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Chain Guide

After our chain problems at Beverly, we worked on a chain guide to help keep the chain from falling off. This was pretty easy to setup and now we needed somewhere to test them again. We decided to try the place up in Marysville, that Ted thought was closed down so we loaded up the trailer and headed up I-5.

When we got there we saw some other people riding around on four wheelers so we knew we were OK to test them out here. With the chain guides the gocarts worked much better. It was a wet rainy day and we spent quite a while driving around getting totally wet and muddy. We were still having some problems with the throttle so we headed back to work on them some more.

More Testing

We went back up to Marysville several more times, sometimes it was dry, other times wet. After a couple of trips it was obvious that the small front tires had to go. We tried out all four big tires on my gocart and the ride was much better. We decided to move the rounded rear tires to the front and get some different rear tires. Soon we had them on the carts and were up to Marysville again.

This time it was really wet and we drove around in some trails and got pretty lost. The gocarts handeled well, going up and down small hills, in deep water, mud holes, etc. At one I lost a tie rod nut and steering became a problem because a bolt kept falling out. The same sort of thing happened to Ted and we were limping around, trying to find our way out. Eventually we did and headed home.

Montana or Bust

Every year in July a bunch of Ted's friends from Bozeman have a big party outside of town in the mountains, and the name of this party...SplugeFest. The only way to get to the site is via motorcycle, fourwheeler, good 4WD, or walk. After testing out the carts in Marysville we decided that they were ready to make it to Splugefest.

We loaded up the carts and all our camping gear and headed for Montana. We stopped in Missoula to stay with Ted's parents for a few days. We were able to drive around the gocarts around and near Ted's house. On some dirt roads they really got going fast, but it took a while for the engine and torque converters to spin up. Everything seemed to be working well and we headed further East to Bozeman.


When we got to Bozeman we headed to Sam's house to see what the plan was for going up Bear Canyon (the site of SplugeFest). Everyone was going up sometime the next day (Friday), but they were going up to the site that evening to check things out. We agreed to go but decided to ride along on four wheelers instead of trying to take the gocarts up. I had never seen the trail and didn't know what to expect.

It was much worse than I expected. The mud holes and ruts were not bad, but there were several rocky sections and creek crossing which were going to be interesting.

The next day we hooked up with one of Ted's friends, Doug who had a four wheeler. We drove up to Bear Canyon, unloaded the gocarts and headed up the trail, followed by Doug. The gocarts performed OK, but not great and to get over some of the smaller rocky sections was not real easy. I could smell the torque converter getting hot. On a couple of the rocky sections and creek crossings we had to get out, and push/pull them though while pushing on the gas.

Ted arrived ahead of me. He was having problems with the throttle sticking and his kill switch not working so when he rolled into camp he didn't stop until he ran into a log. Then he jumped out and tried to figure out how to stop the engine. Meanwhile it was running along, burning up the torque converter belt. Eventually, he killed the engine. I arrived shortly after, glad to finally be there.

We checked out Ted's belt and it was worn pretty bad in one spot. We really needed to get another one, but it didn't seem like it would be a common part that would be in Bozeman. Doug headed down to town to see what he could find.

Earlier, I had taken out my front shocks because they were not working well so my ride was pretty stiff coming up. Ted left his shocks in, but brought the rods that would replace the shocks in case something happened to the shocks. Sure enough something did. While looking around his gocart, we noticed that the shocks were sort of bent, and would probably break. So Ted took them off and we started doing some other field repairs.

Doug finally came back with bad news, no replacement belt. Well, we would just have to deal with it.


Over the next day we drove my gocart around. I ended up bending my sprocket so my chain kept falling off and even broke a couple of times. Luckly I had a couple of spairs. One other thing we found out (that we sort of knew from Marysville testing), was that the manual disk brakes we had sucked big time.

When other people too the gocarts for a drive we told them that the brakes were really bad. Usually people found out the hard way by plowing through big mud holes at full speed.


It was bound to happen. Ted rolled his gocart. We even got the whole thing on videotape. It wasn't much of a rollover, just a side tipover.

Big Breakdown

The second day Ted and I decided to go on an extended trial ride and took off down a trail. About a quarter mile down the trail, Ted had a major metal failure with his front end. The metal bracket that the kingpin when through busted right off. There was no was to fix this. Doug came along with his four wheeler and we pulled Ted's cart up on the back like a tow truck and drug it back to camp.

The next day (Sunday) was the time when everyone wakes up (hung-over) and starts heading home. We loaded up Ted's gocart on the back of Doug's fourwheeler. I loaded my stuff up and headed down the trail. The trip back was pretty uneventful but got hairy at times without brakes going down hill.

Once back at the Blazer, we loaded the broken gocarts back onto the trailer, headed back to Bozeman for a much needed shower, and then back to Missoula and eventually Seattle for some much needed re-engineering...

next: Re-Engineering