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To whom reads this email. I'm a very dedicated snowmobiler. I have been a Ski-Doo and Cat guy for 11 years, I was thinking of ditching my Ski-Doo and snow checking an 2004 Arctic Cat F7. Whats keeping me from going down to my dealer right here and now is the amount of complaints and first hand experience with the problems of the 2003 Firecat sleds, not just minor flaws, but very critical flaws. Im a daily rider, I keep up to date with my info, I do my homework, and I spend alot of time on online forums educating myseld even more with the latest models. Below is a list of summarized problems I have seen myself first hand happen to Firecat owners. The email would have been longer but I was wary that you may close the window before reading it all. I'm not in any way trying to degrade Arctic Cat, a matter of fact I hope you can email me back defending and educating me of these problems and if there a regular common thing or what. Please turn my mind around, thanks.

-Rear suspension arm bracket that holds the spring ends broke because it's not properly welded on both sides.

-I will be cruising along and all of a sudden it will drop a cylinder and run like crap-no power and a max of 35mph. If I keep riding it it will try to pick up the other cylinder and will run better but not great. If I put snow on the exhaust manifold it only melts on one side so I know the cylinder isnt firing. I've changed the plugs thinking they were fouled but it makes no difference.
-I lost three idler wheels this weekend. The bearings just disintigrated. I have about 3500 miles on my F5 and the all went at about the same time. It is me or should these last longer than that. Also my dealer is charging me for the new ones.
- My pull start rope broke, nothing like being out having a great time and going to start your sled and having the rope break.
- Also the F7 was suppose to hit 115....on a good day, i hit a 105 on a lake run (radar).

-After having all updates done and finally getting to ride my F7 sno pro I find out that the 1st time my oil pump was adjusted they shortened the rod 3 turns. Well I made it 16 miles the first time with premix in before melting the mag side down. So I take it back to the dealer and they put a new jug and piston in and readjust the oil pump rod to its shortest posistion (7 more turns). I made it 6 miles this time with premix in before melting the mag side down again. So I ask the dumb question Do we really know if the oil pump was the culprit on F7 burndowns?

-First my digital display started cutting out at idle 200 miles ago. Then my hand warmers about 100 miles ago, and now my headlights barely light up unless on steady throttle. As soon as I let off the gas, or put on the brakes, or hit a big bump, they dim out 90%. Dealer has ordered a voltage regulator, but I'm beginning to think this is may also be a short somewhere. Anyone else experiencing these symptoms?
-APV cables coming off





Where do I start? Well the sled has 470 (easy) miles & this sled deffinately is not what I thought it would be. Only had the sled for 2 weeks & I have been back to the dealer 3 times for updates & other misc. problems. Problems I have encountered from just 1 weekend of riding:

-Went through 1 gallon of APV oil for 470 miles of riding
-Parking brake fell off...how I don't know!
-Terrible Ice builup coming from under the seat..drooling down the tunnel & building up on the running boards.
-Terrible trail riding performance in the corners
-Stock 4" carbide is not adequate for a supposedly top notch $7000-$8000 sled
-Both upper spring retainers on my front shock springs fell out 80 miles into a trip.
-RPM will go up to about 7800 but the sled struggles to get above 90 mph on good hard pack conditions.
-Brake fluid was not topped off when the sled was purchased...same with coolant.
-Hood decals look like #### peeling off & not aligned properly
-Seams on hood don't align properly
-Exhaust pipe was rusted & the paint was peeling from day 1.

The most frustrating thing for me is that I feel that Im not being told the truth by the dealer....& Cat tells me that I can speak with the dealer only! I can accept the fact that the fit & finish is horrendous. The thing that bothers me is that I'm coming off a 1999 ZR 600 efi & that sled has more balls from bottom to top! I've gotten to the point that I don't want to bring the sled back to the dealer because he can't understand why I would want to go over 90mph. The F7 is supposed to be one bad ### sled...I would like to think my F7 has that potential but there is so many factors in why it seems to be lacking..in regards to a lack of power & top end speed. Can someone help me out as to why this motor seems to be seriously lacking! From what I have read on this site many people have the same issues...but as far as the power & lack of top end issue I have not seen anything but a lot different opinions.

