Alaska-Life

Moose,  2017.

So, the moose story. 

finally. (Some of you have been asking for this post for a week) 🙂

The morning of the day of the wolf adventure above, we’d gone up one ridge before day light (Fun.)  I couldn’t so the last climb to the very top, about 60 yards of what at that time I deemed “death slope”. 

This area is a little U shaped valley along a ridge, sitting between prongs, or points off the ridge. Ridge and river sit paralell, prongs point at the river, so open top of the U faces the river.  It’s about 0.4 miles from river to the bottom center of the U, 0.35 miles from one point to the other across the U.   Not a big area. 

From river to about .25 miles in, it used to be boreal tundra spruce… 90% no bigger than 8″ in diameter. Several years ago it burned. So it’s now a mess of 3″ Dia 8′ tall new birch, alder, and willow, with its floor covered in down, dead spruce… High stepping nightmare to hike in. But it’s dry and flat. 

At that .25 mile mark is a line, and small grove of larger older spruce forest.  It goes maybe 50 yards in depth. Behind it, the rest of the flat into the bottom of the ridge, of the U is moss covered tundra. Moss a good 1.5′ to 4′ deep in places, wet, spongy. And permafrost grown spruce, all about head height and 2″ in dia..   Thankfully that area isn’t muskeg tussoks, but the moss isn’t any picnic to hike in. 

From the right hand watch spot, on the first ridge point we climbed, from about half way up, looking across the U at an angle, to the next point, and the base of the 2nd point. 

So, anyway. 

That first day, they’d gone up the first ridge mid afternoon, to scout. Didn’t see any moose. That evening at dusk they went up again, and I hunted watching a sand bar along the river, couple hundred yards from camp. I didn’t see anything but a Huge beaver. 

All they saw was two other hunters on the next point, that hiked in from the river!

That next morning, (wolf day), we all went up before daylight,  and watched. That pic there ^^ is from my vantage point later in the morning. They were a bit higher than me furthet up on my right. 

We would have gone over and up the second point at that time, but figured the other two guys would be back that morning. They never showed.

Around 9 am, they saw a moose,  good sized one, a loooonnnnggg ways out on the burn flat past the second point, about 700 yards,  headed our way. 

I never saw him that day. You have to know what your looking for at that range, it’s amazing the one guy saw it to begin with,  but he has eagle eyes for that stuff… saw it at first with bare eyes, No Glass!! 

Anyway, about 10, they decended into the U and crossed the valley behind the trees, in the mossy mess, to the other point, and climbed it.   By 11, the moose had bedded down, off that point a few hundred yards out.   

I headed back to camp (mid way between points, on the river). They went off the other side of that second point and into the valley there, and scouted around, back to camp, around 1 pm. 

If we’d known that morning that the other two guys weren’t coming back, we’d have gone up that second ridge then, and could have shot that bull that morning, he came well within range before bedding. As it was, he bedded before we got anyone on that ridge.

Fast lunch, then we napped to 3pm, early dinner, then hiked in and climbed the second left hand point around 4pm.  I could only get up about 50 yards, and it was from this point I took this pic shown in the wolf post;

center U trees on left, big trees on right are on the far bank of the river, looking toward camp, other point on the left/center… 

3 hour watch, around 730pm was when he shot the wolf, and I went down to help. 

The big bull never showed again that evening.  Around 8 after we got back to camp with the wolf, our 3rd guy that had stayed up top(Ole eagle eyes) saw another pair of bulls headed in along the same line the other had taken into the area, these two a good 900 yards out. Younger smaller bulls, spike forks both of them, a medium sized one and a smaller one trailing him by a ways. 

Too far out, too late to worry about, but maybe the next day they’d range in better. 

Late dinner that night after he came down around 9, then we were up till 12am,while he skinned out that wolf. In the dark, in the cold, in the rain (sleet, almost snow actually ).  

Next morning about 530, up and breakfast, and they headed back up the steep 2nd point. Wanted to be there when that first big bull started moving around. 

I’d had too much mountain goating around, and general hiking the first couple days, was starting to blow out a muscle in my right thigh… Figured if I was going to be of any use helping to butcher,  and pack out meat if we got one, I needed to stick to the flat land and stop trying to climb ridges. 

