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Discussion Starter #1
Im currently looking at a 2006 F7 Firecat EFI and I was wondering what are some common problems that I should look for and be aware of when buying a F7 and what years would be the most reliable. I was told that these had problems when being opened up full throttle for a long period of time & that the motor would give out, Is this true? Also was told that the motors would twist and go threw belts, Are these rumors true?
 

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06's are trouble free. The cracked bulkheads were mainly in 2003
 

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The Speedometer sensors fail causing crazy speed readings and/or no reading at all. Thats the one issue Ive run into on my F6. I havent gone about repairing it yet as it seems to be a pain to get to...Im going to do it when I take the ACT drive gearbox off this summer to flush it and check the internals...another item to keep after if your machine has it (which it does unless its a Reverse model).
 

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In 2006 that machine would have the Diamond Drive and there is no provision to add reverse. That was the best year of the F7 IMO...the most refined as they had fixed any of the previous year issues and should be pretty much trouble free for many miles. The engines are Suzuki and are just about bullet proof. The biggest issue I experienced with mine was the secondary clutch sheave bushing wore by 2k miles and I had to replace the clutch. I upgraded the clutch and added a clutch kit as well as some other goodies and it was faster than ever. The only sled better that year was the F7 with reverse. These were few and far between and the difference was they came with a chain case and reverse as opposed to the DD which if you are notfamiliar with what they are...they are a all gear driven unit with a planetary reduction that drives the track shaft directly and does not use a jack shaft. Some love them, some hate them. I have personally had 3 machines now with DD and no issues with the older style at all.
 

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I have 2- 2006 F7's EFI, I bought both of them used... I think they have little to no "problems", other than the obvious. I have put 1700 miles on mine....never a problem, other than replacing worn out slides, upgraded to studs, 8in dooly carbides, one idler wheel 2 years ago, new belt this year, new plugs this year as "preventative" maintaince. My wifes sled has seen about 700 miles....other than upgrading studs, and dooly carbides. Of course chassis grease everyyear, check all nuts and bolt for tightness-looseness, and diamond drive fluid.

Talked to a guy this weekend, his biggest regret was every selling his F7...said his was "bulletproof". I had a ZR 500EFI prior to these F7's, and these are some much more comfortable and easier to ride..IMO. I do all trail riding, never had much use for reverse. Love my F7's.Cat happy You won't be sorry.
 

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Oh yeah, there seems to be so many other "upgrades", accessories, and new and used parts available everywhere for these sleds. I also love reading this forum and all the great and helpful posts that have helped me learn so much more about my sled...I also bought a service manual CD off ebay...it was like $7 bucks, very helpful, and it seems that a lot of dealers have the parts microfische available right on line, so that if you take it apart...you can put it back together correctly, and parts numbers...if you need to order anything.

I believe the 2006 models also have an upgraded seat from previous models.

I also have "fatboy" springs in mine, not that I need them, but I like the firmness compared to my wifes sled.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have 2- 2006 F7's EFI, I bought both of them used... I think they have little to no "problems", other than the obvious. I have put 1700 miles on mine....never a problem, other than replacing worn out slides, upgraded to studs, 8in dooly carbides, one idler wheel 2 years ago, new belt this year, new plugs this year as "preventative" maintaince. My wifes sled has seen about 700 miles....other than upgrading studs, and dooly carbides. Of course chassis grease everyyear, check all nuts and bolt for tightness-looseness, and diamond drive fluid.

Talked to a guy this weekend, his biggest regret was every selling his F7...said his was "bulletproof". I had a ZR 500EFI prior to these F7's, and these are some much more comfortable and easier to ride..IMO. I do all trail riding, never had much use for reverse. Love my F7's.Cat happy You won't be sorry.
Thanks and what year was your ZR? I currently have a 02 ZR 600 EFI and the F7 will be an upgrade, But I still plan to keep the ZR.
 

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This from another thread:

Beware of F7 Coolant Hose
I have a F7 Sabercat (2004), and mostly love the sled. Comfortable, fast, all those good things. Just be aware of Arctic Cat Service Bulletin 2004-1-10, engine to front heat exchanger coolant hose.
This is something AC should have recalled but did not I'm sure because it is not safety related and was too expensive to do so.
What happens on the F7's and Sabercats is this hose, which is below the engine, rubs on the frame and eventually springs a leak. Coolant loss.....then, very bad things can happen. My repair bill for a fried engine was $2300. I was not aware of this until it was too late.
Cat does have a new hose for this, around $18 and if you get an F7 by all means invest in this part.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This from another thread:

Beware of F7 Coolant Hose
I have a F7 Sabercat (2004), and mostly love the sled. Comfortable, fast, all those good things. Just be aware of Arctic Cat Service Bulletin 2004-1-10, engine to front heat exchanger coolant hose.
This is something AC should have recalled but did not I'm sure because it is not safety related and was too expensive to do so.
What happens on the F7's and Sabercats is this hose, which is below the engine, rubs on the frame and eventually springs a leak. Coolant loss.....then, very bad things can happen. My repair bill for a fried engine was $2300. I was not aware of this until it was too late.

Cat does have a new hose for this, around $18 and if you get an F7 by all means invest in this part.

Can I get a part # for the new updated coolant hose?
 

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I upgraded this year to a 05 F6 Sno Pro after 13 years on a 97 ZR 440 (still have it, no way I could let that machine go!!) and let me tell you, these machines are quite night and day. The ZR 440 was a nimble, quick, fun machine but the Firecat is no doubt a big upgrade.

The seat is much improved on the 05 and 06 models over the 03 + 04 models. I rode an 03 F5 (which had awesome power for its class!!) and the seat was absolutely terrible. The foam was too soft and the seat in general was way too low for my liking.

On my 05, which I bought with roughly 1400 miles (or so I thought..) has had a couple of relitively minor issues to develop. As I mentioned before, the Speedometer/Odometer works about 50% of the time. The Speedo Sensor pickup on these models (both chaincase and DD models) seem to fail quite often. I havent attempted a fix, Im too busy riding the thing Cat happy

The Secondary clutch had a few bolts snap off...the bolts on mine that broke off were the ones that held the Spring Adjuster Plate onto the helix but I guess alot of guys were having the bolts on the backside of the stationary sheave break, so watchout for that. I hear that the stock secondary in General is a weakness on the machine. I noticed my belt isnt quite riding all the way to top of the pulley, maybe a 1/16th low so Ive gotta look into that.

Other then that the machine has been solid. The engine performance, though a little rich downlow during initial takeoff, is absolutely awesome! More then enough for me! The Bump performance is really good. The Ergonomics, though not the latest and greatest anymore, are still very good...and a massive improvement over the 97. The Handling, hmm I want to do a little dialing in (which I havent had a chance to do), it isnt very consistant. Thats one spot the ol ZR 440 has it on...for now! Ill get it to handle betterRockerdude

So theres my Firecat opinion, even though its from a F6 rider!
 
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