Referring to the body of coarse… after having a close look and assessing whats needed and what could be fixed. I need to replace both rear doors, both front fenders.. and maybe the front bumper. Also I need a right side running board. These are where the most damage is. Found a body shop in Strathmore that was selling the body parts off of a 2008 Avalanche. $100 bucks each for the doors and fenders. Wow my quote from the wreckers was $400 ea for doors.
I also got a white front bumper and the bottom air dam that finishes it. That will fix the worst goober on the right front corner.
This ! Wonder what they hit.. ? The left fender will fix this…
Unfortunately I can’t get the same color parts.. So some painting will be needed.
It’s the one on the right.. Yes I have three. Yes the oldest one has the least Kms. But those two will be gone soon. So time for an upgrade for me. A bit newer and a whole lot more fancier. Now for some Avalanche history.. The last year Chev made Avalanche’s was 2013. This one is a 2009, and there is only a few changes in those last years. New this one would have sold for big bucks… on the plus side of 50 thousand. The LTZ model is top of the line, and the only two things missing from this one is Nav and the rear camera. So it’s definitely what you call “loaded”.
Hard to tell but this is the pearl white paint. Which is classier than just white. From the factory it would have 20 inch chrome wheels , But these are new after market 20 ” “Worx” rims and new Michelin winter tires. That’s a bonus for me, and so was the new windshield.
It’s nice to see a bumper that is not bent, ya some paint chip and scratches but not bent.. The parking sensors work ! and the trailer plug too. The rest… well nobody ever cleaned the interior. And something very heavy was put on the dash and cracked it. But no other damage inside. Lets have a look , and consider these the “before ” pictures.
Light grey leather seats. Dirty but still in good condition. These are heated and cooled ! The driver’s seat is the one that takes a lickin… And there is some cracks on the side, but not on the seat. They are comfy too.
You can see the cracks… but they are not bad. These seats are 8 way power..both sides.
The rear seats have probably seen some kid activity, but survived nicely. I tumbled the seats and opened the mid-gate, it’s all good. The Avalanche has a date with the auto detail shop this week.. Should see a big difference. I’m going to interrupt here and say that this Avalanche drives very nice. Brakes are great …lots of power and good on gas too. It was a two hour drive back from Calgary yesterday and cruising at 106 kph I got 10.6 liters / 100 km. Not too bad! Plus it goes down the road straight. It’s a pleasure to drive. AND it has 285,000 km on the old odo. Alberta is like that.. everything has high kms.
Yes two DVD players ! Crazy eh.. They will most likely never get used.
So lets talk about the elephant in the room…the reason I paid six grand for a Ten thousand dollar truck.. THE BODY ! yes That’s where the work will be. Oh and I want to say don’t waste your money when buying a new vehicle on one of those electronic rust inhibitor’s. There’s one installed on this Avalanche …I found it.
They don’t work and this truck proves it.. RUSTY you bet. Ya it’s Alberta and they use lots of salt on the roads…but if you wash it ..keep wax on it should last longer than 13 years.
This is the drivers side rear fender. The other side is bad, and bottom of the doors and other places. So that’s a bit of work.. Then there’s other body stuff…
Like dents and scratches… Lots. So I’ll have to figure out what to do. The Avalanche is worth making nice. As far as the mechanical end of things all I’m aware of are the air ride system not working. And the two functions on the shift leaver are not working..They are: tow/haul mode and the manual shift button. Could be a bad wire. As for the air ride… After 13 years and 285,000 kms one should not expect that to work.. They were prone to failure. The fix is to change over to regular shocks and remove the compressor and install the delete kit on the wiring so the warning goes away. I’ll be surprised if there is other problem.
But the photo is the exact same as the one I found .. the front plastics are off mine, but I have them. Soon the reno’s to the house that need doing will be finished. And in the yard there’s nothing to do but clean snow.. ( if it snows). The garage is keeping a nice temperature.. so ya I can work out there. This popped up for sale and I jumped on it. $600. for a fixer quad that is my favorite model and my favorite color ! Dam right. This one was listed as a 2004… but clearly not.. Right above the Vin it says a manufacture date of 02/04/2005. Even the key tag says 2005. Bought in Red Deer. A bit of research tells me that this is an early release of the new Sportsman models. A body style that went right through to 2011. I believe it’s the first years that you will see EFI as an option. Plus the new shape for the head lights, and a trunk under the front rack. If it says HO it’s still got a carburetor, like this one.
Not as pretty as the top picture.. But that will change.
Here’s what I know:
It wasn’t crashed…nothing is bent or damaged to suggest it was. The motor and drive line is fine. I can’t start it because the problems are electrical. But the motor turns over nicely. There’s oil in the motor and coolant in the rad.. can’t see any leaks. The plastics have a few cracks in the typical places. Nothing that I can’t fix. However we are missing the two side covers.
The tires are factory Polaris and not cracked and still holding air! Wow. Even the rims aren’t bent. I’m certain there will be things like bearings and brakes / bushings that will need attention, but not worried. what is needed is repairs to the wiring harness. That will solve the problems that I will explain later. For now I’m giving it a bath and storing it until I clean up the garage and finish in the house.
It’s full on December now. The work in the house is done and Winter is here …maybe not officially, but it’s snowy and cold. I’m making room in the garage for the Polaris. I have one of the missing parts , the CDI. The surepower ECM is on order and who knows when that will show up. Those two things will get the electrical system up and running.
Here it is ! In the shop and on the table. Still waiting for the ECM.. but I’ll remove the rear plastics. Makes it easy to get at things.. And they need cleaning and repairing too.
Wow…no damage to the frame. Everything is straight. I have found one broken wire and the left front brake caliper is hanging from a wire !! It looks to be ok just missing the bolts to hold it on.. Fairly sure that this quad was stored outside..cause it’s dirty. But there’s other things needed… Here’s a list …and this could grow.
