96,97,98 triple/triple crank failures [Archive] - Snowmobile World : Your #1 Snowmobile Forum

: 96,97,98 triple/triple crank failures

01-03-2002, 09:50 AM
Anyone out there that had a crank failure on a 96,97,98 ski doo triple/triple please e-mail or respond to my posting. If you had any luck getting ski doo to stand behind their f@$k up plese share the info so others may benefit. I am a die hard devoted ski dooer, but my pride has definately been hurt and I am currently jaded towards my second love (Bombardier) at how she has disappointed me. Ski Doo definately had design flaws in the 96,97,98 Mach-1 and F-III triple/triples and they knew it. They sent out service bulletins to the dealers , but didn't recall the sleds or even send out service warnings to the owners of therse sleds. Worse yet when they blow up (not if, but when) they left tens of thousands of once satisfied dooers, hanging out to dry. I find this pretty ironic for a company reputed to be the industry leader to do something like this, they don't even give the replacement parts for free or even at a discounted price, so not only are they f@$#ing us customers, they are making money off of their own engineering screw ups. Enough bithching by me, it's time to hear the concensus of the masses. If we can get together enough people together, I will see what I can do to get Ski Doo to right their what harm their erroneous judgement has caused their reputation, and see if we can't all feel satified in their resolution :angry:

01-03-2002, 10:13 AM
I guess I am lucky then. I have had 9 triple-triple's 95-97 but after breakin I use synthetic oil at full injection rates. In fact my improved stock 1996 F-111 turns 10,350 rpm at it's designed peak, being an improver I premix oil-synthetic. How about Mike Houle dominating his F-111 Class and not blowing a triple for years. I do know it can happen, I bought a sled that had replaced under warranty at 120 miles. I wish you way better luck in the future! It sounds like Cat when the first Zr 600 twins came out- no recall to begin with but the dealer in West Yellowstone had 90 new engines on hand within a month of release, but customer knew nothing of the problem. Large companies will try to cut corners, we should be paying less for our sleds and parts because of our dollars strength over the Canucks, for our new Doo's.

01-03-2002, 02:33 PM
I just had my 96 Formula III 600 triple blow the bearing on the PTO side of the crank this past weekend, taking out the piston on that side too. *I started doing some research and it appears I'm not the only one!

Any recommendations out there from those that have gone through this? *

I want to get it fixed (especially since I've only put 20 miles on it personally since I bought it from another private party). *I'm hearing quotes anywhere from $800 on up to new sled prices.

Any recommendations on reputable place for service? I'm in SE Wisconsin (Kenosha County). *I'm more than willing to drive awhile if I can get it fixed and done RIGHT!


01-03-2002, 02:54 PM
A buddy of mine got a 97 Formula III 600 and his went to pieces last week, i mean pieces when we took it apart it was completly ruined, pistons, cylinders, and crank. ??? *He had 5500 kms on it.

01-03-2002, 03:37 PM
ive heard even some crank bearings on the99 triple's are questionable..i agree not good pr for ski-doo.

01-03-2002, 04:02 PM
http://www.snowmobileworld.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif *??? *:angry:
Bad news just in; called the shop and they finished tearing down my motor: crank is beyond salvage, bearings sucked up and chipped nikasil in two cylinders, two pistons shot, two intake boots melted.....$1700.00 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Damn am I proud to ride SKi Doo,I had to get towed back by a 98 polaris with 7800 miles that hasn&#39;t been through anything other than plugs and fluids. Who else can you throw em $6500.00 bucks for a machine thats good for 2500 miles and have say thank you for your business. but f#@k you thats your problem our triples are junk. Starting to make cat or polaris look real good.

01-04-2002, 06:33 AM
Yes, the FIII 600&#39;s were known for their bottom end bearing failures. *What I have been told from Skidoo techs was lack of oil getting into the bearings. *I run Amsoil racing oil in my &#39;97 FIII at stock oil settings. *This will give the engine extra oil since the Amsoil flows better than other oils. *It does smoke a lot though. *Just had the engine rebuilt after 5500 km. *Some of the bearings were rough even running Amsoil. *Engine probably would have grenaded in the next 1000 km. *Suggest running synthetic, and having engine rebuilt every 4000Km.

