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Old 12-06-2011, 01:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
AMC
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How much snow do you need?

I am new to snowmobiling and have a 1994 Polaris XLT.

How much snow do you need to go snowmobiling?
What are the problems with too little snow?
Do I need to put snow on the heat exchangers?
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, usually I wait till there's a good 3-4 foot of snow because you don't want your skis to touch the dirt/ground or whatever isn't snow. Snowmobiles are made to operate on snow and that's all they should do.

I've never had a liquid cooled sled so I won't be helping much, but yes I assume you should get some snow on the exchangers or the engine will overheat.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, usually I wait till there's a good 3-4 foot of snow because you don't want your skis to touch the dirt/ground or whatever isn't snow. Snowmobiles are made to operate on snow and that's all they should do.

I've never had a liquid cooled sled so I won't be helping much, but yes I assume you should get some snow on the exchangers or the engine will overheat.
What is wrong with letting the skis touch the dirt or gravel? Isn't that what the warebar is for?
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's ok if you must cross a road for a short length but it wears out your runners which decrease the steering potential. Eventually, They'll wear out and you wont be able to turn at all on ice or hard snow.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=Greatnorth;481595]Well, usually I wait till there's a good 3-4 foot of snow because you don't want your skis to touch the dirt/ground or whatever isn't snow. Snowmobiles are made to operate on snow and that's all they should do.

Really 3-4 feet of snow until you go snowmobiling??? They open the trails around here when roughly 6-7 inches of snow are on the ground. Never had a problem running my sleds in 6 inches of snow or more.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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6 in is decent but 2 or more feet is best. Smaller ruts get filled on trails and more off trail fun.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Really 3-4 feet of snow until you go snowmobiling??? They open the trails around here when roughly 6-7 inches of snow are on the ground. Never had a problem running my sleds in 6 inches of snow or more.
Lol I give it to you, I overkilled it with the 3-4, but that's me. I don't go out in parks and where I stay, there's a lot of lakes,swamps,big rocks,stumps,etc. basically alot of thing that could ruin my sled with less than 2-3 foot and those things would be impossible to clear with 6 inches of snow even 1 foot wouldn't cut it.. 6 inches could be good I guess, but I personally wouldn't do it(in my terrain).

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Old 12-06-2011, 07:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you have a fan-cooled snowmobile, then only cold temperatures are required, snow is not (though it's still snowmobiling, and wearbars, soon followed by the skis themselves, as quickly eroded from long-term off-snow driving).
4 inches of snow is the legal requirement for snow in Vermont. A liquid cooled snowmobile will operate as long as snow (or even water) hits the exchangers frequently. Basically, as long as the ground is covered, the snowmobile will be cooled.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Here in NE Ohio we have to take advantage of whatever snow we get but at minimum about 6" keeps things working properly. Less and we get into mud which is not good for slides and bearings, not to mention that the lawn really takes a beating if it isn't frozen. A foot is better and 2 feet is great. We have snow in the forcast this week but being lake-effect they can't predict how much. Hoping for at least a foot.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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what you really want is a good 6 plus inches of nice hard pack base with powder on top. what e1 is forgetting is that you need the snow or you will melt your sliders on your skid. and yours is a l/c so i would say 6 is pushing it.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Why don't people put LOCATION information in their profile???

The answer to your question depends a LOT on where you're riding.

NE and Central US? 4-6" should do.
Western US? we wait for 10 feet (or more)

Riding on dirt and gravel surfaces will reduce a brand new pair of $300 skis to junk in just a short distance! Riding pavement will grind down a set of $60 skegs within a few miles. Skis were made for riding on snow. That's why we get 15 or more seasons out of a pair of skegs out West, when I was only getting 1-2 seasons when I lived and rode in NY. In NY, we crossed a lot of roads, and even had to ride long stretches of road at times. Out West... what's a road??? We're riding on a 10 foot base here. Skis and skegs last forever.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I am in Minnesota. I did not know where I am located had a bearing on the situation. I just got this XLT in June and was dieing to see what it was like.

We got like 2.5" and I just had to take it out. I went maybe 20 miles on this gravel trail. The trail had like 2" of snow, totally covered, but I could see the warebars were digging into the gravel and I could hear the draging now and then. Is it just a bit of ware on the bars that I can replace? It just refuses to snow here, it has been cold but no real accumulation yet this year and none yet predicted. How about driving on ice?

If you need a damned foot, it seems like you would not be able to use these things much.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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IndyRyder is spot on with regard to slides. Without snow you will prematurly wear them out. If you run on ice then you better have a spare set standing by ready to install.
About 10 years ago I was running on Mille Lacs Lake and my slides got so hot I had to stop and let it cool down (I couldn't go faster than 50 either). After a weekend ride on ice and minumum snow/slush my slides were done. My wearbars were fine however.
Another bad thing about getting your slides that warm... it'll all freeze up on you real good if it's cold out when you stop. The snow lubricates the slides. I pulled my sleds out of Minnesota and moved them to Virginia, I use them way more in Pennsylvania which is a couple hours away. Too many years of no-snow, thin ice, and open water. Be very careful on the lakes and rivers, they are very dangerous.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I did not have any probelms with the slides that I could tell. There was snow, but only maybe 2". Where does one get new wearbars? How hard are they to install?
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I did not have any probelms with the slides that I could tell. There was snow, but only maybe 2". Where does one get new wearbars? How hard are they to install?
DennisKirk.com, ShadeTreePowersports.com, or your local dealer. Too many varieties to choose from and they install in minutes.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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yeah 3-4 bolts and they are off. 3 on our xlt. price will vary on what ones and length of carbid on them. most the time they will be $40-80. best way to put them on is tip your sled on it's side after you take the nuts off. put a 2x4 or something down so it not sitting right on the ground. pull them off then put new ones back on with 1 nut then set sled back down. I get woodys and it seems that i always have to reem out the hole in the front where it slides in to. but may not be like that with all brands.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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When you're playing in the mountains, the skis aren't touching the ground half the time anyway. That's why rgoers gets so many seasons on a set of wearbars
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I did not have any probelms with the slides that I could tell. There was snow, but only maybe 2". Where does one get new wearbars? How hard are they to install?
The conditions you described won't damage your wearbars much, but they are prime conditions (gravel) for totally ruining plastic skis. I'll bet the nice square edges on the bottom of the skis are now well rounded.

Wearbars are easy to change... 3 or 4 nuts to take off, and reverse the operation to put the new ones on. If you buy wearbars with carbide wear surfaces (often referred to as "carbides") they will cost more, but last a lot longer.

Again, stay off gravel if you can. Riding roads is better for your skis than riding gravel.
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