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AK Cold Start Specialist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been operating this for over a year now with about 200 hours on it. My problem is that my steering has some recent play, but it's not the gears. When I turn the wheel, the first bit has a sound where it's rubber trying to stick to metal, like an old, creaky door. The whole steering assembly actually moves during that bit. The connectors are metal "clamps" and they hold the steering unit with rubber dampers, which are slipping. How can I fix this. Can I just tighten them down more? If so, how do I get to it easily so I can do that?

Next, I'm installing a solenoid controlled plow lift/angle. How does the key switch work. It's high current, but I need to make it a keyed system so my siblings don't mess with it and get hurt. I am using a meyer slick stick to control the solenoids. Where do I hook in to get the system keyed? The old system hooked directly to the battery [which I don't want to do.] and had a ground connected to the differential lock metal indicator plate. It was somehow keyed. Does it have to do with the ground circuit, so anything connected to the frame is keyed?

I've so far thrown about 1500 dollars at high grade linear actuators from warner and the controls for the oem plow. The problem with the oem curtis plow is that the actuator is too slow and weak for extreme cold, and it is difficult to put a good angle in. Once I finally get all of my products from the industrial dealers [a pain to coordinate] I'll send pics and specs to anyone that wants them. It should be awesome. I'm using warner linear actuators and working through us bearings and drives.

thanks so much for help and I'll try to send info on the system of angling and lift that I've devised from scratch to let me do more high volume plowing for my business.:p
 

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The steering rack supports have four bolts on two clamps that surround the rubber mounting pads. The only way I know of to effectively reach everything is to get it up in the air and work from underneath. You can tighten loose bolts, but not correct what I suspect is the real problem.

For the bad news. Tightening those bolts will do nothing unless you actually have a case where the bolts came loose - which I have never seen.

The slippage issue you have is fairly common in very cold temperatures. The metal housing on the rack contracts so much that the rubber starts slipping, then powdered snow gets between the metal and the rubber mounts and acts like a lubricant.

My suggestion is that you live with it this winter, unless you can get it inside where you can actually remove the radiator and part of the body so you can effectively reach the components of the steering. Once you get everything out where you can work on it, then clean the rack housing, coat the insides of the rubber mounts with a significant amount of silicone, let it set in at least 60 degree F temperatures for about an hour, then clamp the rubbers back over the rack and torque the bolts to bottom the steel clamps.

The key switch will not handle the additional load of a secondary solenoid trigger switch. Frankly, I believe you are spending money on actuators uselessly.

I have run into the slow actuation problem myself, but generally when it is below zero. The solution is two part.

Disassemble the actuator and use synthetic oils and grease that can handle the cold temperatures.

Replace the OEM battery and upgrade the charging system. The OEM battery only will have about 20% of its rated power once the temperature drops below zero, and by the time you get to minus 20 it is lucky to have enough power to start the engine let alone run a power actuator on a plow.

Once you start working the battery in cold weather the OEM alternator will not keep up with the load. That coupled with a toy battery spells failure.

Kawasaki makes an optional alternator mount and heavy duty alternator for the gas rigs, you may want to pick up that kit.

Whatever, toss the OEM battery and replace it with a full sized high capacity automotive type battery.

If you park the rig where there is power, you can skip the alternator option and use a battery charger maintainer to keep the high capacity battery charged. Then, unless you are spending hours plowing, the battery will have enough juice to handle the load without the need for the additional alternator.

Also check your wiring, and keep in mind that the colder it is the larger diameter wire you need for handling the load to the plow actuator.

Do those things and the Curtis actuator will work just great until it is so cold you start snapping the steel push arms on the plow.
 

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AK Cold Start Specialist
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can the alternator be put on a trans? The specs say no on the site. Thanks a lot for all of the information. I don't have a garage, so I'll definitely leave the steering thing until summer.
Interestingly, the oem battery has actually been enough to plow with lights and actuator running, plus a heater and the temperature being at almost 30 below zero.
 

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AK Cold Start Specialist
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, I have a tick noise coming from what I believe is the front right of the mule. It isn't very loud or often, but happens when it is in neutral and is cold. It speeds up as the engine is sped up. In gear, I can't hear it so I don't think it's there. Is this serious? Can it be fixed, or is this usual. Lot of cold problems and creaks. Sorry.
 

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The tick is likely the valves needing adjustment. The gas engines require frequent valve adjustment, especially if they have been operated at near full throttle for any time at all.

Unfortunately, I have only used the alternator addition on the regular gas Mules, so have not on the gas trans version. However, there looks to be plenty of room from what I see on one here in the shop that is being adjusted and tuned so the owner can sell it and buy a diesel. I recommend giving the site sponsor a call and asking if they have an OEM kit if more amperage is needed.

Do try the full size battery, you will be surprised at the difference having the extra capacity for additional surge power immediately available for the actuator will make.
 

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AK Cold Start Specialist
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The tick is likely the valves needing adjustment. The gas engines require frequent valve adjustment, especially if they have been operated at near full throttle for any time at all.

Unfortunately, I have only used the alternator addition on the regular gas Mules, so have not on the gas trans version. However, there looks to be plenty of room from what I see on one here in the shop that is being adjusted and tuned so the owner can sell it and buy a diesel. I recommend giving the site sponsor a call and asking if they have an OEM kit if more amperage is needed.

Do try the full size battery, you will be surprised at the difference having the extra capacity for additional surge power immediately available for the actuator will make.
It's definitely not the valves, since it's an occasional click or tick from the right front and I listened all over, only finding it at the right front. Anything there that would cause this, maybe just he warming radiator? It just seems to regular and patterned to be that though.
 

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As long as you are using greases and oils designed for the cold, it should not be serious.

The front axle has a built in locker clutch system that will click as it releases. Sometimes the addition of a positrac differential oil modifier will take care of that click.

Cold weather noises are difficult to identify, but the good news is that they are seldom anything more than expansion and contraction of various frame and body components.
 

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AK Cold Start Specialist
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Whew! Thanks a lot for helping me figure these deals out. No vehicle was ever made for extreme cold.
 
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