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sqidd

i tried to adjust my suspension on my 03 f7 std. as you had suggested but one question i had was when i was doing the 5mm turn back. i had loosened the spring until it was loose but i backed it out until it bottomed out and still not loose loose. should i lift the front skis off teh ground to get the springs loose then tighten? and as for the limiter straps there are three holes stock. do on eof the stock holes work or do you have to drill a new one?
 

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Originally posted by onefastsled@Feb 11 2006, 04:05 PM
sqidd

i tried to adjust my suspension on my 03 f7 std. as you had suggested but one question i had was when i was doing the 5mm turn back. i had loosened the spring until it was loose but i backed it out until it bottomed out and still not loose loose.  should i lift the front skis off teh ground to get the springs loose then tighten? and as for the limiter straps there are three holes stock. do on eof the stock holes work or do you have to drill a new one?
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Yeah, you will need to get the weight off of the springs to do the preload correctly.

Different years have different holes. Mine had two, it's an 04. But they did need to have one drilled anyway.

Grip and Rip which is a site sponsor has some very nice adjustable limiter straps for the Firecat that I think are a must have. :div20:
 

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This setup prolly kills your hole shot though doesn't it :dunno: Wish I could have the best of all worlds - holeshot, bumps, jumps and cornering...proly not possible on these f-cats though -oh well, still love em :ylsuper:
 

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You still have some more tweeking to do...I tried that setup 3 years ago....the ride sucks and you will bottom out hard over the 3' whoops.....moving the center shock back will make it bottom out very easily, especially w/ the stock shocks. Squid and I can get away w/ it, because of the adjustable ohlins, but you can't do it w/ stock shocks......unless you stay totally on groomed trails. Another problem it causes is that it pulls the skid off the ground more then the limiters can on the 3rd hole....which will make the sled dart alot...I have a setup that'll smoke this one, but it stiffens the ride...Redrill another hole for the coupling blocks more forward so the rear coupling arm hits the block when you sit on the sled.. you will have zero ski lift even under acceleration. I used the 03 coupling blocks so you can move the hole further forward away from the other hole....cost $10 for blocks..
I had my front skid shock revalved softer and it rode a lot better than stock and handled like rails....you just get a second kick back when you go ditch banging or going through the big whoops....This setup was my best for 3 years, but now I want to design it to rail w/o the coupling blocks...I want a ditchbanger that'll rail......I'll know after next week...

Squid, your right about the front Ohlins shocks, I haven't bottomed out mine either and my compression adjustment is as fast as possible. I redid all my rear suspension last week. Moved the 2 arms back in the tunnel 2" and redrilled all new holes in the skid and moved the arms back on the skid as well....I'm leaving to take my quads to California to Glamis Sand Dunes this week, I'll be back next week and have a trip lined up to go sledding in Fort Kent, Me.....I don't know where that is from you, but I'll be trying out my setup then.
 

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Originally posted by racer15@Feb 11 2006, 10:45 PM
This setup prolly kills your hole shot though doesn't it :dunno:  Wish I could have the best of all worlds - holeshot, bumps, jumps and cornering...proly not possible on these f-cats though -oh well, still love em :ylsuper:
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The softer springs haven't affected my holeshots at all, the only mod that I've noticed to hurt my braking and accelerating was redrilling my limiters and making a 4th hole...Definately helps and stops the ski lift, BUT it will also dart like hell...Spins a lot more on take off and doesn't stop very well.....Wrong approach.
 

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Originally posted by Red Devil@Feb 12 2006, 06:49 PM
....the ride sucks and you will bottom out hard over the 3' whoops.....
Of course you don't think my setup will work. We atre trying to achive two completely different things. As far as I am concerned a 3' whoop is a jump.....and if there are two, it's a "Double".....and if there are three, you guessed it, it's a "Triple" and if there are more than that I am on the wrong trail.

I set my sled to work perfect for 95% of my riding, which is on groomed trails that sometimes get 1'-1.5' whoops.

It's impossible to set a sled up to go through 3' whoops and rip arround corners. You will always need to comprimise one. Thats why full blown Snowcross sleds handle like shit on the trail and vise versa.