New CDI : I’ve got it now
New ECM On Order
New carburetor, Got a new one cause I can’t get the float bowl off and they are cheap..
New rear brake Master, old one looks like it leaked.
New choke cable, Old one broken
Battery, later when everything works
New Fuel pump. On Order, Again cheap so why not.
All three filters needing changed, need to order them
As well.. I’m going to replace all four wheel bearings. Change the oil. While I wait for parts.. I’m going to clean and repair the plastic body parts. So we have some Plastic Welding to do… Page 2
And the spare back under the frame.. Those are just a few of the things that will change. There’s lots.. Now that I’ve had the truck for a month and dug around to see what’s good … what’s bad… and what’s ugly. And found the things that don’t work.. So here’s a list of improvements, repairs and pimping. I know I’ll forget something ..so I’ll add it later.
#1 Extending the frame and the flat deck:
Ya you’ve seen this photo be fore.. This is a big one.. The most likely scenario will be to use the 1996 4×4 frame we have and move BOB’s body and power train over. This means I can move the deck back approximately 20 ” giving me a 9 ft deck ! wow. The plus side to all this work is being able to clean and paint all the parts… not just the ones you can see. New body mounts , new brake lines.. A better steering box. and any other repairs. Also the exhaust on that truck is in good condition. The nice wheels I want are on the truck. And interestingly the 96 has 4 plus 1 leafs in the rear springs.
And the truck appears to be lifted.. But we can’t find the lift. So could be the extra leaf in the spring ? We will no more when we remove the body and just have the frame.
#2 Changing the look of the back of the deck:
This will need a trim.. to make room for the new bumper and hitch. These lights will be changed out for LEDs, and the license plate will move to the middle so the camera can see the hitch. Plus a rail at the top for hooking the ramps to.
These are the lights I like. Installed them on the Surf Side.. rubber grommets, flush mount.. perfect.
#3 Stake pockets:
I’m not changing my mind on this.. the rail is going bye bye and stake pockets along the sides, with a rub rail ! Great place to hook tie downs too.
#4 LED work lights and a winch:
The cheap tractor lights are going too.. I don’t even want the ones facing the front ! what’s their point ? I have new 6 inch LED bar lights for here. Tuck them under the top bar.. Proper wiring ! not bare wires hanging across the window.. Hillbilly wiring !
The head ache rack will be removed to extend the deck. And this is where approximately 20″ will be added. The wood deck will be moved back and good heavy gauge of metal deck added. There I plan to mount a 1200 lb winch.
#5 Under deck storage:
I need to find or make some boxes that fit this space. Handy for straps and I would like the have a second battery here too.. with a inverter and to power the winches.
That’s the work on the deck.. There will also be a bit of body work. The clear coat is peeling off. The doors will be replaced, and a new white paint job. Continuing on the outside …
#6 New towing mirrors:
Yup.. I got em .. Those old ones will go. This will be a working truck so car mirrors are no good..
And let’s add the turn / park lights to that. I have upgraded lights from a newer truck. BOB will get to see in the dark with halogen bulbs.. and they could even be changed to LEDs too. As for the park lights .. new bulbs and a mod to include running lights.
Now to the interior…
Oh ya.. Why just put a cover on this old bench when you can have nice buckets.
Exactly ! Who wouldn’t do that ? And as a bonus I get a storage console and cup holders ! Not a hard decision at all.
#9 Head liner:
This will never do.. I have a hard one from one of the parts trucks. I’ll paint it … or glue this red stuff on.. We’ll see … but it won’t look like this.
I’ve ordered a new RED bezel.. Only because I’m a bit fussy on this brown one. Hey stuff’s gota match ! Also if I decide that the Sony sucks, I have a Kenwood waiting to replace it. Interestingly the speakers look newer and they sound good.. One less thing. Either way there is tunes !
#11 Back up camera and keyless locks:
I have a small 4 inch monitor that will fit this cubby. So we will have the convenience of seeing what’s back there. BOB’s getting some tech for sure.. One more thing these older trucks never had was keyless locking. BOB will.. I’ve got the system to install. No more door keys needed.
This is a replaced dash bezel. the one that was in the truck was full of holes for the switches for the work lights. I will have just one that fits this hole for the work lights on the Head rack. And it lights up to let you know they are on.. Maybe a second switch if I install more lights. There’s room !
#13 Drivers door panel :
Broken handle… broken trim… wrong power lock switch.. I have the trim panel and the lock switch. But the pull handle is hard to find cause they always break. So either I do find one or I make one. We’ll see .. but we will fix.
#14 Oil gauge:
This was mounted under the dash. Didn’t seam to do anything. Found out why… the tube supplying the oil pressure was broken. I want the gauge in the cluster to be the one working so I’ll get a new oil sending unit and hook that back up. Bye bye to this one.
#15 A Clock:
Yes you can get a clock… Sadly the Chinese have a thing for 24 hr time… Maybe has something to do with it also having the date ? Don’t like that so I ordered a better one.
That’s it for now … a lot of stuff.
March 1 st 2021: I put insurance and plates on BOB ..so I’m driving the truck around.. see what breaks or things we missed. The replacement instrument cluster works great. In April the real work will start.. By then I’ll know more.
Once again you can call me CRAZY ! But we are calling the Chevy ” BOB “
This time I do not have a glamorous photo of this truck from the web of what it should look like.. That doesn’t exist. YET! It will when I’m done, but for now it’s all in my head. This truck is …well unique. Yes it’s old and in need of some fixing up, mostly cosmetic .. And certainly a flat deck truck is not rare… there is lots of them.. But they are mostly different from each other. This one was home built on a half ton 4×4 long box single cab. Most are one ton trucks. SO do we have a hillbilly one.. Almost! The deck is quite nice.. And the frame is very strong and seems professionally made. BUT.. they bobbed off the rear of the truck (hence the name) and made it too short for my liking. So My plan is to extend it. But I’ll still call it BOB.
