BigDog's ATV Clunker Project - Polaris ATV Forum
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post #1 of 746 (permalink) Old 09-29-2011, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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BigDog's ATV Clunker Project

Hello ATV confederates and partners in crime. My name is Mick. I am located in Smyrna, Ga., just outside Atlanta.

Not long ago I announced in the newbie section that I have a project ATV that I was about to restore/refurbish/work on and I am planning to discuss it here, including pictures. This is the kickoff of that endeavor. I invite your participation with critique and commentary. I'll do my best to keep it interesting, but sorry, I can't say everything in twenty-five words or less. I'll leave that to the twittering nit-twits. Now, on with the show.

I have been looking at ATV's, from a distance, for several years, but never got really inspired to get one until recently. The research I did showed me that it would take somewhere between $4000 and $8000 to get a new one, depending on a number of factors. I couldn't go there, so I put it on the back burner. A few weeks ago, a friend I work with, Amanda, mentioned that her husband, Jay, big deer hunter, fisherman, etc., was about to buy himself a brand new Polaris. My antennae went up immediately and I began to ask questions. Their old 4x is a 1992 Polaris 350L Trail Boss 4x4. It was for sale, 'as is'. It had a broken motor mount, and a few other issues, though the motor ran 'good and strong'. He was asking $900. I was thinking more like $500, even though I had never laid eyes on the machine, other than the pictures Amanda took with her cell phone, and had no realistic idea of what a machine like that would be worth. I let it drift for a few more days until one day Amanda was talking about the fact that the new Polaris was too wide for the loading ramps they used for the old Polaris, meaning they were going to have to buy either new ramps, or a trailer, neither of which were probably covered by the new quad loan. Jay was needing some loose cash to help him get mobile. Hmmm...the new owner was also going to need some ramps, and I had a little bit of loose cash...so, after mulling it over for a day or two, I made an offer: $700 for the machine, $100 for the ramps. Word came back...Deal! He delivered it a few days later, and now I have it...and he has my $800. I could have offered $600, but didn't figure he would come off his price that much. To tell you the truth, I was really surprised when he accepted my offer. I was expecting for him to come back with $800 for the bike, which I would likely have refused. Maybe he figured that. Up to that time, I had never seen the actual machine, only pictures. I had met the husband, Jay, once at a party. Other than that, I had not even so much as talked to him on the phone. I did have a most important ally, however. My friend, his wife, Amanda, was very forthcoming with honest, sincere discussion, before she knew that I was interested in buying the quad.

The Clunker in question, front and back:


I know some of you will be real critical and say that I paid way too much for a bucket of bolts, but I say, be that as it may, I thought it was a reasonably good deal. He came off his price a little bit and I came off mine. I really do think it is a pretty good machine, even if it is almost 20 years old and has had at least two prior owners, and even if it currently has some serious issues. With some good mechanican and a few cosmetic touch-ups, it can be a good ride for someone who doesn't plan to rawhide it much (That would be me). Sure, I would love to be writing about how I got it for three hundred with the ramps thrown in as a bonus. The bottom line is, you can't learn to play a guitar unless you have a guitar. So, now I have one. I can go forward. My thinking is that for less than fifteen hundred, I can have a solid, reliable, handsome, four-wheeler for my entertainment and pleasure. That's doable with the right mechanic, meaning fiscally reasonable. I can do the cosmetics myself.

Last edited by BigDog; 10-10-2011 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Testing picture upload
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post #2 of 746 (permalink) Old 09-30-2011, 02:17 AM
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That will be a great bike, I had a similar machine for my first quad and it was awesome, you also have come to the right place for excellent advice....

Best Regards - MM

It's Trail Time!!!
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post #3 of 746 (permalink) Old 09-30-2011, 03:31 AM
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Looks like a nice ride! Bet you can't wait to get it ready to ride!

Con

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 #4 of 746 (permalink) Old 09-30-2011, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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@MonkeyMan:
I feel like it will be a great bike, too. I have a way to go yet, but I got the vision. This site has been a great find. I have already picked up several things of value, and anticipate many more.

@Racer37l:
Thanks Racer. I'm planning to have lots of fun with this machine. Right now, though, I'm having to practice extreme patience during the process of the repairs. Stay tuned, I will more or less chronicalize it all right here.

Can either of you, or anyone else tell me if one can upload full-sized pictures (bigger than a thumbnail) into the middle of ones post, or just upload attachment photos, the thumbnails of which appear at the end of the post? I would prefer to be able to keep viewable pictures near the text that relates to them.

Last edited by BigDog; 09-30-2011 at 04:10 PM. Reason: To consolidate replies.
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post #5 of 746 (permalink) Old 09-30-2011, 05:28 PM
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WELCOME!!

I use Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket Upload pics there and link them here. You can adjust sizes either before you up load or onc ethey are on photobucket.

CW

Mine

2015 RZR 900 Trail BLK. Pearl

Lock N Ride roof
Lock N Ride 1/2 windshield
Lock N Ride rear box
Rear Bars, Dash Bar & Rear extension bars.
LED lights front, top & rear
LOTS more coming...


