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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there. I wanted to ask what peoples thoughts were about Zr 580s. I really love the way they look, sound, ride and love the nostalgia of them. I know their very old at this point but i really like the 90s snowmobiles. My dad used to have a 95 zr 580 efi and I really loved that sled and really wanted to get one of my own preferably a 97 580 with the upgraded suspension. But Ive gotten pretty worried about it because a lot of people have told me they are not good sleds and they have lots of reliability issues. Specifically people said ill have to fork up lots of cash for top end rebuilds cause piston skirts were a big problem. So i just wanted to have some input to either make me feel better or confirm to stay away, sorry for long winded message.
 

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If it has 3,500 miles then yes you do pistons as the stock piston skirts are known to go around then. Cat's EFI was pretty good unlike the Polaris EFI then. There is still a lot of those machines out on the trails as other then that they were pretty reliable. Parts are available and the upgraded pistons along with gasket kit are not that much. KCCats used to sell them iirc. He would know a lot more since he is the Cat guy around here
 

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I have several 580's I have a top end instock for them!
The complete top end, 2 pistons and a complete gasket set are under $200!
And can be done in an afternoon!
The 580 has the triple exhaust ports and comes in at 97hp stock!
I have about 125hp in my 95 Pantera!
If I were looking I would find a 97 (if you like that hood style) or they made an EXT through 2000
 

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Definitely replace the pistons at around 3000 miles. I had a 94 carbed and a 95 EFI, both of those sleds were really awesome on the trails. And both of those engines broke piston skirts just after 3000 miles, which is why I ended up with them cheap (I boiught 'em broke and repaired them.) Once in a while, I miss those sleds, they were really awesome on the trails. Not much could touch them through the twisties. Deep powder... I'll stick to the long tracks ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your replies. I feel quite a bit better now. My dad used to always say he felt like kirk hibbert on his cause it would rail the corners like no other! I actually did come across a 97 zr580 efi for sale in really good condition with 3000 miles for $1000 and i think i'm going to buy it. I guess with those miles a top end will be in order. With a top end rebuild on them would a person want to hone the cylinders at all or just get them cleaned up and move on?
 

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The cylinders are nikasil lined. Nikasil is really tough stuff, it takes special honing tools to make a dent in it. I would run a hone down the cylinders just to break up the glazing and call it good. The big problem with that engine is piston skirt failure. Replacing the pistons/rings gives you a great start at like-new performance. The 97 will be even better than my 94 and 95, that suspension is a lot more capable than the older suspensions.

Congrats!
 

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Yes run a hone through them and should be good to go!
BUT
I would make a project out of it and go threw everything, because of it's age, I would replace seals and all!
Now that said it is also the perfect time to improve upon what is there with just a little cleaning up the ports and even the cases!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well i went and looked at the snowmobile and i ended up buying it! Now its gunna be real hard to wait for snow! Thank you all for your help and advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The person I bought it from lives in Wisconsin but I live half and half Between Michigan and North Dakota.
 

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Sweet ride!
Just so I know this sled is staying in Wisconsin right!

I personal know alot about what all you can do with engine and sled in general!
 

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I picked up a 580 powder special this year. Quite a few times I left the m1000 parked to play with the old girl.

I’ll never part with her. I like the unrefined power. Real pig on fuel even compared to my 1000. Can’t put a price on reliving childhood experiences
 

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Reliability wise Its been rough lol. cracked a primary clutch tower, had to do top end (low compression on 1 side), CDI box, voltage regulator.

Best bets to scoop a parts sled in offseason before you need parts. I got a freebie sled to keep me going.
 

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Too bad there is not more of us in Wisconsin on here. Would be nice to meet up for a ride one season. I "think" some of the guys are talking about doing a meet up someplace maybe this winter for a weekend? Might be able to do that now that I am finally done with refinancing on the house and what not. Plus I have tri-lateral hernia surgery June 4th finally after putting that off for over a year because of covid. I will finally be feeling up to maybe going out as I also have a right knee surgery in August to clean that up again. Should be healed up by November hopefully. Plus I do my nerve blocks on both knees in November for the winter time hehehe. Less pain equals more fun in the winter time!

I was going to try and make Hay Days but I doubt it unless I can figure something out or end up splitting a hotel with someone for the night as I would like to go for both days of it and see what I can pick up maybe even bring a trailer with me,lol.

After looking some more at it, it looks like the previous owner really took care of it. KC can really help you with that engine and modifications. Now is the time to open it up, do the top end pistons as we have all said, do the seals as well & let KC walk you through the other modifications to make that thing really zing! He even sells an adjustable Fuel Pressure regulator that helps a bunch on it as well if it is a EFI setup.Well worth the money he charges as it fixes all of that pressure issue they are known for. Also idk what it has for a track but if you wanna do a track now is the time as well, along with studs and checking out and replacing any suspect bearings in it, do graphite hyfax/slides, do the bearings/seals in the chaincase and on the jackshaft, change out the clutch springs to some newer ones or ones more suited to your style of riding. All in all looks like you did good on it.

Good luck and enjoy it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sounds great! Ive got a lot of things coming up in near future preventing me from getting started now but im chomping at the bit to get started, thanks everyone!
 
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