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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Snowmobile Fanatics and lesser snowmobile hobbyists (soon to be me).

I've recently had the good fortune to aquire a couple Polaris Indy snowmobiles and I'm just wondering what the public opinion is on them and what the differences between the two are.
The first one is a 94 XLT SKS and the second is a 96 XLT Rocky Mountain King (RMK)

So far in my searching I've found www.Polarisman.com which has told me that the RMK sits up a little higher than the SKS and has more suspension travel. I called my local dealer and got what information I could out of them but since they are 16 and 14 years old respectively, there's not much beyond part number searching that they have available to them.

Any info you have will be greatly appreciated as I try to understand these sleds that I now have.

P.S. I'm a car guy and highly mechanical so don't be afraid to go into detail just bare in mind that not all of the terms cross over and might have to be explained. Also don't tell me to do a search please, I wouldn't have posted if I wasn't banging my head against a wall trying to dredge up info.

Thanks.
 

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well one, what kind of riding are you looking to do? two where are you located, 3 how many miles are on both sleds and do they look good, (not just cosmetics) chassis's bulkhead etc, 4 check compression on both, no less then 130 maybe 125 but your getting pretty close to needing a new top end, which for your case maybe not what you wanna get into, 5 how hard were these sleds driven, do you know any history on them?
 

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120 pounds of compression in the cylinders should be the target goal, anything over is GREAT! 100 is pretty iffy, anything less would need a top-end rebuild.

They both have 133.5 inch long tracks (considered a long track because the usual length is 121 inches).
The 1994 SKS has about 8" of front and rear suspension travel, so it has the "regular 8-inch suspension"
the 1996 RMK has about 10" of front and rear suspension travel, the name of this type of suspension is "Xtra-10"

the 1996 will ride nicer than the 1994.

Both of these XLT's are a monoblock triple (all three cylinders are contained in one block). The 1996 has a displacement of 597cc, the 1994 has a displacement of 580cc. They both use the same crankshaft/crankcase, they just have different bore sizes.

The common issue is on the 1996 597cc, the PTO bearing often failed (PTO = Power Take Off, denoting the crank bearing closest to the primary clutch. The primary clutch [aka the drive clutch] is the clutch attached to the crankshaft). The 1993-1994 580cc motors didn't have issues with the PTO bearing like the 1995-1996 597cc motors.

One more thing, I have found SEVERAL errors in the information and pictures on http://polarisman.com/ so take it with a grain of salt.

A great site to find Part numbers and cross reference them to check what other models use the same part number is:
http://parts.polarisind.com/Browse/Browse.asp

And welcome to the site!
 

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congrats on your new aquisition! they should be 2 pretty decent sleds for ya considering they arent totally demolished!
like everything else with a motor, it all boils down to how well they were, and continue to be maintained!
they both have the xlt motor (xtra lite triple), it was like polaris' small block chevy in the 1990's! and both of your machines utilize what is commonly known as the "wedge" chassis. which is the tunnle ,hood, belly pan. but polaris used different front and rear (skid) suspension styles/setups within this chassis!

i totally enjoyed my 96 xcr/xlt, and was a great first sled. ran 6000+ miles without a rebuilt and still runnin on original pistons (127psi across the board)!


-spend this fall looking over the machines, if your mechanical you"ll be able to tell if something is outta place, for the most part
-keep your clutches clean
-grease your suspension often
-clean and synchronize the carbs\

post some pics!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bj.hardy said:
well one, what kind of riding are you looking to do? two where are you located, 3 how many miles are on both sleds and do they look good, (not just cosmetics) chassis's bulkhead etc, 4 check compression on both, no less then 130 maybe 125 but your getting pretty close to needing a new top end, which for your case maybe not what you wanna get into, 5 how hard were these sleds driven, do you know any history on them?
1: Not sure yet, I just got these and need to make sure that they run first then I'll play around and find something that suits me
2: I just added that info to my profile but I live in Calgary Alberta so I've got the Rockys nice and close to go play in
3: That is some info I didn't take down but when I work on them I'll grab that info. As far as a preliminary check with no wrenches or screwdrivers held there didn't seem to be anything glaringly wrong with them.
4: That will be the first thing I do once I get them into the shop to do it.
5: About 3-4 years ago they went through a "rebuild" but I'm not sure how thourough it was, I know both ran and ran well for the winter but they've been sitting since then so they shouldn't need much if the main parts were fixed.

Polaris_Parts_MN: Thanks for the info. I like to think of myself as fairly skilled at digging up information on the web but these don't seem to be all that well documented online. I'll be checking out the PTO bearing before I take it out this coming winter. The parts catalog is actually linked on www.Polarisman.com and I've been perusing it already. I'm a partsman by trade so it's right up my alley to play with numbers and pictures.
Any chance I could get you to tell me the advantages of long track VS short track sleds, I know traction and float on unpacked snow is one but there has to be more to the decision than that.

