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I am looking for some advice on a 96 zr580 efi. The efi is battery powered and i've heard some concern about it. I called my local cat dealer and asked him about it and was told that it was only the first couple of years to watch out for. So if any of you have any experiance with these or any information it would be greatly appreciated. The reason is that this is on a sled i want to buy, and i don't want to get a sled that will be sitting in the shop alot.
 

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hey there - I have the exact same machine and have nothing but good things to say about it.  I have never had a problem with the EFI or anything else.  Do the proper maintenance and you should have no problems.

i have the shop manula for it if you wanted any specific information.
 

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I have the exact sled, my wife has been riding it since I bought a new one. No EFI specific problems yet and she can start without ever having a problem.

A couple tips though, always wait about 15 seconds after turning the key before you pull the rope, it should start on the second pull every time, don't touch the throttle once it starts, the efi will keep it running.

Always let the sled idle down before you you shut it off, Less chance of a backfire when you restart it.
 

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good point, Jeff - I should have mentioned that.  Mine starts on the third pull, never more, never less.  

My wife is also driving the 580 now.  And it is STILL trouble-free.  That says something for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hey guys thanks for the information. i asked this question on a different website 2 weeks ago and have yet to get a reply. thundercatzr if you could tell me the horsepower for this sled  and it's top speed that would be great.      :D
 

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the ZR 580 is rated at about 95-97 horsepower i have found that the EFI's are a bit stronger and a lot better running then the carbs  top speed should be right around what the newer 500's run maybe about 95-100 on the gun but i have never had anybody stick a radar on it so i really am not sure
 

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Damn, looks like my main sled is a wife's sled
.  My 95 zr 580 efi has never had an efi related problem.  Couple things of concern.  ***Before you ride this year I would check the condition of the intake boots, very common for these to rot out.***  Mine rotted holes in the bottom and caused motor failure (allows extra air into motor).  Also if your sled has around 4,000 miles there is a good chance your primary clutch will need work, at least it should be looked at.  Make sure you have a good battery and clean tight connections, remember your sled will not run without the battery.  Check all skid frame bearings.  I had ro replace a jackshaft bearing around 4,500 miles, (no speedometer working is a clue that this bearing is junk).  Happy trails.
 

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seem very reliable, only trouble seen is we had one that the charging system quit & battery went dead, make sure all connections & cables are clean & in good condition....
 

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My brother bought a new one that year.  When he had less than 100 miles on it, it would run like crap and foul plugs.  He took it back to the dealer and they put a new ecm on it.  He never had a problem with it since then, except putting a new battery in last year.  He is very happy with his.  He radared it a few years ago and he was running 105-108.
 

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You may also want to feel under the water pump to see if it is wet with anti freeze.
if so you will need to replace the mechanical seal.
the motor needs to be pulled to do this
my deaeler said it costs around $200 including labour.
and all 580's have this problem.
hope this helps.
 

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I went and looked at one this weekend. Guy told me the sled was in mint condition. I drove 3 hours to find a hunk of junk. It started and ran fine but the sled was mangled. I am still looking for a sled like this one but not all beat up. If you are new to purchasing snowmobiles... beware. Dont buy junk otherwise you will have the biggest headache of your life.
 

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1greenmachine - zr580srule has the answers for you.  It is rated for 97 hp.  I radared once at 110 mph, BUT it was ideal conditions with a strong, strong wind at my back.  Top speed will normally be around the 95 - 100 mph mark as he said.

one thing - before a long trip, always check your battery.  If it goes dead, it can be bypassed, but it is a pain in the butt.  Remove it in the summer, or fire the sled frequently - I fire both of mine every 2 weeks and stand there snorting exhaust.  Wife thinks I'm a loony.

If you need other info, feel free to ask.

Happy holidays to all!
 

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Originally posted by thundercatzr@Dec. 21 2001, 08:54am
1greenmachine - zr580srule has the answers for you.  It is rated for 97 hp.  I radared once at 110 mph, BUT it was ideal conditions with a strong, strong wind at my back.  Top speed will normally be around the 95 - 100 mph mark as he said.

one thing - before a long trip, always check your battery.  If it goes dead, it can be bypassed, but it is a pain in the butt.  Remove it in the summer, or fire the sled frequently - I fire both of mine every 2 weeks and stand there snorting exhaust.  Wife thinks I'm a loony.

If you need other info, feel free to ask.

Happy holidays to all!
How do you bypass the battery and still run?
 

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good question.i've got a 2001 pantera with the 580 efi and i thought that it would run-with or without the battery.if you know something that we don't-please share it with us. ;)
 

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The older Cat EFI with a battery Has to, I repeat has to have a good battery in it. If it where me I would replace it every other year to be sure. If the battery dies so dose the sled. For $35 it's good insurance
 

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Hey Bosshoss guess who???

I'm with the crowd here...no efi troubles whatsoever on my 97 zr580.  I did have one problem with a high idle, but everything else SEEMED ok...  turned out my intake boots were leaking too.  I was lucky, caught it before I smoked it!

I don't even look at the new sleds... this one has everything I need!
 

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Just had to put my two cents worth in.  I have a 97, and my buddy has a 96.  I had major headaches last year, but simple fixes, just many of them.  My intake boots were rotting, and the air temp sensor was off.  The bad sensor probably saved my motor, made it run richer.  That was the easy fix.  I had a problem where the machine would go in and out of "limp home" mode.  took me forever to find it, but it turned out to be a loose connection on the throttle position sensor.  It looked like all was good, but after I screwed with the connections, the problem went away.  The only problem with the 96 is replacing the battery every year, but cheap insurance I guess.  Even with the problems, I still love my sled.  It has never left me standing in the cold yet!
 

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jims1969bt

how many miles did you have on your 580 when you discovered your intake boots were cracked?

im just wondering when other people have discovered that their boots were cracked because i found that one of mine was cracked after 2400 miles and scored one of my cylinders

is 2500-3000 miles typical for them things to rot out?
 

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Originally posted by zr580s rule@Dec. 25 2001, 10:02pm
jims1969bt

how many miles did you have on your 580 when you discovered your intake boots were cracked?

im just wondering when other people have discovered that their boots were cracked because i found that one of mine was cracked after 2400 miles and scored one of my cylinders

is 2500-3000 miles typical for them things to rot out?
I blew my motor because of these boots at 4,200 miles.  Both boots had HUGE holes in the bottom of them under the clamp.  They probably had been rotten for at least 700 miles before that.  After rebuilding my motor succesfully i've learned to check the boots every couple weeks.  What threw me off is the top of the boots looked fine.

What I don't understand is why the premature failure of these boots?  I just rebuilt a 85 phazer that had been lying in pieces for at least 3 years in the outside environment.  I'm pretty sure it had the original boots and there were no signs of rotting.  How is that?
 
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