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Thread: Indy Lite Track Changeout

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    Default Indy Lite Track Changeout

    Has anybody changed out the OEM track off of a early to mid 90s Polaris 340 Lite to a track with a deeper, or talller lug? The best I can tell, the OEM track is about .75 to .8?? and I would like to get a bit more bite.
    I have a complete and running Lite w/ a 121" track that I like as it is light and agile. In the trees and brush I can still move it around pretty well as compared to my old 440 Sport GT with the long track. It is a beast when stuck and I am old and weak.
    I was thinking that the 121" Lite would do better in fresh snow with a 1 1/4" track if it will fit in the tunnel without dragging and catching. Have you made this change, and if so, were there any problems and did it work out?
    I also have a wrecked 340GT w/ either the 133" or 136" track. I thought about resurecting that machine as it is fairly complete. If you had a GT, would you put a 1 1/4" lug track under it?
    Last question, at least for now, where is the best place to buy tracks? Thinking about spending $650 on a mid 90's sled makes my belly hurt and my brain ache.

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    Default

    I am no track expert but I would expect that you could get a 121 track pretty easily off of Craigslist.

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    First question. Does your sled have a chaincase or not? The early 90's short track Indy Lites did not have chain cases. Open the cowling and look on the right side of the bulkhead in front of the right foot well. The chaincase will be apparent if you have one. If you do not, the machine is direct drive. It drives the drive axel straight off the driven clutch. It utilizes small drivers that have a different pitch than the full sized Polaris sleds of that age. If yours does not have a chaincase than changing to a longer track is not worth the effort.

    After somewhere around '94 they introduced the Indy Lite GT which had a longer track and used a chaincase. I believe the short track models also got a chaincase at that point. The chaincase models use the same pitch tracks as all the other Polaris models in that age range and can be converted fairly cheaply.

    I rode with a guy (150# range) years ago that rode an Indy Lite GT that had been converted to a 1 1/4" track. It went pretty good and he covered a lot of terrain on that little sled. I believe you are right that the track is a 133 1/2". I'll have to check around and find out.

    I converted a 250 Indy Star (same track as an Indy Lite) to a chaincase several years ago. I used a suspension, track, chaincase and driven clutch from an wrecked Indy 500. It was a pretty cool conversion, but took most of a winter to get the clutching right and it never really did work as well as we wanted. I eventually stole the parts for another project.

    In the past I have bought tracks from www.tracksusa.com for a good price.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    Has anybody changed out the OEM track off of a early to mid 90s Polaris 340 Lite to a track with a deeper, or talller lug? The best I can tell, the OEM track is about .75 to .8?? and I would like to get a bit more bite.
    I have a complete and running Lite w/ a 121" track that I like as it is light and agile. In the trees and brush I can still move it around pretty well as compared to my old 440 Sport GT with the long track. It is a beast when stuck and I am old and weak.
    I was thinking that the 121" Lite would do better in fresh snow with a 1 1/4" track if it will fit in the tunnel without dragging and catching. Have you made this change, and if so, were there any problems and did it work out?
    I also have a wrecked 340GT w/ either the 133" or 136" track. I thought about resurecting that machine as it is fairly complete. If you had a GT, would you put a 1 1/4" lug track under it?
    Last question, at least for now, where is the best place to buy tracks? Thinking about spending $650 on a mid 90's sled makes my belly hurt and my brain ache.

    hey greg.. want me to look at it all for you? done a few hundred of them.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Question me too

    Hey Vince, I am interested somewhat in the same thing. I have a late 90's Indy lite, I love the machine but would like just a little more performance. Maybe wider skis in front and have wondered about a differnt track for a bit better traction. How hard is it to change out (the track) and what might it cost? The bigger lugs sound great to me, but does the machine have enuf power to do it? The budget bug live here too! ;-)

    Thanks

  6. #6

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    I have put two 1-1/4 track conversions on indy lite gt's. Yes they will fit and it makes a big difference.

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    Default Kenairmk

    Did you notice any rpm drop, or performance difference other than in the powder? Did you change the gears? If so what gearing did you go to?
    Did you buy and OEM track or other, and if other, what was it and where did you pick it up?
    Thanks for the help.
    Vince, pending bird hunting this weekend (after all it is nice and the dogs need to have fun too) we might get together, talk AC stuff, and look at the Lites.
    Any other ideas from the viewing audience?

  8. #8
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltwatertom View Post
    Hey Vince, I am interested somewhat in the same thing. I have a late 90's Indy lite, I love the machine but would like just a little more performance. Maybe wider skis in front and have wondered about a differnt track for a bit better traction. How hard is it to change out (the track) and what might it cost? The bigger lugs sound great to me, but does the machine have enuf power to do it? The budget bug live here too! ;-)

    Thanks
    well the long and short of a track change....



    two bolts in the rear for the adjusters... loosen all the way or remove...


