Ask the SnowMan: Your Questions Answered
A. You don't want to get into this...the 95 needs some serious love to get the storm engine in there....the motor mounting plate is wrong, steering column, you'll need a different fuel pump, the pipes don't fit under the hood....the list goes on and on.
Q. I just pulled my sled out of storage. It looks great but I can't get it to run unless I pull the spark plugs and pour gas down into the cylinders. There is gas in the tank and I'm wondering if the fuel pump gone.
A. Chances are that you have a sled with carbs and they are dirty. Carbs actually have a few different ways the gas can run through them, depending on th air velocity. Your low speed circuit is probably dirty from the fuel that evaporated out of them over the summer and they need to be cleaned. If you have a sled with carbs I always recommend the Olev Aaen carb handbook which you can get from http://www.aaenperformance.com/Handbooks.asp
Just a reminder to everyone that has a SKI-DOO 600 SDI to check their carb boots for small rips and tears. These sleds are prone to having their carb boots get small cracks in them and when they do the can cause some serious motor problems if the carb boots aren't replaced. It's worth noting that these aren't cheap as the reeds and carb boots are one unit on these sleds. It's worth noting that both Boyseen and Moto Tassinari have after market reeds that they claim will help this problem.
Q. Last season buddy was waxing me bad but we have the same sleds, why?
A. There are a lot of things that could contribute to this, but my guess would be your drive belt. When drive belts wear it makes your sled start out in second gear, which is not good for any kind of race or gas mileage. Your owners manual comes with the belt tolerances, measure the belt and see if it's too narrow.
Q. I usually drive a doo but this year I tried a Polaris sled. I was quite surprised how there is very little torque at slow speeds. Am I crazy or does doo have more snort down low?
A. I don't think this is a motor thing, I think it's a clutching thing. Polairs has always mystified me as to why they have such a low engagement on their trail sleds. For mountain sleds it makes sense to me to have low engagement as if you give it to much gas off the line the sled will spin the track and dig a big hole for it to sit in rather then moving slowly over the loosely packed snow. But on a hard packed trail you can have a slightly higher engagement and still have an excellent running sled. Just about all sleds now come with a a black spring with a green stripe on them and an great replacement for this is the Erlandson red primary spring (https://www.erlandsonperformance.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=EPI&Category_Code=cs) which raises the engagement slightly but keeps the final shift out the same. It's worth noting that this will shorten the belt life, but I've gone more then 2000 miles on a 700 with this primary spring with no issues.
The previous Polaris 800 "big block" motors have been known to have some serious crank issues. If you have one of these motors it's best to check your crank runout before the year starts. This is done by pulling the primary clutch off the sled, fixing a dial gauge to the end of the crank and pull the motor over slowly. If there is more the .002" difference as the crank turns around you need to start thinking about getting a rebuilt crank. If the difference is 004" don't drive the sled until you get a crank in that motor.
In addition the new Polaris 800 motors have been issued a recall to help with motors sizing. Contact your dealer with your VIN to see if our sled is affected.
Q. My buddies want me to get into sledding. I don't feel like dumping $8K on a ride so what sled would you recommend what I go with?
A. Er...that depends....can you put out the $6K for a Polaris Shift or for a SKI-DOO 600 sport? Can you afford $4K for a used SKI-DOO 600 H.O? If you want to go on the extremely cheap, there are many areas now offering discounts for older sleds off their trail passes. For example Ontario is now charging half the amount for a 1995 sled. This makes the $1000 for a 1995XLT + the cost of the pass + the cost to insure one heck of a deal.
Q. Snow is a comin'! Which carbides would you buy?
A. To be honest, I'm not brand loyal to a carbide manufacturer. I've had Woodies, ATS, Polaris, Studboy carbides and they have all worked well. My favourite is 6" of 90 degree carbide for sharp handling. If you have a rider that is sensitive to trail darting (wife, new rider) then I would suggest one of the runners that have dual carbide attached to them.
Q. Something totally out of character happened to my Yamaha Vector last spring. First thing in the morning my sled would not start but later in the day it fired right up. My friends were saying I must of bought bad gas, but I have been buying my gas from the same dealer for years without a problem. Do you think it was the gas?
A. I doubt it. Now that sleds are going high tech electronic gremlins can get into the system and cause all sorts of havoc. I have a few friends that have Yammies and it seems that the relays that control the electronics can freeze, especially when the weather is really cold or when it's very humid out and then below freezing. Simply removing the relays and taking them inside for a while to thaw out will fix this, or you can pack a few extras in your trunk for just such an occasion.