I went on the annual easter quad run through the hills. We covered 32 miles each day, which might not seem like much but winding through the bush it turns out to be a pretty good jaunt. There are some sloppy parts and a few mud holes to play in. For some reason, we came to one mud hole and I had it in my head that I needed to get through it…
It might be tough to see in the video, but there is a very large and thick hunk of ice that is keeping me from getting out of the water. My rig isn’t exactly made for that kind of playing around…it’s pretty much a work machine that can be used to screw around a little. I put some pretty good tires on it that help out quite a bit. I also have a clutch kit that will put some more low end torque to the wheels which should help get in and out of mud. In this case though, more torque really wouldn’t have mattered, I was hung up underneath.
After going at it for a little bit, I sucked a shitload of water in to the air box. Enough that it killed the machine…twice. When we got to the next stop I pulled the drain plug from the box and dumped out a very significant amount of water. I also used a buddy’s exhaust to dry the filters and she ran pretty good after that….aside for the loud metallic noise coming from the back end. I thought at first I was dragging something, which I wasn’t. Then I thought maybe it was a heat shield from the exhaust that broke free, but it turned out to not be that either. The machine seemed to be running alright, so I didn’t look at it too much further.
At the end of the run Saturday I kicked it in to 2wd for the 1.5 miles back to the vehicles. It ran fine until I turned a corner…then it seemed to lose power. As I pulled slowed down to park one wheel would spin and the other seemed like it was locked up. I got down to look…assuming brakes at first but that didn’t seem to be it. The brakes weren’t engaged and the plate wasn’t warm at all. Without checking too much further I assume the splines in the rear differential had slipped or been stripped. Kicking it in 4wd I was able to load it and move around as normal. After I got home I checked the axles where it became clear the left rear was loose as could be.
The following Monday I tore things apart to see what I would need to fix. To my surprise, it doesn’t seem like any splines in the differential have been damaged. It looks like a pice of a cog in the axel boot broke off. It seems like it happened while I was pissing around in the mud hole. You can see in the picture below where the cog has slipped around in the rear cup.
Looking around the interwebs I found a full replacement axel would run me $250 or so. I could try to get the parts for the cup and inter-workings…but that’s more hassle than I want to experience for this. I decided to look for a used part off of a salvaged machine. Ebay turned up a hit for $87.
It took about a week for the part to arrive. I slapped it in and…it doesn’t fit. For whatever reason the part that I received is smaller than the part I need.
You can see there is a significant difference in the diameter of the shafts.
I got back in touch with the guy I ordered it from and he thinks he found another one that will work for me. He’s shipping it out and giving me a label to return the not working part. It sucks, but it’s a bit of the hassle you have to deal with when you buy any parts via the internet. It is the same part number even between different Arctic Cat models, but I am wondering if the part I was sent is a front axle. Hopefully the new part will fit. I gave him a tooth count and the measurements of the shaft. We’ll see I guess.
Below is a link to a bit of the run on Saturday. There’s nothing terribly exciting and it’s 20min but it shows some of the area I ride in. You can hear the axle banging around.