When you think about snowmobile maintenance tasks, the track may not be something that is considered very often. They may be built tough, but the track is one of the most expensive wear items on a snowmobile. With a bit of periodic attention, your track can last the life of your sled. Here are 6 tips that can prolong track life.
Keep It Elevated- Always
Most all seasoned snowmobilers prop their track off of the ground after every ride. The reason for this is to keep the track from freezing to the ground. During long-term, off-season storage, the track should be elevated to keep moisture from forming under track which can promote degradation and rotting over time.
There are numerous aftermarket snowmobile lifts that are very easy on your back.
Check for Missing or Damaged Track Clips
Track clips are the steel inserts on a snowmobile track that mate with the drive sprockets. Without these metal clips, the drive cogs can tear the rubber track and do irreparable damage. Check the condition of these clips on a frequent basis and have any loose or damaged clips repaired immediately.
Remove Tension During Storage
Another good off-season practice is to back-off some tension on the track. The logic behind this is that relieving some track tension can prevent tiny splits in the rubber. Tie a note to your handlebars as a reminder to restore the correct tension before venturing off on your first ride of the next season.
Check Tension In-Season
It is also a great idea to periodically check tension during the season. A track that is too loose or too tight can lead to expensive damage. Consult your owners’ manual for the correct track tension.
Check Slider Wear
While sliders technically aren’t part of the track, if they are worn down, the track will eventually bear the brunt of the damage. Replaceable slide rail surfaces provide a buffer between the track and the suspension slide rails. When the plastic wear strips become worn down beyond the proper tolerances, damage can start to occur on the clips, slide rails and the track itself. Slider inserts are inexpensive, so keep an eye on them and replace when they have worn down to the tolerance as suggested by the sled manufacturer.
Condition The Track During Off-Season Storage
Applying silicone spray to the inner and outer surfaces of the track before storage keeps the rubber from drying out over time. A supple track inhibits cracks from forming in the rubber and is more pliable. Arguably, this can help the track stay in “like new” condition for a longer period.