Some vintage sleds

Some vintage sleds

This is a discussion on Some vintage sleds within the Motorcycle/ATV/Powersport Forums forums, part of the Off Topic Lounge category; Well I guess one should post about them. My wife's grandfather bought some sleds new in 1975. They are the same sled, just different name/color. ...

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Thread: Some vintage sleds

  1. #1
    RAM Regular BrianF's Avatar
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    Some vintage sleds

    Well I guess one should post about them.

    My wife's grandfather bought some sleds new in 1975. They are the same sled, just different name/color. 1974 Johnson Golden Ghost 30 and 1974 Evinrude Quiet Flite 30. She remembers riding them around as a kid and many fond memories. He passed away in 2012 and the sleds just continued to sit in his storage shed. Both were well taken care of but required some maintenance before he passed. I think they were sitting with fuel since around 2008. Required batteries and an ignition switch. Around 2013, her grandmother was looking to get rid of them, none of the family wanted them as they were old and required work. We live 5 hours away from Regina, so just popping over for a look or pickup just never happens. Well we ended up taking them, drug them on the trailer and essentially put them in storage at our acreage.

    Both had about 1600 miles on the odo, electric start, mechanical reverse and cigarette lighters. Also they came with one of the bills of sale, original manuals and pamphlets. Both are 437cc opposed twins.

    Late 2014/early 2015 I decided to dig in and see what we had to work with. My wife and I are always busy with work and the family so I have little time to really spare. The Evindrude received some fresh fuel mix but I snapped the recoil rope after many tries. No dice, back in storage. I managed to get the Ghost half running. Biggest thing was pulling the impulse apart to free it up. It would fire, flood and stall out. It was leaking fuel from venture but a quick tear into the carb showed it was in good shape..... I got one rip around the yard and it just quit, flooding and now no spark. Into storage it went.

    Fast forward to May this year, I was still low on time so I decided to just sell them. I got some low ball offers, not like I was asking much but figured I should clean them up a bit better and retry. I started on the Evinrude. Fixing the recoil rope was actually quite simple. Just had to actually sit down with some tools and get it done. I ensured the impulse was good, it old fuel mix in it still but at least it was treated. With my suction gun, I drew fuel to the impulse and primed the carb. Damn thing fired after a few turns of the electric start. It idled rough but then cleaned up decently. It responded well to throttle inputs and seemed to run good. I took it for a quick rip on the grass with the kids and found that everything works. If I smoked I would use the lighter. All lights, including the dash lights all worked. She got fresh ATF in the chain case and reverse gear box as well I flushed the tank and she got fresh, treated fuel mix around the 40:1 mark. Even a couple months later, it still starts on the 3rd or 4th pull of the recoil.

    Now the Ghost was still a bit tricky. While the electric start, lights, recoil and so on all worked, it continued to flood out or die of starvation. I found the in tank, weighted filter was plugged and that there might be a slight air leak around the one way valve further down the line. I bypassed the tank and ran clear line from a jerry. I pulled the Bendix carb, adjusted the float and set the high/low to the baselines. I then popped off the exhaust from the mufflers as I had seen mouse house blowing out from earlier. The thing fired up and ran a bit rough as it was out of tune. I popped the exhaust back on and ran it for quite some time. It then just quit with no spark. Due to no time, I have some more digging to do on it. Bypass the kill switch, check the CDI ground and check for AC output from the magneto. Then I need to run new line from the tank to the carb.

    My wife saw the Evinrude run and saw how happy the girls were riding so they are staying. Oh well, I was going to use that money for a new Husky powerhead and brush cutter.

    Some vintage sleds-20190505_185529_resized.jpgSome vintage sleds-20190505_185901_resized.jpgSome vintage sleds-20190505_185954_resized_1.jpgSome vintage sleds-20190505_190101_resized.jpg
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    RAM Silver Member howie12's Avatar
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    They sure are in beautiful shape! Congratulations on putting some time into getting them running. If you decide to sell them you should advertise them widely and into the States as well. THere is quite a decent market for old sleds, particularly when the cowl, paint and decals are in good shape. Fixing the mechanicals is easy.

    Thanks for taking the time to write the length post. It was nice to read and should bring back a few memories for those of us in snow country! Especially nice to read as I can in from an 86 deg F day to cool off.

    All the best,
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    RAM Regular BrianF's Avatar
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    Thanks!! We are pretty happy thus far. Worst case scenario is the Ghost will be a parts sled but I don't think it will come to that. I live out in the country so I have endless room to go for a ride.

    One day I may end up selling but before then, we plan to put a few miles on them. I need to drag them out into the sun one of these days to give them a wash, maybe a wax and some more pictures.

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    RAM Jr Member cds13ca's Avatar
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    wow, Brian, that's pretty cool! It's always amazing to see some of these classic sleds still running strong! Great job keeping these classics alive. I'm sure you'd be the talk of the town at a vintage show!

    Must to hard find a drive belt for sleds that old! Man those metal skis are so vintage, what a different ride compared to new sleds these days! Oh the fun!! Well done!

  6. #5
    RAM Regular BrianF's Avatar
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    Well I can add a few updates.

    Yesterday I found some time to tinker. I focused on the no spark issue with the Ghost. I cleaned the CDI ground wire and attached it to a new, clean ground bolt. Still no spark. I disconnected the kill switch and there it was. Nice, strong spark! Ran some clear line from the impulse to a jerry of mix. Got it running rough, it would rev then die. Found it was back to its old flooding self as the plugs were wet. Oh well, at least the electrical is somewhat sorted.

