ATV

Waterproof switch not included.

Woke up in the middle of the night a couple nights ago to a weird screetchy, grinding sound outside… Ran out in the pouring rain to find my new atv winch running! The switch was in the off position (it’s spring loaded/momentary) too.

 I tapped the button, and it stopped. 

 Disconnected the battery,  and pushed it into the shop.

 Long story short, what I’m pretty sure happened, was that the switch on this one Isn’t rubber booted, nor apparently waterproof…(how did I not notice that before??)

 It got soaked in the rain, leaked, and shorted out.  

And the winch just kept running even while binding up and jamming the heck out out of the cable because I had it direct wired to the battery. Hadn’t gotten around to putting in the circuit breaker I got for it (didn’t come with one!). 

  I’m pretty sure that that kind of drag and heavy load on it, heavy amperage draw would have tripped a breaker and stopped  it. Oops. 

 Was a real pain to sort that cable out! 

Had to take the hook off, and feed it back and forth through and around the drum, working the loops and switchbacks out of it by hand.. all 40′ of it! Ugh. 

I thank God it did it when it did though… I was home, and I had the bedroom windows open. With the windows closed I doubt it would have woke me.  Or if I’d been gone, either way it could have ate the winch motor, or at least ran the battery dead… Wouldn’t have been good! 

New waterproof switch is on its way now. 

Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Modifications, Outdoors, Wiring | Leave a comment

ATV Drop basket/milk crate carrier.

First of the items for the rear multi-mount. (This is what I was building when I designed the mount system.) 

I like the idea of a drop basket, but wanted modular so I could take packet crates in and out.  

Measurements came out great! The wheeler overall width is around 47″ according to spec. I measured to about 44″ tire to tire, where I was comfortable with the width being inboard of the tires. 

The rack itself is 40″ wide. 3 standard milk crates add up to 39″.  Couple inches either end for the frame comes to 43″ or 44″. Perfect!

Layout;

Some of the best weld beads I’ve ever laid down! 

Welded up;

Painted;

Brackets made for the crates, one single crate, one double crate. 

Hardware for brackets, no snag heads inside(can’t catch your hands or tools on them).

All together;

Turns out the frame flexes a little more than I like, even empty. I should have used angle iron for the ends, its stiffer than flat bar. But I’d cut the sides too short to assemble well with angle iron ends..  

So I’ll put in a down post on the two rear(toward front of bike) corners, 

reaching to the crate bottom. Then angle brace them both directions, to the sides and ends. Will stiffen the frame, I think.

And yes, I know they block using the winch. But the winch is something you hope to not need. If I need it,  I can most likely, easily set a crate and it’s contents out for a few minutes for winching.

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, ATV, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Outdoors, Welding | Leave a comment

ATV Rear Winch InstallΒ 

I started with the concept of a rear reciever, and mounting the winch on a hitch insert. But it stuck out way too far to be practical. 

And, the reciever would have been a pain to work around to get into the trunk, even if trimmed.

So, I moved to above the trunk, behind the seat. Perfect open spot for it, just needed the tail light moved.

Had to scrounge a wider plate, to offset between the frame tails, and still have bolt realestate.

Made a mistake with the saw, cut too far. Twice. Erg.

The offset between the frame rails is to sit the winch and fairlead far enough back to clear the racks etc with the winch cable.

I LOVE this cutoff saw! Goes through 1/4″ plate like butter! Just gotta turn the lights off in the shop or it trips all the breakers. 

Squaring it all up, laying out for holes.

Drilled. 

I checked 3 times to make sure the winch cleared the bracket bolt heads. Oops. 

Found a bar with holes that matched, cut to length, made a spacer.

Test assembly;

You will note here that it’s only u-bolts holding the plate in. It was super tight, and if it slid backwards the plate would hit thr curved up frame rails, ride up the curve, and tighten the u-bolts. But I wasn’t 100% happy with it.  

So for the final install I drilled one hole on either side, through the plate and frame rail centers, and bolted it. Removed the two rear u-bolts in the process. 

Bonus there is not having to worry about gouging my hand on the U-boat tails when I reach in for the spool freewheeling release.

