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Message started by RIC4001 on 05/03/16 at 11:52am

Title: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 05/03/16 at 11:52am

I plan on keeping a running log of my 1973 Raider 44TT restoration here, with photos and comments.

I bought the sled in early December 1015. This is a photo of the Raider as I had it running in February 2016.

That's my daughter Jennifer in the seat. The sled was bought mostly on her desire to have one. We split the price 50/50 and registered it in her name.

It looks really nice in the photo, but that's deceiving. The gel coat is faded and spider cracked. Windshield is rough and cloudy. The interior was a hodgepodge of original pieces and cobbled together replacements. The engine cover pad in the photo was made by me to replace a really ugly lump of foam and vinyl.

The engine had several issues (previous owner said it had been completely rebuilt, a lie). Earl was witness to one late-night diagnosis session! But, I finally got everything sorted out and running well by mid-February.

The tracks needed multiple cleat replacements, and a skid needed new hyfax. The tracks are still really rough and will need replacement.

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 05/03/16 at 2:46pm

This is what it looks like with the body and engine removed.

Mechanically it's a good design. The problem being with the body on, access to everything but the engine is severely restricted. So much easier to work on it like this. I will re-mount the body with screws, not rivets, making it easier to remove. Still, it will likely be an hour or two job to remove it.

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 07/31/16 at 9:42am

I had the chassis, skis, skid frames, etc. sandblasted. The bottom of one cross member as rusted out and I replaced that.

I added some reinforcement other places that had spot rust-throughs.

The floor pan rearward of the steering was swiss cheesed and had to be removed. I bought some 20 gauge steel and a bead roller and fabricated a new one. Turned out pretty good for an amateur.

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 07/31/16 at 7:24pm

The chassis is painted and mostly put together.

I had Dr. Mario make track belts. I got a batch of NOS cleats from a friend. It's my daughter Jennifer's job to assemble them. She has one completed and installed.

Next task is to tackle the bodywork. My goal is to have it ready for paint by September 1.

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by Earl on 07/31/16 at 10:18pm

Nice work Jim!  [smiley=beer.gif]

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by restomajic on 08/01/16 at 2:36pm

Wow! Excellent job.

I never saw one with the cab off. The driver's compartment sure does look tight to me. I don't know if I could contort my body around and get in under the dash and handlebars anymore. If I remember right, the easiest way to get in is sit up on that pad on the cowl and slide your butt down in. Also remember all the sleds I rode in had front floors that were rotted. Common problem?

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 08/01/16 at 9:12pm

First one I've owned or even really closely looked at so I don't know what would be common. Ideally snow/water collected inside would run down the beads rolled in the pan and eventually find daylight. Would be really easy for those channels to get clogged with debris though and just hold the water. On an open trailer that sloped pan up front would really get hammered by the salt I imagine. Mine is actually quite good and did not need replacing.

I'm just 5'-8" so I fit inside pretty good. At 61 though, maneuvering in and out is a challenge. It will primarily be my daughter's sled. At 20 years old, 5'-4" and just over 100 lbs she slides in and out of there like nothing!

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by DouglasMorency on 08/10/16 at 9:33am

I am restoring a raider as well and I was wondering how you got the tracks and the rear susension off.  I have removed te track tensioners and the leaf bolts.

Do you have contact information for the gentleman who made your new track belts.

I will be replacing the lowe floor pan in my with aluminum instead of steel.

I have a lot of fibreglass work to do to replace the pieces removed by the previous owners who hacked up the back end of the sled including the rear lift bar.

Thank you

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 08/10/16 at 2:42pm

To remove the rear suspension, I use u-bolts on either side of the frame mounting points to compress the spring. Slides on and off very easily then.

The guy who made the track belts is Don Soukup, also known as Dr. Mario. (920) 743-7660

Looks like you will need upholstery too. I had mine done by Gary Lamont, It was pretty expensive, and though the work is good, the fit is not all that great. He has patterns and materials and does not need an original to go by.

Yeah, you've got a lot of work ahead of you if you want to get that sled back to original.

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by zook on 08/24/16 at 8:19pm

ive got 2 of these .. 1 44tt and a 33tt .. 33 is basicaly a parts sled since front floor is gone and skis are shot and interior is pretty bad but not ripped ... body needs some tlc as does engine and tracks but its all there .. missing the carb tho but i do have a box of 4-5 of the original carbs that came with them .. i got them for sale and have to get ahold of one guy who was interested in them .. 44 does run but its been a couple years also has new drive sprockets tho only one is installed at the moment ..

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 10/08/16 at 8:20pm

This is the type of body repairs that were needed. Places where there were cracks in the gelcoat I reinforced on the back side with at least two layers of fiberglass mat. I then V'd out the cracks with a painters tool down to the glass and filled with Dyna-Glass.

I then went over them with polyester filler and then a glaze to fill any pinholes. Here's a shot of the engine cover ready for primer.

Several rattle cans of high build primer and block sanding later.

I'm in a holding pattern now. The body has been at the paint shop for two weeks with no progress. I had planned to work on the hacked up wiring in the meantime. I've got wire and connectors but am waiting for the proper crimp tool for the open barrel connectors. 36 connectors to install so I want to get the tool and do it right this time rather than my usual pliers and solder jobs.

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 10/08/16 at 8:23pm

New track - Smiling Raider pilot - Old track

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by Earl on 10/09/16 at 8:41am

Project is looking good Jim.   [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 11/18/16 at 5:35pm

The Raider is complete and ready for action.

The interior was done by an auto upholsterer in Michigan. The work is good, but the fit not so good. A few easy mods were necessary to attach it.

The paint job by the local collision shop is a major disappointment. The repaired cracks are visible under the paint, and some have actually cracked through the surface. How this could happen I have no idea. There was no indication of cracks showing through the primer when I delivered it to him.

Frank Sadlon made the decals. Stock shape but custom colors.

I bought two reproduction windshields. Neither fit. I did some cutting and drilling on the best one and got it on. These things are never easy!

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 12/17/16 at 8:17pm

On the snow, Dec. 17, 2016

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by Earl on 12/18/16 at 12:58pm

I'll bet shes one happy rider. Nice work!!  [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by restomajic on 12/21/16 at 2:26pm

Great job Jim! You continue to amaze me with the detail and attention paid to your sleds.

I just don't have the patience any more. Still have plenty of OCD but the hands and eyes just aren't what they used to be. Perhaps I ruined my eyes watching all the Ebay auctions back in the good old days.....  

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 12/22/16 at 8:46pm

Thanks Gary. I'm beginning to wonder how many of these I have left in me. The hands are starting to go south. Some pain and loss of strength. I play bass guitar in a band and wonder how long I'll be able to keep that up.

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 01/29/17 at 10:01pm

A couple more on the snow photos from our ride last Saturday.

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by Mark427 on 10/04/17 at 9:02am

Hi Jim,  I am also starting to restore a 1972 Raider.  I have been trying to see you photo's but are having problems with Photobucket.  How did you remove the body?

Title: Re: Raider Restoration
Post by RIC4001 on 10/04/17 at 11:21am

Yes, photobucket changed their policy and I'd now have to pay them to view the linked photos.

The body is riveted on so you'll have to drill out a lot of rivets. Rivets all along the bottom edge, several in the engine compartment, several under the seat and seat back.

I replaced all of my rivets with rivnuts and screws, that will hopefully be easier to deal with next time I have to take the body off. » Forum !
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