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Originally posted by Red Devil@Jan 31 2006, 07:27 AM
  I will be moving the front arm back this week, maybe even today. It should work.
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Let me know how that works out. I am going riding in a little bit. I am taking two F5's. One with the rear end low, one with it high. I'm going to ride them back to back and see what happens.
 

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Originally posted by Red Devil@Jan 30 2006, 11:29 PM
Moving the rear skid to the top hole (like my '03) and pulling the limiters takes out a lot of suspension, especially when you need it for the whoops...noticealbly more.:div20:
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Moving to the upper holes does not reduse travel in the suspension, it just lowers the overall height of the sled. If it is that bad move to the upper holes, balance runners with the studs and when you get into a fast turn, get forward and lean alot (it's fun).

Play with the suspension settings a little, but these sleds need alot or rider input. I think that is some of the fun about these sleds. I think what I am learning about the lighter and more powerfull sleds are that if you tell the sled what you want it to do it will (rider input), if you sit back and ask, it will teach you a lesson, fast.

Good luck with the setup. Trial and error works best.
 

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I've already given the recipe for a good handling 05SP, it will not push, it will not dart, it will ride nice and it will wheelie if you want it too. Again, Loose on the front skid shock, torsion set to your liking, couplers OUT if unstudded, in if studded but coupled set to 1, and 55-65 psi in the floats, and skid mounted in stock SP position,Limiters in stock position! bars pivoted more forward- so riser is essentially vertical(this makes a huge difference by getting rider weight more forward).
With C&A ski's this setup has zero push even on the gas mid corner, gets into the corner extremely stable as we have not put an assload of weight on the ski's, does not dart for the same reason, does not nose dive into bumps, and comes out of a corner like a mother F'ker, and rides suprisingly soft, even for a lightweight.
I ride fast flat trails in Aroostook county Me, and ride rough moguled out trails in NH, I also love the ocassional lake race, and guess what, the sled handles near perfect in all those conditions. These other setups are biased towards way to much ski pressure IMHO, this will cause darting, unstable corner entry, lack of grip exiting the corner, and an overall uninspiring ride. If you want something that biased towards ski pressure, you got the wrong sled! The 05SP can flat out rail a corner even with the skid mounted in the stock position and changing the limiter position in an 05sp will F up your rail angle and cause even more issues. :m2c: :firecats_rule:
 

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Originally posted by Noodle@Jan 31 2006, 09:49 AM
Moving to the upper holes does not reduse travel in the suspension, it just lowers the overall height of the sled.  If it is that bad move to the upper holes, balance runners with the studs and when you get into a fast turn, get forward and lean alot (it's fun).

Play with the suspension settings a little, but these sleds need alot or rider input.  I think that is some of the fun about these sleds.  I think what I am learning about the lighter and more powerfull sleds are that if you tell the sled what you want it to do it will (rider input), if you sit back and ask, it will teach you a lesson, fast.

Good luck with the setup.  Trial and error works best.
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If you move it to the top hole, then you have to pull the limiters up to get the same effect as the bottom hole w/ the limiters out....so buy pulling the limiters up, you pull the front of the skid up, when you sit on it, the rear goes up higher than normal since the front is up and your pushing down only on the rear..once the track sits level again, then both shocks will hold your weight..so you make the sled squat lower when you pull the limiters up as well as losing travel of the front shock....If you use the top hole, then you should redrill another hole in the front so you can raise the front higher as well instead of pulling the limters...best of both worlds. Exept the reinforcing plate on the front of my '03 is too small so I can't redrill another hole....But w/ all this is minimal effect on tipiness unless you pull the skid to a 4th hole (redrill strap) which will make the sled spin a lot and have no braking power....so pulling the straps is not the right solution. Geometry, sled wasn't designed to flattrack, but altercations will....
 