I learned a long time ago when setting up racebikes go that you maximise your setup for the majority of the track even if it will handle like shit in two corners. If you try to set up a comprimise for the entire track you will just end up with a setup that sucks equally everywhere and laptimes will suffer.

The best thing anyone can do when setting there sled up is to figure out what you are going to be doing with it. I have never seen a more clear cut case of "You can't have your cake and eat it too" :div20:
 

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Hey Sqidd, did you ever try the mod i mentioned with the rear shock links? I've found it helped out enormously with the firecat suspension. I ended up going alot softer on the compression valving and this really helped too. Still isnt bottoming.

The firecat suspensions are defenatly set up like crap from the factory. Its terrible. I think they just went with what worked good on the ZR's and hoped for the best, but this was defenatly a big mistake. There are serveral big changes in the rear suspension, esspecially the rear arm. And both suspensions react very differently. Just an example... A friend of mine busted a resivoir connection on his ZR shock this weekend and rather then mess with it at the time, I just loaned him a Firecat SP valved shock I had here so we could ride right away. This shock was WAY too stiff for the way I ride in my F7, but in his ZR it rode like a dream??? I couldnt beleive it. And surprisingly AC uses pretty much identical valving in the ZR and Firecat SP rear shocks. They defenatly didnt do much testing on this one.


Sqidd, you really seem to know about suspension tunning. I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on a problem I still have. My sled really handles great for my riding style right now, and its very nice on most bumps. Incredibly better then stock. But in really big 2'+ woops the rear end still gets really bouncy. I'm wondering if going slower on the rebound (already slower then stock) will help me out? Its hard to tell if the bouncyness is because of the shock rebounding too fast, or if the problem is that the whole rear end of the sled (track, suspension and all) is going airborn off the woops. Should I just keep slowing the rebound till it starts to pack down and then back off a little? No signs of the suspension packing up yet at all. What do you think?

I'm so happy that i'm finally getting this sled dialed in! I didnt have the gear last year and had the shocks Revalved by Shoc Doc here on HCS... They were completely Fucked up! Defenatly dont let the Shoc Doc revalve your shocks!! My rear arm shock was totally messed up. And I found the sled would sometimes pitch to the left when jumping, ends up that the moron had one of my fronts valved way stiffer then the other!! Man I hate letting other people work on my sled. :frech32:
 

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I have re-valved the rear shock 3 times now for rebound dampening. I finally don't get any kick. I will send you the stack when I get home.
 

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Originally posted by racer15@Feb 11 2006, 10:45 PM
This setup prolly kills your hole shot though doesn't it :dunno:  Wish I could have the best of all worlds - holeshot, bumps, jumps and cornering...proly not possible on these f-cats though -oh well, still love em :ylsuper:
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your not going to be able set up any sled with the best of all worlds :div20:
 

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Originally posted by mmurray701@Feb 13 2006, 11:50 AM
But in really big 2'+ woops the rear end still gets really bouncy. I'm wondering if going slower on the rebound (already slower then stock) will help me out? Its hard to tell if the bouncyness is because of the shock rebounding too fast, or if the problem is that the whole rear end of the sled (track, suspension and all) is going airborn off the woops. Should I just keep slowing the rebound till it starts to pack down and then back off a little? No signs of the suspension packing up yet at all. What do you think?
If you are still running the stock SP rear springs you will definitly need a re-valve on the rear shock. Even with my Ohlins set as slow as it would go I could barly control those big ol springs. I was getting kicked up out of the seat and over the windshield it was kicking back so hard!
 

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My big improvements on "railability" came from the following changes - I weigh 210LBs:

1. Pulled limiter straps in one hole
2. Rebuilt/revalved standard ACT skid shocks stiffer and w/slower rebound
3. Standard front skid spring at 5mm
4. I had SP torsions but pulled them and reinstalled the standard springs (waaay to much spring rate w/SP's) and set them on 2.
5. 55 PSI in the Fox floats
6. Upgraded front sway bar
7. C&A Outlaws w/7.5 shapers
8. 153 megabites
9. Blocks set in farthest position

Im running with the skid in the SP position (its easier to bolt it in and I like the look :) )

This setup works excellent for me in mixed conditions. Corners like mad and handles all but the biggest whoops without bouncing or bottoming. I get minimal ski lift and great hook up.
 