Ahh you gotta love the eighties.. Put your hand up it you had a car or truck from then that had a red interior… and I mean totally red ! My hand is up.. Red 1985 Dodge Caravan.. I’ll get used to it…again. Good thing cause changing that would be a lot of work… and not necessary… So I’ll embrace the redness..
Just like the Surf Side trailer if you start out not paying much.. or anything , then you have more to spend on making it right. Quite often you could spend more to buy a nicer truck and still end up spending money. Bottom line is I don’t expect much in a cheap truck. So I feel lucky that it made the 2 hour trip back home and has BC registration. And add to that… It runs good.. shifts good.. stops good. The important stuff works. That’s the “Pros” what about the “Cons”. Well here’s what we know so far. Motor needs an oil change. (should do that anyway). Steering needs work (loosey goosey). The gauge cluster will be changed out (other gauges work fine). The muffler is supposedly new but the tail pipe is missing, and it’s a bit loud for me. Driver’s door is hard to close. AC needs a re-charge. Needs better tires and a new rim so the spare can return to the back. At first we thought a leaf was missing from the rear springs.. Nope.. The ride is very nice. However if you want to carry weight you need all the spring leaf’s there. I’ll replace the doors and new pins and maybe the left fender cause they are rusty and easy to source. There are a few bits inside that need fixing or replacing as well. But let’s talk about the one thing I really want… The rear deck. I was looking at trucks that I would have to remove the box and build a deck from scratch. Totally could do that.. But here we have most of the work done for me.. For less money ! However needs a bit of “alterations”. And paint !
What we have is .. 6 ft wide. Perfect ! But only 7 ft 4 inches long. I would like a minimum 8 ft long.. but lets add to that.. Let’s add a foot to make it 8 ft 4 inches. And add that to the front so as to keep the back end shape. My RZR will fit very nicely.. The headache rack is perfect too.. Couldn’t have done it better. Those rails will be removed and stake pockets added with a rub rail. Also missing is a receiver hitch and the wiring for that. All of this means I keep the nice new decking. The extra foot would be plate steel with a strong winch mount against the head board. There I want at least a 10,000 lb winch. I love making plans.. So let’s make more.. I have thought about the way I would like things to be.. Useful , Adaptable, come to mind. More Ideas..
On this ..the drivers side I wanted the spare tire holder. But I’m thinking it won’t fit .. so a storage box. ?
And on this side (passenger) I want a lock box for a second battery, storage and some other goodies I have in mind. This battery would have an isolation solenoid and power the winches and a 1000 watt inverter. That way I’ll always have the truck battery fully charged, and power for other stuff. So far that’s my plans… could change !
For now The truck will have to wait it’s turn.. BUT while it waits I’m collecting some parts.. Newer headlights with bulbs to replace the old school sealed beams. The cubby that replaces the old factory stereo heat unit. A new instrument cluster with the same kms on the ODO. BUT most of all a nice set of bucket seats with a center console to replace the bench seat. Many more bits and pieces. If it’s cracked or broken I’m replacing it. PLUS I have on order: A remote keyless system. A back up camera and monitor. New door switches. New mirrors for towing.
BOB got buckets !
And a console ! With cup holders ! Good condition for being old. Don’t want three people in the truck.. so this suits me just fine.
BOB got new doors !
Well nothing for an old truck is really new, but these are WAY better condition. Bob will get a new white paint job, so color won’t matter for these. I also found a fourth rim to match the others. Now I have four nice rims and one spare rim. Got quite the stash going on. And now added to the stash is a 1200 watt inverter, and some fancy chrome rims much like the ones on my Avalanche..
Sweet! But wait… there’s more. My friend bought another parts truck and won’t use the frame ..so there’s the missing part of my frame OR swap frames. Ether way I get a very nice rear bumper. Here’s Some of the parts that will be an upgrade.
These are headlights from a newer truck that have halogen bulbs. The gauge cluster pictured has working ODO.. I’ve ordered new LED’s for gauges. The headlights will get a polish and be like new, with much improvement.
Today we went and picked up a 1996 extra cab 4×4 with a bad transmission. Local truck so we trailered it home. This is the truck that has the wheels I’m getting. Harold bought the truck very cheap for the body panels.. box , doors , fenders and hood. And the interior too. That’s all he wants. He does not like the 5.7 vortec motor.. and it would not start in the cold anyway. I pitched in some of the money so the rest is mine.
So… this was a dark green truck at one time.. and all the white stuff was from another truck. Great condition. He’s going use those body parts to build another regular cab short box 2 wheel drive truck.. His favorite kind. Today we also removed the motor from the frame he will use. Now … once the truck above gets stripped of all it’s parts ..that leaves a good rolling frame.. a long 4×4 frame. I’m considering moving all Bob’s body over to this frame. Because it’s not “bobed” off. And it has this awesome rear bumper.
With a good hitch ! The wheels and this bumper are worth what we paid for the whole truck ! Someone did a great job fabricating this bumper. By making a swap like this BOB can be more than a painted truck.. It will be like new. Finally after a month I made a video…
I also fixed a few things on the dash. Using some re-conditioned parts.
The dash pocket, gauge cluster and the dash bezel are from a donor truck . The stereo and mount were in the truck but not installed properly. Since I knew what I was doing I took this much of the dash apart, and removed some messy wiring , Plus redo the stereo harness. It wasn’t soldered ! and some of the wires were pulled apart. Then I put it all back with better parts. Now the glove box opens and closes without falling on the floor! And the stereo is in the dash all the way instead of hanging out… all speakers work. This is how things will stay for now. After the Surf Side trailer is finished then it’s truck time. ! and I’ll start a new page..