    2 rear and 2 forward tunnel bolts.. these are the fun ones as they are threaded shaft that go through.. if seized at all they are BEARS to get out.. wrench on each side.. get BOTH side broke free before removeing...

    this drops out skid frame.. the springs in the rear.. take the tails off the blocks and all tension off them and the skid frame will collapse and hod the spring as you slide frame through the track...

    now track is hanging on the drive sproket...


    ALL SLEDS ARE SIMILAR... especially the older ones


    Left side as you sit on it...

    remove driven clutch

    remove speedo cable

    12mm nyloc nuts with carriage bolt in tunnel... x3 remove speedo housing and bearing behind it...

    right side chain case.

    remove cover inspect gasket
    loosen chain tension

    remove lower /upper gear cotters and nuts.. if equipped with reverse.. pay attention to the order of extra gears and bushings...


    lower gear off... 12mm x3 nyloc nuts removes plate that secures bearing...

    NOW>>>>

    POLARIS in those years was so much more fun then other brands as the bearing is sudo pressed into the case...

    so the shaft spline need some wiggle to get all the way out to the LEFT of the sled.. push the shaft through the speedo hole and allow case side to drop then remove the entire shabang....


    now

    go buy all new bearings.. dont care if they look good or not they are like 8 bucks and you have them out...

    the chain case side i made a small tool out of a DENT PULLER slide hammer.. take the furled threaded tip that holds the nail off and slide it from under machine through the chain case.. slide new bearing on.. add LARGE BFW... (big frigging washers) and align and from under sled tap tap tap tap the slide hammer and the new bearing slips into place...

    speedo side will assemble back on the shaft like you took it apart.. .easy..


    also.. light machines... that get larger lugs on them require gearing DOWN.. one set of gears// 20-49 if memory -serves me..it is a rather common set up.

    also while out.. replace the Chain... it take a long hard duty and Will break when you least expect it to..

    if you do any jumping at all... carry spare chains.

    assemble in revers order...

    you may want to take the easy way out and install the rear tunnel bolts first... that would be a HUGE mistake on your part as it will not go back together...

    front bolts... rear bolt.. NO spring tension at all.. get one side started then the other... use anti sease...on tunnel bolts..

    you may need to reinstall them ONE hole DOWN then they were in for clearance...

    check your front straps on the skid frame for wear.. when installed remember


    tight straps lift front of skid frame and make heavy ski pressure.. looser straps lower front of skid and remove ski pressure..






    rear alignment and tension bolts

    get them in and close... with rear of sled off ground.. put about 10lbs of pressure on center of track between rails should have about 1-1.5 inches daylight below the rails...

    align the track...


    start machine ... track in the air... reach up and romp the gas for about 3 seconds... let track.. COAST to a stop.. do NOT use brake or you ruin all you are trying to achieve...

    with track coast to stop MEASURE from edge of track to rail as far back as you can... BOTH side...


    if your measure for instance.. out side edge to rail on the right ..1.75
    and on the left... 1.25....

    the left is tighter then the right.. the track will run to the loose side.. .5-.75 of a turn on the right will bring them very close to even. several runs to get ti right back and forth and you will enjoy less dodging in the skis...



    that is about 3 hours when i did it all the time.. a first timer can expect about 5 hours of shop time but i highly recommend it.


    you Will learn more about your sled and more likely to self repair in the field when things happen..

    one time 17 sleds all donated a bolt or wheel or little minimal essential piece to 2 other sleds and all came home 55 miles. you can't do that if you have no clue what your perched on...

    the kids from Valdez that stared int he BRAPPP and sled necks.. grew up in my garage... after breaking daddy's sleds after school would show up wanting to have it fixed before dad needed it.. they learned where the tool box and parts were .. dads got a parts bill once a month..

    any way that is the most of it i pulled it all from memory.. been since 2003 i did one. so i may have missed a little bit here or there. but with a little Patience and perseverance.. you will learn a ton...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    Did you notice any rpm drop, or performance difference other than in the powder? Did you change the gears? If so what gearing did you go to?
    Did you buy and OEM track or other, and if other, what was it and where did you pick it up?
    Thanks for the help.
    Vince, pending bird hunting this weekend (after all it is nice and the dogs need to have fun too) we might get together, talk AC stuff, and look at the Lites.
    Any other ideas from the viewing audience?
    Dude, this is a 340, and you want performance? Come'on!!

    If you want more track lug height, you can change out the 9-tooth drivers for the 8-tooth. You can also get 2" paddle tracks in 121", but that would be a waste. Buy rail extensions, 121-136" and go with the 2" paddles, then you'd be able to get around very well indeed.

