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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all

I am new to this forum and just got back into riding this winter. I ran when I was younger then lif, kids, work and all those other fun things came around and I stopped riding. Now, the kids are gone and I have the wife into riding so all is well :D

Now, I bought two sleds this year. One is a 93 550 EXT and the other is a 93 580Z. The are in mint shape for their age. I had the clutches rebuilt,arb's all cleaned up and a general maintenance done on both sleds. They run perfect for my purposes and the have not let me down. I did not have the shocks rebuilt.

I really have no desire, right now, to throw snow in the air and have my nose sticking out of the back of my head while running 150mph through a field. 60-70 mph is fast enough for me. So these sleds have been super!

My question is more a request for advice than anything. These sleds obviously do not have the suspension that the newer sleds do. That is my only regret. What I would like some feedback on is whether or not I should buy two good newer sleds or put some money into these sleds. I was thinking or hoping I could somehow get the suspension tuned or upgraded so my spine does not stick out of the top of my neck after running the rough trails. Can I do something to boost the suspension?

I was also thinking of some plastic ski's with 8" carbides for a little more control. Maybe a new exhaust system to quite them down a little. What I am really wanting to do is keep the sleds but upgrade or add somethings to make the ride a little smoother rather than dishing out doul's of cash for new or newer sleds.

I have read some posts on this forum and I am impressed with everyones willingness to share their opinions and knowledge so thanks in advance!

Doug
 

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you could put aftermarket suspensions in them,but they will still only be worth the same. do yourself a favor and buy newer and use what you have for a trade in. imo.
 

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You can always find a used 97 and up ETT suspension
 

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The 580Z if well setup is not that bad of a sled. I have one and its a real slot car racer in the trail compare to my Rx1 mountain. Sure it doesn't have the suspension or the engine like the Rx but on grommed trail and in the twistys its much more fun than the Rx. Fox shock on it are for something. To add plastic skis on it the you will need to modify the spindle bushing to make them fit. Cause they are larger than the standard used today. But its doable. I did it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback. I do have to apologize for the grammer and spelling of my first post. I am using my wife's laptop and the keyboard is tiny.

I may sell the sleds and get two newer used ones but I will certainly look into the newer suspension! Since I like the sleds and they are in near mint shape I hate to get rid of them. Plus, I have about $1,500 in each of them with the new clutches etc.. and I am not willing to take a big loss on a trade or sale. If I could pull off putting in a different suspension at a reasonable cost I think that would make me happy and I will keep them.

On the plastic ski's question.. I have been told that they do not make that much of a difference and don't waste my money on them. Is this true?

Is there that much difference in the 4" verses 8" carbides?

What about stud's? I hear the same thing. Don't waste your money..

What about exhaust systems? ? Although they don't seem any louder than other sleds I would like to quite them down a little more. We have collet's and I have a hard time hearing others talk. My hearing is a little bad but not that bad :D

I know these questions may sound somewhat silly but I would really appreciate some more feedback.
 

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if you can get near 1500$ out of each of yours, get yourself the newer sleds. Dont have to be brand new,,, you also dont appear to need the biggest and baddest sleds out there, so a simple zr or zl 500 or 600 would work pretty nice,,, may also want to look in the z570,,, fan cooled and quite snappy. You can usually come across those used for a decent price. I would make sure it wasnt a rental sled as you never know what they have been through.
If you choose to keep yours, you can swap out the suspensions, but you will have some fabrication in that also and the cost may end up going higher than you would be able to re-sell them for in the future,,,,
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Regarding the M-10. From what I read it appears that this suspension comes with kits that will convert the suspension to fit the sled. Is this correct?

Regarding the newer sleds.. I really like my 550 and 580 they are small and relatively quick. I looked at some of the newer F Series selds and they were WAY to big for me. Not so much from the power side but they are just BIG sleds. Do these selds run trails well? I zip around trails and have no problems with handling. It seems to me these larger sleds might not run as nice on tight trails.

This is like a bad dream.. one minute I am going to get rid of them and the next I am going to keep them. I am still leaning toward sinking some cash into them and then keeping them until I run them into the ground.

puree

Someone advised me to look at the Sabercat's made after 2004. I also looked at the zl 500-600 as you suggested. If I were to get another set of sleds it would most likely be something in this range. I also looked at the smaller F5 series selds and they didn't look to bad.



