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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 2003 F7 SnoPro has been such a great sled I hesitated but finally pulled the trigger and picked up a 2013 F8 about a month ago. First trip to the UP starter pinion broke loose on the 2nd day. Rattled like a MF but was still ridable. Took it back to the dealer and they repaired with "new" updated pinon with a deeper grove for the C clip. Second trip...after about 100 miles heard the rattle again and then a catostrophic failure. Sounded like wwIII under the hood with sparks flying out the bottem and through the hood. Trottle stuck WO (guessing something ripped through the cable and pinched it).

I'm very close to taking this POS back. Lucky I took my 03 F7 as a backup in the bed of the truck. Being from Indiana I only get 2 trips in a year and I'm shooting 2 for 2 on this 2013.

I've read some posts on starter failures. Has anyone got a fix that will work? Other wise i like the sled, but if you cant ride it....it sucks.
 

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I see guys have some band aids for that pinion when its broke so they can ride. I never had electric start but I am planning on it for my next sled. Is that what the sparks were from? You should have bailed when the throttle stuck. Then you could have possibly had a return case. Two trips to dealer for a bull crap starter wont get a dealer to take it back. My sled has had 20 trips back for belts,tunnel,
Rear idlers,siezed engine,stuck clutches,thumb warmer and jackshaft. I am not happy but that sled is no longer my problem. Good luck .
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm assuming the sparks came from either the pinion or the ring gear flying around like odd job's hat on a 70s James Bond flick. Dealer said they used a pinion with a deepend groove. Now they are talking about a weld or a roll pin. I'm not so sure the problem is not the screws coming out of the ring gear as opposed to the pinion. The first time it happened the thing must have just flopped off....so not too much damage done and I could still pull start. Made a clattering sound but ran fine. The second time it seems there was other collateral damage done.

I'll give it one more chance then it is going back. I've been riding Cat since I was 11. My first sled was a fan ****** Jag 340. This will be my 4th Cat in 32 years. TRF should be embarrased at the quality they are letting slide through for $13,000. Besided my 03 F7 there was on 04 F7 and an 05 F7 on the trip. None of these sleds have had any quality issues like this 2013.
 

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Is it coming loose and causing chaos when you're out riding it or when you are starting it. If it's when starting, pull the damn rope! I've got the same sled and have had zero issues with the starter, but I have not used it. It starts on the second pull everytime and doesn't pull that hard. If you're not using it I'm not sure why the snap ring would be coming off. I've heard of some guys removing the ring gear to prevent the starter from hitting anything if it does decide to come loose. Also some are putting a dab of weld on the ring to keep it on the shaft.

Nothing worse than having an awesome new sled and not being able to ride it.
 

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My sled has a washer installed in place of the faulty snap ring and the washer is welded in place.

I had problems with the starter from day one, it didn't last 150 miles out of the crate.

Since its been welded I've logged 1,000 miles and all trouble free so far.
 

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Alfie, did it only come loose when starting or did it rattle loose and come out while riding. Just curious, b/c I've been pull starting mine and had no issues. If it is falling out even when not using the ES I'll take the damn thing off.

Also, is there going to be a recall or update for this problem? The welded on washer is just a temporary fix I hope?
 

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My snap ring moved out if the groove twice and both times while I was using the electric start, not while riding. This was early in the season and long before anyone was talking about the problem. I think I even started the thread about it.

I never had a chance to ride the sled with the starter intact and not welded to see if pull starting it worked around the problem. I guess if yours isn't acting up then keep doing what your doing. The down side is once the pinion starts making contact with the ring gear your ride is done and if you deep in the trails you have a long day of towing ahead of you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
UPDATE - Dealer called...bad new worse news type of thing. One of the things that got tore up when the ES failed on the second trip up north was the oil pump. Oil is prob not that important. The worse news is that this has been such a common problem on the 13 ES that that oil pumps are on back order until April. Fantastic. 13K for a 100% miss of the first season, unknown assurance of the fix for my first trip next year and potential motor issues in my future due to lack of oil. Cat quality stock going down quick in this guys book.
 

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UPDATE - Dealer called...bad new worse news type of thing. One of the things that got tore up when the ES failed on the second trip up north was the oil pump. Oil is prob not that important. The worse news is that this has been such a common problem on the 13 ES that that oil pumps are on back order until April. Fantastic. 13K for a 100% miss of the first season, unknown assurance of the fix for my first trip next year and potential motor issues in my future due to lack of oil. Cat quality stock going down quick in this guys book.
I really feel bad for ya man. It sucks to have problems with a new machine for sure. Did you run it after the starter failed? I thought once the starter grenades you're pretty much done? I dunno I was lucky enough to have read about the ES issues and have just pull started mine. My biggest problem this winter has been ma nature, not the sled. :angry:


I am always amazed at how few parts are available to fix these things. I guess it takes awhile to get those high quality parts shipped over here from China land. :lol:
 

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Same problem happened to me, luckily I was back at the cabin when i heard the ring gear rubbing on the started. Caught it before it imploded. Dealer changed everything and hoping it is fixed. They told me the c clamp was installed backwards.

Also have been blowing fuses left and right on the tail lamp/intrument cluster 7.5 mini fuse. You have 1 extra in the sled but I would stock up on a couple more if you haven't had an issue yet. Need to get to the dealer to see what is causing this short. Sled goes into safe mode when this fuse blows.
 

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Same problem happened to me, luckily I was back at the cabin when i heard the ring gear rubbing on the started. Caught it before it imploded. Dealer changed everything and hoping it is fixed. They told me the c clamp was installed backwards.

Also have been blowing fuses left and right on the tail lamp/intrument cluster 7.5 mini fuse. You have 1 extra in the sled but I would stock up on a couple more if you haven't had an issue yet. Need to get to the dealer to see what is causing this short. Sled goes into safe mode when this fuse blows.
I'm by no means an expert on this but from what I've heard the factory parts will not prevent the clip from coming off again. It seems as though people are either machining a deeper groove, welding or not using the starter at all. Just be alert because once that snap ring comes off you're F'ed!
 

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I'm by no means an expert on this but from what I've heard the factory parts will not prevent the clip from coming off again. It seems as though people are either machining a deeper groove, welding or not using the starter at all. Just be alert because once that snap ring comes off you're F'ed!
I thought they were supposed to be coming up with an updated shaft or something to fix this. Why bother taking it in if the parts they put on aren't going to do any good??? Did the dealer take the starter assy. off to weld the washer on the shaft or can it be done in the sled? I'm happy just pull starting mine, but every once in awhile I turn the key too far and bump the starter. I'm thinking about disconnecting it so this doesn't happen and probably will if Cat doesn't come up with a real fix.
 

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I'm sure that AC will be coming up with a new shaft to fix the problem. My dealer choose to weld the washer in place rather then wait for the re-designed shaft when ever that becomes available.

My guess is that it's welded in place and to get to it you have to pull the air box off the front of the machine and possibly the Y pipe.

My sled started a good 20 or 30 times before it ever broke for good. I did a lot of starting and moving it around at home before I ever took it to the trails. It wasn't until the 2nd day on the trail that it acted up. I don't know how long I would trust the set-up to last because with each bump of the starter you're risking the clip getting knocked out of position. Another option would be to disconnect the wire to the starter so that it couldn't turn at all.
 

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I was thinking the same thing regarding bumping the starter. I'm getting used to the switch now, so I haven't bumped it lately. I am planning on waiting to see what Cat comes up with for a fix before I go welding on it, but it's nice to know you've had good luck with yours like that.
 
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