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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 1998 ZL500 that is in great shape. It had been taken care of very well over the years.

It starts up on first or second pull and everything seems great but I had it in for service and had them look it over and do a leak down test. They are recommending to replace the clutch and rebuild the top end. There is 3800 miles on the sled. Obviously when they do the top end there could be a possibility they find more work to do to the cylinders.

My question is would it be worth investing in the repairs or am I just throwing my money away? The money is not really my concern. I am willing to pay the bill if it means that once this is done I can have a reliable sled that will last me another 4,000 miles (I do understand nothing is a guarantee). I do not want to upgrade or invents in a newer sled. I just would like to make sure this one still has life left in it and can be reliable. I ride very easy on lakes for ice fishing or groomed trails on the weekend.

Thought? Can I give my sled a second life?

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For sure, that sled looks in great shape if that's a recent photo.

If the sled runs well, there shouldn't really be anything else engine related they would find needing repair. What was compression on the cylinders? I'm curious as to the reason for recommending a new top end (aside from piece of mind).

A new clutch would likely be the pricey component. I'm not sure if they recommend to rebuild the current clutch, or replace the entire thing. If replacing is needed, you may be able to find a good shape used one online. New clutch components would still be needed to match your machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For sure, that sled looks in great shape if that's a recent photo.

If the sled runs well, there shouldn't really be anything else engine related they would find needing repair. What was compression on the cylinders? I'm curious as to the reason for recommending a new top end (aside from piece of mind).

A new clutch would likely be the pricey component. I'm not sure if they recommend to rebuild the current clutch, or replace the entire thing. If replacing is needed, you may be able to find a good shape used one online. New clutch components would still be needed to match your machine.
Yes that is a picture from last week. Yes the new clutch is the pricy part. They said that could shim it but that would just be temporary fix.

I am not sure the compression. They did a leak down test which came back at 40% - 42%.
 

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Nice looking sled, I'd go for it if the price is right. I had the identical sled, sold it last year to a buddy. I loved mine, it was very quick for a 500 it was 96 hp as I recall. By comparison, my 2003 550 Pantera is only about 80-85 hp. The power of the old ZL 500 surprised anybody that I let ride it. If I could offer advice on the clutch, don't waste your $ on the original 9 tower, find a good 6 tower. Top end rebuild is fairly cheap and easy assuming the nicasil bores are undamaged. (You can't just bore these oversize)
 

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Great looking sled dude, upgrade the clutch; I’m a bit sceptical about the compression being low with the low mileage; unless someone has disconnected the speedometer and the mileage is lower than what has been recorded. Upgrading the track in the future may be something to consider, modern tracks offer more traction off/ on trail and are lighter and more pliable in cold weather conditions. Thanks for the pic dude! ❄
 

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I have a 1998 ZL500 that is in great shape. It had been taken care of very well over the years.

It starts up on first or second pull and everything seems great but I had it in for service and had them look it over and do a leak down test. They are recommending to replace the clutch and rebuild the top end. There is 3800 miles on the sled. Obviously when they do the top end there could be a possibility they find more work to do to the cylinders.

My question is would it be worth investing in the repairs or am I just throwing my money away? The money is not really my concern. I am willing to pay the bill if it means that once this is done I can have a reliable sled that will last me another 4,000 miles (I do understand nothing is a guarantee). I do not want to upgrade or invents in a newer sled. I just would like to make sure this one still has life left in it and can be reliable. I ride very easy on lakes for ice fishing or groomed trails on the weeken






Top end , clutches [especially the primary] and rear skid are all high maintenance items on your sled. Most people here go through those items every 1000 miles or so. Well, maybe not the top end [every 3000 miles]. Got a buddy from your snowmobile club who a] has a workshop b] is familiar with your model sled and likes to tinker and d] could barter with?
 
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