Snowmobile Service Tips for an Arctic Cat F6: Shock rebuilds and Yamaha Brakes

Q: I own a 2008 Arctic Cat F6. I service the ACT Drive every year. Other Cat owners whose sleds have this drivetrain don’t service their machine as regularly as I do, which makes me wonder if I’m wasting my time. I’m just looking for a little feedback here. Thanks.
Brad Massop
Syracuse, New York

A: Arctic Cat says that the ACT Drive system should be serviced annually, prior to summer storage; we could not find any reference to mileage. Generally speaking, we recommend changing the fluid each season or about every 1,500 miles, whichever comes first. One thing that will make the job easier and quicker is a new gasket kit from Arctic Cat. The gasket goes between the cover and case, and is used instead of the silicone-type sealant that was used in the past. Be sure to clean off all of the old sealant to get clean mount surfaces for the gasket. Its part No. is 2602-173. The gearcase cover gasket is only for use on ACT Drive sleds that have reverse.

Gas Shock Rebuild
Q: I hear conflicting reports about how often gas shocks need to be rebuilt. Some guys say they need it every year, others say every couple of years. Who’s right? What if I only put on 500 miles per year?
Adam Martini
Otsego, Minnesota

A: The ability to rebuild shocks is a great feature that allows the owner to recover that brand-new shock performance with each rebuild. The recommended interval for rebuilding shocks varies on riding conditions and riding style. Generally, shocks used in trail sleds should be rebuilt every 1,000 to 2,500 miles. The harder you ride the sled over chop and big bumps at high speed, the more often they need to be rebuilt. If the shock seals are a few years old, they are less pliable than new and might allow moisture and crud into the shock. Also, the seals can be damaged if the shock shaft is pitted or corroded, which will shorten the lifespan of a shock. When you have your shocks rebuilt, make sure they get new seals, fresh oil and that the shock components are thoroughly cleaned before re-assembly.

Yamaha Brakes
Q: I have a 2006 Yamaha Attak. How do I know if the brakes need to be replaced? I know when the brakes need to be replaced on my car, but how do I know on my sled? Is there anything else I need to service in the brake system?
Ricci Goetz
Hudson, Wisconsin

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A: A quick visual inspection of the brake pads will show whether they need to be replaced. Yamaha brake pads have a groove cut in the face, which is a wear indicator that is visible without disassembling anything. When the groove is no longer visible, the pads need to be replaced. The Attak takes Yamaha brake pad kit part No. 8FU-W0046-01-00, which retails for about $45. Flush the brake fluid at the same time as you service the pads. Brake fluid is corrosive, so it’s important to contain it. A quick and clean way to bleed brakes is to slide a hose over the bleeder screw on the caliper and out the other end into a drain pan. When you loosen the screw, fluid will flow through the hose and into a container rather than dripping behind the chaincase. As you pump the brake lever, keep an eye on the fluid level in the master cylinder so it doesn’t drop too low and suck air into the brake line. Continue the process until you see the new fluid come out of the bleed screw. Tighten the bleed screw, top off the fluid to the correct level in the master cylinder and install the cover. Always check the brake system for safe operation with the rear of the sled raised on a track stand before you ride the sled.

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