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Old 01-10-2013, 08:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Steering hard

I have a '95 XLT Indy Special and it seems like it takes a lot of effort to to turn the skis left or right when riding....it has the stock metal skis with skins...when it up on the lift i have it turns side to side with ease....any thoughts guys as don't know much about polaris...i grease everything after every ride and nothing is bent ....suggestions? going to put some plastics skis on it soon and wondering if there is something I'm missing thanks in advance
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Too much ski pressure?

Does your machine have the XTRA suspension in it? That's about when they started introducing it for that model.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My wife's 92 trail deluxe just started this problem as well. I am inspecting it now as well.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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yes extra 12 in it
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you looked at the way the suspension is currently set up? How long have you had the sled and when was the last time that you didn't feel that the steering was hard?
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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With the front in the air, is the steering effort stiff as well?
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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With the front in the air, is the steering effort stiff as well?
no effortless in the air
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Have you looked at the way the suspension is currently set up? How long have you had the sled and when was the last time that you didn't feel that the steering was hard?
just got it a couple weeks ago, not sure about how it's set , and been like like this feeling since i first rode it....you need to push with one arm one way and pull the other the opposite to steer good...take a bit of muscling around while moving...dont know anything about set-ups

Last edited by BC_Dan; 01-10-2013 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok. Then, it sounds like you need to get it set for you.

Compared to the previous owner, would you say you're lighter, equal, or heavier?
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok. Then, it sounds like you need to get it set for you.

Compared to the previous owner, would you say you're lighter, equal, or heavier?
way lighter,previous was about 200lbs, and i'm about 120lb
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ah... that could be your problem right there.

Roll the sled up on one side and balance it (get a buddy to help if need be). Grab the long arm of the torsion spring and press up toward the tunnel until it clears the roller that it's set in. Swing it out of the skid and let it relax (this will take all of the pressure off of the short arm). Rotate the block that the short arm sits in (I'm guessing that it's on the tallest setting) and move it one setting down from where it is. Put the torsion spring back into the roller and do the other side.

Ride it and see if it's better. Too much torsion spring tension can transfer too much weight to the skis and make steering effort very difficult. Be mindful of how the rear carries your weight once you do make that change, though. You don't want to set it too low to where it rides poorly. Once your ride height and such is set correctly, you can dial the rest in from there.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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ok sounds good , i'm by myself , but i have a lift that puts the whole sled off the ground and still able to run it...in the process of replacing the rear outside idler wheel and wondering about track tension? any thoughts how tight it should be ? thanks for your help so far
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The lift will work for you, but you don't need to run it again until it's on the ground to ride it and try the new setting out.

For track tension... Loosen the rear idlers and use a 2x4 sideways across the track to push them forward (tap with a hammer). Set a weight inside the skid, in the middle, that weighs about 10 pounds. Tighten the idlers (keeping the track straight and aligned) until you have 1" - 1.5" of slack under the middle of the rails.

While you have the track loose, you may want to check your driveshaft for play (there should be none in any direction) and inspect the drive cogs for wear. If you pull the drive belt before starting, you can rotate the track in between adjustments to get all of the slack at the bottom before tightening it up.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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ok thanks bud
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Really long carbides will also give you a very hard steering effort. If the other guy was aggressive and that big, he may have put 8" carbides on the skis. It's something to look at as well.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Another thing that is causing your machine to steer hard is that the metal skis were flat on the bottom rather than having the bow (rocker) that was introduced on the plastic skis. This causes you to have to pivot the whole length of the ski rather than the bottom of the rocker on the later skis. Having a bunch of ski pressure along with a flat bottom makes it even harder.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I would think a flatter ski would result in EASIER turning since there is only the wear bar and carbide acting as a "keel". The later skis, with the deeper and wider keels to them, made more of an indent in down the center line and would cause more resistence to turning (especially at a stop or low speeds).
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:18 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I believe you have the Xtra12 suspension in that sled with Fox shocks... Won't it ride stiff like this if your front shock is down in pressure? When was the last time the shocks were serviced? You can also let the front limiter straps out a bit since you are lighter and that should help (if they aren't already). I have my limiter straps out all the way on my XLT and it steers really nice, there is slack when sitting idle, but I also have the stiff spring. There is also detailed adjustment instructions in the Polaris repair manual that you can download at this site. Worst case you can look in their chart in the manual and select a lighter spring for that shock. The standard spring is beefy and may be too much for you. There is also an adjuster ring on that front shock spring that you can loosen to remove any spring preload. The front end should droop a couple of inches when sitting static, if you pull up on the bumper you should get an inch or two in rise. If you are getting more than this you have a few things to look at. (3 dollies works good for this check because the skiis need to be free to move)

One of my "personal modifications" to my sleds that I have is that I removed the long track adjuster bolts before loosening the the wheels to free up the track... one bolt at a time, and then I put 2 new stainless steel nuts on each bolt and reinstalled. Here's how it works, before I loosen the track I break the bolt free, then tighten the nuts against each other. Then I continue to loosen the bolt. I now have a quick reference point to tighten my track back up to after performing maintenance, and then do a simple run to see if I need to tweak it a little. Saves me lots of time when I'm pulling suspensions to service shocks and grease.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I believe you have the Xtra12 suspension in that sled with Fox shocks... Won't it ride stiff like this if your front shock is down in pressure? When was the last time the shocks were serviced? You can also let the front limiter straps out a bit since you are lighter and that should help (if they aren't already). I have my limiter straps out all the way on my XLT and it steers really nice, there is slack when sitting idle, but I also have the stiff spring. There is also detailed adjustment instructions in the Polaris repair manual that you can download at this site. Worst case you can look in their chart in the manual and select a lighter spring for that shock. The standard spring is beefy and may be too much for you. There is also an adjuster ring on that front shock spring that you can loosen to remove any spring preload. The front end should droop a couple of inches when sitting static, if you pull up on the bumper you should get an inch or two in rise. If you are getting more than this you have a few things to look at. (3 dollies works good for this check because the skiis need to be free to move)

One of my "personal modifications" to my sleds that I have is that I removed the long track adjuster bolts before loosening the the wheels to free up the track... one bolt at a time, and then I put 2 new stainless steel nuts on each bolt and reinstalled. Here's how it works, before I loosen the track I break the bolt free, then tighten the nuts against each other. Then I continue to loosen the bolt. I now have a quick reference point to tighten my track back up to after performing maintenance, and then do a simple run to see if I need to tweak it a little. Saves me lots of time when I'm pulling suspensions to service shocks and grease.
Be careful when doing this... If the sled is not sitting exactly the same on the dollies as it would be on the ground, you will see differences in how the suspension acts. One of the most common things that people run into is the rear suspension being bottomed out with no weight on the sled because of a change in the way it sits. It almost always turns out to be that there are dollies under the sled somewhere.

I use the nut setting on the adjuster bolts as a reference as well, but your method does a little more to ensure that they stay put.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:49 AM   #20 (permalink)
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re

Agreed! Take some time and read up on the Xtra suspension setup in the manual. It's kind of a dry read but its necessary if you really want to dial in your ride. I believe it's a good 15 pages or so, but will help you diagnose.

Are you sure you have the Xtra 12 and not the 10??? I thought most 95 XLT's had the 10 but they also did the 12. Either way, they both are similar as far as adjustments go.

With the adjuster bolts its all just to get you quickly back to where you were... and then you need to re-check your track. Of course you have to compensate if you make a change (such as slides) then you need to stay a smidge on the loose side and check your tension. The older I get the faster I want to get things done and move on! (or work smarter, not harder!)
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