The Ski-Doo Pilot TS (Tunable Ski) skis found on some Ski-Doo models represent a unique way to influence the handling characteristics of a snowmobile. With a few turns of a knob, users can extend or retract the runner from within the ski to dial in the front end’s grip for the conditions. The feature debuted in model year 2016.
To replace a set of wear bars – which are actually blades – on a pair of Ski-Doo Pilot TS skis, the skis must be removed from their spindles. This might seem intimidating, but removing the skis and replacing a set of worn Pilot TS blades or to install a set with more or less cutting carbide is actually quite simple and takes less than 10 minutes. It’s notably different than any other wear bar replacement job, though, because when you remove the ski, the runner stays indirectly attached to the spindle.
To keep the fleet of Snow Goer magazine demo snowmobiles rolling, we perform a lot of maintenance and aftermarket part installations every winter. Here’s how we replace the wear bar blades for a set of Ski-Doo Pilot TS skis.
Step 1: Elevate Front End
Gravity can be a great help for this job, so it should be performed with the front end of the machine elevated straight above the ground. Set the Ski-Doo’s bulkhead on a milk crate or put a jack stand under the front bumper rather than rolling the sled onto it side. Make sure the snowmobile is stable before proceeding to the next step.
Step 2: Remove Ski Mounting Hardware
Remove the ski from the snowmobile by holding a 16 mm wrench on the ski’s mount bolt and use a ratchet with a deep-well, 15 mm socket to spin the nut. After removing the nut, use a rubber or plastic hammer to knock the bolt out of the hole. Set the hardware aside until reassembly.
Step 3: Separate Ski From Blade
With the mounting hardware removed, slide the ski off of the blade. This might require some old-fashioned brut force, but at this point the ski is only held on the sled with friction between the plastic ski saddle and the metal blade you are working to replace. To remove the skis from our sled, we stomped a foot on top of the skis, which knocked them off of the blade. Gravity is helpful here.
Step 4: Remove Old Blade
After the ski falls off of the old blade, the blade will hang from the runner support assembly. Slide the support assembly’s short retainer pin out of the slot in the wear bar, remove the bar and set it aside. Now you’re ready to install the new blade.
Step 5: Install New Blade
By now you might have noticed that the blade is not symmetrical – it has a front and rear end. Put the new bar on the runner support assembly with the angled end facing forward, and then reinstall the retainer pin you removed in Step 4 to hold the blade under the spindle. Reinstalling the pin here is another step where having gravity on your side is beneficial.
Step 6: Install Ski
With the wear bar hanging in place, center the blade over the slot in the ski and push the ski up and into position on the spindle. Wiggle the ski until its holes line up with the mounting hole in the spindle, and then install the ski-to-spindle mount bolt. If necessary, use a rubber or plastic hammer to knock the bolt through the hole. Tighten the nut to 35 pound feet.
Step 7: Adjust Blade Height
Cycle the adjustment knob to make sure the new blade extends and retracts from within the ski. Repeat all steps for the other ski and then adjust the blades so they are on the same setting.
Here’s where you can find out how the Ski-Doo Pilot TS ski went from concept to reality.