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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm gathering information on long tracking ZR's. I've alerady read one thread that had alot of useful info in it but I have some more questions.

1. Are 8 inch idler wheels worth it? I read that you need a different idler axle to use 8 inchers. Is this true? If so, who makes 'em.

2. The only manufacturer I know of that makes tunnel and rail extensions is Tracks Usa. Are there any other people who make these.

3. I decided to use a 1.25 track and am pretty sure that it would be good enough for trails and off- trail. Will any 15 by 136 by 1.25 track from any manufacturer or take off from any brand work?

4. I read in another thread that you should change gearing to 19/40. Is this correct?

5. Instead of buying the rail extensions, why couldn't you just buy a used 136'' skid from a Powder special? To me that would be the more economicial way because you could sell your stock skid to buy the 136''.


6. Is there anything else I should know or should do that I've missed?

This will be my summer project and I'm just starting to get some information on it.


Thanks a million :beer_cheers:
 

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the 8" would need you to buy an aftermarket kit to install them,and the problem is the wheels take away from track length to go around the wheels,extensions are fine but the mtn cat rails would work too,once you go long youll never go back to short
 

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Just finished putting a 144 2" on my 600. check out crracingcanada.com he had all the parts i needed and the track i got off ebay. i did have to put 8 tooth drivers on it and notch the track a little for the coolers but it works good in the powder now. if you need more info let me know.
 

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Can't say if 8" wheels are worth it but they do look cool! My friend put rail extensions on his Thundercat that he bought of e-bay that were made for the bigger wheels and he didn't need the offset axle. The drawback to doing that is that he needed to put longer coolers on to keep from ripping the hose that runs between the back of the coolers with the studs even with the shield over it. I bought a powder special skid and used that and didn't need to do anything to the coolers and have had no problems overheating at all. We both used factory Arctic Cat tunnel extensions although others are available. As far as I know any 136 x 15 track will work but you will have to have one notched for the coolers if it is over about 1.25 lug. We both are also running stock gearing, but I am running a mildly ported 900 twin with twin pipes and he is running a 1000 tripple so maybe that has to be taken for what you think it is worth. I personally will never bother with a 121 sled again, it is just so mucheemore fun to ride and much safer when it comes time to stop or let it top out on long railroad grades. Any more questions feel free to pm me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think I will just buy a used 136'' skid. I read in another thread that the 8 inch wheels which help offset the horsepower loss from the hevier track. I know Mountain Cats used 8 inch wheels so could I use an axle from a mountain cat with the 8 inch wheels? How hard would it be to extend the heat exchanger and what would the process be?

Oh, by the way does anyone know the part number for the Arctic Cat tunnel Extension?
 

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In case you haven't seen it, HERE is my 136" story.

1. Considered 8" wheels, and asked my dealer who has been very successful in racing, and had them in his shop for sale, and he said there are several other things to spend your money on for a sled that will give you a much better bang-for-your-dollar ratio. I passed. But I guess if you found everything you needed from an individual at great prices, they may be worth it.

2. There are others. I just searched two weeks ago as I am longtracking my second sled, a 2001 Tcat. I found about 2 or 3 that looked decent enough, but just didn't prove to be any better in my eyes than Cat's extension. I don't like Track USA's because you have to cut part of the 121" extension off. True, you'll probably never use that part again, but Cat's part overlaps the original tunnel for about 6" which does add to the rigidity of the tunnel when finished. I ended up lucking out and found a used Cat extension. One thing that angered me while doing mine this month is that Cat has raised the price of their extension by $100, to $189. When I did my ZR 3 or 4 years ago, it was $85.95. I guess it's no coincidence that most of the mountain shops that make theirs are charging about $195...I think Cat saw their pricing and didn't want to leave any money on the table. Search "arcitc cat snowmobile tunnel extension" in google and see what you come up with. Van Amburg offers a nice product, and even Dennis Kirk has SLP extensions in their catalog that look pretty nice.

3. Any track of mentioned size should work...don't go taller than 1.25. I will be using another Ripsaw for my second time around. It has been an awesome track for mostly trail riding and about 10% playing in the powder.

4. I never changed my gearing, I think that's a myth that can be busted. Like mentioned before, I also had twin pipes and clutching on my ZR 800, so I wasn't lacking in the power dpt to start with. I will not be changing the gearing on my Tcat either.

5. My first time around my dealer was able to get me a used 136" skid from Cat, and I did exactly what you suggested. Sold the redone 121" skid and recouped all my $$$ for the cost of the 136. This time I was lucky and found a pair of used rails...I didn't want to mess with swapping out the skid arms and selling the other skid again. I know some of the new rail extensions are pretty sweet, but I just like the idea of solid rails...I just don't see how any extensions can be more solid than a one-piece rail.

