Vehicle Maintanence

Yesterday I told you about Bones, our neighbor, who fixed most of our machines when we got here.  He was a very handy mechanic but, since his passing, we’ve been trying to learn to do much of our own mechanical work. Keep in mind, neither M nor I are actually mechanics (Read: Thank goodness for YouTube and mechanics forums!)  I’m pretty good at diagnostics but M has the general “guy” knowledge about machines.  I do what I can and then call him over for the hard stuff 🙂

Last week we started our annual maintenance with Jr, the Willys CJ-3a.  We checked all of the fluid levels and greased all of the zerts.  Jr. has a leaky head gasket that I’ll be replacing today but otherwise, he’s in pretty good shape.

Next we moved on to our second four-wheeler, a 1995 Polaris Magnum 4×4.  We bought this machine on a super cheap deal as a back up to the Kawasaki Bayou (a very tough machine) however, it’s always had a few issues. We had taken it to a local shop back in July to assess the problems.  They mentioned an oil leak which would require removing the top half of the engine ($500), a bad brake cylinder ($400), and a faulty fuel pump ($75).  We had them go ahaed and do the pump but not the other things.  What a mistake!!  It took them two months to get our machine back to us.  What’s worse is not only was $75 not a quote, it was simply the price of the part, it was also something we really should have done ourselves. The pump is located just behind the headlight.  it would have taken all of 20 minutes to change.  1. remove headlight plastics, 2. remove hoses and bolts from old pump.  3 remove old pump. 4. bolt new pump to frame then reconnect hoses. 5.  Replace headlight plastics.  Seriously, that simple!

So, with that bike shop experience behind us, we’ve vowed to do more ourselves and promptly put the bike up on blocks for inspection.

This bike has some obvious issues but was still sound enough to make for a cheap second bike.  It’s missing the exhaust guard, has a noisy clutch/belt system, and has no AWD or Low gear.  After much research I found a few tutorials on how to fix the AWD issue.   So, I went to work…

20150926_110630Basically, the issues we are having on this bike are similar to EVERYONE else’s issues.   The AWD issue required a very simple fix.  1. locate AWD switch wiring and follow it to the circuit board.  2.  pull the brown/white grey/white power wire from the lower circuit board (should be joined to the yellow wire coming out of the same harness).  3. plug brown/white grey/white wire into the upper circuit board  with the red wires.   It worked!  AWD problem fixed 🙂

Next we attempted to tackle the noisy belt/clutch area.  As it turns 20150926_110831out, this is also another very common problem with these machines.  The clutch area gets hot, warps the clutch cover and often, eventually, wears out both belts and covers.  Our belt is a little loose but it seems this is part of the design.  We did, however discover that not only is our cover warped (thus the rubbing and noise) it is also completely worn thru in places.  With the cover off, we started up the bike being careful not to be too near the spinning parts usually hidden by the cover.  No cover = quiet bike.  I’ll be ordering a new cover promptly! 🙂

Today’s project:  Jr’s valve cover gasket.

Wish us luck!!


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