I did some more scouting on my Z50 today, I did find some of the trail past 4 BUT it's a impassable mess. I even went around to the end and tracked it backwards, between 4 and the end is a complete write off which is too bad...
The good news is I backtracked from 0 and got that section (to the arrow) ready to ride, I would call that section an intermediate ride with some obstacles and bypasses so I think we're going to use that section and the black circle beside 1 as training/testing areas, if man or machine can't cut the mustard there then there's no hope of making it further down the trail!
I have to say, it was a beautiful day for a rip!
MightyRaze likes this post
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Age : 48 Join date : 2016-09-06 Points : 14360 Posts : 10146 Location : Oklahoma
Man, I'd love to have a trail near the house. The closest one, "when I use to ride it on a 4-wheeler" was specific to atvs and motorcycles. I've found that if they allow sxs's then they seem to not care. Checked out the area on google maps. Seems like a fun wooded area! Pretty large too!
There are trails all over the place around here, some are actually regulated by various dirtbike, atv and snowmobile clubs while others aren't. The trails we've been on are very quiet, the main riding area is all on the other side of the main road and yes its quite large! Lol. All the trails we've been on (marked in red) are technically closed and unmaintained so when people see all the trees and crap on the trail they just turn around (I've seen the marks), I rarely see/hear other people and when I do they're just on the main double wide trails (marked in green) but they're mostly flat and boring anyways unless you're looking to do speed runs! So basically the trails we're on which are single track dirtbike trials are kind of ours now. Lol. Anyone who rides them will come up to nasty areas, think the trail ends because of logging and take a logging road back out to the main trail(s) which is fine by me, just means they're nice and quiet for us and I've yet to see anyone else on it or even tire tracks that weren't ours. Now that's its rideable for a long distance I'd like to shoot some video of it, there's some very interesting areas and a couple of sketchy hills! Lol
As I mentioned in a recent previous post my plastic spindle bushings are completely shot and I figure I'd better do the upgrade sooner rather than later before they break apart so I decided to tackle it today after work! The whole process took me about 3.5 hours.
I've been planning this since I had the axle out and reinforced it several months ago but haven't had any luck finding the right material until earlier this year. I think it was water pipe and is almost a perfect 5/8" ID to match the spindles, pretty thick walled and most importantly seamless on the inside! What I did was cut 2 pieces at 90mm which is 1mm shorter than my outside measurements of the bushings in the axle, line bored them with a 5/8" drill bit, cleaned the heck out of the inside with a small sanding drum on a Dremel and polished the spindles until they fit in well and turned smooth. I also added and tapped holes for grease fittings.
I got lucky and didn't have to drill the hex bushing hole out, the tubes slid in and there with minimal play so I held them back against the rear of the hole cradled in the hex "point" and tack welded them in place...
...then fully welded them around the top and bottom, installed the grease fittings and added grease...
...touched up the paint...
...then got everything hooked back up, the wheels on and set 'er down!
I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture but the camber has been corrected to have a touch of positive camber (top of wheels tipped out) as most lawn and garden tractors have from the factory which should actually improve the steering a little! Not that I was unhappy with it or anything.
I'm really glad I've finally tackled this, I didn't drive it around tonight but there's basically no play in the spindles now and the steering feels very nice and smooth! Test drive tomorrow after work perhaps?!
I didn't get around around to testing the new spindles tubes until today, I have to say it's feels really good! The steering is very smooth and I can feel there's less play in the front end so that's a big win!
I was able to swing by the salvage yard today quick and I scored a variator pulley in way better condition than mine for $10! It cleaned up really well check it out, the old one is one the right and as you can see it's in pitiful shape! (pun intended)
I can't say for sure if I've gained any speed back, it doesn't really feel like it but I didn't GPS speed test it and I thought I felt a little slippage while going up the road... guess I have some more figuring to do.
I installed a new rear belt idler that is a touch smaller and looks the same as the stock size, it seems to have solved the hard shifting issue on the MST when I'm on any kind of incline which is super but I'll put it to a better test soon enough.
Well, not much of an update but a update none the less!
Well, I made another addition yesterday before going for a ride and boy did it come in handy!
I bought a ATV rack off the local buy & sell for $40 and got it fitted! In this first pic all I had done was cut the front center bar out to set it down and have a look. As you can see it's quite a bit wider than the fender pan.
