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Discussion Starter #1
So I got this 99 RMK with a 151"x2" paddle track on it and it's installed backwards. I'm 100% sure, verified by a professional mechanic. This is definitely a powder profile track and it seems like it will obviously work better the other way in powder. My mechanic suggested that some people do this on purpose for spring conditions because they believe (or there is supposedly a theory out there) that running the track backward is better for slush. Anyone heard of this?

The real question is, I've never removed a drive axle before and I don't know how to get the bearings off. I found an older forum post that has these steps:

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8) tap drive axle towards clutch side, remove speedo side bearing
9) tap drive axle towards chaincase side, remove axle chaincase bearing
...

What I don't follow is how to get these bearings off. The post makes it sound like they will just pop right off and I highly doubt that. I just finished changing the bearings in my rear axle and it was not as simple as I imagined. Does anyone have a voice of experience on how to get those bearings off?
 

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You should, on that machine, be able to remove the speedo drive cover and bearing retainer nuts as well as the large chaincase sprocket and then slide the drive shaft toward the PTO side of the machine. The chaincase end of the driveshaft should clear the sid eof the tunnel so it can be pulled clear from everything at an angle. The biggest issue may be getting the driver sprockets to slide across the drive cogs on the track. Do that though and it should be straight forward. If the bearing sticks in the chain case, just make sure to tap it out as straight as possible to avoid binding. The speedo end bearing may be difficult to remove but should be helped when the shaft is out of the machine.
 

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Not necessary to remove the bearings from the shaft, if that's what you are thinking? Once the clutch side bearing retainer has been removed, along with the lower sprocket in the chain case, you should be able to slide the shaft towards the clutch side far enough to free it from the chain case.

There's also a chance that the drive axle may have 4 drive wheels on it. If that's the case, you'll need to at least partially remove the chain case (in addition to the work above) to get enough clearance to pull the axle out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not necessary to remove the bearings from the shaft, if that's what you are thinking? Once the clutch side bearing retainer has been removed, along with the lower sprocket in the chain case, you should be able to slide the shaft towards the clutch side far enough to free it from the chain case.

There's also a chance that the drive axle may have 4 drive wheels on it. If that's the case, you'll need to at least partially remove the chain case (in addition to the work above) to get enough clearance to pull the axle out.[/b]
You're right, I don't necessarily need to remove the bearings unless they need to be replaced. I figured it would be required just to get the shaft out but I guess not.

The axle does have 4 wheels. I've never removed a chaincase either but I assume you just keep going after you remove the chaincase guts it will probably be pretty obvious? Thanks fellas. I think I've got it but if anyone has more suggestions or tips feel free to chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have heard of running the track backwards to a few times , but also heard it slows the sled .[/b]
Yeah I mean, I don't want to do all the work but on the other hand it's valuable experience because I've never removed a track but I know it's within my skills. I don't know why someone would buy a 151x2" paddle track, roll the chaincase, install rail extensions, and then install the track backward. Doesn't make sense to me. I can't decide if it was a mistake or on purpose. Yeah it does fine in powder as is, the best of all my sleds by far, but it's obviously designed to run the other way and when I get this thing stuck next year I don't want to be thinking damn I should have flipped that track around...you know I only want to be able to blame myself not the machine. Thanks again.
 

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As far as removing the chain case, yes, pretty easy. I genearally don't remove it completely. After removing both gears and chain, just unbolt it, lift the caliper up off the disk, and slide it as far as necessary to clear the driveshaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As far as removing the chain case, yes, pretty easy. I genearally don't remove it completely. After removing both gears and chain, just unbolt it, lift the caliper up off the disk, and slide it as far as necessary to clear the driveshaft.[/b]
Fantastic. I won't be doing this until probably july because even though we're pretty much out of snow here there is Mt. Adams Washington about 2 hours away with a lot more snow and accessible altitude...I know I'll be riding there at least twice and last year we rode there June 15. Anyway I think I'm ready to do this job when the time comes.

So are there any parts I should replace out of course while doing this job? I'm thinking chaincase gasket...and take a good look at the bearings. That's all I can think of.
 

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<<<So are there any parts I should replace out of course while doing this job?>>>

Might be a good time to go through your suspension, have shocks gone through? Lots of trouble with the front torque arm. Have a good look at the welded areas on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Today was the day, Memorial day, where we turned the track back to its proper direction. True to my prediction, the drive axle was a real pain. The real problem was the chaincase, I struggled with it trying to get it free enough to pull the shaft out. Eventually I got it out and put it all back together with the track the right direction. We found that the chain has two broken links in it so time for a new chain. I'm really glad we caught that one. The suspension pretty much slid right in and out, I only needed to unload the springs off the rear torque arm, pull the four mounting bolts, then we propped the tail up high and it came right out. Seems like pulling the front of the skid out first is easier. I did not have to roll the machine, just raised the tail. Everything was a little harder to put back together but except for the chain I think everything is squared away in one afternoon. Not bad. Next stop, the upholsterer.
 

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