Thanks
Doug
 

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the firecat series of sleds will actually be lighter weight than your 580,,, possibly even lighter than your 550. They are definetly not bigger by any means. As for trails,,, they are great. I did add a 4 wheel kit to mine as in 03 there were only 2 bogies on the back axle,,,, the other 2 bogies gives me a lot more stability. I love mine for the trails. As for the suspension difference, I havent been on an older sled in a while. I had a 90 prowler which should have the same suspension under it that you have,,,, I went from that to a 97 zrt with the ett suspension and I remember that being a big difference. From there I went to the 03 firecat and the difference there was amazing also. I really liked my old zrt (except for the weight),,, after 150 mile on the trail with that, I was ready to hit the hot tub as I was beat,,, 150 mile on the firecat and I am ready to fire it up and ride some more.

The sabercats your refering to is basically the firecat in a softer suspension,,, basically the same difference as comparing the zr to the zl,,, 04 was the first year they were made. The made an 03 sabercat, but it was actually an early release firecat,,, not the plush ride your looking for. I believe arctic cat still has the information going back to the 04 sabercats right on their website,,,, they are actually a nice looking sled and you may pick one up for not much more than an older zr or zl,,,, good luck with it and if I can help anymore, just let me know
 

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Plastic skis make a HUGE difference, and it's really the best money you could spend on either of those sleds.
You can also get skis that will bolt right onto your current sleds, with no modifications. Several models are available from arctic cat.
I'd stay away from 8" carbides. That's very aggressive, and you'll find it hard to relax and enjoy the ride. 4" is plenty.
Apart from that, putting in a newer suspension may help somewhat, but it's hard to justify the money you'll have to spend. Personally I'd get 4 or 6" handlebar risers, push them as far forward as you can, and that will help you rise up a little off the seat when it gets bumpy. Makes a huge difference and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
 

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I THINK TO YOU SHOULD UP THE YEARS TO .YOU ARE LOOKING AT 700.00 TO 1000.00 EACH SLED THATS YOU DOING THE WORK .
 

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Discussion Starter #14
putting in a newer suspension may help somewhat, but it's hard to justify the money you'll have to spend. Personally

I'd get 4 or 6" handlebar risers, push them as far forward as you can, and that will help you rise up a little off the seat when it gets bumpy. Makes a huge difference and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.[/b]
I was really wondering about the plastic ski's. Thanks! As far as the suspension if I could get my hands on a good used set for a couple hundred I may put an M-10 in. I looked on ebay and I emailed one of the members here that had one... Still pondering this one..

Now, as far as the handlebar risers.. there is now way of not sounding stupid.. but what are they and what exactly do they do for me?

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I THINK TO YOU SHOULD UP THE YEARS TO .YOU ARE LOOKING AT 700.00 TO 1000.00 EACH SLED THATS YOU DOING THE WORK .[/b]
Bill

If I could or can get the money or close to the money I have in these sleds I would consider this if I walked into a deal on two good used sleds...

Thanks
Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok everyone, Thank you for all the feedback. I have decided to keep the sleds and put some money into them. The primary reasons I am keeping them is they are fast enough for me, they have never let me down, they handle wonderfully on trails with the exception of the suspension.
Here is what I have decided to do:

Install M-10 suspensions (used)
Replace all shocks with Fox or Olhin
Replace ski's with plastic ski's
Install the handle bar extension (just in case)
Go over the engine and maybe a rebuild.
Ceramic coat the entire exhaust
Powder coat everything else.
Custom paint job

I am still a little confused with what to do with the front suspensions but I am reading up on that and browsing forums to see what I need to do, if anything. If anyone has any idea's on the front suspension I would be happy to listen.

Is there any other suggestions that would improve the ride?

I plan on taking pictures as we go through this little job and I will post them if I can.

Thanks again!
Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Since I don't like reading posts the just STOP and you don't know what happened or the end result I thought I would revisit this post.. Since I started it :D

I changed my mind after making several other posts and taking the feedback into consideration.

Since I just got back into the sport and I don't have the knowledege to make these mod's myself and I don't want to pay out the nose to have someone else make them I decided in the end.. after much thought... to purchase newer sleds so I am selling the 550 and 580 and I just bought an F7 Sno Pro EFI. :hallo1: . Now I am looking for an F5 or Sabercat for the wife...

Thanks everyone for your advice and feedback..

Doug

By the way.. that last paragraph is one very large run on sentence :dazed:
 
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