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Thread: One Man's Trash

  1. #1
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    Default One Man's Trash

    Is usually another manís trash but I think there are exceptions.

    Consulted with my primary sources of bad influence (Snoluver1 and Grub) and they ďconvincedĒ me I should pull the trigger on this beauty and Iím pretty jacked about it.
    Sheís in need of a little polish but from everything Iíve seen and heard, itís a pretty rare sled that was available as a dealer order only. The seller said he had only seen one other like it and he is a hard-core Chaparral guy. Lots of differences between this sled and the standard Firebird SS models: Special paint/graphics, Thunderbird hood, secondary fuel tank, electric start, tach, and last but not least, a beastly 650 Hirth axial fan motor.

    Itís going to be hard not to make this a project for this year. Would be a new challenge but I think I have enough spare parts to bring erí back. Will never look as good as the one in the Bobby Unser promo shot but could still be a pretty cool sled. Guess weíll see what develops during the off-season.


    1500522_3.jpgDSC_0153.jpgDSC_0155.jpgDSC_0160.jpg
    Last edited by skiroule; 07-15-2017 at 11:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    I look forward to following this when you get to it. You need to make room in the garage and sell one of those TX's!

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    Gently used, right?
    And no mention of the year, any ideas? I'm going to guess 73 or 74 due to the shocks on the skis.
    I haven't seen a dual exhaust like that either. Very unique, good luck Kelly and keep us current on things.

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    Looks like a fun and great project!

    Can't wait to see it when its done.

    Gonna have Adam put a turbo in it?

    -John

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    This is a really neat piece of snowmobile history! It couldn't have ended up in better hands to be preserved as it should! Pretty excited to see how this turns out.

    Turbo or super charger......whatever it takes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mspease View Post
    You need to make room in the garage and sell one of those TX's!
    I definitely need room and am thinking about having to sell a couple of sleds this summer but doubt if it will be the TX's. You'll have dibs if they ever go though.

    Quote Originally Posted by gary_in_neenah View Post
    And no mention of the year, any ideas? I'm going to guess 73 or 74 due to the shocks on the skis.
    I haven't seen a dual exhaust like that either. Very unique, good luck Kelly and keep us current on things.
    Whoops, omitted that detail. It's a 72, which is my favorite year for this sled. The 73 and later SS models were considerably more "refined" in appearance. The open hood scoop went away and the engine was enclosed in a console, thus depriving the rider of the experience of having their mid-section bathed in carb back-blow. I've only seen the twin Donaldson mufflers on the 72 SS models and i think they might be unique to that year. One of the great things about these sleds is the sound of those twin mufflers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Administrator View Post
    Gonna have Adam put a turbo in it?
    -John
    I know he's itching to have a hand in how this engine performs. The Hirth guys say it's not very hard to push this engine up to around 100 hp. Throw a turbo on and factor in a sled that is probably right around 300 lbs, now that would be a handful, considering the handling, track, and suspension. Maybe a grass dragger?

  7. #7
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    650cc in a 300 lb sled! Wow I bet that thing is faster than it should be. I have been shopping around looking to get a faster relic. The 72 johnson 35 is not fast enough.
    Love that old unser picture. Nice find. How much that bad boy cost yah?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snocrazy View Post
    How much that bad boy cost yah?
    This question has come up at home but I don't recall "bad boy" ever being part of the question. I do think the term included "piece." To justify the wisdom of my purchases to the home front I've adopted the strategy of following my confession on the price with "but this is what it is really worth." I'm pretty sure this strategy is totally unsuccessful.

    The actual price on this sled is a little hard to nail down because the deal included quite a few extras: a couple of hoods, second chassis, good spare track, and some other goodies. Given this, I figure I probably paid in the area of five hundred for the sled itself. Maybe a little high but these don't come along every day.

    Any thoughts on a faster relic of your choice? Still quite a few mid 70's - early 80's sleds out there that are light, fun to ride, fairly quick, and have decent parts availability.
    Last edited by skiroule; 04-05-2017 at 01:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiroule View Post
    This question has come up at home but I don't recall "bad boy" ever being part of the question. I do think the term included "piece." To justify the wisdom of my purchases to the home front I've adopted the strategy of following my confession on the price with "but this is what it is really worth." I'm pretty sure this strategy is totally unsuccessful.

    The actual price on this sled is a little hard to nail down because the deal included quite a few extras: a couple of hoods, second chassis, good spare track, and some other goodies. Given this, I figure I probably paid in the area of five hundred for the sled itself. Maybe a little high but these don't come along every day.

    Any thoughts on a faster relic of your choice? Still quite a few mid 70's - early 80's sleds out there that are light, fun to ride, fairly quick, and have decent parts availability.
    One of the sleds I'm looking for, a mistake? (Possibly) [IN ANOTHER THREAD, SKIROULE TRIED WARNING ME ABOUT BUYING VINTAGE SLEDS]
    Is a '69 Panther with a 634 Hirth. My Dad had one. The motor on it had been built to run in the I-500 in the Soo. STUPID FAST. I was younger then but remember hanging on for dear life out on the lake.

  10. #10
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    Wow you sure know how to find some neat old sleds Kelly. I can only dream of adding to my collection as we dont have any more room. Everything keeps multiplying, extra motors, hoods, seats, spindles, carbs, pipes etc. etc. next thing you know you can't fit between the sleds to work on them...looking forward to the build on this Chaparral, I'm sure it is going to be fun when you finally get started.

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    Believe me Kirk, I can relate to the space issue. It's still my hope that I can build a second garage this summer (slab is already poured). If it doesn't get done, I'm in trouble on so many different fronts.

    After walking by the Chap several times a day for the last couple of weeks I finally couldn't take it anymore. I had to get my hands a little dirty just to make me feel better. Stripped most of the stuff off the top to get at the engine. Most things came apart relatively easily but the exhaust will be a challenge - sort of like trying to take the exhaust apart on a 45 year old car without damaging the pipes.

    Now I can easily get at the flywheel to see if I can get it off and figure out the spark issue. Would like to see if I could get the engine to fire before I pull it out completely. If the engine shows signs of life, I think it would give me the incentive to try to get the sled back on the snow next winter.

    In the photo you can see where the factory had to trim the fan shroud to clear the dash support frame. Guess it was a little hands-on engineering at that point.

    DSC_0158.jpg
    Last edited by skiroule; 07-15-2017 at 11:25 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiroule View Post
    Most things came apart relatively easily but the exhaust will be a challenge - sort of like trying to take the exhaust apart on a 45 year old car without damaging the pipes.
    Those flex pipes will definitely be a challenge to seperate. What type of connection is the header pipe to engine? Bolt on flange or threaded?

