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Discussion Starter #1
Leave it to me to start thinking that I have a problem with my smartride on the very last ride of the year.  I've bottommed it constantly all winter, and just figured i had to live with it until I rode my friend's ZR and didn't bottom it once.

So anyway... I had a chat with my dealer.  He says that it's because of the different suspensions, that the ZLs are soft, and that I should upgrade to ZR springs.  So he looks them up... hey, look at that, they're the same as what I have already.  Same rails, same everything.  The shock is just about the only difference, but he still insists that the shock isn't what prevents you from bottomming. (News to me.  I'm no sled expert, but I know cars well, and I know what the #### a shock does!!!!!!!!&#33


So anyway... he's trying to talk me into thinking that there's nothing wrong with my sled.  The problem is, my warrenty ends in November, and we don't get snow here until January, and the dealer is trying to jerk me off about checking it out.  Other than bitching louder, does anybody have any suggestions?  Does the arctic repair manual illustrate how to test the smartride equipment?
 

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Get in touch with cat. Try phoning another dealer. I dont understand why your dealer wouldnt want to help you out because cat warranty pays good $65.00 per hr Canadian. Like I told you before My friend has had the zlss's and he is also a heavy guy and he still praises the susp on the ss......he claimed no bottoming out and I cant see him lying about it since he bought 2 of them.
 

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I've got two sleds with the SS and one bottoms out.  I'm planning on taking it to my dealer in a couple weeks.  Your sled isn't right.  If you don't get satisfaction from your dealer your next step is to call AND write Cat.  I run a consumer affairs department for a large company and I can tell you that nothing is betting than good documentation.  

Your dealer stands to make money from Cat for fixing your sled.  I don't understand why he doesn't want to fix it, other than he's afraid he won't be able to find the problem.  After all, finding the cause of a problem is the hardest part of any repair.  Fixing it is the simplest part.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think he doesn't want to fix it because he doesn't believe that there's something wrong with it.  He thinks that because I'm a sled-newbie, that I've just got it set up improperly.  Granted that may be true, but I really doubt it.

I've got the pre-load on the rear block on the stiffest of the 3 settings.  That's the absolute only change I've made from how the sled was delivered.  I haven't adjusted the coil springs, but I just can't believe that box-stock it would bottom this badly.
 

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This year I bought the wife a 600 zlssesr for her new ride. I currently ride a 800 Pantera. I'm not a grandpa, but in my early 30's. I just like the ride. After everthing I had heard about the "SS" I thought, this sounds just like the machine she should have. All this new "high tech" suspension talk pushed me to this machine. Not totally impressed yet. It sounded like to me, that this thing would ride like a CADDILAC through the stutters. Wrong! I was expecting it to ride like my Pantera with the handling of a ZR. Don't get me wrong, the handling end was all there for me, but the ride wasn't. I know it is the wife's sled, but I like to ride hard now and then with the guys too. So I ride it now and then when she lets me. The things that I noticed were, that when riding down a flat trail and catch a good bump or two, it bottoms out then kicks me back so hard I about flip over the handle bars. But when I'm in the bumps for a while it starts to soak them up nicely. I had one dealer tell me that because it is "computer controlled" it will take a few bumps to even itself out. And that one or two bumps won't give it enough of a reading to let it adjust. I weigh in at a small 240 lbs. so if anyone should bottom, it would be me. I also noticed that if it sits for a few days without moving, I can sit on it and it won't rebound all the way. But when I ride it for few minutes it does. Computer controlled problems, don't know yet. I think they are on the right track, just need more adjustments. I think I will keep the Pantera for now and ride hers when she lets me, but maybe in the future if they can get a few more bugs ironed out. Let me know what they are going to do for you on this matter if you would please. Kinda of curious what they will do.
 

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According to the 'Cat brochure, the microchip inside the shock body compares the location and velocity of the magnet on the shock plunger 1000 times a second.... that for us computer guys is 1 KHz....... so unless you are hitting bumps faster than 1000 a second, then it should adjust automatically DURING the bump, not after a few here or a few there, because a bump on the trail is like a snowflake, not one bump is the same as the last one you hit......  I agree that what they say and what it actually does probably aren't EXACTLY the same, but I don't agree that it "Takes a few bumps to learn the terrain"...thats ludicrous


Again, I tell people to contact either other Cat dealers and see what they say and like posted above, as a last resort, which really sucks that  you gotta do it, is contact Cat directly... however, MAKE SURE you get the name of the person you are talking to so when you do find a dealer who cares, they can contact that person and find out whats going on.

Just my $ 0.02
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I called yesterday and the guy I was talking with originally wasn't there.  