 Didn’t exactly like holes in the frame rails, but they’re small enough to not weaken it too much. While still big enough I think to keep the thing from going back under pull. 

Plate re welded at the cuts, welds dressed flat, corners clipped and rounded, drilled, and painted. One of the nicest install brackets I’ve ever made, if I do say so myself! 

I had to install the wiring twice. First time I got it all in, then tested the winch before bolt up… And it fried the relays.

 3 hours later, after some research on relays, and about 75 texts with a buddy that’s an electronics tech, I finally found where it was wired wrong. ( that’s how it was pre wired as it came too!) 

Had to take it all back out and lay it out, rewire it to match the existing wiring for the front winch. Works beautifully.

 5 minute fix. Ha!

Then reroute/reinstall it all. 

The relay bundle will almost fit in a small side area of the trunk.. This is a temporary setup to make sure I still don’t need to rewire again. Will fit it into its relay box it came with, and in turn into the side cubby hole later.

Wires out the side, gotta silicone the hole when I’m sure it’s setup permanently. 

One set of wires crosses and goes into a drain hole in the battery box, to the battery. The other set goes up, over the trunk.

And outcome the winch…

My mess of wires while trouble shooting 

The way someone wired it wrong…

Temporarily relocated the tail light. Need to build a bracket for it. (Cut the stock tabs off to clear the fairlead bracket)

Aaaannndd, two days, about 12 hours total work (amazing how long fabricating things can take!) It’s installed! 

Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles, Welding, Wiring, Wrenching | 2 Comments

Fixed ATV tail bags.

When I put the gun boot bracket on my 4 wheeler, the rear bag wouldn’t cleat it/go back on. 

I figured I’d just trim the right side compartment off of it. 2/3 bags is better than no bags! πŸ˜‰ 
I lucked out though, ended with 3 bags anyway! I figured I’d end with 4 walls and a lid cut off, basically useless. Turns out the compartments have a attached bottom separate from the base bottom sewn to all of them.   Got one loose bag for elsewhere now! 

Cut the compartment off the top, trimmed the foam back even with the rest. 

Then folded the base corner up to clear the brackets better, and seam sealed all the cut areas. 


Yes, that’s Gorilla Tape I used for seam sealer. Redneck, but it works! 

Categories: ATV, Custom, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles | 1 Comment

ATV Rifle mount.

A buddy thought the way another bud and I wore our rifles slung across out chests on the quads for hunting last fall was a little sketchy… (it was at times, but worked good) so he bought both of us gun boots and bracket kits for Christmas! 

I’m not fond of this concept, it seems like it’d be a super slow access(while the moose gets away) and it would IMO inhibit leg/ridding area… heaven forbid you need off that side of the wheeler Fast, like in a roll over..  BUT, I’ll give it a fair shake, and try it! 

 Anyway, I finally got mine mounted.

  

It looks high, but the butt ends sits lower than my head height ridding. Put it in the best compromise I could get for low, inboard of the fenders, out of my leg area, and leaving rack space, all while actually having rack to bolt to. 

Need to drill a couple extra holes in the bottom plate towards the front(by the big round hole) to u-bolt it to that front rack bar. But it’s already pretty dang solid. 

Dropped a rifle in and went ridding for an hour after I got it on there, trails, mud, and bushwacking, it stayed 99% as solid. 
It was also amazingly out of the way! 

Still not sure what it’d do to a fast get off on that side, but let’s pray I never have to find out! πŸ˜‰

Need to look in my hardware bins, want to replace the nut on the angle adjust bolt with a big knob, and a wing nut over it (tighten knob, then jam nut lock it with the wing nut) for easier angle adjusting, if I need the butt end lower to go under downed trees etc. (Will weld the bolt to the bracket to make it a one hand/no hold wrench operation.).

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, ATV, Guns, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Vehicles | Leave a comment

And again!


That’s the third time I’ve gotten stuck in the SAME FREAKING SPOT!! This time I was fine till I slipped one foot off a running board (ridding sitting up on one knee for side weight ballance) it was either slow down or drag my leg into the burm… Problem is I had to do it before the engine cleared the burm.  High centered, no traction in 4′ of powder. 😒😧😭 At least it’s in my yard… but still… Really? I mean, REALLY? UGH. 