01-04-2002, 07:33 AM
Seen bad crank on 97 mach1 2 97 machzs, 1 98 formul;a 111700 and 1 96 formula111600. Between the cranks and the stators I agree something should have been done.

01-04-2002, 10:59 AM
Next time you get the engine rebuilt have the dealer make the oil jornals bigger buy drilling them out. *That will give the bearings more oil. *THat is the fix.

GC motorsports
01-04-2002, 12:26 PM
Frustrated or skidmarks..... *Email me at snowdesigns@earthlink.net. *I know of a triple crank for a couple hundred bucks at a local dealer in *East Central WI. *He stands behind it 100%..... It was there a few months ago and I almost bought it just to have. *Dont remember if it came out of a 98 mach 1 or Z, but I can find out if you want me to.b *It will save you a few hundred bucks instead of buying a new one.

01-04-2002, 08:53 PM
I owned a 96 F111 with 5600 miles on it, with absolutly no problems, the engine was bullet proof, and I ran it hard.

01-04-2002, 09:10 PM
My 96 F111 600 was bulletproof too untill the day the crank bearings went at 6995km/ about 4000 miles. took out one cylinder and piston too. http://www.snowmobileworld.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif

01-05-2002, 09:16 AM
I&#39;m sorry if if this posting hurts your feelings, but the whole point of it is for Doo triple owners to band together and try to get some help from ski doo. If your personal brand loyalty prevents you from sympathizing with Doo riders nationwide who have been wronged, then I&#39;d say shame on you.
We are all devout ski doo riders here, we spend tens of thousands of dollars dooing, we therefore expect that our purchases will be worhty of those hard earned dollars. So when sleds start blowing up with 1000-3000 miles on them (and were talking probably better than 75% of the 97/98 triples out there) we expect our loyalty to pay off and ski doo to stand behind their products and help us out.
So thats why our series of posts seems negative, it&#39;s not to bash the DOo, its to get to the bottom of this probleem collectively. So the more input we have regading this problem from those who have experienced it, the more knowledge we have regarding the extent of it. http://www.snowmobileworld.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif *???

01-05-2002, 11:15 AM
SkiDoo isn&#39;t alone in tripple crank bearing failures. I ride with a lot of pols tripples and they are experiencing the same conditions and are using the same remedies. I have a 95FIII 600 and at 2000miles did my own drilling on both ends of the case and now at 5500miles at teardown still using the original bearings. *:)

01-05-2002, 11:43 AM
Has anyone out there put alot of miles on one of these triples without bearing problems? My 98 FIII 600 has 4000 miles on it with no problems......yet?

01-05-2002, 05:18 PM
I had to replace the outer crank bearings on my wife&#39;s 98 formula z last year. *At the time it only had 2500miles on it. I wasn&#39;t very happy because it is expensive and takes time to do.

01-06-2002, 08:49 AM
I have a 98 Mach Z with 4600 miles and so far so good, no crank problems as of yet (knock on wood!). On the other hand I had a stator go after the first year and now it looks like my cdi box is on the fritz #&#!!$$$!!. Judging by the posts on 98 Skidoo electrical problems I am not alone! The good news (if you can call it that) is that while in the process of tracing the electrical problem (intermittently loses spark) the dealer discovered that my carb intake boots are cracked right through underneath! Looks like the engine is still alright - caught it just in time!

01-06-2002, 08:52 AM
Oops! Somehow a smiley face got in there???

01-06-2002, 10:41 AM
I smoked crank bearings in my 98 FIII 700 my first ride of last year and Doo would DOO nothing for me. Doesn&#39;t seem right.
I love the sled but with that support can&#39;t tell what I will buy next.
* Jemms

01-06-2002, 11:07 AM
Road this weekend with a 97 Formula 600. He didn&#39;t go 10yrd and fouled plugs. Rest of the day was great until he siezed up going about 45mph. I think he blew a crank.

