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How many miles is to many?

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  • How many miles is to many?

    I haven't been on a sled in over 10 years, and the wife and I would like to get into some over night fishing trips and other messing around. I've been looking at used sleds and all seem to have about 2000 miles. How would you compare this to vehicle miles? What kind of maintenance is needed around 2000miles? Any other input would be great.
    Thanks

  • #2
    There is no good answer for this one. It will all be sled by sled. 1k miles put on by a certain type of rider will thrash a sled while 1k put on by another and the machine will look fresh off the showroom floor. I have a friend who put over 13k miles on a mid '90s Indy 500. You will just have to go put hands on the sleds and inspect them thoroughly.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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    • #3
      Yeah- some guys just go easy on stuff. My friend's father rides a 14 year old Polaris- looks brand new and starts in one pull every time. I'd ride it anywhere.

      His son has a 2 year old Dragon that he rides with the throttle pinned wide open all the time.... it's usually some degree of broken. I wouldn't trust it to get across the street.

      Snow machines (and to a lesser degree ATVs) are just one of those things that are prone to abuse. General theory- the higher performance the machine, the more you ought to expect it to have been thrashed. You can find some older touring and utility sleds that have a pile of miles but are mechanically sound.
      "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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      • #4
        I get what your saying, and I understand a high perf. sled life span is generally shorter.
        Tundras and Skandics are something we like, but If I find one with 2000 miles, is that like looking at a car with 150k miles or 30k miles?
        Due to my lack of knowledge, I feel like saying anything over 2000miles isn't worth looking at. When in actuality that really isn't that many miles.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gokorn1 View Post
          I get what your saying, and I understand a high perf. sled life span is generally shorter.
          Tundras and Skandics are something we like, but If I find one with 2000 miles, is that like looking at a car with 150k miles or 30k miles?
          Due to my lack of knowledge, I feel like saying anything over 2000miles isn't worth looking at. When in actuality that really isn't that many miles.
          I'd feel comfortable looking at a Skandic with 2000 on it. Particularly if the owner is middle aged and acts like he has a brain. I'd look it over carefully and expect it to be priced appropriately. Unfortunately there's just no good correlation to snow machine miles and vehicle miles. There are a number of folks who run the Denali in winter and really rack up the miles without ever really putting substantial wear and tear on the machine. Some trapping sleds get run on easy trails over and over, again without ever getting banged up. I've also seen a sled with a popped motor with just 40mi on odometer that just recovered from a rock through the bottom tub on it's first run.

          Look at the track, suspension, under carriage and that'll give you some idea what it's run over and a compression test should give you a (rough) idea of engine wear.
          "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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          • #6
            I wouldn't shy away from a machine with 2k on the meter. There are a few wear items to look at like hifax and bearings, but if you are thorough, any major issues should be obvious and the little things can be fixed.

            Some things to look for -

            Track condition (missing lugs, torn driver windows)
            Suspension (leaking shocks, bent components, does everything move freely?)
            Tunnel - general condition (any evidence it has been bent from a hard hit?)
            Idler wheel bearings, jack shaft and drive shaft bearings
            Pull the dip stick on the chaincase - check the oil look for metal shavings on the magnetic tip
            Inspect the clutch faces for gouges or cracks
            Check the steering components - look for bent tie rods and loose tie rod ends, ski alignment, excessive play in the steering
            If you have a tester, a quick compression test on both cylinders is a good idea
            Cables - any with damaged sheathes or evidence of fraying? Throttle/brake/choke move freely?
            How easy does it start? Was it already warmed up before you got there?
            Any obvious repairs or patches?

            There is a ton of stuff you could nitpick but you should be able to get a good feel about how it was treated by small talk with the owner. If it is covered in "Slednecks" and "Turnagain Hardcore" stickers, I'd steer clear. I doubt you would find that on a Skandic. 😀
            AKmud
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            The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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            • #7
              mileage and wear is inversely proportional to the age of the owner.
              When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
              '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"
              2018 12' Moto Jet "River Pup"

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              • #8
                I am in no way a specialist, but I was told that the aluminium body of snowmachines is also subject to wear. It's becomes more flexible. SO I guess that's something you need to take into consideration as well.
                How the machine has been used and what you are going to do with it are important.