So what I did was section it by 3" so it only hangs over about 1/2" on each side to protect the fender pan without getting in the way. Here you can see the slugs I made, staggered 3" sections I removed, holes drilled to weld the slugs on the ends and it mocked together ready to weld. I left a gap in the center so I could fully weld that all the way around as well.
I cut and bent the front parts to act as handles, then I fill welded the gaps in. After the ride I got to thinking I may cut and bend the corners up a little bit too. They work, but they could work even better!
Once it was welded up and the front mounts bolted on the fender pan I made rear support brackets out of some flat stock, painted everything with bedliner and added a couple of small ammo boxes! I was going to use .50 cal metal boxes but they were just too big, would've gotten in the way and the corners would have been jabbing me in the sides so I opted to use the smaller plastic ones. Once I build a small tray in the center I'll be able to carry a 1 gallon jerry can as well, it will fit perfect and not interfere with the seat!
This morning I figured out where to add some tie down points. I happen to have some cargo tie downs that are threaded to match the spots where the reflectors went and found that I can add 2 more on the fender pan where I had the grab handle mounted.
Now to have a look at storage capacity!
The front box is for tools, supplies and I can carry 2 bottles of water in it as well. I've used refective, insulated bubble wrap stuff on the bottom and side facing the engine to keep it cooler in there.
The left side box holds straps, a snatch block, pruning shears (useful for trimming small branches and thorn bushes) and has some space left over for? Perhaps a small hammer and more paracord would be a good addition!
The right side box I turned into a cooler with the same reflective bubble wrap to carry another bottle of water (frozen to act as a ice pack), and some food & snacks!
That rack is SOLID! I can pick the rear end up with no noticeable flex and it worked really well to protect the fender pan yesterday while going through a really tight area of trees.
I have to say this rig continues to surprise me with how capable it is even with the small 18" rear tires, I can't wait to see how much more capable it is when I get 20" in matching tread but I'm not sure when I'll actually order them. The extra 1" of ground clearance doesn't sound like much but it will help as will the extra circumference for crawling over logs and stumps. Something I'm REALLY loving about this machine is the low seating position and overall low center of gravity, I've had it at some crazy angles and haven't come close to feeling like it was going to tip over so say what you will about the platform but I'm loving it! I know guys have stated they don't like them claiming they're weak and flex too much but I'm not having any issues and I haven't even reinforced it yet...yet being the key word! Lol.
I'd like to shoot a proper video soon of at least 3 of us out there (we have found a 3rd and have a 4th in the works hopefully) but until the new fella is more experienced, his tractor is better prepared and we can make a full day of it I'll wait. As some of you know it takes alot of time to shoot and edit videos (especially for me who's slow at it and picky) and I want to do it right, so I wait! Lol.
Well that's it for now, I'll probably get a little bit more work done on it today!
You should go back and read some then, I have a mild pulley swap on the rear with a 3 speed MST working along with the 7 speed VariDrive, front brakes and a bunch of stuff I've done over the past couple of months! Top speed WAS 13mph a month ago during the first ride but something has happened preventing it from hitting that speed unless going downhill. I think it's the engine pulley.
@MightyRaze I wish I could throw a big engine pulley on but I feel limited by the VariDrive belts, the engine pulley is a 3" but the belt sits so far into it I bet it's riding on 2.5", I've done some scoping out and think I can get enough slack in the front belt to run a 3" B belt pulley which will make it run on a true 3 inches and hopefully make the difference. I don't think the polished looking surface is the issue on the Variator, pulleys come smooth and polish during use but good eye! I was thinking about roughing it up with some 80 grit sandpaper anyhow.
@Rustbucket Garage, well the lugs on my tires are looking pretty good for tenderizing, guess I could just run over for an hour so though then strap it to the hood with my fancy tiedowns! Lol.
I'm loving how well this rig is coming together and working, it's so much fun to ride!
Not at all @fbisurveilancevan, let me educate you! Lol. If you go to page 6 you will see the start of the amount of work I've put into making the VariDrive work with the MST 3speed I've installed, but here's a summary:
The tractor started off as a 7 speed VariDrive to which I added a 3 speed MST which gives me a huge range of speeds from super slow crawl to 13mph. I actually really love the VariDrive as I can control the speed with nothing more than the clutch pedal, I can be bombing through a smooth section of trail then quickly slow down for obstacles or tight turns then let the clutch back out and get motoring again!