I'll call again today.  I hate to go right to Cat, because this place has a good reputation and I'd rather give them the chance to straighten it out first.  After all... if I ever want another good deal, I need to stay on the friendly side with this situation.
 

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sorry to here about your ss problems jim,,  On my 800 zl ss it has performed very well, in fact i would say it is the BEST riding sled i have ever owned,  yes it is a little softer than a zr but i don't think i will have ANY trouble keeping up with most sleds out there, particulaly the guys i ride with,,  However! these shocks on these are rebuidable arne't they???  Maybe your shocks lost the nitrogen charge,, from slow leak or something
or maybe the washers that were put in at the factory were very light on the damping,, both rebound and comp. Its to bad you have to do all the diagnosing,, especially on a brand new system,, but i think these shocks are infinatley adustable when ya take em out of the sled to revalve em,, then the smart electrics should still work with the revalving,,,   just my  .2$  good luck
 

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I have had the same problem( bottom out) with my 600ss. I rebuilt the rearmost shock at 1500miles. I found the shock lost it's nitro. It had a bad fill plate (cracked). This is where you fill it with nitro.I also played with the valving and it DID NOT MAKE A DEFFERENCE, as I did'nt think it would if all was working. The best thing a found was to add stiffer springs and play with the rear sissor adjustment. You can move it forward for a lighter ride or move it back one for a stiffer ride. Make sure you also move the bar it hits for transfer.I now have 3450 miles on it and I'm happy. I will buy ZR next time though. At least I can valve it the way I want... One more weekend for us here then the trails close. Last week the trails were mint.. upper Mich.. See you all next year.
 

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Jim,  My dealer puts me infront of skidoo.  If i am not happy with somthing he will try what ever to try and get me warrenty.  A good dealer does what ever to keep you happy.  Your dealer telling you that its ok tells me 2 things.  

1. They dont want to fix it.

2. They think you dont know what your talking about.

IMO the problem is the shock.  Springs just dont go bad.  This high tech arctic cat suspention that modulates fluid from front to back probably does have its defects.  

I would go it to the dealer and say this word for word.

Hi (Name)

Ive just ridden one of my friends ZLs which is identical to mine and there was no bottoming out.  Even he noticed my sled has this problem.  We need to do somthing,  It must be the shocks because im pretty sure springs just dont go bad. And the way it is right now im just not having fun, Im just getting sore backs.

Then he will say ok wheres the sled well look it over for you.  And by mirical of god this time they will find the problem.  Or they will just replace the whole skid.  

If they refuse you again switch dealers or brand.  If your not happy they shouldnt be happy.
 

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How many miles on your sled?  Have you had the shocks serviced or rebuilt?  From what I understand, these shocks are like every other Arctic-Cat/Fox shock.  Rebuild is required after the first 500 - 1000 miles (depending on driving conditions) then every year there after.

It is concivable that the oil in your shock is dirty (color brown or black) and can no longer flow between the shock and the reservoir.  This opening is very small, and is controlled by the microchip.  In addition, you may have lost the high presure gas, if there is no presure, then the oil will not flow between the shock and the reservoir.

I would bet that a rebuilt will fix your problem.  And this is usually not covered by warranty.

newf
 

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I have run my 2002 T-Cat with SS rear suspension for ~900 miles this winter.  My biggest complaint is bottoming out of the front shock on the skid when entering a slight "V" depression at speed, ( >30 mph).  This occurs every trip  a half dozen times or so.  In discussion with my dealer there is a stiffer fron spring for the skid but when he talked to AC he was told to wait until the fall as they would have something new out to remedy this problem, but they didn't give any information.

Overall my opinoin of the performance of the SS suspension is very good.  It is a much better ride than my ZRT, and when the riding gets aggressive the skid reacts well to the changes immediatly, (other than the above mentioned problem).

It is disapointing to hear that your dealer is reluctant to assist you in resolving your trouble.
 

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My ss sup. worked perfect for 500 mi then started to bottom out. Dealer sent shocks to ac & got them recharged & new seals  Works great now   seals leaked and shock didnt work causing it to bottom
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I had no idea that Artic Cat/fox stuff was such garbage.

Anyway just to add more info, the sled has exactly 397 miles on it and has ridden like this since mile 1.  

I talked to the dealer yesterday who in turn talked to 'Cat.  He said there's no way to test the smartride module other than seeing if it's got power going to it.  

I'm going to have to bring it in in October to have it checked out.  They don't do any sled work this time of year because they're already burried in tracter sales & repair.  If they tell me that I've got to pay for a shock rebuild I'm going to go postal on them.  This thing has been crap from the beginning, but because I'm a newbie, it took me time to realize that it's not part of the "norm".
 
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