Everything started off fine. My four-wheeler, which several of us rely on for training sled dogs, needed a new set of tires. I figured while it was in the shop it could stand to have the carburetor adjusted. So, after caring for the dogs I loaded the machine onto my little utility trailer and drug it into town this morning.
The weather was very gloomy this morning, with dense overcast spitting out bits of rain here and there, but mostly just foggy and dark. As the day went along the weather improved a little, but the other events of the day were less than bright.
While the machine was in the shop I had some other errands to run. I cut my hair cut and then headed over to Cold Spot Feeds to pick up some spare harnesses. HOLY SMOKES!!! The price of the ManMat "Wheel Dog" harnesses I use had increased by over $10.00 in just the past few months. I needed them anyway, along with a 20# box of dog biscuits (good dogs require a lot of good dog biscuits), and headed on to my next stop, Sam's Club. I got a few sundry items needed for the house.
The next stop was the Rassmussen Library at UAF, to return some books. By then I was getting a bit hungry (I skipped breakfast). Then it was off to Lowe's for some florescent tubes (Sam's "no longer carries them"). Then it was back to the shop for the four-wheeler.
You know things are not going well when the service manager walks up to you and says "The mechanic wants to talk to you." and then leads you back into the shop. He indeed wanted to share the good news, but also the bad news.
The good news is the new tires are mounted and ready to go. The bad news is that the machine needs a new carburetor (at more than $650.00) AND needs the engine rebuilt to be made 'right'. Well, the total would work out to over $2100.00 in parts alone, not counting labor at nearly $100.00 per hour. Even in pristine condition this 15 year old four-wheeler wouldn't be worth much more than the cost of the work.
He agreed to put it back together as it was. It started and ran OK, and it will probably get us through the rest of the season, and maybe even hang in there for a while next summer. Still it is depressing to think that I will have to come up with the money to replace the damned four-wheeler much sooner than I would like to do so.