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Looking for some general engine info / help

745 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  smith
Hi everybody,

I am looking for some info about snowmobile engines in general. I am building a small formula race car (for blacktop racing) and i am looking to put a 2-stroke snowmobile engine into it. I would like to do this because of the high power to weight ratio of 2-stroke snowmobile engines, and the centrifugal clutches would mean that i do not have to shift (this is why i am not using a motorcycle engine)

I would like an engine that has between 60 and 100 Hp. Any less, and it won't be fast enough, any more, i think it will be too hard to control. I think EFI would be a big plus, because of the high lateral accellerations involved. (it should pull over 1G, and unlike a snowmobile, I can't lean into the corners) I think this would be a problem for an engine with float-type carburetors. Water-cooled is a must, as well as electric start. Also, i know this point probably contradicts everything else i am looking for, but here it is: It can't be too expensive. Maybe a less-popular engine that i could pick up cheap. All of these requirements are somewhat flexable with the exception of water cooled, this is a must.

What i am looking for is recomendations of which engines i should be looking for. Brand of engine is not important, as the car will be custom built to fit whatever engine i can get my hands on.

Thank you
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Most 500cc liquid engines will be in that HP range. As far as EFI goes the older ones were not as good as the newer battery less EFI Arctic Cat is using now. But for affordability a mid 90s Cat 580 EFI is a solid engine but by no means a power house. Probably 70-80 HP. A little newer 500cc Cat will put out about 90 HP. As for other brands someone else will have to provide any info on them.

Good luck

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that's exactly the kind of info i am looking for. Thanks.

Anyone else, info on other brands?

What about a triple? You could probably find a 1993 or newer Polaris (which is a fugi engine) out of an RXL, which is a 650 for a good price. They come with EFI.

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I am kind of leaning toward a triple.

What is a polaris XLT? I've got a lead on a XLT600 engine, 1994

What about an '91 and newer Indy 600? I was told this was EFI, and would be a good one. Is this a good one to look for?
XLT eh? What year? They put out around 88-92 or so HP stock. They have carbs.

An Indy 600, hmm. I don't know much about these. I am not sure if they are EFI or not. I would say they still put out that upper 80's to lower 90's HP range.

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If you are looking @ Polaris, get a RXL 650 engine, that is EFI.

Fuji engine, 70-90 HP (maybe more, I'm not sure)

If you are looking @ a twin, get a Cat 580 EFI. They are decent engines.

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Mike; Hope you have got a proven chissis you are going to put that engine in. The Mini-Champ Indy Cars. (Looks like a 1/4 scale indy car , four wheel suspension, front wing, rear spoiler, big slicks, and laydown seating ) with a snowmobile engine for power started here in Mich. For years the 440 Rotary valve Rotax was unbeatable. They have now allowed 3 cyl 600 cc as the max eng size. Mikuni float carbs work great even at high G loads (way more than the one G you asked for.) These are full mod engines by Crank shop, P.S.I, and others. As you probably know a shifter go cart is the quickest type of race machine there is. These cars are about the next fastest as they have most of the track records around here. They run the same tracks and on the same program as the 410 Sprint cars. Be careful and get some seat time in something a little slower before you get in one of these rockets. In the old days a 50 H.P. whould go about 120 MPH in one of these cars. Now they are running about 175 H.P. but with gearing for fantastic acceleration off of the turns . You can see these cars run in Mich, Ohio, Ind. on any Sat. Night during the raceing season. Have fun, be careful.
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Sounds like you know what i'm trying to do here. It's actually going into an old Formula SAE car (don't know if you have ever heard of it) The Formula SAE rules don't allow 2-stroke engines, but since i'm not going to be racing it in that class, i can pretty much do anything i want. It's similar to the mini-champ indy cars you describe, full suspension, with pushrod actuated inboard coilover shocks, semi-laydown seating, full roll cage, big slicks, but no wings (this is why i only say 1G but i might add some wings later)

I already have quite a bit of seat time in this car when it was in it's full Formula SAE-legal configuration, with a honda CBR600F3 engine with about 75 HP (through a restrictor) I'm looking for a similar HP engine, but lighter. The entire car weighs 400 Lbs without engine or driver.

here's a few links if you're curoius about the car.
Hi Mike;
Glad to see your pictures of the car. NICE suspension set up, just like the big boys. Chassis looks impressive. You Snowmobile boys take a look and see what you can do with your P.S.I. prepped ELT engines in the summer. The Mini Champs up here are full fledged Race Cars and run on the same oval and Road race course as the Big Boys. Look,s like you are all set to have fun Mike. Thanks for the reply. Smith
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