Here is some of what I have been told that may lead to lack of power/top end:

-Throttle cable needing adjustment.
-Power valves needing adjustment/cleaning
-Clutch out of alignmnet
-Piston damage due to various issues
-Cracked exhaust pipe
-Bad ECU
-Bad Belt
-Track comes too tight from the factory
-Oil pump adjustment runs the sled too rich
-Improper fuel & fuel switch being used in the wrong mode
-Fuel pump restricted


-"It would be nice to think I can just tweak a few things & this sled will run like it should...does anyone else have the same issues?? Does anyone have any simple solutions? Buying this sled has been the most frustrating experience for me...I'm not a mechanic or a rocket scientist....so I do not have all the answers. My dealer just seems to care about making sure the updates are done & that the sled is getting as much oil as possible. It seems to me that some of the updates take away from the performance of the sled to cover A/C's & the dealers ###. What about the consumer who was told that this sled is one of the fastest most radical sleds on snow? So far I think I have a lemon. The sled doesn't even have 500 miles & I could write a book on all the the problems & issues that need resolving on this sled. At this point in time I just wish I could get the sled to run stronger. If anyone could outline & describe to me what I need to do I would like to be able to do the work myself without having to load up & drive 2 hours back to my dealer. Thanks for the help! "

-"Ok, I just took my sled in again and I was wondering if anyone else has had that many problems with the F5. I will start at the beginning and go to today. The first day I brought the sled home we got some snow. I took it out and thought I would try it out. I would hit the gas, it would go for a second and then start to only run on one cylinder. That started things off pretty well, so I brought the sled back to the dealer. I found out that the fuel line was being pinched off and one cylinder wasnt getting any fuel. So that was fixed and we didnt have any snow for a couple weeks. The next time I went out the sled ran ok for a while. After about 20 miles the sled started to loose power big time, so I shut it off. When I did this the sled caught on fire. My brother and I hurried to throw snow on it to put it out. Not quite sure what caused this, and it didnt do it again. I figured it would be a good time to take the sled back for the updates. So all the updates were completed and I brought it home. They said they couldnt figure out why it caught on fire. I got a couple days of riding in, and the sled went pretty good. I stopped in a field to take a break, went to start the sled and the wind up for the cord broke. Had to be towed back, but luckily it wasnt very far from home. I took it back for that to be fixed. I brought it home again, rode that night, things went well. I took the sled back out in the morning and the thing lost power and would only hit 7000 rpms. I took it back to find out that the Power Valve wasnt opening, the cables were connected and all that. The servo was burnt out. By this time I was pretty upset and was about sick of the sled. Things went well for about two weeks, then while riding in some rough stuff, the rear suspension collapsed. I decided to fix that myself, the rear bolts had sheared off. It was another two weeks since that had happened and it was going ok. It didnt seem to go as good as it did earlier, but it wasnt too far down on power so I didnt care at this point. So today we were riding in the field and my brother got on. He came around a corner hit the gas and went to let off, but the throttle had stuck wide open, it was comming to a big bank in the field so he baled off the back. Luckily I just put a teather cord on the sled so when he came off, the sled shut down. He took a pretty good spill, but he is ok. So anyway, we couldnt get the sled started again, it was completely loaded with fuel. The throttle was suck to the bar. So we movd it back to the regular position. Took it to the dealer, and he was very suprised to see that the way it happend, the throttle override didnt work. It was just like if you were holding on to the gas. He went to see if the carbs were open or closed and the carbs are completely bound in the wide open position. I dont know what caused it yet, and really dont care. Arctic cat will be hearing from me for sure, and somthing will have to be done. Even the dealer says this is unacceptable. If it wasnt for the theather cord, the sled would have gone into the road and across into the trees. My brother is lucky he wasnt seriously hurt. All this has happend and my sled dosnt even have 600 miles on it yet. What does everyone think about that. Let me know if you have had any similar problems. "

Thats a big chunk of problems, please educate me on this, thank you for your time.

