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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Flange touched on a topic that I think is over looked by many riders. It begins in the "Pro X 800 getting zippier" thread, but I think it deserves it's own topic.

How many of your riding buddies are content with their sled the way it comes from the dealer? I know that 80% of my buddies generally leave the sled the way it was delivered. Other than adjusting the handle bars and maybe tightening up a spring pre-load here and there, THAT'S IT!

What happens next? They get comparing performance with a sled that someone has spent a little bit of time tuning properly and they're disappointed.[:(!] A few phone calls and a visa number and they're back next weekend with loud pipes or some other bolt on horsepower.[}:)] Now they're really bummed out because their hopped up sled is still no better than the properly tuned one.[:(!] Back to the phone with the visa and it goes on and on. I tell you this happens every single year and the results are always the same with my gang. It's a joke watching these guys stand there with the hood up wondering what they can bolt on next.[V] I love it![:D] Even when their pocket book finally does overcome the basic deficiencies and their sled starts working better, they still feel that it should be quicker.[?] OK. Enough of the funny faces!
Bottom line is before you start looking into pipes, air box treatments and other mods, make sure your sled is running properly to begin with.
I've always had a good performing sled when comparing to my buddies so I'll try to explain the steps that I go through before comparing performance.

The first thing I do when I get my sled is stud the track. I might go for a donut or two in the driveway before hand but it won't see more than 2-3 miles before studding.

I don't adjust anything now until after the break in of 500 miles. This gives me a chance to feel how the sled works. How it corners, takes bumps, breaks loose, transfers weight, does it dart back and forth, etc. Also does the engine feel clean or is it loading up a bit, does it start easy, sputter or cough once in a while, any bog during acceleration, etc. All of these things are noted while I break it in.

After the 500 miles I start adjusting the susupension to suit my riding style. This includes tilting the ski spindles in 1-1.5 degrees for more agressive cornering.

Next, I re-adjust the track so it is looser than recommended. This greatly reduces the rolling resistance of the sled which results in better speeds. Be carefull though. You need to keep a close eye on the tunnel and heat exchangers to make sure the studs aren't digging furrows!

Next is jetting. In with a new set of plugs and start normal jetting procedures. This is where most of my buddies shy away but are missing out on the biggest gains.

Once I get the jetting close, I start watching how the clutching is working and adjust to get the performance that I think I can get. This can take some messing around to get the set-up just right.

This is the basic routine that I do on every new sled that I get before I start considering aftermarket parts. The first add on that I consistently buy is a Tempa-Flow fuel metering device. It's an easy and affordable alternative to daily re-jetting.

Once I've completed these steps on my still stock sled, I've got an incredible edge over my buddies sleds that are still box stock from the dealer. Even their loud pipes are no competition if they haven't done the basics, and they don't!

The point is, spend the time and effort to fine tune your sled. It takes a bit of time but you will be rewarded with that grin inside of your helmet when you shock your buddies.

These are the steps that I take, but would love to hear what others do as well. This is the type of information that just adds to your arsenal when tuning your sled!
 

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Pro Xate,

Great run down on the basics to getting the most out of your sled.

So from what i understand you shorten up the lower radius rods to get a slight negative camber. This is a new one for me. I wonder Are there and disadvantages to doing this... Concept make sense but I am wondering how this might affect the sleds straight line performance i.e. darting...

additional things i do are make sure everything is greased well, add longer carbides on the ski's, traction devices on running boards... ( you cant corner faster if you cant stay on the sled [:D] ) Check Oil Consumption, re-gearing if needed.
 

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excellent topic ProXate, very good overview on what to do to your new sled, if you are still around i will probably be talking to you this fall as i plan on purchasing a new sled and u seem to have an idea of what your doing witht he new ones to get me going
 

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It funny how just doing little modds can add up to some big performance gains...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Darkstar,
Once I get the sled level so that both trailing arms are square to the ground, I shorten the top radius rod until I get 1-1.5 degrees off of 90. Most race guys go with three or four degrees but that is way too aggressive for ditch banging and trail riding. I haven't noticed any ill effects from the change. You just need to make sure your hanging on or leaning in because the skis hook up well and go exactly where you point them!