    Not sure the availability of those stainless flex pipes, but we deal with several companies that make us custom built exhaust pieces for work. I may be able to help if you end up in trouble?
    Last edited by snoluver1; 04-15-2017 at 08:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoluver1 View Post
    Those flex pipes will definitely be a challenge to seperate. What type of connection is the header pipe to enginge? Bolt on flange or threaded?

    Not sure the availability of those stainless flex pipes, but we deal with several companies that make us custom built exhaust pieces for work. I may be able to help if you end up in trouble?
    I'll give it the old college try but I may end up sacrificing the flex pipes to save the mufflers and header pipes. It's a little hard to see in there with the engine cooling cover on but I'm 99.9% sure the header pipes are flanges with allen bolts (good).

    I've seen a lot of stainless flex pipe on trucks but I guess the trick is to find some small enough for the sled. Based on my crude measurement it looks like the flex pipes are approximately 2 1/8" I.D.

    I've already run into a couple of things where your skill and connections could be real handy. Now, I just have to come up with a compensation package - maybe a case of Widow Maker Black?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiroule View Post
    I'll give it the old college try but I may end up sacrificing the flex pipes to save the mufflers and header pipes. It's a little hard to see in there with the engine cooling cover on but I'm 99.9% sure the header pipes are flanges with allen bolts (good).

    I've seen a lot of stainless flex pipe on trucks but I guess the trick is to find some small enough for the sled. Based on my crude measurement it looks like the flex pipes are approximately 2 1/8" I.D.

    I've already run into a couple of things where your skill and connections could be real handy. Now, I just have to come up with a compensation package - maybe a case of Widow Maker Black?
    You know the score Mr. Skiroule....will work for beer!

    One thought I had was you could try heating the pipes up just below the flex pipe connections. Get them chery red and let the heat travel. If you can get the pipe to swell inside the flex, and then allow it to cool completely, you might get lucky enough to expand the flex where it was crimped by the exhaust clamp. I hope I explained that in a way that makes sense?

    The other thought I had, and the reason I was asking about the flange, was to not mess with them at all. Just leave them connected to the motor, take the mounts lose and slide the whole motor back with the pipes still attatched. Then, if you can get the shroud lose enough to get a wrench in there, just take off the pipes as an assembly. Mask off the stainless and paint them up still assembled. Might be a bit of messing around?

    If all else fales, I'm sure we could come up with something for replacements. I was in the shop this afternoon and just happened to glance over at our scrap pile. Something caught my eye!

    Obviously these are much bigger than you need, but it gives some hope that we could possibly find you a similar material, in the correct size, if it came down to it.


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    Yep you got a project. A little history - I looked up in an old mag that list some detail for all mfgs sleds in Fall of 1971. It had a MSRP of $1,334.
    So you got it for less than half price.

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    Thinking that getting it for less than half-price is a fair deal for a ďgently used" sled (as Gary put it).

    I also thought that heat might be worth a try on the exhaust after I get the pipes disconnected from the engine and out of the sled. In the end, Iím determined to not let these pipes win the battle. Too bad those pipes in the photo are just a little too large.

    Sometimes a person stumbles across things by sheer dumb luck. Wound up getting some intake adapters from a guy in NY after I asked him about a dual carb setup on a Chaparral he was selling. Turned out he had an extra set these which can be used to convert a 650 Hirth from a single carb to dual carbs.

    Donít know if I will use them yet but what could possibly go wrong if I decided to beef the HP up a little?


    DSC_0166.jpg
    Last edited by skiroule; 07-15-2017 at 11:28 PM.

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    A friend of mine, his father and uncle had Chap's. I always thought they were really neat looking!!! Enjoy your project, and good luck!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by old abe View Post
    A friend of mine, his father and uncle had Chap's. I always thought they were really neat looking!!! Enjoy your project, and good luck!!!
    Who is Chap, and what did the two of them have of "Chap's"? ('Cuz "Chap's" is a possessive form, ya know.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by old abe View Post
    A friend of mine, his father and uncle had Chap's. I always thought they were really neat looking!!! Enjoy your project, and good luck!!!
    Thanks! It definitely will be a challenge, success is not guaranteed.

    Yep, the Chapís were pretty cool sleds back in the day (sorry Frank, it just looks better with a Ď). In some ways, they were ahead of their time but not every idea they came up with was a success Ė like the 73 slide rail design. Iím told that the 74 SSX liquid cooled sled was a great all-around sled but by then the writing was on the wall for Chaparral sled production. Their run was pretty short but there is still a small, but rabid following for all the Chaparral sled models.

    On the mechanical front, if anyone is looking for a good flywheel puller, this unit from SLP worked really well for me. Very beefy, pulled the 45 year old flywheel without breaking a sweat.


    DSC_0165.jpg
    Last edited by skiroule; 07-15-2017 at 11:31 PM.

  20. #20
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    If you can get the pipe/muffler assembly loose from the motor it just about looks like it will fit in a five gallon bucket with the mufflers sticking out on top. Fill the bucket full of favorite solvent or liquid wench swill and leave it alone for about 3 months. Right now it thinks it is all one piece. Try to make it remember it should come apart. I am very much afraid you would wreck those stainless flexes if you just started heating. First soak then heat later. That early Team driven looks like it held up pretty well.

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    first sled I owned was a 72 ss. This was indestructible and tons of fun.

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    They probably couldn't make this claim after the 73 models came out.


    1970_Chap_Ad.jpg
    Last edited by skiroule; 07-15-2017 at 11:33 PM.

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    Hey Kelly I can't make out the dealers name in Kalamazoo, I was going to give him a call for ya.......lots of luck with that I suppose. Pretty neat seeing that old magazine advertisement. Now they only list the dealers who chipped in for the ads, and the small ones are a dying breed!
    I wonder if any of those dealers are still in the snowmobile business???????

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    Kirk, my curiosity got the best of me so I stared at this ad for quite a while and eventually invoked some photo enhancing sci-fi stuff. I believe the dealer was "Russ Avery's Marine & Sporting Goods". Google didn't turn up much but I get the feeling that the business is long gone. It looks like he had some type of marine business in Colon back in the late 60's but that's about all I could determine. He may have re-located to Kalamazoo or Kalamazoo may have been listed as the dealership location for purposes of this ad.

    Looking at this dealer list though, it kinda explains why quite a few Chaparrals show up for sale in MI. There was a pretty extensive dealer network compared to a lot of other states.

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    Yea Russ Avery Marine was just down the street from me. Long gone but there is another marina there now but all the old sled stuff is gone.

