Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 09:39 AM
The Indy almost pushed me too far last night.

First it wouldn't start, and when I finally started it, it barely had enough power to get on to the trailer to take it to my buddy's garage. Luckily that just seems to have been the temperature outside (58 degrees) because after it cooled off, it ran fine. However, while pulling it over with the plugs out, I had a look at the clutch. It appear to be wobbling just a tiny tiny bit, so hopefully it's just clutch warpage and not the crank. It may be no big deal, but now I'll always have it in the back of my head that the crank is bent or the PTO bearing is going.

We got it off the trailer and took the rear suspension off. One of the little track supports at the top of the skid had broken off, so that will have to be welded. After using a lot of heat, I managed to get the front shock off and found that it's jammed, so that'll have to be replaced. The rear shock still seems okay.

After wrenching on the skid for a while, I went over to inspect the clutch some more, and noticed some oil on the outside of the engine behind the clutch. Upon closer inspection, I found a piece of base gasket sticking out. I started it up and sprayed WD-40 at it and it didn't rev, but I know that's not a very good test. By the way, now that it was cooler, it started first pull every time and ran strong.

I checked the compression and I'm at 132 on the mag and center, but down a bit on the PTO side. My tests ran from about 117 to 128.

So now I guess I have to replace the $&%#*& base gasket. Great news, eh?

All of this prompted me to go shopping for new sleds. Not new, but newER. I found some good deals on Indy 500s, and I was figuring out in my head how much I could get for my Indy if I parted it out, how much it will cost to fix mine, etc. After a lot of thought, I decided that as long as I don't find anything else catastrophic wrong with it, I'm going to fix it up and use it for at least this year. I hope that decision doesn't come back to haunt me.

Other things that need fixing or replacing:

Front suspension shocks
Small hole in y-pipe
Front-rear suspension mounts
Wheel bearings
Front steering is slopped
Skis need to be welded

Saturday, August 26, 2006, 11:28 PM
Man am I behind on this. I'll do a quick update and hopefully flesh it out a bit more in the future.

Late in the 2005 season, I noticed my clutch wobbling. I decided to tear it down.

PTO side bearing was totally destroyed. Got a new crankshaft, and a new set of pistons and bored cylinders from David Courtney - one of the most generous guys I've ever met.

Engine sat on kitchen table for weeks while I was rebuilding it.

Got it installed but no matter what I did, it would leak coolant and I was having overheating problems.

It took forever, but I finally fixed it by using two o-rings instead of one around the plug holes.

Had fun riding, but it was an awful winter snow-wise.

Got a GPSr for Christmas and made a cool <a href="">GPS snowmobile map!</a>

Another Long Ride
Sunday, February 20, 2005, 11:26 PM
I went for my longest ride ever. We rode 70+ miles to Tower and back on the Taconite and Putnam Lake and Fishing Lakes Trails. It was a blast, and it's easier to relax when you have a buddy with you to tow you out if things go bad. The trails were in good shape. We made it there in about two hours, ate at Benchwarmers, and took about two hours getting back. We switched off between the Indy and Liq.

There were 75 or more sleds at Benchwarmers when we got there. Everyone inside had bibs on. I don't think anyone there came in a car. The cool thing was we saw two groups of a few high school girls who had ridden there by themselves. I was so impressed! Where I went to high school, those girls would have been at the mall yapping on their cell phones.

The Indy ran great the whole time. The Liquifire had a few problems. On the second half of the ride there, it was really down on power. It topped out at about 7000 rpms and 70 kph. I could get it up to 80 but it was tricky. If I'd hit it too hard when it was at 7000 it would bog down. When we got to Benchwarmers, I inspected it and found that the clutch was sticking a bit. It would only snap back to fully open when it got down to idle. I also noticed that the buttons were grinding on the moveable sheave. No idea why. It was all clean where they slide and there were some gouges in it. I suppose that means I better take it apart which means I need to pay the shop to get the spider off. While I was inspecting the clutch I noticed that the crankshaft moves in and out (mag to pto, not runout) about 1/16". I'm not sure how serious that is. It should probably be taken apart and shimmed. Hopefully I can use it for the rest of this Winter though. When I checked it after the engine was cold, the play was gone. No idea why.

