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Discussion Starter #1
I think about buying a 77 Pantera 5000 series 500cc Fan cooled snowmobile. It needs some work but I can get it for probably less than $200. I was just wondering how reliable are they? I want to ride the trails with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yeah i figured it would be decent motor after reasearching I see similar motors were used in late 80s cougars. They say the the internals are similar. But they had oil injection. And I found pistons from 1976-1991 that should fit the motor.
 

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77 pant

As someone who actually rides trails on vintage sleds, I can give you the straight answer: not very reliable.

Ok, on the day it was sold, it was very reliable. Great simple design, one of the better motors. But, like 40 years later, it will only be 'reliable' by most people's standards if you completely restore it. New electrical system, fuel, and suspension. Not financially practical, but you asked.

So what you can do, more optimistically, is give it a good tune up, bring along a tow rope and cash, and have fun with it. Every once and a while a completely functional component will just suddenly die. Coil, fuel pump, suspension part, etc. You never know. I have ridden 300 perfect miles and then bang, a big snap from below and you cant move. (twice last year actually). I have also had 'clean' gas tanks suddenly produce a bit of dirt sufficient to clog a carb, half way through the season. Also had the fan 'hub' on an old yamaha break, causing the fan belt to spin without spinning the fan - overheated and ruined a jug. No warning, had 200 good miles that season.

So, have fun, $200 is good price for an intact vintage sled. But dont head for Hudson Bay without a buddy and a strap :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yeah I know the older ones break with out warning sometimes but there were some that were better than others just wondering how the pantera is. I like the look of the older sleds these new ones are ugly ducklings with no front what so ever. And they idle like a four wheeler and I kinda love the smell of 2 stroke exhaust in the morning. And I can pick one up for $75 that needs a windshield, a seat cover, and paint. which I think is a great deal.
 

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I ran 76 el tigre free air till 2002..the engine was bullet proof until I couldn`t buy leaded gas anymore..if you do run it i`d suggest a high octane fuel with lead additive..and a good 2 stroke oil. Those motors were pretty tight and very good..its like the other fellow said tho..something else on the machine will likely break without warning..so take a tow rope and keep your trips short.
 
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