Danoxcr600: Thank you for being the first to mention the carbs. My mind instantly went there knowing that they've sat for a while and that will be dealt with the same day I do the compression check and change fluids on them. The maintenance issue is great but are there zerk fittings for all of them or do some bearings need to be hand packed? Pictures will come as soon as I possibly can.

The reason I have to wait is because the sleds are on my familys farm in the country where the shop is and I live in the city so it can be a bit of a hassle trying to get out there some times depending on my schedule.

And as a final question, what fluids would you guys recommend for these engines? Weight? Grade? Brand? The more info the better.


Thanks again guys, I can already tell I'm going to like this forum.
 

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plus of longtrack:
-better floatation on snow
-better acceleration because of more surface on the snow
-bridges big bumps on trails making it a better ride

although long tracks may tend to over heat while riding trails with hard packed snow or lower snow levels.

plus of short tracks:
-more manuverable on the trails
-most common trail sled length.
 

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PowerTryp, This is a great website, full of lots of useful info and facts, but also contains fair amounts of useless crap and BS. I also really appreciate your English and grammar skills, it makes it 100 times easier to interperet what a person is saying.

The theory is that long tracks can actually ride smoother than a short track. This is because the majority of sleds on the trails are short tracks, all creating the same evenly spaced bumps and divets. A long track is able to "bridge" the gaps better because it won't fall in the same hole/divet that a short track creates. With a 133.5" longtrack compared to a 121" short track, you only have about 6 inches of extra track making contact with flat ground. So I don't believe a 133" track will be a significant advantage over a 121 inch, especially not as much as a 136" or 144 inch track will. But the longer tracks (144 or more inches) are aimed at mountain/deep powder riding.

The issue with riding a 144 inch track on hard pack trails, is they have such a long footprint that it is harder to steer the machine since so much of it's weight is dispersed over a larger area on the ground. This is where the "cross over" class of snowmobiles come in. They have the 144" track, but the rear portion of the rails are "tipped up" a couple degrees. This gets the rear portion of the suspension rails off of ground, so the sled can corner like a short track, but still handle the deep snow with ease just like a long track. It would also still be able to bridge the bumps.

As DanOxcr600 said, a carb cleaning and greasing all the suspension and steering components should be a part of the fall pre-season maintenance. Just about all components should have zerks if memory serves correct- zerks are on both bearings and rotating shafts. The front suspension will have a zerk on each spindle. There are a couple zerks in the steering columns and steering rack area under the hood. Also two zerks in the drivetrain, one in the jackshaft bearing (this is the shaft that connects the secondary clutch to the chaincase/gearbox. The bearing is directly behind the Secondary clutch [AKA Driven Clutch]). The other drivetrain bearing is located underneath the secondary clutch, this is the driveshaft bearing. Both these zerks are accessible under the hood. When you look inside the tunnel (from underneath the sled) you can see that the drive shaft has two (or sometimes 4) large black plastc cog wheels that drive the track. The other end of the drive shaft goes into the lower portion of the chaincase.

The remaining zerks (around 5 or ten) are located in the rear suspension. The whole rear suspension assembly is commonly called the skid. The zerks are somewhat easy to spot on various shafts throughout the skid.

PPMN
 

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PowerTryp said:
bj.hardy said:
well one, what kind of riding are you looking to do? two where are you located, 3 how many miles are on both sleds and do they look good, (not just cosmetics) chassis's bulkhead etc, 4 check compression on both, no less then 130 maybe 125 but your getting pretty close to needing a new top end, which for your case maybe not what you wanna get into, 5 how hard were these sleds driven, do you know any history on them?
1: Not sure yet, I just got these and need to make sure that they run first then I'll play around and find something that suits me
2: I just added that info to my profile but I live in Calgary Alberta so I've got the Rockys nice and close to go play in
3: That is some info I didn't take down but when I work on them I'll grab that info. As far as a preliminary check with no wrenches or screwdrivers held there didn't seem to be anything glaringly wrong with them.
4: That will be the first thing I do once I get them into the shop to do it.
5: About 3-4 years ago they went through a "rebuild" but I'm not sure how thourough it was, I know both ran and ran well for the winter but they've been sitting since then so they shouldn't need much if the main parts were fixed.

Polaris_Parts_MN: Thanks for the info. I like to think of myself as fairly skilled at digging up information on the web but these don't seem to be all that well documented online. I'll be checking out the PTO bearing before I take it out this coming winter. The parts catalog is actually linked on www.Polarisman.com and I've been perusing it already. I'm a partsman by trade so it's right up my alley to play with numbers and pictures.
Any chance I could get you to tell me the advantages of long track VS short track sleds, I know traction and float on unpacked snow is one but there has to be more to the decision than that.

Danoxcr600: Thank you for being the first to mention the carbs. My mind instantly went there knowing that they've sat for a while and that will be dealt with the same day I do the compression check and change fluids on them. The maintenance issue is great but are there zerk fittings for all of them or do some bearings need to be hand packed? Pictures will come as soon as I possibly can.