Rode out to our land!
Friday, February 18, 2005, 11:24 PM
I just rode out to our land! The Indy ran great. I was nervous at first since it hasn't had a real workout yet, but she ran like a champ. I put on about 50 miles. The lakes were in great shape though the portage trails were VERY bumpy. The road to our land was unplowed and untouched, so that was fun. The Indy made it right through, though with a little struggling. The Liquifire never would have made it. I had fun messing around at our land and then I rode out onto Vermilion just to check it out and then headed home. The sled ran awesome with only two minor problems: 1) The suspension bolts loosened a bit, and 2) it backfired three times - all at low RPMS when I was letting the engine slow down. Not sure what that's about. One other thing - once she's been running and I shut her off and wait for 10 minutes or more, it takes a few pulls to get her going again. Not a big deal, but it seems that it should start up on one or two. Low compression? Oh, and my plugs looked pretty good. Oddly, they looked a tad rich today. They should since I'm jetted rich, but it's weird that they'd be leaner when it's colder. The PTO side plug looked a bit odd. It was a little wet, but there were two clean spots on it. The bottom of the threaded portion was darkened except for in two little spots. I hope there's no anti-freeze in there, though I think the whole plug would be clean if that were the case. But the main thing is, NO TEMP LIGHT!!

More Wrinkles
Wednesday, February 16, 2005, 11:23 PM
I got my seat mounted today. It turns out the bolts didn't break. They just got shoved back up into the seat. I was able to pull one back out but the other was gone. I cleaned the one bolt up with my new tap and die kit and I got a 5/16 threaded rod and heated and bent it at a 90 degree angle so that I could stick it into the mounting hole and I could torque a bolt against it because the part that's in the seat sits in that narrow channel in there. Once I got that done I hopped on to take a ride but the back end practically bottomed out. What now?!? I inspected it and found that my left front suspension bolt was gone. Apparently the shaft is seized so the suspension is pivoting on the bolt rather than the shaft - just like my Liquifire. I'll try to fix that over the Summer but for now it'll have to stay like that. I'll just carry a few extra bolts with me. I didn't have anyone to help me, so I used a ratchet strap to pull the front of the suspension into position so I could put the bolt in. After that I went for a ride. We've gotten a few inches of new snow and I didn't see any bare spots. The temperature was about 20. The trail was still a tad rough, but MUCH better than last Saturday. I wanted to ride 10 miles since the light when on after 8 last time. Success! 10 miles and no light. I was able to ride 35-40 on the trail in most spots and the sled felt great. I also took it out on the little lake and was able to open her up a but. I got up to about 73 and called it quits there because there was some bumpy ice under the snow. It was probably about as fast as I could have gone. If I'd kept going I might have hit 80 but it would have been a reach. This was in somewhat deep snow though. On hard pack I bet I could do 90. Who cares though. 73 is more than fast enough for me. It gets to 60 pretty darn fast and then it's a little slower to reach 70. It's really fun on the trail - very responsive and quick.

I saw a guy on the lake with an old Polaris - late 60s or so. I also saw an old Scorpion on the trail. When I rode my Liquifire exclusively for the last 2 years I never saw one vintage sled. Now that I'm on a "modern" sled, I see vintage all over the place and I feel like a sell-out. :)

When I got home I checked my plugs. The PTO side was pretty dark and wet as it has been (since the compression is low I assume) but the others looked great. Another thing - the engine was hard to turn over when it was cold. I know that's normal, but this seemed a little odd. It felt kind of tight and sticky, not just stiff. Maybe that's normal for a triple?