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Originally posted by indytriple@Jan 31 2006, 10:08 AM
I've already given the recipe for a good handling 05SP, it will not push, it will not dart, it will ride nice and it will wheelie if you want it too.  Again, Loose on the front skid shock, torsion set to your liking, couplers OUT if unstudded, in if studded but coupled set to 1, and 55-65 psi in the floats, and skid mounted in stock SP position,Limiters in stock position!  bars pivoted more forward- so riser is essentially vertical(this makes a huge difference by getting rider weight more forward).
With C&A ski's this setup has zero push even on the gas mid corner, gets into the corner extremely stable as we have not put an assload of weight on the ski's, does not dart for the same reason, does not nose dive into bumps, and comes out of a corner like a mother F'ker, and rides suprisingly soft, even for a lightweight. 
I ride fast flat trails in Aroostook county Me, and ride rough moguled out trails in NH, I also love the ocassional lake race, and guess what, the sled handles near perfect in all those conditions.  These other setups are biased towards way to much ski pressure IMHO, this will cause darting, unstable corner entry, lack of grip exiting the corner, and an overall uninspiring ride.  If you want something that biased towards ski pressure, you got the wrong sled!  The 05SP can flat out rail a corner even with the skid mounted in the stock position and changing the limiter position in an 05sp will F up your rail angle and cause even more issues.  :m2c:  :firecats_rule:
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My sled doesn't push, I run the slp powder pros and also tried the slp slt's...the pushing stopped when I got new skis, but the one ski in the air didn't.....thats what we are trying to accomplish.....I was in Fort Kent last week right after the rain storm.....60mph in the corners and 120 on the straights!!!!! we are going back up in a few weeks..
 

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Originally posted by sqidd@Jan 29 2006, 03:21 PM
Mine handles like a slot car..........I don't think you tried everything. :dunno:

My Firecats runs circles arround my ZR's
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It's all about the setup! ie; 175 pound rider with snopro suspension set on highest setting = disaster. :div20: :beerchug: <shock oil
 

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Do you still have the stock skis? Stock skis suck!

Get yourself a pair of C&A Outlaw or Razors with 9" shaper bars & it will rail!!
 

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I went up with my latest setup last week. I also took two other Fcats with different setups to compare it too.

My conclusion is this:

Firecats are set up like shit from AC and can't do any one thing good, period. I made some pretty major changes and my sled now rocks the fucking house.

I know my setup is perfect for very agressive trail riding. It's incredible on the brakes and in the corners, It's very good through the bumps, it's ok through big ass whoops, and it blows ass for drag racing. I have not tried to jump it more than a few feet in the air and I doubt I ever will. This is the kind of riding I do, so it works out great.

I will be posting a complete outline of my setup on my site as soon as I get a chance too. I need to put together spring charts and for that I need some time with my shop guys to do some suspension loading tests in the shop.

The biggest thing though is almost all of you need springs if your sled is going to work correctly. The stock ones are way too stiff. And when I mean way too stiff, I mean way too stiff. The ski springs I have on my Ohlins are 15% lighter than the SP ones, and I think they are still a bit too stiff. Add to this that when I tested a SP spring the other day it actualy increased in rate (all high performance suspension applications use straight rate springs) another 15% over the first 3" of travel! That kids is a 30% increase over what I am currently running and I have never bottomed out my ski shocks even on hits I thought were going to throw me over the front of the sled.

I don't have time to outline the entire setup right here, right now. I'm going to do it for my site once. But here is a quick outline for those of you with stock springs:

Skid in the upper mounting hole (lowering the rear)

Ski springs with only 5mm of preload on them

center shock lower mounting bolt in the center posistion (one back from stock)

Center shock spring with 5mm of preload on it

Limiter straps pulled up until you get about 150lbs on each ski, 80-90lbs on the center shock and 170lbs on the rear of the track (rider not on board)

Rear torsion springs on the softest setting

Coupler blocks on the closest setting

Toe the ski's out 1/4" total

105 studs

8 inch carbides

Bars pushed all the way forward and preferably a shorter 2 inch riser

When sitting on the sled you want 3 inches of front sag and 2.5 inches of rear (you will most likely not be able to get this much sag unless you weigh 200+lbs)

I would like to conclude this as a "debate" because I have come to a conclusion I am 100% positive works. If you have another opinion, go ahead and run it. I realy don't care if you think I am out of my mind. I don't need anyone elses opionions on setup at this point.