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    Iíve been absent from this project for a while but I do have a note from home (sort of). I figure my excuse is legit Ė working on a 24 x 32 ďsled shedĒ. Itís coming along but between working solo, the pace at which I move, and time off for good fishing days, it will be a while yet. Hopefully it will provide housing for the herd and still allow for a dedicated work area Ė something Iíve never had.

    DSC_0367.jpg

    While itís not finished, itís now functional and residents are already moving in.

    DSC_0368.jpg


    I have been working a little on the project in background mode Ė in the process of tearing this Firebird chassis down for parts and possibly a donor chassis for the project.

    DSCN3193.jpg
    Last edited by skiroule; 07-15-2017 at 11:04 PM.

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    Very nice Kelly, I wouldn't be shocked to see "your herd" population grow exponentially with proper selection and nurturing. Keep us current on things up there.
    And take a day off once in a while, you're making the rest of look like lazy slackers!

    Gary

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    Looking very good skiroule! That should provide plenty of room for storage and working on projects. From a selfish standpoint, I'm assuming none of the TX's will be for sale now that you have all of that room!!

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    Believe me Gary, I take plenty of days off. I do put in long days on the garage when Iím working on it but there are some pretty big gaps in between work sessions. In fact, Iíll be out chasing the elusive Walleye later today.

    Mark, since I seem to have a knack for using up all available space, I think things will get pretty tight in no time. If the herd ever needs thinning, youíll be the first person contacted.

  30. #30
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    Kelly,

    As Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber would say, "So you're telling me there's a chance?"

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    Mark that's the garage you need

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    Quote Originally Posted by rp7x View Post
    Mark that's the garage you need
    Everybody should have a "sled shed" like that. Wish I did

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    Quote Originally Posted by rp7x View Post
    Mark that's the garage you need
    I agree, but where would I build it? No room

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    Quote Originally Posted by mspease View Post
    I agree, but where would I build it? No room
    Besides, canít you just park your stuff in rp7xís garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by sweeperguy View Post
    Everybody should have a "sled shed" like that. Wish I did
    Agree. Iím pretty ampíed up about it. I ran across a sweet deal on an almost-new wood stove (free). Cool little unit, has a separate oven under the firebox. Now I will be able to work on sleds and make a wood-fired pizza at the same time. Add a beer fridge and CD player and I should be set.

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    Got the spare Firebird chassis stripped down, including removing the 24 can storage unit (if you snowmobiled in the 70’s you know that’s pretty accurate – different times, different times). The SS models did not have this storage unit had really had no storage and I mean no storage, not even a little cheap plastic bin.

    Gave it a quick and dirty clean-up (pardon the pun), just to assess the condition. It doesn’t look too bad – no structural cracks or damage. If I decide to use it, I’ll get a little more serious about some additional work on it. I would definitely paint the cross member black like it is on the special edition sled

    There are a cou
    ple of things that I wish were in better shape but then, my wife says the same thing about me.


    DSC_0376.jpg

    Well, it l
    ooks like Photobucket is trying to shake down everyone to the tune of $400 to allow 3rd party hosting of their images. I liked Photobucket because it provided simple image embedding and photo customization but sorry PB, I'm not going to pony up four bills to continue to use your "free" service. We'll do this another way.

    Last edited by skiroule; 07-15-2017 at 11:34 PM. Reason: Photobucket

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    Playing with images....I like this better

    Last edited by skiroule; 07-16-2017 at 11:02 AM. Reason: New Image Approach

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiroule View Post


    Well, it l
    ooks like Photobucket is trying to shake down everyone to the tune of $400 to allow 3rd party hosting of their images. I liked Photobucket because it provided simple image embedding and photo customization but sorry PB, I'm not going to pony up four bills to continue to use your "free" service. We'll do this another way.

    Well this is disappointing news! Looks like photobucket will be out of business soon, lol. Who in their right mind would pay that kind of money just to post their own pictures? Man I have a LOT of pictures on there. Wonder if I should start trasfering them to a zip drive or something?

    PS: nice progress on the shed!

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    give google photos a try. I like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoluver1 View Post
    Well this is disappointing news! Looks like photobucket will be out of business soon, lol. Who in their right mind would pay that kind of money just to post their own pictures? Man I have a LOT of pictures on there. Wonder if I should start trasfering them to a zip drive or something?
    You still seem to be under the radar so maybe you're OK. They may have tagged me early because I use AdBlock (believe me, the sites know when you're blocking their ads.) As you know, PhotoBucket is notorious for pummeling you with ads.

    Yeah, $400 seems more like extortion. If they had asked for, say forty bucks a year, I most likely would have signed up. They have cheaper plans but they don't allow unlimited 3rd party hosting (which is a misleading term because the photo is not really hosted on another site, it's simply linked to the site). My understanding is that you can still download your photos, although I've read a couple of instances where people had issues downloading as well.

    It definitely sucks because all of the photos I've posted here and elsewhere are no longer view-able.

    Quote Originally Posted by snocrazy View Post
    give google photos a try. I like it.
    Google Photo seems like a cool way to maintain your photos if you are able to insert images using the link. Maybe you could post an example in this thread.

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    https://photos.app.goo.gl/SBFpQbZ1IS7fEPc02

    - - - Updated - - -

    when i tried to insert the image it sad "invalid file format" using the url below.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snocrazy View Post
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/SBFpQbZ1IS7fEPc02

    - - - Updated - - -

    when i tried to insert the image it said "invalid file format" using the url below.
    I've also seen this happen at times but then mysteriously work in other cases. Maybe it's a whitespace thing, I don't know. The mechanics of inserting from Google Photos seems to work for me but it doesn't produce the expected result. When I do the insert I get this:



    I've seen this before but I'm not sure what it is. Maybe someone out there knows.

    Google Blogger isn't really intended to be a photo repository but it does support linking of images that are contained in a blog.

  42. #42
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    The ďsled shopĒ is still a work-in-progress but enough of it is done to start thinking about mixing in some sled work along with the construction.

    Also trying out my new sled lift Ė went with the winch style because I liked the concept. There was a little learning curve for how to make it work with vintage sleds, which have ridiculously low pan/ground clearance and a narrow ski stance but now that I have it dialed in I think it will work awesome.



    I missed the fair-weather painting window on the 650 project so I decided to take a crack at the 400 in hopes of making it a rider this winter. It has an idle problem and after consulting my mechanical advisor Snoluver1 (some people have a financial advisor, I have a mechanical advisor), we both suspect a crank seal issue. Based on a short test run between garages, this will be a really fun sled to ride if I can solve the idle issue. Hopefully it is the PTO side which is super-easy to change.

    I did convert the original Walbro diaphragm carb to a Mikuni float set-up. Found a neat kit that has all the necessary conversion items Ė carb, fuel pump, cables, etc. No more cranking 20 times to pump fuel up into the carb.