Overheating Fixed?
Saturday, February 12, 2005, 11:21 PM
I got the secondary cleaned, lubed, and reassembled. Man was that a job. Got it back on the sled and went for a ride. Today was warmer - around 40 - so there was decent slush to lube the slides and cool the exchangers. It was also an absolutely gorgeous day. The problem, however, was that the trail was in absolutely horrible shape. It was probably 80% moguls. I couldn't ride much faster than about 23 or I'd get bucked off! There were a few smooth spots where I was able to gun it a bit. I got it as high as about 48 and I still had loads of power left. At that speed, the engine didn't sound like it was revving way up, so apparently the secondary was messing it up. When riding at 20 mph or so, she was revving just about 6000. Much better than the 7000+ last time. I rode 8 miles with no temp light and then it finally came on in a really hilly area. I was having to ride slow up hills due to the bumps, so I don't blame it for heating up. I stopped, applied snow, and turned around and rode back. I never put more snow on after the first batch melted, and the light never came on either so I think I finally have the problem licked. But, as could be expected, I have a new problem. The bolts that hold the back of the seat down broke off. I never put nuts on them because I couldn't find any that fit, and with the bumping around today, they broke. Now I have to rig something up. But hey - I have my major problems worked out now (knock on wood).

Still Overheating
Thursday, February 10, 2005, 11:20 PM
I found the check valve on the SRX and replaced all the lines and installed it. I also re-routed the gas line so it's correct now. I carefully filled up the system and jacked the front end up and squeezed the hoses to get air bubbles out. I also added Water Wetter and put on the radiator cap from the SRX (the one I had before was questionable). After much thinking and researching and the help, once again, of David Courtney, I thought I had it licked. Today was warmer so the trail was a little slushier. I hopped on and took off. I rode about a mile and then rode back. The suspension was covered with slush, so there should be ample cooling. No temp light, so I rode back out a mile again and then stopped to check things out. It looked fine so I rode a little more. After a few hundred yards, the light came on. I immediately stopped and shut her down. I opened the hood and everything looked okay. No spurting anti-freeze. no boiling, etc. I packed snow on the running boards and after 30 seconds of idling, the light went off. I rode home gently and stopped to pack snow on a few times and it never went on again. VERY disappointed that I'm still hot. I was stumped until it dawned on me that I noticed that the engine seemed to be revving higher than it should have for the speeds I was riding. Hmmm... I wonder if that could have something to do with it. I went over to Joe's Marine and told Rico the whole story. He agreed that I tried everything that I should have tried and he was stumped. Then he mentioned gearing. I hadn't thought of that! This sled was possibly a drag racer before (judging by the pipes) so maybe the gearing is different. I never did count the teeth. I decided to try working with the secondary first and if that doesn't help, I'll check the gears.

I took the secondary off and started taking it apart. I put a 2x4 across the helix and wedged one end under the workbench and I put weight on the other end so the helix wouldn't shoot off. I wanted to be able to see which hole the spring was in. I got the circlip off and slowly took my weight off the board. Nothing. The helix wasn't budging. I carefully picked up the clutch and aimed it away from myself and twisted it, which finally made it shoot off. I never got to see which hole, but now it seems my problem was lack of lubrication. If the grime and rust was able to hold the helix in place against some pretty heavy spring pressure, it could also certainly be messing with my shifting. I also noticed that the inside half of each sheave was dirty, so the belt isn't going down very far. I tried to put the helix back on and I couldn't push it down due to the stickiness and it squeeked a lot. Tomorrow I'll lube it up and she should be good as new. Hopefully that'll be the end of my problems!

Sunday, February 6, 2005, 11:17 PM
On my last test ride, the track ratcheted a bit so last night I tightened it up. Well, today I planned on going for a long ride. About one mile
into it, I noticed my temp light was on. I rode a little longer and decided I'd better stop and check it out. I opened the hood and antifreeze was shooting out of the reserve tank.

I let it stop and cool down a bit and got back on to ride home, only sled wouldn't move. I checked the track and saw that on the right side, the track clips had sort of welded themselves to the slides. I figured this was because the track was too tight. I loosened it up and popped the clips off and took off. The light kept coming on and antifreeze would shoot out of the hole every now and then so I just
took it really slow and let it cool down every few hundred yards. It was really hot and the antifreeze in the reserve lines looked like it
was boiling.

I checked the plugs and they looked okay. Maybe just a touch on the lean side, but not bad. Also, I'm running my mains two sizes too big (all I had) so it should be rich if anything.

So, now I'm trying to figure out what happened.

For one thing, it's been very warm and then pretty cold today so the trail was very hard packed - almost like ice. No snow to cool it and also no lubrication for the slides. Could this alone cause my overheating? To that extent?

