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Have your drive shaft bearings failed on your Cat? Also, please comment after voting about year/mod

  • Failed bearing on right side (chaincase side).

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we had a speedo side bearing fail on my friends 01 TCAT. sent his track in 20 differant directions in 20 differant pieces. we laugh about it now because just days before his speedo started to fail and we did nothing about it, our own faults for not knowing.

he was doing triple digits (no pun intended) when this happened, lucky he was able to control the sled.

after that incident i checked my driveshaft bearings every season on my 01 Mach Z, just because it bothered me so much if i did not check them....
 

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Does anybody have the (quality)aftermarket bearing numbers available, so they could be in hand for the pending replacement? 99 ZL500

thanks
 

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I always kept the speed side greased well.

I went though this fall and replaced all the bearings in the sled.

The speedo side bearing was ready to go...very course and gravely when turned by hand...

~3400 miles
 

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Replaced a speedo side bearing on late 80's Jag 440 for a friend who who bought it with the drive shaft flopping around inside the track. He never picked up the sled and it is still in my barn.

Had the speedo quit on my 800 ZRT while a friend was using it during a Keweenaw trip. This was a
warning to me that the drive shaft bearing was about to fail.
We continued our trip slowly and made it back to the hotel without the shaft falling out.
On teardown some of the balls had already fallen out of the bearing housing. Failure was imminent.
 

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The bearing needed to be "pulled" off because it was so damaged.

The facts:
-1,700mi on the bearings
-Greased every 200-300mi
-Sled cleaned and lubed religiously etc.etc.etc.etc
-These were off a touring sled used occasionally!!!!!!!!

It is obvious that the bearings received minimal grease during injection and that Arctic Cats design is inferior in keeping moisture out.

Sure the bearings themselves are only a few bucks however, the involved labor is ridiculous.

I would rate this horrible engineering f'up right up there with the awesome
"Magnetic carb safety switches" that cause havoc on every Cat sled.

It really makes me sick!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Oh,
I forgot to add that because of the crappy bearing quality and assembly design my drive shaft sheared off and nearly sent me hopelessly into a death ride.
(I had no brakes because they are attached to the upper shaft, which is attached to the drive chain, which is attached to the drive shaft that was sheared off!!!)

The $10.00 bearing almost caused a hospital visit and did result in another $300.00+ in parts.
i.e. additional bearings, shaft, drivers, lower sprocket, etc.... and a weekend of BS!!!!

On the positive side of things I was able to clean the entire underside of my tunnel and the entire inside of my chain case for no good f'n reason!!!!
 

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I've never had a bearing failure on either of our "new" Cats with 16M-17M miles between them. I can't remember the last time I had a bearing go out on one of our Polaris machines. We do run in a lot of salt/sea ice conditions though so try to keep track of lubrication and inspection on a regular basis. Water can get in on either design. It's important to get it out of there so it doesn't sit long. I think there may be an advantage for machines which get used many days of the week and hardly ever sit for an entire week without being run. Perhaps those bearing fail based on irregular use more than miles or hard use.
 

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its been common knowledge to replace the stock CAT bearing with a NTN BLUE-SIDED SEALED RACING BEARING.......all cat bearinngs fail at about 3000 miles religiously.....i had many fail until i learned from racers that they were not even running these bearings.....even a brand new machine i take em out before 1 mile....the sealed ones don't need greased all the time either....they go at about 10,000 miles......bad vendor
 

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I've actually been very fortunate with the bearings on my sled. Last year while riding without enough snow, I hit a nasty water bar that did some damage to my sled that I was unaware of. Shortly after my speedo quit working. A couple hundred miles later the sled started to make a grinding noise, which I feared could be the bearing. I tipped the sled to take a look, and discovered that my tunnel & bulkhead was bent so bad that the bearing on the speedo side was bent at at least a 10 degree angle from vertical, maybe more. The bearing survived at least 200 miles like this, and could have potentially gone longer, though I certainly wasn't taking any chances.