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    Quote Originally Posted by skiroule View Post





    No more cranking 20 times to pump fuel up into the carb.

    Ya know real men take the return line off and blow in it to prime the supply line. Then it only takes like ten pulls to get er' going!

    Just busting yer chops of course! Looks like a slick set up!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoluver1 View Post
    Ya know real men take the return line off and blow in it to prime the supply line. Then it only takes like ten pulls to get er' going!
    Funny but true, especially for a blowhard like me that should have no trouble creating enough positive tank pressure to push fuel right into the cylinders.

    Ordered a clutch puller today that is supposed to work on a Salsbury 910 clutch. If that turns out to be the case, I can use it on both of the Chaps.

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    Waiting for the second coat of mud to dry on the ceiling so figured I'd start a tear-down on the 400 to try to diagnose the idle problem. Lots of grime, some big time exhaust manifold leaks - pretty standard stuff for a vintage sled. Pulled the clutch to get a look at the PTO crank seal.



    Hard to tell if it's the problem by looking at it but some of the rubber seal retainer pieces are missing. If it's not the problem, it's definitely not helping matters. Time to order some gasket stuff.


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    After about a hundred distractions (you'd never know I'm retired) and much frustration with the 400 Chaparral I decided to return to the original scene of the crime for this thread, the 650. It had zero spark so the points were replaced and set. Then it was time for a test firing.

    She sounds pretty good, considering sheís running on spray so I think restoration is a go. Will try to finish tearing it down this winter and hopefully have it done by next winter. Pretty ampíed up about it tonight Ė love how that 650 sounds.


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    Sweet!!! That thing sounds mean! Lol. Glad you got her sparkin' again sparky. Thats half the battle right there!��

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    ďSparkyĒÖ.. funny stuff. It is pretty amazing that these things sit for years and can still be coaxed back to life. This sled is a tad over 45 years old and I have little doubt that it has been at least 25 years since it last ran. Judging by the accumulated debris and mud wasp nests it was pretty much exposed to the elements and didnít have an easy retirement.

    Got the exhaust disconnected so I could pull the engine and start getting psyched up to pull the drive train and chaincase Ė it can be done, just have to remain calm and not throw things (at least expensive things).



    You probably wouldnít know it by looking at it, but this is one of the nicest 72 pans Iíve seen recently. No cracks or major damage. It does have the standard hole punched in the chaincase well, which results from getting whacked by the ski. Not a big deal though.


  49. #49
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    Chassis is pretty much down to bedrock. Thinking there will be a bit of a lull in the action now due to the need to accumulate some funds to replace the big air compressor that failed last summer. Also would like to pick up a sand blasting cabinet.

    Some parts hunting can go on in the meantime and there are some things that can be done without more shop equipment but itís so much more efficient when you have the right tools.

    The seller had commented about the factory painted cross member, which he said was really unusual. Have to admit, Iíve never seen another painted one. Seemed to be something that was done for this ďdealer orderĒ sled and Iím sure Iíll repaint it to match the original.


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    I’ve decided that the title of this thread is really appropriate, as it seems like I just move from one pile to another.

    After PTO seal replacement resulted in no improvement in the 400 SS I took a break to re-group. The problem was still gnawing at me so I tackled the Mag side seal. This turned out to be the 2-stroke smoking gun. The tension spring on the seal was broken which allowed air to be pulled in around the crank. The problem with the old seal is obvious compared to the replacement.



    She fires much better now (music courtesy of Donaldson mufflers).



    So now both 72 SS sleds are showing running potential, which is a good start for a rider restoration project. I won’t be bored this off-season.

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    Not a big start but I guess I have to start somewhere. After cleaning up two other potential chassis to use for this project, I went back to the original 650 SS chassis. I thought the others might be in better shape but after cleaning that turned out to not be the case. Also, the 650 chassis is a true SS chassis, so it doesnít have the extra bolt holes/rivet holes in the tunnel that are in the other two standard Firebird tunnels.







    Need to make a couple more polishing passes then move on to cleaning up the cross member. Once weíre consistently above zero up here in the tundra (still waiting) I can get it outside to pressure wash and de-grease it in preparation for paint. Planning on converting my enclosed trailer into a paint booth this summer. Weíll see how that goes but it should work fine for snowmobile parts.

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    Looking real good Kelly! It looks like a mirror, can't believe it needs any more polishing. Cool shop too!

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    Thanks Mark, I guess Iím treating this project more like a marathon than a sprint. I've always been a Chaparral fan and I wanted a project that was a little out of my comfort zone so this sled was a natural choice. Just hope Iím up to the challenge.

    The shop is coming along, although itís starting to look suspiciously like a man-cave.

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    Perfect, a shop should look like a man cave!!

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    OK, show of hands: Who misses this suspension design?



    (Probably no one)

    Finally got the sandblasting setup fully operational and I have to say it's, well, a blast. It's not the answer for everything but for a lot of parts it saves hours of sanding and wire brushing. After some blasting and other general cleanup, the bogie wheel assemblies are pretty much done. Need to take a different approach on the wheels, sand and bearings are not a good mix.


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    Yeah, it's a little silly but I really think I need one of these:



    On a thread-related note, I'm hoping I scored a set of 15 NOS bogie wheels today. They are not specifically for Chaparral (Scorpion) but the shaft size matches and the O.D. is very close. Think bearing height could be the only issue. Should know if they will work in a few days.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiroule View Post
    OK, show of hands: Who misses this suspension design?



    (Probably no one)
    It's pretty amazing when you think about all the engineering and tooling/parts that went into producing a bogie suspension. When compared to todays minimalistic approach, it's a wonder manufacturer's could turn a profit? Especially when they were selling sleds back then for less than a grand brand new! Lol

    I like the mail box! Right up your alley...er driveway...
    A year or 2 ago I was in a local bar and they had a huge Skiroule banner hanging in there for the winter. I was totally blown away that it was in a bar in IL.???? I begged the bar owner to sell it to me but he wouldn't budge. It wasn't his to sell. Guess it was on loan for the season from another patron. I wanted to send it to you for Christmas. Lol! Oh well, its the thought that counts, I guess.

  58. #58
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    That banner would have looked awesome in the "Skiroule Cave" but yes, it is the thought that counts.....

    Those bogie wheel suspensions sure didn't lack for moving parts and at the time it seemed like every company had a different version of the same basic concept. Funny thing is, the bogie wheel setups didn't really require a lot of maintenance. The Chaparral bogie wheel sets only required greasing of the three main shafts every year or two. You wouldn't even have to drop the track (or loosen it for that matter) to remove the assemblies.

