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Old 12-06-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
spaber05
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Default Snowmobilers need advice - recommended maintenance on some old sleds?

Hey guys, my parents have some sleds up in VT that probably haven't been maintained in way too long. I'm thinking of heading up there this weekend to see if I can do some basics before the snow really starts (plugs, filter etc.).

There are 4 total, 2 old (late 80's Artic Cats one long track one short) and 2 Polaris' ('96 Indy trail and the other is a '97 something). I got all 4 running last winter although they didn't idle well and took a hell of a lot of pulling to get them going (haven't used their starters in years). I cleaned the plugs last year to get them running but that's about it.

My question is, what would you guys do if you had a day to do some basics to get these things in better shape? I'm counting on plugs, air filter, maybe oil? Is it relatively easy to clean the carbs? Can I jump them and avoid breaking my back using the pull start? Any thing else?

Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:01 PM   #2
Otis_WRX
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Carbs are easy to clean and highly recomended to start every year. Check the plugs again. Check the belts for cracks, tears, etc. Check the scags underneath the skis.

Check the track for wear and tear. There are grease points throughout the rear skid, check those.

Fresh gas is always nice to throw at it too.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:09 AM   #3
Strikk
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I picked up a '91 polaris indy 500 two winters ago, best purchase i've made in a long time.
Get some carb cleaner and go to town on them. make sure to pull out the injectors and soak them for as long as you can.

Clean up the all the fuilds. oil and coolant.

As spaber said, top off the grease fittings and check the belts/skis/under carriage/plugs(!!)

Do they have any leather on the seeting? treat it immediatey before you sit on it to make sure it doesn't tear (mileage may vary)

Clean the hell out of it, im sure you'll find 25 to 50 pounds of dirt, leaves, muck, in every spot possible.

Make sure the fuel lines are still intact and clean, it is probably best to replace them.
Check the sync between the carbs and where its sitting at idle

Make sure the exhausts are still intact, hit it with some 500 degree enamel paint after you grind/sand it down

Fire it up for the first time without the belt on it, once its warmed up and running decent check to see how well the clutch is operating. rev it up and watch the clutch compress and expand under load

Are they water cooled or electric fan? make sure all of that is intact and working properly

then fire that thing up and have at it, sleds of that age are very simple in design and make for a ton of fun, you shouldnt have any issue doing 50-60+ on that newer indy, probably more depending on your size




/7 am checklist
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
dhsmithh
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clean up the carbs.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:10 PM   #5
spaber05
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All good stuff guys, thanks. I don't have too much time so I'm not sure I'll be able to get into everything Strikk mentioned, but I'll defintely do all the basics and see where I stand. I'm not looking to get everything back to normal (i.e. get the starter back into use) just keep them running alright.

Sounds like they are fairly bulletproof so I'll let you guys know how things progress. Thanks again.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
Jack
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I've only found once that I had to clean the carbs. 2005 Polaris 550 fan machine. Really hard to start, then ran like crap. Pulled them both apart, cleaned everything I could see with carb cleaner, blew out the jet, put it back together and it ran fine.

I tend to hook a car up and use the starter so I'm not dead on the ground from trying to pull start the stupid thing (especially when I forget the handlebar kill switch was turned off).
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:11 PM   #7
iamrazor
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oh sure, I sell mine and now NESIC sledders come out of the woodwork

I usually put new belt / plugs / chaincase oil / wear bars (if needed). I also make sure I have spare belts and plugs in the sled at all times. You can't exactly call a tow truck from the side of the trail.

If they haven't been run in a while, I'd definitely pull the carbs and clean them

Also, get some snowmobile specific grease for the chassis.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:39 PM   #8
Counterfit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamrazor View Post
You can't exactly call a tow truck from the side of the trail..
New business idea: snowmobile tow service.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:01 PM   #9
spaber05
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Well as I'm sure all of you have been dying to hear, I managed to get 2 of the 4 going. Wouldn't you know that the little '89 Arctic Cat Jag started right up. One of the new(er) sleds would start then as soon as I opened the choke, it would sound like it was flooding and die and then refuse to start back up. I think it's an electrical issue as there was no spark when I pulled the plugs to check. I nearly threw out my back trying to get the other old Arctic Cat started, I slung some hateful words at it so perhaps it just wasn't in the mood.

I did plugs on all 4, cleaned the carbs on the older Jags (which didn't really need to be done as it turns out) and replaced a couple belts. I consider it a decent day, but getting all 4 going reliably might be left to the professionals as I don't have time to deal with it right now.

Counterfit, if you start up that service let me know
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:19 PM   #10
Counterfit
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First, I have to get a snowmobile.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:45 PM   #11
JonnyV2889
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Counterfit

New business idea: snowmobile tow service.
Hopefully you're riding with at least one reliable sled and a tow rope...
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:42 PM   #12
Counterfit
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See above post, no sled at all. Imprezas can fit on most snowmobile trails, right?
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