Thanks for the reply Cazwell. I purchased it today, I couldn't pass on such a great deal. I'm not too familiar with Arctic Cat prior to the past couple of years. What is the difference between the ZL and ZR models? What are the power valves, are they like RAVE valves on a Ski-Doo?
good to hear you got a good deal. Power Valves are just the same as Rave valves. The difference between the ZR and ZL's are very little. They have different shocks on them, the ZR's are rebuildable, where as the ZL's are not, their are a few differences too like things such as the side pads on the seats on the ZR's and the rails and a-arms and a little different, usually a little beefier/racier on the ZR.
I'm not very brand loyal myself. I've owned at least one sled from each of the major manufacturers at some point in time. If I was rolling in cash now I'd have a tough time deciding between a REV and a Firecat now.
I think Caz did a pretty good job of answering your questions. ZR's are "R"acier, and ZL's are "L"iquids. I picked up a 2000 ZL550 toward the end of last season. No power valves, as far as I know, but FAST enough for me! I haven't found a stretch long enough to open it up yet, but I've had it up to 80 (easy) on short runs of clear trail (GPS reading, not speedo). Like you, I'm looking forward to a full season of riding this winter. Would almost like to skip summer...
BTW, did you get the Millenium paint on your ZR500? The special paint was only available on 1000 of each Millenium model sled. I think you had to pre-order to get it.
Thanks again to Cazwell and also rgoers for your responses. My ZR is just the plain old eyecatching bright green (and I love it). What colours were the Millemium sleds? I take it your ZL is not green. BTW, it's great to be back in the "Cathouse " after a 15 year absence. My last AC was an '89 Jag I kept for only a year.
My guess is that AC made more models in 2000 than any other year. Just try finding a 2000 service manual... like finding hen's teeth. Anyway, as with the models, they had lots of colors too. As far as I know, the year 2000 ZL550 was available in Black, Red, Blue, Green, and "Solar Flare". Some of the colors were only available if you special ordered. The Solar Flare was limited to 1000 sleds (per model) total. When I bought my ZL550, I got lucky and got a Solar Flare paintjob. It's a metal-flake that changes colors, depending on the angle you're looking at. It goes from deep purple, to black, to green, and everything inbetween. It is quite unique to look at.
AC has come upwith some great colour schemes lately. Can't say I've ever seen the colour you're describing on a sled. You're lucky to have found one. If you want to show it off, bring it across the border this winter. The sledding is not bad bad in my area and you're funny green money goes a long way up here. Besides, I'm the only one with a Cat in my group and I'll need the company when I'm waiting for them to catch up.
Will probably give it a serious go this year. It's 2 hours to the Adirondacks, and 2 hours to Buffalo, from where I live. Just don't tell me gas is more expensive up North, than in NY. We pride ourselves on having the highest gas prices in the nation!!!
Anyway, sleds were mechanically in pretty bad shape when I got them. Just weren't maintained at all - so I have to do some local riding to make sure I'm not going to break down too far from home. Hey, if a Cat breaks down, what's left to do the towing...???
Might just hit you up for some directions, once the snow starts flying again.
And last of all... we've finally followed the rest of the world, and now have CoLoR money, not just green.
Can't believe someone would mistreat a Cat that way. I'm sure it's in better hands now. I'm about 2 1/2 hours north west of Buffalo(GO BILLS). With the value of your money and the price of our gas you'd be riding almost for free. If you're serious about coming up for a day or two you'd be more than welcome. Drop me a line later in the year and be ready to put some miles on your Cat. Didn't know you have CoLOURed money now.
Oops. Knew I was going to miss the Brit spelling of colour, Ay?!!
Got most of the mechanicals taken care of now. New track, idler wheels, new rivets in tunnel wear strips that were coming off, fixed wiring, fixed coolant leak, freed up brake calipers, replaced flywheel, welded up ski saddle brackets (that previous owner wore right through), replaced skegs, greased everything... still need new sliders on both sleds, and ski skins on the one with the ski saddle damage.
Will be sure to look you up later, once the ground turns white.
The previous owner must have been a real "hoser". Hope you got a good deal since you practically rebuilt them. The snow might be coming sooner than we think if the weather is any indication so far this year. Take off and take care, ay!
my zr is green and my Zl is black, i'll post some pics of my zr when i finish all my touch ups on it, i did alot of work to it this spring summer so i'll post it when i got it done and cleaned up, just but my new Fox decals on the a- arms last night (Y) almost done, few more decals to re apply and a wipe down. i'll post osme pics of the zl too.
Love to see 'em, Caz. I never remember to take out the digital camera when I have the sleds out.
Do either of you pull your batteries for summer storage? Most "summerizing" lists I've seen say to remove the battery for summer storage, though I can't see any compelling reason why one would want to do that. Also wondering about track tension... I backed off on the track tension for the storage season. It seemed like a good idea, but I don't know if it is standard practice. Anybody else do that? I left the lock-nut settings alone, so all I have to do is re-tighten till it locks, and I'm back to last year's tension without having to fiddle with it too much.
Visited your site, Caz. Great pics from last year. Can't wait to see what you've do to your sled. My old Skidoo has electric start. I've never pulled the battery basically because I'm too lazy to remove all the crap in the way to get at it. I do keep it charged thru the summer and check the electrolyte level before the start of the season. I don't loosen the track tension and don't believe my buddies do either, but it's probably the right thing to do. I just keep the track raised off the ground which gives a bit of slack I believe. With my luck, if I started messing with the tension, I'd screw it all up and end up misaligning the track no matter how careful I tried to be.
Yup, getting the battery out is a pain. Not too much stuff in the way on the ZL550, but it's still a hassle (especially if you drop any hardware). Next summer, I'm leaving the battery in!!!
I keep the tracks off the ground too. I think the main reason is to prevent rot, and flat-spotting the paddles. As an added bonus, it helps keep the kids off the seats too!!!
As I mentioned - I left the lock nuts in position, and just backed off the main track tensioning screw. All I have to do to tension it back up is to tighten the main screw until the lock nut stops it. That will put it back to exactly where it was originally. Maybe I'll skip loosening it for storage next year...
I also have to congratulate you on the Zr500. I owned a 99 Zr 500 and the engine it her was bulletproof til the day I sold her (5500 miles). I loved the Zr motors so much that I bought a 600 Mountain Cat with basically the same engine in it at the end of last year. I've only got 600 miles on the new one, but it too runs just great.
Caz is right. With the powervalves you should be seeing about 95 - 100 ponies from that sled. They won't run with most the 600's on a flat drag, but on the trails that Zr500 may even be a bit faster because it is sooo light.
I'm an Arctic Cat fan, but not because I've always been one. I've had 2 polaris sleds as well (trail and an xlt) and I just think the Cat's handle a bit better and feel lighter up front.