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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's a 1993 Mtn Cat 550 EFI for sale locally, They're asking $750. Looks to be in decent shape.

How do these handle in deep dry powder? (like snorkel deep, Idaho/Wyoming mtns) I'm mostly going to stick to the trails on this, but I'd like to get out and set some traps. There might be some off trail riding I need to do while pulling a sled, other times I might just get off and use my skis/snowshoes. I'm not going to do any hillclimbing or extreme mtn riding.

Should I look at a lighter sled? How would the 550 mtn cat compare to a mid 90s phazer or a Polaris Indy 340 GT 141 track? Those are around locally too, but this mtn cat looks like the best condition and good strong powerful motor. Just worried about the weight though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea the Indy is fan cooled. It's a 1990

I'd rather not rely on a battery either. Is converting EFI to carb a simple swap? I've read that the intake boots are the same.
 

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I never had an issue when my battery was dead on my 93 Pantera 550 EFI. Always started on second pull. I’d be more worried about finding parts for the EFI system if something failed.
 

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The battery reliant sleds will not start or run with a dead battery in my experience, the second pull thing only applies to batteryless systems. It requires the battery to run fuel pump and I've even seen where if the battery is weak they will run but run like garbage, all because of a low or weak battery. That's just been my experience.
I trap also and I have a fan cooled sled, I have a 95 puma two up. The fan cooled is just nice for simplicity, lighter weight, reliability, and I can work my whole line and never turn off the sled... No overheating concerns when traveling very slow like you do when you are working your line, this to me is the huge deciding factor. Fan cooled is far superior for these kind of uses for that reason of no overheating. And you can easily warm up your hands or gloves by just putting them by the fan outlet on hood, or by the vent above the gauges. The carburetor is far more simple and reliable as well.
The two ups have the same 136" skid as those early mountain cats from the 90's. The mountain cat may have got a little more lug. I will say, a 136 is not very long for todays machines, but on the early sleds that are much lighter, they do go through the snow and stay on top better than you might think. Nothing to get super excited about, but very serviceable for most off trail conditions and breaking trail here in northern MN. I'm really not sure about out west where you are, it might be something you just have to find out. But that's all the guys had in the 90's and they ride where you are. Although you don't want to have to be using throttle alot to get through stuff.
The cat fan sleds you could look into would be puma 2 up, panther, jag 2 up. They started the bearcat in mid to later 90's, these are perfect for trapping or anything utility, but they are harder to find and still command higher pricing, they have a longer track, some variations had a wide track also. There was also a super Jag and cheetah, both on the afs chassis early 90's to late 80's). The super jags were really cool, very long track dedicated work sled, some had articulating skids and even a high/low gear box. Super rare though. I'd love to find one although it would then be hard to give up my puma, I have it outfitted so we'll for what I do and it's a nice sled, that 340 just purrs too, so smooth.
I do not think it be worth the expense to convert an efi sled to carb. Maybe if you had a whole donor sleds. I picked up a 95 jag this year for free, chassis was roached but the motor was perfectly good. You'd probably have to use the carb fuel tank too and get the pump and probably throttle cables, there's usually a little more to these swaps than you might think initially.
 
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