I believe anyone who is into vehicles has favorites… or maybe one model / make that they liked so much that they buy them again and again. For me it’s an Avalanche… Not a new one but the years 2002 to 2006. The best years… now GM has long since stopped production of these hybrid trucks.. In 2013 the last of them were made. I mistake I think… But GM has made many of those. Diehard trucks folks thought them to be (not a truck) I disagree ! Today 1/2 ton trucks are mostly crew cabs with short boxes. Wow.. that’s what an Avalanche is too ! BUT with a very big difference.. I can drop the back wall (midgate) in seconds and I now have a long box truck.. Recently I carried home some 20 ft pieces of steel… I can easily carry 16 ft lumber.. Try those things in your short box truck ! Here’s some other things for my argument … Box covers are an option for most trucks… Avalanche comes with them… three piece hard and lockable. Handling … Because the Avalanche is built on the Suburban chassis it handles like a SUV.. smoother.. turns sharper. But they share so much in common with a regular Chevy 1/2 ton..
Now let’s talk about my history with these (trucks). It was my good friend Dave ( diehard GM guy) that started tooting the Avalanche horn… saying how they are great and that he was thinking of one…and that I should too. Later he did.. a 2006.. and he had it for longer than I had… well anything. But I was first.. 2005 I bought a 2003 Avy
#1 2003 Avalanche base:
With the cladding.. Loved it like I loved them all. Yep I pimped it a bit.. This was the very base model.. So not much fanciness.
No Bose sound or climate control.. But I added a back up camera.. and a new stereo… This is the Avy that towed our Award trailer..
And packed Kayaks on a rack I made… ( and still have) .
Yes I kept that rack… good thing ! However when I was lossing my job at the mill we had to down size and the 2003 Avy was one of the things to go.. I sold it in 2008.
#2 2005 Avalanche LT :
It wasn’t long before I bought another one… I got a new job… making good money so I couldn’t resist when this one showed up at the lot..
Loved the color.. it changed in the sunlight.. This was the first deluxe Avy.. leather seats, Bose sound with center console. No cladding. Sunroof too ! And yes I pimped it out..
Added a Pioneer stereo and burl wood trim.. classy !. I had this Avy
the longest.. 4 years.. I sold it in 2012.
#3 2002 Avalanche :
I missed the 2005 Avy.. so I was actively looking for a replacement.. I was working at the car lot where I had bought the other two.. and I saw one next door having some repairs done..
I asked if it was for sale and yup it was.. So I bought it. 8 months after selling the 2005. Came with a second set of wheels.. This is the first gen Avy.. and the interior is slightly different.. Not fond of black.. But that could change.
So I haad the darn cladding again and it needed some good cleaning .. and I installed the new wheels… Looked good after that.
The black paint was not good.. The Avy had spent some time in Trail.. and the acid rain had pitted the paint.. In Feb 2014 a new body shop opened and they gave me a great deal on a paint job.. So i changed the color to a dark red… Nice !
I was flipping vehicles that year.. And I never considered this Avy a keeper… So I sold it in the Spring of 2014.. I still see it driving around by the same fella.. When I retired from the lot in 2015 I had a 2004 Rare Chevy 2400HD Rv hauler.. And I drove that till this spring 2019… It was a great truck but not so good on fuel… so didn’t drive it much.. That’s when the newest Avy came along..
#4 2003 Avalanche LSC special edition:
I was back working at the lot.. when this one came in on trade.. WOW.. blingged out !
Chrome everything … 4:10 towing grears.. air bags . Bose sound .. In fantastic condition ! But I still found a few things to add.
Like factory roof racks.. and a killer Pioneer stereo .. with blue tooth, back up camera and satellite radio…
And yes even had climate control , power folding mirrors and power adjusting pedals. Love it… So much we used the Avy on our trip out to Alberta this August… got great fuel mileage and a very comfy ride.. And I want to keep this one..
First I’ll show you a photo of a nice looking one off the web.. could be any ones.. Then I show you a photo I took of the one I have..
Ah come on it’s close.. Never mind the taped on light bar on the roof.. Or the fact that you can’t see through the half windscreen. Ok I’ll stop slamming it.. It does run / drive.. and has some cool ad-ons.
So why would I have a second one ? Good question.. but easy answer.. it was cheap… don’t ask .. you know I don’t talk money on here. Let’s suffice to say that I can make some cash by making it all good again.
These photos were before it had a bath… but it needs more than that.. But let’s point out the positive stuff first. It’s a RZR 800. And that’s good.. I think this was the first year they made RZR’s It has a roof, windscreen, winch, doors, bush bar, rear trunk, rear led lights, And a 2 inch lift with wheel spacers to give it a strong stance… It HAD ( cuz I took them off) a 32 inch LED light bar.. and a stereo that was not working very well.
That’s a lot of stuff / accessories .. Makes up for it’s issues.. It’s LOUD… needs some exhaust work. It scratched and scuffed and there is a few cracks in the plastic… not many… I’ve seen worse.. And i know how to fix them. The seats need re- covering. the dash needs a make over.. there is a hole where the stereo controller was. There’s a few missing fasteners.. And the winch has rope not cable…
Cool factory box.. DIRTY ! All this stuff I can fix… clean… or repair. So let’s see how I do…
Well it was raining and that put a damper on the trailer cuz I have to work outside. So I brought my 570RZR in and did a service and fixed a few things. That prompted me to bring the 800 in the shop and see what I can do.. Right away I removed the doors , the roof and the rear body.