01-06-2002, 11:34 AM
All of the 700 and 600 triples I ride with all got update notices to have bearings in mag end replaced and case drilled. Lots of them have over 10000 KM&#39;s on them now *with no issues. I have in my garage a brand new factory 700 bottom end, with updates, cases and all that was only $650.00 exchange. No I won&#39;t sell it as it is the basis for my improved grass motor for next summer.

01-06-2002, 11:40 AM
Is the remedy to drill the holes larger or to drill to the other side of the bearing? Has anyone seen the service bulletin? I am interested in what it says? ???

01-08-2002, 07:35 PM
Does anyone out there have copies of the service bulletin? If you could e-mail or fax me a copy of them I would really appreciate it.

01-08-2002, 08:06 PM
I cant belive theres so many of you that missed this service bulletin. *Most of your problems could have been avoided. *

I would call and talk to your dealer about it and see what they say. *Then call an other one just to double check. *Most failures are a result of a poor dealer.

01-08-2002, 08:12 PM
As for positive post i have seen many triples with 8000miles. *And during there life they seem to run top notch. *

I would still say despite the crank problems in the years mentioned that skidoo has one of the best triples in the biz. *

You have to remember one thing. *These triples are like factory race engines. *There compression is higher and ignition is advanced more then the twins. *There power is made at higher rpms. *Doos triples are designed to kill and somtimes it hinders the life of the engines. *I have owned a few triples and my friends mostly own triples and none of us have had a problem. *So now that bombardier has got this crank bearing problem out of the way i would suspect to see them get the same life span as a twin.

nick gehring
01-08-2002, 08:43 PM
This is gonna be a bad post. :angry: *Unfortunatly my uncle had a 97 Formula 3 600. *The sled was in mint shape with less than 3000 miles on. (I think, it wasn&#39;t much) *When we were driving and smelt a burning. *He stopped and it turned out to be a crank bearing. (Bearing wasn&#39;t getting enough oil) The sled was 1 1/2 years old. *Doo covered nothing! *Took sled to Robs in Johnson Creek WI and had them doo the work. * They drilled holes by the bearing to solve the problem. *Didn&#39;t work! *Last year the sled was missing on the top end. *So again the sled was taken to Robs. There they quoted new pistons, *cylinder, & crank. *Was gonna cost too much so he sold the sled in excellent shape to Rob for $700 US. *Crap outta luck. *Some have problems and some don&#39;t. *The guys that have good ones; *they are great sleds! http://www.snowmobileworld.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif

01-08-2002, 11:04 PM
I too have had troubles with the 96 fIII 600. *It cost $1100 to fix and ski-doo told us the same thing. a$$holes
I lost all faith in ski-don&#39;ts because they don&#39;t do anything about their problems.

good luck on your quest but personally I don&#39;t think it is one we will win. ??? *???

01-08-2002, 11:26 PM
hey you guys are all scaring me here ! when i bought my sled (96 FIII600) 1 month ago you all said it was a verry good one, now im afraid my crank is gonna die on me cause i have 1100km on it and the engine has never been open. took a compression test for fun and i got 125 on all 3. what signs should i check for to see if the crank i about to die ? or should i just open it ?

01-08-2002, 11:28 PM
Well what do you know. It happend to me too, 98 mach1 with 3000 miles. Bought it used from a dealer with 1800 miles on it maybe it happened before too. The dealer is checking it out any way. Blew the top and lower cases and the rist pin was in the pipe. The center cyl. still ran on 1 and 3 lol. Kinda sucks to see so many have had this happen. One place said that a long block was 1900 and the next said they were obsolete. Guess ill double check. If I get it fixed will the journals being driled really fix the problem????

01-08-2002, 11:33 PM
My buddy just spent 2400 on rebuilding his tripple!

01-09-2002, 07:27 AM
Just use amsoil syntetic and you wont have a problem and see if theres an update for your sled.

01-09-2002, 08:29 AM
First off let me point out that I do not have enough knowledge (or Ski Doo trivia) to be able to say that there is or isn&#39;t a problem with their triples. *I haven&#39;t been involved with the sport long so I have no idea.

