How to Keep Your Vintage Snowmobile Running Well

Vintage snowmobiling has been growing in popularity in the northern parts of the United States and much of Canada. Snowmobiling has, of course, always carried some danger along with it. The dangers are even more apparent with an older machine. However, a snowmobile that is properly maintained will run better and reduce risk of injury.


1) Clean off your snowmobile thoroughly. Remove all dirt and debris. Dirt will obscure cracks, buckling and other warning signs from view. To ensure a proper evaluation a snowmobile must be clean enough to ascertain the status of its parts. Also, make sure none of the vehicle’s runners are bent, cracked or have holes in them.

2) Remove all old grease from the grease fittings on the snowmobile. Grease has a tendency to clot up and can corrode the fittings. Replace all of the old grease with new automotive grease. Refill the gas tank of the snowmobile. If the gas in the tank has been sitting around since last season, the snowmobile will not run to its optimum efficiency.

3) Carefully examine the suspension. Lift the snowmobile onto a stand or a table so you can easily see the undercarriage. If any part of the suspension is damaged, it will have to be replaced. Riding on a snowmobile with a damaged suspension will not only affect performance but is also highly dangerous.

4) Check the spark plugs. If they are not too old, it may only be necessary to clean them; otherwise the spark plugs should be replaced. They are not too expensive and, considering the wear and tear typical of snowmobiles, should be replaced regularly.

5) Make sure that the starter rope on the snowmobile is not frayed or thin at any point. These have a tendency to snap. You should replace the old starter rope and carry a spare when riding. Also, check the drive belt, the fan belt tension, and exhaust springs. Check the throttle for torn lines. Also, check the brake lines as they are in a similar spot. If any of these are frayed, loose or have snapped, they must be replaced before riding.

6) Clean out the carburetor. A dirty carburetor will often cause engine failure. To do this, turn off the fuel lines and remove the carburetor mounts and choke cables. Depending on your snowmobile, the process may differ. Check an owner’s manual if you have one. Soak any dirty carburetor parts in carb cleaner and allow them to dry before putting them back in the machine.

Extra Tips:

*Use the owner’s manual for all of your maintenance. If you do not have an owner’s manual, one can usually be found online for free or a small price.

*Do not use damaged parts simply to save money. Not only is this dangerous, but it could degrade the performance of other parts of your snowmobile.

Read more at e-how: How to Keep Your Vintage Snowmobile Running Well |

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