Now what I want from you is a reply, a reply which turns my grudges around, a respone from you that will put a smile back on my face, explain why a 8 thousand dollar sled is doing these horrible things. Explain to me why I should bust my ### all summer for a sled that has a life span of 400 miles. Please explain these problems and if they are fixed or not. Change my mind, change alot of minds.
 

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won't get too many responses on this, I fell asleep about 30 seconds in..But what I can say is read some of the posts that are positive!!! Every single product and item made will always have some problems at one time or another. But I do love riding the F7 no matter who says what..And I bet all others will say the same. :D
 

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Here's my problems I've had so far:
Tie rod shaft hitting head
Kill switch pulled out today
Chrome peeled off inside of windshield
Stickers are lifting from day 1 are are still on back order.
Handguards are still on back order
Track lugs are coming off. Not ripping or tearing but pulling off down to Kevlar.
Seat is ripped in bottom right corner.
tail light nut broke.
Pin fell out that holds emergency lock.
Tach won't read at idle
Headlight covers marked my lights.
Adjusting blocks are stripped.
Exhaust leaks around gasket.
Pull cord fix still didn't fix the problem.
Needs new oil pump and not just an adjustment like cat wants to do.
Rear flap is sucking in and their fix is CHEAP
Exhaust rubber ball in egg shaped now and not round.
My cat cover, the threads are coming out of the seams.
The tunnel is leaking and icing the running boards.
You have to be hercules to remove oil cap.
Chain case is leaking.
Screws are rattling out of bulkhead around motor.
020 Belts are ripping the cogs out. NO WARRANTY
The velcro came off my handlebar pad.

I know there's more but I have to think some.
I've had these updates done that I can think of:
Steering update.
Handlebar clamps were replaced by stronger ones.
Smart valves.
Pull cord fix. CHEAP
Didn't do rear flap. The 04's are reinforced. I'm not dripping a hole and velcroing mine.
Fuel pump fix.
Suspension bolts.
Burping the cooling system. 2 different recalls.
Flip the coil to get rid of interference.

This is all I can think of now. The 04's will have most of this fixed or replaced. I've had no motor problems YET.
Make sure you have an excellent dealer or you'll have a hard time with warranty issues.
 

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I'm not going to change your mind. I've read most of the posts in this site. If this is what what you have to go through to have a " High Tech" sled, I'm more than happy with my "Low Tech" ( quotes from this site ) ZR 900. With the seasons as short as they are I like to sit on the sled seat not the couch waiting for parts for something that never should have broke. Anyone that bought an F series sled this year, I feel for you. Cat should have (my opinion) waited one more year and done some real world testing on these things. Everyone that bought an F series this year became an extention of Cats R&D department. Don't forget, you payed them for this "perk".

03 ZR900
 

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im having problems too !
my f-5 cant seem to lose in smaller drag races against bigger sleds
i cant get this dumb grin off my face
never enough time to ride in the day
2500+ miles and im still happy(what the f%$k)
for some reason it handles bumps way better than my friends rev 600
this thing rips in the twisties
this piece of junk is to light, i dont get sore on long rides
ect ect ect
:p
 

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i have a f-7 with1200 miles.....hopefully 1400 if the snow last till sat,
i have not had any problem's (not counting belt, went at 800 miles)
i would buy another one tomorrow,
the firecat had some problem's,i think mostly dealer fault
and a lot from owners, not warming up the motor right.
from your post i get the impression you know very,
little about snowmobile maintance. the firecat is a high performance
snowmobile,it should be owned by people who are willing to
maintain and care for it.
if you are looking for something to just pull out of the garage,
and ride,...please remember that.
 

