ATV

Poor Man’s ATV Cargo Hold-Downs.

Polaris “Lock and Ride” mount studs and eye bolt/loops are about $8 to $10 each from Polaris.

I found these from Grip Pro ATV Anchors on ebay, for about $3 each. Package of 6.

http://gripproatvanchors.com

I couldn’t buy the eye bolt, T-nut, and washer for $3. Let alone adding in the fancy rubber bushing if I could buy them– And I can’t, I’ve looked at everything i can find available, trying to improvise these things!

Work percectly fine, can’t see them letting go under any nornal use. I can crank them in, and pull with all I got, both arms and not budge them.

Lifetime replacement warranty, and made in the USA too!

With my custom rear tray/box I only had the 4 front most outer holes available. Then with the gun boot mounted to one of those, just 3. I used 3 of the 6 I bought in those holes.

1 of them I customized with a threaded stud to mount the boot. That left 2 for the front rack.

But, Amazingly, as proud as Polaris is of that system, they didn’t add them to the front rack/box lid. Probably to not interfere with the box’s space/capacity. But still, I’d expect them around the edges, or corners.

2 eye bolts from the two left over Grip Pro anchors, spacer nuts, and nylock nuts, put this on the front most corners.

Had two smaller 1/4″ shank eye bolts in my hardware bins. Stacked nuts for spacing, and cut them off. Put on the same as the others, spacer nut on top, nylock on the bottom, on the rear corners.

Also, added one smaller eye bolt I had with heavy wood/lag bolt threads to he top of the gun boot mount, to make up for the one I lost to its mounting.

Actually stuck another one onto the nose of the boot bracket too. Not sure what for, it just looked like a good place for one.

Need to make a small bracket and loop/eye that can mount to the studs that hold that gun boot mount, for the times its not mounted.

Between the cargo trays, and these, im pretty sure I’m not losing anything any time soon!

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Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Field gear, New Products, Re-purpose, Repurpose | 1 Comment

Poor Man’s ATV Rifle Boot Mount.

A good friend got me a Kolpin gun boot and mount for Christmas almost 2 years ago. I’ve had it on the Kawasaki for about a year and a half, works great. Ive also found that the boot makes a pretty good travel gun case– It actually has more miles on it in a truck bed or on a boat deck that it has on an ATV!

But anyway, the boot being movable, but the mount not easily moved left me needing another mount for my Polaris. And those mounts ain’t cheap.

Honestly, I can probably build one from scrap on hand, in metal, in an afternoon or evening or two. Given the time.

Time is at a premium lately. So I went a faster route, and built one in wood. Figured if it worked, great. If not, I’d take the time and build a metal one. 🙂

Didnt cost me a thing either! Got a bunch of 2’x2′ squares of 3/4″ plywood from a buddy, they were doors on old cabinets he tore out of the garage he just bought.

So, I traced the loop on the metal mount, made a cardboard pattern, laid it out on the plywood.

Jig sawed it out, sturdy enough, but decided two layers were better. Traced the first, layered, brad nailed and screwed together. Trimmed the fit, longer holes and offset them for a slight angle to the boot.

3rd layer for a mound bracket added to the offset vertically from the rack, that meant I could mount it flat, eliminating the angle/pivot mount like the original.

4th smaller spacer layer added to hold a hold down bracket. Went through a lot of my hardware, but the hinges off the plywood from when it was a door were perfect!

Mounted with one Lock and Ride style mount with a custom stud, and another stud in the corner rack hole. Setup for quick on and off with just two 1/2″ nuts, leaving the studs in place. Used nylock style locking nuts.

The boot ended mounted in the groove of the fender, a nice locator, it can’t pivot side to side. If it seems like the boot tip will move a lot I’ll add a mount for the hole it has. So far it doesn’t move much at all. Ended up well back and away from my foot, clears the foot well area nicely.

Sanded lightly, gave it a coat of sealer/clear coat. If it doesn’t need any tweaking after a few rides, I’ll give it a couple coats of brown Krylon, should be pretty weather proof for a long time.

It’s not fine detailed wood working like some things I do, but it looks decent, and most importantly, it works!

