Near the end of summer my quad started running rough when I had it out at the BMX track doing maintaince. I was using it to roll a corner and it would keep dying. I thought it was just bad gas as I'd used the track's gas, but when I took it out trail riding the next week, I had the same problem.
Two weeks after that I was going to go trail riding again, and since I didn't have time to fix it, I took my quad into the shop to get looked at. I told them "either the carbs need adjusting, or the choke is stuck open." Point blank. "That's what's wrong with it."
So they called me the next day saying that they replaced the air filter and spark plug, that they'd narrowed it down to the carbs and valves needing adjustment, read off a laundry list of things wrong with the quad, and that they'd burned through the first hour of labor and needed the ok for a second hour so that they could adjust the carbs and valves. Which they said they were sure was causing the problems.
So...are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Yeah. The first thing I thought was, ok I just replaced the plug, so I KNOW it was good. The air filter didn't need changing either, but even if it did, I had a new air filter sittng in my garage. The price they charged me for the filter was about the same I paid for the one I had, so that really didn't piss me off. It was the fact I TOLD THEM what was wrong with it and yet they piss away time doing BS so that they can sock me for another hour of labor. Not only that, but they were hoping my quad would be a schedule filler as their entire service schedule was open for that month. I kid you not, they didn't have a single appointment scheduled (I looked at it when I dropped off my quad.)
So they rattle off this laundry list of problems: the rear brake pads are worn out. Metal on metal. I tell them not to worry about it. Rear brake pads cost me about $10.00 online and about 15 minutes to replace. They keep asking, I keep telling them no. Next on the list, the engine mounts are worn. Oblonged engine mounts are a common problem with this particular make and model quad and it would cost more than the quad is worth to fix them. No thank you, next. Ok, this is an important one. Remeber this next item for later in the story, kids. It's important...the throttle housing is cracked. It's not broken, but it's cracked and they don't feel like they could in good conscience let the quad go without repairing it as I could break down in the middle of nowhere.
No I tell them. Just get it running.
I also priced a set of front tires as the ones I've got are severely dry-rotted. Well the price came back at $100.00 each with a $40.00 charge to mount them. I figured since they had the quad, they could take care of that too. However, last year when I priced the same tires, they got priced out at $70.00. I figured $30.00 was a pretty steep increase in price over the course of a single year, so I told them not to bother with the tires (I wanted to check prices elsewhere.) The service tech agreed. "Yeah, I wouldn't change them either."
So anyways, I pay for the extra hour of labor and they get the carbs adjusted. It seems to run fine when I pick it up and load it up on my truck.
A few days later I'm out in the middle of the state tearing up it up 15 minutes down the trails and guess what? My quad starts running like crap. It bogs out and nearly dies every time I go over 1/8th throttle. I checked the fuel filter, as this is a symptom of a clogged fuel filter, but that wasn't it.
So, pissed off like you wouldn't believe, I whip out my cell phone and call up the shop. As I'm on hold for 20 minutes waiting for a service tech, I tell the same story I've just told you to my friends who are riding with me. A tech finally comes on and I tell him what's happening. Being sure to emphasize the fact that my quad did NOT do this before I took it into their shop and I would normally find it amusing that they were so concerned about my throttle housing breaking and stranding me in the middle of nowhere, and here I was...stuck in the middle of nowhere with my throttle housing just fine and yet the engine they'd worked on NOT RUNNING!
Well, they told me that if I wanted to bring the quad in, they'd look at it right away. Not that they'd do it for no charge, but that they'd do it "right away." I calmly informed them that since I was broken down in the middle of nowhere, 2 hours away freom them, that wasn't an option and I want to know what the *beep* they did to my quad.
After another 30 minutes of waiting on hold they come back and tell me the only thing they can think of is that there's water in the float bowls.
Ok, this makes sense. The motor runs fine on 1/8th throttle, but when you try to give it more gas it draws fuel from deeper in the float bowl. The question I had was how water got in the float bowl. My quad had plenty of tanks of gas run through it since it sat during the winter. So it wasn't from storage. My garage has low humidity. The only way that water could get in the bowls is if they had used a water-based carb cleaner. Why a professional shop would use a water based cleaner to clean out carbs is anyone's guess.
So very skeptically I drain the float bowls and low and behold, it runs. Time for fun. At least for a bit, as about an hour later when we stop to take a break, I notice coolant blowing out of the weephole on the top of the overflow. WTF?
My quad has never ever overheated like that. I check the levels and the fan and the radiator, everything is working. Nothing I can do to diagnose or fix the problem, and I don't want to ruin the day for everyone else, so I top it off with some water I had with me and just kept an eye on it for the rest of the day. Topping it off every so often to keep the motor from burning up.
So things aren't great, but we're trail riding. It's froody.
Then I round this turn in the trail and I almost go flying off the top of the burm. Ok, hearts beating a little faster, even though it didn't seem like I was going too fast for that corner, I ease up a bit for the rest of that stretch of the trail. When I get to the end, one of my friends points at the front of my quad and says "you've got a flat tire."
Well...that would explain almost losing it in the corner.
Checking the tire, I find that the dry-rot around one of the tread lugs has gotten so bad that the lug has pushed through and tore the tire.
Yeah, I know.
So cut to a few days ago. I picked up a pair of new Dunlop tires for my quad online for $56.00. Yeah, not the $100.00 the shop wanted to soak me for them. Unfortunately the old tire won't come off the rim. A power bead breaker, a hand bead breaker, pry bars, tire spoons, nothing.
I pry so hard on it, I rip through the tire, but still the bead won't break.
I can't work on it tomorrow though as I've got to go down to the race track and fix the tarps.
Our race track is made of dirt. 75% of the time we spend working on the track is to keep the surface in good condition for racing. There's a lot involved that I'm not going to bore you with as this is already a rather long entry to begin with. Suffice to say that Mother Nature whooped up on us good this last year. So we were lucky enough to get a donation of used greenhouse roofing which is essentially 1000ft. long clear tarps. We spent an entire day filling sandbags, cutting and laying out tarps on the track so that it was fairly waterproof when we're not racing. See the pretty pictures...
So I get a phone call the other day from my brother saying that he was down at the track and that we need more sandbags as the tarps are blowing in the wind.
I went down to the track last weekend to install a grate and sump for the basement and sure enough, the tarps are all over the place. Checking it out, I find out that someone has stolen over half the sandbags. Not only that, but someone had pulled one of the tarps over a post and ripped a big hole in it and tore another down the center.
WTF!?!?!? Why would someone steal so many sandbags and vandalise tarps?
Ended up filling up about 30 sandbags and got some of the tarps back in place before the rain got too heavy, but I need to fill about 50-100 more. So...yeah...good times.
edited to add : Ended up filling 120 more sandbags.
Ramblings of a Damaged Mind
The GNDN of Blogdom.
The GNDN of Blogdom.
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