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Figure a dealer will say positive things (outdoor shop) You must have been a car salesman. Don't say the problems but just the positives. Sure the sled is made up of hundreds of parts and the firecats are only having problems with a small amount of them but anyone of these problems will stop you dead in your tracks and leave you stuck on the trail or at home because the parts are on backorder.
 

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Geez that is one long post!!

Let me start by saying that i know i don't have the most amount of milage on my sled in this fourm, but i am damn sure i have one of the longest single runs. I have put on just over 1500 miles in five days. Now here is what i can say went wrong with my sled in that entire trip. (i have 3853 miles to date)
ABSOULUTLY NOTHING!!!!!!

Let me give you some positives since you so much pointed out the negative.
Bottom end outstanding.
Midrange outstanding.
Top end untouchable.
Ride Quality 2nd to none.

Comfort i have riden everything from my firecat to the RX-1 and nothing comes close, and i am not saying this becasue i own one. I also have an 2001 ZL esr efi, a 2003 ZR900 and a 2000 Mach Z 800 as well as the RX-1 in my yard, AND NOTHING COMPARES TO THE FIRECAT.
As far as all the things you have listed the only problem i do have with mine is the gas milage, it is much better then i would have ever thought.

Let me also add that if this sled was really that bad i would have to ask myself why all my riding buddies are buying one.

It really bothers me how people harp about the negatives and you never hear about the positive.

I think you should ask ROB what his next pruchase is going to be, i am betting a firecat!!!!

This 03 firecat Red Team Graphics SnoPro of mine will never be sold or traded, i will retire it to the barn to keep as a collectors item with the other toys that sit out there.

If you do long trips and ride with someone with a firecat trade up with them and see if you want to give the machine up when your done. I have no idea where you live, but if you are interested in doing 700 miles in two days next week i will be more then happy to bring you along with us and i will gladly let you use my machine and i will use my wifes. All i ask is you keep it between the trees. :rolleyes: If you live in upper Ny state give me a shout i live in Ontario right on the other side of the boarder.

Good Luck with your next purchase, whatever it might be.

Wow i can talk to huh :D
 

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alleycat yeah it is a high performance machine but I'm not getting out the needle and thread and sowing the cover back together or fixing the handlebar pad. The track is coming apart from defects. Most of if not all my problems are manufacter faults and not mine so I don't agree 100% with you. Yeah there are few idiots who don't warm their sled and cold seize. But for the money you shouldn't have these small aches and pains.
 

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To allycat

What are the ZR 900, ZR 800, T-cats other than a pull and go high performance sleds. High performance means you get to ride it not fix it. We're not talking about mechanic only sleds or we would all have carbs to get the most out of them wouldn't we? These things are having way too many problems. 04's might be good, who knows? 04 F6's still ice up, there's progress.

03 ZR900
 

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hay smokinf7..........the man asked for some opionons.
i told my side......you told your's
if you want to bitch .......go ahead and bitch.
but please dont attack ME!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Originally posted by alleycat@Mar 13 2003, 09:44 PM
i have a f-7 with1200 miles.....hopefully 1400 if the snow last till sat,
i have not had any problem's (not counting belt, went at 800 miles)
i would buy another one tomorrow,
the firecat had some problem's,i think mostly dealer fault
and a lot from owners, not warming up the motor right.
from your post i get the impression you know very,
little about snowmobile maintance. the firecat is a high performance
snowmobile,it should be owned by people who are willing to
maintain and care for it.
if you are looking for something to just pull out of the garage,
and ride,...please remember that.
I repair Sleds for as a 2nd side job...
 

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1200 MILES, had updates done at 900 miles, only problem was a sticky power valve after increaseing the oil too much. This sled rocks compared to my 2002 ZR800.

The less f7's out there the more sleds I can blow away!.

btw, initial post sounds yellow....
 

