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revrnd

2012 Northern Blastoff

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Luc, Mad Max lost a water pump on his 1200, so I don't think the 4 strokes are immune from issues either. For the most part the trails we were on were in good to great shape.

Saturday: Arrived late in the afternoon & unloaded the sleds. Giselle prepared a great chicken dinner :right_on: & nice cabins. We were kind of bagged after the day's drive, so we crashed around 9 PM.

Sunday: We left Gowganda Lake Lodge & headed east on the A107C. The reroute was longer than I anticipated, so I jumped on the Beauty Lake Rd & ran it up to Long Point Lodge. Trail was good to Elk Lake. From the lake to just west of the L162 jct, TOP A was beat up real bad. Probably a combination of the new snow & long weekend traffic. I don't think I'd ever seen as many spots where sleds had blown corners on this section of trail. Filled up @ McPherson's.

A short rough section & plowed road north of Sesekinika. Trail conditions varied up to Cochrane on TOP A. Gassed up @ the Esso. The idgits still have the air line out to the pump island & a sign asking snowmobilers not to run over it. I noticed that the Thriftlodge's sign is busted & not legible (nice image). Rolled into Lillabelle around 4:30.

Monday: Woke up to Belle barking out in the yard towards the lake. Turns out there was a fox out on the lake. She'd run down to the edge of the parking lot, but wouldn't any further. We passed the groomer west of Greenwater heading towards SRF. TOP A to Moonbeam was in good shape. As usual we stopped for lunch @ the clubhouse, the homemade soup was good. Gassed up @ the Danco then headed for L123. It wasn't perfect, but not rough either. The area had fresh snow & hadn't been groomed recently. We passed the Opaz' clubhouse & it isn't open (3' of snow on porch).

It was family day in Mattice & I think everyone in town was @ the clubhouse. There was quite a line up of kids taking their turn on the toboggan hill onto the river. Trail west to Hearst was in great shape. Speed compliance on this section was poor. Stopped for gas @ the Shell (my buddy remarked how the girls there are always cute :wub: ) LOL. Pulled up to the Companion around 2:30. When we were checking out our sleds, another group of 4 sledders pulled up to the rooms next to ours. Turns out they had travelled from Antigo, WI & were doing a loop more or less the opposite of ours. S-I-L & my buddy met them about 10 minutes south of Ernie's on Weds'. They all received OC stickers & were told it was the forum for Ontario info.

That night we ate @ the Pizza Place which is about a 10 minute walk west from the Companion. Good food & nice setting. That night around 8 PM, 14 or 15 sleds got off the train behind the motel.

Tues' we had breaky, then headed for Lucville. Between Calstock & Bambino's we met the Hearst groomer. Stopped @ Bambino's to put an OC sticker on the Welcome to Hornepayne Polar Bears club sign. I hope it stuck as the board was cold. TOP A was in good shape down to Hornepayne. We saw a pine marten on the side of the trail. Unfortunately I had my GoPro facing backwards to video the gang, so I never got any footage of it.

Saw the sign to Riverside Cabins. The access trail is just north of the Esso station. Stopped @ the Esso in Hornepayne & got filled w/ probably questionable fuel as the premium ran out when filling 30cal4me's sled. Had lunch @ Kayla's & met 3 riders from Ottawa. They had driven to the Sault & taken the train to Hawk Jct & ridden to Wawa. We told them about the bunch that gotten off in Hearst. They said this group had gotten on the train in Hawk Jct.

We asked them how the trail was to D'ville & Wawa. They said they had passed the D'ville groomer that was broken down but idling. Handed out 3 OC stickers to these guys as well. D108A was in good shape to the Kabi River.

The section between the Kabi & warm up shelter was a bit rough. We soon passed the spot where obviously the groomer had been. A couple of miles down the trail we passed the groomer heading "home" w/ a tire & rim on the drag. D108A was in good condition considering it may have been a while since it had been groomed. No issues using the cardlock in D'ville, just follow the procedure before going to the pumps.

The apartments are nice. Only complaint is no place for helmets & flimsy coat hangers in closets for jackets & bibs. TVs must've been messed w/ as channel selection varied between the 2 rooms we had.