    Spent more time today, much to my wife's dismay.. I had been suspecting an air leak it the fuel line, hence why I had to be bypass and use a jerry. Hooked up my suction gun with a section of clear line. Not only did it have a garbage draw, you could hear the air leak under the cowl. Traced it to a cracked line at the primer. Cut the cracked end off and attached it. Primer now works as you can clearly hear and feel it moving fuel. Tested with the suction gun and there is a nice clean fuel draw. I primed her all up and got it started. It ran rough, revved and then died. Back to the usual as the plugs were wet. So she is back to flooding.

    I had done some reading this summer and found that the Bendix Zenith carbs can have main jet O ring issues. As the O ring fails, it causes rich/flooding issues. I pulled the carb and removed the jet. Now the o ring appeared decent but I suspected it to be leaking. I found it was not plump and round as well as having a few small cracks. I will source one this week at the local hydraulics shop. I recall that the last time I had the carb apart, I installed the O ring with some thick white lithium grease. That time I had the sled running decently for several minutes before the kill switch shorted out. I suspect the grease temporarily sealed the O ring. Hopefully that's it, its minor and I will source a new O ring at the local hydraulics shop

    Anyway, I also set out to test the Evinrude to see if the rectifier is working. I tested the garbage battery (only on there to ensure I do not fry the CDI when its running). The thing was at about 7.5 volts. I got it running and found my digital, autoranging multimeter was giving me a blank screen. After some reading on the vintage sleds site, it appears the old plugs are not insulated and giving off a pile of interference. New plugs were the list anyway. But, I was able to test the battery after running the engine, which came back to 8.5 volts. So it appears the rectifier works and it is capable of charging the battery. Once the Ghost is running, I will be testing its rectifier.
    Some vintage sleds-primer-resize.jpgSome vintage sleds-primer-line-resize.jpgSome vintage sleds-o-ring-resize.jpg
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    RAM Bronze Member Haul N Grass's Avatar
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    No idea what type of carburetor design you have, but the way your describing the running high Rpms then shutting down when lowering Rpms is usually a indication of the low idle air jet being clogged , vacuum carburetors usually run on the low idle jet until about 1/4 throttle then it runs on the main jet ... Especially if it’s been sitting for awhile.....

    I’d be inclined to throughly clean all the air passages in the carburetor with a good carburetor cleaner making sure you get a good spray through all air passages, Now I’m not saying you don’t have a issue with vacuum leaks due to dry rotted O-rings or seals , but my experiences with your descriptions has been a dirty idle/air jet or clogged air passages.... Good Luck.....
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    If you use grease to install the O-rings I would not use lithium grease. I would use di-electric grease or some of the plumbers grease used for O-rings.

    Nice to see you making progress, so much easier in this weather than December's.
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  9. #8
    RAM Regular BrianF's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I had ripped the carb apart just prior, cleaned all the passages with carb cleaner and set the high/low needles back to their baseline. I tested the needle valve, which seals great and the float which works great as well. Other than some staining on the bowl, the carb was in really great shape. But, I have the carb off again and it really takes no time to recheck my work, which I will. I am also thinking to open up the low speed needle a bit.

  10. #9
    RAM Regular BrianF's Avatar
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    I made some progress today, some by some stroke of luck.

    After lots of reading, it seams the old sleds with no regulator use high wattage light bulbs to absorb the excess created. What I knew but did not verify is that yes my lights work but they only work when the ignition switch is in place and on the run/lights setting. So when I was testing voltage, the ignition switch was off and I never paid attention to the lights as I don't see the taillight and the headlight points down when the hood is up. So.... with the engine running, lights on (taillight needed its contacts cleaned), the Evinrude gave 6 volts at 1500rpm idle and upwards of 18 volts when p1ss revved. Much better than the 30 but still a bit on the high side. I now realize I did not check to see if it was the bright or dim on when running. Either way, its on the right path.

    Now for the Ghost. I ripped the carb off again, verified the float was slightly greater than parallel when inverted. I found the new O ring was too large and rolled off the recess where it sits when I stuffed in the discharge tube/main jet. I installed my other backup o ring and used an Xacto knife to carve it down to fit snug. I got it to fire and run on both cylinders a few times and rev a little bit. I then played with the hi/low needles and get it to rev a bit more. Then it just sprang to life. I think it had plenty of raw fuel to clear and needed some heat to do this. I removed the tools that were holding the exhaust pipes from the mufflers and it continued to run. I backed it out of the shed and listened to it idle (1500rpm) and how it revved. I played with the needles a bit more so that it wasn't loading up at idle and took it for a few spins in the yard. I leaned out the hi a bit as it was loading up under full throttle, not much but enough to clean it up some. I don't want to melt the pistons so final settings will be done when our bitter winter sets in. It restarted first pull of the recoil as well.

    Its lights and rectifier work, was getting approx. 6 volts at idle and 15 when revved right up. Quite happy so far as it has some decent power when opened up. I will continue to run it a few times per week to ensure no further problems do not crop up prior to the cold.

    So whats left on the list is to play around with the lighting, wiring (possibly getting a voltage regulator), get a fresh battery and ignition switch for the Evinrude. The Ghost needs a battery, plugs, reassembly of the exhaust, cowl bolts and a good cleaning.

  11. #10
    RAM Regular BrianF's Avatar
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    As well, Haul N Grass, I referenced your post when tuning the carb. I was listening to when it fired, how it revved and where it died in the rpm band. I then adjusted the needles accordingly. When I previously ripped the carb down, I cleaned every passage and ensured that carb cleaner could flow freely through all the small vestibules. Surprisingly, the carb was in great shape to begin with, not what I was expecting.

    I also think I had flooded the engine so bad that there was a sizable pool in the crankcase, which took some time to clear out. I went back an hour later and it took 2 pulls of the recoil to start. First with the choke, it popped and then no choke and she raced to life.
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