Tech Tip Tuesday: Snowmobile Track Tension Adjustment

Adjust Snowmobile Track Tension

Snowmobile Track Tension

Snowmobile track tension isn’t something that needs to be adjusted often, but it is important to make sure it’s at the correct settings. Too much tension or too tight a track could result in premature bearing failure, power loss, drag, excessive hyfax wear, heat and more. Too loose and you may experience ratcheting, tunnel slap, slide rails stabbing track, and poor handling. Today we’ll show you how to check and adjust the tension on most snowmobiles so you know your sled is in good shape for the snow. What you’ll need:

  • Ratchet and sockets
  • Set of wrenches
  • Tape measure
  • 10lb weight
  • Sled dolly (or something to lift your track off the ground)

First start the machine and then lift the sled track off the ground (see photo above). Rev it a couple times so the track spins around once or twice and then shut it off. Now you can place the weight on top of the bottom track in the middle. With the weight on it, you’ll want to measure the distance the track is from the hyfax. Sled Track Tension MeasurementMeasure both sides with a tape measure to make sure they are the same. You may need to check your manual to be certain of the right specifications but most people find that having 3/8″ to 1.5″ of space to be ideal. Most manufacturers specify less than 1″ but you may find that too be too tight for your liking. Rear Idler Wheel AdjustmentIf you experience ratcheting of any sort, then your track is too loose. If you seem to go through hyfax fairly quickly then it might be too tight. If you do need to adjust it, loosen the rear idler wheel nut, and then loosen the lock nut on the rear idler wheel adjustment bolt. After, that loosen the track by backing off the adjustment bolt or tighten it by tightening the adjustment bolt (do this the same on each side). Once the track is in spec, turn it by hand if you can one or two rotations. Centering Snowmobile TrackNow make sure it’s centered correctly by measuring the amount of track that sticks out from each side of the hyfax horizontally (see photo). It should be the same amount on each side. If it is different, tighten the rear idler wheel adjustment bolt to bring it in or loosen it to move it out until both sides are even. After that, tighten the adjustment bolt lock nut and then remeasure everything to make sure nothing changed. Then tighten the rear idler wheel nut and your snowmobile track tension should be good to go. Take it out and make sure you don’t have any issues that might be caused by a loose or tight track. Once it checks out, let ‘er rip!

Do you have a tech tip idea or question? Let us know at techtips@gearhead.com

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