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Field gear, MacGyver, Modifications, Woodwork | Leave a comment

Poor Man’s ATV Cargo Rack Trays.

Took me two years to outfit my Kawasaki the way I wanted it. Got it just about set up perfect for my uses.

Problem is, I got another ATV! A bare, dead stock one at that. So, here we go again.

On the Kawi, I went with adding a front dry box, and a rear rack extension/rack wall.

https://ak-adventurer.net/2017/06/29/atv-rack-extensionretaining-walls/

2018-08-18 23.18.26.jpg

On this one, a Polaris, the front dry box, while a little small, is provided, built into the fenders/rack.

So I set out to add rack walls. Most ATV racks suck for keeping things in place, even with a bungee cord or two, things tend to slide off the edges/sides.

The last one I built on the Kawi, I just cut some light scrap tubing and welded it up. Simple. But time and labor intensive. Time is not something I have a lot of this fall.

So, I set out to get some trays, or shallow boxes to mount, left open without lids, I get a cargo tray, the same effect.

In my research, looking for boxes I actually found plastic cargo trays made for ATVs. But other than one that Arctic Cat made, out of production now, there are none sold in the USA. Seems its a popular item in Australia.

Thats basically what I was after, but on the cheap.

Know how hard it is to find a plastic storage tote thats 1.5’x3′ or 2’x3′ or bigger, but only about 6″ to 8″ deep?

Nearly impossible!

the best bet is “under bed storage” boxes. Long wide and flat.

Unfortunately nothing I liked was in stock locally.

Also, very few have latching lids. Yes, I wanted to mount them as open trays, but if you pay for lids, they might as well be useful!

Anyway, after 5 stores over two trips to town, I found two I liked. The first is a simple light Sterilite box, snap on lid. The other is a Hefty storage box, with a latching lid.

First step was painting, since they came in that milky clear plastic. The green is double coat primer/paint, rated for among other things plastic, by Rustoleum. The brown for the lids is the same basic thing, but made by Krylon. (Got at separate times, different stores. I prefer Rustoleum paint in general, it goes on easier, more durable, but the Krylon works fine too.)

Why green and brown? I’m sick of green with all black accessories.

The rear box went on as is. The front on the other hand, had to be cut to fit around the headlight pod/handlebars. A simple process with a sharpie for layout and an angle grinder (proverbial hot knife through butter, works great on plasic!). While I was at it I cut the lid. Not probable I’ll ever use it, but I had it so why not.

Mounting was simpler still. A handful, 4 or 6 self tapping screws for each box. Located the boxes wherd I wanted them, drilled through them for hole placement, and screwed them down.

Screws I used for the front tray went into the front storage box, so I used screws made for metal roofing; They have a rubber bottomed washer under the head that seals, so they don’t leak. I also drilled a few holes in low corners so the trays don’t flood and hold water anyway.

Maybe an hours work and about $40 including the paint. Not too bad!

And, they work great too!

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Field gear, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, Re-purpose, Repurpose | Leave a comment

Selective hearing protection? Alpine MotoSafe ear plugs, part 1.

One more new item, that came in yesterday, arrived all the way from the Netherlands. (Couldn’t find a stateside dealer that had the model I wanted, so I ordered direct from the manufacturer. Could actually only find two dealers in the USA anyway! )
As part of my healthy hearing concept, along with adding the face shield onto my motorcycle helmet, I started looking for better, more active hearing protection.
The problem with foam ear plugs is the constant outward pressure they use to seal, it’s uncomfortable and makes my ears sore after a days commute both always.
But I didn’t want to jump in and invest in the full custom molded ear plugs.
And both styles tend to be full sound suppression, so you end up sealed off from your surroundings, with all sound deadened. There are rubber plugs that only filter out harmful sound, leaving conversation or traffic hearable, but I’ve never found rubber plugs that seal worth a damn, or that aren’t like the foam, and too tight. (For instance ear buds tend to drive me nuts and make my ears sore).
Anything that has custom molding and also let’s through lower conversation type sound frequencies are really spendy.
Then I found a half way product;

https://www.alpinehearingprotection.com/product-category/motorcycle/

They are a sound filter, supposedly they cut the frequency of wind noise, but allow traffic and conversation sounds through. Also, the rubber tips are semi-custom forming, in a thermo form rubber; Every time you insert them, your body heat softens them and they custom fit to your ear canal, sealing without outward pressure.

