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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2000, 08:27 PM
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modifying a 550 Arctic Cat

Here's one for you sledheads. I would like to modify my wife's '95 Cougar MC to keep her off my '97 Powder Special!
I was wondering if 580 jugs, pistons and heads would bolt on to the bottom end of the 550. The case, intake and exhaust manifolds look the same, would just have to rejet the mikunis. Would be nice to have a few more ponies without buying a new sled.
Also, the rear suspension of the Cougar is very stiff compared to the Powder. Would a rear shock/spring from a fasttrack eqipped sled bolt in to improve ride, or would I have to install a complete skidframe?
Thanx for any advice!
Gotta love that two stroke smoke!!

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2000, 11:31 PM
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Re: modifying a 550 Arctic Cat

by the time you buy a new top end. you could have saved money buying a used whole motor. then you'd get exactly what you wanted without any guesswork.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-01-2000, 04:41 AM
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Re: modifying a 550 Arctic Cat

if you goe the used motor route,MAKE sure the cylinders are in good shape,hopefully they will let you take the heads off to take a look around inside. if they are serious about selling and have nothing to hide they will let you do it,just be sure to flash the cash first.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-05-2000, 06:27 AM
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Re: modifying a 550 Arctic Cat

When I owned my 95 Cougar this is what I did to keep it reliable and help it perform better. 96 studs in the track, Erlandson clutch kit, jet down on the mains 2-3 sizes from stock and also a set of SLP ultra-lite skiis. That sled was very dependable, would get 18-20 mpg and would beat up on XLT's all day long. If you want a pipe for it, the only place that sells one is Aaen(sp?). For a softer ride and better hole shot move the rear scissors in the skid frame up to the furthest hole forward. If I were you I would try some of these smaller changes first.

post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2000, 10:39 PM
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Re: modifying a 550 Arctic Cat

Thanx for the info, but the studs won't help here in BC! I've got a 136" X 1.4" rubber paddled track and plastic ski skins. I need more power to get more track speed from the longtrack in the deep powder. As for moving the scissors forward, will that help get the weight distributed toward the back? I need this to get the weight off the skiis for hillclimbing.
We love the sled for the awesome fuel economy (twice the mileage of my '97 Powder Special 580), and very reliable too. Two years ago, on the first ride of the season, the 550 was acting like a carb switch was buggering up. It would hesitate and buck once in a while. After my wife told me of this (40 miles down the trail), I looked under the hood to find the top of one carb completely unscrewed!
I must have left it loose after getting it ready for the season! Not a thing happened. I thought for sure with it would have leaned out and burned a piston. It's a very reliable machine and I should leave the engine stock, but need some softer rear suspension.

post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2000, 10:39 PM
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Re: modifying a 550 Arctic Cat

If you want more ski lift(less weight on front end) you can lengthen the front limiter strap. This puts more pressure on the middle of the sled and acts like a pivot point when accelerating, transfering more weight to the back of the sled.
Moving the rear scissor does soften the ride and also absorbs some of the weight transfer, thus giving beter traction and acceleration. Another thing you can do to get better acceleration is to lower your gear ratio. Your sled probably has the 20t on top and 39t on bottom. You could try a 19t on top instead.

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