I stayed in camp till around 8, then went and tried to hike to the sand bar I’d been watching,  long the river. That was Fun. Had to head into a stand of old growth spruce along the river, some 4′ in diameter at the base. And more dead falls. But unlike in the burn area, these were 10″ in Dia and bigger. And the area had a drainage ditch/street bed. 

At 9:10 I’d managed 100 yards from camp, and decided the heck with it, started to head back. (The very fresh bright purple bear scat in places added to the ease of that decision 😉 , although we’d been seeing that scat,  most of it fresh within the week, purple (blueberry) or red (cranberry) all over the valley.  )

915am, 3 shots off the ridge above me. 

Headed for camp a little faster. 

About 10, my buddy got into camp. Eagle eyes had gone to start gutting it. 😀 

They were up there watching, nothing moving in the flat, when suddenly he saw movement out of the brush at the base of the ridge below them… That big bull had skirted the base of the slope, too close to the ridge to be seen till he got out 100 yards or so!  Walked right by under them. 

He also went right by the spot I’d sat the evening before, within about 50 to 70 yards!!  If I’d have been up there he would have crossed below me, in perfect range, at a slow walk, broadside! 

As it was, he heard my friends, gave a lot at them up the ridge, and broke into a trot toward the center U trees.. 

They fired two shots that missed him as he turned, and then God blessed my buddy on the 3rd shot, as the bull got to about 350 yards out, into the mossy area, he shot for the spine downhill, bull facing almost square away from him.  Missed the spine, but the shot went into the rib cage. 

Little later dressing him out, the shot broke 3 ribs going in on the left side, made hamburger of its liver, through that lung, destroyed the aorta,  and passed into the off side shoulder or brisked.  Hydrostatic show made jelly of the other lung, and blood shot some brisket,  neck. 

The bull took a few steps, about 20′ if that, and dropped in his tracks.  

When oppenened up,  the body cavity was Full of blood, and there was no blood in the meat as we butchered it.. The shot destroyed the aorta, but missed the heart, and under a run, and adrenaline,  the bull heart kept going and pumped himself dry, bled out Fast, and dropped. 

The only problem was, the side of that tree line that he ran to. Lol. 

So packing him out was 50 or 60 yards of mossy muck, 50 yards of (active use!)bear trail through the timber,  and 200, 250 yards of the burn area. FUN. 

But at just a little over 1/4 mile, it really wasn’t that bad.  But I now fully understand an old saying here; NEVER shot a moose further than 100 yards from a motorized vehicle. 😉 

The most entertaining was getting the head and hide out. Skinning went so fast with three guys, them two cutting and my pulling the hide, that he decided he wanted it in one piece, to keep. The fact that it’s a chocolate brown and deep black, I can’t blame him, it’s gorgeous!  

And the 4×5 52″ rack, he wanted for a full European mount (antlers on skull). 

So, hide folded around two 10′ poles laid shoulder width apart, poles on shoulders, and carry it out. Oi.  I did about a 40 yard stretch of that in the burn area. As the guy in back. Learned how easy it really is to hike in that otherwise;  you can see your footing. As the rail gut carrying the hide, you see hide, not the ground. Oi! 

The head we hung from one pole, and carried the same way.   Uhuh. Better visibility, but man… Not fun. I did 60 yards or so of that in the burn area too.  They’d carried the head out of the mossy swamp without the pole, antlers laid on their shoulders… I didn’t see it, but wish I had!! 😉 

Took us all that first day to butcher it all, bone out the quarters, and skin it, and pack out about 1/4 of it. Took all day the next day to pack out the rest of the meat, the head, and hide. 

Going into this I was worried that my back and hips wouldn’t take the packing. They said that’s fine, it’s a group effort for all of it, I wouldn’t have to pack meat if I couldn’t/didn’t want to. 

I figured I was gonna feel real guilty doing that and planned to do as much as I could, as safe as I could. After the amount of work I put in skinning and butchering, and only actually cutting for 5 minutes,  I understood. It really is a group effort, and takes a lot of work for an animal this size. 

I wouldn’t have felt guilty not packing meat. 

