Alright! Always love coffee at Fred's. I'll head up the towers again and scan the horizon for threats.
Got another wheeled toilet story for everyone ... only this time it involved my ATV!
So, I noticed a torn CV axle boot on the outer joint. Was torn right next to the smaller diameter clamp - go figure that one. So I figure, no biggie and ordered up a pair of boots. So I take everything apart and try yanking the axle from the front diff. WILL NOT budge. After getting REAL pissed, I gave it one good yank and the shaft came out of the inner joint. Not a big deal, as it's also held in place via snap ring. I get it to the bench and discover the outer joint is SMOKED - the 6 balls were trapped in a groove at the farthest point from the diff. The grease all seemed to be in the boot, with none on the balls or cage .. go figure that one ... so get online and order up a outer joint. The next day I figured I'd tackle getting the inner joint out of the diff. That was fun! Had to screw a lag bolt and huge washer to the barn stud, then wrap a ratchet-strap around it and the joint. Cranked it until it almost pulled the 800lb. ATV over. Didn't budge. Left the tension on it, and stuck a prybar under the joint, and started POUNDING on it with a 4lb. sledge. FINALLY started moving. Was all rusted up and full of powdered metal, rust or dirt - who knows! My mix of tranny fluid and acetone saved the day, as the splines were totally wet with the stuff. So I get that one to the bench ... and guess what? YEP! Just wasted over $100 on boots and joints when I should've just replaced the whole damn axle!
I ordered up a pair of axles at that point, and they came in yesterday. So figured I'd remove the lower A-arm, grease the bushings, paint it, and install a new ball joint. There's a shaft that runs the entire length of the A-arm - totally rusted. Each mounting bolt screws into each end ... so one spins and don't move while the other comes right out no problem. Fought with that for at least a half hour before getting them both out. Brought the A-arm to the greenhouse (my paint booth
) for paint, and promptly had a yellow jacket fly into my shirt unbeknownst to me. So I swatted whatever it was that was crawling on my neck. BAM! Stung in the neck ... then it falls down my *censored* ... BAM! One in the chest. By this point I'm in the yard screaming obscenities while trying to tear my shirt off. Damn bees!!
Finally recovered and finished that task, and moved onto the ball joints (also smoked). I had bought ball joints for this thing at least 3 or 4 years ago, but never took the time to install them. Anyway, so now this ball joint is pressed up inside the big aluminum strut support which serves as the upper A-arm / ball joint. There's a grease fitting on the side that pumps grease into the cavity above the joint, then into the hole in the joint. Pumping it full of grease made a mess and did nothing ... so how the hell to get this thing out? I tried making a puller from an old rear bearing from another Polaris which is very thick, but it just bent the washer up and the joint didn't budge. Then I took a 3mm allen, stuck it through the cotter pin hole in the stud, and hammered it with the air chisel. Came right out! Sweet!! So I install the new joint (which had no hole for grease ... so I drilled one ...), put the little retainer over it, and installed the 2 allen machine screws that nearly stripped out during removal. I start pumping it full of grease. One pump ... 2 pumps ... ok, why is there no grease coming out ... 3 pumps ... then I thought I saw grease coming out the back ... 4 pumps ... and I look closer. The grease was hydraulically pressing the ball joint out THROUGH the retainer!! DAMMIT!! Bent it all to hell ... and now there was so much pressure on those nearly rounded off screws that I ruined my allen key trying to get them out. I was able to stick a pick in the grease fitting and bleed some pressure off, then heated both screws, bled more pressure off due to the heat, and used the ball end of the key with a crescent (adjustable) wrench on the curved end. CRACK! Thought they broke, but they came right out. No drills, Timeserts, taps or dies needed. Guess there was no point in drilling a grease hole. From reading the net, not even the OEM Polaris replacement ball joints come with a grease hole anymore. Go figure ... Got the new bolts this morning at the local hardware store and straightened that retainer out with some heat and a ball peen hammer and the vice. All is well again!
Now back out into the 102° heat index to throw it all back together and start on the OTHER side!