    Sport GT with 141" track? That was my first sled. Good machine, put almost 12k miles on it in the 3 years I owned it.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Default track

    i'm doing a change out on my 92 lite gt. right now it has a 133.5 x 1. i'm going to change the stock track on my trail rmk to a 2" which gives me the 136x1.25 for the gt. i believe it will clear but will be tight in the front of the tunnel. looks like only by 1/4 ". they will pull some snow forward so i have decided to go 8 tooth drivers which is about a 1/2" d&r equivilent. it is also about 11% gear reduction killing two birds with one rock. most adjusters will handle this if the two tracks are the same length. i will put a xtra-10 skid under it rather than do a setback just for a better ride and better in the deep. the selections seem better for a 136 track than a 133.5 when looking for used. but the 133.5 x 1.5 is fairly commom too and can be had cheap but drivers will have to be changed. so for me i will vastly improve this sled for a couple hundred bucks. 8 year old should love it and it will make a good lion hunting sled.

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    Default Nope

    Nman, "dude" I don't see that I ever said I want performance. Looks pretty clear that I asked what issues people who have done these conversions have seen.
    As far as a 2" on a 340, it seems to not make sense. I am not interested in having to gear the sled down to become a 20mph machine just to spin the track in powder. Heck if I want to go that slow I still have an Elan.
    2" tracks around here fall apart. I am always finding broken lugs on the river and trails that are hardpacked. A 2" does not make sense for the things that I mostly do.
    An 1 1/4" lug would give me almost 3/4" more than the sled had orginally, and I don't hear many guys complaining that those tracks fall apart like the deep powder lugs do.
    For the guys with positive input, thanks.
    Any clues besides Craigslist on the best place to buy tracks? Any type of track to stay away from for any reason?
    Thanks guys.

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    If I ruffled your feathers while reading the performance issues out of context I apologize.

    If you do find a paddle track on the cheap, you can cut the lugs down to the height you want and they will be very stiff; good for hardpack. And I got that out of a conversation from the owner of TracksUSA.com.

    If you are running much on the hardpack, go to the 8-tooth drivers with the 1.5" and throw some studs in there. I had a 1.25" x 144" Camoplast Cross-Country on my '99 XCR800 and wish I'd had a little more lug height. I now have 1" x 16" x 156" on my Arctic Cat and REALLY wish I had more track/lug. The motor has more than enough power to spin the track. I think 1.5" would be much better than 1.25". Besides, if you do slap the 1.5" and you don't like it, it would only be a bit of work to take off the 1/4" to get to your target height of 1.25". Something to consider.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Smile thanks

    Vince and Nitro, for the info, it is greatly appreciated and a good education so far ( for a newbie to sleds)

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    Did you notice any rpm drop, or performance difference other than in the powder? Did you change the gears? If so what gearing did you go to?
    Did you buy and OEM track or other, and if other, what was it and where did you pick it up?
    Thanks for the help.
    Vince, pending bird hunting this weekend (after all it is nice and the dogs need to have fun too) we might get together, talk AC stuff, and look at the Lites.
    Any other ideas from the viewing audience?
    I used the stock gearing and clutching and it worked very well. The track I used was an old one from a 440 I had at the time.

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    Default Nitro

    Thanks for writing back. Your response seemed a little pointed, which was not like you. Said, done, accepted. Maybe I am a bit sensitive as my "go to" sled is an Elan and I was almost feeling like one of the big boys with my 340 monster twin.
    And thanks for the idea on cutting a track down. That is something I never thought about, and would give a guy a lot more potential options, and maybe even save a few more dollars.
    If a guy changes drivers, does that change the pitch? Maybe I got the word wrong. But is the spacing on the tracks the same for an OEM track with the factory driver and aftermarket if I change the driver?
    Still waiting for one of you sled heads to tell me about a screaming deal laying in somebodies garage. Come on, fess up!
    Thanks again NM.

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    Default drivers

    pitch is pitch. the old elan has a 2", actually a 1.98 pitch. when they went to involute tracks (driven from the knobs on the inside of the track instead of the windows) there were different pitches, but the 2.52 pitch prevailed. yours is a 2.52 pitch as long as it isn't the direct drive they did on lites for a few years. a 9 tooth or 8 tooth or 7 tooth driver can all have the same pitch, say 2.52. what changes is your gear ratio. a 9 tooth driver in 2.52 pitch has a circumfrence of 22.5". drop to an 8 tooth and it becomes 20", a 7 is 17.5". you can turn these in to ratios or percentages. basically from a 9 to an 8 is about 11% lower gearing. for towing and work this change is acceptable if not desirable. for screwing around and play a guy can always gear up in the chain case to get the ratio back like it was before the change. a 2.25 gear ratio in the chain case is fairly low and in a lot of fan sleds and a 2.05 is used on a lot of mountain sleds. these are just ballpark numbers. if you are going to put a longer track with better lugs on, smaller drivers will probably offset the higher ratio of the oem shorttrack and bring it close to the oem longtrack ratios.