But I did.  Some of that was entertaining,  we only had one pack frame. So you grab a meat bag, 30 to 40 lbs of meat,  sling it over one shoulder, and hike. Ugh. 

I did one trip with the pack frame, 55 or 65 pounds of meat..  That was easier since it balanced in one place on your back, and you had your hands free in the brush… But damn that was heavy. 

Moose down;

Me, Brian, the shooter, and Bullwinkle;

(I’m the fat one in plaid, Not the fat one with antlers!) 

Funny thing about that shot… he’s holding the other guys bolt action rifle, not his gun he used… lol. (He used his AR, in .308! Weird to be hunting with a black rifle, for me, but it works!)

Butchering(warning, slightly graphic);

Brian and Robert getting ready to haul the hide in the mossy area;

Them hauling the head in the burn area;

This next pic is pretty graphic, but I’m proud of it, so I’m posting it.   Shows what the carcass you leave Should look like… ALL meat harvested. Law requires all usable meat be taken, but a lot of guys leave a great deal… We did the legal, and ethical thing and stripped everything. 

All we left was a gut pile, a pile of feet, and that carcass. 

Anyway, great experience,  wonderful time with a good friend,  and a new friend (one of these guys I’d never met till the morning we headed out!) Wouldn’t trade any of it for the world! 

And, he called Friday night, went in to pick up my share of the meat from the processing place yesterday. (more expensive,  but I didn’t have time or the space to butcher and grind that much meat. Costing me abut $1/lb, not bad really), I got 200(!) pounds of meat, plus some tenderloin and heart that didn’t go to the processor. 🙂 😀 😀

We pulled a little over 600 lbs of meat total off the animal. 

After what I’m giving away to friends, and folks I know that had a bad year, that need it more than we do, I’ll end with more than enough for us, will easily last us till next season, at more than two moose meals a week.  

 At this point, I know of 7 families that will be eating from this harvest, and I’m sure the other two guys are giving more away.. GOD IS GOOD!!!

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Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Hunting, Journal, Life-Philosophy, Outdoors, Wildlife | Leave a comment

White Fang, is that you?

A real thrill I got on this trip, was a little hike into the brush… 

Last Monday(18th) afternoon we were setup sitting on a ridge, waiting to spot a bull they’d seen earlier in the day. And I do mean ridge… only about 100 yards straight up it base to top, but its rise was about 60° or 65° (my best guess) or steeper… strewn with downed trees(previous forest fire burn area), and 3 or 4 years of new growth birch/alder no bigger than your wrist… 

Going up was interesting. 

Coming down was quite honestly downright suicidal. 

I couldn’t make it all the way up, I got about 40 or 50 yards, just high enough to get me above the flat land tree tops to a good valley view…

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They went to the top, and about 1/3 of the way around the hill to my right, better view to the river and further out. 
Hour or so later, just about the time I getcomfortable that I’m not falling off the hill 😉 4 shots from up top.

 Up I get, rifle ready, skoot around the hill a bit, see a big flash of white go down in the brush and small spruce trees about 400 yards out.. I figured it was the white light refection off of an antler palm. 

15 minutes later one buddy goes down past me 30 feet off… I follow. He stops, tells me “no moose” in a wisper. 

Huh. 

He then says “wolf”
“Wanna come along?”

Hell yeah!
Good excuse to get the hell off this suicidal slope before I have to do it at dusk! 😉

Turns out they had watched this lone wolf come in from up country, couple miles out. It was moving slow, looked off… like injured or sick. 

They decided we really didn’t need him in the area, danger to us, and to the game we were stalking, so he took it. Pretty good hitting a moving wolf at 350 ish yards! 

It hadn’t dropped dead though, and kept moving a bit till it stopped…

So, here I am using tracking a wounded predator in the brush, as an excuse to get off a steep hill… lol. Ok, maybe not my smartest move ever. ;)

But I had to go… just one of those cool things you can say you’ve done, ya know? 


If you survive it.. lol. 

Didn’t want him going out to do that alone either..

And it was thrilling, if not a touch frightening. Great experience.

One guy on the ridge, us in the valley, two course corrections waved from the ridge, didn’t take long to find it. Still breathing, back hips broke from the shot. Took two more well placed .308s to kill it. Tough little guy!

