Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South of the 'Burgh
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Sled: 1973 Panther 440
No spark 1973 Panther 440 Questions
Hi, I am new to this site but from what I have read so far the people on here are very knowledgeable about "Cats". If you would please indulge me I'd like to try to get some answers. I got my first sled which is a 1973 Panther 440. I have seen some posts on this site about the same model. I also have a second '73 440 parts sled. From what I've learned and what I think is true, there were 18,002 440 Panthers produced in 1973. The "rider" I have has a '72 engine (T1A440S1B) and the parts sled has a '73 engine (T1B440S1A). The plug and point gaps are different but they seem to be more or less the same engine. To be honest I was going to try to "flip" my sled now at the start of winter and get an off-season dirt bike. With what I have invested in the sled now I would have made a bit of a profit. I went to start it Sunday, it fired and ran about 10 seconds and died. It now has no spark. Reading the postings on this topic it is probably one or more of the following: 1.) points/condenser(s) 2.) coil(s) 3.) crank seals. Being the sled has sat (inside) for the last 13 years my initial guess would be crank seals. I had rebuilt the carb, cleaned/sealed the fuel tank, new lines. Getting fuel isn't a problem, the burning of it is. I have had it running at various times but never with snow to ride it. It looks like I need to rebuild the motor (it wouldn't hurt anyway) and there would go all my profit. There are worse things in life than having to "keep" a vintage snowmobile. If I am going to rebuild the sled I will aim for reliability over stock. I want to ride it, not have it sit. First, where do I buy the crank seals? I've found some parts on feeBay but not c-seals. I have found Alpha Sports and Babbit's but it does not look like they sell engine rebuild kits. One post mentions moving the coils to a different location. Has anyone done this and would you be willing to offer suggestions as to where to relocate them to? Is there a way I can install a CDI instead of the points/condensers etc? If yes, what unit should I go with? My sled does have a (new) battery/electric start (I'm 55-I based part of my decision on this sled for that reason). My intention is to take the whole sled apart in the spring/summer/fall (as I can afford it) and replace the bad/marginal parts. It would be a good teaching aid to understanding these animals also. As I said, I will strive for reliability. I am open to any suggestions to keep this sled running. Sorry this thread is so long-winded. I am trying to include as much info as I can.