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Snowcat Repairs, Parts & Problems Forum Snowcat Repairs, Parts Inquiries, Sources, Problems & Advice

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Old 04-14-2009, 10:58 PM
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Default Putting the Imp to Bed

Snow season is about over in the (relative) low-lands of Washington, so it is time to put the snow cat to bed.

I made a final trip up to the cabin on March 30th to see how the new brakes are working. Overall they're doing well -- equal travel on both sticks, a solid feel when they engage, and assertive steering. There's a bit of chatter when it is warm, but nothing too offensive.

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The snow is staying late this year. Normally we plant trees on the last weekend of March and it is a shirt-sleeves only work day. Cool in the morning, but quite comfortable by mid-day. Fortunately, we took the year off from planting, so I don't have 300 seedlings waiting for the snow to melt. This is one of our baby trees from a couple years ago.

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I don't have a garage or shop to stash the Imp in during the off-season, so I've resorted to tarping it in the front yard. I wanted to do this in a way that would keep it relatively dry, protect the belting from the sun, and keep the house from looking like a snow cat grave yard. I used treated 4x4s to create a stand that would keep the tracks off the ground and then split an 8'x10' poly tarp in half to cover the tracks. I tacked the ragged edge of the tarp to the outside 4x4 and then used 1"x2"x8' furring strips and bunji cords to hold the top end in place.

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I was planning to just tarp the cab, but I've found water pooling in the foot wells. My guess is that rain is landing on the rear deck, trickling forward, and finding a way in through the back of the cab. I'll be getting a longer tarp that will cover the Imp from nose to tail. I went with a gray 10 mil tarp for the extra durability and lesser visual impact -- for some reason gray seems to fit in better with the skies of Washington than blue.

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The end result is pretty good (IMHO). It is clear that there's *something* unusual in the front yard, but if you drive by at 60+ you might not even notice it.

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For the off-season I'm hoping to make one or more of the following changes (in priority order):
  • Move the battery box from between the seats to the rear deck to allow room for more clutter in the cab,
  • Convert the windshield wipers to something with an intermittent setting, self parking, and pantographic arms,
  • Add side and rear lighting, and possibly a Unity spotlight up front, and
  • Replace the weather stripping on the door windows.

There's no way I'll get all this done, but I'll hopefully be able to pick off one or two of them.

Happy trails.

Ron
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: Putting the Imp to Bed

Thanks for the pictures ! Your Imp looks like it will be happy for the summer.

You have flowers already !!

Is that a Douglas fir baby ?

Nice blue 4runner; an unusual color
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: Putting the Imp to Bed

I would suggest you go to a boat builder or soomeone who builds cover for boats and have them make you up a tarp. It will cost you more but thet will last a long time and give the finishing touch to keep those naisey nieghbors from complaining. Plus it will protect your imp much better than flopping loose tarps in high winds. Just an idea. For you battery box (if you dont have one) look into a Morrosco racing battery box. They work great and will keep your battery dry. For a battery (if you need a new one) get the Oddessey battery. These are a true AGM battery and last much longer and work much better than Optimas. If you cant find Oddessey in your area the web has some companies that ship for free. If you have a SEARS loacally then just get the "PLATINUM" Die Hard battery. These are made for Sears by Oddessey and are the same battery. They use to be cheaper but now they are the same price. Either way these are the best batteries for snowcats period. Looks like she will sleep nicely.
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Putting the Imp to Bed

Dont forget to treat your fuel and top off the fuel tank. Remember fuel expands in the heat so dont top her off to much or she will leak fuel.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Putting the Imp to Bed

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixie View Post

Is that a Douglas fir baby ?
Good eye. We plant mostly Doug Fir, but also do Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine, and White Pine for variety. The current plan is to harvest in 60 years and then use the proceeds to retire. I'm a little concerned about my ability to handle a chain saw when I'm 110, but am hoping that Stihl will have perfected their light weight laser-based units by then.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: Putting the Imp to Bed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowcat Operations View Post
Dont forget to treat your fuel and top off the fuel tank. Remember fuel expands in the heat so dont top her off to much or she will leak fuel.
Top it off? I was planning to run it dry and leave it empty. What's the better approach?
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Putting the Imp to Bed

Keep fuel in it to keep gaskets and or hoses moist. Don't want any shrinkage. Also, if you have a steel tank keeps rust from forming inside if there are any cracks.

We got an additional 25" of the white stuff over the last 3 days. However, my honeydo list will keep me from getting up to our cabin until sometime in May.

Nice looking cabin and good to see peeps planting trees! Just got back from Montana and most of the pines around Helena are dead from the pine beetle infestation they have up there.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Putting the Imp to Bed

Looking for advice in storing the tracks on my snowcat. Is it better to leave them on the cat and placed on 4x4
s or take them off and roll them up and cover them?
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Putting the Imp to Bed

Ski area grooming machines are usually stored with the tracks off. Tracks are rolled up and placed on end.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Putting the Imp to Bed

Thanks mtncrawler,
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