Ask the SnowMan: Reader Questions Answered

Feb. 03, 2009 By Tony Severenuk

Via email...

Q:I have a very nice 1984 Polaris Indy Trail that was my grandfather's sled. It only has about 1000 miles on it and it is in great condittion. I mention that because I don't want to sacrifice it to a total "butcher" job. I also have a 1998 SRX 600 triple with the Ohlin shocks. I am curious about taking the suspension from the Yamaha and installing it in the Polaris. The purpose would be to upgrade the Polaris a bit and make it a trail sled again that my kids could ride with more comfort. I understand that I will have to make some sacrifices and make modifications to the Polaris. I am just curious how feasable this project is? If we can get the Polaris back on the trail and out of storage it would be great!

A: You can get a lot of sled for $1500 now, and as such it's not worth it (financially wise) to be putting money into an older machine like that. If you want to keep it for sentimental reasons I would leave it as is and let the kids enjoy it as your Grandfather would have. With that said, if you want to upgrade the sled it's easiest to throw an Xtra-10 skid into it...I've done this myself and it wasn't to bad of a job...Here is an article at that shows how to accomplish this.. it goes though the whole procedure with a detailed description as to what adjustment affect which part of your throttle response.


Q: We have a 2001 ski doo mxz 700 x....last week the sled lost all lights, the hand warmers do not work,nor does the tack. We changed the voltage regulator and that wasn't the problem. Checked the bulbs. All are fine. Do you have any ideas what could be the malfunction? I am desperate for some answers. Please help this skidoodlegurl in need

A buddy of mine had this happen on the same sled as yours and it's an easy fix. Doo uses small relays to control when the lights and stuff can get power...once the engine spins over 600 rpm the relays are told to close and then power gets distributed to all this stuff.... if those relays fail (and they do) you loose all juice to the sled except to the ignition module. Replacements are about $30 from the SKI-DOO dealer, or $8 at NAPA.

Note: She wrote back and let us know that she had taken it to a garage and they removed the stator and found it to be soaked in oil, the crank seals were bad and the sled was leaking oil into the housing shorting out the coil. Note to self, before checking the relay make sure there is 12 volts going into the system at the voltage regulator.


QI have a leak in the tunnel heat exchanger on an Artic Cat 2000, 1000 cc snowmobile. Please recomend a repair strategy, is it worth while having the exchanger welded or do I need purchase a new bulkhead ( I am told this is the only way to get a new tunnel heat exchanger) If welding is a reliable repair does the bulkhead have to be removed which would mean a ton of work and removals? What models would have the same heat exchanger or are they unique to the model.

A:Depends on the leak...I'm assuming that the track has thrown a stud into it and poked a hole or two into it....personally I would drain the coolant, pull the rear suspension and track out of the buggy and then take it to a machine shop and get them to weld it tunnels and bulkhead are a lot of work, even for experienced guys.


Q: My 2000 yamaha SXR 700 runs with the choke on, but stalls with choke off .Do the carb's need cleaning or is it something else?

A: 99% of the time this is because of plugged passages in the carbs...the idle passage is plugged and the sled is unable to suck enough fuel at it so it leans out and dies. I would pull the carbs out, drain the float bowls and start cleaning particular attention to the pilot jet, which is beside the main jet in the bottom of the'll see them when you pull the float bowls off.


Q: Comment: I have a 1976 scorpion whip that is in mint condition, but the track is ripped. Having a real hard time finding out if there is a possible way to fix or find another track that will fit.

A:I have to admit that I'm not up to date on the older Scorpion models but I would suggest checking with the guys at Al's as they would know what track would fit that model. I also noticed a few folks selling tracks for that sled and year at


Q: i have a yamaha phaser 11 how do i synchronize the carbs?

A: The easiest way is to take the airbox off and put your fingers inside the carbs. Open the throttle a bit and make sure that both slides start to lift at the same time and if they don't then you need adjust so them so they do. This is done by loosening the nut on the top of the slide and lenghtening or shortening the cables then tighten the retaining nut to hold the adjustment in place.


Q: I have a 00 Polaris RMk 700. All the bulbs burnt out. Replaced regulator & bulbs. Worked fine until I brought RPMs up. Burnt out all the bulbs but tail light again. Any ideas? Thanks in advance. Jeff

A:That is very symptmatic of the voltage regulator. Did you make sure the surface you're mounting it to is nice and clean? It's not supposed to have anything between the reg and the chassis. If not take it off, clean and re-install. Hate to say this but sometimes even new ones are bad. I would try a 2nd unit and see what happens.


Q: I have a 1994 Polaris indy special. i rode it last weekend and i went about 280 miles and went through 5 quarts of oil. i pretty sure thats not normal. there is no blue smoke so im guessing its leaking so i replaced the lines and it didnt help. and there is no crack or whole in the holding tank so i was wondering if u could give me an idea and where to go form here?

