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ATV Repair and Maintenance Having problems? Doing a rebuild? All Repair/Maintenance Discussions here.

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post #11 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Definitely, don't quit the day job!

What a royal pain in the ass. Remember when I said that I had removed the rear cargo rack for painting? Well, I kinda fudged on that a little. I didn't have it quite off when I wrote it. What I eventually discovered was that I had unbolted from the frame the mounting brackets that support the cargo rack, instead of unbolting the rack from the mounting brackets. That would not have happened to a real mechanic, who has a lift to raise the thing off the ground, adequate lighting, line of sight vision, and direct access to the parts involved....not to mention youthful flexibility, manual dexterity, and 20/20 eyes. But, despite those handicaps, I decided that I was not going to let a couple of bolts and their subsequent nuts get the best of me. I would just rebolt the mounting brackets, detach the final connector holding the cargo rack, and go on with my life. Ha! What a joke...a not-very-funny joke, at that.

As it turns out, the mounting brackets in question not only supported the cargo rack, a minor function, but are the primary supports for vibration dampening 'fingers' to the undersides of the rear fenders. The ramification of that is that the vibration dampening finger assembly consists of six or seven pieces sandwiched together with a bolt through them. Two metal washers, two rubber washers, the vibration dampening finger, the bracket with the small tab for mounting the cargo rack, and, of course, the frame to which everything is secured. What unbelieveable torture and torment. I had to do it all by sense of touch because I couldn't see it and touch it at the same time. The location was just high enough off the ground that you couldn't sit on a crate to work on it, or kneel, or sit on the ground. A bigger problem was that it was high up under the rear fender, which curls down sharply to block any attempt at actually seeing what my hands were doing. I was not about to dissemble the fender just to put one bolt in.

This was a true 'trial by ordeal'. The whole process was awkward and frustrating to the max, for all the reasons mentioned above. I must have dropped the lock nut and washer fifteen or twenty times, often requiring a magnet to find them (outdoor, leafy ground). It was getting dark and had started to drizzle rain, just to kick things up a notch or two. Anybody with any sense would have covered the whole thing up and given it a rest. Not me, though, glutton for punishment that I am. I covered it up, all right, then rigged up a light, put on some rain gear, and got under the cover with it, kinda. I still got soaking wet, but like I said, I was not going to let a couple of bolts and rubber washers get the best of me. The dogged determination probably converted to stubborn idiocy when the rain ticked up another notch, but it was 'game on' at that point. After what seemed like hours, actually not more than twenty minutes, I got the nut started. I was so relieved that I took a break, before I tightened it up, and celebrated with some refreshments. I felt like I had really accomplished something.

Back on task, I quickly tightened the first assembly, saw that it was looking perfect, and moved to the other side to begin the same grueling process there. It was when I was sorting through all the second-assembly parts that I discovered that the remaining rubber washers looked a lot different from the set I had just installed. These were fitted parts, made of rubber, not just the plain rubber washers now part of the first assembly. Immediately following that was the doomed feeling of worst nightmare realized...I had to undo the first assembly. I had used the wrong combination of rubber washers. Dammit!

So, how could that have happened? Well, it was the result of a phase of the process that must be very similar to 'the fog of war'. Because of the position the assemblies were in, up under the machine, blocked by the fender, I was not ever able to get a real good visual on them, then I took them apart blind, and, of course, all those parts, from both sides, fell on the ground under the machine. Somehow, I settled on the two plain rubber washers as the parts needed for the first assembly... a decision I would live to regret. I just didn't think the problem through, far enough.

Moving on, the rework of the first assembly was equally as frustrating and painful as the first time around, but was done in half the time since I had lots of experience at it. The only consolation was that I was now sure that I had the right parts for the second assembly, so the same thing could not happen again.
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post #12 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Now, the other side.

It was still raining, lightly, when I moved around to install the second assembly. I had great confidence that I could get it in correctly and quickly, building on the episode I just endured. My great confidence served me well...kinda. Despite the fact that the whole assembly was the mirror image of the other side, I was tightening it up within about ten minutes. I only dropped the locknut and washer three times. I'll take that, and be glad of it. When I was cleaning up and breaking everything down, I looked down through the hole in the fender, through which would pass the support post of the rear cargo rack to reach its mounting point, a tab flange on the assembly just installed. Guess what. I couldn't see the mounting flange. Feeling panic set in, I jammed my finger into the hole, praying to feel the little mounting tab just beneath the hole, about three inches deep. I wrangled my finger all flange. Examination of the assembly, with a flashlight, under the tarp, in a drizzling rain, revealed that the assembly part that contained the mounting flange had been installed backward, rotated one-hundred-eighty degrees from it's normal position. I couldn't believe it!! This had to be a bad dream. How do I wake up? Dammit! Actually, I didn't waste any time getting mad. What good would it have done. What is that old song, "Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This"? That being said, I didn't exactly start laughing either. I felt like you do when your wrench slips and you knock the skin off three knuckles. The five seconds after that is exquisitely painful, you cuss a blue streak, and then it gradually subsides to just a dull ache that lasts for a long time. Eventually, you accept it and move on. That's about as close as I can get to an accurate description.

I didn't give it up, though. If God put all this on me to see if I could pass the test, then I was going to pass the test. I had come down the trail too far to give up now. No, with dismay, trepidation, and dread, I trudged on. (To be honest, the real reason I was so determined to get this done, regardless of obstruction or difficulty, was that I was afraid I would lose parts or not remember how it all went back together, both very real possibilities.) This final phase ended, without further incident, about fifteen minutes later. Fifteen minutes...that's all the whole process should have taken, in the first place. I didn't clock it, but it was daylight when I started and had been dark for a while when I finished. It had to have been more than two hours that I was side-tracked with this nonsense.

