Here's a little owner report for starting a couple of machines in -40 on Sunday morning.
Sled #1- 600 Etec- Electric start didn't work at all. It barely budged the engine. Two long pulls on the rope to loosen and then a fast pull. It fired but quit. The next pull it fired right up and ran without a hiccup. The drive clutch was unusually noisy and tipping the sled to warm up the belt and track by running it up was absolutely necessary.
Sled #2- Yamaha Professional (4 stroke)- The starter rotated the engine but no joy. Lots of guys will repeat rumors of how 4-strokes won't start in the cold. Fortunately I was near power and I've done this before. The engine did not need heat. The battery needed a boost. Like lots of sleds my 4-stroke needs cranking speed to start but really cold batteries are too weak for the task. Once I boosted the battery and got the rotation speed of the starter up to normal the engine fired right up. No heat needed. If I was going to heat something. I'd heat the battery. The big track was stiff but there's no tipping that tank to loosen things up. Some short bursts in low range followed by reverse got it moving. The clutch didn't seem to know it was cold. Anybody else changed a belt on one of these beasts? Dang the driven clutch springs are strong. Very hard to open the clutch. Must be a 4-stroke thing.