    Unfortunately, few, if any, owners bothered with much suspension maintenance because the manufacturers seemed to downplay any need for it. Many years ago I read an article stating that the manufacturers of the day thought the life expectancy of a sled would be about 3 years. This might explain why many of the moving suspension parts were not even greased from the factory.

    Without periodic greasing, the rotating shafts tended to seize and this is the result: Locked-up suspension and constant pounding on the hangers and egged-out mounting holes. Not surprisingly, the ride wasn't much different even after you lost that 2 - 3" of travel .



    Started tearing down the ski/spindle stuff and managed to break the spindle bolts loose (this is a bigger deal than it sounds) but the lower spindle bushings are still frozen on the shafts so they are getting marinated in a bath of WD-40. I don't really need the bushings but I'd prefer to not have to cut them off. Hopefully the marinade will pay off.


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    The bogie wheel set from Connecticut showed up today and they fit perfectly. It's true, they are Scorpion wheels but from my perspective, I have a brand-new set of 45 year old wheels, complete with new wheel bearings. I'm not intending to build a show sled where this matters. Couple the new wheels with new front/rear shaft and upper chaincase bearings and you've got the whole package.

    The gang is all together now and the three main pivot shafts have been greased up the wahzoo and you know that's a lot of grease.


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    Nice to have a couple of spurts of progress for a change. Got the cross member painted and re-mounted, along with a little cross member hardware. Have to admit, I like the black contrast.



    Walleye season re-opens in three weeks so I need to re-group quickly and figure out my next move. Not good for the project when it has to compete with the chase for the elusive Walleye.

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    Fish in the morning, work on the sled in the afternoon, more fishing at night and then a few beers as you sit around the sled looking at what you have gotten done. Repeat the next day. What a life you have now! Very jealous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mspease View Post
    fish in the morning, work on the sled in the afternoon, more fishing at night and then a few beers as you sit around the sled looking at what you have gotten done. Repeat the next day. What a life you have now! Very jealous.
    x200

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    Quote Originally Posted by mspease View Post
    Fish in the morning, work on the sled in the afternoon, more fishing at night and then a few beers as you sit around the sled looking at what you have gotten done. Repeat the next day. What a life you have now! Very jealous.
    You wonít hear any complaints from me but not every summer day will be quite like you and Steve think . Some days Iíll mess with sled projects in the morning, take a nap, fish in the afternoon, and then reflect on the dayís accomplishments over a few beers in the evening.

    The whole drive system is pretty much ready to install but believe it or not, the hang-up is the seat. The Chaparral solution to mounting the front of the seat is not the answer. The plywood base was fastened down with four screws driven up through the tunnel into the plywood. This meant that the seat had to be installed before the track went on.



    My preference is that the seat is almost the last thing to be installed so my plan is to make some tab retainers similar to what the other manufacturers of the day used and fasten those to the tunnel so the seat can be slid forward into the tabs when installing it. Not quite sure how to do it yet without affecting the seat cover but hope I can figure it out. If not, the only solution will be to drop the track again when the seat is ready to be installed.

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    Regardless of project size, I guess you have to sweat the small stuff.

    The WD-40 bath on the spindles did the trick and with a little help from a big pipe wrench (and a bigger hammer) the bushings broke loose. Now all the ski mounting hardware could be cleaned up and painted. In spite of the age and wear, the stuff cleans up pretty good.


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    Quote Originally Posted by grub View Post
    If you can get the pipe/muffler assembly loose from the motor it just about looks like it will fit in a five gallon bucket with the mufflers sticking out on top. Fill the bucket full of favorite solvent or liquid wench swill and leave it alone for about 3 months. Right now it thinks it is all one piece. Try to make it remember it should come apart.
    Turns out Grub was correct. I did get both pipe/muffler assemblies off the motor and commenced to soak the first one a few days ago. It really didn't take too long to loosen the pipes enough to separate everything. Unfortunately, that was the good news. Both the header pipe on the motor end and the muffler inlet are pretty rusted out. I think a skilled exhaust guy can (hopefully) fabricate replacements.

    All of the 72 SS sleds used the Donaldson mufflers but the 650 version is way different from the smaller engines which had a factory-looking stamped/welded inlet. On the 650's that had much bigger pipes it looks like they simply took a muffler blank and welded on a custom pipe - actually a pretty crude looking job. It seems to be another piece of evidence that stuffing the big engine in this sled required a fair amount of hands-on engineering. It's not surprising that the factory version of these sleds is not very common, given that the number of mods required probably resulted in very little profit margin.

    What has me puzzled is the amount of dirt that came out of the upper muffler chamber when I got the pipes off. The pile in the photo is not rust, it's dirt! - have no idea how it got in there. Bees maybe? The sled had a lot of mud wasp nests sprinkled here and there.


  66. #66
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    It's possible that I mess with these old relics to appreciate the history as much as anything else, which is a good thing because sometimes the build work itself can be pretty overwhelming and frustrating at times.

    I'm putting together a second chassis mock-up in order to get the exhaust right without having to use the finished tunnel/cross member but I'm using the original pan to be sure of the muffler fit. Looking at the pan today, it still amazes me that the pan (and the hood) were pinstriped by hand. It's hard to tell if the striping is the same as on the Bobby Unser sled but I'm betting that each sled had a few unique features.








    Another obvious difference when looking at the pan is that the muffler holes are in non-standard locations. On the right is a production 400/440 SS pan, in which the holes are located in a symmetrical pattern in the exact same place on every sled. My suspicion is that on the 650's they stuck the mufflers on and then figured out where to drill the holes. It would have been great to actually see one of these being built.


  67. #67
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    The project continues to stumble along, with the usual life interruptions.

    One diversion is our fishing boat. Apparently this is the summer to dump a ton of money into the boat: Replace one of the fish graph units, power trim repair, three new batteries, and a new cup holder.

    Anyway, this side-by-side of the skis shows why it is sometimes a challenge to keep plugging away at these old relics. Turning rust into shiny stuff can require more effort than a reasonable person would invest but for us unreasonable people, preserving this stuff seems worth it.




    I do have a couple of other things in the works but it might be a while before I can post some evidence.

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    Well done, ski looks very good!

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    OK, a long over-due check-in.

    As is often the case with these relics, I ran into some complications with the exhaust. All of the connection pipes were rusted out, as were the muffler inlets. After sandblasting both mufflers I also discovered that the muffler that was full of wasp mud (or whatever) had numerous pin holes due to rust. Rather than be constantly fighting with new pin holes that were sure to appear, I scavenged a different muffler from a 440 sled. The muffler is the same as the 650 version but the inlet is a different design so that needs to be modified.