The reason I have to wait is because the sleds are on my familys farm in the country where the shop is and I live in the city so it can be a bit of a hassle trying to get out there some times depending on my schedule.

And as a final question, what fluids would you guys recommend for these engines? Weight? Grade? Brand? The more info the better.


Thanks again guys, I can already tell I'm going to like this forum.
coolant= any old school "green" will do ya just fine, and mix with water to suit your particular ambient temperature range!

2-stroke oil= i run polaris "blue" semi synthetic in my xlt, no need to over pay for an oil suited for exhaust valve aplications, unless ya want to!

chaincase oil= i've ran klotz brand graphite chaincase lube, but again the polaris brand chaincase oil will suit ya fine

i believe theres 7-8 zerks on your rear suspension, there IS a fitting behind the secondary clutch! and half a dozen or so zerks on your steering linkages and spindles! nothing really needs to be hand packed, but if the sleds have sat a long time it may be a good idea to pull the rear suspension out and remove,clean and lube all the cross-shafts!

if ya search around i think there is a pdf downloadable service manual on this site, if not... google it there is a free one online. tried to upload mine but couldnt!
 

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Here is a little info for you about your sleds, as said earlier the XLT stands for Xtra Lite Triple and RMK stands for Rocky Mountain King and SKS stands for Snow King Special. I believe some of the differences between a Polaris RMK and a Polaris SKS is, the SKS is the standard version of that sled just with a longer track. RMKs have the longer track, but they also have a narrower ski stance and sometimes less travel in the front, all for the purpose of handling in powder. I could be wrong on some of this info, if so somebody will chime in. Also if they don't have plastic skis think about getting them, when you get a chance, they'll help tremendously.
 

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Here is one of the best thing that you can get for your sled. http://www.snowmobilefanatics.com/forum/topic/102341/display.aspx This will give you the shop manual for your sled. Hope that this will help you our. Now the other site that I go to is www.alljet.com There you can look up your sled on a part list like you do at a parts counter person. I have an sks and love it. I did a little bit of work with it on the track. I moved the skid back 1.3 inches and put on a 136x1.5 instead of the stock 133.5x.93. Well have fun and don't be stupid on them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Haha, no I've been busy playing around with other hobbies and having fun. Don't worry you haven't scared me off. Compared to a Bosch K-jetronic fuel injection system on my Porsche 924 these sleds don't seem so tricky.

Thanks theword, I downloaded the service manual and it's filled with all the info I could want on the RMK. It doesn't have the manuals for the earlyer sleds though, what are your thoughts on a factory service manual Vs Clymers? I have experiance with Ford service manuals Vs the Chilton/Haynes style manuals and for the simple things the aftermarket one is easyer to understand but doesn't go into the same depth.

Dano thanks for that chart, it's interesting to see all the differences between all the sleds. It amazes me to see how many were made for individual situations. I didn't expect them to all be the same but it's a little staggering to see just how many there really are within one brand.

Polaris_Parts_MN, you don't speak so bad for your someone who's not of legal drinking age in your state. I appreciate the praise and I'm more than happy to continue allowing people to understand what I'm saying.

And for everyones info I'll be getting to these sleds for a couple minutes this weekend. I may not be able to do any work on them cause I've got a grain bin to build but I should have photos up by sunday night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ouch. I got moved over to the second page so I'll bump and give you guys something to chat about for for a bit.

The RMK has a better seat and all the graphics on it, the SKS looks like it's going to take a little more work to get up to snuff. Oh and the milage (Kilometers?) are below their respective nameplates.













 

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Looking good! The RMK looks pretty clean! It has a real nice track and the suspension will work out great. Enjoy!
 

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looks like ya got your work cut out for ya bub!! cool old sleds though!

i'm assuming you took a pic of that steering post because its broken?!? with that being said the bottom strap mounts on those steering posts get reall sloppy too, if you pull your motor for any reason, check the bottom mount on that steering post! and fix it up while ya got the motor out
 

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ssracing said:
I have a dumb question, has the hoods or nose cones been swapped? The pin striping looks that way.
Yes, the '96 RMK actually has a '94 XLT hood. It is a perfect match to the nose cone on the '94 SKS though.
I would assume the nose cone on the RMK is the original '96 XLT graphics
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
PPMN, I think your right. It looks like the P.O. swapped the 94 sks hood onto the 96 cause if you look the stripes should line right up.

Dano, I took the pics of the stearing post on the SKS because there are a couple of lines there that have disintegrated and I was hoping someone would comment on them. I don't think that they're factory because they run up to the left handle where the mastercylinder is and don't connect to anything there.

Also it looks like the SKS was wired for a radio at one point because it has a jack by the left handle as well.
 

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The lines that don't lead anywhere are suppose to be there, they are breather lines/vents for the airbox and/or carburetors.
Edit: Actually I believe they are for the gas tank. When gas is sucked out of the tank, air replaces its previously occuppied "spot" through the beather tubes.

The jack I'm guessing is the hookup for electric-heated face shield. Some helmets have the luxury of a heated face shield to prevent fog/frost buildup.
 
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