And this is what I was left with. Now it’s easy to work on the motor and mostly the exhaust system. AND I found out why all the noise..
One of the two springs was missing and so was the lead gasket. Geez.. no wonder.. I’m going to give the whole exhaust a make over.. And install a new valve cover gasket too. Also I removed the battery.
And cleaned up the rats nest of unused wires. There is still lots to do. I figured I better start with the exhaust pipes and muffler.
When I pulled the Y pipe off the motor and cleaned it this is what I found. A crack that goes around to both sides. Good thing this is steel.. and I have a welder.
After a good cleaning I painted all the parts with High Temp paint… With all new seals and no cracks things should be noticeably quieter. I also repainted the roll bar.. lots of scuffs and some rust..
Today I had only a bit of time to work on the 800… And I got the prefect soldering iron for plastic welding… So I repaired the two rear side panels.. One had a good size crack… the other just a small crack.
This is the repaired crack.. the messy stuff in on the back of the panel. You can still see the crack but it is strong again. I’m thinking I will have to sand the whole panel and apply clear coat to get the shine back. And also today some goodies arrived for the 800.
Just some of the stuff I’ve ordered for the 800. Another 12 inch LED light bar, Another mirror, some winch stoppers (enough for all the winches I have going) and 100 of the body clips… handy to have. If the weather is good outside I work on the 18 ft trailer.. But I have spent some time on the RZR.. The roof is now all fixed… no more holes where they should not be.. The missing bolt in the valve cover is fixed… And the exhaust is back together. I went to the Polaris dealer and picked up a few parts.. So I now have all that I need ..
Rainy so getting a few more things done.. The only thing I don’t have yet is the Dash panel.. I got the roof back on all sturdy once again.
And the exhaust system is all done.. maybe I’ll put the battery back in and see how quiet it is..
This is how it should be with ALL the springs and new gaskets.. Oh and not rusty ! Much less noise than before.. Lot’s has been done now because the rain has forced me to work indoors. The seat bottoms are done.
Just like new again….. I’ve been putting things back together as I recondition them.. Plus Dave & I removed the wheels to make sure things there are ok.. Had to tighten one bearing up a bit.. BUt the brake pads are toast! So a new set has been ordered. I have installed a horn, the new LED light bar and painted the bush bar.
Things are looking up for this sad RZR. When we looked at the wheels we realized they are 14″ and not the factory 12″ and the tires are 28″ outside not 25″ so as well as the 2″ lift this machine has another inch or two. Can’t wait to give it a try… in a week I’ll be taking it up to the hunting camp and do just that. But first I change the oil & filter, and hopefully the brake pads come Cuz don’t want to not have brakes! Took it for a burn around the yard.. Lots of power.. there is a ticking noise coming from the rear left drive when you turn hard.. thinking it could be the fact that there is NO pad left on those brakes… metal to metal. OR a bad drive shaft.. After the new pads we’ll see. Also we replaced the winch line with new cable and hook.. even a rubber stopper. And I got the dash sorted out..
The RZR now has a horn (left side) , a new dash panel with a volt meter in the middle, the front and rear LED lights. And where the stereo controls were a power plug and USB charge ports. Everything you need and nothing you don’t ! With the brakes done and everything ship shape.. I put the RZR up for sale … SOLD
This story starts with having to dispose of an old damaged Travel trailer.. It was obviously in the flood from 2018. It was a mess, and needed to go to the landfill. We moved it into my second driveway and salvaged what we could.. not much !
However the frame and axles were good… The tires held air and the brakes were still working.. The frame is a good 5 x 2 box steel with only surface rust. So why not keep the frame like we did last year with the other two free trailers. This was a big trailer… the body was 28 ft long. So we cut the bolts holding the body to the frame and lifted and blocked the body.. At the landfill they used the big loader to push the body off ( flattening two tires in the process) So we were left with just the frame. No cost because it was a flood trailer.
And here we have a very long but nice frame. First off… remove all the extra bits .. like steps and those side pieces and the propane tank holder.. Then I cut 7 ft off the rear and removed the axles.
I spent weeks cleaning and painting the axles. They were in great shape. The brakes were like new… Bearings to needed only to be re greased. These are 3500 lb drop axles made in Edmonton.. with good Dexter electric brakes.
I adjusted the brakes .. very handy working up here… and replaced all 14 nylon bushings. The frame was flipped over and the spring hangers were moved forward to the proper position for a 18 ft trailer.
Now the axles are back on.. Also bought new 8 ply tires .. load range D. heavy duty…
Cleaned and painted the rims.. of coarse ! And we can now mount the wheels back on as well… but first I need to clean up the frame .
Here is a cleaned up… but unpainted frame. ( because there is more to add ) I put the wheels on so I could move it to the other driveway… making room for the other old trailer frame. Needing some of the steel from the rear end.
So I cut the whole back end off just behind the wheels. This frame is C-channel not box like the one I’m building. And that C -channel is perfect for the uprights on the sides.
Here I have one side done. The tall upright at the back is that way to hold the mesh ramp in the closed position. As I progress it will all make sense.. to me at least.
Also important was the re – attaching of the rear bumper… this makes the trailer 18 ft long on the deck. Perfect ! There is a gusset plate on the inside of the joint. And I will have more to add outside too.. I’m getting better at anticipating useful stuff.. like tie down points.
Here I’ve added a rod across the upright channels because this trailer is for carrying things that need to be lashed down.
Today was sunny again so I got to the welding.. Top rails are on.
So are the taillight pods. One more day of welding should do it.
And so I’m done the welding.. it was a very nice day.. and I put in long hours to get it done.. This is what I did…
Rear tie down points.. These are important ones and the same for the front tie downs…
Great place to easily hook straps to. Why not weld them in place now.. Then they get painted..
