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Discussion Starter #1
is there any way to "beef up" the rear suspension?
the springs are worn out and seem like a sorry excuse for suspension.

has anyone widened the gap between the skis to make it sturdier?

is there any front mods?

i want to make this thing fun
 

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Depending on your ski design there are ski spreads that will widen the stance here is one example:

535-210 - Ski Spreads

Not sure about the suspension, would have to search around to see if springs are available. The SSX was always a bit narrow, but fun to ride. Back in the day that was my daily rider, loved it, always started great was quick and fun to ride. I actually bought it cheap from a guy that couldn't stay on it because it was tippy. I loved riding that sled, but you sure had to ride em to keep them upright LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
its a workout keepin it upright its fun but hard to control above 50mph it wants to tip side to side when i hit bumps and dips.
i wish i had a tig welder id fab some control arms and stuff and mod it to todays suspension

im already working on lengthing my rear suspension travel and strengthen the tunnel up

adding enduro style motorcycle coil over shock where factory shock absorber went for now because i can adjust my spring rate on it
 

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Discussion Starter #4
wow thats it for widening....

that dont seem structural sound... that crease is a weak spot and the point of most stress is along that crease also as widening the stance that way, while riding the skis want to spread apart causing that crease to fold more and tear

i was thinking more as moving the entire pivot for the steering to the outside of the body on either side by an inch widening it around 3-4 inches on either side but i dont have a tig welder
 

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Discussion Starter #5
but i may be able to make something simmilar but more structuraly sound and raises the front more if i feel like it
 

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Yea I was a lot younger when I rode mine, had a lot less fear of eating snow/dirt back then lol.

Never used those ski spreaders, so not sure how well they work, maybe others out here has used them.
 

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Depending on your ski design there are ski spreads that will widen the stance here is one example:

535-210 - Ski Spreads

Not sure about the suspension, would have to search around to see if springs are available. The SSX was always a bit narrow, but fun to ride. Back in the day that was my daily rider, loved it, always started great was quick and fun to ride. I actually bought it cheap from a guy that couldn't stay on it because it was tippy. I loved riding that sled, but you sure had to ride em to keep them upright LOL.
those look like theyll hurt like hell when they break
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i need six bogi wheels um i think they are 5 1/4? or 3/4

prefer cheap used ones for now till i do resto in the summer if anyone's got some
 

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I had a '74 SSX 340 for a while. They are hefty, narrow sleds and also top heavy because of the tunnel-mounted engine. Not a combo that makes for good handling. It all adds up to a really tippy sled.

The rear suspension on my sled worked fine. The springs were new, and the shock was in excellent shape. It worked really well for such an early design. It was comfortable at reasonable speeds.

I've run ski spreaders before. Not sure, but I THINK they came stock on my '79 El Tigre 5000. They were made of steel plate and widened the stance by 2" per side. These sleds are quite a bit faster and more powerful than the SSX 340's, with similar weight. Even so, the ones on my sled NEVER bothered, even on rough trails.

I also added a pair of 2" aftermarket (steel) ski spreaders on my Scorpion Li'l Whip, which was a flyweight of a sled but had similar rear suspension to your Chaparral. It handled a LOT better and the ride wasn't hurt at all.

IMO, the ski spreads probably won't fail, not even aluminum ones. It might be a good idea to keep an eye on your ski spindles for signs of bending.

Hope this is some use to you.

-Strato-
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ok

im still a little iffy about them im 280 lbs and half the time i ride two on it so half the time theres 400+ lbs on the sled.

even after my suspension tweaks it still bottoms out but now its my replacement shock bottoming out. i need to raise the upper mount or relocate it as my new shock for the sled is a coil over and its about 4-5 inches longer other than that it rides much smoother rather than bottomed out all the time.

pics soon too
 

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ok

im still a little iffy about them im 280 lbs and half the time i ride two on it so half the time theres 400+ lbs on the sled.
There's your trouble. The SSX was designed to deliver only one thing- speed. But, everything else was compromised or flat-out sacrificed. Remember in '74 the only thing that could outpower the Chaparral 440 was the Brut LC440; and nothing in class could beat the 340's at all. With that said, your Chappy was never meant to carry a lot of weight.

One of my buddies at work is 300+ lb. and loves vintage sleds. He runs an '86 Yamaha XLV and is really happy with the ride. But it's a factory two-up with a lot of track on the snow, and a great rear suspension.

I don't understand suspension geometry enough to know if you'll be able to engineer the skid frame to carry you in comfort, especially with a passenger. Mine was always a misery to ride two-up.

If you're not overly attached to your Chaparral, you might consider swapping it for another sled. There's plenty of vintage iron that would work well for a big guy, even when carrying a passenger. There aren't many of them that will match the 50 horsepower, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
WELL I only got the chap because it ran, drove, wasnt cracked all to hell, and was only $100. im a fabricator im sure i can come up with something eventually this summer i rigged something for now. eventually i want to build aluminum version of the rear suspension so its lighter
 
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