What Exactly is a 'Top-End' Refresh? - ArcticChat.com - Arctic Cat Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 01-30-2008, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Hi,

Just wondering what exactly is involved with a 'Top-End' refresh on a
snowmobile engine.

I see a lot of advertisements for used machines where the owner has
specified the engine in the sled has just undergone a 'Top-End' refresh
and is fully 'prepped' for the riding season.

As far as I understand it, a 'Top-End' refresh is simply pulling the head(s)
and decarbonizing the piston tops and combustion chambers, installing
a new set of piston rings, checking cylinder walls for excessive wear
pattern(s), and finally, a new set of plugs after putting it all back together.

Please clarify.... if I've missed anything.... it sounds like there's a lot more to
it than what I've listed here.

I'm thinking of doing this on my 02 570 Fan with 6000 miles on the 'ticker'.

Thanks in advance.


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post #2 of 11 Old 01-30-2008, 09:53 AM
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Usually it means new pistons and rings.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-31-2008, 11:13 AM
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Some will just replace the rings, but I feel that the pistons should be replaced too with that many miles. In my view if there is any concern with loss of compression then there should be as much concern with fatigue of the piston skirts. In a two stroke engine the piston tops are supposed to have a layer of carbon on them. This helps you determine if the fueling is proper, not too rich, or too lean. The cylinders should have a fresh crosshatch on the walls for the new rings to properly seat against. Some will call this deglazing, some honing, and some resurfacing. This should be done with the appropriate diamond ball hone and takes about five seconds per cylinder.

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post #4 of 11 Old 02-03-2008, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response.

When the season is over I will definitely be 'pro-active'
and take a look inside to see what kind of condition this
engine is in after 6000 miles of moderate to a hard use.

I guess if I'm going as far as replacing the piston rings
then it would be good economy to replace the pistons
as well.... in my view.

As far as cylinder honing goes.... should I take the engine
to a reputable machine shop or is this something I can
do reasonably well on my own with the proper hone and
a drill?

Thanks again.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-03-2008, 10:20 AM
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You can do the honing yourself with the correct ball hone in your drill. It only takes about five seconds per cylinder to put the fresh crosshatch on the walls, so buying the hone would seem pretty costly for the amount of use it would get, unless you intend on doing a hole bunch of cylinders. I buy all my pistons and most other parts from my dealer and I have a good relationship with them. I have never been charged for brief time it takes for them to zip the cylinders,but your experience may vary. If you are buying the piston kits from your dealer, then ask them if they will do the resurfacing/deglazing and if there would be any charge for it.

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post #6 of 11 Old 02-03-2008, 10:34 AM
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-06-2008, 08:01 AM
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-06-2008, 11:59 AM
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best thing to do is to throw a compression test at it, check stock specs and if the numbers are far off then do a top end...no point in doing unnecessary work!

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post #9 of 11 Old 02-07-2008, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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I will definitely check the compression.... possibly do a leak down
(pressure test) as well before I do anything.

I just figure why risk having a conn rod or a chunk of piston (or
rings) go through the block due to fatigue or whatever.... it's been
such a good engine for me so far and I would hate to have to
replace it or do extensive work down the road because I 'let it go'
too long....

It's my opinion that snowmobile engines are high output motors
regardless of size or configuration and a 'little' extra attention is
required to keep them running as they are intended....


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post #10 of 11 Old 02-07-2008, 09:49 PM
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doing some work on an engine right now See "Spark plug reading lean" "mag side tan brown and clutch side light grey" 94zr580 and a few others are helping me learn this stuff as well. I plan to put new pistons and rings in, needle cage bearings, clips, gaskets and a hown job and call it a "Top End Re-build" or "Top end job". If someone said they did a "Top End Re-fresh" I assume less work was done and maybe just new rings, gaskets and a hown were done. Am I right on this? thanks, jeff
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