Ask the Snowman: January 2009 Reader Questions

Snowmobile Tech Q&A

Jan. 05, 2009 By Tony Severenuk
Comment: I have a small coolant leak in a heat exchanger on a 1998 ZR500, is it ok to use Bars Leak to fix the problem?

That Bars stuff might be good to get you home, but if all the coolant leaks outta that motor you're looking at more then $1,000 to get it fixed plus the time to get towed to the shop.

Truth be told it might very well work and hold for a while, but what if it gives out on one of those -30 days when you're 30 miles from home?
If it's from a pulled stud I would spend the extra time it takes to take it to a machine shop or a welder that can do aluminum and have them clean it up and tack it properly. If it's leaking because of something else I would make sure to do what it takes to fix it properly.

Comment: I purchased a 2004 ski doo legend 600 sdi. The dealer tells me the car ports need replacing. What cauces these to deteriate and
what would the long term effects be if it wasn't diagnoised early?

I don't know what the car ports are to be it possible  that he said exhaust ports, in which I'm assuming he means the exhaust
valves?  There are the black knobs that are sticking out of the motor by where the   exhaust pipe mounts to the cylinders....these things have little  guillotines that slide up and down as your driving to change how the  motor works. Over the course of a few years they tend to get gummed up  with carbon and they need to be taken out and cleaned. Using cheaper  oil usually means that this has to be done more regularly. Normally  they don't need to be replaced though.

Is it possible that he's referring to something else? Carb boots maybe?

...after some email communication the sledder came back with the following:
Yes that is what they are telling me. That these rubber seals over time will crystallize and air will by pass causing the engine to run lean and rough
Not only that, but if it runs lean enough it can actually burn holes in the pistons...nasty stuff really. Get them changed!

Comment: I have no lights or tach on a 2000 phazer 500 i change the regulator and recitifer do you think it could be a cdi or a stator>>>

Most likely it's a a pinched wire that's connecting the 12+ directly to ground.  Find how what wire is the 12v + wire on the will be one of the ones that goes into the voltage regulator..I'm not sure with yammies but on a ski-doo's and polaris it's a yellow wire.....take an ohm meter and measure from  the wires going into the voltage regulator to the chassis or the motor....if it shows zero ohms then that means that there is a connection from the power to the ground which would take out all of your 12v power.  Unplug the main wiring harness to the motor and repeat...if it now shows no resistance then your stator is probably fried (I doubt this is the case though)....if it shows that 12v and the chassis are still connected then there is probably a pinched wire somewhere.....check under the seat, in the wires under the handle bar pad...another thing that can happen is that the filament some of the lights can break off sometimes and touch one side of the lights to the other side with no resistance, which would take out all of the 12 volt stuff.

Usually the circuit that runs the lights is totally separate from the one that runs the ignition, so I can't see how it would be the CDI.


If you have an account with the Polaris website then you can click on and at the bottom click >Riders Guide> Parts...this will let you search on many different Polaris vehicles and see which parts were used to build them (including all the carb setting).
If you don't have an account with the Polaris website then you can try other online microfiche'

Comment: I have a 07 T 660 arctic cat that keeps blowing fuses when I put on the high beams on,whats going on!

Try pulling the headlights out of the machine and check to see if the filament has broken on one of them...I've seen where the filament breaks and creates a short in the bulbs...either that or you have a pinched wire somewhere....most likely under the handle bar pad.

Comment: I have a question on a 92 yamaha oviation 340- when i apply brake to stop the sled wants to keep going the track doesn't stop and it will stall when i stop i'm assuming something with clutch can u help me out thanks

If you lift up the rear end of the sled and give it some gas can you see if the clutches will shift in and out smoothly when you apply/let go of the gas? Chances are that the primary clutch is getting hung up and won't shift back out. If that's the case you'll have to have the  clutches serviced to fix the problem.

Comment: Just bought 2005 ski-doo mxz600X - first ride tail light burned out and then hand-warmers quit - so would like to know if bulb replaced if this solves the problem? or are there fuses for warmers?

Sound to me that your voltage regulator is starting to wear out and that's causing to much power to get to the accessories on the sled. Try checking the voltage out of the voltage regulator and see if it's getting over 14 volts when you rev the sled up. If it's getting higher then that it could be burning stuff out.
Another option might be that the relays under the hood are starting to wear out. This is a common problem on 'Doo sleds. The relays allow the lights and stuff to not come on until the engine RPM gets a little higher, making it easier to start the sled.

Comment: My daughter took a snowmobile safety course and was told that when warming up a snowmobile, you are suppose to use the throttle and move it a few inches while you are warming it up. Have you ever heard of this? Do you agree with the instructors?

I think what they are saying I to let the engine warm up first...about 2 minutes of idling should accomplish this....then to warm up the belt before riding the sled should travel with minimal resistance for a few revolutions. Personally I hike up the rear of sled and then give it a shot of gas to let the track spin around a few times. If you give it a serious shot of gas on a cold belt, it burns an hour glass shape into the belt, ruining it.

Comment: I just purchased a 1999 Formula III 700 cc and it has a double seater on it and I want to put back on the original single seat but can't find out how. Wheres the release bolt or lever. I bought it from a dealer who told me it was easy to change but not how. Any help, Please and thank you.

Usually there are two bolts at the back of the seat that hold the seat down. Lift the tail flap up and look inside the tunnel at the rear of the sled. If you take those bolts out you can usually lift the back of the seat up and then pull the sled back off the sled.

Comment: Hi, i have a 04 arctic cat f5 firecat and i am looking at getting a more aggrresive track the stock i inch just doesnt grip like i need it too. im not a big fan of studs, i would like your recomendation of wat kind of non studded track i should get. thanx

The biggest hiccup I see is that narrow width of the Firecat is the narrow tunnel and the fact that you have to get a 13.5"" track takes a lot of options out of the mix. I'm an aggressive trail rider who likes to get off trail a  lot too and my personal favorite is the Campolast Ice Ripper. It's available in 1.25"" lugs and it has 244 studs already embedded in the track.

The biggest track I could find for your Firecat is available from Arctic Cat, part 1602-503 128-in. x 1.375-in which can be found in

-ts Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!