I bought a new sled, but in the very near future I'll be taking the old sled apart to straighten and repair the tunnel & bulkhead and replace the bearings.
 

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I've got the driveshaft out and inspected the bearings. Not surprisingly, the speedo side bearing is shot, but the chaincase side bearing is like brand new.

Upon closer inspection of the speedo side bearing, it's no wonder that it's shot. The quality control on these is obviously garbage. It's clear from these pictures that the center hole in the inner race isn't even centered properly! It's off by roughly 1/16", which is a massive flaw in something like a bearing that needs to have tolerances within a couple thousands. You can see from the second pic that the back side is centered, which means that hole was machined crooked.
 

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I've got the driveshaft out and inspected the bearings. Not surprisingly, the speedo side bearing is shot, but the chaincase side bearing is like brand new.

Upon closer inspection of the speedo side bearing, it's no wonder that it's shot. The quality control on these is obviously garbage. It's clear from these pictures that the center hole in the inner race isn't even centered properly! It's off by roughly 1/16", which is a massive flaw in something like a bearing that needs to have tolerances within a couple thousands. You can see from the second pic that the back side is centered, which means that hole was machined crooked.[/b]

there is a collar that "cams " itself tight on the driveshaft when turned on that eccentric (sp?)dia of the bearing . that is why there is an offset
 

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Oh. I guess I'll have to look at the collar to see what its offset looks like.

Do the aftermarket bearings have this collar? Everywhere I look calls out the same part number for both drive shaft bearings, but I don't recall seeing this kind of offset on the chaincase side bearing.
 

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The chaincase side bearing on my ZR has the offset but no lock collar. The speedo side has the offset and collar. The bearings look identical and the different cat part numbers may just be the inclusion of the collar in one and not the other. It's pretty easy to put together. Did you get that bearing off of the shaft yet Jim?
 

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The chaincase side bearing on my ZR has the offset but no lock collar. The speedo side has the offset and collar. The bearings look identical and the different cat part numbers may just be the inclusion of the collar in one and not the other. It's pretty easy to put together. Did you get that bearing off of the shaft yet Jim?[/b]
Yeah. Once I loosened the plug on the lock collar my puller was able to get it off. I didn't realize that the bearing and lock collar were attached... I thought that collar was just there to prevent the bearing from going too far down the shaft.

I was indeed under the impression that aside from the lock collar that the bearings were identical, except that snofrog mentioned that the bearing on the speedo side was intentionally oblong. I did not notice that the gear-side bearing was oblong, so I'm back to wondering if I can (or should) use the same bearing for both applications.
 

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Yeah. Once I loosened the plug on the lock collar my puller was able to get it off. I didn't realize that the bearing and lock collar were attached... I thought that collar was just there to prevent the bearing from going too far down the shaft.

I was indeed under the impression that aside from the lock collar that the bearings were identical, except that snofrog mentioned that the bearing on the speedo side was intentionally oblong. I did not notice that the gear-side bearing was oblong, so I'm back to wondering if I can (or should) use the same bearing for both applications.[/b]
You can use the same bearing. You do not use the locking collars on the bearings in the chaincase. The PTO end bearing (speedo side) can use the eccentric locking collar bearing, or the integral collar bearing with set screws. Either type will work as long as the dimensions, inner and outer diameters and width, are the same.
 

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correct me if I`m wrong here but the bearing shown has the 4 holes in it for grease ie the speedometer side . there should be no holes in the chaincase side[/b]
You're correct. The bearing on the chaincase side is a sealed bearing.

I'm going to head to the local Napa today and see what they've got for bearings. If they don't have good quality (Timken or NTN) bearings that'll work, I'll order the NTNs from Hiperf.
 

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Oh wow I hear scrunching sounds when I drive my 98 Cougar. I surf around the net and I come to this discussion. It sounds like what I'm experiencing is bearings going. Is there other problems which mimic bearing failure? I've basicly parked the sled for now. Repair forthcoming. Things get very expensive very fast.
 
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