If you feel that I am totaly off of my rocker I will be glad to meet up in the UP and we can realy test who's setup is the best. I'm not talking about some testosterone injected, I'm tougher than you bullshit session. I am saying that I will take on all comers, that is how confident I am. Not trying to be a dick, just saying I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. I find most people are not.

And if we do meet up and you whoop my ass, I'll buy you a big ass steak dinner and we will sit arround drinking beer and talk about what a arrogant prick I am. :beerchug:

Ya know what, even if I whoop you ass I will still buy you a steak dinner.....and beer. Then I will help you set up your sled. :div20:
 

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sqidd,

Id like to take you up on your offer, not about whos faster or whatever, but it sounds like we ride alot alike
my setup is similar to yours, but I think the most important thing you said was
'' incredible on the brakes and in corners" that is the key to cornering fast on a firecat. I go into the entry of the corner wide open and brake very late and very hard right to the apex of the corner then whack the throttle open. firecats have great turn in under braking. most people make the mistake of braking too early and trying to power through the corner, firecats will push and get into nasty ski lift if ridden this way .
I might be up by my buddy s cabin in east jordon a couple weekends in feb. pm me if your up for a ride. we can take turns chasing each other for a day. sounds like your buyin anyway , I like mine well (lol)

nick
 

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Originally posted by nikstrik7@Feb 5 2006, 09:26 PM
sqidd,

Id like to take you up on your offer, not about whos faster or whatever, but it sounds like we ride alot alike
my setup is similar to yours, but I think the most important thing you said was
'' incredible on the brakes and in corners" that is the key to cornering fast on a firecat. I go into the entry of the corner wide open and brake very late and very hard right to the apex of the corner then whack the throttle open. firecats have great turn in under braking. most people make the mistake of braking too early and trying to power through the corner, firecats will push and get into nasty ski lift if ridden this way .
I might be up by my buddy s cabin in east jordon a couple weekends in feb. pm me if your up for a ride. we can take turns chasing each other for a day. sounds like your buyin anyway , I like mine well (lol)

nick
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Hell yeah I'm buyin'!

Whenever you are thinking about going up let me know. I can leave at a moments notice most of the time. It's my off season (motorcycle shop). I would love to tag along and ride with some different people. Email me any time you have an update at [email protected] I will grab one of my buddies and we will meet you up there :div20:

Have you boiled your brake fluid yet? The last time I went up I had to stop every 20 miles or so of realy hard riding and puit snow on the caliper to get the lever to stop going to the bar (not fun). I'm flushing the system with good fluid before I go up next time, but I am thinking I may need to make some sort of ram-air brake duct or something to keep the caliper cooler.

I would like to put one of these bad boys in there though:
 

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Sqidd,,

Thanks for taking the time and effort to put a post up like this. You sure help guys like me that don't have the time or facilities do the kindof testing you are doing.
I have a 05 F7r (not Snow Pro). You are recomending 5mm preload on the front skis. I measure 2.75 inches from the bottom thread on the shock to the plastic collar,, I tried lowering the collar by 1 or 2 turns but found I was bottoming alot,,, I only trail ride,, no jumping (intentionally anyways). Is the 5mm for a Sno Pro model?

Also,,,,, concerning the 3 possible positions for the bottom mount of the front skid shock/spring. Mine is in the front hole. Could you explain what the impact is to the suspension is when you move from hole to hole.
My buddy and I were looking at those last week and the best we could come up with was the spring rate (or tension) can change without impacting the ride. eg front hole with collar almost on lowest thread,,,, front of skid suspension bottoms easy,,,, 2nd hole = can stiffen spring up for the bumps without impacting ride. Are we close or no cigar?
You are suggesting 2nd hole,, just wondering what you noticed changing when you went from front to middle hole.

Thanks again for this info,,,,,,,, I'll be keeping an eye on this thread for when you post your website address.
 

