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Discussion Starter #1
I just dropped off my F7 at a very reputable dealer to have the steering stem replaced due to a mis-placed bracket weld which causes me to hit the cylinder head at full turn right, and even worse I had pratically half the turning ability while turning left!!!!!!! AC has a recall on this issue.

While I was there the manager asked me how I like the handling - I told him that it sucks!!! He asked me what problems I felt there were: I told him that it's way too tippy - ever corner the inside ski lift was always there. Then he asked me what adjustments I made:
1. Installed 8" carbide up front
2. Screwed the ski pressure on front shocks down a bit
3. Put the limiter strap in the second hole

He went on to tell me that many of his own customers (I didn't buy from here) were making the same complaints. Keep in mind that this dealer (manages a race crew) is up on the X-country racing circuit. He called CAT and they have admitting to adjusting the center shock (the one in the suspension pointing towards the engine) improperly!!! According to this fellow, and our manual this shock pressure is CRUCIAL to the overall handling of the machine, thus the reason that it states in our manual to not adjust the center pretension on the shock or it will affect the handling tremendously. Well, they gave him some directives as to what to do to the center shock and to release a lot of the pressure on the front ski shocks, this will cure the tippiness and the problem about digging in to hard (darting uncontrollably) upon hard decelleration. I am planning on getting the machine on Dec 26. Prior to that one the fix and all adjustments are performed he will ride it to confirm his results against their base line F7 for handling and I will post the exact methodologies he performed here so those of you who are having issues can take care of it yourself! :D :D
 

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Originally posted by Kiafoulis@Dec 14 2002, 08:50 PM
He went on to tell me that many of his own customers (I didn't buy from here) were making the same complaints. Keep in mind that this dealer (manages a race crew) is up on the X-country racing circuit. He called CAT and they have admitting to adjusting the center shock (the one in the suspension pointing towards the engine) improperly!!! According to this fellow, and our manual this shock pressure is CRUCIAL to the overall handling of the machine, thus the reason that it states in our manual to not adjust the center pretension on the shock or it will affect the handling tremendously. Well, they gave him some directives as to what to do to the center shock and to release a lot of the pressure on the front ski shocks, this will cure the tippiness and the problem about digging in to hard (darting uncontrollably) upon hard decelleration. I am planning on getting the machine on Dec 26. Prior to that one the fix and all adjustments are performed he will ride it to confirm his results against their base line F7 for handling and I will post the exact methodologies he performed here so those of you who are having issues can take care of it yourself! :D :D
Am I the only one that thinks this is bogus? A magic fix for something that not all of us has issues with? And this is the first I've heard about "darting uncontrolably" under hard braking.. I certainly didn't notice that, and by putting more weight on the skis it would aggrevate that (if it even existed to begin with). This makes no sense at all.. <_<
 

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So, are you saying that we should use the previous Cat recommended "spring barely tight" method? In other words, rotate the ring until there is just enough preload on the spring so it doesn't rattle. TIA
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Rob
Bogus????
Masybe you read incorrectly!!! Cat is telling the dealer to release pressure on the front ski's - and that is exactly what I wrote! I currently have way to much tippiness in the front end and if you read many of the different posts from riders they have complained of the same thing!!

If your not having the problem, good for you - I am and I thought I could cure it by putting some pressure on the front ski's, installing 8" carbides, and adjusting the limiter strap - needless to say it did not help much. This is strictly based on how CAT adjusted your machine, if your's was adjusted more in line with thier original goal you probably are not experinecing the problem but CAT admitted that some of the machines were set-up improperly and the dealer will correct that for me - I inturn will inform the people on your forum what they did.

If you still feel I'm lying, which is absolutely ridiculous, I'll not post the dealers correction.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
SnoPro G

I'd rather not comment on the exact method yet until the dealer corrects it and verifies it with a ride!! My initial understanding is that the pressure (pretension) on the center shock is higher than it should be on some machines. What that translates into turns or how it should feel when properly set, I'm not sure. What I can tell you is that he mentioned releasing pressure from the center shock and then adjusting the front ski pressure accordingly until it handles just like thier base line F7. I'm just glad to hear that this can be corrected because I was getting kind of angry about the tippiness of the machine, and I never touched that center spring because the manual tells you not to - well let's see what this dealer can do for me!!!!
 

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By all means post it.

In October I reported my F7 was setup wrong from my dealer and at that time I said that I set the front IFS and front tunnel shock to minimum tension, just enough to keep the retainers seated and to adjust toe out to the high side. Yes, these adjustments make a difference, but it's nothing new.. And I've heard nothing from the factory that "they have admitted to adjusting things improperly".. This is basic setup stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Rob-
One other point when I say hard decelleration I meant, and the dealer meant, when your traveling at a high rate of speed and you completly let off the throttle quickly. At that point the machine is darting and it becomes a very uneasy feeling when your doing 80 and it;s starting to move left and right on the trail. My machine does this, I experienced it all day on Friday.

