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Phoenix7

How to handle breakages deep in the dunes?

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Before I start this topic, just a quick sideline question........I've had a few notifications saying someone "REACTED TO" something I wrote, but when I go there, I don't see that person's reaction.  Are these notifications late, from someone I already replied to, or is it something else?

MAIN TOPIC: One thing I've noticed so far, mostly in watching videos, is that SxS's can break, like belts, tires, suspensions and more.  I've seen them getting loaded on tow truck flatbeds near the sand highway or on Gecko Road, either in videos or in person.  But I'm wondering what happens when they have a serious breakage deep in the dunes?  I'm going to buy an extra belt, the tool that replaces the belt, and then try to learn how to do it.  That's one thing, but what about others?

I'd like to have a list of people or companies who can rescue people out in the dunes, either by fixing it or pulling it back to a safe area.  Does anyone like this exist?  I'm willing to PAY FOR ALL SERVICES.

So please let me know any strategies or people to contact.  And also I would like to read any stories about what you did when you had a breakage. 

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I think it really depends what you break.  If your able to roll on all 4 a simple tow back will work just about anywhere with good leader to pick lines to the nearest valley.

If you are not on all 4, thats when the fun starts.  We had 2 bad breaks last trip from the hard sand.  One car ripped a lower Hiem out of the arm @ the spindle mount.  In normal situations we would 3 wheel it out.  However this did not work once we got to the short choppy stuff.  All the sand was freshly blown.  Sharp and soaking wet.  It was scooping 100's of lbs of sand into the car every transition and making the effort useless.  We needed up taking the arm off the car.  Took it back to camp for a new heim and fixed the arm.  We ended up going back out the next morning to rescue the car.  Made the repairs and continued the ride from that spot.  We were waaaaay out.

Later on we ended up breaking a spindle on an alumicraft.  (Did I mention wet sand is hard on stuff!)  Again we made the call to remove the spindle, take it back to camp and weld it up.  Brought it back out, put it  back together and went on another ride from there.

On the SXS's, we have taken apart cars back at camp for parts to take back out to the SXS that is broken down so we could get it back to camp.  Most the SXS's have the same failures.  Belts, axles, front a-arms.  When I owned one I stock piled those stock parts and kept them in the trailer.  Had a whole set of axles, belts, and a stock front end.  I never ended up using them, but others in the group sure did and it would save their trip.

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The reaction is just in the bottom right hand corner of the post, like how SANDPSYCHO "liked" your post and it shows with a blue heart. You can react to a post without responding or replying to it.

For services, there is a 6x6 that can come drag you out of the dunes but it is NOT CHEAP. For the most part from my experience if the car can roll, you tow it out. If it can't, you fix it in the dunes. Luckily myself and the groups I normally ride with have enough parts to fix most* of the possible breaks in the dunes shy of something that needs welding, which we can do at camp. In terms of a guy who can help with services  for hire is @L.R.S. and he can fix anything sand car related. I'll let him speak with you on SxS repairs. 

It's always good to cary a tool kit as large as you have room for any possible tools you may need out in the dunes. Preparation solves a lot of troubles in the sand.

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Do carry a spear belt and tools to change one. You probably won't have to remove that old one as they explode into a million piece. Please pick them up they are not biodegradable.  The belt is going to break, it's not an if, so while it's sitting in your garage remove it and reinstall it. Then you know how to do it and what tools to pack. 

Some times it is easier to fix it and drive it out. Joe Fab carry's a lot of front suspension arms for SxS or take your broken stuff off and have it welded back together and reinstall to get it out. Back when I had brain damage and owned a 900 a friends 900 rolled and destroyed the front suspension. 3 of us went back, it was a Glamsdunes.com golf weekend in Wash 22. I was going to take the needed parts off my car to have brought back out to my friend. Word got out and lights, power tools, and a pit crew showed up and my RZR was stripped of the needed parts in minutes. It seemed like a hundred people went out on the rescue mission and an hour later my friend comes driving back into camp.  

You can do lot with ratchet straps, zip ties, duck tap, hose clamps, pieces of angle iron, pry bars, and gigantic screw driver.  Be creative and think your way out of the situation. 

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Do not dune alone.

Have another vehicle with you when out running.

If you break and ONLY have one extra vehicle you better be thinking about making sure that one survives to at least get you back safely.

Carry a tow rope.

Again, if you only have one extra vehicle be smart and don't get that one stuck or broken trying to do a rescue.

Go back and get more help if needed.

Always help anybody you see whom needs help and others will do the same for you.

 

 

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My group has a couple funco Gen 4's.   We've had to take one back to camp and  grab the parts and go back out and install good parts on the broken machine.    This is when you find out who your true friends isn't that right @danwalker

This is a huge benefit of having multiple of the same machines.   Something to think about in your group.

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R3MEYER: Looks like you have a lot of experience with this.  I will remember your tip about wet sand and adjust my driving in it.

ACEFUTURE: Maybe someone will have a contact number for that 6x6.  Thanks for telling me about L.R.S.  I'll chat with him.

SANDPSYCHO: Yes you're correct.  I better practice that belt change in the garage.  It sounds like that's something I shouldn't procrastinate.  Wow that rescue mission story is pretty cool.

RICHARD H: I agree, a tow rope is important and not heavy to carry on your vehicle either.  And your "always help others" advice is excellent.

