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I’ve decided I want another 4wheeler.  I want one strictly for play…it is going to have very little if any work value at all.  I bought the HDX last year thinking I could use a side by side for both, but sadly that’s not the case.  Don’t get me wrong, the hdx is a blast and I have a shitload of fun in it.  Busting that axel though has made me rethink how I use it.  I don’t think it went to hell in just that one slop hole, I’m pretty sure it was an accumulation of abuse that I’ve put it through.  The main issue is the vehicle has too much weight to mess with it like I have been.  I can blow through mud holes with it and mess around a bit…but for the big level of playing…like the shit you see on you tube I’m going to need a different machine.  I’ll still use the hdx to take the little kid for a ride, go riding with the family and all that…but I want myself a bad ass mud busting rig.

Weirdly enough, my research has led me to find out that an arctic cat quad is pretty good for the mud.  It has to do with it’s rear end gearing and reliable engine.  The 700cc models are praised quite highly by people that use them…even higher than the grizzly’s.  This surprises me just because it’s arctic cat.  I had always dismissed them as a 2nd tier atv builder…but it looks like I was mistaken.  One thing I do like about the AC’s is the way their 4wd and diff locks work.  On the HDX is it a switch for 4x, then another switch to lock in the diffs.  On can-am’s and polaris they use some sort of sensor to decide for you when things are slipping and lock in the diffs.  This might all be a moot point, from the demonstrations I’ve seen the wheels barley spin before they lock in…but still it’s another point of failure IMO.

I’m hoping to get this whole thing put together for under 3k.  That is going to have to include tires.  I’m really torn on what kind of tires to buy.  Do I go for the ones that better handle the dirt and slightly muddy trails I frequent or do I go with a more aggressive mud tread?  I’m leaning toward “mud lites” mainly because of tread and weight.  A more aggressive tread is going to be heavier and will also wear faster on hard packed trail.  Depending on how much I get in to this, I might become necessary to have a couple different sets of tires.  A set for hard pack that can handle some mud and snow..then another set to handle the extreme mud.  Right now, for my riding a moderate mud tire would be best.  I don’t quite need the silverbacks…yet…

I’m also going to need to snorkel the rig.  This is another big factor in targeting an arctic cat.  Their air intake is already routed to the front to an air box under the rack.  I can easily remove that air box and change it to a snorkel.  Then it’s a matter of running the belt intake and exhaust to the front…which looks to be pretty simple.  On a grizzly, routing the air to the front is a major undertaking.  The intake is right in the crotch area behind the tank.  There isn’t any extra room there so you need to melt the tank a bit and beat it in to shape.  After that, it’s pretty tight to route the CVT pipes to the front.  The arctic cat atv comes in “mud” and “regular” variants.  The mud has the snorkels already.  I’m sure they use the same frame and engine…so there is already built in space for snorkels.  How much is that worth?  I’m not sure…it’s going to be a combination of available funds and my patients level.  I’m currently haggling with a guy over 200 bucks.  It’s not a large amount of money…but the further I can get the cash cost down the better.  I offered to trade him something for it…not sure what he’s interested in.  Maybe I can trade a rifle or shotgun to get that number down.  I have a couple of rifles that are worth a few bucks that I don’t shoot…so we’ll see if it works out.

After the snorkel, the last thing I’d need to do is move the radiator up on to the front grill.  This isn’t so much a “must do” with what I’m doing now…but if I want to play with the big boys I would have to do it eventually.  Moving it on to the grill keeps it from getting clogged and helps the machine stay cool.  I could fabricate brackets and run hose…but there are handy kits for this project that I would be more inclined to utilize.

Now I’m not just randomly buying this and adding to the fleet.  I am doing to downsize to add this rig.  There is a 2wd quad that I’m going to put up for sale, as well as the jet ski I bought last year to resell.  I’m hoping these things don’t bite me in the ass and not go…but there should be someone that will take them off my hands.  I also have a trailer that I would love to part ways with.  In addition to that, I’ve listed some old farm equipment for sale.  I don’t think it will go but…maybe there is someone looking for it.  Most of it is listed for a few hundred bucks.  I do have a set of drills though that I think should be worth a few K.  Like the old man always said, things are only worth what someone is willing to pay.

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