Re: what to look for when buying a used sled??
It's actually pretty damn tought to know when a clutch is ready to let go. I've had clutches go a couple thousand miles that I thought
were wasted. The only thing, short of disassembly of the clutch, is to look for any external cracks and discoloration from overheating.
After a test drive, feel the clutches. If they are too hot to touch then something is wrong. It may be as simple as unaligned clutches,
but it may indicate future problems.
Before even taking the time to ride the sled you want to buy, go over it visually with a fine tooth comb. Look for cracks and excessive
wear in the track. While you're under there look at the suspension for obvious defects. Put the rear of the sled on a stand or roll it on
its side..check the bogie wheels for good movement without any grinding noises. Reach up front to the drive axle and see if you can
get any fore and aft movement- any movement is bad.
Look under the front end for bent tie rods and radius rods. Center the handle bars and walk around the front of the machine. Are the
skis pointed straight ahead? Don't worry about a little slop in the handle bars, all machines get this. However, check all the tie rod
ends, including those you can reach inside the tub. Looseness is OK, but if you can make the ball hop up and down in socket the
tie rod end is ready to be replaced.
Under the cowling. Pull the spark plugs and look at them. They should be a nice brown to black color. Any lighter than that may
suggest that the seller was running it too lean. Take along a compression guage and know how to use it. Compression should be in
the 120 lb range for any healthy engine. Pull the belt off. Without the plugs in, pull the pull cord a couple times. Any weird rattling can
indicate crank problems, just make sure the noise isn't coming from the natural action of the clutch.
Take it for a test drive. Bogging down can indicate clutch or carb problems. However, most folks don't know jetting from their butt, so
it could be a jetting induced bog. Test all the normal driving functions listening for any unusual noises.
As with any vehicle, the seller is getting rid of it for a reason. Some machines are just worn out and the guy is getting rid of it rather
than fix it. Some just don't get ridden enough to justify owning them, but they were stored poorly and have serious hidden problems.
If you can't buy what you want, BUILD IT!!