 

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2 minutes ago, rampster said:

My group has a couple funco Gen 4's.   We've had to take one back to camp and  grab the parts and go back out and install good parts on the broken machine.    This is when you find out who your true friends isn't that right @danwalker

This is a huge benefit of having multiple of the same machines.   Something to think about in your group.

I wish I could buy a Funco and join the crowd, but that may take an inheritance. ?

 

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Repairing is always the first option. Towing a broken car out would be next. But my car is close to 4000lbs so there is no way I'm going to ask someone to tow me out and risk breaking their transaxle. If I have a  buddy with a 4x4 that's comfortable duning it to get to me then that's the best towing option. I actually did this Vet's weekend when I broke a CV about 2 miles from camp. My buddy was able to tow me with his 4x4 Dodge. I made the repairs in camp and kept duning.

The next option is the Snow Cat. I've been very very fortunate to have never used their services but I've been told that it costs $250 per hour from when they leave their shop until they get back to their shop. A $2000 Snow Cat tow is better then possibly breaking my buddies transaxle which could be $2000-$5000 to repair, not counting removal and installation labor costs.

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Not sure how recent this photo is but here's the snow cat with a phone number on it.

1991086653_d97bcfab55_b.thumb.jpg.86bd7fb34acc18373ac8d1c35ede7fbd.jpg

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L.R.S. and ACEFUTURE: I really appreciate you guys giving me this quick and important information.  L.R.S., I will private message you at another time to talk about the repair services you provide.

 

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And I forgot to say that the Bombardier photo was a SHOCKER.  That is a monster! ?

Edited by Phoenix7

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23 minutes ago, acefuture said:

Not sure how recent this photo is but here's the snow cat with a phone number on it.

1991086653_d97bcfab55_b.thumb.jpg.86bd7fb34acc18373ac8d1c35ede7fbd.jpg

There's a tow company by the vendors that will come and get you.

Don't know if ^^^ # is still good. But I have a # of a co J & M Towing 760 351 0400 and don't know if it is current either?

Edited by Air450

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A lot depends on where you are in the dunes for sure. 

If you are pretty far out, we usually try and repair.  We have replaced stub axles to trailing arms, take off the broken part and head to vendors with it.  They can weld anything and this can hopefully get you back to camp.

Taking off parts from other vehicles back in camp is a good option, especially tires and rims.

If it still rolls on all fours, tow it.  The dunes all have a flow to them, follow the flow and don't fight it.  I compare it surfing or skiing.

And the best one, hang with friends that know how to do all of this...................

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AIR450: I called J & M Towing, that is their number, and they do have a "sand cat" that goes out in the dunes.  This is now recorded on my phone contacts.  Thanks!!

COOKIE: That advice about the dunes having a flow is interesting and something I will remember.  And yes, the friends idea is the best one.  That's why I joined here, but it will take time.

 

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1 minute ago, Phoenix7 said:

AIR450: I called J & M Towing, that is their number, and they do have a "sand cat" that goes out in the dunes.  This is now recorded on my phone contacts.  Thanks!!

COOKIE: That advice about the dunes having a flow is interesting and something I will remember.  And yes, the friends idea is the best one.  That's why I joined here, but it will take time.

 

Did they give you the price?

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Roll it down the hill and burn it. Catch a ride back to camp and buy another.

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3 minutes ago, Air450 said:

Did they give you the price?

No I didn't ask.  They are like the last resort so the price wasn't on my mind.

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5 minutes ago, CMBAMF said:

Roll it down the hill and burn it. Catch a ride back to camp and buy another.

And YOU get the award for the first person that made me laugh out loud on this forum!!  That's great!!

Maybe I need to also buy an old quad that I can treat badly.  

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1 hour ago, Phoenix7 said:

I wish I could buy a Funco and join the crowd, but that may take an inheritance. ?

 

Same concept works on everything from a RZR 800 to a Funco G6 or find a friend with an Albins transaxle and make him pull everything out.   Ask me how I know :)

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I think you have to pay cash for J&M to come out and recover in the dunes. You may want to check on that as well.

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Back in the 60s a Jeep club member blew his clutch in the bottom of a bowl.

The other Jeeps all hooked up but couldn't get enough speed to go round and round and up and out of the bowl.

The decision was made to replace the clutch in the dunes at the bottom of that bowl.

They took the whole front group, hood and fenders off (CJ5), then unbolted the engine and lifted it out and on the ground.

They replaced the clutch disc and reinstalled the engine and put it back together and drove it out.

Some one in the club had a 8mm movie of it and a few years ago I got to watch that movie.

Pretty impressive repair.

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One thing to always remember. Never risk bodily injury trying to get a vehicle un-stuck.  That means careful around winch cable, etc.   Seems that people lose their good judgement when something goes wrong.  That's when you need it most.  

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This ^^

Our group helped theses guys out, things they were lacking was a plan and fresh legs. Four out five sxs were stuck, each guy had a different idea how to get them out. When we rolled up we made our own plan told the guys to get in your sxs and gas it when we say hit it. I would say less then 15-20mins they were all out. To many chiefs not enough Indians with bit of panic.

 

350ABB60-C41C-4615-8EB4-EA355CCAD405.jpeg

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Another quick tip - maybe common knowledge for u gd guys.  Couple years ago I was a total newbie in the oregon dunes and got my rzr800 stuck. Guy shows up and leans on the cage (works better with 2 people) and starts rocking the rzr. Every time he rocked it, he kicked a bit of sand under the tire. 2 min later I was unstuck, no tow strap or anything.....

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