A: Ryan: The bigger question is how many tanks of fuel did you go though? Those vintage of Polaris sleds us about 40 parts gas to one part oil, which roughly translates to a quart of oil to every tank of gas. That said though I doubt you used more then 52 gallons of gas on that trip.

As a quick test there is a brass bleeder screw on the oil pump that's used to get rid of air in the system...make sure the srew is still there and that it's not loose and leaking oil.

First thing to check is the oil pump is either not adjusted right or that the spring on it is not returning the lever on the oil pump to the proper setting. The polais oil pumps have a nick on the lever and a nick on the pump that should line up when your thumb is off the throttle. If this is set to too rich then you'll be using more oil then you should. If they line up the hold the thottle wide open and then let go of it while watching the oil pump. The oil pump should immediately return to the starting position. If it does not then there is likely a problem with the spring that's supposed to return the lever to the closed position.

Q:Can anyone tell me where a relay plug-in goes for a 2000 skidoo 700 summit. The sled has no lights hand warmers tack etc. I have asked all dealers here and got a different answer everytime and still can not find the relay. any suggestions? Thanks Teri

A:I don't remember exactly where it is, but they are usually tied to the frame, above the belt area, with black zip ties. They look like little black boxes, 3/4 square.



Q:I have a 2004 Carbuerated ZR900. I can't get the machine started, if I use starting fluid, it runs until the fluid burns off. I've tried all choke positions, etc. I am going to check the fuel filter- other than that and the fuel pump, any suggestions

A: Did it just quit on the trail on you or can you not get it started for the 1st of the season? One thing you can try is to take your air compressor, hold your hand over the tank sealing it and blow air into the tank. This will push the fuel through the fuel pump to the carbs. Now try and start the machine.....sometimes once the fuel gets into fuel pump and up into the carbs the system will work fine after that. If it starts and dies out shortly afterwards it sounds like there is a problem with the fuel pump. Either the diaphram has dried out and needs to be replaced or there is a problem with the pulse like that goes from the crank case to the fuel pump. Sometimes these lines collapse under the vacum or they have residual oil in them from last season.


Q:I have 2 03 viper 700 snowmobiles and every time i take them out they seem to overheat. They both have rear heat exchanges is they any fix to stop them from over heating

A:Any chance you're driving on hard pack or icy trails all the time? Does this happen when you have to take the road for a mile between trails? Under these situations it's normal for a sled to overheat and the fact that both of them do it makes it sound like it's an environmental issue rather then with the sleds. The heat exchangers need snow thrown on them to keep the engine cool and if you're driving somewhere with a little bit of snow then they have a very hard time keeping cool. One thing you could try is to try and get any air out of the cooling system that might be in there. To do this runs the sleds a bit so they warm up and then point them up hill on a steep angle. Let them just sit there and idle for a while and if there is any air in the heat exchangers it should work itself out of the system. After this is done you let the sleds sit and cool down and top up the coolant.


Q:I have a 2001 800 RMK SC with Fox shocks. I weigh about 210 lbs. with all my gear. When i ride fairly aggressive for a few minutes and stop, my rear suspension is sagging about 4 inchs, I can lift it up and it drops right back down again. I had the rear shock rebuilt and still does it. My old, which was new at the time, 99 AC ZR 600 did the exact same thing after riding hard. When they cool down or are just sitting in the driveway they are at full stance.Any ideas ? I think I need a set of heavier springs in the rear. Would you know where I could find them ? Thanks for your time

A:Sag in is totally normal and it will be noticeably more once the shocks are warm and the track has a few miles on it. This is typically called "drop out" which allows the suspension to keep in contact on the ground as you go across holes in the trail. The amount of sag differs for each sled and the suspensions that are with them. I don't think 4" is unreasonable with the sled that you're driving as even the stock XC's call for 3" of sag when the rider sits on it. Heavier springs are available from your Polaris dealer if you would like to switch them out though.


Q: I have a 91' Arctic Cat Lynx and my headlights and taillight dont work. We think its the voltage regulator and i was wondering if you knew a way to bypass it?

Usually the voltage reg mounted on the tunnel by the foot wells and if memory serves most kitty regs have 2 wires going into it. The easiest way to check it is to *IDLE* the sled and then unplug the wires from the reg for a *brief* moment.

Note that older sleds it's typical for corrosion to have rusted the contacts from the motor to the main wiring harness of the sled. This connector can usually be found by the pull start housing. To fix disconnect them, spary with contact cleaner and use a little wire bush in there if possible. Spray with contact cleaner again and then reassemble. If this fixes the problem then split the connector and add some dielectric grease to the connectors and reassemble. Newsletter
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