A friend has suggested it’s time to EDC a winch… Which is funny since I do have two brand new AT winches sitting here waiting for another project. And I’ve thought in the past about rigging one on the sled.

 The problem is that the sled doesn’t have electric start, so it doesn’t have a battery. I can add a battery, but it also isn’t set up to Charge a battery… And these winches will EAT a battery fast without something charging on them to keep up.  

 I Hate electrical work, so I never get around to doing this. But If I keep getting stuck this often, I might just force myself to figure it out!! πŸ˜‰

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, ATV, Outdoors, Vehicles, Winter, Woods tools

ATV 2″ front receiver, and plow mount.

Wanted to modify my snow plow from my ridding mower to fit the Prairie 360. The plow mount got partly crushed in storage in the yard a few winters ago, so it hadn’t been used, and couldn’t be used anyway… No loss to cut up what was left of the mounting. 

But I wanted an easy, fat quick disconnect from the ATV, that also didn’t reduce my ground clearance like most factory mounts do.

  Good time to build the front receiver hitch that I’d thought would be handy anyway!
5 evenings work, 4 or 5 hours each, and two designs later; 

Bought a couple more U bolts than what I had (and the 2 U bolts were all I had to buy, the rest was already on hand!) And mounted;

The plate is welded at an angle to the receiver  tube, and sits flat on the frame tubes, which the u bolts go around. The tube is also butted against a frame cross bar at its rear, with a tab at the top sitting on the frame cross bar.  The front also bolts through a cross bar of the bumper.

Thus inward push is directly on the frame in two areas, and it’s protected from twisting up and down, and side to side.  It’s terribly over built, 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick plates and tube… Heavier than most truck hitch mounts. 

And, recessed in the stock front skid plate;

The plow mount uses a inner receiver piece, welded to the mount plate for the plow, which then bolts as it did with the tractor, to the plow pivot plate, which the plow angle bracket, and plow itself pins to.   Before, the plate and pivot would stay on the tractor,  and you understand pin it at the vertical joint. 

I have it so that stays pinned, and the  rear half of the mount will just pull from the 2″ receiver.  

One bonus I gain on this setup, is the plow mount plate receiver piece, is bolted to the plow plate… I can make anything I want to mount to that plate, just match the bolt pattern. Gives a send level of interchangeable mounts if I need it. 

I still need to add a vertical “tower” just in front of the vertical pivot, run up higher than the winch, with a pulley for the cable, to be the angle of lift force correct, and minimize winch strain.  

But it works pretty good!  It’s a little light on the plow, I’ll be adding a heavier cutting edge for durability and added weight (4′ of 1/8″x4″ steel plate). 

The power angle system I’m building for it will also add some weight, should dig in nice with that on it. (More details on that later! ☺) 


As a side note, since it does look like a light setup, especially for our winters; I don’t figure to so all my plowing with it. 

I have a 3/4 ton truck and two heavy duty plows for my yard, driveway, and our road if needed.   But I also have areas around the yard, garage, etc that the truck doesn’t fit into, or where I can’t get it at an angle to push away from the buildings etc.   The ATV on the other hand will maneuver these areas.  

I plan to do those hard areas with the ATV, then in between big snowfalls where I’ll use the truck, I can maintain the walkways, and parking areas etc with the ATV. It’ll be easier for the light 3″ or 4″ max. snowfalls.  😎

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Improviser, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, tool mods, Vehicles, weather and seasons, Welding, Winter, Wrenching

ATV winch mount fabrication, and installation.

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So, the mounting holes on the winch are 4″ on center…. Yeah. My bigass huge piece of angle iron I was gonna use ain’t big enough.

Dug around and came up with a piece of square tube wide enough to cut wider angle iron from. 

Fits the frame perfect too, and I mean PERFECT, it’s 1/4″ shorter than the opening is wide, and 1/8″ for height and depth. Minimal cutting required!  Bonus, it’s 1/4″ stock instead of 3/8″, making cutting and drilling I do need Much nicer.