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Thanks for taking the time and effort to put a post up like this.[/b]
No problem, I do this setup stuff for a living at my shop (on bikes) so it's fun doing it on something completely different. Not to mention, if I get every Firecat set up perfect those REV guys won't know what hit them (remind me to tell you the story of the fast guys on REV800X's that I smoked through the trails last week.....and then got to tell them my sled is a 500 :beerchug: )

I have a 05 F7r (not Snow Pro).  You are recomending 5mm preload on the front skis.  I measure 2.75 inches from the bottom thread on the shock to the plastic collar,,  I tried lowering the collar by 1 or 2 turns but found I was bottoming alot,,, I only trail ride,, no jumping (intentionally anyways).  Is the 5mm for a Sno Pro model?[/b]
I have not had a chance to screw arround with a non SP, but you probably have better spring rates on yours so that is a good thing. I imagine they are still progressive though, which is not the best solution. But I digress. Set the sled up to the sag measurements that I outlined above. 3" front, 2.5" rear. You will need to use more spring preload than the SP springs, but that is irellivent. The sag numbers are the goal. If you continue to bottom out (use a zip tie on the shaft to verify) then you will either need to use a stiffer spring, or a liniar rate spring, or change tha valving. In effect you set the sag where you want it, then you spring/valve for performance.

Also,,,,, concerning the 3 possible positions for the bottom mount of the front skid shock/spring.  Mine is in the front hole.  Could you explain what the impact is to the suspension is when you move from hole to hole.
  My buddy and I were looking at those last week and the best we could come up with was the spring rate (or tension) can change without impacting the ride.  eg front hole with collar almost on lowest thread,,,, front of skid suspension bottoms easy,,,, 2nd hole = can stiffen spring up for the bumps without impacting ride.  Are we close or no cigar?[/b]
You guys are on the correct path here. In effect the other mounting hole will create a "softer" spring/shock combo. But the main reason to move it is that you will be pulling the limiter straps up to the point where the shock starts getting compressed. If you move it to the center hole the shock will be able to get it's travel back.

  You are suggesting 2nd hole,, just wondering what you noticed changing when you went from front to middle hole.[/b]
I couldn't feel a lot of difference, but unlike I am suposed to I made three changes at once (limiter straps, softer rear springs, lowered rear ride height) so it was hard to decern what effected what the most. It was definitly preferable to let the shock sit in a posistion that would allow it to use all of it's travel though.

Thanks again for this info,,,,,,,, I'll be keeping an eye on this thread for when you post your website address.[/b]
Yeah, my web guys got me section8snowmobiles.com (my shop is section8superbike.com, kinda cute huh). When I get all the spring charts together, with suggested rates based on rider weights I will put up a step by step instructions on how to set up the sled, including pictures and what springs to get for your application.

It's too bad, but I won't be able to put good valving specs together until spring when I have access to the shock dyno. After I am done with that testing I will be able to have suggesting spring rates, matching valving, all the geometry numbers, directions, etc.

And something else you guys should keep in mind, I have been messing arround with two F sleds with Fox shocks and when we pulled them apart the fluid was horrible! :banghead: You would have though someone filled them with meatalflake green paint! The first rebuild is the most important, you get all of the casting crap, stuff from production, seal material from break in, etc floating arround in there. If you have never had your shocks serviced (and I mean a real rebuild, not one of these $65 "fluid changes") get them done. They should be serviced after 500 miles the first time and every 1000 miles after that.

For compsrisons sake we do our racebikes very weekend, and that is only about 150 miles between rebuilds.
 

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OMFG...now thats what i'm talking about. Man did some tweaking to this thing and man it handles like a new machine. I always had to let off in corners so i didnt go inot the ruhbarb but man now its like its on rails. Awesome post guys. Sticky this dudes.
 

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Yep followed everything in list above except moving the front shock to middle hole..was too lazy for that :) and limiter straps i left alone as well but this setup works fine enough for me. It hugs the corners big time now but still goes like hell.
 

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Originally posted by Flight@Jan 29 2006, 12:15 AM
Its got to be the float shocks, you better trade me for my standard shocks, its rails!!!
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Your last sled was a 1980...I have the same sled and it is has narly ski lift unless your hanging off like an oval racer....
 
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