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  #1  
Old 11-20-2016, 09:10 PM
Benak Benak is offline
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Default Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

Hello all,

I just bought #1801 and have it my shop thawing out. My intention is to clean it up and run it on the Big Sue. I drove it across a lake to get it on the trailer back to Anchorage, seems to run/drive OK. My wife thinks I'm crazy which kind of adds to the appeal. I'd like to run it this winter with the original VW power and look at converting to the Subaru EJ22 in the coming years. The tracks look OK but I do need new idlers soon.

What have guys been running with for tooling to do "in the field" track repairs? I intended on running only on the frozen river so I'm hopeful I don't walk tracks off on a regular basis. How do these things do in overflow?

Thanks in advance and I'm looking forward to getting some hours on this thing.

-Ben





Last edited by Benak; 11-20-2016 at 09:14 PM. Reason: adding photos
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2016, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

nice ride! is over flow water?
I have forded some water up to the bumper it makes a lot of steam and I don't think I did and favors to my heat boxes....

Mike
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Old 11-20-2016, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

Finally, a Snot Trac with the right color. Benak, you have arrived, not the only wife to label her husband as crazy. Wear the badge with pride.
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Old 11-20-2016, 10:32 PM
Benak Benak is offline
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Default Re: Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

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Originally Posted by redsqwrl View Post
nice ride! is over flow water?
I have forded some water up to the bumper it makes a lot of steam and I don't think I did and favors to my heat boxes....

Mike
Overflow is basically water flowing on top of river or lake ice and either making slush or refreezing. On a snow mobile generally you just pin the throttle and skip over it. With a track rig I don't see that as an option.



There are obviously varying levels of this but where I run I do see a fair bit of it.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

light over flow is ok just keep an eye on the tracks as the water freezes to the metal parts in your tracks and they will become too tight in short order. I generally avoid it you never know how deep it is especially where it transitions to snow once the slush packs into the belly pan you will get froze in in short order. if I were you I would keep the aircooled vw engine if you want more power it can be had the power t weight ratio is pretty tough to beat and if your airbox heaters are good there will be no shortage of heat.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

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Originally Posted by Snowtrac Nome View Post
light over flow is ok just keep an eye on the tracks as the water freezes to the metal parts in your tracks and they will become too tight in short order. I generally avoid it you never know how deep it is especially where it transitions to snow once the slush packs into the belly pan you will get froze in in short order. if I were you I would keep the aircooled vw engine if you want more power it can be had the power t weight ratio is pretty tough to beat and if your airbox heaters are good there will be no shortage of heat.
I'll heed your advice on the overflow, I have plenty of snow machines where plan on running this so I don't need to push it too much. I have access to heated parking too so if I can keep the rig moving long enough to get out I'll be able to thaw it out. Do you run with winches on your rigs in case of trouble?

I plan on running the stock VW power at least this year, if it runs fine (so far no problem) I may leave it alone. I am mainly looking for easy cold starts and cabin heat as a reason to swap. I've run down to -35F (not the past few years though) at the cabin a few times a year with -20F pretty common - you're in Nome so this would be normal for you. The heat off the engine keeps you warm enough in the cab with the stock arrangement?

The machine also came with the Stewart-Warner "Southwind" gas fired heater (not installed, appears complete) but just about everyone I know that ever ran one has a story about them burning down a vehicle... I'm also considering a diesel fired cab heater with a separate fuel tank like a Webasto, etc. often used on boats.

All it takes is money I guess. A big part of my "permission" to buy the rig was the allure of a heated cab, I need to figure that part out no matter what.

Thanks for the feedback.