I think we'll see a lot of good ideas out of this topic.
 

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oopps i meant upper shorter or lower longer for the negative camber... It makes perfect sense for cornering.. and if the racers go to 3 and 4 degrees then 1.5 sounds like something i may try. Thanks for the info
 

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Personally, I've seen the biggest gains due to clutching and jetting, and not just on my own machines. The manufacturers set both of these parameters with significant safety factors in mind. Honestly though, I'm no Einstein when it comes to this stuff although I am learning alot each year. I get alot of info and knowledge from the people I learn to trust on various sledding forums. If we could add up everyone's experience on this forum, I wonder how many years we would be talking about?
 

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Originally posted by Pro Xate
[br]Darkstar,
Once I get the sled level so that both trailing arms are square to the ground, I shorten the top radius rod until I get 1-1.5 degrees off of 90. Most race guys go with three or four degrees but that is way too aggressive for ditch banging and trail riding. I haven't noticed any ill effects from the change. You just need to make sure your hanging on or leaning in because the skis hook up well and go exactly where you point them!
I am interested in how you measure this. What other sleds have you done this to, other than your Pro X 800?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Adjusting the camber is relatively simple if you have a combination square set. You know the ones with the 12" steel rule, tri-square and protractor.

First I jack up the sled slightly at each trailing arm pivot (near the foot rest) until the ski spindles are square to level. I use the tri-square with a built in level for this. Once you have both side level, use the protractor in combination with the tri-square to adjust the camber. Simply set the protractor to the desired angle of 88.5 degrees and start shortening the top radius rod until the tri-square shows level again. Repeat this on the other side, double check the angles again after you tighten up the jam nuts and your done. Take it for a rip down the same trail and see how it feels.

Don't forget about the basics prior to this adjustment though and just start changing camber angles. You need to set the balance of the sled first. Once the track is studded and carbides of the correct length are added to the skis the spring tensions need to be adjusted, the front skid shock may need to be adjusted to get the sled balanced through corners. Changing camber prior to this may not produce the effect that you would like. It's no good having a front end that will ride on rails through a corner if the back end won't follow. Some sleds need a certain amount of push at the front end to keep the back in line. In this case adjusting your camber will only make cornering worse.

I've done this same adjustment to a 97 XCR600, 2001 Edge X 600 as well as the 2003 Pro X 8 with IMO better tracking through corners and more aggressive cornering. The triple cylinder XCR needed the least adjustment on camber since the track tended to slide around corners a bit more. The Pro X 8 does not break loose AT ALL! It could handle more camber but at 1.5 degrees it seems pretty sharp now with a bit of inside ski lift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One other thing before you start clutching is to have your tachometer bench calibrated. One of the guys at my local shop is involved in a race team and had the calibration unit but most shops would have one.
Take your tach out of the sled and have them set the calibration unit to the desired operating RPM, ie 8200. The unit will send a signal to your tach and whereever the needle goes to is where you want to mark it. I used a piece of red pin striping to mark the location of my needle. It was off by 200 RPM. Now when I'm tuning, I know the needle needs to be at the pin stripe when blasting.
BTW no charge for the calibration. If they want to charge you, tell them to book it as warranty work!
 

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Excellent topic [:I] thats basically what I tell people when they first buy a brand new sled. When I first bought my first brand new sled early Feb. '98 ('98 XC700 - 824 version motor) and rode the sled the way it was the rest of the season and put on 400 miles. I also let her break-in properly. During the summer months, I added on boost bottle and play with the clutching for the next following '99 - '00 winter. Each year, I would do a little something to make it run a little bit better. By the 4th year, I had already added on VF, power pak, reprogrammed CDI by Wahl Bros and 1.25 paddled track. I thought it was setup pretty good and it ran pretty fast before trading her in for the '99 XCR800 last November. I just purchased another '98 XC7 with a 220 version - hopefully Ill have her run better than my last 824 version was. [:D] WL.
 
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