Hardcore, wrench-spinning sledheads know that tuning your machine’s clutch is a key part of optimizing your snowmobile’s performance. Clutch tuning is a case of trial and error, and one of the most common tasks requires frequent removal of the weights from the primary clutch. Clutch weight removal is not only required when tuning a clutch, but comes with the territory when riding different altitudes, deep cleaning a clutch and performing clutch maintenance.
To remove the weights, you can remove the primary clutch or leave it on the sled. The latter is more convenient, but requires the clutch spring to be compressed to take the tension off the weights. I have seen it done many different ways; from compressing the clutch with a pry bar, C-clamps or large at blade screwdrivers to being held in a compressed position with wedges, socket extensions, wood blocks or more. You name it, and somebody (quite possibly beside a race track, in a shop or on the side of a mountain) has tried it.
Ibexx now offers a tool that makes this task fast and simple. From the first time I held the Advanced Collapse Tool, there was no doubt it is a well-designed, highly engineered product using high-quality components and materials – which is reflected by its $129.99 retail price. There will be plenty of old-school clutch tuners out there that will scoff at the price and “over-engineered” appearance of this product and brag about how they can compress a clutch for free with tools in their toolbox. But look at their knuckles and fingers – they have likely been bloody, scabbed or scarred from past experiences.
To use it, the curved end of the tool is hooked on the engine-side of the primary clutch’s inner sheeve, and the piston-looking block on the tool is placed against the outer edge of the outer sheeve. The main handle is then rotated up 90 degrees, which squeeze the two parts of the tool together and compresses the spring in the clutch. A safety pin is then inserted in the handle to prevent the handle from rotating back at an inopportune time – like when fingers are in the clutch – and preventing the clutch from slamming shut, which would naturally be followed by multiple four-letter words yelled out of a reddened face of an injured party. The only downside we experienced was that the handle extends about 12 inches straight out and sometimes gets in the way when trying to service the clutch.
Yes, you can do this task with simple tools, but this is a high-end clutch tool for the professional tuner that has a shop that glistens, floor clean enough to eat off of and not a tool out of place. This product is for the person who respects and admires engineering quality down to every detail. Though it does collapse for storage, it is still a little bulky to bring with on your sled, but it’s handy and easy to use on any brand of clutch on a snowmobile or ATV due to its highly adjustable nature.
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