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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up 300 miles off road in southern Baja

Just made it back on this round trip, from Loreto via Comondu to Scorpion Bay on the Pacific side and back the Baja 1000 route, what an experience in two days! I like to share with you the worst driving conditions and vehicle issues I encountered and maybe someone could provide me with suggestions on the "to do" list on the end of the report.

The steepest and diciest road on the way to the Pacific is the stretch from the turn-off before San Javier to San Miguel Comondu, a terrible stony stretch across the steep mountain range, apparently now much worse since the last hurricane. I dont think that a normal 4X4 short wheel truck could make it. No problem with my stock Cat, which was serviced before the trip and would do 50mph on the straights. From Comondu on, driving conditions were good, until we reached Las Barrancas on the West Coast. There were generally sandy conditions from there on and new road construction is under way. The last stretch towards Scorpion Bay (a surfers paradise) we did full tilt on the Beach. Just before the beach, I hit a rock in the otherwise sandy track, which bent my right steering connection rod.

The way back we followed the recently held Baja 1000 race course via the idyllic oasis La Purisma, where we found a garage. By removing the right wheel, cat front jacked up, we straightened the bent con-rod using a 5ft steel bar and after paying 50 Pesos ($3.50) off we went again. We followed the race couse to an area, whith a stretch of the finest powdry sand one can imagine. With deep tracks left by the trophy trucks and their large tires, the powder was often over 2ft deep and because of the dust, visibility often down to zero. Coming out of it, of course all on 4wheel, the cat would only do 35mph max, as if there was not enough air. Stopped and examined the air filter, which was totally loaded with dust. Dust even entered the carburetor section. After the best clean possible at that time I thought that the cat was fit to run again. Not so, the top speed was still the same as before. So I limped home, only also to notice that my speedometer would loose momentarily all data and the tacho needle would swing from O to 110 forth and back. After several stop and (re-boot efforts) starts, the tacho started working again.

Arrived at home, it took me about an hour to flush all the dust off using the pressure washer. Every hollow structional steel member and any space which could hold dust was packed full. Took off the filter housing and cleaned it. Tried to start the unit and park, but only heard a buzz, but no starter engagement.......

The To Do list based on lessons learned are as follows:

1. The steering connection rods are too week for this terrain. Would like to replace them with sturdier ones. Any suggestions?
2. The air intake behind the seat is in a very poor place for dusty conditions. I noticed that even driving on loose beach sand sucks in a lot of dust. May be a pre-filter or a different air intake towards the front? Any suggestions?
3. Problem to get the cat running again to 50mph? Is there a second fuel jet that may be plugget? Fuel filter? Governor or other electronic problem?
4. I also noted that the tacho of the total milage on the cat did not turn over to 3000 miles, but started again at 2000 miles. Why????
5 Hope that the lack of starting after the wash has to do with some wetness of electrical stuff, hopefully this will "fix itself" after the vehicle dries out. Any ideas on where I should look?

Any comments and suggestions from you guy's up North (my cat is the most Southerly unit based on a survey on this forum) would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 10:50 AM
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I can not wait to sit down with my map and check this stuff out!!! I will be back soon with questions i am sure... Woo hoo Baja! i love it I hate it i love it i hate it I can never make up my mind.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manfred View Post
Just made it back on this round trip, from Loreto via Comondu to Scorpion Bay on the Pacific side and back the Baja 1000 route, what an experience in two days! I like to share with you the worst driving conditions and vehicle issues I encountered and maybe someone could provide me with suggestions on the "to do" list on the end of the report.

The steepest and diciest road on the way to the Pacific is the stretch from the turn-off before San Javier to San Miguel Comondu, a terrible stony stretch across the steep mountain range, apparently now much worse since the last hurricane. I dont think that a normal 4X4 short wheel truck could make it. No problem with my stock Cat, which was serviced before the trip and would do 50mph on the straights. From Comondu on, driving conditions were good, until we reached Las Barrancas on the West Coast. There were generally sandy conditions from there on and new road construction is under way. The last stretch towards Scorpion Bay (a surfers paradise) we did full tilt on the Beach. Just before the beach, I hit a rock in the otherwise sandy track, which bent my right steering connection rod.

The way back we followed the recently held Baja 1000 race course via the idyllic oasis La Purisma, where we found a garage. By removing the right wheel, cat front jacked up, we straightened the bent con-rod using a 5ft steel bar and after paying 50 Pesos ($3.50) off we went again. We followed the race couse to an area, whith a stretch of the finest powdry sand one can imagine. With deep tracks left by the trophy trucks and their large tires, the powder was often over 2ft deep and because of the dust, visibility often down to zero. Coming out of it, of course all on 4wheel, the cat would only do 35mph max, as if there was not enough air. Stopped and examined the air filter, which was totally loaded with dust. Dust even entered the carburetor section. After the best clean possible at that time I thought that the cat was fit to run again. Not so, the top speed was still the same as before. So I limped home, only also to notice that my speedometer would loose momentarily all data and the tacho needle would swing from O to 110 forth and back. After several stop and (re-boot efforts) starts, the tacho started working again.

Arrived at home, it took me about an hour to flush all the dust off using the pressure washer. Every hollow structional steel member and any space which could hold dust was packed full. Took off the filter housing and cleaned it. Tried to start the unit and park, but only heard a buzz, but no starter engagement.......