I figured why not, if they work then great, if not, then I’m only out around $20… A risk that I thought was worth it.
They have several variations for different activities, and two specifically for motorcycle riding. A “Tour” version, and a “Race” version that is a little stronger/higher decibel rated. I opted for the race version. At only a few decibels difference, I figured if they work as advertised to cut only wind noise, and leave other sounds, I still wanted as much protection as possible.
So far, in limited fit tests I find them a LOT more comfortable than foam plugs, and more than a lot of rubber plugs and ear buds I’ve had too. I won’t say they “disappear” to where I don’t know I’m wearing them, but I’ve only had them I for 5 to 10 minutes so far.
Have not gad a chance to ride with them yet.
Bug I can say that they let in conversation level sounds really well, and actually without loud sounds, seem like they do very little. But they did cut out the sound of my truck exhaust more than they cut out talking.. Not a lot more, but more.
I’m reserving and conclusions for after I test them with the noise they’re made for; wind.
They come with a little zipper pouch for carrying, and I sprung the few dollars for a hard key chain style carry case, and a safety cord that keeps them tethered together.

My only complaint so far is that the insertion tool they come with, a little plastic thing that’s supposed to grip the plug, and you use it as a handle to insert them, then turn them slightly in your ear to help them seal; It doesn’t snap onto the plugs, it’s far too big, and thus can’t be used… So I can’t really grip them to rotate them upon insertion.
Not sure how much, or if this effects how they seal/work. Will find out either way how they work though, as soon as I can.
Will let y’all know how it goes. 🙂
Categories: Adventures, ATV, ATVing, Field gear, Motorcycles, New Gear, Preparedness, Riding, Vehicles

ATV plow, first use. 

Got 4″ of powder last Thursday night, finally enough to try out the ATV plow! 

I built the mount, and had it all ready in early October of 2016. But the night I finished it, and went to test ride with it mounted, is the night the clutch went out. I didn’t know what to do with the clutch until spring of 2017, so the wheeler and plow sat unused all winter. I never got to try the plow until this weekend!

SO, Anyway, I used the Prairie to plow my yard and driveway Friday. Works great!

One small section of drive plowed;

Took about the same amount of time as it does with my truck… Truck moves more in one pass, but takes more time to maneuver…

The wheeler is smaller, easier to turn and has better visibility. But not as much power or blade size to move a lot at once. 50/50-90 kinda thing.  I’ll break it up from now on, truck for large bulk areas, wheeler for the tight spaces, trimming up. 

Did have one problem. The plow doesn’t have an upward stop for lifting the blade… Just where you stop the winch. So if you go too far, it just keeps pulling. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you have it all the way up or not. 

Broke some welds on the mount pulling it up too far.  Will need to re-weld that, and make some sort of positive stop that hits the bumper or something, so I can tell for sure when to stop the winch.. 

I’m thinking just a upward angled bar braced off the plow, that would hit the bumper, and be a solid stop I’d feel. Maybe have it high enough that I could see it… Something like that. 

Got the main mount piece with the breaks inside melting/drying out now, will get it done and back on in the morning,  so I can plow the new 2″ or 3″ tomorrow afternoon. 

I’m really not surprised it broke… I’m only semi professionally trained at welding, still not real good at it, and this was done with a rather light welder for steal this heavy… 

 And it was being torqued at this area by a 2000# winch, with about 3′ of leverage added… It simply tried to hinge on the welds and sheared them, and is now hinging/flexing others.

 Looks like I missed welding straight across the back edges too, which would be a lot of loss of strength against pull in this direction.. Whoops.  

I’m actually happy it broke where it did. This piece is a 2″ receiver hitch mount, that goes into a 2″ receiver tube mounted on the wheeler. Breaking at the female side on the wheeler would have been a Lot bigger of a pain to fix! 

