“If you can’t ride snowmobiles, you might as well work on ’em.” That’s what I tell people who wonder why I’m working on sleds during this stretch of foggy, misty, drizzly weather that we’re enduring in Minnesota, the home state of Snow Goer.
I rode last weekend for the first time this season, but by last Christmas I had already ridden on a handful of days and plans were in the works for a big New Year’s Day ride. I’m hoping that the cold and snow will roll in soon across the Snowbelt, and when it does I want to make sure our test sleds will be ready to roll. Yesterday I studded our 2015 Ski-Doo MX Z TNT 600 H.O. E-TEC demo sled. Here are a few notes about the job:
I installed 84 Fast Trac Top Gun SP studs, along with Airlite SP backer plates. With a larger stud base and larger diameter for the backer, the parts are specifically designed to give more support so they won’t tear out or pull through single-ply tracks like Ski-Doo uses.
- The studs have a thin base that pulls in flush with the track to reduce noise and vibration caused by wheels in the suspension, and the polymer backer plates are thicker around the hole to support tall studs.
- Tightening the nuts to 11 foot pounds seated the studs into the track without distorting the track. I’ll check and reset the torque after a few hundred miles.
- It had been a couple years since I worked with Fast Trac’s studs and backers but yesterday I was reminded about the overall quality, and for how easy they are to install. The studs sucked up nicely into the track, the nuts smoothly twisted on the stud threads, and the T25 pocket on the back of the studs captured the tool securely so it wouldn’t slip out when tightening the nuts.
Yesterday I also ordered a set of C&A Pro RZ skis and a set of Stud Boy 4.5-inch Shaper Bars. That setup should arrive early next week, so I’ll bolt them on before the new year begins and it should round out this traction package quite nicely.