Thursday, April 28, 2011

Polaris RZR Lift Kit

I installed a lift kit on a Polaris Ranger RZR.  The kit raised the vehicle about 2 1/2" inches to allow room to put bigger tires on it.  The $200 kit consisted of these 8 steel plates and a few bolts and spacers.

 It was a nice warm sunny day so I decided to work on it outside.  The person in the photo is Carl, one of the local high school students.  He is working with me this week as part of a vocational training unit at school.

The plates bolt on to the A-arms and raise the shock mount up a little.  I had to use a ratchet strap to compress the springs to get everything lined up.  The whole project took about 3 hours.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Honda Foreman

I have a Honda Foreman in the shop.  This is the standard everyday machine here in rural Alaska.

The owner said that it was hard to start and they thought it was not running correctly.  I started it up and noticed right away that the engine was making a terrible rattling sound.

I pulled it in the shop and checked the compression.  As I suspected, the compression was very low. 

As soon as soon as I pulled the valve cover off I could smell the burnt oil.  These engines are air and oil cooled, if they get over heated the oil gets cooked .  This photo shows the "fins" where the oil flows over the top of the head.  The baked on brown crud is a sure sign of overheating.

When I pulled the cylinder off, the piston was scored.  This photo shows my setup for jacking the piston pin out.  The paper towels are there to prevent pieces from dropping into the engine.  Like most of these small engines, the connecting rod is one piece and cannot be removed from the crankshaft. The pin is held in the piston by two circlips, normally when you take the clips out you can push the pin out by hand.  Sometimes it gets stuck and you have to use more force.

It is impossible to swing a hammer in the small area and using a hammer would risk bending the connecting rod.  I have found that a piece of all thread with the appropriate size spacers and washers can be used to "jack" the pin out.  In this case the pin was stuck in the connecting rod because the rod was overheated/ ran without oil.

This last photo shows the cause of all these problems.  This is the oil filter being removed from it's housing.  The filter was put in upside down.  When this happens it blocks off the oil flow to the engine.  I have seen engines damaged this way several times.  Honda did a poor job designing this system and some owners do not pay enough attention when working on their machines.

This engine is going to need a new piston, cylinder, crankshaft/connecting rod, and all the various gaskets.  The parts are around $900 and there is about 12 hours of labor in the job.  Pay attention when you change that oil!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Snowmobile Fuel Tank Leak

I had a newer Skidoo in my shop recently with a fuel leak.  Most snowmobiles have a plastic gas tank with a flexible fuel pickup on the bottom of the tank.  This fuel pickup exits the tank on the end and is sealed with a rubber grommet.  In this first photo you can see that it is wet around the grommet.

Here is the fuel line fitting with the old grommet.  The left end gets connected to the line going to the fuel pump.  The right end is inside the tank and has the flexible pickup connected to it.  You can see in the photo that the grommet is cracked and broken.  Closer inspection showed that someone had squeezed and pulled on it with a pair of pliers sometime in the past.

If I had a new grommet this would be a quick easy thing to fix.  Unfortunately there is no local Skidoo dealer to buy parts from and even if there was the dealers never seem to have the part you need in stock.  While I was contemplating waiting two weeks for a new part to arrive, I stepped on something on the floor of my shop.  I looked down to see what it was and I discovered a vibration isolator left over from an old refrigeration compressor that I worked on last week.

I used a razor knife to cut the the rubber mount in half and it was just the right size to replace the bad fuel line grommet.  I pressed it into the tank, reconnected the lines, and put the machine back together. I was very happy to avoid waiting for new parts.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

John Deere 450

Today I worked on the city's John Deere 450 dozer.  This is a great little machine that gets a lot of use around town clearing snow and doing other road maintenance jobs.  The city also has a backhoe attachment for this machine that works great for digging small holes.
The problem today was a leaking fuel line.  The supply line leading to the injection pump was dripping.  I was able to simply snug up the fitting and stop the leak.

Unfortunately I also noticed a small drip coming from the back side of the injection pump.  This will probably require pulling the pump off to check it out.  That is a more complicated job than I wanted to take on today outside in the cold and wind. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Pop" Cooler

I just completed a rebuild of an old "Pop" cooler at our local store.  It had a burned out compressor motor, a bad condenser fan,  and a plugged up capillary tube.  There was also a lot of dust and lint covering everything.
 I took the compressor/condenser unit out of the cabinet and brought it back to my shop for rebuilding.

All the plumbing connections are brazed together.  This photo shows where I crimped a larger line down to fit over the new filter dryer.

This is the complete compressor unit assembled on my work bench.

Here is the compressor being installed in the cooler.  On the floor by the door is my vacuum pump.  This is used to evacuate the system to ensure that it is dry and clean before adding the new refrigerant.

 I had a helper that was just the right size to clean the inside of the cabinet.

Here is the complete cooler filled up with eggs.