And the plow itself hinges onto this piece. Breaking the plow side would have been worse too, mainly for being able to get it into my heated shop where the bigger welder is set up, and I’d probably have gad to do a lot more re-engineering if part of that broke.

All in all, if it was going to break, it’s the best area for it.

This time I’ll full box all 4 edges where the two pieces stack,  maybe drill a couple holes in one and plug weld it down to the 2″ square tube… Maybe add a cross plate above the tube. And use a much bigger welder for more penetrating heat.

Yeah, apparently forgot to paint it against rusting before I parked it last year too… 

Anyway, onward to custom plow mounting 2.0!

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Damages, Fabrication, GetOutdoors, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding, Winter

Field Holster; chest carry. 

I’d decided that I need a new holster for my .357. (Vintage Ruger Security Six, 4″). Field holster I guess you’d say… I don’t concealed carry often anymore, just open carry for hunting/hiking. 


Until recently I’ve done belt carry, have a great pancake holster from Simply Rugged that works phenominally. 

But I can’t do belt carry anymore;
Problem #1, it kills my screwed up hips, and #2 at current weight loss level/clothing sizing, keeping my pants up is impossible with the weight of a gun…Hell, it’s hard enough without the gun. Lol. (belt tight enough to hold it all up, cuts into back/hips too much, back to problem #1)

I’ve tried regular shoulder holsters. No go. Got a leather Galco “miami classic” style for a full size auto, have had it a decade, worn it a total of maybe ten times. 

Borrowed a buddies Uncle Mikes vertical nylon job for hunting last month. Wore it once. Rode ok once adjusted, but where it was secure and somewhat comfortable, I couldn’t reach the gun to draw it! 

I’ve had nylon ones twice in the past before. Got a great vintage Bianchi leather job that a good friend gave me, but it’s too big for this gun(actually hoping to convert it to chest or bandoleer carry for my .41 mag Blackhawk ). 

Anyway, I can Never get any slight semblance of comfortable, or secure, at the same time, and never an easy draw either way… 

Add to that the layers of straps you get with the holster, a backpack, and a rifle sling while out and about in the woods… Just no. There’s too much of the world sitting on my shoulders anyway, don’t need to add more! ;)

I’ve thought about a bandoleer setup, but that ends up on the hip cross draw… hard to reach (yes, I still have a bit of a spare tire to reach around, and add a heavy jacket, forget it!) and in a place that would interfere with backpacks, pack frames, and I think a slung rifle.. 

So, my last ditch idea is to attempt to try a chest rig… 

They’re actually extremely popular up here in AK for bear country fishing, and some hunting. 

Yes it hangs on shoulder straps, at least one..but the weight sits on the chest, not under the armpits. And it should pull on the back more than straight down on the shoulders.. I think. I’m thinking it will be more secure feeling and more accessible. And probably more comfortable, leave me some range of arm movement without under arm binding. (Hopefully!)  

So, a couple weeks digging around, and some fantastic suggestions from friends on a forum, and I made a choice. 

I ordered a holster last week. I’d seen these before, and looked at them off and on, but wasn’t sure.

But I decided for the cost –About $40– I couldn’t really go wrong.. If nothing else I could modify the snot out of it. ;)

But really, I decided I needed something low cost to try, to see if chest carry was even the answer, without dropping $70 to $150 depending. Expensive risk, if it turned out chest carry wasn’t my thing.

So, the make is Skyball Mountain Holsters. Amazingly, made in USA. Only places I can find them are Facebook and Ebay, apparently it’s a small business, no dedicated website.

I dug around and found out that the current Ruger GP100 is super close in size to a Security Six, so I ordered the one for a 4″ barrel GP100.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/262234099076

It fits the gun perfectly! 
(Being a open non formed holster, it actually fits All of my mid frame ~4″ hand guns almost perfectly!)

These are built a little different than the average chest harness. The average seems to be an around the body horizontal strap, then the holster sits on that or straps down to it. Then the shoulder strap goes over and attaches to the horizontal strap on your back.

