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Discussion Starter #1
I felt this issue is so very important, that it should have it's own post/thread. There have been more than a couple of people who have ridden thier Firecats and had this issue with their machine. Please take a close look at what is being posted here. Myself, and I'm sure every Firecat (and any other snowmobiler for that matter) owner will agree with me that this is something that NEEDS to be addressed.

I copied this from a prior posting on this board that is titled " burned it down and broke rear end" that was started by firecatsnopro.

Thank you.
-John Leo

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firecatsnopro,

Thanks for the info. I have read of several people that this has happened to already, and I really think AC should take a good hard look at this potential problem and recall and replace these arms with a better welded/constructed component.

This issue could very realisticly be a safety concern/issue. Can you imagine riding on a twisty wooded trail at 50-60mph. and having your rear suspension collapse on your sled, or.... worse yet, blasting down a smooth flat straight-away at 70-80mph. and hitting a marginal sized bump and having this component come apart??? This would definetly cause a loss of control(and hope that no one is coming towards you), NO IF, ANDS, or Buts about it!!

I hope AC is paying attention to these boards....
-John
 

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Which arm are you talking about??? I saw this posted elsewhere and took a look at my sled and could not find a spot that looked weak. I ride the bumpy stuff pretty hard and would hate like hell to have something break at a good clip. (Or even a slow clip) Do you have a pic of the area your talking about?? Any help would be great.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Shameful1,

Since I dont have a digital camera, the attached pic is the best I can do. I will try to explain the location to you, here goes.....

The rear idler arm is #1 in the schematic. This is the REAR arm of your rear suspension. Go out to your sled and look at the spring adjuster blocks(the ones that have 3 settings and your rear suspention springs sit on top of) and look at the tube that these coupler blocks are mounted on. Follow the tube towards the center of the sled and you will see the small welds that attach this tube to the main arm(wich is also tubular). There is only 1 weld(there is potentially four places to weld this tube to the main idler arm) per side.... Looks vlike a VERY weak link. :unsure:

Let me know if I need to explain differently or in more detail.
-John
 

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John, Geez, you guys are making me paroniod. I just went out to the garage to check my F5. Welds up top, where there are several gussets welded to the tubes, looked ok. However, checking the bottom, near the item #4 (grease zirt) I noticed that the weld there is cracked. I'll call the dealer in the morning to see what they'll do about it.
Anyone else have response from Dealer?
 

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JLeosnow,

Thanks for the direction, just checked mine and only one weld. I've had 3 ZR's and never had a prob. And I am 210 lbs. and ride hard. Have they changed the skid that much?? Or was this the same on the ZR and we never noticed??

Thanks again, I'll keep my eye on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
gatsledder61,

I think you may be looking in the wrong area since you mentioned several gussets. You need to go down from the area you area talking about to the crosstube that has the spring adjusters mounted on them. Look at the area where thetube or shaft that holds the spring adjusters is welded to the arm.....
-John
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Shameful1,

It is different that the ZR's(surprised me also). The first thing I did when I came across this issue is went to my 02 ZR800CC to see how that area was. It is MUCH beefier and also has a brace welded on each side of where the spring adjuster tube/shaft welds to the main arm tube....

The problem is that I don't think there will be any way to keep an eye on it. When it goes, it will just plain go. There is a lot of tension there due to the fact that it supports both springs! :(
-John
 

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I think it's where the arrow points to. Check the welds where the two tubes meet the cross-tube.

 

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Nope, look at the solid shaft where part 13 (rear spring cam adjuster block) goes onto -- up several inches from where your arrow is pointing to. -- Roy
 

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Just returned from the dealer, I wanted to look at a ZR and your right it's a stronger setup. I wonder if that area can be cleaned with a wheel and welded in place?? I hate the thought of pulling the skid to do it. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Shameful1,

I asked that question on a different post to someone that has welded additional areas on this part of the rear arm, and they said that the skid DID need to be pulled, but they DIDN"T have to dis-assemble the arm from the rest of the skidframe to clean and weld this area...
-John
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Jamie,
My personal opinion on this is, FWIW is: Unless Arctic Cat supplies a new/re-designed arm, I don't think a dealer is going to be able to cover a repair like this under warranty..... :(
-John
 

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If this turns out to be a service issue I'll have the dealer do it when (and if) my reverse kit shows up. If it is not a service prob. then I (we) will have to deal with it.
 

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JLeosnow - Thanks for your precise description. I looked at the point you suggested, and while the weld looks ok, it certainly should have been welded completely around the entire tube. Looks like I'm going to have to pull the skid, and while I'm there, take a look at all the welds and repair as necessary. So much for light weight! That will probably add at least 1/2#.

Garry
 

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JL, If this is a safty issue I would hope cat would fix it ASAP so there is no one hurt when or if this area fails? Has failure in this area happened yet? If so what did it do to the sled?
 
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