The holder for the box and the winch mount.. In the plans for sure.. I have a steel locking box and it will keep the winch and battery safe and dry..
And last of all the hinges for the windgate / ramp. And after a test I had to move them a bit.. They can now be welded in place.
Today was a nice day so I did as much painting as I could…
All but the very back where the ramp needs some adjustments..
After welding a few bits on the rear.. and a spare tire holder …we are good to finish the painting.
And there in the pile of bits I had removed from the trailer frame was the spare tire holder.. Originally on the back bumper.. but now works great on the right side in front of the fender. and speaking of fenders….
I got to work on those too. Next is the wiring..
I got a start on that today..
Installed all the penny LED marker lights.. These are tiny but bright ! Supposed to rain tomorrow.. So I would change gears and work on the RZR 800… Yes I have two projects on the go…. one in the shop and one outside.. Depends on the weather..\
Rainy today.. so working on the RZR…
Here’s a photo of where we are at.. It’s on it’s wheels. Just missing a few things.. but I got a break in the weather and all the wiring , the winch and box are done now.
And yesterday we got the decking and installed it..
Looks great ! I’ve taken the trailer for a spin… and it tows as well as it looks.
The winch and battery are in the box with room for storing other stuff. Just the windgate / ramp left to install.
Spring 2020…. Used the trailer last fall the take two ATV’s up hunting … rough roads.. and some of my welds broke. So this spring I fixed those and made new mounts for the ends of the fenders. Good to go again.
This was the photo in the ad for a trailer that I could make better. We settled on a price without the boat loader.. I have no use for that. I’ve been looking for a wide, low flat deck trailer for a while …even considering building one from scratch. And this one is as close to perfect as I’m going to get..
My friend was going to Kelowna …so he picked it up for me. Tows great just the way it is..
And here’s what I got.. 12 ” wheels, EZ lube hubs, LED tail lights, Swivel jack, new 2″ hitch and 2×6 treated wood deck.. All good stuff to start with. This trailer started life as a double jet ski trailer. I started by cleaning up the tongue.
I removed the step and the plastic grate . Don’t need those. Then I replaced the safety chain and re- routed the wires through the tongue tube.
Nice and tidy now… Oh and extra bolt in the coupler makes me feel better too. Next the wheels.
The white rims look good but the tires were only rated at 880 lbs each… too close for me.. These 12″ on black rims are more robust.. rated at 1200 lbs each.. And they are new !
I finally got the shop back .. Cleaned it out.. Now the trailer can be modified.
The first thing… remove the decking so I can add more framing for extra strength.
The next thing… add more length for the RZR.. this works great.. the front wheels park on this.
And then a support for the new mesh loading ramp.
Painted with the decking back on and the LED tail lights.. and we are good to go… I used the trailer like this before getting the ramp built.
And it works great.. And I got the mesh ramp built too !
Now no need for those other ramps.. And that’s a wrap…
And on we go… It was a delicate operation… but I used my Tractor to flip the trailer end for end..
Now you can see the angle of the tilt…. and the clearance the wheels have.
It’s a bit steeper that I would like .. but if you want the wheels tucked under than this is what you get.. And isn’t it interesting how it’s balanced ! Hopefully I can keep that after I add the side rails.
Except for a hole for the wires.. and clamping the wheel jack on.. the tongue is finished.. As soon as the paint is dry I’ll attach it to the trailer
And there we have it ! And surprise ! I welded the side rails on too. The latch worked out great.. I now have the jack / wheel on the front.. so it a three wheeler.. And I’m happy with the weight.. I can push it around quite easily.
here’s a bit different view. The side rails are low… about 6 inches. And the front cross bar acts as a wheel chock.
The jack is on the drivers side… because it should be… Still need to finish the painting,
Done… All that’s needed now is the deck.
Not So Old Anymore !
All done except the road test … and getting registration.
Right after I registered the trailer and took it for a test run.. Which proved I know how to build a trailer :)… I put it up for sale and sold it within the day.. Bye Bye.. On to the next project… Acorn Trailer
I’ve been wanting to build another one of these. AND now I’ll be needing one.. I’m planing to change my quad for a side by side. And the only way to carry it properly is on a wider .. lower … trailer. If it tilts for loading.. then better yet.
This old trailer was out on the farm.. it’s free.. BUT.. the only part that’s good is the 6 x 8 ft. deck frame and the tilting lock. The old rear end from a car is toast.. And the hitch part is just not the way I would like it to be..
But I love this lock for the tilt. so I carefully cut it off.. The small hitch frame I will use latter for a yard wagon. Hear is a chance to use the axle and new 10″ wheels I have from the Colman Tent Trailer I took apart a year ago. At 64″ hub face to hub face it’s perfect.
So I carefully rebuilt it. And painted it.. The 10 inch wheels will be lower to the ground. And I have 2 new never used wheels and two good spares. I will need new springs, but i have all the other new bits… so the running gear will be new… Put aside and ready to install .
So time for a new frame. I bought new 2-1/2 ” box steel. Then welded an H shape that’s a bit wider than what you see above. The old frame and the front piece of angle were cut out.. ( in red) . That old frame was all bent up..and too tall.. that added extra height, which I did not want. And the front piece was also bent..
After new notches were cut in the two cross pieces the old deck and the new frame fit together nicely. I should mention that the new frame where the springs will mount to is the same as the wheel base on a RZR side by side. That means the weight is held on the strongest part of the deck.
This cross piece is where the trailer tongue will attach with a hinge for tilting the trailer. But I need to add a few more bits… two more cross supports , and some shims so the decking is level. One of the issues with this kind of trailer is … where do you put lights? Well they need to be tucked under the deck. Same with the license plate.
So I’ll be using these pieces I cut out for a different trailer and did not use. But they will work nicely.