I had a little arctic cat oil in it and today I put in some synthetic - Arctic Gold or something. After I added it, it dawned on me that I seem to remember something about it being bad to mix oils. Could that contribute to it?

I'm wondering if after I loosened the track, if I'd have let it cool all the way down and added more coolant if I'd have been okay. I never went back out to try it but I will tomorrow.

The only thing different between today and yesterday (when it ran fine) is it's about 20 degrees colder today, track was tighter, and I added the new oil. Everything else is the same.

More Progress
Thursday, February 3, 2005, 11:16 PM
I got an XLT airbox and installed it. It fits perfectly. I also finished up a few other things on the sled today including the wiring. I disabled the throttle safety switch by cutting one of the wires, so now the kill switch works without having to make sure the throttle is all the way closed. I took the carbs off and checked the jets and found that they have 220 main jets rather than 200. Also, the jet needles were in the wrong positions. I set them to stock and went for a ride and the engage speed bog is gone! I figured I'd be way too rich since I had the bigger jets and the airbox on now (plus it was warm) but I checked the plugs a few times and they looked okay. Almost there! I noticed that the secondary clutch is a little too close in toward the chaincase and that it moves in and out just a bit. I'm going to take it off and put more shims on if I can ever get the belt off. It's VERY hard to spread the two sheaves by hand. Oh, and I also filled up the brake system. I was only able to get up to about 40mph on the trail. I can't wait to take it out on a lake, but it's been so warm that they're all slushy now. Stupid weather.

The Indy is so much more forgiving. You can go a lot faster on trails and not have to worry about getting bucked off.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005, 11:16 PM
I figured out the ignition issue. The bl/w wire off the CDI is supposed to be hooked up to the black wire from the kill switch. I don't need to hook a ground up to the red one. What was causing it to not work was the throttle safety switch! I forgot all about that. That switch is a little picky and since my throttle cables don't hold the lever down all the way, I have to hold the throttle closed or else I get no spark. I think I'm just going to disable it. I should be able to do that by snipping one of the wires. I also checked my master cylinder and it's dry (except for a little rusty sludge). I'll have to clean that and fill it. The diaphragm has a small hole but hopefully it'll still work. When I was riding yesterday, my tach kept going on and off and the headlights were flickering. Not sure if it's a loose wire or maybe the voltage regulator.

I rode the Indy today!!!
Tuesday, February 1, 2005, 11:14 PM
All it took to get her to move was replacing one part. The engine.

I didn't ride far since I don't have the air box on and I'm not sure of the carbs, but I made it all the way to the little lake down the trail toward Tower (about 2.5 miles round trip). Overall I was thrilled with it. It's got power to burn and the ride is excellent. I want to take my Liq out right after I ride the Indy to compare. It was hard to tell today since the trails are in such excellent condition. I love how the engine sounds! A few times I felt the skis get light and man is that a fun feeling. The hand warmers even work! The negatives: when I'd gun it, the track would ratchet a bit, so I have to tighten it up. It had a bit of bog right after engagement. It gets up to engagement well, then after it grabs the belt the RPMs go down a bit and you have to pour on the gas. I'm surprised at how much you have to give it, but at some point, all of a sudden, it takes off like a shot.

90 hp feels a lot different than 60, especially when you have a track that can grip.

I finally got my exhaust mounted. After much head scratching, I ended up using the sheet metal that the previous owner had installed to shield the belly pan from the heat of the triple pipes. I screwed a small strip of wood under it to hold the pipe up just a bit and riveted the metal down. I bolted the can onto the mount and put a long spring over the pipe to hold it down. I'm still not sure where I can permanently hook that spring, but it's good enough for now. I also put back some of the rivets that had broken off and did some general cleaning up.

I've still got some kinks to work out. Apart from having to adapt the air box and a few other things I was expecting, I have to figure out how to make the kill switch work. The 600 had two wires coming off the CDI that connected to the kill switch. The XLT only has one wire coming from the CDI that, when grounded, kills the engine. I thought, "Hey! No problem. I'll just run a ground wire to one of the switch wires and connect the CDI wire to the other. Well, that didn't work because it turns out that that switch is grounded. I'm not sure exactly why or what I need to do to get it to work, but I do have something in mind that I'll try out tomorrow. The brakes just barely work. I don't know if I need more fluid or what. The steering was pretty bad, but luckily I have new carbides to install.

