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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering what makes a bigger difference, i want to make an upgrade

my sled is a 1996 Arctic Cat Cougar 550


My sled is 121, and i want to do a deep snow upgrade, I trail ride(40) and ditchbang and woods trail ride(60).

should i get rail extentions or a bigger lug?

I have .75 lugs now, and sometimes it feels like i have a flat track, it just spins.

i am planning to get a smaller drive sprocket and get 1.75" lugs

dennis kirk says 1.5" will fit stock, so i think it should work
 

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You will probably have to put on smaller drive cogs. They're not easy to get off, and I would imagine not very easy to put back on. Get rail extensions and go to about a 1.25 or 1.3'' lug and call it good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, your right.

I think rail extentions to 136 with 1.5" lugs would do well.


My snowmobile is a 1996 Cougar 550, Im not sure what skid it has or what chassis it is, so im having trouble finding rail extentions

do you think you could grab a link and throw it up here for me? i just dont want to buy rail extentions what dont fit.

I can get a cheap track on Craigslist Locally thats 136, so this will be a surprisingly cheap upgrade
 

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Lugs are king in the deep stuff. A lightweight sled with a 121x2 would do fine in just about any snow.

I would think a '96 550 Cougar with a 136x1.5 would be pretty decent for what you want. Just remember that more rubber means more weight, and deeper lugs *will* shave some speed off your top end.
 

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The Cougar is the same as the ZR/ZL chassis. It will have either a 121" or 136" track, easy to tell, is your sled a 2 up?

I run 121x15x1" track on my Wildcat and it will go anywhere I choose to go.
 

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I would just get a skid and track off of like a Pantera, 136 X1" and you will really know the difference! Another good upgrade is the 580 jugs with the triple exhaust ports!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
wait does the 580 have the same bore? would the jugs just fit on?


does anyone know any sites for rail extentions, a link would be awesome

my sled has 4750 miles, it runs good, when should i have rebuild the engine, can i go this season, and just do it next summer?
 

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Rebuild over the summer.
The stroke is the same, the bore is bigger. If you swap to the 580 jugs, you will also need the pistons to match, otherwise the jugs just bolt on.

It may actually be cheaper to find a 136 skid, but here is a link for Tracks USA.
Tracks USA, Largest Dealer of Snowmobile Tracks and Parts

You will also need to buy/make a tunnel extension too.
 

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... I run 121x15x1" track on my Wildcat and it will go anywhere I choose to go.
Not where I live now... :p

Heard you've been getting some real cool temps out your way recently. -13f last night??? I miss the NY trail sytem, but I don't miss those temps.
 

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Keep in mind how low it engages (3400, stock is actually 3800), and rider skill level too.
I go through snow that others with longer tracks are getting stuck in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
im in maine, and we got -15f last night, today is cold to, last period of the day(grrr school), then times for some ripping, cant weight.

Ive read a lot about the 580 engine being kinda trashy, is this not true? what is the mythical problem they have?

what other engines have the same stroke, for example my dad has a zr 700, could i swap are jugs and pistons?

he wouldn't notice for a while i bet,
 

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The mythical 580 problem was piston skirts breaking off. Mostly due to inadequate warm up time.
No, the 700 cyl and pistons will not work, different bases (big block) and stroke.
The 580 with the triple ports makes more hp than the current 600.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
how big of an increase in horsepower would the 580 jugs and pistons give me?

were would be the best place to pick them up?

maybe i will do that insted of buying a top end kit. if im buying pistons anyway, why not buy bigger ones right?

EDIT- Actually, when it comes to warm up what is the times, and stuff, i let my sled run a bit and go easy on it for a bit, but i dont know if i let it warm up enough sometimes
 

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Keep in mind how low it engages (3400, stock is actually 3800), and rider skill level too.
I go through snow that others with longer tracks are getting stuck in.
Yeah, but your snow has moisture in it... :cool:

It's a lot different when you're riding in 75" of dry snow. I do okay (136x1.5) in up to about 2 feet of powder, as long as I keep moving. Most sleds here are set up with very light weights, and a "normal" engage speed is closer to 5,000 to 5,500 RPM. Totally different than what I was used to in NY. Hardly ever gets below 20F (daytime temps), yet the snow stays dry and fluffy. Forget about making snowballs... Gotta wait for April before it's wet enough for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
yeah true, but like he said, there are long tracks getting stuck in the same snow, that also has moisture in it.

I think what he was trying to say is, that skill is a good part of the ability to ride in deep snow.
 

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Majorly depends on your skill. I managed to not get stuck in 5Ft of powder with my Excel 340, while carving through it. It has a 108" track with .75" lugs. The more skill you have = better powder ability.
 

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I would just get a skid and track off of like a Pantera, 136 X1" and you will really know the difference! Another good upgrade is the 580 jugs with the triple exhaust ports!
I'm in agreement with this. I would most likely remove the overloads to keep unsprung weight down. Might try it stock first though.
 

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EDIT- Actually, when it comes to warm up what is the times, and stuff, i let my sled run a bit and go easy on it for a bit, but i dont know if i let it warm up enough sometimes
Until the rear exchanger is warm.

Yeah, but your snow has moisture in it... :cool:

It's a lot different when you're riding in 75" of dry snow. I do okay (136x1.5) in up to about 2 feet of powder, as long as I keep moving. Most sleds here are set up with very light weights, and a "normal" engage speed is closer to 5,000 to 5,500 RPM. Totally different than what I was used to in NY. Hardly ever gets below 20F (daytime temps), yet the snow stays dry and fluffy. Forget about making snowballs... Gotta wait for April before it's wet enough for that.
Not so, lake effect snow is very dry and fluffy, and that is all we have so far this year. No general snowfall (as in Nor'easter) that will be full of moisture and very packy.
I have very good take off (3400 rpm) with little or no track spin which is good for that kind of snow.
 
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