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Originally posted by sqidd@Feb 13 2006, 06:43 PM
If you are still running the stock SP rear springs you will definitly need a re-valve on the rear shock. Even with my Ohlins set as slow as it would go I could barly control those big ol springs. I was getting kicked up out of the seat and over the windshield it was kicking back so hard!
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Yeah I think I might try going even slower. If its still bouncy then I'll know for sure that the whole rear of the sled is bouncing, not just the shock returning too fast.

MNF7SP, Let me know on those valve stacks. Its nice to see Sqidd is giving so much advice, but its really not much good to us considering hes using a completely different shock setup. Be really nice to know the FOX valving equivelent.

Sqidd, Why exactly did you go with the Ohlins anyway? I cant complain about the fox shocks at all? If your not happy with the ride theres an infinite possiblity of valves to use. Just wondering...
 

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Originally posted by firecatkid229@Feb 13 2006, 04:11 PM
your not going to be able set up any sled with the best of all worlds :div20:
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BINGO and a good rider can work around a not so perfect set up. Either you KNOW how to ride or you don't. You can back and forth all day on set up but it is just like clutching. give or take.
 

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Rebound Valve Stack. 03/ F7/SP The rebound has alot more dampening. This is the third stack (heaver) for me this year. When you jump on the back of the tunnel and compress it ~5" you will see it come up in ~.5 sec. with spings on 2.

Rebound
(3) 1.25 x .015
(1) 1.1 x.012
(1) 1.0 x.012
(1) .9 x .012
(1) .8 x .012
(1) .7 x .012

Deycore piston
orfice .055"
 

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Originally posted by MNF7SP@Feb 13 2006, 08:35 PM
Rebound Valve Stack. 03/ F7/SP The rebound has alot more dampening. This is the third stack (heaver) for me this year. When you jump on the back of the tunnel and compress it ~5" you will see it come up in ~.5 sec. with spings on 2. 

Rebound
(3) 1.25  x .015
(1) 1.1 x.012
(1) 1.0 x.012
(1)  .9 x .012
(1)  .8 x .012
(1)  .7 x .012

Deycore piston
orfice .055"
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Wow, that is pretty extreme for valving. :Wow1: What about compression?

Has anybody ever considered trying to increase travel in these suspensions? Seems like in recent years the front suspensions in sleds have improved greatly, but not much is changing with the rear end? I have mine in the lower holes now and I'm quite happy with the way the sled handles. I'm ok with the trade in handling for the increased height. It really helps out in deep snow when going off trail, and it looks cool too I guess. But i'd really like to be able mount my skid back in the top holes, and increase the travel to reach this height. Seems like a much better idea then simply moving the whole skid down. If your going to raise the height of the sled, its nice to get more of a gain then simply looking cool and being better in snow. I really dont understand why AC didnt try to get more travel from the SP models? Probably loose a little speed but i cant see any other dissadvantages?

I'm planning on doing this eventually with mine. All depends on snow conditions, if we get any more down time I might try it sometime this winter. If not then in the summer. Front arm is only a joke, I'll just add a resivoir (removing the origional IFP) and throw a longer shaft in the shock. Longer limiter straps then and thats it. should be good to go.

The rear arm is going to be more complicated but i'm sure it can be done. Probably go a little longer on the rear shock as well. And might have to play around with the top mouting hole for the shock (the shock shaft might hit the rear arm), the linkage position and even the linkages themselves.

What do you guys think of this? Think its worth a shot? Anybody every try it before?
 

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Originally posted by mmurray701@Feb 13 2006, 07:48 PM
Sqidd, Why exactly did you go with the Ohlins anyway? I cant complain about the fox shocks at all? If your not happy with the ride theres an infinite possiblity of valves to use. Just wondering...
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I had two SP's before this one and I had always thought they were sprung and valved way too stiff for how I ride and what I weigh.

