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Snowcat Adventure & Usage Forum Snow Trac, Kristi, Thickol/LMC, Tucker, Bombardier stories & discussions

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  #1  
Old 04-14-2018, 07:19 PM
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Default Jones Pass

going up with Jason for the maiden voyage of his blue bombardier tomorrow at Jones pass. all cats welcome ! Run what you brung!
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

See you there!
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

Went to Jones pass today for forum8fox maiden voyage in his modified bombi. Thanks to Aaron for coming up and being super helpful. Wouldn't have gotten out without him. The snow was nice but melting fast. I have been up Jones pass a lot in the summer but this was my first trip up there in the winter. We met the owner of powder addiction snowcat skiing operation. It was their employee day and last day of their season. I have to say that the owner and the cat driver were total jerks. Do not book a trip with these guys https://www.powderaddiction.com In fact we plan on going back up Jones pass next year with a big group of cats and skiers to give them heck.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:50 AM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

Here's a short video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gkbDhT28PxU
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

Quiet & very fuel efficient!
Nice to have snow cat buddies for initial field testing!
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

it worked and then it did work, hope it is not serious

sorry to hear about the JERKS, thought everyone in Colorado played nice in the snow box, great people, great mountains, great snow, great snowcats, its as close to prefect as a snow catter can get. Colorado has it ALL

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Old 04-16-2018, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

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Originally Posted by Pontoon Princess View Post
it worked and then it did work, hope it is not serious

sorry to hear about the JERKS, thought everyone in Colorado played nice in the snow box, great people, great mountains, great snow, great snowcats, its as close to prefect as a snow catter can get. Colorado has it ALL
Forum8fox was having difficulty steering, it took a lot of pressure on the steering sticks to get it to barely steer. Inevitably one on the steering sticks broke. They just have a couple little projects before they try again. Should be a great machine by next winter. Everyone knows that modified bombardiers make the best cats.

Your description of Colorado snowcaters is very true of the private cat owners. Haven't met one I didn't like. The issue is with the professional cat ski operators and snowmobile guides. They tend to think they own the valley they operate in and try to bully people and make up rules. Fortunately I am a 4x4 enthusiasts so I know my rights and am used to people trying to mess with me. Just a side note but there is something about a snowmobile guide yelling and waving their arms that makes me laugh.

Thanks to Aaron I can promise you that the next time the powder addiction guys see a yellow trooper they will just stay in their cat and keep their comments to themselves.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

Thank you all so much for everything! Seriously would have been impossible without all the help. Innitially it was awesome, it drove on its own power I made a couple sharp turns, at least 1 unassisted. Had good power for a bit but inevitably the fuel delivery started acting up progressively getting more tempermental over the day. Smelled something funny early on ended up being a melting exhaust mount bushing my buddy put 2 inches from the exhaust. Did a few million point turns, didn't help that the tracks are a touch long causing the cog to slip the grousers when backing up.

Made it a few miles, and almost topped out the hill where the trail opens up. Told Aaron we would make it and figured we would make another million point turn. Well we were so frustrated and thought it was turning a little better with nearly full body weight of a passenger bouncing on it. Ended up breaking a factory weld at the base of our new steering bars where they mounted to the original pivot plate thing.

Meanwhile a group of guides skiied down and asked it this thing was mine and if we could move it. To which I explained we just broke our steering. Some snark ensued as they were concerned they couldn't get their giant rolling box of a snowcat by. My friend Darwin had walked the 50 yards up the hill and was up with Aaron and Sean who were talking to the other half of the cat skiing opperation. Darwin came down to see if he thought they could get by, and mentioned that things were heated up there.

I was surprised that they were being such assholes, I mean it's not like we planned to just leave it there off the side of the trail indefinitely. Besides they were just trying to leave and not with paying customers. Not one mention of hey we can help get you out of the way. Apparently they were angry that we brought a less than perfect performing snowcat out on the trail. I don't know what else I am supposed to do for a test drive when we don't have snow at my house at 9500'.

They got by, it was tight. Aaron pulled us up the remaining crest of the hill and got us turned around. Went xploring with Aaron a bit, he was about 5 feet from topping out a seriously impressive hill. Got a couple runs in tried some more hills up higher with varying results, it was really fun to see what the trooper can do. Came back and discussed how to get the bombokee home. We were a little worried about the possibility of running into the trooper going down the hill connected via wench. We have brakes but they don't always when things get real steep or when fighting the drivetrain in low range on a hill. At any rate we decided that was what we were going to try. Innitially we thought hey we still have left turns ish and we might be able to drive it a was but the fuel pump (our guess) stopped working. So Aaron started pulling once we moved the wench to the back of the trooper. I rode the breaks pretty hard down the hill to maintain tension, never got close to losing control which was a relief but got the breaks real hot. I did seem to have left steering a bit which seemed to help but he did spend a bunch of time on the sides of the trail getting us cleanly through turns and keeping up off the sides.

Once at the parking lot we wondered how to get it on the trailer. Fortunately we took a minute and messed with the fuel pump while pondering and got it to start so Sean backed the trailer up as strait as we could and we drove her on up! Any other option would babe been a real shenannigan since we didn't have a winch on the trailer or a come along (stupidly left it at home) to pull it up.