And there ya go.. As well you can see the shim pieces tacked on top of the frame to level off for the wood deck. Time to flip the whole thing over..
Several things are happening here.. The welding is finished on the underside… and I’m working on the tongue. The hinge , latch and hitch are all done.. Even a rest hoop that doubles as a safety chain mount.
The latching mechanism has been resized and should work great.. spring loaded so when the deck comes down…click! Not sure if I’ll be happy with this.. will see.
Spring is Here !
Not really… Today I went to Kelowna for some supplies.. includes two new 3 leaf springs. Now I will know how much clearance the 10 inch wheels will have under the deck..
Well look at that.. I’m needing to ad 2 1/2 inch tube to the frame to give the tire 3 inches of clearance under the deck… So we’ll have to see what the tilt angle ends up being.. Ends up to be 28 degrees.
I’ll need this left over piece cut in half… more welding.. Good thing I have the extra pieces.
I tacked them in place and attached the springs.. put the axle on top.. and the wheel.. and whadya know three inches of clearance.
Took it all apart and finished up the welds with the big welder.. got to be strong. Ready for the paint ! I randomly choose a brown.. witch turned out more like tan..
It’s like the base coat for a camo paint job.. good enough. And it took two days to dry ! The next step for me is to do the wiring while it’s easy.
All the wires are inside the main frame tubes as much as possible. The side marker lights are LED’s I’ve recessed them a bit to better protect them.
The taillights are not LED.. but they are bright.. and they too are recessed in a rubber grommet. In the past I and others have broken too many trailer lights.. So now I’m careful how and where I mount them.
I am now ready to flip the trailer over on to it’s wheels… and finish the top side.. Time for a new page.. cause there’s much more work to do…
And I’m getting out lots ATV ing… It’s now a tradition to go camping 56 kms up the Granby Rd.. Hunting season ! I don’t hunt but the boys aren’t all that serious about it either. It’s a chance for camp fires … bad food.. and exploring on our ATV’s My camping rig worked out good..
I had my own cozy place… Unfortunately it rained more that we would have liked.. which dampened the fire and I got cold & wet every time I went for a ride. Then in the second week I got the chance to try a Side by side ATV.. A Polaris RZR 800.
And yes it has a roof and a windscreen ! Wish I had that the week before.. In trade for using this I fixed the bush guard seen above..
Here you can see that it’s bent down and it’s loose too.. I removed it for the rides I went on.. put on about 120 kms of mixed riding.. and I even took a friend along one of the rides.. I really like the protection and the safe feeling …. not to mention the dry / not cold feeling. It goes everywhere the quads went.. It’s only 4 inches wider.
You can see a bit of snow.. yup it’s cold. But I was warm.. and it’s comfy too.. In the spring my friend will be selling this RZR.. and I may just want it.. After all it’s got a new and improved bush guard !
Also lot’s of storage in the rear tray too..
I like it.. So we’ll see next spring if I make a deal… and ATVing will never be the same..
Jan 2019 : NOT Spring.
I did a lot of research on RZR’s since that ride. Looking at used ones.. The prices, the features and the condition. One of them got my attention since early December.. And it was at the dealer where I bought my 400 quad. So naturally they are willing to trade. This one is a 2014 Polaris RZR 570.. with all the goodies I want.. So without further ado… I’ll make another post… Oh and The 800 got sold to someone..
Yesterday I started the process of lifting the body off the frame.. Not too hard to do… I’m working alone. Just need a floor jack and beams.. After taking out the rusty screws. It started raining heavily so I had to quit. Today I’m back at it…
Had to remove the wheels so I could lower the frame more to clear the wheel wells. So I put two 12 ft 4×4’s under the frame and pulled it out with the tractor.. All went well till I bumped one of the jack stands and the body almost fell to the ground.. But I sorted that out and .. the frame came out and the new wheels went on. One of the old wheels had a leak..
And there you have it… one SAD boler frame. Yes it’s light.. but it’s very flimsy too. Never mind the rust.. it’s cracked behind the left wheel…
Apparently this is common.. and it’s only one of the reasons why you want a new frame. Usually the tongue has broken too and someone fixed that.. wow
Look at that ! they even jammed a piece of wood in there.. Let’s just say that this was not a “road worthy” frame.. and build a new one. However first thing I want to do is construct a cradle for the body so it won’t have to sit on those jack stands any more.
Done! I built it to hold the floor and the two ends.. My wheels are a bit wimpy but it’s all I got .. and they should help when I need to move it into the shop.. Now I stare at the frame and wonder where to start. Some have built the new frame on top of the old one.. so as to get things aligned properly. One thing I need to figure out is just how different the suspension will be. The factory axles are Dexter Torflex. And still available.. but costly to ship. I bought the ones from Princess Auto.. made by the same company but they say 22 degree angle.. and the boler axle should be 10 degrees up and pointing forward.. A strange thing for sure.. but successful. However the old axle IS the same as the new one at 22degrees. Soooo I will flip the new ones ( they don’t say you can’t) and I will mount them an inch lower.. not much of a gain in height.. but still something.
Here’s the old and new.. for comparison.. The mounts are different ..but then the whole frame will be anyway.
One thing for sure ..this sag won’t be there ! That’s the new frame tube on top.. I’m kicking the old frame outside .. and cleaning up the new pieces.. everything is measured and the plans are drawn. Here’s the first frame video…
Well I did kick the old frame out and made a jig on my saw horses to build the new frame..
The debate still goes on which way to mount the axles.. I’m tending to favor the rear configuration.. it will lift the trailer by 4 inches.. but I’m thinking that’s good.. cause I saw damage to the old frame from hitting things. There was about 8 inches of clearance under the trailer.