    After talking to the local repair shop owner, we came up with a plan to cut the mufflers at the inlet and fabricate a whole new exhaust, but with a twist. His suggestion (which I like) was to replace the flex tubes with late-model flex connectors, which are found on most of today's vehicles. I'm keeping the original flex tubes in case they are ever needed for a purist restoration but since this sled seems to becoming more of a "resto-mod" than a pure restoration, I have no problem replacing them with a more effective system.

    I built a mock-up that is identical to what will be the finished sled configuration and that sled is now in the mechanics possession. He has obtained the parts he thinks he needs to build a complete new exhaust system. The flex connectors are stainless and the rest of the pipe is "rust resistant" steel but I plan to paint the pipes and leave the connectors as bare stainless Think it will be pretty cool. Hopefully he will get this fabrication done in the next week or so.

    Last edited by skiroule; 08-02-2018 at 11:13 PM.

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    Enjoy the updates! Lots of room under the hood, it looks like mostly exhaust with the engine mounted where they did then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mspease View Post
    Enjoy the updates! Lots of room under the hood, it looks like mostly exhaust with the engine mounted where they did then.
    Yeah, not much else under there with the tunnel mounted engine configuration. Even though the hood is pretty low profile in front, the limiting factor on the exhaust replacement design is the steering shaft. There's not much clearance between the PTO side pipe and the shaft. Also have to make sure that there's enough exposed header pipe to be able to get clamps on the pipes outside the engine cooling shroud. It will be interesting to see if our plan works out.

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    Checked in with the local auto shop guys last week to see how they are coming on the exhaust. They have the inlets cut off and are trying out some pipe configuration options. They had me drop off the engine cooling shroud so they know how much exposed header pipe they have to work with. Things are pretty tight there. They are going to use a pretty cool stainless clamping system at the header pipes but may have to trim the shroud a little to get them to fit.

    This is where things were at last week.


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    Ski,
    So I'm wondering, why did they build these with two mufflers and not just one. Is this the same muffler they used on their singles and just doubled up? And since they used two, why on the one side and not split them? It looks like more space on the left side. Any guesses or out-right lies would be welcomed!

    Gary

  74. #74
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    Well Gary, as the old saying goes: "You ask a lot of questions for a guy from Wisconsin (or was it New Jersey?)". I can give you some factual information and I'll leave it up to you to decide if the rest is outright lies or just guesses.

    The mufflers on the SS models were not simply a doubled-up version of the other models that did not have twin mufflers. These mufflers were not only unique to the SS models but were only used for the 72 model year. Prior to and after 72, Chaparral used a single muffler for all stock models.

    As to why two mufflers, I'm going to speculate that it was part performance, part image. After all, this was the era in which the muscle car was still going strong and no self-respecting street racer would be caught running single exhaust. The Donaldson mufflers were tuned to some extent but I"m not sure how precisely, as essentially the same muffler was used on the 400, 440, and 650 models, the only difference being the inlet pipe size. In any case, I think Chaparral was somewhat successful with the image thing because they look and sound pretty dang cool and set the SS version apart from the rest of the Chaparral herd.

    The latest photo is a little misleading because the driven clutch and chaincase is missing, which gives the impression that there was extra space on the other side of the steering shaft. Fact is, that when the driven clutch/chaincase assembly is installed space is at a premium on that side. My ultimate goal is to post some photos of things actually assembled before the next millennium so you can see how everything looks when complete.

    If you've been having trouble sleeping, this response should probably do the trick.

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    Sure, that makes sense. And if the twins were only used one year it may have been a sourcing issue as they were selling these machines as fast as they could build them in 1972. Keep us current as you move this along and thanks for the pictures.

    Gary

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    The local auto repair shop was finished with the exhaust work so I picked up the mock-up sled today. As much as I like to do a lot of things myself, looking at the work they did is a reminder than some things are best left to skilled people.

    I think they did an awesome job of creating a custom exhaust fabrication for this sled. The beauty of this setup is that each pipe/muffler is a single welded assembly that can be connected/disconnected at the head pipes via the sleeve connectors Ė gives the exhaust a much cleaner look. The next move is to tear down the mock-up and paint the pipes/mufflers but I'll leave the stainless flex connectors as they are. Think it will look pretty cool.



    The completion of the exhaust fabrication should motivate me to really kick the project in gear but hereís the problem Ė thereís still a couple of months to maybe land another one of these. Itís a nice distraction to have and there will be a lot of cold days that can be spent in the shop later.



    I do plan to maintain some momentum though so that when the bad weather hits this fall I have some idea of where Iím at on the project.

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    That did turn out nice! Beautiful walleye! You will have plenty of time this winter to work on the sled as you say, but then it will be ice fishing and sledding time too. So much time and so little to do! Jealous!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mspease View Post
    So much time and so little to do! Jealous!!
    It's funny, I thought I would have trouble de-programming myself when I left the rat race but I've found the adjustment surprisingly easy. One thing I've noticed is the absence of a sense of urgency. Time for a second cup of coffee in the morning? No problem.

    I did start working a couple days a week at the local hardware store last fall, mostly to get me out and moving around and the discount is pretty good. Throw in some fishing, maintaining a cabin and house (lots of mowing!), a little sled work, and more fishing, and the days seem to fly by.

    Started cleaning up the secondary faces - a few decades of exposed metal and the result is a lot of rust and pitting. Can't do anything about the pitting but faces should stay lrust-free once they see occasional use. Hoping to get it all re-assembled soon.


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    Re-acquainted myself with the shop for a brief time time this week - got the exhaust off and a first coat of hi-temp paint applied. It will definitely be bright. Will give things another shot before installation. Also got the driven clutch re-wound and assembled (that was a handful).



    Snow flurries off and on all day today and had to build a fire in the shop. Took it as a sign that winter is on the way.

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    It might be a stretch but Iím calling it progress. Stripped the top coat of paint off the outside and inside the pan tonight. Iím thinking the color mottling is due to the undercoat being exposed to sunlight (for years) where the top coat of paint flaked off. Pretty sure they just sprayed over a stock pan finish on this sled but I donít really know how they achieved the original finish, as fiberglass paint stripper has no effect on it. Quite a bit of sanding, patching, and filling to go before painting but itís a start.


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    Looks like progress to me! The exhaust should look good with the red.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mspease View Post
    Looks like progress to me! The exhaust should look good with the red.
    The red is classic Chaparral and I'm torn between going back to the red or duplicating the original "custom" color. Probably won't make a final call until both the pan and the hood are ready for paint.

    In a week or so, we should be settled back into the "winter house" for good which will give me a lot more shop time....with all these relics, there's lots to do.
    Last edited by skiroule; 11-11-2018 at 11:23 PM.

