is sitting across the driveway. Blocking everything from coming or going.
And I don’t have any extra 10W-40 motor oil.
And no spare filter. Shit Shit

I do have the old oil, but God Himself only knows what contaminants are in the bottom of the oil drain pan. Don’t wanna use that.

I do have about 2 quarts of 0W-20 for the Prius, and about a quart and a half of 15W-40 for the truck. (I don’t stock a lot of oil, as my vehicles don’t use any at all…yet) Cool, thats enough to get me out of the driveway at idle, at least.

So I root around in the garbage for the old oil filter and use that gasket to replace the brand new (but damaged) filter gasket on the new filter.

So now I gotta go and get the right oil. Off to the auto parts store for 7 quarts of Mobil 1 synthetic oil. Another $40 I gotta spend, but hey…

On the way home, I stop and pick up the high pressure trans oil filter from the Kubota dealer(used to be a Kubota only part, and they know it $$$. They were out on Monday when I stopped to get one, but promised that they would have one on Wed or Thursday.

Dude hands me the filter, which looked wrong to me. I questioned him and he said “New design, looks different, but it IS the right filter”.

Should a gone with my gut and pushed it, but I didn’t.

Get back home, change the oil a second time and then pull the old trans filter off. This requires a hammer and a punch to get it to turn (and tighten also). Hammer the old filter off, and the new filter isn’t the right one…won’t even thread.

I’m not that upset. We all make mistakes. Not happy, but not mad.

So I change my shirt, get my wallet and keys, and put the “new” filter back in the box after wiping my oily handprints off of it,  put old filter in a plastic bag and go back to the Kubota dealer.

Dude (different dude) at the counter says “How can I help you?” I explain my issue. “That isn’t the right filter” he says, looking at the two. (duh)

So he looks up the old filter number and pulls a new one off the shelf…which looks exactly like the filter I brought in just off the tractor….Which is what I asked for originally, on the first trip..

“That’ll be $74.68 he says.

“Cool. What about this filter, which cost $$54 and change? I ask as I push it across the counter to him

“No returns once the plastic is open.” he says

“Hey, your guy sold me the wrong filter!” I pointed out. “I even questioned him about it…you were working with another customer when I was in here the first time….you had to have heard”

“I can give you credit if you have a receipt” he states.

“I don’t. But I can go home and get it. …But if I do that then one of you is gonna eat it when I get back”  I stated.

“I can make an exception today” he smiled “But I am gonna have to charge you a 20% restocking fee”

“No”. I stated flatly. “Not a chance…Call the police”


“Call. The. Police”


“Might as well get them on the way.”..I smiled at him…”We are gonna need ’em …either you or me is gonna go to jail today”

“Um… lemme see what I can do.,…”

So it ended up the difference was $20.18…I paid it gladly. Next time I will buy my WIX equivalent filters through Amazon. Cheaper and easier…Had I known that WIX is now making a replacement I wouldn’t have bothered to go to the dealer…and the WIX filter is cheaper too.

At least it was the right filter this time.

I didn’t get a whole lot done today.


3 thoughts on “well, shit.

  1. Yeah, we all have those days… At least it wasn't your ONLY drivable vehicle that you had up on blocks to change the oil and THEN discovered it was the wrong filter, after you'd punched a hole in the old one… BTDT… sigh

  2. We have learned from hard experience not to block a car into the garage when working on the other car. A coworker suggested this wrench, Lisle 63600 – Oil Filter Wrench, and it has worked great.

    Both of the current cars decided it would be great to make the exhaust system more twisty then a french horn, and then place the filter deep inside the horn, and the special joy of smelling burning oil no matter how carefully I place my thin aluminum drip deflectors.

  3. It's amazing how often a simple oil change ends in disaster or at the very least an entire day of fixing what goes wrong. Glad you noticed the leak before it caused a real problem unlike mine last week. For something so simple to do I have often had the same issues you mention. My personality is such to that I get focused on doing something and miss little tell tale signs like you mention as well.

    Glad you didn't hurt the engine!!!!

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