Bro & I spent 2 nights @ the Cedar Meadows. W/ the last minute changes we had 2 different rooms. After the 1st morning there, I figured the walls must've been made of 1/4" chipboard. I could hear the guy in the next room hitting his razor in the sink. I had a lunch there Thurs' & we all had dinner there on Fri', food was good. What wasn't so great was the $25 charge to use the hot tub. Thurs' night we hit our favourite seafood place in Timmins for some pickerel.

A big thanks goes out to Reg, Ghislain & I think Real (retired CPR engineer in Chapleau) for helping lessen the formidable obstacles that I had to face. Even w/ all the crap that I (we) had to deal w/, nobody got hurt & the weather wasn't terribly cold when we were "down" on the trail.

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You have to have bad trips to be able to properly enjoy the good ones.

.

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Looks like a good adventure despite the problems!

BTW - if you and 30cal have all this metal working equipment, how about coming up with a jig / add-on/ adaptation of something that will add a grease zerk to the skidoo (then yamaha) jack shaft bearings? I'd deliver my sled and pay good money for the peace of mind of being able to grease these myself.

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We've never had a jackshaft bearing go even w/ all the miles we put on in all these years. From now on it will be an item to change.

Most of these bearings no longer have grease fittings, but a fine grease needle if a rubber seal edge or actually drill a very small hole in the solid metal side seal and then use a grease needle to get grease into those bearings. I grease every bearing using a grease needle every year. If you keep it from rusting, it seems to last even with contamination. I see water come out of most bearings when I fill them with grease.

If these small bearings do not rust and are kept full of grease, they can go 20,000 miles!

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Great trip..

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We've never had a jackshaft bearing go even w/ all the miles we put on in all these years. From now on it will be an item to change.

I had my 2004 SDI jack shaft bearing go at just over 11,500K (near SRF) and then my 2007 SDI's go at the Timmins end of Piston alley. Sled Junk towed me to Mikey's in Timmins and it was repaired the next morning. In my opinion, I'd change them around 10,000km. In both cases, no warning, just went.

Sorry about all your bad luck.

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sorry about the bad luck Rev. just be comforted, you were not working, and no one was injured. as ox said, you have to have some bad times, to really enjoy the good times. here's wishing, your next trip will more than pay you back.

thank you for sharing your trip with us. ski

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Most of these bearings no longer have grease fittings, but a fine grease needle if a rubber seal edge or actually drill a very small hole in the solid metal side seal and then use a grease needle to get grease into those bearings. I grease every bearing using a grease needle every year. If you keep it from rusting, it seems to last even with contamination. I see water come out of most bearings when I fill them with grease.

If these small bearings do not rust and are kept full of grease, they can go 20,000 miles!

I have looked at doing this a number of times. Every time I try to get the seal out so I can put the grease in, I seem tho damage the seal either on the way out or putting it back together. What's the secret to doing it properly?

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I have looked at doing this a number of times. Every time I try to get the seal out so I can put the grease in, I seem tho damage the seal either on the way out or putting it back together. What's the secret to doing it properly?

The grease needle to get into the bearings with rubber edge seals is thin and cut at an angle to be very sharp. It is just over 1 mm in diameter and is an extension of a normal grease nipple. This can be slid past the edge of the seal without removing the seal. I usually enter nearest the center of the bearing. I have to remove some wheels to get to the seals. I place the needle against the seal and rotate bearing toward the needle while pushing it through the seal. It usually will find an opening between the balls when it finally penitrates. The pressure from the grease will usually be released through the opened seal and in other seal areas along the edges of the inner or otter race. Go slow enough that you do not blow the seals out!

If it is a solid metal seal without a rubber edege as is possible on some jack shaft bearings, I drill a super small hole and grease. Try to stay toward the ID edge of the seal since the forces will push and hold the grease toward the OD. While drilling stop and clean away the shavings and go slow as not to jam the bit inside when it breaks through. If it breaks off in there, replace the bearing!

You can get these at most auto part stores. Get a few since they seem to be made in China and not as well as the ones I found years ago. they are about $2.95 at the Autozone here in Michigan.

I spin the bearing to be sure it is not already damaged from rust. If it spins free and fast it means there is no grease. When done right it will not spin as free and stop quickly. If it is already jammed up or feels like it is full of rocks, just replace the bearing!