However, what I can say is take what is said on this (or any) forum with a grain of salt. *There are a ton of smart people on here, and everybody has been kind and helpful to me so I&#39;m not saying that I don&#39;t listen/trust people on here...that is in no way what I mean. *What I do mean is that everybodys voice may not be being heard....people may be catching the title of this post and then saying "yeah, I know somebody that has happend to", or "yeah, I had/have one of those and seen that problem". *Other people that own those sleds and aren&#39;t having any problems may just skip this post because the topic doesn&#39;t pertain to them. *Who knows....there is no way to tell.

For example (if anybody follows ATV&#39;s), you may have heard that the 2001 Yamaha Raptors have quite a few problems. *Mainly transmission problems and a problem with the carburators falling off (that would be fun). *Anyway, this topic was addressed in a forum much like this one at atvconnection.com . *The title was "2001 Raptor problems please post" or something like that. *Well they too got about 3 pages worth of complaints on the Raptors and it seemed like 95% of the people that replied to that topic were indeed having those problems. *Well after reading that you pretty much would think that if you buy a Raptor there would be a 95% chance that you will be having problems with it. *Well, after talking to 3 different dealers around this area, none of them had seen any of these problems. *All of them were able to give me an approx. number of the Raptors that they have sold and they all gave me a few cases in which they did have to do some work under Warranty, but no tranny probs, and no carb probs. *

Does this mean that everybody on that forum was wrong? *NO, of course it doesn&#39;t. *However, you never know, you may be hearing more from the people with problems then from the people without.

I wasn&#39;t going to post on this topic because I have no knowledge of it, and I don&#39;t know any of the history behind it, but after I saw the Worried post by DanR I felt that I had to point this out to him. *I think that if there is any question in your mind, go talk to your dealer or local sled mechanic. *They can tell you how many of these instances they have seen and then you can sort of get an idea of the likeliness that it will happen to you. *For example if I asked my mechanic how many he has seen, and he says that he has seen 8 Mach Z&#39;s come in for crank problems I can say that the % is pretty high because there aren&#39;t a lot of them around here. *See what I mean?

Now, apart from what I was saying.....I too have had problems with my Mach Z. *The ring is the center cylinder let go last year (about 2500 miles on the sled). *Unfortunatly I bought the sled used last year so I don&#39;t know it&#39;s maintenance history, or if it was abused. *

Again, I just want to stress that I&#39;m not saying that anybody is wrong or right because I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THESE SLEDS. *Maybe 100% of the Mach Z&#39;s produced will have this problem....maybe 75%....maybe 50%....who knows, but we will never come up with the exact formula to say whether or not yours or mine, is his, or theirs, or anybodys will blow up. *

Oh yeah, I also know that the original point of this post was to get a bunch of people together to show ski-doo that there was a problem, and not to bash or scare other Ski-Doo triple owners. *I was just pointing the above out to the people who are scared that there machines may blow up.

Sorry for the long post.


01-09-2002, 08:58 AM
Well....just to put another little spin on the subject, I
too had some problems with my PTO bearing taking a $hit on
me at less then 1000 miles so I took it in the the dealer
and they fixed it while SkiDoo picked up the tab 100%. The
only thing I lost was some saddle time but lucky for me I
had a little SDoo 500 L/C also so I rode that while my 98
FIII 700 was getting fixed. When I got the sled back I was
only able to put another 350 miles on it till the snow left
and I was still worried about my crank so I tore into the
motor during the summer all the way down to the cases and
then took it to my local dealer to have the oil hole drilled
through the case on the PTO side to get more oil that side.
Well as they split the case they found out that when it was
rebuilt (by a different dealer!)) that It wasn&#39;t done the
way it should have been. So again I talked to SkiDoo and
they checked with the dealer and he backed me up so I got
the new crank that I should&#39;ve got the first time and AGAIN
SkiDoo picked up the tab for me. I didn&#39;t even get charged
for the work to drill the hole!!! http://www.snowmobileworld.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tounge.gif

01-09-2002, 11:34 AM
Well said Josh. *Thanks for the perspective.
Think I&#39;ll keep my 700tripple for awhile now. http://www.snowmobileworld.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif


01-09-2002, 07:18 PM
Even if we filled up 10 pages of posts with stories of crank bearing failures it would only account for maybe 5% of the total triples sold not even. *And there are a lot of twins with the same problems. *

So like i said before use a good oil like amsoil and you wont have this problem. *

If you use crap oil this kind of stuff can be expected and you will just have somthing else to post about.

nick gehring
01-09-2002, 07:27 PM
I posted before here about a bad 97 F3. *I&#39;m a die hard
Ski-Doo fan even, *but there were some probs with these 600 tripples. *But like Machzzzz1 said use synthetic oil. *I talked to my dealer and they recommend using the synthetic in the tripple cylinder sleds. ???

01-09-2002, 09:33 PM
One of my Mach Z had use synthetic oil right on the sled&#39;s oil tank, but they would stand behind the regular oil. I do not know who supplies oil for Doo, but Cat&#39;s is or at least was Leman&#39;s five years back. You could buy lemans conventional oil for half price. ;)

01-10-2002, 09:42 AM
Thanks PiranhaZ28, *i was just thinking the same, if mine has gotten this far without rebuild maybe im not the only one but i will look into it this summer.

01-10-2002, 12:11 PM
I had a 96 F3 last year with 1400 miles on it. The third cylinder went. The dealer said it was because the oil lines were leaking and they weren&#39;t getting enough oil. The lines hardened and cracked. Can&#39;t see them since they are under the bottom of the carbs. He drilled an extra oil hole for the third while he had it apart even though he said it was not a problem like on the 97&#39;s.
Cost me $1200. The oil lines were 85 cents each! :angry:

01-10-2002, 12:17 PM
on the 98 trips they have a recall call ski doo and find out
" oil aadjustmanton tripple pipe"
and voltage reg
if that helps they have noticed to prob just a bit late for a bunch of you

01-10-2002, 11:37 PM
Hi ya all! Just thought i&#39;d say a few words about the f-111 triples,i owned 96-600 and it was a hell of asled. I had fast pipes and afew clutch mods andthis thing would give mach z&#39;s fits. Anyhow ran it hard to 5800 kms with no trouble,sold it shortly after to a buddy and he got another 1000 km. then stator let go.He wanted more power so we installed a 780, although i don&#39;t know if it will have much more? I got the 600 on trade for labour and plan on rebuilding, the main concern with these engines is complete drilling the partial hole for lubrication on pto side to outer bearing.After this is done the cranks very seldom have a problem. p.s. somebody really does need to build a light weight triple,otherthan Yammi.

01-11-2002, 12:38 PM
I think ski-doo do knows about the probablem but its to late for warrenty, the only thing they might of done was update the cranks on the newer ski-doo tripples? It would cost them way to much much to fix all the wrecked cranks, ago hopefully they updated them, kind of sounds like the xlt&#39;s polaris knew there was a probablem but didn&#39;t updated them untell 97!

01-12-2002, 02:14 PM
Machzzzz1 are you a rep for Amsoil or something. You think that is the the cure to all your problems. I do run amsoil in my sled, the expensive Gold 2000 synthetic and it didn&#39;t make a damn bit of difference, and yes I had the injection rate richened up. You can defend Doo all you want and look for excuses but the simple fact is these motors were junk. I know you&#39;re happy with yours, the Mach-Z 800 triple is a great motor and they have had very few problems with that triple. The point of this posting was to get input from 600 & 700 triple owners for the years 96/97/98 because they are the ones with the problem.

01-13-2002, 11:26 PM
Definately some problems eh??? . What part of life dont have them? What ever it costs to fix will probably be cheaper than buying a new one. *
*Is it possable to over drill the journals.[/b][/quote]If you play learn to pay, They all run and they all break<table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">

01-14-2002, 12:13 PM
ParanhaZ28....Well said!!! It is definitely not the norm for a Doo triple to blow up. Not everyone that has a triple is going to have this problem. Frustrateddooer...if you don&#39;t want to ever have any problems with the sled you buy, you maybe should think about taking up pool or something to do in the winter. Everyone has a problem with a sled at some point. We ride the crap out of them then try to blame the manufacturer for the machine failing in some way. Very rare to get something for nothing. You don&#39;t need to use Amsoil in particular, but Doo does recommend using a synthetic in the triples. *Hope you get what you want.