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    Well, the plan was that there would be more time for shop projects over the last 6 weeks but as the saying goes: "plans change".

    Even so, the patching was completed on the pan and the tedious task of filling, sanding, priming, and then more sanding is underway. Actually, I think that the outside of the pan will only require one more sanding pass and a final primer coat. The inside of the pan can be a little rougher so should be a little less work.

    Have a couple of other vintage machines that need a little maintenance so may have to break off and take care of those. Need to have at least one solid rider ready at all times.

    ou

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    Lookin good!

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    Making progress! The fire looks nice and warm.

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    Finding that the little stove cooks a great pizza.



    Close to getting the pan prep finished up so decided to switch to some shiny objects (or stuff that should be shiny). Cleaned up the front bumper and removed the accent stripe decal, which was pretty chipped up. Stripe is painted on now so at least it can be touched up. Bumper looks OK but not great, lots of battle scars/nicks but at least itís straight. Also polished up the steering post and handlebars. Chrome on the rear "bumpers" that I have is not good. Re-chroming is pricey (minimum $150) so decided to blast one and paint it to see how it looks. Priming is done so I just have to decide on a color. Black, grey, white, match the hood/pan? Not sure what would look the best - if I really don't like it, may have to buck up and get one re-chromed.


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    Now if that stove could keep some beers cold, you are set!

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    you do realize that there is NANO SPRAY CHROME nowadays....even in a can peruse youtube for other films but heres one





    more

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK0VZXrV5kI

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwz View Post
    Lookin good!
    Thanks Big Z. Progress pace is slower than I'd like but I guess a person does what they can. Anyway, on to the hood work. Love the fact that the factory put a Thunderbird hood on this sled - very cool. The weathered exterior doesn't really give a very good representation of the original. The inside shows a better example. The color reminds me of the old Cadillac Firemist color - hoping I can come pretty close to duplicating it.



    Quote Originally Posted by mspease View Post
    Now if that stove could keep some beers cold, you are set!
    Now that would be something. Beer fridge is on the shop white board though.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tracker View Post
    you do realize that there is NANO SPRAY CHROME nowadays....even in a can peruse youtube for other films but heres one
    The list of things I don't realize is pretty extensive so it's not surprising that the Nano Spray Chrome system is on it. A spray can version would be the only practical approach. A full-on system spray is way too expensive and couldn't be justified for my little projects. There may be vendors that would perform the process in the videos but I'd be curious about the cost comparison to re-chroming.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiroule View Post
    Thanks Big Z. Progress pace is slower than I'd like but I guess a person does what they can. Anyway, on to the hood work. Love the fact that the factory put a Thunderbird hood on this sled - very cool. The weathered exterior doesn't really give a very good representation of the original. The inside shows a better example. The color reminds me of the old Cadillac Firemist color - hoping I can come pretty close to duplicating it.





    Now that would be something. Beer fridge is on the shop white board though.





    The list of things I don't realize is pretty extensive so it's not surprising that the Nano Spray Chrome system is on it. A spray can version would be the only practical approach. A full-on system spray is way too expensive and couldn't be justified for my little projects. There may be vendors that would perform the process in the videos but I'd be curious about the cost comparison to re-chroming.
    heres the can comparisons and to have a shop spray it aint much at all


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracker View Post
    heres the can comparisons and to have a shop spray it aint much at all
    Thanks for digging this up. The comparison was pretty interesting. A number of products were reviewed as pretty good or at least OK but a chrome finish is a hard thing to truly replicate. I did notice that his disclaimer at the beginning was that: ďThis test is for model use only, not actual outside use on things like helmets or auto chrome parts.Ē Even so, there might be a couple sprays in the set that are worth trying out. I do plan to talk to the local body shop guy and see if he's done any work of this nature or knows someone who has.

    Cleaned up the inside of the hood tonight so I could get a couple of photos for future color reference. Also cleaned up all of the cracks to prep them for repair, some of which can be seen at the rear corners of the hood.

    I'm thinking that this might a good time to learn the skill of plastic welding (the Chaparral specs say the hood is ABS plastic). It would be a challenge and I like the idea of the plastic being fused rather than just connected with some type of adhesive. Someone had tried to repair one corner in the past with what looks like JB Weld. It didn't end well.


  92. #92
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    i can help you with the ABS plastic also....I was a model maker for the museum of science and industry in Chicago making the displays of 6 foot buildings and such which needed to last 30 years or more and not crack and with stand a wind tunnel test....and what we found out is and this will work on abs plastic going outside as well.....on a molecular level the ABS is replastisized or remolded back into the structure with METHYL ETHYL KEYTONE or MEK....I think you can still get a gallon of sunny at ace hardware and car parts stores.....you clean the crack and area with ACETONE and be careful as the acetone will melt ABS also but not seal it molecularly as good and complete as MEK....then you wipe the crack and area with ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL or 200 PROOF ALCOHOL as acetone leaves a slight residue on the molecular level....now she is clean....and every second that goes by it starts getting dirty...molecularly of course so speed is good but not too fast so ya don't mess it up....take the MEK and put into a capillary bottle with needle so you can get it in the crack and on all surfaces good and solid....you can make an aquarium this way with lexan and see the mek flowing into the cracks for complete coverage....no bubbles can exist and must be filled with mek and the needle.....do the hood like this....take needle and run down each side of crack pretty fast watch over liquid as it will melt abs....then push together and you can see small melted plastic welded looking edge form...don't push to hard....try on 2 pieces of scrap plastic first to get an idea...try lexan and some abs if you have some....let dry 24 hours....should be new plastic next day with tiny ridge of melted plastic along crack....if any areas are not sealed take needle and fill with MEK it will remelt it back into pure plastic...walla....sand and paint.....but you do know that what ever you do to weld or reseal this things cracks that over time ABS deteriorates no matter what and there is no stopping it and it will crack and break easier and easier.....the paint does help some...good luck on project

    PS...one other way I have done hood repair is bought the PLASTIC REPAIR KIT in the yellow box from dennis kirk....works also...prep it same way

    PSs....for large areas that need bondo you mix bondo as per instructions and then ADD ONE DRIP OF SUPER GLUE and mix like crazy and apply...the super glue will turn the bondo into concrete FAST....the more drips you put in the faster and harder the bondo sets up...to much and it becomes brittle and will crack easily...so no more than 15 drops maybe....you can test this on sample piles and then bondo 2 pieces together again to see how fast and how many drips to setup....that way you can bondo and sand in 10 minutes as opposed to waiting hours for the bondo to set and to work with it...wait 24 hours to paint though....hope this all helps and gives you new avenues now....for a coffee cup amount of bondo maybe only 3 drips of super glue....roughly...maybe 5...try a test pile on card board or something
    Last edited by Tracker; 12-19-2018 at 07:48 AM.