-Ben
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

I use tannus pads scored from the aviation industry and a small electric heater should I enter into some crappy weather I fire up the little 2k heater plug the snow trac and heater in now I have safe heat inside the machine and the engine will stay warm enough to start again. at - 20 we are generally opening the back door to let heat out on long trips and I get defrost a lot faster on the vw heating system than you can ever hope for on a coolant system. if you needed more heat than plumb an auxillary oil cooler in the cabin and stick a fan behind it.
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Old 06-17-2017, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

Let me know if you choose to go Subaru. I've done mine with a 2.5. As far as I've seen, I'm the only one so far to swap to a computerized Subaru engine. Lots of advantages, in my opinion. I love how smooth and quiet it runs compared to how the Volkswagen engine sounded.
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

With a throttle body injection, computer control, and a counter weighted crank shaft, I doubt if anyone would change out the VW for a Subaru. These can all be added to a VW engine quite easily these days. Plus the VW parts are much easier to find, and cheaper I bet as well. It is hard to argue with an engine platform that has had over 30 million built world wide...

Regards, Kirk
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Old 06-24-2017, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

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Originally Posted by 300 H and H View Post
With a throttle body injection, computer control, and a counter weighted crank shaft, I doubt if anyone would change out the VW for a Subaru. These can all be added to a VW engine quite easily these days. Plus the VW parts are much easier to find, and cheaper I bet as well. It is hard to argue with an engine platform that has had over 30 million built world wide...

Regards, Kirk
Well, he mentioned in his first post that he was considering converting to Subaru power in the coming years, so I was offering some guidance since I just did it.

A Subaru engine is a great option. If you think that vintage Volkswagen engines are easier and cheaper to come by than modern Subaru engines, you're crazy. In Alaska, Subaru cars are sold at a rate 2-3 times higher than anywhere else in the USA. The guy could buy a wrecked car with a good EJ engine for a few hundred bucks and have everything he needs to make the conversion except the adapter kit, which is also ridiculously affordable.

You like how your 50 year old engine runs? That's great. When I'm in the Alaskan bush, I'll be a little more comfortable knowing that I'll be getting home with a power plant that was made in the last decade.
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  #11  
Old 08-07-2017, 08:18 AM
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Default Re: Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska Jay View Post
Well, he mentioned in his first post that he was considering converting to Subaru power in the coming years, so I was offering some guidance since I just did it.

A Subaru engine is a great option. If you think that vintage Volkswagen engines are easier and cheaper to come by than modern Subaru engines, you're crazy. In Alaska, Subaru cars are sold at a rate 2-3 times higher than anywhere else in the USA. The guy could buy a wrecked car with a good EJ engine for a few hundred bucks and have everything he needs to make the conversion except the adapter kit, which is also ridiculously affordable.

You like how your 50 year old engine runs? That's great. When I'm in the Alaskan bush, I'll be a little more comfortable knowing that I'll be getting home with a power plant that was made in the last decade.

In my state old push rod Subaru parts would be like hen's teeth, I think. The VW stuff is easy to find. To each his own I think.. Those Subaru engines, at least the push rod engines do fit very nicely I see.

I don't think either engine is a bad choice, just depends on what flavor you like. I have never had to walk home on VW power..

Regards, Kirk
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2017, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: Just Picked up a 1975 ST4 in the Willow area

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska Jay View Post
Well, he mentioned in his first post that he was considering converting to Subaru power in the coming years, so I was offering some guidance since I just did it.

A Subaru engine is a great option. If you think that vintage Volkswagen engines are easier and cheaper to come by than modern Subaru engines, you're crazy. In Alaska, Subaru cars are sold at a rate 2-3 times higher than anywhere else in the USA. The guy could buy a wrecked car with a good EJ engine for a few hundred bucks and have everything he needs to make the conversion except the adapter kit, which is also ridiculously affordable.

You like how your 50 year old engine runs? That's great. When I'm in the Alaskan bush, I'll be a little more comfortable knowing that I'll be getting home with a power plant that was made in the last decade.
as an Alaska mechanic I cant debate the reliability of Subaru engines, especially the pushrod models. I can build a vw engine from the ground up with all new parts. I looked into a Subaru conversion, as there are several around here, But none I would trust or go through the trouble of installing with out a rebuild. like every thing from the 80's parts supplies have dried up, this is one of the reasons I have stuck with the aircooled vw engines.
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