This one is the horizontal strap, and then the shoulder strap goes around from the holster, and BACK TO the holster…

It works. But it adds another strap crossing under your arm, and for me it’s a bit uncomfortable crossing that high under my arm. (I’ve a bit of fat there and it presses in anoyingly)

But even having said that, this thing is SUPER comfortable!! 

I threw it on with the 357 over a light hoodie a few nights ago, and went out and split a days worth of firewood. 45 minutes swinging a splitting maul, lifting, moving logs, etc. and I only had to reposition it a few times. That’s pretty upper body active, more so than any average time I’d normally be wearing a gun.


My only little problem is the way it sits, all the tension is pulling to the left side… The straps don’t hold it to the right if it’s pulled left. But it’s a left hand draw. So it drifts left during draw. Grabbing it with the right hand durring draw fixes it obviously. But I might not always have that hand free, so it needs a hold down strap on the right.

There is a loop on the barrel end of the holster (probably for a hold down), so adding a short cord, I’m thinking shock cord for a little movement, should be easy, run down to my belt.

One other thing, not really a problem, is the chest strap, on me, is extended almost all the way out. Not a design flaw, I’m just a big guy. So I’ll have to get an extension strap for wearing it over a heavy coat. It’s all 1″ strap, and all ends are held with SRBs, so it’ll be easy/cheap to add/remove as needed. The shoulder strap on the other hand, oddly has like another 10″ of outward adjustment, it’ll be fine.

Overall, I really like it. It works, and is verry comfortable. 


As to mods, I’m trying to find the site I saw a T shaped side release buckle on recently… 

It was simple the male or female side of the buckle, but the strap side had the slots on it at a 90 to the buckle… So you can slide it to any place on a strap and have the buckle T off. It was for camping/hiking packs, like to add a sternum strap or similar. Just can’t find it again! 

Anyway, was thinking one of those or similar on the around the chest strap, put it in the back, and clip the shoulder strap into it, doing away with the under arm strap. 

I’ll wear it/use it a while as is and if I don’t get used to that strap there, I’ll look into moddling it. But for now it’s fine!

Fat guy in a holster;

[​IMG]

My view;

[​IMG]

And the bonus, I can pick and chose what I want to carry;

4-5/8″ Blackhawk;

[​IMG]

Ruger MK2;

[​IMG]

Beretta Stamped SAA;
(3.5″ barrel us a little short in there, but I think it’ll balance ok/hang ok)

[​IMG]

Browning BDM 9mm;
(Which is great for now since this is my usual winter woods carry gun. No bears then so I don’t need the .357 etc.)

[​IMG]

:)

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Backcountry, Clothes, GetOutdoors, Guns, Hunting, Life-Philosophy, New Gear, Outdoors, Woods tools

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

First time for everything…

First time I’ve ever UN hot wired a vehicle! 😉 

Back story is as follows; A buddy had his ATV stolen out of his yard in May. Insurance payed off and he got a new one… 3 weeks later, the troopers said “hey, we got your wheeler back”.

He’s run out of time for projects this summer, but would like to sell it to cover the difference between the cost of the new one and the insurance paid. 

So, I’m putting it back together and selling it for him.

If it was a horse I’d say rode hard, put up wet… They didn’t baby it, but I wouldn’t say they thrashed it. 

 Needs a few things cleaned up, and put back together since they had started to strip it.  

First up was fixing the hacked hot wire job. Then test ridding to make sure they didn’t screw the driveline etc.. It all works great!  

Wiring like this isn’t too hard when you have a full wiring diagram to start with (free download of full factory service manual!) 

And, your supplied with a new switch, and the proper plug for it.  Got wire extension colors close on a couple… 

Scrounged and shortened the harness wires for an aftermarket switch pod I’d bought for mine. 

The harness wires to the switch had been cut so short I had to add something, but having them all one color would be a pain. 

The next guy is going to wonder what the heck, but at least he won’t be fighting to track a wire in a bundle of all red or all black wires..  

Voila;

😆

Couple days work on a few little cosmetic details and rewiring a winch, and then you should see it on Craigslist Fairbanks.  ðŸ™‚

Categories: ATV, ATVing, Automotive Work, Damages, EDC/MT use, Improviser, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles, Wiring, Wrenching

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