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What I planned to use for mounting; two 1/2″ grade 8 bolts, and one 5/8″ grade 8… But, with my apparent poor organization(poorer than I thought!) I couldn’t find a drill bit bigger than 1/2″ 😒:(😬 So, two bolts it is! πŸ˜‰

Honestly it’ll be fine, the factory supplied install bolts for the winch itself are grade 5 or lighter, and 5/16″. And there are only two of those…

Yeah, two 1/2″ grade 8 s for the bracket are fine. ;)😅

So. The design kept evolving as I went… got simpler in some ways, but more complex in others.

I was going to cut the square tube down to an  L angle, and stick with the initial style  I’d designed.

But,  then I figured I could cut it to an uneven U , the winch on the back taller arm, and bolt the fair lead(roller cable guide) on the front shorter one, saving me from having to fabricate another mount bracket for the fair lead. 

Then I realized that the tube fit the frame area so perfectly, and that the tube form would be less likely to twist/torque/bend under winch load.

And further, that when in place, the top front corner would hit the bumper cross bars back side… So if it did torque foreward, that would stop it, and stop it from twisting on the mount bolts.

PERFECT! Simpler form, less pieces, better function!

But… Then that meant I’d have to, do all the layout and alignment, drilling, setup on one piece, at once… making layout being more precise, more important. It also meant cutting a feed hole for the cable in the tube wall.
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Which is what you see here. πŸ˜‰ Actually turned out not to be as bad to cut as I thought it’d be.

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And, there it is. Drill 6 holes, two bottom for mounting,  two rear for the winch inside, and two front for the fair lead, plus the big hole cut for the cable.

At this point, I got tired of working bent over, and squatting… Dug out some wheel ramps, that coupled with the driveway being 8″ higher than the shop floor, got the whole wheeler up where I could save my back and legs some wear.

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(Supposed to work smarter not harder, right? 😆 )

And assemble. THAT was a pain, getting at the inner end of the winch mount bolts inside the tube.  Found out I didn’t leave enough room, the heads of the mount to frame bolts won’t fit under the winch.. :(😒

And realized that to get it mounted in the frame, even If the bolts fit, I’ll have to do the winch install IN position in the frame….

Thought I’d do it half assembled and put it in the frame… Nope! Won’t fit through the frame/bumper with the winch in the tube. :?😥😩

Took the bolts to the grinder and made the heads half as thick. Probably only grade 7 bolts now ;)😜.

That fixed that.

Over an hour later, of fit, re fit, etc later, it’s in and all hooked up! Had to install the cable to the motor… but couldn’t spool it on without the motor mounted, so I did the install with the cable hanging loose. Got the cable into the spool mount hole, crimped the wire nut… THEN realized that the cable needed to go through the tube side hole and fair lead.  Oh, yeah… cable go out the front. Right. I knew that.. 😒 πŸ˜‰

I finished the install, actually twice, because I pinched the cable behind the lowest mount bolt the first time… (probably what I get for not quitting at midnight… long days tend to breed little mistakes in groups at the end..)

Then fed all 50′ of cable up through the tube end and out the front… through the fair lead without one of its rollers so the hook would fit. 😆 (think outside the box!)

Gotta say, I was real glad I had it up on ramps for that… I did it sitting on the ground under the nose/axle etc, which wasn’t real comfortable,  but it put the winch etc at chest/face level and easy to see/reach most of it.

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And, it’s all in!  😎
Now, I was going to test fit everything,  take it back out and paint it, then reinstall… But even without all the little complications,  it really is a pain in the butt to get in there… Not happening now! 

I might.. MIGHT,  mask off the oil cooler behind it and the winch motor, and paint it in place later. Maybe.

A couple details.
With the wheels turned all the way to the left, it looks like the tire will hit the motor… It won’t. Got a couple inches clearance. 

And, it also looks like I covered part of the oil cooler, but it just covers the lower 1/2″ of the mounts and mesh for it… the cooler itself is even with the top of the tube,  or only about 1/8″ lower.

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Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles, Wrenching

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