Turned out to be a bit scrawny, and when gutted, it’s stomach was Literally empty. 

Good thing I went too, if just to help get it the 1/4 mile back to camp. That wolf had to weigh pretty close to what my buddy does… no way for us to tandem carry it in that brush, he slung it across his shoulders and did it himself, rifle slung around his neck. 

Took us 15 min ish, in a dead straight line, or as close as possible, no stops… he couldn’t or he’d never get going again. 

Pretty good hije for me too, I ended up with my pack on my back as I started, but also with his pack on my chest... Ugh. I don’t recommend that kind of high stepping dense brush, downed tree, mossy ground hiking with weight on your chest. About killed my lungs! Don’t know how he did it with 150lbs of K9 on his shoulders.

Later upon skinning, we found massive trauma to its neck, and shoulders, and one front leg. Puncture wounds in its neck and shoulder, like you’d expect from a fight with other k9s. Wounds only a couple days old if that.

Figure he had a fight in the pack, and lost, got drove out. Smaller animal, probably young. Not acustomed to hunting alone he wasn’t eating, and recovering from wounds, why he moved so slow coming in. 

Honestly I think we did him a favor. Winter is only a couple weeks out up there, if that long.. those wounds, and as thin as he was, I really don’t think he’d have survived the winter. 


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Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Hunting, No-pain-no-gain, Outdoors, Wildlife | 1 Comment

Duck, duck, goose?

On the way up the river last Sunday(17th) heading out to moose camp, we kept flushing pairs of ducks on the river, that would fly ahead of us for a ways.

We finally stopped and got out the shotgun that was brought for just that.

A buddy dropped the duck, two shots at 40 or 50 feet from the boat, moving, behind it flying up river, broke both wings, but didn’t kill it.

Duck ended up under some overhanging weeds/grass along the bank… after 3 misses and 4 feed jams I put a round dead center through its neck @ 25 or 30 feet… Was aiming for its head, got its neck. Not fabulous, but pretty damn good I think for a hiding, moving, camouflaged duck, from a bobbing, drifting boat!! :D

Need to give that Ruger MKII a good cleaning again, and play with the mags… It’s been stove piping on fed rounds or just not closing on a round, or not stripping rounds from the mag, off and on for a while.

I *think* the problem is the mag springs are weakened from being loaded 24/7/365 for the last decade… Because, half the time when I clear it, the next round is down a space in the mag, not pushed up to top..

Dad had that .22 for probably close to 20 years, only ever for plinking. I’ve had it for 6 years, carried it for grouse while big game hunting two seasons, and have intended it for hiking carry for small game all year…

First time it’s ever been fired at game, and first kill for it.

Technically, that’s My fist kill of anything besides fish…

No pics of the duck, but here is the goose he winged a couple miles later. It dropped/died clean, no .22 required.

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Not the exact spot, but a similar stretch of the river to where they were taken.

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And both cooking, made a great first days camp dinner!! My first ever wild goose, and wild duck. Evenbetter when I got to help harvest the dinner!

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Really was super tasty! Especially after the mishaps and adventure we had getting there… but that’s a story for another post. ;)

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Hunting | 1 Comment

Got a new wheeler!

Did some “horse trading” as its called around here, got me a new toy! 2012 Polaris Sportsman 400 H.O. 😎 

It was stolen last spring, then recently recovered by the Alaska statet roopers a few weeks ago. I’ve had to fix a few things the thieving jerks broke, but overall it’s in great shape! 

No, I don’t know what I need two 4 wheelers for… Just couldn’t pass on a cool deal. ☺

I’m planning to keep it for the winter, 

1 to avoid having to sell it now,

 2 it’d be harder to sell now that hunting season has started anyway, and 

3 I get something else to play with… 🙂   

IF 😉 I can’t find a way to justify having a second wheeler next spring, I’ll swap the better tires off it for my worn set, and still easily sell it for $2K or more.   😎

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, ATVing, GetOutdoors, Horse Trading, Hunting, Outdoors, Riding, Vehicles, Woods tools

ATV Clutch repair! (Part 4) 

The previous parts of this saga, were;

1.

The clutch going out.

 A weight bushing and shaft worn, and a broken weight roller on the spider, jamming between weight and roller, late last fall. 