Oct 22 2018: I’ve decided to have the arms up and leading the axle. And for a bit of extra height I’m adding a 1- 1/2 ” block between the frame and the axle. I should be within 1 – 2 inches of the factory height. This makes the door sill proper height.. you won’t need a step. And that’s the way boler’s should be.
I now have my four cross pieces welded in place .. That’s four more than the old frame had. The frame has been squared and corner braces added
The C – channel I used is from the Tent Trailer frame… light but strong. I’m cutting the tubes to build up the 6 ” drop for the floor pan. but since I’m working upside down it’s up…
I will cut the door opening after I have the frame braced. Oh.. and the old frame is no more.. I cut it up to use some of the better pieces. Would have been nice to keep it intact so I could show a side by side comparison.. but I don’t want to buy metal.. ya I’m a bit cheep. Re-use and Re -cycle.. that’s the way I roll.
It’s coming along nicely.. There’s the door opening. Used some bits from the old frame for this too. Lot’s of welding going on here..
Got to have a place for the propane tanks.. And a battery in front of that. Plus all this helps brace the frame. The down side is the weight.. I plan on weighing it when I’m done.. and I expect a few hundred pounds more. The up side is that this frame won’t need the body for support.. So the body is simply carried.
Here’s my new rear bumper.. it’s a work of art using pieces from the old frame. Also it’s longer to protect the width of the trailer. still needs a spare tire mount and the rear stabilizer jacks will be mounted too. I will make this slide into the frame and bolt in place. If I welded it that would make it harder to roll the frame under the body.
Oct 30 th 2017: It’s looking like I’ll finish the frame earlier then I thought. I got all the welding done.. cleaned up … and painted the bottom of the frame today..
Here’s the axles on.. and the two supports for the floor..
And now most of it is shiny black. I turned the heat up to dry the paint better too. Then I thought of a way to estimate the weight of the old frame. .. by weighing the bits. I estimate it to be 230 lbs. + / – 30 lbs. But at least I will know how much heavier the new frame is.
Nov 1 2017: Well I rolled the frame out of the shop.. parked it next to the body.. I’m so nervous thinking I got the sizes wrong.. But it looks like a fit . I want to take it and weigh it to see just how much heavier it ended up being.
And off to the scales and the landfill. And wouldn’t you know it ! Lighter than expected ! 330 lbs on the nose. That’s approximately 100 lbs more than the old rusty frame. Right on target.. I’ve still working on the rear bumper.. but the frame will stay outside now.. Like any good trailer.. :).
Now that the carburetor is changed over and working good.. It’s time to address some of the other things. And the first and somewhat urgent fix is the exhaust leak at the bottom of the header, where it joins the two into one pipe . It’s never good to have a leak in the exhaust system. Plus it can be noisy.. this wasn’t too noisy but you could hear it. So I thought it was simply the gasket that goes there.. And while trying to get the very rusted nuts off we sheared the studs.. Oh boy now we got a can of worms.. But I looked at it as an opportunity to remove the exhaust manifold and remove some more of the not needed stuff . So we pulled the both pieces of the exhaust out. And this turned out to be a very good thing.. because the leak was not the gasket ..but a crack in the pipe.
The crack is right up against the weld.. That will not do so I welded the crack up and drilled and tapped out the studs… got new studs & nuts.. Also welded shut a hole where the pipe came off for the silly reed valve.. ( pollution control stuff). The new carb has no place to hook up that stuff.. so it’s doing nothing but taking up space. Plus it could be another exhaust leak down the road.. When all is done I should have a very quiet Raider.
Isn’t that pretty ! This is going to put the rest of the motor to shame.. You can see my plug for where the pipe was.. Oh and the heat shield will not go back on.. it’s only real purpose was to provide warm air to the air intake.. Again no place for that.
Well I’m all done that job.. and the exhaust is going out the back where it should.. That crosses a few things of the list.. It’s good to drive till the weather is warmer.
Well I did get the brakes done,, And used the Raider for most of the summer.. then I put it up[ for sale.. It’s sold now to someone I know and he wanted a good hunting buggy.. Prefect.. That chapter closed !
It’s February… Late February.. And the Carb kit is here !
And this is what I got.. A conversion kit. I would not say complete, because it’s not.. I’ve had to make some bits and buy some bits. So I made room in the shop for the Raider to sneak in.. And set to work removing all the crap that the Mikuni carb needed to work.. All the vacuum lines and electric sensors… gone.
This is after I installed the adapter plates for the Weber. And that was after I plugged some holes. The old carb had coolant flowing through.. so I had to plug those off. I got nice little nipples to plug the vacuum manifold. And I needed to deal with the return vent line from the fuel tank. I bought a new fuel filter that had the place for that vent line so problem solved. But there’s more things to figure out. Despite being told this kit worked for the auto transmission.. there was no way to hook up the kick down cable to the throttle. I had to invent something ..
A bicycle brake cable with a crimp on terminal.. hey it works! Took me an hour to figure it out.. But I was determined.
So here’s how it all looks .. that round thingy is a fuel pressure regulator.. adjustable too. The instructions don’t say much ..but they did say that fuel pressure needs to be 2.5 psi.. so that is the solution. One power wire to the choke and we are off and running…
WOW.. I can’t believe the power now.. That old carb was a dog. The Raider is zippy.. and the shifts are good too.. initially the idle was too high. The spring was having trouble pulling the throttle back.. so I tweaked the cables a bit and got that to work. The motor idles at 800 rpm like it should now.. So back into the shop to tidy things up and check it all over.
And that is where we are at.. Here’s the finished install. I fixed a few other things while the Raider was warm and dry.. The wipers would never park properly. . So I pulled the motor out and repositioned the drive arm.. fixed ! I also installed the day time running lights that I’ve had for a bit.. last fall I wired the switch up and now we have lights too.