Today's project was replacing the battery in my Black & Decker CM600 cordless electric lawnmower. The cowl was already off, with the help of the guys at the local B&D shop. They'd even shown me how the handle unclips so I could get it out of the way.
So how long could replacing the battery take? We're talking, what, two bolts for the terminals and two to hold down the battery strap? Allow a little time for vacuuming out (most of!) the grass and cobwebs that've been accumulating under the cowl since before I inherited the mower from my dad in 2003, and it comes to maybe forty-five minutes, right?
Say more like four hours, most of it in failing to get a grip on rusted-on, Liquid Wrench-greasy nuts. If I'd known it would be this difficult, I would have soaked the thing in LW all night.
Of course, that time span included my consultation with the guy who came to give me a price to haul away all the landscape rock my POs and POs-1 were so fond of. By my rough take-off, I estimate I've got about twenty-seven cubic yards on the property. And that doesn't count what I used to cobble my garden path.
But the time with the haulage guy was time well spent, since he took pity on me (I strategically apologized for the fact my yard looked like I was planning to make hay) and loosened the stuck bolts before he went.
I really like this mower. I'm glad my dad bought it and that I have it now. But oh, what I'd give to find out why he put the terminal screw-bolts on backwards when he last changed the battery! It really wasn't like him. His work tended to be unaesthetic, but it was sound.
I put the terminal screws back the right way. I'll think of my dad with gratitude when I'm using my gas-free, oil-free, tune-up-free mower. Not with frustration when the battery needs replaced again in four or five years.