Parked it for the winter.

2.

Then this spring, I decided that if I took out the pivot shafycfir the weight, and that the weight couldn’t come out without disassembly of the clutch, it wouldn’t bind and jam,  and should work on 3 weights. 

Which it did, flawlessly.

For about 3 months. 

3.

Then it managed to get the magic amount of rpm, clearance,  and weight orientation to throw the weight. About 3.5 weeks ago. 

Turned out at that point, that when still “floating” in the clutch, even though the weight wasn’t helping engage the clutch, that it’s trapped weight/mass was balancing the clutch! 

Horrendous vibration ensued, causing engine over heating, a high pitched hum, and increasing belt slipage. And eventually would no doubt eat engine bearings… 

I rode it some for work around the homestead,  but I’m the clutch slippage was getting worse every time I ran it. 

So… part 4.

I decided to replace the weight shaft, and bushing, making both myself to save cost. 

To add back the weight, but held in this time as intended to be, and eliminate the play that allowed it to bind up. The broken roller on the spider could wait a little while. 

Being lazy won out over being broke. Twice. First time about 3 weeks ago, I was going to lathe turn a new pivot shaft. 
Was easier to buy a new one. 

This time I was going to make the bushing for the weight … Never had the time or drive to do it for over a week. 

Found a atv/cycle parts place with amazingly reasonable shipping rates to Alaska (bikebandit.com). 

Few days later I have shiny little parts! 

Got 4 since everything online says you’ll crush a couple learning to press them in.

 Uhuh. 

I used a new bushing over the old shaft, slid through the old bushing/weight, nut on top to act as a stop, and drove the old one out while seating the new one…  

Slight bur created on end of new one trimmed out with a drill bit by hand. Took 5 min total, if that. And I have 3 bushings left! 

If nothing else I have the bushings to later do the other 3 weights. 
Then came instalation in the clutch.

REALLY wanted to do this without pulling the clutch off the engine. I bought a puller last winter, but there are a lot of horror stories about broken clutch pullers, and having to then cut the clutch up to get it off. If you got a cheap puller.  I did get a cheap, but not the cheapest puller… 

Yeah. 

 Couldn’t compress the clutch into the belt loop (as it does when the clutch is working, to open the area around the weight) as I had hoped I could, with clamps.  

Suddenly realized I could enlarge that belt loop, and clearance in it, by letting the belt tighten on the secondary clutch!

 Pry open secondary clutch, pull belt foreward, press primary clutch half inward, hold in place with clamp, insert weight, drive in new shaft(light press fit in clutch), install nuts, tighten. 

Voila! That was amazingly easy. Not sure why, but God sure does like me!

 plugged in the belt safety switch in the cover, wired the cover to the rack as high as possible,  kept my leg out of the clutches for a short test ride in the yard (don’t try this at home kids).

 NO MORE VIBRATION! Works like a DREAM!!  Took less than an hour total! $50 max total spent, used a whopping $11 in parts! 

If I’d known that could go that easy, I’d have gotten the parts and done it months ago!  

Bolted cover on and rode it 10 miles; perfect! No vibration, no high pitch buzz, no belt slip, no motor over heating, good clutch engagement!! 

Back to the way it was last year(yikes, hard to believe its been 10 months it first messed up!) before any of the clutch issues!!  
Now, technically I still need to replace the clutch center spider, that houses the (broken)roller that the weight runs on. 

But given how little wear there is on the weight compared to the rest of the worn parts, I think it is causing very little damage, very slowly.   

I’m pretty sure it can wait a month or two of reasonable riding, for me to save the funds to get the spider,  and build the tools needed to disassemble the clutch to change it. 

I will also be periodically checking on the play in that weight on the shaft–

(and, as a side point it’s now the tightest of all four… the other 4 bushings could use done within a couple years m, I’m sure.)

–because,  there is a section where the wear had eaten into the weight, that the new bushing is unsupported. 

Probably be fine for a long time, but I’ll check it from time to time just to be sure.  

Might just weld up that spot when I have it apart to do the spider. Or spring for a new weight.   But unless it starts to bind again,  I can’t see this causing any wear being a problem, for a while anyway. 

