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Hey Everyone! Thanks in advance for any help you might offer...This will be my first rebuild and would love to tap into the knowledge on this site, so again thanks!

Summer is winding down and ski season is just around the corner. Before it gets to cold and is a pain in the ass to work outside on my sled, I'd like to get going on a rebuild on the head of my 1997 XLT RMK. At the end of last season the odometer flipped just over 5,100 miles and it's getting hard to start. The hard to start part, I'm thinking, it related to low compression. I have gone over this machine a couple times and cleaned the carbs, new needle and seats, new fuel lines, new fuel pump, etc....still hard to cold start.

Anyways, long story short. What parts would i need at the bare minimium to rebuild the top end of this engine and get a little better compression? What am I looking at for cost? Can i get away with just replacing the gaskets on the head?

For reference, I use my sled like a golf cart. Simple to get to really fun backcountry skiing zones. I need a reliable sled and for the past 4 years this sled as never let me down. I jsu twant to try and squeeze every inch out of her and I'm thinking a little rebuild might just help.

Again, any suggestions on parts, labor time I'm looking at or any past expereinces would be great!

Cheers!

Sled_Skier
 

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First things first, do a compression check to validate your hard starting concerns. Should be at 110+ psi or hopefully higher. 110 would be on the low end of the scale.

Did you get the viton tip needles/seat? If not, they could still be leaking causing hard starting. Very common on these engines.

Figure $50-60 per piston with rings, and $60-70 for a gasket set.

D
 

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Add in 2 cylinder bores, $45 each or so.You'll prolly want to go with new wrist pins and bearings.
 
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