Well guys, I finally got a chance to work on the sleds. I got some silicon lube from the Cat dealer, which he said is better than graphite lube. I tore down, cleaned, and rebuilt the clutches in both of them. The panther had the stock hex-shaft clutch and after seeing how it works I now understand why those have such a poor reputation. The hex shaft itself had some corrosion which I sanded smooth. I also sanded the inner surfaces of the sheaves. I noticed a lot of slop between the urethane bushings and the shaft, but since those aren't sold separately I put it all back together hoping that with the shaft smoothed out and the right kind of lube in it, it won't bind up again.
The tigre's clutch is called a Comet and is an aftermarket 6-puck design. There wasn't anything noticeably wrong with it so I cleaned and reinstalled it, and lubed it well.
It turned out that the panther's chain case was completely empty so I filled that as well. (Don't look at me. These sleds belong to my grandpa who died over a decade ago. I'm just doing what I can to get them back in shape.)
While I was at it, I also adjusted the brakes on both sleds since they had been completely innefective above ~5mph.
Both started after just a few pulls and without the use of ether, which was a nice change of pace from last season where they hadn't been started in a decade or so. They did smoke a lot from the gasoline in them evaporating away and leaving the oil behind. I'm thinking that we'll add a gallon of plain gasoline to each to correct that, before adding new gas/oil mixed this season.
I can't wait till Ohio gets some snow and we can test these golden oldies out. It's been a loooong time since we've had them running for any length of time.
'76 El Tigre 5000
'76 Panther 5000
'77 Datsun 280Z - Turbocharged, Megasquirted, EDIS'd