Keep Your Bearings Straight

I wanted to share a story with Snow Goer Clinic rather than ask a question. I believe some of your readers could benefit from an experience I had. We were 50 miles into our first 100-mile trip last year (at the farthest point away from the trailer) when I started to hear bearing noise from the left side of my snowmobile. After some investigation, we were able to determine it was a jackshaft bearing behind the secondary clutch. We were able to get to a watering hole to have a bite to eat and come up with a game plan. Would I stay at the rest stop and wait for my buddies to return with the trailer? Or would we tow the machine back 50 miles?

Either way, I felt like I was ruining the trip. One of the guys in our group had an idea. With MacGyver-like skills, we found the tools to remove the secondary clutch and loosen the bearing flangette to expose the culprit. The bearing wasn’t too far gone — it would still turn — but it was rough and had more resistance than normal. We used a small, flat screwdriver to pull out the bearing seal, which revealed the lack of grease inside the bearing. One friend had a small tube of grease in the trunk of his sled, so we re-packed the bearing much like we re-packed trailer wheel bearings just a few months earlier. We re-installed the seal and put the sled back together. This quick fix got me back to the trailer without a problem. I honestly believe I could have made it through another day of riding with this simple fix because the grumbling noise mostly disappeared. Now I’ve added a small tube of grease to my sled’s tool box.


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