I wouldn't put a CVT on this (like a Comet 30 series/TAV2), I don't think the belt would last long and they aren't cheap unless you buy the garbage ones which wouldn't be easy to change on the trail like a standard belt plus I'd end up losing precious ground clearance. I may in fact use one on the Silver Bullet when I get around to building it, I'm planning on making it a stripped down racer.
I agree I don't think the polished surface is the culprit, I'm pretty sure it's the front engine pulley and have some experimenting to do.
Overall I love what I've created and wouldn't change it unless it became ridiculously unreliable, the slippage only seems to be happening in 7th "gear" of VariDrive in 2nd and third gear of the MST, read the build from page 6 and you get a better understanding.
I'm still going to rough up the pulleys, cross thatch style with 40-80 grit sandpaper (need to experiment first to decide) which I don't think will hurt and should take a awhile before it wears down smooth again.
I do appreciate the input, the PITA aspect is what makes it fun for me, if it were easy everyone would do it! I haven't seen anyone who has done it on this level, to be used the way I'm using it and overall I feel I've been very successful, just a couple more kinks to work out! Lol
Another quick update, by some stroke of luck I found 4 small gas cans on the side of the road with a free sign! 3 of them are 1 gallon and there's was a 1-1/4 gallon too. None of them had nozzles or vent caps but it's all good, I got 'er covered! If I didn't stop at the hardware store and take the back way home I wouldn't have come across them!
I ended up choosing the 1 gallon Blitz because it's in great shape, fits the best, doesn't completely block my seat sticker and I had the perfect vented nozzle to work with it!
I did have to trim the locking teeth off of an old cap so it would seal the nozzle...
...and I swear this little cap was designed to work with the nozzle because it's literally a perfect fit!
Here's the anti spill nozzle I had kicking around, it fits inside the tank perfect and is vented which is required because the tank isn't!
I replaced the mounting bracket hardware with 2 more tie-down to use specifically with it and added a piece of rubber to prevent chaffing...
...then spent some time figuring out how to tie it down in a way that will hold it steady and viola! Done deal!
So there it is, now I can carry a full gallon of fuel on top of whatever my tank holds (2 gallons? I've been meaning to figure that out...) which means I should be able to ride basically all day! Most I've burned so far on a ride is a half of a tank for about 3 hours of run time so I'm pretty sure I'm good to go for a full day now!
This Monday started off pretty rough and ended on a high note, I'm loving it!
So Saturday I had a couple issues restarting the engine after shutting it down and letting it cool off, there were no air bubbles coming from the carb up the fuel line so I know it wasn't vapor lock. When I jiggled the spark plug wire it fired right up! Next time it didn't and when I tested for spark there was nothing, I pushed/pulled the wire around and all of a sudden had spark again, put the cap back on the plug and it fired back up so I figured maybe the spark plug wire went bad or maybe the coil itself is shorting out when hot. As it's running with the hood open I notice a smacking/cracking sound that happened to coincide with the misfire I could hear coming from the exhaust, the same misfire it's had since the day of the video I shot where you could hear it but it hasn't been consistent so I figured it was just because the engine was cold. Turns out...
...VERMIN(!) chewed the wire sometime between when I installed the new engine and a couple rides ago! You can't see the teeth marks in the photo but trust me, they're there!
Once I had removed the front tool box, air filter, starter cover ect. then the fan shroud I saw it, decided I would just tape it up but also added a spare coil to the rear left supplies box to be safe. I'm happy to report I was able to get it all apart, make the repair, reset the coil air gap and put it all back together with only tools and supplies I had in the box!
Lol very funny! But no not yet, I don't find I get stuck or struggle enough to need it. If it was summer or even fall she would've climbed that, the ground was frozen and slick so even a locker might not have helped. I'm nervous to lock it as I know it puts alot more stress on the axles themselves and I'm not generally taking it easy on it out on the trails so ya... no. Lol
I actually started working on what I'm calling a "limited locker" last winter but that was for the Peerless 910 FNR and doubt it would be compatible with the MST in it now.
After a couple months of hmming and hawing I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a set of SunF A003s for the rear of this rig to match the front tires from eBay, the largest ones they made (20x10x8) to level it out and make it a little more capable. Well that didn't go to plan... they shipped from California all the way to the international shipping center in Chicago only to be tagged as "unable to export"! I've ordered SunFs through the same seller twice in the past with no issues and then this with no real explanation why and apparently no hopes of getting them as they were the only ones and the actual manufacturer doesn't ship to Canada nor have any dealers here.