I am also an Ohlins delaer :div20:

I am actualy going down to Ohlins HQ with some Fox shocks to work on their dyno in a few weeks though. I'm going to try and replicate their damping curves in the Fox shocks so we can offer the "updated" valving. By mid summer I want to have a good baseline setup for Firecats based on weight, riding style, etc. I'm thinking about adding snowmobile suspension setup services to my shops Roadracing stuff. We are doing quite a bit of it right now with no advertising at all (it's all Firecat stuff though). I let two guys that I went sledding with this week ride my sled and now both of their sleds got dropped off at the shop today for Ohlins shocks, standard springs and Simmons Ski's. :div20:
 

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Sqidd - I'm reading your suspension stuff now. On the learning curve... I'm gonna play with my setup - but i'm totally new to trying anything - totally stock 05 F6 - 200lbs. No idea what the setup is - :banghead: yup that ignorant...

Pushes through turns - but i found sitting way forward and leaning hard helps a ton. It also bottoms out. There is sag in the back - I lift it totally and it drops a few inches - if I compress it totally it rebounds slowly (not all the way to top). Normal riding does not cause me to bottom out - but the high speed encounters of moguls/bumps on ungroomed trails cause it to bottom out. Don't like that.... cooling plate damage from previous owner - I've painted them black and studded (102) the track and so far haven't caused any damage myself.

so - into the garage I go tomorrow and i'll tweak away. If anyone has a good setup to go with - send it my way. No owner manual with this sled... and I'm (as stated) ignorant - BUT willing to learn... I don't even know how to adjust limiter straps - i see two straps with holes in them... :doh: then there are a few shocks / springs under the seat - LOL! See if I can play around there.

I've printed this thread - it should be a sticky minus my crap :frech11:

Thanks again for the advice - think I'll use your suspension knowledge for my YZF R6 for the summer - lots of track time coming up!!!!

F6Noob
 

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I hear ya, I'm the same way, took a whole suspension off once to be rebuilt, and changed slidders and added bogey wheels. Thats all I know for the techs, but i do know that that thing WILL do what you want it to, when your not lazy. That thing rides sooooo smooooooth when you BASH it. I'm 170 lbs and the shocks are ALL set firm. When i sit my weight on it sags maybe an inch!!!!! You just dont want to ride it too much with the skiis on the ground.
:frech11:
 

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i wish i'd seen this post earlier,as fastraxx problem is same as mine i have an 03 f7,rode 4 times but the 4th it ski lifted so bad and got tippsy i lost control and clipped a tree breaking the lower control arm possible tunnel damage i can't tell,on hard packed groomed trails it would not turn and pull inside ski up bad but not out of control,now in good snow not groomed it was 10 times worse,i have 153 studs and when i bought it first ride it felt like it would nose dive on decel bad enough,it's a standard,i turned the collars on the front spring up 1/2 and that went away but still not turn,no 4 wheel kit and installed snowpro springs to try to keep the ski pressure in turns,maybe it made it worse,sqidd if you do an f7 please post on it.dissapointing is i was trying to buy a 4wheel kit and a bigger sway bar to help this but don't know how bad it's hurt.
 

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Originally posted by shnizzelfizzel@Feb 19 2006, 01:12 PM
i wish i'd seen this post earlier,as fastraxx problem is same as mine i have an 03 f7,rode 4 times but the 4th it ski lifted so bad and got tippsy i lost control and clipped a tree breaking the lower control arm possible tunnel damage i can't tell,on hard packed groomed trails it would not turn and pull inside ski up bad but not out of control,now in good snow not groomed it was 10 times worse,i have 153 studs and when i bought it first ride it felt like it would nose dive on decel bad enough,it's a standard,i turned the collars on the front spring up 1/2 and that went away but still not turn,no 4 wheel kit and installed snowpro springs to try to keep the ski pressure in turns,maybe it made it worse,sqidd if you do an f7 please post on it.dissapointing is i was trying to buy a 4wheel kit and a bigger sway bar to help this but don't know how bad it's hurt.
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Is yours an SP or standard?
 
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