Some of us have been on them and some haven't, but they make great stories eventhough it's your machine in question. Let's hear um. I'll start
I might not have an older machine anymore but I sure have a lot of blood, and sweat into my current wheeler. Not to mention I have expressed enough cuss words at this machine to permanently scar the toughest of men. Maybe these stories will be amusing, maybe not. I hope I am not swaying the point of this thread too much.
A buddy and I were riding Knik one wintery morning in the persuit of adventure, and we sure found it. During the trip my front left a-arm tore away from the frame. I wasn't being crazy, it was an honest accident. It could have been anyone but I try to prepare for situations like these. I had the tools and what I hoped would be the knowledge to get the machien up and running to limp her home.
We tried to find a tree that would support the weight of a wheeler. I needed to winch the front end up in the air so I could pull the wheel and formulate a plan. No tree would work, but eventually we found a log that was perfect, it was like it was ment to be. I lifted the front of the machine in the air and my buddy shoved the log under the front skid plate. It lifted the front of the machine off the ground just enough to begin the work.
After fiddling with the a-arm for what seemed like forever I thought. What if I snaked my winch rope through the frame and sucked the a-arm to what was left of the bolt holes. BINGO!!! It was smooth as butter. I limped the machine home through 20 miles of snow, mogules, open water, and dunes. After new bolt holes were welded onto the frame I was back in business.
A couple weeks ago, while riding the same machine, another buddy and I was scoping out a hunting trail near the Clark Wolverine area. After talking to a land owner and obtaining her somewhat reluctant permission to cross her properly (eventhough it is an RS2477 trail) we headed off into the woods.
There weren't many fresh atv tracks and the trail was more of a horse trail than anything, but we continued in the persuit of adventure and hopefully a good close to home hunting ground. The trail was tame but the main trail was made with two deep ruts, sometimes a foot in depth. We cross a few fields, drop down towards Wolverine Creek, and still there are no real huntable spots.
We reach the end of the trail. I am up for a good challenge but these rocks were far too large for my machine and there were no good winch points. So we decided to turn around. Within half a mile of the rock garden, while riding at a snails pace, my front left tire catches a root. As soon as it happened I knew the extent of the damage, the tire aimless treading through the ruts was pointed towards my worst fear on the trail. A busted knuckle.
Sure as can be I look inside the wheel well and the tire rod end busted right off the knuckle. Now I cannot steer and I have a good hill to climb and a couple miles of ruts, one bog, and a creek to get back to the truck.
I try to the the tie rod to the knuckle but that does not work, I tried kicking the tire in while driving but that didn't work. My buddy even suggested I try driving the machine backwards. That worked somewhat, but we promised the land owner we would be off the trail by 9:30pm. And that point in time was closing in swiftly.
I said, "$#%^ IT, I'm leaving the machine." So we double rode (UGH) back to the truck and headed home with everything valuble on the machine in my pack bag. On the way back I thought of a couple ways to get the machine out. One struck me as the best and more sure fire way.
The next day we head back. The machine is right where I left it, at the bottom of the hill, but there were fresh atv tracks and boot prints around my machine. Someone was scoping it out.
Luckily there was a downed tree directly up hill from where I left the machine. With my buddies' wheeler we winch the front end so it's pointing uphill (remember I was trying to drive it backwards) then I latch onto the down tree. I suck the machine uphill and once I reach the tree the front end lifts up in the air.
Now the real work begins. I brought a heavy duty drill and a couple good drill bits. I removed the tire and drilled a hole in the remaining peice of knuckle. From there I threaded the tie rod end into the hole, bolted it down and put the tire back on. BAM, I was good to go. You'd never know that i busted the knuckle except for my toed out stance. Now when I get my new parts in the real real work will begin.