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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking through a new Arctic Cat operator's manual and there was an interesting factoid that kept popping up: DO NOT turn a 4 stroke model on it side. (What? And how the devil is a person supposed to work on the rear suspension, especially is you're out someplace besdies a warm garage?) Hey, it's a snowmobile, those things made to ride in snow. You know that stuff that isn't always flat and level. I've never owned a snowmachine or known of a snowmachine that didn't end on its side or upside down many times in its life. So, what happens if you do turn the machine on its side? The manual continues with this warning: Severe engine damage may occur. (That's great to know when you're far from home.)

To change oil, first remove the plug on the belly pan using a putty knife. (Huh? I seriously doubt whether a plug on the belly pan would survive the normal knicks and gouges that any off trail machine will get.)

Snowmobiles are not new. Their uses are not a secret. I would think that this old technology revisited upon snowmobiles would have anticipated some of these most basic of problems.
 

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Keep in mind that the engine cat uses was designed for use in an automobile. Last time I checked, you don't tip car on it's sides to adjust things. If you put that engine on its side the oil pump won't have any oil to pickup.  You will be able to put the sled on its side for repairs or adjustments to the rear skid, just don't do it while it's running.
 

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So what about carving in the snow? Sidehilling? The 4 strokes still got a lot to prove
 

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Good point Mighty RX-1.  I would think that the RX-1 wouldn't have that problem because that engine was designed for a motorcycle which gets leaned over when riding.  Where is the drainplug on the RX-1?  If it is underneath and you put a skidplate on would you have to take it off to change oil?
 

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The RX1 has a dry sump oil system. The pump is driven by the motor and scavenges the oil out of the pan and holds it in a reservoir. This is the same that all NASCAR engines use.

As long as the engine is running & the oil doesn't drain out of the reservoir, you should be OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The 'Cat manual specifically states that turning their machine on its side even when it's off may cause oil to enter the upper part of the engine which can or will cause engine damage. I can't imagine how they could make removing the suspension more difficult than by requiring its removal and replacement from the upright position.
 

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I've never seen anyone flop a machine on its side to take out the skid.
Always done it with the back end lifted up and slid it in sideways, then lower the sled.
 

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Like I said Golsovia, it's a car engine in the cat. It was never designed to do the things a sled would do.  AC never meant for the sled to be performance oriented.  More of a utility and (excuse the expression) old mans sled.
 

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I would imagine that riding the sled (the AC) at any kind of angle because it is a wet sump type oiling system, might cause the oil to flow away from the pump pickup & cause the pump to start sucking air. Not a good thing
 

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revrnd, you've never seen a sled turned on it's side to remove the rear skid??
I have to wonder if you've ever seen someone remove a rear skid then?
I will admit that most people who have never seen it done the easy way will try and remove the skid by hoisting the rear end up in the air, but anybody who spends anytime working on sleds turns them on their side to remove the skid. So much easier!
 

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We've always done it lifting up the arse end. I take it you put something on the floor to prevent the trailing arms from getting marked up. Also, I guess you siphon the gas out of the sled & I think the oil reservoir cap on the Ski-doos has a vent hole.

Finally, will the sled stay on its side without someone holding it steady? I've never had to take a skidframe out of a sled in a motel parking lot, so maybe that's why I've never been exposed to this technique.

I replaced the inner bolt for the lower control arm of my '90 Mach 1 in the parking lot at the Jolly Roger in Parry Sound. That was 3 hours of fun


I will say that the SC10 suspension is easier to do than the old C7.
 

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Hmmm,
I don't know anything about Ski-doo's. Every Cat I've ever seen will stay on it's side by itself, except for the older AWS one's with the side pods. I believe they needed a milk crate or something to keep them from going too far.
Polaris will stay on their side as well I'm pretty sure.
As for the gas and everything, I never worried too much about losing a little. I turned my Cat on it's side for any maintance work underneath, everything from removing the skid, grease jobs, and patch jobs to the belly pan.
 

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I repair sleds for a living, on it's side is NOT the way to remove a skid frame from any sled i've ever repaired.
 

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It seams like the RX-1 has some of the bugs worked out of the sled that AC had with theirs, but how much is the RX-1 engine like the R-1 motorcycle.  I know that is was based on it, but I just saw a site that offers turbo kits for sportbikes, and man, the numbers they posted are very impressive.  I forget what the R-1 max hp was, I think like 250 or more.  I do know that they said for a Hyabusa moter, the Suzuki 1300, it would put out up to 350 hp.  Come on Arctic Cat work that out with Suzuki somehow.  Imagine a snowmachine with 350 hp.  I imiagine that would cause a lot of problems with people who don't have much self restraint on crowded or tight trails.  I definetly would win some drag races though.

Although, I do remember now reading the shootout and seeing what some of the shops could do with modded engins.  I think they got them up to around the 250 mark on a 2 stroke.
 

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Two more problems with a 4 stroke......it does not sound or smell like a 2 stroke. In the summer I start the lawnmower just for the smell to remind me of winter
 
 

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Maybe they could make some kind of two stroke smelling Air Freshener to hang from the rearview mirror.

They do have rearview mirrors don't they???



FishHog
 

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Fish Hog if you find any airfreshners like that let me know.  I could hang it in the pickup for the summer and it would make it go by faster or then again it might make me crave winter that much more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, I suppose my use of snowmachines qualifies for "old man" use since I pull a sled longer than the snowmachine more often than not, 60 mph is driving fast, and gearing down rather than up really 'improves' the performance of the machine. At 3000-4000 miles per year I am a lightweight among the guys I ride these rigs with so we have to work on them and it's often outdoors when the weather is bum - (that's when stuff happens&#33
With cheap gas going for $2.50/ gallon but $3.109 locally, I would enjoy the sipping rate of a four stroke. Keeping it idling all night so it would run in the morning at -30 F might negate the savings however. (I have a hard time envisioning a kick-start pedal on the side of the tunnel or would they put that on the side panel adjacent to the clutch where us old guys who use these machines in utilitarian fashion would catch them on the brush?) With the focus of so much of the market on speed, I often wonder if the manufacterers have lost touch with the utility users who were once (and will probably be again) the bread and butter part of the market.
 
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