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    Default Oh my

    You guys are starting to boggle my mind. I surrender! I would have never in a bazillion years thought about 1/2 this stuff. I got some soul searching to do. Or, I got beer. Vince said he would come over, anybody else? Hmm? Ice cold brewskies in a man cave?
    So another question or 2 comes up. If I go to a smaller driver, does that allow more clearance between the track and tunnel? Any reason why more room is not more better?
    I guess I better start making a parts list. I was already planning on bearings. Had not thought about a chain, but we are inside already so might as well. What about the tensioner? Probably should go with new springs, shocks, hi-fax too. If I do the rear suspension, might as well hit the front end too?
    Gee, I think I see $$$$$ rolling out the door as I speak.

  18. #18

    Default Indy lite GT

    I used that machine for 4 years trapping. It did okay, but if it were me, I would gear it down so you didn't have to rev so much to get it going. It was a good machine and still can't believe where I got it. I am assuming you will be "winding" through trees, etc. If it was me, I would gear it down. I am SURE that a track with an inch and a quarter lugs would help the machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    You guys are starting to boggle my mind. I surrender! I would have never in a bazillion years thought about 1/2 this stuff. I got some soul searching to do. Or, I got beer. Vince said he would come over, anybody else? Hmm? Ice cold brewskies in a man cave?
    So another question or 2 comes up. If I go to a smaller driver, does that allow more clearance between the track and tunnel? Any reason why more room is not more better?
    I guess I better start making a parts list. I was already planning on bearings. Had not thought about a chain, but we are inside already so might as well. What about the tensioner? Probably should go with new springs, shocks, hi-fax too. If I do the rear suspension, might as well hit the front end too?
    Gee, I think I see $$$$$ rolling out the door as I speak.
    Tilt the machine on the side and measure the thickness of the driveshaft the drivers are on; it should be a hex shaft and 1".
    Now...put the machine back down and crawl under it and scope out the distance between the front bulkhead and the track lug. Also, measure the distance from the lug to the top of the tunnel. These two measurements will give you an idea as to what you need to do in terms of moving things around which will also cost you more money.

    GoggleFurnace is correct in the 11% geardown ratio of going to the smaller diameter driver, so you don't have to go with different gears/chain. But remember that diameter is not the measurement to think about, but radius, you'll pick up about 5/8" to 3/4" in distance from the track lug to the bulkhead and tunnel. You should be able to squeeze in 2" tall lugs with 8-tooth drivers. Also, if you go with the Wahl Brothers no-slips, you can keep the track looser which will free up some HP from the motor that'll be used at the track. Maybe $175 will get you a pair of no-slips. You can do it perfectly fine with the other style though.

    There is nothing wrong with more room in the tunnel, as the track will be able to move more snow through. DON"T drop the rear suspension, it will mess up the sleds geometry which makes your steering and front suspension completely different. Plenty of people do it, usually people who run the deep snow, but on a trail it will make you want to put it back to OEM. I found that out myself.

    To find your pitch, measure from center-to-center of the rectangular holes, I will almost guarantee your track is 2.52, and no, the pitch won't change.
    A pair of rail extensions from TracksUSA.com will cost $175 priority mail, pick up a cheapo track from an ad right here on AOF (I bought one from a fellow up in Kotlik), new sliders and you're good to go.

    Be careful when rebuilding your machine, I have $6200 tied up in my 2000 XCR-800 right now, but then it is virtually new machine. Only thing I haven't replaced is the tunnel.

    There is always eBay for tracks too.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    Default simple

    if it were me, i would keep it simple. go to 8 tooth drivers, about $30 each. put the gt skid in and use the gt track for now, unless you can find a 133.5 x 1.5, then put it in. change the pto side drive bearing while you're at it. ( another $20) the thing about the drivers change you will be able to work in a bigger selection of tracks. a skid set back will let you put in a 136. any way you slice it, if you go to a longer track you will need to extend your tunnel. what about a motor and clutch swap from the lite to the lite gt? these are just trail/work/utility sleds and like anything there is a point of diminishing return on investment/improvement. i still like the idea of the xtra-10 skid if you can find one reasonable, but then you have to go 136 on the track. 136's are pretty common, at least in idaho. i have done the math and have the the dimensions of the skid redo if you go that way. at least from the gt-133.5 to a xtra-10 and it will be pretty simple. that made me thirsty, time for a pabst.

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