The To Do list based on lessons learned are as follows:

1. The steering connection rods are too week for this terrain. Would like to replace them with sturdier ones. Any suggestions?
2. The air intake behind the seat is in a very poor place for dusty conditions. I noticed that even driving on loose beach sand sucks in a lot of dust. May be a pre-filter or a different air intake towards the front? Any suggestions?
3. Problem to get the cat running again to 50mph? Is there a second fuel jet that may be plugget? Fuel filter? Governor or other electronic problem?
4. I also noted that the tacho of the total milage on the cat did not turn over to 3000 miles, but started again at 2000 miles. Why????
5 Hope that the lack of starting after the wash has to do with some wetness of electrical stuff, hopefully this will "fix itself" after the vehicle dries out. Any ideas on where I should look?

Any comments and suggestions from you guy's up North (my cat is the most Southerly unit based on a survey on this forum) would be appreciated.
Thanks for sharing your ride with us.
Not sure what model or year you have.

1. Most to the tie rods are bending and breaking at the threads were the outer screws on. Ac offers new jam nuts which are about 2" long which act as a stiffner. Or you can purchase aftermarket complete tie rod assemblies from Prestige motor sports and some other companys offer them to.

2. Some members have relocated or snorkled the intake. I removed the tubing and installed a pre filter on my 650

3. Depending on your year you may or may not have a fuel filter. Would the RPM's still come up. You may have a clutch case full of dirt and dust causing the belt to slip.

4. You may have a poor ground connection or possible battery problem.

5. I would start at the source the battery. Load test it, check and clean connections if dirty and go from there.

Hope this helps



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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 01:33 PM
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I am assuming that we are talking about a 650 prowler here? My first guess would be the spark plug is fouled do to the air filter being clogged and it running incredibly rich. And I would think this has gas and carbon fouled the plug. My second guess would be the valves need to be adjusted. If it were me I would buy the strongest tie rods you can find. Due to the fact of the remoteness of your trip. As far as the air filter I would take 2-3 spares with me that are pre oiled in plastic bags So that they can be changed quickly. As soon as they start to clog they will start leaking fine dust into your engine. I would also grease the areas along the edges of your filter where they seal against the air box. Would definatly stay with a foam-oiled filter setup. Sure you already know this but I would change the oil as soon as you can right now and also pull the intake parts and clean them thoughly as well.



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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow

Hello Desert Cat and Sandcris - Thanks for your suggestions. Got the unit to start and run, very rough though! I have a 2008 Cat and could not find a fuel filter. Blew the carburettor out with the gas in it and left it in place. Opened another air duct connection to the clutch (?) and blew it out with compressed air. Lots of dust came out. When the engine started first a lot of dust kept blowing out of a duct end from this compartment.

Found out that when changing the tach to RPM, the 35mph relates to 6000rpm, where the governor cuts out overreving. This indicates that there should be a second gear/pulley to get into the higher speeds. Is there 1 or 2 bets to the unit? Do you suggest I open this aluminum cover for a look/clean?

I will follow your sugestion and invest in the best tie-rods on the market. No fun to be stuck with wheels pointing north and south and/or have a crash at the same time....

Will also get spare filters as suggested and change the engine oil, thanks for the advise!

Glamis - Further south, out of Lopez Mateo we go with our boats through the boca to the Thetis Bank and 23 spot for Wahoo and Tuna. A guy just landed a bit further south, near Mag Bay a 405lb Yellow Fin Tuna, a new world record (after about 30 years). It's a great place here. Towing the boat from Loreto only takes about 11/2 hrs.

Any more suggestions? Like to get my unit running again......Cheers!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 06:58 PM
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I saw the new tuna record. What a catch. Love to fish. Not very good at it but I try like hell.
Anyway only one belt. And very important to have a spare with you and be able to change it in the field with the length and severity of your trips. And now that i think about it you have probably used that one up on a trip like that. They have specs that are pretty important as far as service life. I would pull that cover and inspect and blow out the clutch cover. In my opinion very important to use low range when needed for slow technical or high load parts of your riding. You can smoke a belt real quick loaded down in high range. Possibly a spare tire?



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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hello Sandchris - Much apreciate your quick reply. Will try and get 2 spare belts and inspect this one tomorrow. Getting parts down here is always a problem....Yes my cat is a Prowler. On the spare tire I'll try and by an Alu rim with a front tire and mount it on top of my tee top I have for shade.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 10:26 PM
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Ok so you have a 2008 650 Prowler???

I would only buy a factory belt.



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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 10:30 PM
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manfred if you got some pics. we would sure enjoy them around here.



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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 11:27 PM
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Your #2 Air filter

Mine is a XTZ 1000
I agree it is a bad place to put the pre filter. I replaced it with A uni two stage filter part #10110750 It is 1" longer thn the stock pre filter but if you removed the stock seat belt system you have room for it. Uni make one that is 1" shorter also. I bought two and change it every day and clean the dirty one so it has time to dry. That way you don't have to clean the one on top of the fuel injection unit until after a couple weeks of hard driving. Also the plastic part where you bolt on the Uni filter is not very good so I made a bellit alum unit so I can tighten it up with out it slipping off the plastic. I also leave off the door to the filter so air will come from behind the seat. I am thinking of sealing off the opening to the wheel well so all the air will have to come from inside the cab.
DON~~~
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