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Discussion Starter #1
I got to thinking about setups and all.. and it occured to me that perhaps some of you think of the front arm as just another spring, and 'don't want it too soft' because you 'like a firm ride'.

The front arm is basically a pivot point for the entire suspension, and if it is too firm, the entire suspension can be compromised, not just in ride quality but also performance. A too-stiff front arm will hurt deep snow performance as well as top end. There are only a few conditions when a stiff front arm is desirable. And I'm talking in general here, not just with the Firecat.

I also took a look at the AC performance manual that I received from Dan at the Outdoor Shop to see what it had to say about the front arm setting. I found what it had to say so interesting that I copied it and posted it here. Again, this is from the Cat performance manual under "Suspension Setup Basics", and it basically agrees with what I've said for years:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
also, note what it says about a too stiff front arm causing darting under decell and/or braking....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally posted by dave cat 7@Dec 17 2002, 01:08 PM
did your suspension bottom easier after losening up front spring?
i weigh 265 and need all the spring i can get
No, not at all.

On the other hand, shortening the limiter straps DOES soften the rear suspension and may make it bottom earlier.
 

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Just set up the Sled Pro coupling system on 00ZL 5 and e-mailed them for info on front spring setting. They said 1-1.5 cm of thread showing below the spring tension adjuster. I tried it (220lbs + aggressive) and prefered the ride as it came from the dealer with 0 cm thread showing. Does this adjustment affect the ride so much that 1 cm will make a noticeable difference in the handling or was it the difference in type of snow the two diffenent days I tested it (terrain being the same)?

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Originally posted by Jay@Dec 17 2002, 01:12 PM
Mine has to have at least 2" of thread showing, I have never seen them set so high from the factory.
I think they were all set that way. That may be why so many are reporting odd handling. My F7 handled very weird at first...UNTIL I started making some adjustments..
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Originally posted by yo momma@Dec 17 2002, 01:11 PM
Just set up the Sled Pro coupling system on 00ZL 5 and e-mailed them for info on front spring setting. They said 1-1.5 cm of thread showing below the spring tension adjuster. I tried it (220lbs + aggressive) and prefered the ride as it came from the dealer with 0 cm thread showing. Does this adjustment affect the ride so much that 1 cm will make a noticeable difference in the handling or was it the difference in type of snow the two diffenent days I tested it (terrain being the same)?

Mark
That's a good question, Mark. It is hard to say when you are comparing setups on different days. It becomes very subjective. I'd say to get a good idea of what's really going on you need to make back-to-back adjustments and test rides while only changing one thing at a time. It is sometimes hard to stay objective.
 

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So, back to points you have made before: Loose front shock. Does this mean to loosen coil spring all the way down. ie. taking all preload off of spring??
 

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Rob,

This is a great post, as it negates an earlier question I was going to ask. The image validates your findings, however I find it interesting that most sleds come set with moderate to significant tension on these springs. The perverbial, every rider is different is fine, but based on the Cat manual this should be your starting point, and not 2 inches higher. Are the dealers doing this on their own, or is it part of the factory recommended setup?

Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Originally posted by Doze00F7@Dec 17 2002, 01:32 PM
So, back to points you have made before: Loose front shock. Does this mean to loosen coil spring all the way down. ie. taking all preload off of spring??
For now, I'd suggest to everyone to give this a try.. it doesn't cost a penny, and who knows you might just like it.

Ride your sled around a bit to get a feel for the conditions, and then bring it back to the truck/house/garage. Jack the sled rear off the ground, loosen the front arm shock till it rattles (loose) and then retighten a half turn (or just so it has a little tension). Takes two minutes. Then go for another ride over the same trail at the same speed. Then try and judge the difference for yourself. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Originally posted by david anderson@Dec 17 2002, 01:38 PM
Rob,

This is a great post, as it negates an earlier question I was going to ask. The image validates your findings, however I find it interesting that most sleds come set with moderate to significant tension on these springs. The perverbial, every rider is different is fine, but based on the Cat manual this should be your starting point, and not 2 inches higher. Are the dealers doing this on their own, or is it part of the factory recommended setup?

Thanks for the info.
Dealers aren't changing it.. they came this way from the factory, but that doesn't mean squat. ALSO, in the post that Kiafoulis made the other day, he indicated that they were setup wrong from the factory. Go back and read his original post 'new news on the handling" or something similar.

The shocks are made by one company. they get assembled in the sled. Does anyone check if the setup is right? I don't think so.. Remember we are seeing air in the coolant, fraying recoils, toe setup way out and a zillion other things.. Plus this isn't new.. the others are the same.. I could tell you a bunch of things wrong with Poo over the last twenty years.. some of the errors were actually in the owners manual. they make mistakes...plenty of them :D
 

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Excellent post AG! Welcome to our little Firecat group. No apologies are EVER needed for long, accurate and informative posts such as yours! -- Roy
 

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AG

I Hope you dont mind us picking your brain once and a while then if needed ???

Great post on setting up the suspension ! I will do exactly that once there is enough snow around here to test.........Hopefully a F Cat will be in your future and then we can really learn more...

Thanks again and welcome !


Captainkirk
 

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Rob and AG,
Thank you for the value added and ever so important information as well as lessons learned in your posts. My problems will soon be over once I adopt your settings - Now all I need is snow. It all melted away - -- - Very, Very, Very sad state of affairs!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Learn something new everyday, I totally misunderstood the significance of the front shock, and the a arm shocks are a mystery to me as well, When I tighten them up my sled rolls more in the corners. I would have thought the opposite, How much preload do you need on the a arm shocks?
 
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