Friday, January 18, 2019

Broken Groomer Part 2

It was the beginning of April, the snow cover was decent but the days were warm. We decided it was too warm to groom at night, the snow wouldn't move good so we made a plan to groom first thing in the morning, 6am. This would be our last day out, club picnic and the trails would close the next day so get the trails nice.

Everything south of Lake Dennison was already closed so just a quick run to groom the park. I only have one regular loop inside the park, Ben does all the rest but we figured after I'd done my normal loop I could pick up some of the other stuff. Mike was riding right seat, his second trip out with me, I had plans to get him some stick time.

Just as we turned onto the main drag I knew we had problems, little tendrils of steam. I'd never groomed when it was warm though and just passed it off for that but about the time I got the drag full of snow and grooming good the little tendrils became a big cloud, uh oh...

Looking under the machine I could see a geyser of coolant, I couldn't tell where from but it had to be a heater hose to the cab. We limped the machine to the beach where the picnic was to be held.

I didn't get any pictures but the cab tips up so the driver's door is about 4' up. With that tipped I could see a ragged hole in one of the heater hoses. Apparently this had happened to Chris the year before but on the other hose, he'd fixed that with a union connector. This time I used the same union to connect the two heater hoses together, topped up the coolant and drove it back to the yard...

A couple months later we moved it to my house. I wish I had pictures of it, the machine is heavy, like 9,000# heavy, too much to pull with a normal pickup. Glenn came with a 3 axle dump truck and trailer. The ASV looked puny on his big trailer.

 With the right seat out I could get to the heater, fortunately there are two unions right in the middle of the picture which were a lot easier to access than the heater core itself. I sent this picture to the other groomer operators with "That escalated quickly" as the caption.

I got a funny look from the parts guy when I asked for 18 FEET of 3/4" heater hose, apparently thats how much they normally sell each month. It took 17.5 feet in total...

These are the old hoses. Theres a hydraulic leak at the controls which drips down through the access hole below the cab and pools on these hoses which then deteriorate from the oil. I intend to fix the hydraulic leak, I think its just o-rings but I want to do it with help from somebody who really knows what they're doing, for now its not too much of a problem. I put a catch pan with a pig pad in it under the leak, hopefully it'll will prevent the new hoses from deteriorating.

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