6. I did not extend my coolers and never had an overheating issue in 3500 miles.

Some guys will say to use steel rivets for strength, but alluminum will do just fine. That tunnel extension is just a "cover", and doesn't really have any major continuous stress on it. The other important factor is the alluminum rivets will never rust....look at some other parts in the suspension, like the mounting plate for the rear arm, it usually starts to rust over time. For the bulkhead and other heavily stressed areas, steel is needed.

Don't forget to swap out your rear springs for new mountain cat springs. This was my biggest fault the first time around. My sled bottomed easily after converting to 136". So I ordered the next stiffest ZR springs, and they were a little better, but still not as good as they should be. This time I asked my dealer about this, the same guy as mentioned in #1, and he was quick to point out that 136 springs are stiffer than the 121 springs, for obvious reasons....made sense after he mentioned it, wish I would have asked him a couple seasons ago, lol. So I ordered Tcat Mountain Cat springs this time around.

You will have to move your rear arm mounting plate back in the tunnel. Try to mount that arm in a hole above the floorboard, and not in the hole that is below it. Mounting in that lower hole seems to make it easier for the bolts to "egg" that hole. Mounting in one of the upper holes and using the tunnel for extra reinforcement makes a difference. Make sure you only move that rear mounting hole back the same distance that the rear arm moves back in the longer skid. Take measurements before disassembling, it will help later.

It's late and that's all my brain can spew. Feel free to contact me at any time with a question and I'll try to help.

My dealer is Stan at Triple E Sales. Brent can also help. I ordered all my new parts from them last time. They are great guys.


<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (cat4ever @ Dec 27 2006, 10:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I'm gathering information on long tracking ZR's. I've alerady read one thread that had alot of useful info in it but I have some more questions.

1. Are 8 inch idler wheels worth it? I read that you need a different idler axle to use 8 inchers. Is this true? If so, who makes 'em.

2. The only manufacturer I know of that makes tunnel and rail extensions is Tracks Usa. Are there any other people who make these.

3. I decided to use a 1.25 track and am pretty sure that it would be good enough for trails and off- trail. Will any 15 by 136 by 1.25 track from any manufacturer or take off from any brand work?

4. I read in another thread that you should change gearing to 19/40. Is this correct?

5. Instead of buying the rail extensions, why couldn't you just buy a used 136'' skid from a Powder special? To me that would be the more economicial way because you could sell your stock skid to buy the 136''.


6. Is there anything else I should know or should do that I've missed?

This will be my summer project and I'm just starting to get some information on it.


Thanks a million :beer_cheers:[/b]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are you saying that if I used a 136'' skid I should use the rear arm from the stock 121" or that I just need to move the mounting plate? I'll have to remember to get Mountain Cat springs when I start.


Thanks Not worthy:
 

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I should have clarified myself a little more. I used a skid from a Pantera, and the rear arms are designed a little differently. I probably could have used the Pantera arm, but it had the hardware for the overload springs that I didn't want and had the softer RydeFX shocks. If you go with rails instead of rail extensions, you will have to move the mounting plate no matter what 136" skid you use to keep similar geometry as the shorter skid. If you Think of it this way, on 121" and Crossfire skids, the rear arm is put back just in front of the rear axle. I see basically two benefits to this. One, the added length in the extended skid is BETWEEN the front and rear arms, not BEHIND the rear arm. The other benefit is that you can still use coupling blocks. If you don't move the rear arm back (you can't with extensions), neither of these are true. You can also think of it on a car. If you were going to add let's say 4 feet to the length of your car, would you rather stretch the wheelbase and add it in the middle, or just tack it on to the rearend? You would want to add it to the middle....better ride, weight balance, etc.

If you get a Crossfire or Mountain Cat skid, you could probably get by without transferring any of the arms, and just bolt the longer skid in your sled after moving the mounting plates back. At that point I think it would just depend on the condition of the arms and your personal preference. If you can get one of those springs, you also wouldn't have to buy other springs, unless they're worn out.

I believe I moved the plate back 4 or 4.5" and used one of the other holes in the plate. I think that article of mine has the exact measurements. I'll be finishing mine in a week or two and will let you know what I do.

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (cat4ever @ Dec 28 2006, 01:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Are you saying that if I used a 136'' skid I should use the rear arm from the stock 121" or that I just need to move the mounting plate? I'll have to remember to get Mountain Cat springs when I start.


Thanks Not worthy:[/b]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks TallCool, I'm going to get a used 136'' skid. Can any dealer get used parts from Cat like a skid? If not, maybe I will just search the salvage yards for a skid.
 

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (cat4ever @ Dec 28 2006, 12:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Thanks TallCool, I'm going to get a used 136'' skid. Can any dealer get used parts from Cat like a skid? If not, maybe I will just search the salvage yards for a skid.[/b]
I'm not sure about just any dealer. Watch ebay and snowest.com. There have been a few skids up for auction lately. One went for over $300 and the other a little over $200. Salvage yards might just be your best bet if you're up north somewhere.
 
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