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Discussion Starter #1
I have a few questions, but first some background.

I ride a '99 583 Formula Dlx. My rear suspension was frozen solid in the extended position (it had been on a stand). I just pulled the suspension out so I could work on it on the bench. Then I removed each shaft one at a time to determine the problem. One shaft obviously missed getting greased and was rusted in there really good. I spun it in the drill press and cleaned it up good with emery cloth, then reassembled and regreased everything.

I had removed the rear shock when I was taking things apart. I am sure that the shock came off with the rod end down. However, there was no way it would go back together this way. The body of the shock interferes with the mounting bracket in such a way that I couldn't get the rod end to angle towards the mounting bracket for the rod end. The suspension springs were in place at this time. So I put it in the other way around; rod end facing up (back).

I put the suspension back in the sled (a long and arduous job), and low and behold the suspension still isn't moving! So here's my 3 questions;

1. If I overtightened the bolts for the shafts on reassembly, would that freeze or lock up the suspension? The shafts all have nyloc nuts on the bolts, so I guess I didn't need to crank them down. (I was working on this until 11:30 last night and haven't had a chance to go back and check; I'm at work!)

2. Does it matter which direction the shock is facing? Wouldn't it do the same job either way?

3. There is an aluminum coupling (possibly the ACM?) between two shafts at the back. I wasn't able to move it with one hand holding the suspension and one hand prying with a crowbar, but perhaps it needs more force to move that this. Could this part be my problem?

Thanks for any ideas.

Jacqui.
 

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HI Jacqui,
Sounds like you had quite a nite.
What happens if you take all the tension off the pre-load springs, will it move then? I would take all your pre-load off and make sure the the slide suspension geometry is working OK.
Did your suspension work OK last year, and are you sure it is a rusted seizure that is the culpret?
It just sounds like there is something in the way.
Your shock will work in any direction up or down, as long as it was installed on the right brackets.
I think that it's pretty hard to over torque the slide suspension bolts in the tunnel, they can take alot, and even if they were too tight, that should not cause the whole suspension to seize up.



When hell freezes over, we'll ride there too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What happens if you take all the tension off the pre-load springs, will it move then? I would take all your pre-load off and make sure the the slide suspension geometry is working OK.
"Did your suspension work OK last year"

Yes, I had no problems until I took it out of storage. As far as taking off the pre-load, I don't know if I can do that with the suspension in the sled. I already had to take it out twice (once because I forgot to put a couple of bushings back before putting it back in the first time!) so I'd like to leave that as a last resort; I don't know what I'm doing wrong but it's a 3 hour job each time to line up the bolt holes with the sled frame and reassemble it. The rear arm was pivoting ok after I cleaned up the rusted shaft, but I'm not strong enough to move it with the springs in place. (and I couldn't balance on top of it; it rolls around the garage floor too much! lol)

"I think that it's pretty hard to over torque the slide suspension bolts in the tunnel, they can take alot, and even if they were too tight, that should not cause the whole suspension to seize up."

I'm thinking that maybe if I tightened the bolts too tight it would compress the shafts inside the mounting brackets so that they wouldn't turn. If it was just one it might be ok but if it were more than one, perhaps that's the problem. I will look into this after work and let you guys know if it made a difference backing off the nuts slightly.

Any other ideas are more than welcome!

Jacqui.
 

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Jacqui583,
I do think it is possible to tighten your skid to much. You should be able to check pretty easaly? Look at all shafts where they meet the tunnel and there should be a small amount of clearance. Also as far as your shock it can be mounted both ways but only one way is correct. You can look up your sleds complete break down on a site called ronnies.com go to buy OEM parts Find SKI-DOO and scroll down to your sled and find what you need. I hope this helps.
Good Luck,
JemmS
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I backed off the nuts a turn or so on all the shafts and I still can't get the suspension to compress when I'm jumping on the back of the sled. I had my dealer fax me the assembly drawings for my suspension, and everything looks like it's where it's supposed to be. Even the shock is in the right way according to the print; which means it was installed backwards at the factory?

I'm at a loss. I'm going to take off the aluminum coupling thingy (the technical term, I'm sure!) on the lower rear arm and see if that does anything. Otherwise, I'll have to wait until my partner gets back on Tuesday from his snowmobile club meeting up in North Bay (I'm in Windsor). I wanted to get it done by myself, but I guess I'll have to swallow my pride! Maybe he can see something that's not jumping out at me.

Thanks for all the help. Feel free to throw any other ideas at me.

Jacqui.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I GOT IT!

I was loosening up everything in the skid frame and I found a small shaft where the bars by the rear shock attach to the front arm that had been overlooked; sure enough, it was seized solid. I noticed that the grease nipple is in a really inaccesable spot, so it probably didn't get greased.

I think I can get it out without ripping out the whole suspension AGAIN. Thanks again to those that posted with their thoughts.

Jacqui.
Wheeeee!!!
 

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Glad to hear that you found the problem.

Here's a tip on reinstalling the rear skid for future reference.

First put a piece of cardboard on the ground, then tip the entire snowmobile on to its side. Support it if necessary. Pull the back of the track out so its almost perpendicular to the body of the sled. Now slip the skid into the track, being carfull that the shafts don't slid out. Line up the from suspension arm and shaft, with the hole in the tunnel, it should quite easily now. Install the bolts on both sides.

Now swing the track and suspension up into the tunnel and tip the sled back up right. With the front suspention arms bolted in, the rear ones should line up perfectly. Use a floor jack to raise the tunnel so that the rear holes now line up with the rear suspention arm. Install the two rear bolts.

Hope this helps.



1997 XLT SP 600
"Engage the Mechanism"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"First put a piece of cardboard on the ground, then tip the entire snowmobile on to its side."

This is similar to how I did it, although I put the skid in the track before enlisting the help of my 14yo daughter to roll it over on its side. I think I was having so many problems because the skid was fully extended; I had to use a spreader clamp and prybars to get the shaft far enough back to line up with the holes. I should have realized at this point that there was still a problem with the skid and put it back on the workbench. Just goes to show there's no teacher like screwing up the first time!

The two shafts that were rusted solid looked like they had never been greased. The one is accessible but hidden and I'm sure I never saw it when greasing up the sled. The other one I have seen but it was completely inaccessable. I replaced the grease fitting with a 90 degree one before I reinstalled it, so hopefully I won't run into this problem again.

Jacqui.
 
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