Having worked on a few old sleds over the years, I’ve learned one important fact: it is never really as simple as it seems. Change a part on a newer machine, and if something goes wrong, you can just go to the dealer to buy a new part. This pales in comparison to the black cloud that looms over you on an old sled where if you slip once, break something, and your sled is not operational until you hunt down the part over the next few week, months, or ???
There comes a certain discipline while working on old sleds. Try, be forceful, but not too much, and learn to stop exactly at the right time. It’s almost surgical. Oh, and always have plans B & C ready before you begin something!
So off my soapbox, and back to our SnoJet reality. I finally got ready to pull the busted flex tailpipe and replace it. Dismantling it was easy enough, with some RustCheck Freeze to loosen the rusty nuts. I like to use hand tools so I get a good feel for how much force to use.
There’s obviously no turning back once it was off. The new one better fit!
Well, the replacement pipe was a tad bigger than the original, so it didn’t want to slide into the belly pan outlet, so plan B was to crease the pipe in to reduce the diameter, which worked out good. The next step was to slip the muffler-side and the outlet side of the pipe which was near impossible due to the limited flex of the pipe. So I then came to the conclusion that I would have to remove the 40-year-old thin muffler straps. Great! Just the thing I did not want to have to do! One nut loosened up and came out, but the front one would not budge without a lot of torque, and the strap wanted to twist. Feering the strap would break off, I stopped there. A little more forceful flexing of the pipe, and with one loose strap giving a little more play in the muffler, and… victory!!
Take a deep breath, button everything up, thank the Higher Authority, and ask yourself again why you keep on wanting to work on old sleds!
The satisfaction of seeing and riding the final product makes everything worthwhile!