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Guys, nobody got hurt (nor trees damaged) & I figure w/ the miles/trips we've done up there (me since 2000), you're going to get your azz bit sometime. We've had issues w/ 1 or 2 sleds, but were able to get thru the entire trip. Mind you 1 spent a day on the road & in the shop (skipping the C101F). Throw in trailer issues & we figured we'd get south while the getting was good.

I guess these ungreasable bearings are the snowmobile version of car ball joints w/ no grease fittings. My parents' Montana doesn't have any grease points :huh: . The sled got dropped off @ the dealer & I'll post what the issue was.

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revrnd,

sorry to hear about your troubles with the sleds, I always worry about something happening,and it will all happen to all of us at some point,

thanks for sharing your story

zrtkat in chicago in Motel wishing I was riding

zrtkat

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Enough negativity, here are some pics from the trip. Hope you enjoy them.

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Our cabin @ Gowganda Lake Lodge

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Sunset @ Lillabelle

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On TOP A west of Smooth Rock Falls

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TOP A north of Hornepayne

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Kayla's Restaurant in Hornepayne

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The Dubreuilville club's warmup shelter on D108A south of the Kabi River. Nice door :right_on: .

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On TOP D south of the D/F junction.

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Some of the elk at Cedar Meadows in Timmins. We saw the moose & buffalo, but they weren't close enough to get decent pics.

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A load of toothpicks @ the Esso Truck Stop on the west side of Timmins.

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Hauling logs thru Timmins.

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Propane tanker stuck in ditch on Hwy 11 south of Latchford. Driver swerved to avoid an out of control car that was in his lane. The southbound car ended up on its roof in the opposite ditch.

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Southbound traffic lined up behind us.

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Kayla's Restaurant in Hornepayne

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The Dubreuilville club's warmup shelter on D108A south of the Kabi River. Nice door :right_on: .

Sorry to hear about the issues we all have sooner or later. You had a good trip shortened is all.

I plan to try Kayla's in Hornepayne this weekend. I take it that it is across from the ESSO. Is there a sign?

Glad you managed to get back OK! I too have had some very long nights wondering how it will work out, but it always does.

Thanks for all you share!

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AC, it's right across from the south entrance to the Esso. There is a banner on the deck (TKO). If you miss the place, you shouldn't be riding on the trails.

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Luc, I think 1 of the locals had sled issues on the D108A north of the CPR tracks. We passed 3 guys loading a sled onto a "boggan" a few minutes before the S-I-L's sled gave up the ghost. One of the sleds was a older blue & yellow Summit. Two of them rolled up w/ the empty boggan while we were @ the pumps & they were speaking French, so I assume they were from town.

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Looks like a good adventure despite the problems!

BTW - if you and 30cal have all this metal working equipment, how about coming up with a jig / add-on/ adaptation of something that will add a grease zerk to the skidoo (then yamaha) jack shaft bearings? I'd deliver my sled and pay good money for the peace of mind of being able to grease these myself.

You want to grease your own Jack shaft?

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We are in your cabin now Rev , we went to Kirkland Lake via Charlton today , 365 Ks of some great trails

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I picked up my sled today @ Gateway. It was the voltage regulator going bad.

To quote the tech's notes on work order:

INSPECTED SLED, CONNECTED TO LAP TOP - STORED FAULT CODE INDICATING OVERCHARGE @ 18.2 VOLTS

TESTED CHARGING SYSTEM - CONFIRM SYSTEM OVERCHARGING - BETWEEN 16 - 17 VOLTS SPECIFICATION IS 14.2 VOLTS.

REPLACED VOLTAGE REGULATOR AND RETESTED SYSTEM - OK CHARGING AT 14.2 VOLTS.

REPLACED 1 30 AMP FUSE - MAIN CHARGING SYSTEM FUES (MELTED)

CLEARED FAULT CODE AND RECORDED UNIT MILEAGE.

There were no other fault codes stored. Both bro & I and the tech were puzzled by the fact that the sled didn't blow any lightbulbs. When I was checking the fuses & relays after the 2 shutdowns, the 30 A fuse (the 1 located by the battery) was fine. It must've melted while I was loading it on the little trailer or @ the shop. I guess the "check engine" light isn't lit when an issue like this arises?

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AC, it's right across from the south entrance to the Esso. There is a banner on the deck (TKO). If you miss the place, you shouldn't be riding on the trails.

My daughter and I ate there yesterday. It was good.

Thanks

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