ZL Suspension - HCS Snowmobile Forums

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Old 05-18-2004, 09:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Had the whole suspension out of my 97 zl 440 for the last week or so. New slides, bearings, springs, shock pads and the like. Whats the best way to get this thing hooked back up? I've got the rear wheels adjusted all the way in but it won't line up very easily, too far forward. Should I have the springs attached or not? Any tricks out there?? I want to get it done so I can put new skis on and get it put away, I'm getting the "when is this thing going to be out of the middle of the garage" look from the wife.....
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I use a ratchet strap. Put it around the same axles the rear shock mounts to. Tighten it until holes line up. Make sure the springs are adjusted to the softest setting. Put front bolts in first and use blue locktite.
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Old 05-18-2004, 11:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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After putting in the front 2 tunnel mount bolts take the scissor stop bolts out and tap the shaft the way you need to go so that the rear scissor lines up with the tunnel mount holes then bolt to the tunnel. (Don't remove the stop. Just tap it forward or back inside the rails) Then tap the shaft back and put the bolts back in to the scissor stop and your good to go. You may have to sit on the seat to get the scissor to move enough to tap the scissor stop back in. This works trailside because you don't always have a ratchet strap with you.
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Old 05-18-2004, 08:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mainecat@May 18 2004, 10:11 AM
After putting in the front 2 tunnel mount bolts take the scissor stop bolts out and tap the shaft the way you need to go so that the rear scissor lines up with the tunnel mount holes then bolt to the tunnel. (Don't remove the stop. Just tap it forward or back inside the rails) Then tap the shaft back and put the bolts back in to the scissor stop and your good to go. You may have to sit on the seat to get the scissor to move enough to tap the scissor stop back in. This works trailside because you don't always have a ratchet strap with you.
What he said :div20:

After many attempts and various methods the above has become my favorite.
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Old 05-19-2004, 01:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by gstrng1701@May 18 2004, 07:43 AM
Had the whole suspension out of my 97 zl 440 for the last week or so. New slides, bearings, springs, shock pads and the like. Whats the best way to get this thing hooked back up? I've got the rear wheels adjusted all the way in but it won't line up very easily, too far forward. Should I have the springs attached or not? Any tricks out there?? I want to get it done so I can put new skis on and get it put away, I'm getting the "when is this thing going to be out of the middle of the garage" look from the wife.....
You said "too far forward". My experience, and I have a ZL suspension in my old ZR, is the rear holes will be behind the mounting holes, not forward of them. The springs will push the mounting points apart when unrestrained. I do this work with the sled on it's side, some hang the rear from above. Get the front bolts in first and then use a ratchet strap to compress the suspension slightly, or pull the ends of the torsion springs out of the slide blocks on the rails and you can move the rear mounts as much as you need.
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Old 05-19-2004, 01:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Removing the spring ends from the keepers works but on some ZR's like the 01 the plastic forward keepers are not mounted with a bolt but they are mounted to a shart that goes from one side of one rail to the other. Those are a pain in the ass to take the keepers off. If your running stiffer springs they are a pain in the butt to put back in by yourself. The Firecats use bolts plus the firecats are real easy to change the rear springs because you do not have to remove a idler wheel and bearing.
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Old 05-19-2004, 08:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Getting those idler wheels and bearings off was the whole reason I took the suspension completely out. What a pain in the a**. Sleds got just over 5000 miles and they haven't been touched since around 400 mile when heavy duty springs were put on. Finally got those off after days of pentitrating oil and cranking the puller. I got the assembly back inside the track but like I say, the holes are so far forward of the holes in the tunnel, it looks almost impossible to get the assembly back far enough to even get the fronts mounted. Iv'e pulled it back as far is it will go before the rear of the track stops it. I can see I'll most likely have to compress the rear suspension to release some track slack so I can slide it back some but its tough to do by myself on a stand. Thinking of enlisting a buddy this weekend for another pair of hands. I've mostly let the dealer do my work over the years but I'm trying to start doing my own work, put on a new seat cover (that was interesting) new skis, if I can just get this thing hooked up i'll be :div20:
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Old 05-19-2004, 09:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'll tell you what has worked for me in the past. First, take the rear spring slider blocks off to take the tension out of the springs. Next, I liked to get the back end up real high and then I worked the front arms up into the tunnel holes with a floor jack. This seems to help the problem that you have explained about not being able to pull the suspension back far enough. Once you get the front bolts in, it helps to then drop the back end to work the back ones in. The part I left out is that it still takes some sweat and wrestling but it will go in. Good luck.
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Old 05-21-2004, 03:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Do you have the sled laying on it's side? With the sled on it's side you insert the skid frame into the track with the skid frame and track projecting from the tunnel at about a 45 deg angle. Install the front bolts, first the top one and then the bottom one, from the perspective of the sled being on it's side. Then you simply swing the rear of the skid frame up into the tunnel and use the ratchet strap, or release the end of the spring, and align the rear holes. This is essentially the reverse of the process to remove the skid frame. If you can't even get the front holes aligned then your track is probably not aligned to the slide rails and not engaged on the drive sprockets. It can be a PITA to get it back together even if you have done it many times.
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Old 05-22-2004, 10:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I too had to re-install the skid. After a lot of foul language, I had heard that if you put in the front bolts,[had the sled on a jack stand,and a floor jack under the track& skid]tighten the track all the way and then took the floor jack and liffted the skid up into the tunnel the bolt holes for the rear were lined up.Put in the rear bolts ,tighten them up,then adjust the track.Took around 10-15 minutes.Good luck.
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