Carb Troubles
Wednesday, October 20, 2004, 08:56 PM
I haven't worked on it since I got the slides out. I ordered some new pilot jets and I was going to give the carbs a good cleaning and put them back together. I got one pilot jet out fine but the other two are very very stuck. I mangled them pretty good trying to get them out so I decided to take them to the engine shop to see if they could do it. They tried a little and then said i would cost more in labor than the carbs were worth. I figured I'd give it a shot so I got a spiral screw extractor but all that did was chew away more of the jet. Finally I left them at a different engine shop where the guy told me "Yeah, I've seen this before. I can get them out." Well, the next day I called him and he said the same thing as the first place. He might be able to get them out, but it would take many hours. He said he could get me some used carbs pretty cheaply - about $75 for the pair. I figure it's better to cut my losses here and get the replacements. They'll come with the right jets, so I can return two of the ones I bought and I was going to buy new slides anyway, so this isn't such a bad deal. The problem is it's pretty much zapping my hobby money so my poor Liquifire is going to have to wait.

Finally Out!
Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 08:36 PM
I finally got the last slide out today. After days of soaking it still wouldn't budge so I resorted to heat. I wish I'd done that in the first place because it popped loose pretty easily. I did some damage to the slide and a little to the carb body from prying so hard, but I think the slide is still okay and the body will work too. She's getting closer to running!

Still soaking, still stuck
Sunday, September 26, 2004, 08:14 PM
It's been soaking for days and still won't pop out! I'll let it soak some more I guess.

One more carb done
Wednesday, September 22, 2004, 06:55 AM
I finally got the slide out of the second carb. It only took 4 days of soaking and some brute force. After all that time, the dried up mouse poop still hadn't dissolved, so I had to chip that off with a screwdriver. I've got the final carb soaking now.

Sunday, September 19, 2004, 05:07 PM
I got one of the slides almost all the way out after soaking for a day and a half in lacquer thinner. I only got it as high up as I could pry it and now I'm trying to use the throttle cable to pull it out. It's not moving, so I stuck it back in the thinner.

Saturday, September 18, 2004, 12:33 AM
I haven't made any more progress on the carbs because I've been spending time on my troublesome Liquifire for the past few days. Tomorrow I'm going to get some lacquer thinner and soak the heck out of the stuck carbs since the carb cleaner is doing absolutely nothing.

Still Stuck
Sunday, September 12, 2004, 02:03 PM
I just cannot get those throttle slides out of the carbs. I've been soaking them for days and still nothing. I just tried prying it up from both the air box and engine sides and they just won't budge. I guess I'll have to try lacquer thinner.

Friday, September 10, 2004, 09:41 PM
I got her to spark! I took the CDI off and brought it inside and after a bunch of fiddling, I was able to get the plug with the broken wire out and soldered the wire back on. I also fixed the ignition coil wire just by wrapping it around the tab and crimping it. I plugged everything back in and nothing. Then I noticed the little button that gets pressed when the throttle is totally closed. I pressed that and she finally sparked. I'm very happy I was able to fix the wiring and also that I don't have to buy a new CDI.

I also got the two remaining carbs off, though the slides are still stuck. Man are they ever stuck. I took the fuel bowls off so I could soak them and use various solvents without worrying about damaging the floats. I'm using carb cleaner right now, but I'll move on to lacquer thinner if that doesn't work. The insides of the carbs are very clean, though #2 was just a little dirtier than the other. I'm anxious to get the carbs working because once I do I can try to fire her up!

Got A Seat
Friday, September 10, 2004, 09:34 PM

We went to Hibbing today to get plants for our front yard and we stopped off at Mohawk Salvage and I found a seat there. The amount of stuff they have is just incredible, and it's all kept indoors. I got a nice seat and tank with purple trim for $75. It's in great condition. The purple matches the pink (ugh) trim on the sled pretty well. The only problem is that I noticed it wasn't black when I set it on the sled. It's more of a dark navy. Oh well. It still looks cool.