The day was quite a mixed bag, moments of happiness and elation followed by stress and what seemed impending doom. Really felt like a bit of a nightmare and totally disheartening at times. I can't imagine trying to test drive such a project without a solid crew of good people to help deal with the inevitable troubles that can arise. We wouldn't have gone half as far on our own.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Not looking foreward to working on this thing anymore. Gotta shorten the tracks, somehow figure out how to make it steer properly, and swap the fuel pump. Supposed to get more snow this weekend so might have to buckle down so we can test drive it around our neighborhood if we get enough snow.

I brought my camera for the trip but almost didn't even use it but did get a couple shots before we started the tow out so I'll try to get them edited and posted up today.
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  #9  
Old 04-16-2018, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

Fun was had by all ! It was great to finally see what i'm calling the blue bomber in action.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

That is so cool to see the burnt up Bombardier back on the snow. Any thoughts on why it quit steering?
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  #11  
Old 04-16-2018, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

Glad to hear others are also psyched to see it alive (ish) again. We have a couple thoughts/ ideas on the steering but really I feel it's clear as mud. Obviously we need to shorten the track to get proper tension, and lengthening the track will make steering worse but not this bad and we didn't add that much length (2' tops). We rebuilt the whole diff practically aside from the gears in the carrier, including re-shoeing the steering bands. At the time we didn't want to outsource to MN outdoors because our hardware had some cracks that we thought he might refuse but also because he was going to have to outsource them again. So we found a local brake pro to do them getting the cracks welded before. We told him the breaks were inside the diff so needed to be wet and that they are generally a Kevlar blend. In not clear on this but I thought he said he didn't know of the Kevlar blend and that we have 100% kevlar, my brother thinks we have the blend but the guy didn't know of the other manufacturer of the Kevlar blend we were looking for or something. The break guy seemed to think they would work well. They don't look the same as the other re-shoes, so that is a a possibility. In the process of rebuilding the diff my brother noticed we didn't have what seemed to be a return spring on the bands that others appeared to have. So he added some springs in. It is possible they are causing a problem not allowing clearance to clamp down maybe. My real thought is that for some reason the bands aren't releasing after being pulled (maybe not enough return spring) which is causing drag on the whole drivetrain and preventing a split in power since both sides may be clamped down. My brother thinks there's a possibility only the corners of the pads are touching wether or not that is the case or the real problem I don't know. I really wish we could figure it out. The weird thing is that it seemed to work a couple times, and seems to work in the air. Know anyone that might be useful in trouble shooting it? The tough thing about assessing it is the steering bars attach to the diff cover so to see inside everything else has to be detatched creating a dilemma in testing its operation and observing what's happening.
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  #12  
Old 04-16-2018, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

Hmm, lots of possibilities, wrong band material, wrong oil in the diff, bands too tight. I'm confident you guys will sort it out.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

Quote:
Originally Posted by forum8fox View Post
Glad to hear others are also psyched to see it alive (ish) again. We have a couple thoughts/ ideas on the steering but really I feel it's clear as mud. Obviously we need to shorten the track to get proper tension, and lengthening the track will make steering worse but not this bad and we didn't add that much length (2' tops). We rebuilt the whole diff practically aside from the gears in the carrier, including re-shoeing the steering bands. At the time we didn't want to outsource to MN outdoors because our hardware had some cracks that we thought he might refuse but also because he was going to have to outsource them again. So we found a local brake pro to do them getting the cracks welded before. We told him the breaks were inside the diff so needed to be wet and that they are generally a Kevlar blend. In not clear on this but I thought he said he didn't know of the Kevlar blend and that we have 100% kevlar, my brother thinks we have the blend but the guy didn't know of the other manufacturer of the Kevlar blend we were looking for or something. The break guy seemed to think they would work well. They don't look the same as the other re-shoes, so that is a a possibility. In the process of rebuilding the diff my brother noticed we didn't have what seemed to be a return spring on the bands that others appeared to have. So he added some springs in. It is possible they are causing a problem not allowing clearance to clamp down maybe. My real thought is that for some reason the bands aren't releasing after being pulled (maybe not enough return spring) which is causing drag on the whole drivetrain and preventing a split in power since both sides may be clamped down. My brother thinks there's a possibility only the corners of the pads are touching wether or not that is the case or the real problem I don't know. I really wish we could figure it out. The weird thing is that it seemed to work a couple times, and seems to work in the air. Know anyone that might be useful in trouble shooting it? The tough thing about assessing it is the steering bars attach to the diff cover so to see inside everything else has to be detatched creating a dilemma in testing its operation and observing what's happening.
I think you should start with shortening the track and go from there.The way it was binding up seems like that was all the steering it could give. Maybe the track also stretched some and that is why it got worse.
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  #14  
Old 04-17-2018, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Jones Pass

Real cool you guys got that thing together and out for a test run. Glad you have a great group of catters to help out too. Iím sure youíll sort it out and be charging soon.
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