So I should not have said hard decelleration, I can see how you would imply braking. It's not under a braking scanerio, as much as it is letting of the gas at a high rate of speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Rob - you obviously have ties with the company, and whether or not they have or haven't admitted to adjusting center pretension inproperly I can't comment on. I can however inform those of us what the manager of the dealership said and that was the veriage that he used.

I did not catch that part about what you had done to correct the handling on your machine back about 1 1/2 ago. In fact I remember you posting your ride complaints but I never got around to finding the soulution. It sounds like what you had done is the exact same thing they will do for me. I shyed away from that center spring becuase of the notation in the manual. Hindsight's 20/20, hell the maunal didn't even list anything about coupling blocks or limiter strap adjustments either so I should have just experiemented and see what happens!

Can you list some of the other spec's that you are running???

Carbide length
Stud amount
Coupling Block setting
Assumed Center Pretension at least amount
Assumed Front ski pressure Pretension at least amount
 

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believe me I was doing a lot of letting off at high speed on trail 35 this week.. Very stable. If you are darting I would bet your toe is off. Did you check it? Setup is largely up to the OWNER. As I said, Cat didn't setup my F7 correctly, I DID.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Roy -
It's a SnoPro!!!

Rob -
I never checked my toe, I will call the dealer on Moday and ask him to set it for me!!! Thanks
 

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Originally posted by Kiafoulis@Dec 14 2002, 09:38 PM
Can you list some of the other spec's that you are running???

Carbide length
Stud amount
Coupling Block setting
Assumed Center Pretension at least amount
Assumed Front ski pressure Pretension at least amount
Stock skis, stock carbides, no studs
coupling block on #2 rear torsions on 1 (lightest)
Front skid shock one half turn up from zero tension with the rear of the sled elevated.
IFS shocks one full turn up from zero tension with the front of the sled elevated.
1/4" Toe out measured as in my tutorial, or 3/8" toe out as measured at the ft/rear of the carbide.

Toe is very important to the handling of the firecat. this machine DOES NOT LIKE too little toe out. If your skis are neutral IT WILL DART AND SNAP AND TRANSFER WEIGHT TO THE OTHER SKI TOO FAST.
 

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Rob i agree...not everyone is having these issues...maybe some are used to a differnt ride and not having to move around as much..but even when i did sit there and ride around sweeping wide turns or tight ones it wouldnt have the tippiness any more then my ZR ..im alwasy leaning and turn on my sled..every one i have owned..for me..i turned UP the center shock ski pressure atleast a 1 inch more then the stock setting on my sno pro model..maybe the trails had something to do with it? i personally was on newly groomed packed trails with no loose snow..maybe on the loose crappy trails its darting which is to be expected?!? on any sled! thats why i posted that i was scratching my head wondering where the heck all this push is comming from ..once u lean and move up on the seat its just as good if NOT BETTER then my ZR...sitting back it was just barely a little more then my zr for the ski lift ..i never had a problem with darting under deacceleration..plently of times letting off tottaly from 80-90 mph and it was as stable as can be..i have 1/4 inch toe out and everything is stock..longer carbides are in order and ive tighted up the front shock and center shock springs 1/2 inch to 1 inch more then stock and i love it...rear springs on the stiffest..rides like a champ IMO..
 

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opps rob..that last post was by Me..i was logged on under my papa's name - just so u know whos talkin :)
 

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could someone explain how sewtting the preload on the front suspension lower (increasing the length of the spring) will help it corner flatter.
 

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I know alot of you may not want to here this, but if you go to the Polaris site under there tech section, you can download a movie on adjusting your front and rear suspensions and there effects on handling. Just a thought.
 

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Originally posted by rob@Dec 14 2002, 09:49 PM
1/4" Toe out measured as in my tutorial, or 3/8" toe out as measured at the ft/rear of the carbide.

Toe is very important to the handling of the firecat. this machine DOES NOT LIKE too little toe out. If your skis are neutral IT WILL DART AND SNAP AND TRANSFER WEIGHT TO THE OTHER SKI TOO FAST.
Rob, can you elaborate any more on your toe-out experiences with your sled so far? What was it originally, and did you change it then? My std came set with 1" of toe-out, and I put it back to about 1/8" and I DID seem to notice some darting characteristics in my short 40 mile ride. (Stock carbides, 1" track, no studs) I wonder if I shouldn't try toeing it out a bit more just to try it??? Any additional comments on this subject are appreciated! -- Roy
 

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Originally posted by fireball@Dec 14 2002, 11:29 PM
could someone explain how sewtting the preload on the front suspension lower (increasing the length of the spring) will help it corner flatter.
The critical spring, as far as tippiness goes, is the middle one. The more preload you add to a spring, the more of the vehicle's weight it will support, reducing the weight carried by the other suspension components. This being said, if you are trying to gain stability, you want the widest part of the sled (the skiis) to be supporting the majority of the weight. By releasing preload on the middle shock, weight is transferred to the wider part of the sled (the skiis), making it more stable.
 
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