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I love my F-7 and am glad I got it. I take extremely good care of it and warm it up propperly,but on the trail, I ride it like a raped ape. I have had no problems whatsoever. Picked it up before thanksgiving, and it has never been back to the dealer. After every ride I inspect every nut and bolt. No problems. You take care of your sled, it takes care of you.
 

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To Mr. Z
Well that was quite a bitch list, and if I was in your shoes, I would definately be talking to Cat Inc and not my dealer. The problems you experienced were definately not worth the money you you paid for that sled. You are one of those people who got a "lemon". I truly believe that because everyone I know who has an '03 F-7 either loves it and would not give it up for any other sled, OR..... They hate it because of all the problems they have..... THEIR IS NO IN -BETWEEN. If you look at the recalls/upodate bulletins, cat usually mentions a certain VIN range for a particular update. something tells me they had a quality control issue going on during production. ME- I have 2100 trouble free miles (1220 from a 6 day tour) and absolutely love the way my sled rides. I have done all the updates myself and found out about a majority of them through this forum. (THANK YOU ROB!) Not my dealer. However, one friend had his f-7 start on fire while he was riding it and watched it burn to the ground(less than 300 mi on it) and another friend went through 3 pistons and a rash of other problems that was on your list. So the only thing I can derive from this whole experience is.... BE WARY OF FIRST YEAR SLEDS!!!!!!!! B) B)
 

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yep your right nh patriot,
mr z comes on here acting real stupid about the firecat,
then he tells me he is a mechanic.
yep sounds like a doo man starting a bash





and to fatkid, the zr8-9 and thundercat were never snocrossers
the firecat was based on the 02 factory racer's
as far as your carb, comment,...i am not sure what you
are talking about.i do know that this is my first e f i
and it is better than any carbed sled i have ever owned.
do you own a firecat??????or you another one of
none firecat owners that know everything
about the firecat???????
 

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im having problems too !
my f-5 cant seem to lose in smaller drag races against bigger sleds
i cant get this dumb grin off my face
never enough time to ride in the day
2500+ miles and im still happy(what the f%$k)
for some reason it handles bumps way better than my friends rev 600
this thing rips in the twisties
this piece of junk is to light, i dont get sore on long rides
ect ect ect
HAHAHA I AGREE WITH YA MAN those 7's sure have a lot of problems! HAHAHAHA let me add

I feel like tucker hibbert wen going off jumps
everyone drools at the site of my sled
my skis wont stop sticking in the corners
i smile at the sight of moguls
my friends envy me
it gives me a good laugh every time people bitch bout their 7's
my speedo doesnt go high enough
needed to buy mirrors
:lol: :p :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Originally posted by alleycat@Mar 13 2003, 10:42 PM
yep your right nh patriot,
mr z comes on here acting real stupid about the firecat,
then he tells me he is a mechanic.
yep sounds like a doo man starting a bash





and to fatkid, the zr8-9 and thundercat were never snocrossers
the firecat was based on the 02 factory racer's
as far as your carb, comment,...i am not sure what you
are talking about.i do know that this is my first e f i
and it is better than any carbed sled i have ever owned.
do you own a firecat??????or you another one of
none firecat owners that know everything
about the firecat???????
Bashing cat? Maybe your too thick in the head and did not realize im very interested in a 2004 F7, I simply wanted some answers before handing out 7 and a half grand, instead I got stuck up asshole remarks from you.
 

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Hey I never said they didn't have some problems ..But when did I say positive thingd... I basically think once you have a good ride on one, you WILL be hooked..And I have read many many posts here that , guys have had plenty of problems (again no excuse on that) BUT they still get off the sled and have a HUGE :D on their face.....

smokinF7...yours is just opinion too...just like all of ours.. :)
 

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750 miles and not one problem that made me miss a ride. I have been to my dealer 3 times this year for the updates more than usual but not that bad. All and all I would buy this sled again and recommend it to anyone.


P.S. don't believe every bad thing you hear ASSHOLES DO TALK SHIT!
 
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