I’ve also decided that even though it still looks great, this couldn’t have been good for the belt, and I gave no idea how old it is anyway. I’ll put a new belt on it as soon as I can afford it. Hopefully when I replace the clutch spider; Since the clutch has to come off to change the belt (what idiot thought that up??!?), and I’d like to minimize times I have to do that… 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATVing, Automotive Work, Damages, GetOutdoors, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Riding, Vehicles, Wrenching

Range day, August 12, 2017

Range day with a couple friends yesterday.

Very few pics, I didn’t take many, was having too much fun… 😉😆 Maybe more later, a friend took several,  if I can lay hands on them… (yes, you Weston!) 

Got to make sure of the sight in on my 30-06 for upcomming hunting seasons; still doing a 2.5″ ish group at 75 yards, peep sights, 3″ high with my hunting loads: good enough! .Also, played around with my 45colt Beretta Stampede; nice bullseye group at 75 yards! Like a 6″ group, but still, not bad for open fixed notch sights on a 3.5″ barrel, that I don’t shoot often!

 Played with a buddies Ruger Mini 14 223, (I REALLY need to finally get the 223 I’ve wanted for 5 years… such a nice light plinking round!)

And I was finally able to try some handloads I made for my 30-30 in late 2014. .30cal round ball loaded light, for small game. bunny busters I call them. Pretty accurate to 75 yards, with no sight change on the rifle, quieter than a .22lr too.  Only problem is you have to single feed them, they won’t feed into the mag tube. 

Got a couple rounds into the black(paper plate sized roughly) at 100 yards with the 30-30, also peep sighted… Been 3 or 4 years since I’ve shot that gun at all, nice to see how easy it was to get back close to where I was then(Used to make nice sub 2″ even 1″ groups at 110 yards with it… with the peep sight. 😎 )

The Remington model 25 has that new sight that you guys might recall I put on over a year ago. Finally got to try sighting it in.

Couldn’t get on paper at 50 yards, always low, even after coming up a LOT on adjustments… Was running low on ammo and patience, then got side tracked. Will have to try another day and start closer…

This is what we call 36 mile range… It’s at the 36 mile marker on my road, about 12 miles into the Chen River recreation area.. (22 miles east of me on a windy 2 lane blacktop)

It’s just 3 benches and about 125 yards max aaaallll the way up the back slope… 100 yards max applicable use unless your really ambitious 😉

My stuff, the 25-20 out. Some of you will (should) recognized that scope laying there, it’s the one that was on my 30-06 since my Dad got it new in the 60s.

 The one that had the elevation adjustment break during sight in several years ago… About drove me nuts!  Took it off and used the irons that season, then after that my buddy Swany gave me a scope to use. 

(It’s a little funny, Swany had the other scope on a .22 he used for squirrel. I used it one season and then gave up on scopes all together for serious use, and I now have it on a .22 for small game. Came full circle! )

Anyway, I now use the busted scope as a monocle/spy glass I call it, for a spotting scope at the range. I’ve even worn it slung around my neck hunting instead of binos!  The 3-9 magnification and focus rings still work great.

My buddy’s stuff, S&W 44 mag, S&W 45 auto, Ruger Mini14.. Sorry, I can never remember the model #s on the S&Ws.. 

Categories: 25-20-rifle, Adventures, Alaska-Life, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Gunsmithing, Hunting, Outdoors, Summertime

Motorcyclist/Bikers; Tire Pressure!

Hey guys/gals, just a heads up type thought; go check your tire pressure!

Last week I got ready to go for a ride, and did what I always do, always have; get on bike, and rolling forward hit the front brake hard; front shock compresses,  and weight hits front tire hard. Watch front tire, and if it deflects/bulges, I check air pressure.  

I started that years ago with dirt bikes, and then my Rebel 250 street bike…

As i recall, several pounds low and they’d show it.  Apparently the tires on my V-Star are a lot stiffer of a side wall!

As I said, I did that test this last week and had the tire flatten a little.  So I checked them. 

Rear was 10 psi! 

Front wouldn’t read at all!!

 

Zilch. Nada. 

So, I’ve been ridding on basically FLAT TIRES. Thankfully God is gracious, and it hasn’t killed me!