01-16-2002, 01:15 PM
A quick follow-up on my FIII...

After the teardown, 2 bearings went out on the crank. *Need to replace the crank. *Ski-Doo has replacements that you get (through the dealer) when you send them yours. *Price for the crank clocked in around $530.

So, I&#39;m gonna give the go ahead for repairs today. *I&#39;m looking at an $1800 bill. *Crank, 3 pistons and related bits, 1 cylinder repair and a crapload of labor. *Ouch. *Easier to swallow though now that I see snow falling right now in SE WI. *

My understanding, as someone else mentioned, is the bearings were not getting enough oil. *Apparently the spacer is too big between 2 of them preventing the outer one from getting proper lube. *Ski-Doo had issued a "fix" in the past that called for drilling a hole in the case allowing oil to leak down to the bearing. *Apparently this fix has been withdrawn in favor of a different spacer and packed bearings. *I&#39;m interested in seeing the crank that comes back from them to see what is on that one.

Can&#39;t wait to get back out...

01-16-2002, 02:26 PM
Just did a friends 99 machz 4000 miles on it, crank worn out (all bearings) piston&#39;s slappen around in the cly&#39;s.
One crank and 3 pistons later he&#39;s back on the traill. Now using synthetic oil, maybe it will last longer we will see!

7c Wanna Be
01-16-2002, 10:09 PM
Time for a class action suit against ski-doo.Any company thats knowingly has a problem,and turns it&#39;s back on it&#39;s customers should be held accountable.I loved ski-doo f-lll&#39;s till I saw they were going through crank bearings like sparkplugs.

icbm mach 1
02-06-2002, 06:06 PM
Ithink someone should print off all this negative feedback and send it to ski-doo as I spent $1200 on my 97 mach 1 for crank failure{1800 miles}

02-08-2002, 09:30 PM
I have a 98 FIII 700 and took the outside pto bearing out 2 weekends ago. *The plastic keeper inside the bearing broke do to lack of oil. *Luckily as I was making a clutching change I heard the balls in the bearing hitting each other. *I was able to flip the engine upside down, split the case and pull the bearing off. *All I needed was a bearing ($45) and a seal ($28, rip off) and I could do the work myself.

The 700&#39;s and the 600&#39;s have the same bottom end so that is why you are seeing so many people complain about them - the magic number seems to be about 2000 miles.
There isn&#39;t enough oil getting to the outside pto bearing because the case sucks it towards the inside pto beraring.
There are a few options:
1) Drill large journals - but some have not had luck with this
2) Bombardier sells a tube of grease for an outrageous $50 that you can pack in the bearing. *They swear by it.
3)You could add an oil injection line to that side of the case - this isn&#39;t for the average joe.
4) Use steel cage bearings. *But this doesn&#39;t solve the oil issue and if there isn&#39;t enough oil then instead of burning the plastic cage, I think the steel one might &#39;lock&#39; and that could really jack up a case, crank, cylinder - you name it.

It boils down to an engineering flaw, but I am going to stick w/ Ski-Doo.

02-09-2002, 08:28 AM
Well my 97 F111 has 1942 miles on it and it is in mint shape and it also had a crank problem. *Took it to the dealer in Curtis Mi. * They took it apart and found out that it was the two bearings on the clutch side... *The plastic cages were melted into little balls.. *The service tech. told me that there was a common problem with the triples. *"lack of oil" Boy *I hate that word! *He *said that there was a service bullitin about it that said to drill a hole in the top half of the crank case, so that the oil could drip down to the crank bearings. *To make a long story short. *I talked to my case worker Gail @ Bombardier and she said that she would look into it...Well let me tell you they do not stand behind there products at all, *only in the first year .. *So out of my pocket came $709.98 for a new crank .. the new crank comes with a new case..And it is not drilled out..... It is all back in the sled now and ready to hit the trails, now all we need is snow in the U.P.!!!! * *Tim