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    if your thinking its not strong enough I made jet engine covers of ABS plastic for the fighter jets on a carrier deck so the salty sea spray did not go inside the engines while they were sitting on the deck....I made hundreds of them and used MEK to glue the handles on em all...for the navy....its equivalent to new molded plastic.....like these

    https://www.jetbrella.com/


  94. #94
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    65303679-66C2-4D97-B295-0031B9EDF07A.jpg1B89B65E-20E8-4CA2-844F-B35955E10FA7.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just trying to do my part in keeping you busy and filling that new shop

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffemt View Post
    - - - Updated - -
    Just trying to do my part in keeping you busy and filling that new shop
    Really appreciate your doing your part . I can still move around the shop without climbing over something so maybe I really could use more sleds. Starting to think Iím a hoarder though

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracker View Post
    if your thinking its not strong enough I made jet engine covers of ABS plastic for the fighter jets on a carrier deck so the salty sea spray did not go inside the engines while they were sitting on the deck....I made hundreds of them and used MEK to glue the handles on em all...for the navy....its equivalent to new molded plastic.
    You wonít get any argument from me about the toughness of ABS. It can handle a lot of crap, which is probably why it is a popular choice for household main drain systems. But seriously, if this hood could talk, Iím sure it would have some horror stories about what it went through over the years and is still basically intact.

    I have no shortage of broken Chaparral hoods for practice to see if I could make use of the MEK approach. Iíve seen cracks on these hoods where this looks like it would work well and others that could benefit from additional material that could be provided by the welding process.

    Iíve been using a product called EVERCOAT MAXIM Multi-Fix as a body filler for non-metallic applications where the identity of the substrate is questionable. Itís fairly easy to apply, sands well, and will tolerate a certain amount of flexing. So far, Iíve been impressed.

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    Well it's not the night before Christmas so creatures are stirring.

    I've been on the lookout for these beauties for several months and out of blue an NOS set shows up on ebay. Believe it or not, these little items are a hang-up for ski assembly because the ski slides need to be in place when you attach the leaf spring to the ski. You can go without them but it seems like a bad idea to not have a lubricating plate between the spring and the ski.



    The ski sets are back together now (sort of). I need to fabricate a rubber bumper for the rear of one ski and come up with a set of replacement shocks. Also need to re-order the wear bars. Tried to order them last summer and received an email stating that I should order them "at a much later date". Hopefully that is now.


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    Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

    Apologies in advance for the lengthy post but Iíve started messing with the engine a little and would welcome advice from some real-world mechanics.

    I was a little uncomfortable with the compression reading on the mag side so it seemed like a good idea to pull the cylinder and assess the situation. For sure, the rings are partially stuck, which is probably not unusual when these engines sit for multiple decades. I would think this would have a big impact on compression.



    The piston has quite a bit of carbon build-up and looks pretty nasty. Pistons and rings are next to impossible to find for the 650 axial (280R) motor so I will have to at least try to save the piston and the bottom ring. I did find a set of top ďLĒ rings on ebay and as far as I can tell they are the correct rings.

    Any suggestions on how to clean it up and clean out the ring groves, once I get the rings off? I'd prefer to not have to pull the wrist pin and just leave the piston attached. Less chance of breaking some irreplaceable part.



    Itís hard to capture the condition but the cylinder actually looks pretty good. There is some very minor scratching (seems to pass the "fingernail test") and some carbon build-up from the blow-by but Iím wondering if it can be freshened up with just a honing.


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    Iíve taken my share of ribbing from friends about having been a desktop engineer and not able to come up with simple, practical solutions to a problem. Maybe this is why.

    I wanted to be able to soak at least the ring portion of the pistons to help loosen the rings while still attached to the rods but with the engine upright, the horizontal limit on the rod motion made it difficult to come up with a container that would allow the piston to be immersed in a solution while still attached to the rod.

    After some hard thinking, it hit me. How about if I just rotate the engine so the piston can hang in the solutionÖÖpure genius, Iíd say.



    Who knows, maybe in Rev 2.0 of this idea Iíll rotate the engine another 90 degrees so I can soak both pistons at the same time.

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    skiroule, I will admit I have not dealt with stuck rings in a snowmobile engine but deal enough with them in the hand held power equipment side of my business and what works for me as I dont have alot of time to wait or set aside to soak is a little heat, sharp razor blade and penetrating oil, first i would take a sharp new razor blade and very carefully score the carbon between the piston groove and ring, then I take a propane torch and on low flame heat the piston to hopefully expand the piston being aluminum off of the piston ring a bit to give it a little movement and allow it to free up enough to get the ring to move by very carefully getting under the ring at gap and prying with light pressure, i will also use a good penetrating oil to help liquify and loosen carbon build up. Once you can get the ring freed and out clean skirt with a good brush (brass bristle or good firm nylon) and some solvent or penetrating oil, as far as ring groove a wood dowel sanded or cut to fit in groove to clean heavy carbon and follow up with brush. This has always worked for me in my shop. As far as cylinder goes I would get bore specs if you can find them and measure the cylinder at three points, top, center and bottom and see how much differential there is between the points and decide the best course of action. if there isnt enough wear or damage to justify boring I would just hone the cylinder using a ball hone NOT a stone hone to get a nice cross hatch pattern back into the cylinder. I hope this might help you, and I just want to tell you I really enjoy your post and step by step progress!

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    Good info euphoric1, and thanks for the vote of confidence on progress.

    I put the razor idea to use today and, with a little patience, did get the other top ring freed up without breaking it, as opposed to the other day when I decided to wiggle one of the stuck bottom rings and it snapped like a matchstick - Not good. Only through an incredible stroke of luck did I manage to find a guy in PA that had a set of NOS bottom rings. Anyway, I now have the top two rings loose but the remaining bottom rings will be a challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by euphoric1 View Post
    if there isnt enough wear or damage to justify boring I would just hone the cylinder using a ball hone NOT a stone hone to get a nice cross hatch pattern back into the cylinder.
    From what Iíve been able to determine the cylinders are chrome plated and as you said, should not be honed with a stone. What grit do you use on your ball hones for your small engines? Sounds like silicon carbide is the way to go.

    Iíve been soaking things in a product called Chem-Dip (never liked that word ďDipĒ, bad memories from high school). It does seem to have some effect but not something I would rave about. With a dose of elbow grease, it will clean things up - slowly. In all fairness though, the carbon is some tough stuff. Have one of the pistons pretty well cleaned up now.


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