I learned a lot about myself during this 'comedy of errors' though, the main of which was to never embark on a journey when you only have a vague idea of where you're going, having never been there before, no map, obstructed vision, inclimate weather, arthritic knees, and the apparent manual dexterity of a monkey with gloves on. You see, I knew all that before I started, so the outcome should have been predicted. I just hope I passed the test, because, believe me, I will NEVER (unless compelled by God) do it again!
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post #13 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 12:02 PM
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Excellent posts! Keep on plugging away! See, you are getting better at this already!

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post #14 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 12:08 PM
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$900 was a good deal on that. Do you by chance write for a living? If not, perhaps consider it.

Working on a quad is like working on anything else. Research it and use the right tools, take your time and figure out what exactly your trying to attempt and you'll be good.

Last edited by The700Dude; 10-27-2011 at 12:54 PM.
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post #15 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 06:02 PM
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I'll give you an "A" for effort, writing skills, and persistance!! LOL

I know exactly how you feel as old age, along with the bad joints and eye sight hinder progress at my abode also.

Great writeup! Thanks for keeping us posted and make sure you ask any querys you may have.


2007 Sportsman 800 efi , L&R tall windshield, Viper Max 4000 lb. winch with 3/16" Amsteel rope by Atv Winch Rope, 25' Amsteel tow rope by Atv Winch Rope, RDC fairlead, RDC deluxe gas cap, RDC shifter, RDC overflow bottle cap, RDC 2" lift , 27" Maxxis bighorns s/w on Vision Outback 12" wheels, Uni air filter, Dalton o/bl primary clutch spring, front and rear brushguard, front and rear rack extensions, and a SanAngelo backrest
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post #16 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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@vajakes: Thanks for the nod. What's that old saying, "Even a blind squirrell can find a nut every once in a while."

@700: If $900 was a good buy, I'm sure glad I got it for $700. That's even better. $900 was his original price, but he accepted $700. Believe me, it's got enough going on with it that it will take some coins to make it right. I'm committed, so it's just a matter of time...and coins.

No, I don't write for a living, I just like to write...especially about fun projects. Thanks, though. I really liked your statement about working on quads. You are absolutely right...but more and more, rather than do it myself, I tend to hire someone else to do the work who does exactly what you advise.

@racer37l: Thanks for the triple nod. Sorry to hear that you can empathize with my geriatric issues. They may slow us down, but we can't let them stop us. I'd rather have slow fun than no fun.

I'm sure my querying will begin, in earnest, when I begin having to locate parts for QuadMan to install. We are not to that phase yet.
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post #17 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Repairing the Seat.

I decided to patch the seat, in lieu of getting a new seat cover. A new one will eventually happen, but I wanted to make it look better now, instantly, so to speak.

Before Repair:

This was the only physical damage to the seatcover, so it makes sense to fix it first and get a replacement later. I trimmed the edges of the seatcover material and looked around for a patch material that would be close to the original. I found the answer in an old cone-shaped 'e-collar' your dog would wear to keep him from licking a wound on his leg. It was just the right thickness and flexibility.

Patch Insert Cut to Fit:

Once I had cut the piece I needed, I warmed it up with a flame so I could shape it to fit the contours. After I had shaped it to basically fit the place I was installing it, I applied some spray adhesive and lightly stuck it to the foam rubber of the seat. That was to hold it in place while I applied the cover layer.

Applying Gorilla Tape:

The cover layer of choice was Gorilla Tape. Good stuff. I applied strips in a symmetrical fashion, working from both sides toward the center. After that I tore a one-half inch strip and covered the exposed edge of the repair. Then, I covered the same edge with a full-sized strip. All cut ends were folded under the seat, trimmed to about three-quarters inch, and attached to the seat with an electric stapler.

Stapled Tight:

This system for covering the seat is very secure. I was surprised that the staples would drive into the seat, it looks like metal to me. But, it's extremely hard plastic. The stapler had a mega setting and would hit the staple multiple times like a hammer, leaving it nice and tight. This should last a while.

Repair Complete:

Not a bad looking repair job, if I do say so myself. If the Gorilla Tape lives up to it's reputation, meaning that it stays put and doesn't curl up or come loose anywhere, I might cover the rest of the seat with it. The seat itself looks like it was originally the color of the bottom of a swimming pool. Pieces of Gorilla Tape got stuck to it a couple of times and pulled the black off when they were removed. I really don't want an aqua-blue seat.

Seat Repair on the ATV:

Last edited by BigDog; 10-07-2011 at 10:30 AM. Reason: Adjusting layout.
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post #18 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 06:18 PM
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There you go! You did an excellent job! Looks great!

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post #19 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 06:26 PM
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You are one heck of a guy. A writer,comedian,mechanic,painter, and an uphostery repairman. The gorilla tape is the best tape money can buy. Farmers around here use it on poly pipe(for irrigation of crops) to hold the plastic poly to PVC pipe. Most of it is around 15" diameter and has some pressure to it. Moma always said "If duct tape and bailing wire can't fix it it can't be fixed."
Glad to see you are making progress on your project. Good Luck.

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(Currently I don't own a Polaris but I work on them all the time and get to ride cutomers for test rides. Maybe soon I will be a Polaris owner.)
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post #20 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 08:12 PM
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great job on the seat! I have to say that I really enjoy reading your posts and look forward to hearing more. above all else remember to have fun and as I read in another post, "riding these things is addictive".

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