Snowmobile Product Testing: TEAM Tied clutch

A TEAM Tied secondary clutch installed on our 2011 Ski-Doo Renegade demo sled for product testing.January 7, 2010

Yesterday was a fun day of tuning and testing on our 2011 Ski-Doo Renegade E-TEC 800R X demo sled. I spent the day at the TEAM Industries shop on Detroit Lakes, Minn., with TEAM General Manager Mark Schiffner and Product Development Coordinator Jason Koskela where we installed the company’s TEAM Tied secondary clutch and jackshaft kit.

We started the test-and-tune session by adjusting the drive belt to get proper deflection, and then scuffed and cleaned the primary clutch sheaves. We rolled the sled out to nearby Oak Lake and made a few runs against the radar gun to document acceleration curves with the sled in stock form; we recorded top speed with a GPS device because snow dust blocked communication between the moving sled and the radar gun once the sled got a distance away from the radar gun.

With our baseline set, we went back to the shop and swapped out the clutch and jackshaft, which was a process that took only about 20 minutes. (If you know the trick, it’s really simple to replace the Ski-Doo QRS drivetrain in favor of a traditional jackshaft and different driven pulley.) The QRS clutch and jackshaft is one unit, which is why we installed TEAM’s jackshft. If you want to put the Tied clutch on other makes of sleds, you’ll need just the clutch and tuning components to suit your machine.

We ran the sled on the gun to compare pre- and post-modification performance.
Schiffner and Koskela had done some testing ahead of time on an MX Z 800 to come up with a calibration for our sled. We started out with that setup and gained a couple miles per hour on the top end. Our sled isn’t studded, so low-end acceleration was thrown out. We tried a few variations throughout the afternoon with different helixes, primary clutch pin weights and different clicker settings in the TRA, but the original calibration proved best.

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Peak engine rpm was down a little bit by the end of the day, which might have been due to the drive belt being worn out. The sled had about 650 miles on it at the start of the day, so I’m anxious to put on the new belt, break it in and prove whether the original belt already went south.

The TEAM Tied clutch was released about a year ago. Schiffner said the clutch is catching on in the mountain West where snowmobile drivetrains are often under heavy load in deep snow. He said the biggest improvement we’ll notice with the TEAM Tied clutch is quicker backshifting. Clutch and belt temperatures should be cooler, too. We’ll run the sled like this for the rest of the season to evaluate its performance. Look for the story in an issue of Snow Goer next fall.

— Andy Swanson, Snow Goer managing editor

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