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My name is John and a new member who's been out of the sport of snowmobiling for some forty years trying to full fill one of my bucket list. The one sled that catches my attention is a 1988 El Tigre,which I plan
to look at in a few days up north. The seller says it's a 1988 but from my searching the (88) had a upper radiator and lower heat exchanger and dual pipes but this one just has a lower heat exchanger and single pipe but does have reversing. The sled has 5900 miles and I'm unclear as to what maintenance is required or what I should be looking for in terms of wear. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks John
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Well, from what I'm looking at, that hood is from a '90 EXT special. The '90 EXT only had heat exchangers with no radiator. It too had the 530 engine. In 1988, there were 2 El Tigre models, a 5000 (440 l/c) and the 6000 (530 l/c). So,,, the hood has been replaced, and the cooling system has been altered, the exhaust pipe is wrong for that year also, the '88 530 had twin pipes, the 440 had the single pipe. That hood is unique to the EXT Special and the '92 EFI Wildcat only. The '88 530, did have a radiator also. The only way to know, would be look at the VIN # on the side of the tunnel. What I do is carry a compression tester with and check each cylinder. Should be within 10% of each other and no lower than 100-110 psi with 5 pulls and both plugs out. Then check the track for rips and gouges. Other things later, will be bearings on the drivers and jackshaft and idler wheels. Overall condition, (from the pics, it looks good). Bottom line is, the hood is different, and the pipe is different, and the radiator has been altered, if it is an '88. The VIN will tell you the year with the first number on it. Then there is the price? How much?
 

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I agree too check the tag for the year hope its a 90. Vents easy to add but still possible its an EXT special. Its better than an 88 El Tigre, Check if it has Fox shocks it was the first one. Plus it was limted edition. Check on the side of the cylinders about half way up that it has just SCEM no letters or numbers above it. If so would be the stock El Tigre cylinders and good possibility has the matching heads. Thats the stock exhaust for a special. You could always ebay 86-88 twin exhaust pipes later if you choose.
 

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The '88 did not come with Fox shocks. Also, the 1988 had outboard shocks in the rear suspension. The 1990 does not.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The guy that owns this slid is the second owner who's had if for 5 years and I honestly don't think he's altered this sled,just a mistake in year I'm hoping. I've been trying
to educate myself on the El Tigre years and what to look for and when I came across this one I jumped on it offering him 600 regardless of it's condition, the seat has some small rips in the seams. He sent me a video of it running and it sounds real good but I will take along a compression gage. Thanks for the tips of the cylinder markings and shocks. Will the vin# say 1988 0r 1990 and if this does turn out to be a true "90" special ,how does it differ from previous models?
 

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The main difference is the shocks different spindle angles that you wouldnt be able to tell. And they brought back the El tigre cylinders from the detuned EXT 70 vs 82 hp, They built them to show case the fox shocks they would be using in years to come. Was B stock racing champ at eagle river. Check the driven if running a 48/44 cam and white spring not any sleds running that combo if hasnt been changed would be a big clue. On the tag if built in 89 its a 90. Dosnt have Fox reservoirs just standard fox shocks. Perfect compression 125-130
 

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The deal didn't go through, this guy keep giving me bogus cell #s to call while exchanging emails and no one would answer. Refused to call me using home and cell #.
Wanted no verbal contact,so I told him to take a hike. This guy is in the Lancaster,Pa( Craigslisting) area, so beware of this person.

I know of where a 88 dual pipe is needs work but not worth the 15 hr drive and a 89 but not worth the price. I'll just keep searching
 

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Thanks for at least keeping us informed. Sometimes, when things like that happens, we never hear back. They are out there, you'll find what your looking for.
 

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Thanks for at least keeping us informed. Sometimes, when things like that happens, we never hear back. They are out there, you'll find what your looking for.
Your 6000 is absolutely gorgeous and those foxes are hard not to notice. What are you using to monitor the fuel ratio?
 

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Your 6000 is absolutely gorgeous and those foxes are hard not to notice. What are you using to monitor the fuel ratio?
I'm sorry, those pics were not mine. I found those for information purposes. I didn't mean to mislead you. I do have a '90 AFS Wildcat though.
 

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I'm sorry, those pics were not mine. I found those for information purposes. I didn't mean to mislead you. I do have a '90 AFS Wildcat though.
OK no problem, Ive been looking at the wild cats too,what can you tell me about them being 650CC,if your dont mind
 

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The '88-90 was the only years they made the 650. The '88 had outboard shocks on the rear suspension and a 16" wide track, and the engine had 38mm carbs. In '89 they redesigned the rear suspension with a 15" wide track and got rid of the outboard shocks and upped the carb to a 40mm. So the '89-'90 were the last year for the upgrade 650. In '91 Cat then came out with the 700 Wildcat. As for the 650, they were top dogs in the late 80's. They are huge torque monsters and tach out at 8000 - 8500 rpm's depending on mods. If your in the market for one, try to consider the '89-'90 unless you find a pristine '88. I have a link to my build, and there are other great info links on this site also. 1990 Wildcat 650 rebuild I should state in the first few post of my link, i was in conversation with a person, and the owner of his post's, deleted them, so it looks like I'm talking out of no where. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You did a fabulous job restoring the wild cat. Called the guy on the 89 el tigre 530 and he's got someone looking at this week, so keeping my fingers crossed he backs out.
 
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