Tips On Reconditioning Mogul Master Drags
Courtesy of Groveton Trailblazers
March 12, 2004

Once the snow melts, it’s very easy to forget about everything to do with snowmobiling until next fall.  

But my enjoyable grooming experience this past winter is due mainly to the efforts of one of our members, Jim Herbert, who spent many rainy days in our club garage this past summer working on our club drags.  After his summer tune-up, our drags worked better than brand new and resulted in some great looking trails.

Wear Problems After Only 2 Years

The Groveton Club has (3) 10’ wide mogul master drags that were all purchased new over the past 5 years.  After just 2 seasons of use, two of these drags sustained worn and broken front corners, worn side rails, hinge bar damage and broken blades. 

Some of our club members got involved and rebuilt the drags but ran into a problem.  When new steel was welded to the side rails of the drag, the heat from the welds curved the side rails upward in the middle, resulting in an upward bow in center of the drag.  The drags were cut in half and re-welded to remove the bow, but the repairs were not perfect.

We went through the next season with the repaired drags, but it was difficult to keep the drag full of snow and some of the blades did not cut properly.  The result was operator frustration and trails that were not as good as they could be.

Jim decided to attack the problems of blade alignment in the repaired drags and he would like to share some of the things that he learned in the process.

Step 1 – Replacing the Wear Bars

On the underside of the drag rails, there are wear bars welded to the box frame of the drag.  On our drags, this wear bar needs to be replaced every season.  If it wears out, then the box frame starts to wear away and then you must replace the box frame itself (This is what happened to us).

To remove the old wear bar, use a cold chisel to break the welds or grind off the old welds.  You can use a torch, but you must be careful you do not damage the box frame.  If your frame is straight, you can simply tack weld new bar stock right back onto the bottom of the box frame.

But since our box frame was bowed, Jim had to run a line from one end of the frame to the other and welded spacers along the box frame to hold the bar stock.   Then he tack welded the bar stock to the spacers to give a straight wear bar along the bottom edge of the box frame along each side.

Parts: 2” x Ό” wear resistant bar stock (20’ lengths) purchased from Isaacson Structural Steel, Inc., 40 Jericho Road, Berlin, New Hampshire, 03570 USA, Phone (800) 752-2045, Web: http://www.isaacsonsteel.com

Step 2 – Alignment Procedure

This procedure is described in detail in the Mogul Master brochure and you can access it at the following link: Mogul Master Maintenance Guide

The alignment process involves putting the drag on a flat cement floor and then aligning the blades.  In our case, we did not have a flat cement floor so we put the drag up on stands and then used string and spacers to align the drag as described in alignment procedure "B".

The most important thing Jim learned here involved the size of the cutting blades.  Our drags originally came with 6” high cutting blades.  Before the second year of use, we had adjusted these blades down as far as they would go and in some cases they were still short.  With the bowed drag even new 6” blades were not tall enough.

So Jim purchased larger 8” high blades and installed them up as high as the adjustment bolts would allow them.  Then he used a torch to cut the excess blade length off the bottom of the blade.  This ended up have three unforeseen advantages:

1)   It allowed us to cut the bottom of the blade at any angle so it would be aligned perfectly flat across the drag.

2)    It gave us the full adjustment range of the blade to compensate for future wear.

3)    It gave us a heavier blade that was 5/8” thick instead of 1/2” thick for better wear and tear.

Parts: Blades purchased from Jordan Equipment Company, 744 Clough Mill Road
Pembroke, NH  03275, Phone: 603-228-3377, Web: http://www.jordanequipment.com
 

Step 3 – Replacing the Skegs

On the underside of the pan, there are 4 skegs that hold up the pan to keep it from wearing on dirt or rocks.  These skegs also help to keep the pan from sliding off the trail when there is a side angle to the trail.  These skegs are held in place with bolts and they are easily changed. 

Our club purchased wear resistant flat steel stock from Isaacson Steel and cut replacement skegs using one of the old skegs as a pattern.

Parts: Ό” wear resistant flat steel stock purchased from Isaacson Structural Steel, Inc., 40 Jericho Road, Berlin, New Hampshire, 03570 USA, Phone (800) 752-2045, Web: http://www.isaacsonsteel.com

Step 4 – Paint, Grease and Final Storage

The repaired drag was thoroughly power washed and left to dry completely.  An airless sprayer was used to repaint the entire drag.  When the paint was dry, all of the grease fittings on the blade hinges were greased and the wheel bearings were repacked.

Since the drag was being stored outside, the tires were removed and stored in the garage for the summer to prevent damage from UV rays and to discourage theft.

Other Great Ideas

Idea 1 – Make Blades Trip Easier

When the drags first arrived, they had 2 sets of springs installed for each blade.  This did not allow the blade to trip very easily, so one spring from each blade was removed.  The blades now trip freely when they hit an obstruction and it reduces the chance that the drag will hang up on a rock or a stump.  The removal of one spring from each blade has not affected the performance of the blade for grooming.

Idea 2 – Use Old Forklift Tips For Front Corner Reinforcement

During the rebuilding of the drags, old forklift tips were welded onto both front corners of the drag.  The old box frame was cut back about 6” and a solid steel forklift tip was welded on in place of the removed box frame section.  Then the remaining frame members were welded back to the replacement forklift tip.  This has resulted in a much stronger. slightly tapered front corner on the drag that has stood up to being slammed into rocks, trees and stumps without any damage.

Parts:  Forklift tips wear out over time and get shorter to the point where they must be replaced.  Check with a local forklift repair company and they should be able to sell you some old tips for little or no money.

Idea 3 – Use Stronger Bolts on Groomer Hitch

After less than 300 hours of use, some bolts in the hitch on our groomer broke.  We replaced these with stronger bolts to make sure the hitches did not pull off our groomer.

Idea 4 – Stock a Spare Pull Ring Assembly

After a couple of years of use, the round pull ring on the drag broke off from the internal part of hitch.  Luckily we had a spare pull ring assembly that we were able to run out to the groomer operator so we could get the drag home.  Otherwise we would have had to de-install a pull ring assembly from another drag (which may have been out on the trail).  But what if you do not have another drag?  Make sure you have a spare!

[WMRR Home]