2007 Polaris Sportsman 700 EFI SOLD


CALL Thor @ www.TheATVSuperStore.com - 815-321-3888

Check out my ATV videos and please subscribe!! https://www.youtube.com/user/cwlongshot

I PROUDLY SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!
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post #6 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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@CW: Thanks for the PhotoBucket tip. I had to work with it for a couple hours before I finally got the hang of it. It works great now. What I was talking about in my question above, was a way to have the pictures uploaded and visible in the thread. Apparently that protocol is not functional on this site, at least I tried some html code tags designed to do it, but they were not accepted as html. That's OK, though. I can work with this. It was more important that the picture be near the text that reflects it than it was that the picture be visible in the thread. Having both would be ideal. Thanks again.
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post #7 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDog View Post
@CW: Thanks for the Photo Bucket tip. I had to work with it for a couple hours before I finally got the hang of it. It works great now. What I was talking about in my question above, was a way to have the pictures uploaded and visible in the thread. Apparently that protocol is not functional on this site, at least I tried some html code tags designed to do it, but they were not accepted as html. That's OK, though. I can work with this. It was more important that the picture be near the text that reflects it than it was that the picture be visible in the thread. Having both would be ideal. Thanks again.
Everything you post is in brackets "[" "]" then they have the code IMG for pics and QUOTE for text quotations...

Here is a pic from my site, but I added some spaces between the IMG and the brackets, so you can see the code...

[ IMG ]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/CWLONGSHOT/Quads/Polaris%20Sportsman%20700/da21b124.jpg[ / IMG ]

Here is the actual pic...


Mine

2015 RZR 900 Trail BLK. Pearl

Lock N Ride roof
Lock N Ride 1/2 windshield
Lock N Ride rear box
Rear Bars, Dash Bar & Rear extension bars.
LED lights front, top & rear
LOTS more coming...


2007 Polaris Sportsman 700 EFI SOLD


CALL Thor @ www.TheATVSuperStore.com - 815-321-3888

Check out my ATV videos and please subscribe!! https://www.youtube.com/user/cwlongshot

I PROUDLY SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!

Last edited by cwlongshot; 10-02-2011 at 04:12 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #8 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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@CW: Double thanks, CW. I think I have it now. I was on the right track with the html tags, I just had not landed on the correct syntax. This will make this whole process (meaning telling the story of this restoration) a lot more fun.

Wow! What a picture you put up as your example. That is about as tuff looking a machine as I have ever seen. It's like the HumVee of quads, a regular little open-air tank. Maybe after I cut my teeth on this old bike I'll get it in my blood and move up to one like that. That is a great dream. Nothing, without first a dream, right?
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post #9 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Finding QuadMan.

I have kinda had the clunker project on hold for the past few weeks, for a couple of reasons: 1. Finding someone in my area who works on 'old' ATV's has presented quite a challenge. I left it with one guy for a week, only to be told that he didn't want to get into it because it required too many 'special tools' that he didn't have. He knew that because he read the Hayne's Shop Manual I handed him. (I about broke my neck when I went to pick it up from him. I didn't realize that the right rear tire was basically slow leak deflated, so when the rear wheels hit the ramp and torqued to start the climb into the back of the truck, the right rear tire collapsed and the front would swing almost off the ramp. It was a little dicey until I figured out the tire inflation problem. That's all I need, to tip the thing over, sideways, off the edge of the ramp, directly on top of my slow, can't-get-out-of-the-way-fast-enough, aging ass.)

A friend of mine suggested a Lawnmower and Go-cart repair place just a few minutes from my house. He had heard that they also worked on ATV's. I pulled up their website. There were eight comments...all bad. One comment speculated that the attitude there was so bad that they must have been a front for a drug operation or a chop shop or something. I don't think I'll be going to the Lawnmower and Go-cart Repair place.

I called shop after shop, finally to be quietly informed that not many people worked on old ATV's (a fact I had already discovered). The last fellow sent me to the only person he would go to if he had an old machine needing fixing, the only go-to guy within a hundred miles. This guy has been repairing quads since the mid-seventies and has been in the quad repair business since 1991. Not only that, but his prices were better than the guy recommending him because he was more efficient, and faster, etc. Sounded like my man, so I paid him a visit, without the bike. I knew he was the guy when I said that I had been told that he worked on old quads. He asked, "How old?" "1992," says I. "Ah, that's not old", he replied. He and I talked for a few minutes and he agreed to do the work, "...since we are sort of slow, right now." Hmmm!
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post #10 of 746 (permalink) Old 10-02-2011, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Money Honey!

And that brings me to reason number 2 that I have the project on hold:

Lack of operating capital...funds...money. When I made the quad deal, I had

enough money in the ClunkerATV budget to get it and then get it repaired.

Just after the deal went down, but before it was delivered, I had to put

my truck in the shop for what I thought would be a tune-up and minor

maintenance...two or three hundred bucks, tops. As it turned out, intake

manifold gaskets were leaking and had to be replaced. That bumped it up

to almost a thousand dollars, with all the other stuff I was having done. It

ate the entire Clunker budget, plus some. So, now, I'm just coasting along,

letting the coffers build up again. I'm almost there, so it is likely that I will

put it in the shop this coming week.

In the meantime, I have begun some of the cosmetic things I can do. I

have removed the rear cargo rack so I can paint it. It was relatively easy

to remove, but I may try to paint the front rack in place, simply because it

would also be easy to do it that way. I removed the right rear tire,

replaced the stem-valve, and added a can of Slime. No more slow leak. Now

I am in the process of painting the wheels black. If I don't like black, I

can repaint them quick and easy. I just don't like the red, for sure. (I could

not get the 'lug nuts' on the front wheels to break loose. They are not

really lug nuts, more like three-eighth inch bolts that turn with the nut. I

didn't have the 'right stuff' to convince them to let go. Yes, I did hit'em

with WD-40.)

Once all that is done, I plan to remove the decals/stickers, paint the metal

parts black, and ArmourAll everything else. Hopefully, I can get that all

done in the next few of days and then take it to QuadMan. Stay tuned.

Last edited by BigDog; 10-02-2011 at 07:26 PM. Reason: Question about Format. Why did it Change?
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