Aired them up, and the bike rolls better by hand than it has in a LONG time. Now when I clutch to shift while moving, it will roll faster, where before it would slow/drag.  (Be interesting to see how much this improves my gas milage!)

Talk about stiff side wall tires! Run flat is an understatement!  Apparently they’re just so stiff my little test has never really worked on this bike.

Lesson learned. I’ll now gauge check pressure every month, and seasonally when the bike comes out of storage(yeah, should have been doing that anyway).

Can you imagine a tire run too low suddenly shifting or rolling sideways on the rim at highway speed? 

 

Eek.

Or for instance, a couple weeks before this, a moose ran out in front of me. I locked front and rear brakes and slid 20ish feet in a basically straight line at 60mph (didn’t know I could do that!). 

If the tire had flattened then, or rolled sideways? 

Option on hitting moose; bad enough…

Tire coming off rim binding up the wheel and cartwheeling me and the bike through the moose; uhuh…

So…

GO CHECK YOUR TIRE PRESSURE!!

Categories: Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, GetOutdoors, Life-Philosophy, Motorcycles, Summertime, Theory/Thoughts, Vehicles

motor boating!

A buddy of mine is converting his outboard river boat to an inboard. Going from a outboard prop to inboard jet. 


The motor is a GM made Ecotec supercharged in line 4 cyl 2.4L. Mostly stock Except some EFI, exhaust, and cooling components. 240HP. And the super charger is off of a 2.2L Ecotec… the 2.4s didn’t come with them.

The outboard that came off was 80HP. 

He had a custom boat(among other things ) welding shop that another buddy works at chop, channel the boat and build the motor and jet pump mounts in the boat. Then he’s done all the install, wiring, tuning(most of it) etc himself. 

There is a lot of custom stuff done with this motor, it’s a popular one to swap into things, but this is the only jet boat, and IIRC only boat of any kind in the world with one!

I was out with him on Monday the 18th for the first ever in water running and tuning. We spent 9 hours on the water, only about 45 min running it. The rest of the time was chasing fuel supply issues, mostly mechanical, but also in tuning the computer control of the EFI.. 

I’ve learned an Epic amount of stuff that I didn’t know about how EFI systems work.

There is a lot of his builds details posted on a couple forums;

https://www.cobaltss.net/forums/2-4…5-supercharger-2272-mv-jet-boat-build-322969/

http://www.meanchicken.net/webmain/forum/viewtopic.php?nomobile=1&f=69&t=19737

Apparently jet boats are Really popular in NZ? A lot of the info hes using came from down there!

http://www.nzjetboating.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=30216.0
It just amazes me, the new motor and jet setup is only about 100lbs heavier than the old setup, if that much, he’s still only drafting 6″ under this thing,(on step it has to be 3″ or less!) With selling the outboard motor off it, he’s almost broke even, and gained 100+ HP ( 80 to 240, but ya lose some to the jet pump).

Unfortunately I lot all my video and pics from that day except one shot;

Yeah, the scenery is pretty epic too! 🙂 

That lake is unique in the area, and relatively new, only been there a couple years. It’s only about 1/2 mile,  maybe a touch more across the London way, 1/4 the other way I’d guess… BUT  It’s within 2 minutes of the industrial part of town, and 5 minutes from metro/downtown,  a 10 min max from just about anywhere in Fairbanks.

 It’s Deep, has a great launch and floating dock, picnic areas, bathroom facilities,  and allows power boats. That last one is the big thing… Otherwise it’s a 1.5 to 2 hour drive to a lake that allows powered craft. Otherwise it’s the rivers… But playing in a current can get old, and these are shallow water rivers… Can be less than fun at times.  

It’s perfect for this project, as shallows and a current could be killer for testing a new motor! 

As a bonus, this lake does outlet into the Tanana river, so it has options.  And fish.. 😉 
So, onto the next time we were our with it, last Saturday;

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Junk yard GM ecotec 2.4L with a supercharger from a 2.2L. Full custom setup for fuel delivery and injectors( the only GM part left is the rail itself). The jet pump unit is top of the line made by Scott. 

[​IMG]


Our day out the first time that Monday, 9 hours on the water, 45 min run time mixed with problems…. But it did run all the time… or would run for short times.

