Indy Project Sled - Wide Front-End Kit

Nov. 01, 2005 By ORC STAFF

 

Sno-Cross IFS Kit

Cost: About $100 (US)
Risks: Minor-to-none
Benefits: Immensely improved handling
Tools Required: Sockets, wrenches, basic tools
Parts Required: Polaris Sno-Cross IFS kit
Mechanical Skill Required: Average "shade-tree" mechanical skills

Another Polaris accessory that I highly recommend. This kit will allow you to extend you ski stance to a little over 40 inches and includes "beefier" components, including a stiffer swaybar. When installed on older, narrower- stance Indys, it will yeild a vast handling improvement. It's not a terribly easy kit to install, mainly because of the location of the inner radius rod bolts, but it's not a killer by any stretch of the imagination.

Start by removing the skis and trailing arms. You can leave the spindles in the trailing arms, no reason to separate them. Take the tie rod, radius rods, lower shock mount and trailing arm mount bolt off each side and lay the trailing arm/ski assembly aside. A good handling tip that is apropos here is to move the shocks from the the stock inner mount location to the outter location [check this! might be backwards!], this gives slightly more damping in rough situations at the expense of a slightly stiffer ride in other situations - a plus if you are an aggresive rider.

You can remove the steering tie rods from inside the engine compartment now, but you'll have to remove the pipe first. If you have a skidplate, might as well remove it now too, you'll have to in order to get at the inner radius rod bolts.

Next, drill out the rivets holding the swaybar bushings to the tunnel and remove them. Then pound out the old swaybar. The stock swaybar is pretty light on older 500s and 400s and will come out really easily.

Then, saving the hardest part of the disassembly for last, take out those hard-to-reach inner radius rod bolts and remove the radius rods.

Next, you'll have to drill out the swaybar bushings, both the ones in the bulkhead and the ones in the trailing arms to 5/8 of an inch. Be careful, the plastic is brittle and will break easily. You might want to just forget about drilling and get new bushings from your dealer. If you decide to try and drill, try drilling with progressively larger bits until you get to 5/8. If you're careful, you shouldn't have to remove the inner busings from the bulkhead.

Now you can pound the new swaybar into place. As easy as the old one came out, that's how hard the new one will be to get in. It's the price you'll pay for flatter cornering. If you pound too hard, you'll mangle the end of the swaybar and end up having to file it to get it back into the trailing arm bushing, so use care. Not that I know anyone who has done that. Then put the bushings back in place and rivet them down.

Next step it to put the rod ends on the new radius rods and steering tie rods. Or, a better alternative if you have never changed those rod ends, is to replace them with shiny, new teflon-coated rod ends. Kinda spendy, but worth it in the long-run. If you decide to use the old ends, use a little care and a lot of penetrant to get them off.

After you have inserted the new rod ends in the rods (but not tightened them, they need adjustment after installation) you can begin bolting everything back together. It gets to be a lot like a chinese puzzle, as in: which piece goes where first?, but it does all fit back together. You'll find a lot of tension in the trailing arm mount bolt if you put the radius rods back on first, but you'll have a difficult time getting the radius rods lined up if you mount the trailing arm first. Check the bushings and all the bolts, now is a good time to replace them. I put the SnowTech bushing kit in and highly recommend it, the suspension moves much more freely with the dehlrin bushings. Another "kinda spendy" item that's well worth the money.

Once everything is back together, it's time to adjust the camber of the spindles and the steering. The Polaris manual contains complete, detailed instructions on this, so I won't repeat them here. I will editorialize again for a moment: take the time to do it right! You will reap the rewards of a well-done alignment job on the trail, when your sled is tracking perfectly straight down the trail and carving corners like a razor. Most sleds I've riden straight from the deal are not aligned well. But after all, no one will care for your sled the way you will. If your IFS was never aligned perfectly to begin with, adding the snowcross kit and carefully aligning it will give you a sled that handles better than you ever dreamed possible. You *will* be happy with this mod, especially if you have been running the stock 36 inch stance.

 


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