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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is a long story....

On Thanksgiving day, my brother had his left index finger cut off in a wood splitter accident. He was splitting wood with his brother-in-law (Eric) for their wives' 85 year old grandparents - something that they have done for the past 20+ years. Their family is very large and most of them live within 20 miles of Grandpa & Grandma's house. My brother's family and Eric's family both live four hours away, yet they (and a handful of others) end up doing the wood splitting during a holiday visit. My perception is that most show up and drink beer while a handful of the crew does most of the work. My point here is that I would hope those that live right down the road would maybe step up so Gpa and Gma get the help they need.

The dismembering of the finger was truly an accident as the wood has to be split small for Grandpa and Grandma to be able to handle it. A small log (one most people wouldn't have to split) fell off the splitter as the ram was coming forward. The ram was stopped and my brother put the log back on but it was a tight fit due to the ram being partially extended and his finger was slightly pinched. He shouted "PINCH! PINCH!" to Eric thinking he would reverse the direction of the ram to free his finger. By the way, this version of splitter has the wedge on the ram rather than a push plate. Eric panicked upon hearing PINCH and accidentally moved the lever the wrong way...

My brother spent eight days in the hospital following a tremendous effort to reattach his finger and keep it alive. He's a computer programmer so losing a finger is kind of a big deal. The finger was very badly damaged due to it being pinched off rather than cut off. They even used leeches for several days to try to help vein redevelopment but after 13 days, he had to have it removed. Upon removal, they found some infection. We're hoping that this thing starts going the right direction soon.

Here's where the Grizzly part comes in-

He has an '09 550 that I helped him find a few years ago and it was in need of some service and maintenance. He uses it to plow his driveway and have some fun too. We have been trying for months to find a time to meet at a friend's heated shop at the halfway point between our houses, drink some beer, smoke some meat, blow up some fireworks, and other general tomfoolery while at the same time, getting his Griz back in tip top shape. This hasn't been easy to do as we have eight kids between us so the calendar is always full. His machine needed new rear axles, suspension bushings, brake pads, fluids change, etc... Since he's out of commission for a while, I thought I would take care of this stuff for him so I brought his machine to my place to get the work done and have it ready to plow snow.

As most of you know, having some extra hands to help with these jobs is often a big bonus, even it they are just simply cleaning parts for re-installation. Since I brought his machine to my house, I was basically on my own - not a big deal, just takes more time. No issues getting the axles, seals, and suspension bushings installed so I was feeling pretty good about things.

Then comes the brakes... He bought brake pads online last Summer and never got around to installing them. I had not done a brake job on a Griz yet so I was learning as I went through this job. I read some threads on the forum, watched parts of a youtube video etc. Should be pretty simple it seemed.

By now, the fronts were completely gone (metal on metal) and the calipers were in desperate need of attention. The inside of the front rotors were rusted and gouged up a bit but I spent an hour with some emery cloth getting good enough. When I took the new pads out of the package, there were no indications of which pads went where, no part numbers on the pads, no nothing. After attempting my best guess as to where each set belonged, going to the vendor website, and actually speaking with their customer service, I was assured by the customer service agent that the order was correct based on the invoice. Even if it wasn't, he said he couldn't help me since I didn't place the order. I explained to him that my brother was in the hospital and why I needed to get this job done. The weirdest part was that there were three different part numbers but four sets of pads with no discernible differences. I'm sure when he got off the phone, he told his colleagues about the "stupid redneck" he just got done talking to about his brother with the missing finger and how he couldn't distinguish the different brake pads. He told me to trust the part numbers on the packaging.

After getting the calipers lubed up and the pistons working well, that's when the fighting began. I couldn't believe how hard it was to get the caliper mounted with the new pads in. I was sure I must have messed something up when pushing the pistons in or lubricating or something. I fought with them for hours before I looked up the specs in a service manual to find that the pads were WAY out spec. I didn't know that the front pads should have less material as a distinguishing feature. The brake material on ALL pads was 6.1-6.2 mm (this is why I couldn't tell them apart) when spec is 5.8 mm for the rears and 4.4 mm for the front pads. ALL FOUR SETS OF PADS WERE EXACTLY THE SAME AND OUT OF SPEC! I ended up sanding each pad down to spec and then the install was a breeze at 4 AM on Sunday morning, frustrated and drunk on Imperial Stout.

After getting everything put back together, the rears were mushy and not functional. The LAST thing I wanted to do was a brake bleed! Thanks to a little diggin' around on the forum, I found a good tip - one of the pads was hung up on a caliper mount so a little tap with screwdriver saved the day. Problem solved.

Anyway, in the end I learned a lot, got the work done, drank a lot of beer (unfortunately by myself!), and now his machine is good to go. I just hope his missing finger stub heals up so we can rendezvous for our smoked meat, beer, fireworks, and other miscellaneous tomfoolery soon!

Merry Christmas!
 

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Wow, that's quite a story. Really unfortunate about you're brother's finger, man that must hurt!!! I know all about the " work gets done by the few while the many look on" scenario. Sounds like what should be a straight forward job on the brakes gets turned into major cluster due to others incompetence and poor customer service. You did a hell of a job getting it done, and I bet you're brother really, really appreciates it. Have a good holiday season!
 
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I split a lot of wood and super careful however a neighbor had a piece launch into his head that required a few days in ICU. On a amputation, if a clean cut easier to reattach, a ragged pinch just does too much damage. Have picked up a few limbs in my career.
 

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Sorry to hear about your brother and his finger, with his chosen profession I can see how the loss of a finger will cause him some issues, but I hope he can work around the loss and keep going in that field. I almost cut my finger off with a sharp exacto knife years ago, right down through my knuckle....doctors were able to re-attach everything fairly easily since the cut was so clean.

Great that you got his quad fixed up for him....sure he'll appreciate it big time...big "Atta Boy" for ya!!! :thumbsup
 

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As bad as it is, fortunately, the finger and not a entire hand. I have a wood splitter, four years so far, any accident is very unforgiving, and happens like most accidents, just all to fast.
 

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I know everything is done, but I live in Maple Grove. If your signature is correct and you live in Plymouth pm me sometime if you would need a hand. I also have two crazy young kids that don't leave a lot of time to get much done on the machines, so I get it. I am not mechanic, but I have almost taken every part off my Grizzly at one time or another. We have a love/hate relationship.
P.S I LOVE BEER!!!!!!!!
 
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Discussion Starter #7
As bad as it is, fortunately, the finger and not a entire hand. I have a wood splitter, four years so far, any accident is very unforgiving, and happens like most accidents, just all to fast.
You're exactly right @DrMud. I said the same thing about it just being a finger and how lucky that it wasn't the whole hand. He got a good report from the Doc yesterday and the infection is gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I know everything is done, but I live in Maple Grove. If your signature is correct and you live in Plymouth pm me sometime if you would need a hand. I also have two crazy young kids that don't leave a lot of time to get much done on the machines, so I get it. I am not mechanic, but I have almost taken every part off my Grizzly at one time or another. We have a love/hate relationship.
P.S I LOVE BEER!!!!!!!!
Thanks for the offer @4snowandrally - I LOVE BEER TOO! Next time I'll give you a holler. I am right down the road.
 

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Sorry to hear about your bro but glad the infection is gone because that can turn real bad quickly. My buddy ordered some cheap pads online and had to use a DA to sand down the pads so they would fit , probably the same company.
 
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