How to Change a Ski-Doo Snowmobile Track

by Will Charpentier
Keeping your track tension correctly adjusted is a part of monthly maintenance.

Keeping your track tension correctly adjusted is a part of monthly maintenance.

According to Bombardier, your Ski-Doo's manufacturer, you should inspect a Ski-Doo's track for cuts and abnormal wear every 500 miles, or once a month. If you find damage or excessive wear, you need to change the track. Changing a Ski-Doo's track means working with both the rear and drive axles, replacing the worn or damaged track and checking the track's tension and alignment.

Removing the Old Track

1.

Remove the battery, drain the oil from the chain case and remove the chain case cover. Release the tension on the drive chain by turning the chain tensioner counterclockwise. Remove the large, driven pulley, using an adjustable wrench. Remove the speedometer sensor and outer flange from the left side of the axle. Remove the circlip, the C-shaped clip, from the left side of the drive axle using circlip pliers.

2.

Unscrew and remove the speedometer adapter; set the parking brake; and remove the chain, sprockets and circlip from the right side of the drive axle. Move to the left side of your Ski-Doo and disengage the sprocket and the drive chain. Push the axle out to the right. The chain case and the drive axle bearing will pop out as you do so.

3.

Lift the back end of your Ski-Doo and support it on jackstands. Remove the self-locking screw on the right side of the rear axle, using a 9/16-inch open-end wrench. Measure the self-locking screw’s length with calipers. Prevent the axle from turning by installing a non-locking screw that’s 0.39 inches shorter than the self-locking screw in the bore from which you removed the self-locking screw.

4.

Remove the self-locking screw on the left side of the rear axle and remove the non-locking screw from the right side of the axle. Completely loosen the track tension screws. Pull the rear axle out from the Ski-Doo’s right side. Remove the track from your Ski-Doo.

Installing the New Track

1.

Push the rear axle into place from your Ski-Doo’s right side. Install a new self-locking screw on each side of the rear axle. Replace the chain case and drive bearing on the front axle. Move to the right side of your Ski-Doo and insert the axle. Move to the left side of your Ski-Doo and engage the sprocket and the drive chain. Set the new track into place. Screw the speedometer adapter into place.

2.

Install the chain, sprocket and circlip on the right side of the drive axle. Release the parking brake. Reinstall the circlip on the left side of the drive axle and replace the large, driven pulley. Tighten the pulley screw to between 66 and 74 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench. Reinstall the battery, and fill the chain case with 8.5 ounces of Ski-Doo chain case oil. Replace the chain case cover. Tighten the tensioner on the drive chain by turning the chain tensioner clockwise.

3.

Extend the rear suspension fully to adjust the track's tension. Check the gap between the slider shoe bottom and the inside of the track on the rear and front idler wheels using a belt tension tester, part No. 414 348 200. Tighten the track tensioner screws until the gap is between 1.18 and 1.37 inches when you push down on the track with a force of 16 foot-pounds. You can read both the downward force and the gap from the belt tension tester.

4.

Retighten the rear idler wheel retaining screws as far as you can. Align the tracks by riding your Ski-Doo slowly and only far enough to get a full impression of the track’s length. Identify the side on which the slider shoe is farther from the Ski-Doo’s track insert guides. Adjust any anomalies by loosening the rear wheel screws and tightening the adjustment screw on that side.

Items you will need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Circlip pliers
  • 2 jackstands
  • 9/16-inch open-end wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Calipers
  • Non-locking screw that’s 0.39 inches shorter than rear axle self-locking screw
  • New Ski-Doo rear axle self-locking screws
  • Torque wrench
  • 8.5 oz. Ski-Doo chain case oil
  • Ski-Doo belt tension tester, part No. 414 348 200

Tips

  • Test your track's tension at least monthly.
  • Travel at least 50 feet when testing track alignment, so that variations in alignment are repeated and, therefore, more obvious.

Warning

  • When testing your Ski-Doo after you first tension the track, do so at the slowest possible speed.

References

  • Bombardier Recreational Products: 2013 Ski-Doo REV XS XM 600 HO / 800R E-Tec Snowmobile Series Repair and Maintenance Manual

About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.

Photo Credits

  • Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images