We bought a 1990 Polaris Classic 500cc for Paula.  She didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on her first snowmobile so we went budget shopping and did we get what we paid for!!!!  At first it looked like a great deal.  If it had stayed in one piece it would have been.  Since this year was fairly snowless we had to buy our sleds on risk that they were in good working order.  The guy who we bought hers from was very nice and seemed pretty honest.  What happened next I am unsure if he was aware of or if it was just a accidental result of him not reassembling the drive mechanism correctly after he replaced some bearings in the chain case.

Anyway, we trailered the sleds up to Hougton, MI this year (12/28/2001-01/01/2002) over the new year holiday.  After a long 8 hour trip we were ready to hit the trails the next morning.  Right away after pulling the snowmobile off the trailer my friend looked at it funny and said the clutch was engaging funny.  We looked at it quickly and just thought that maybe it was the way the sled was.  In our guts I think we knew better.  So on to the trails we go.  We fill up the sleds with gas at a local station and hit the trails.  My snowmobile ('96 Ski-Doo formula III) was running well so the guys and I blasted off.  A few minutes later we noticed that the girls were no where to be seen.  Normally they are hot on our tails so we figured one must have gotten stuck or something. 

Then we got the bad news.  Beep...beep...beep go the FRS radios.  "Uh...Dave, you need to come back here.  There is a problem."  Total distance on the sled....4 miles.

We return to the snowmobile to find that the secondary clutch let go.  At the time we didn't know why, but the secondary clutch was extremely hot.  It melted a pair of my friends glove liners!!!  Had he not been wearing him I am sure 3rd degree burns would have been the result and his sledding trip would have been over.

The investigation when I got home revealed that the c-clip that holds the secondary clutch helix on the secondary clutch stationary sheeve's shaft let go and then the pressure from the spring and the secondary sheeve which moves pushed the helix against the jackshaft bearing bolt heads.  This ground the crap out of the helix making it unusable as well as creating a ton of heat and allowed the belt to slip at a high rate which trashed the sheeve surfaces.  So in short the obvious damage was 1) complete replacement of the secondary clutch and 2) replace jackshaft bearing since it was roasted and the seals were melted. Here are some pictures of the helix/secondary clutch: picture1 - picture2 - picture3

 I noticed the brake disk and area between the chain case and the chassis were fairly oily so I assumed those bearing/seals were trashed as well so I decided to tear into it and fix those issues as well.  Got an unpleasant surprise when I went into there. picture4 - picture5 - picture6 - picture7

It took about 2 weeks to get all the parts together.  I wish I would have just taken the whole thing apart and then gone and ordered all the parts I needed.  Little did I know though that the farther I looked the worse it got!!!  After finding the broken sprocket tooth and chain all else looked in order so I stopped there.  Ordered a new chain (since It was way too loose!!!) and sprocket set and waited until all the parts came in.

Some misc pictures: picture8 - picture9 - picture10

I got all the parts in and started reassembling the chain case stuff first.  It was obvious when I put the sprockets on that they were not shimmed properly.  The guy who we bought it from must have been a complete moron since it was visually off and with a straight edge it was plain as day.  I bought some shims from the dealer and then some machine bushings from the hardware store since they were a little thinner and shimmed everything perfectly. picture11 - picture12 - picture13

Finally, it was almost done.  Here are the remaining pictures: picture14 - picture15 - picture16 There is a tool to use (not pictured) to align the primary and secondary clutch.  That doesn't seem to be the source of the problem since the new secondary was perfect with the original shimming.

After our first snow I took it for a spin in the yard.  Not enough to really feel comfortable with it, but enough to evaluate how the clutch engaging was.  All seemed fine.  Couple of days later my wife drove it around the yard.  We noticed a little coolant dripping and I assumed at first it was just some that had spilled when I tore it all apart.  Ended up being a couple of stripped hose clamps.  Replaced them and so far so good.

After the trip to Winter wisconsin we noticed that Paula's sled was burining and leaking (seeping) some antifreeze from the head gasket area. I decided to pull the head and check out the damage.

To the best of my knowledge it just looked like a bad crusty gasket. I couldn't see any cracks or warpage in the head so I cleaned things up and put it together. Here are the pictures:
headless ;
Dead head gasket it is hard to see, but you could see the seepage marks in person;
Dead head gasket 2 same here;
dirty head ;
head after cleaning - BIG difference :-);
clean head without paint ;
clean head painted ;
Done picture #1 ;
Done picture #2 ;

The 396 LT1 Motor Page!!   

 The 396 LT1 Install Page!!

Spring/Summer 2000 - Canfield Heads, etc!!! 

My Home Made Hooker Header Y-PIPE page!!

My winter '97-'98 mods page(first mods done)

Car Pictures

T-Top Install Page!!!!! Moser 12 Bolt
2001/2 396 rebuild page 2001/2 Canfield Race Port

LT1 to LS1 Coil Conversion Page

Snowmobile Page

Sonic Blue Polaris 700cc Edge X

1998 Mercury Mountaineer Transfer Case rebuild

1998 Mercury Mountaineer center console lid repair

Winter, Wisconsin web cam (winter only)


All text and pictures on this site are Copyright © 2003 David Wendland - www.dw-zone.com