This last time out on Saturday, boat was in the water 6 house before we got it to run at all… uhuh. 

First 3 hours it would fire over but not stay running. We were trying to run it without an O2 sensor (which technically it should do!) since the machinist that’s making the O2 adapter for the marine water jacketed exhaust had the sensor. 

No go. 
We had his spare sensor, but different plug/wire harness and colors. Tried unsuccessfully to hot wire it in. 

Drove the 40 miles(1.5 hours) round trip and picked up the right O2 sensor. 

Installed. 
Then it wouldn’t even fire! 
Checked and found no spark. 

Serriously turning into a rough day at this point. After over an hour of checking everything, I found a main fuse blown. We’d shorted out something and blown power to the whole setup when hot wiring the first O2 sensor! Oops!!

Them it ran great! Other than a hick up or two at about 3200 rpm, where it would stall out, and if you pushed it, the compute would kill the electronic throttle… 

We found out later that the tuning/computer fuel tables transition at that point to a higher rpm/load setup, but it not set right and it leans out too far– enough to cook the motor fast– computer was doing right to protect the motor when it was cutting off. 

So that will need chased in the programing, to richen up that tables’ mixture curve. 

For the rest of our testing we kept it below 3K without a hitch.

Its a non issue for general run though. We hit 50% throttle and 25 to 30 mph at 2800 rpm or below depending on load in the boat. 


And there is the big point; load in the boat. 

First run with around 900 pounds in the boat and it went “on step” within a boat length, and ran like it was empty! 

So we bumped up to all we had.

Two 50 gallon drums, two 20 gallon drums all full of water, my friend and I, and we had 1800 pounds in the boat. 

With the full 1800 in it, it took maybe 40 feet to get on step, then ran 40% throttle to 25 mph, at around 3000 rpm, ran fantastic, circle after circle in the lake, without a hitch. 

Never bogged, never pulled bad… was almost like an empty boat!! 

:D

Technically, the hull itself is only rated at about 1800 pounds, so add in motor, jet pump, and gear weight etc, we were a good 500 pounds over that. Ha! 

So the most weight you could ever safely have in there, and more than you’d ever really need to, and it ran basically like the loaf just wasn’t there.

100% success to the project! (A single 66″ moose, 2 guys and their gear last fall with the 115 hp outboard, he couldn’t get it on step, and they got back with less than 2 gallons of gas to spare. Almost didn’t get back, basically!) The point wasn’t a speed demon, but a super weight hauler for hunting. I think he’s got it. ;)

A bonus too, on about the third loop around at constant rpm/speed, the fuel ratio suddenly improved by dropping on air percentage.. anything over 15% is bad, and 17ish on up will cook the motor. 

We were running between 14 and 14.7 to start, at cruise speed. OK but not great. It suddenly dropped to 12.5. The computer is learning what it can do, and what the motor needs, and is tuning itself. 

At this point, the more it runs, the better it should run the mixtures as it continues to learn. Shouldn’t have to worry about it as much. 

Anyway, our last two runs of the day, part one and two from in the boat. And part three from the launch, while we waited for some kids to get out of the way of loading on the trailer. 

Slight hitch at the end of this next one… lol. 

Sorry you don’t get to see me.. (lucky you actually! ) we started out both filming, but he ran out of hands between throttle, steering wheel, and phone… lol.

So, anyway, this has really been a lot of fun for me, I’m super grateful he’s included me, and allowed me to be a part of helping with this. 

  As you all know, I Really enjoy custom work, things out of the ordinary. Along with my automotive interests, growing interest in boats, and absolute (if probably a bit weird)love of troubleshooting, improvising  and chasing a problem,  I really am loving this project. 
As I type this, he is mounting the marine water jacket exhaust(last few days anyway), and custom O2 sensor mount. Be interesting to see how, or if, that changes the run of the motor. 

All things stay good, and God willing, on the 3rd of August this boat is one of three going on a church group fishing/camping trip. 3 days in Minto Flats, one of the biggest and most remote norther pike hot spots in the state.  Yes, I’m going! 😉 😀

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Improviser, Modifications, Outdoors, Summertime, Vehicles, Wiring, Wrenching

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