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Well I've now spent about 10 hours trying different setups on my machine to get the reaar suspension where I think it should be but I'm still not 100% sure it's right.

I put 136" rails on it this year and transfererd all of the components fron the 121" frame including a set of Boivin rear links. To install the link kit, I had to drill holes in the new rails because on the standard length rails these bolted on using the track adjuster bolt holes. The holes I drilled were in the same location realative to the rear susp mounting holes so it seemed right. When the Boivin link was installed it pulled back pretty hard on the bottom link of the rear suspension thus reducing the full range of travel. This made the rear of the skid frame about 3-4" shorter than it's full potential.

I tried to drill new holes to mount the Boivin link further forward to allow the susp to fully extend (which it did). But then the thing was like a rock when you jumped on it.

So I pulled the Boivin link off and am going back to stock settings (sort of).

Here's where it gets interesting.............

I went to my local Cat dealer and they were kind enough to let me read a 2005 repair manual for about an hour. I studied the rear susp section and realized that most of the cat suspensions are very similar and the same basic principles apply for most machines. Most of the new machines have a coupling block behind the rear susp that does the same basic thing as the Boivin link I have but the big difference is that the block is adjustable and only limits rearward movement (not forward). This allows full extension of the susp but assists on compression.

The manual recommends that the front of the rear skid should not be lower than the back. This setup will reduce top speed and cause the machine to turn poorly. The only conditions that this setup could be benefitial is in wet snow or hill climbing.

The manual also showed that for all of the long track machines the track tension should be set at 2 - 2 1/2" with 20 lbs of weight.

So here is what I ended up with:

Front shock (rear susp) set med. to med soft, limiter straps around the middle. rear spring set on middle block and the bottom link in the second hole back (stock setting I think).

With the rear set like this, the front end sat lower so I added some tension to the front (ski) shocks.

Now when I sit on the machine, the rear compresses about 3" and the front end raises about 2".

If I jump on it the whole thing seems to move together pretty good (at the same rate).

The track adjusted out real nice at 2" of slack and seems to spin real free. :thumbsup:

It just seems kind of odd when I get off the machine it looks kind of low in the front.
 
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