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XTRA-12 toe, steering, setup

This is a discussion on XTRA-12 toe, steering, setup within the Polaris forums, part of the Brand Specific Snowmobile Discussion category; I have a 1995 XLT Special with XTRA-12 front and rear suspension. I am having trouble setting up the steering and suspension. It wants to ...

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Thread: XTRA-12 toe, steering, setup

  1. #1
    JD
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    I have a 1995 XLT Special with XTRA-12 front and rear suspension. I am having trouble setting up the steering and suspension. It wants to track a lot and not go straight. I have the toe set to zero with no weight on the front, which translates to about 1 inch toe out at normal ride height. The front springs are turned all the way down. As I turn the spring on the front-rear shock up the tracking gets better (less ski pressure), but the ride gets worse and I get a lot of kick back. I have the torsion springs turned down all the way, but the rear-rear spring is about half way up. Will reducing the rear-rear spring pressure also decrease ski pressure? Somehow I need to balance ride with ski pressure and toe. Can anybody offer any suggestions? I only weigh 150 lbs. The Fox shocks are valved pretty light for my weight. What should I do?

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    pigboy's Avatar
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    Are you still running the stock steel skiis? Not a cheap suggestion, but switching to plastic skiies with good deep keel eliminated the darting on my XLT.

    I'm running SLP SLT skiis.

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    JD
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    I have the stock skis with ski skins. I have some Polaris plastic skis on another machine that I could try. Also, I am running the Polaris EZ steer wear rods with 5 inch carbide.

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    You know, the skiis are pretty easy to take on and off. I'd swap 'em for a weekend and see if you notice a big differnce. Prior to my plastic ones, I had the same set up with the steel skiis. I was able to back off quite of ski pressure because it really wasn't needed anymore.

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    ACEXLT's Avatar
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    Are the skis aligned to the track?

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    JD
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    I guess I don't really understand aligning the skis to the track. If it was off a lot the handlebars would be turned while the skis were straight. But if the alignment is even close, a person wouldn't notice. Heck, there is that much slop in the steering of an Indy. And the toe changes so much as the suspension compresses. Maybe I am missing something. If I am, let me know, please.

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    Get the skis slightly in the air, then put a bungy cord on very loosely just to hold skis togather. Lay a 2x4 up to the bottom of the track running up to one of the skis. align that aki
    to the 2x4, then align that ski to the other ski. Then set toe out, 1/8"-1/4" is optimal. More will scrub speed and any toe in will cause darting.

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    What Acexlt means when he says " lay a 2x4 up to the bottom of the track" is: lay the 2x4 alonside the edge of the track and up to the ski. You are using the 2x4 as a giant straightedge, and as he says, aligning the ski to the track. The edge of the track should be parallel with the edge of the ski, then they'll be running straight together.

    Also, note whether the tie rod is on top of the steering arm or below. If this is a previously owned sled, it may have been put on incorrectly. You wouldn't think it would make much difference, but it will.

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    Get a 50" 5/8" steel rod and take off the skiis and put the rod thru the spindle and see if it goes thru the other spindle. If not adjust the radius rods until it does then you know your camber is correct and then you can set toe. Camber is critical on the XTRA 12 because of the xtra long trailing arms. You can set toe all you want but if the camber is off you will never be happy with the steering. Remember camber effects toe but toe does not effect camber.

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    JD
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    Thank you. I will check the camber before I do anything else. Do the radius rods have to be disconnected from the trailing arm to adjust the camber? Also, is there a jam nut at the joints in the middle of the machine? How do you get a wrench on it? Thanks for the help. I am assuming from your advice that camber should be zero.

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