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                • #9
                  I bought a used Skandic SWT back about 4 (+/-) yrs ago that had 2000 miles on it. I had my Snow Machine Mechanic (Son) look at it. Today (I just ran outside and looked) I have 4817 miles on it. Our miles have mostly been Yentna River miles to/from the cabin. Aside from routine maintenance and upkeep, and a new spark plug or two every year I've not had any problems. As has been said already, Look it over good for wear and tear, do a compression check, look at the linkage, cables, brakes, etc. If your unsure, have a good mechanic look at it for you. I think your best bet is to look at trail type machines, and stay away from the high performance rigs.

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                  • #10
                    I too, bought a Skandik SWT 2 yrs ago with just over 2000 miles on it. Bought from a middle aged fellow. I now have over 4200 miles on it and will admit to breaking an undercarriage bracket that I've replaced. The sled still runs and looks good. I think the 4 stroke Skandik, if driven the way it was meant to be driven, will easily run to 8000 miles or more.
                    You should be paying attention, as others have pointed out, to the TYPE of driver who has been riding the machine you're looking at. That is a big clue as to what kind of trashing/maintenance the sled had.
                    As for your query as to what 2000 miles equates to.... A sled that has 2000 is nothing to be afraid of. It takes a few hundred miles just to break the sled in.
                    A sled with 8000 miles on it would not, in itself, scare me off. Just depends on its user and history.
                    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine! :whistle:
                    WWG1WGA! QANON

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                    • #11
                      If your not comfortable looking one over find a friend that knows what they are looking for, it can make a world of difference.

                      I have sleds at 1900, 2800 and 5400 miles and I'd ride any of them anywhere I've also torn each of them down to and put them back together, replacing anything marginal, usually bearings and hi-fax. Keeping carbs clean and tuned is probably the #1 way to keep a machine running properly and starting easily. They way a machine is stored in the summer can have a huge impact on the condition of the track and bearings.

                      On a machine with 2000 miles I'd be expecting to replace: fuel filter, chain case oil, some skid bearings usually lower, grease everything (should be done a few times a year), plugs, possibly jack shaft and driveshaft bearings, clutch weights/weight bolts, driven clutch buttons, possibly clutch springs, clutch belt, starter brushes.

                      If you do all that yourself it's a few hundred bucks.



                      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                      • #12
                        1-Check the compression, no good guide for how many PSI, but the cylinders need to be within 10% of each other. 2-check suspension bogie wheels for good bearings, inspect the springs, hyfax and shocks...3-general condition of the hood and windshield is a good tell for how it was taken care of..they can be replaced to hide damage, but they are expensive. good advice above about things to check....take someone along, a second set of eyes is good. if an owner is confident of his/her machine, they will let you take it to a mechanic for a checkover....

                        Kevin
                        2002 Wooldridge Sport 2000, 21', 350 Kodiak Jet, "CindyLou"
                        26' Olympic Sport Sedan, 5.7 Volvo, 280 Volvo, getting there, "CindyLouTwo"
                        20' Alumatech Airboat
                        EagleQuest Cabins and Lodge--Willow

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by keh View Post
                          1-Check the compression, no good guide for how many PSI, but the cylinders need to be within 10% of each other. 2-check suspension bogie wheels for good bearings, inspect the springs, hyfax and shocks...3-general condition of the hood and windshield is a good tell for how it was taken care of..they can be replaced to hide damage, but they are expensive. good advice above about things to check....take someone along, a second set of eyes is good. if an owner is confident of his/her machine, they will let you take it to a mechanic for a checkover....

                          Kevin
                          ^^^^^^^^^^^
                          It all depends on the owner. I sold my 2000 RMK 700 two year ago with 4100 miles on it. Started second pull. Ran and rode like new, I hade to replace the all the shocks and a couple of wheel berings over time. Proper mantainance and correct jetting and factory injector oil goes a long way. the guy i sold it to is some i know and a seasoned rider and the sled is still running like new.
                          2005 20' Weldcraft Sabre XL 350 MP
                          SD309 AT
                          2009 Polaris Dragon 800 163
                          Custom Mod's

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                          • #14
                            Definitely about the owner. I sold a 2004 Polaris 340 in 2008 with 3100 miles that had seen little but trail use, I heard a year ago that it's still ont he trail with over 5k on it, sold it to an older native fella and all he does is haul wood with it and chas a few ptarmigan near town. I'd buy it back if I was in snowcountry.

                            Not mentioned, but take a look at the cowling, windshield and handlebars. Those are things that show sure signs of hard riding. If a guy is busting brush and has scratched the heck out of it, it probably got ridden hard along the way. Same goes for handlebars, are they tweaked? or the end grips worn from lots of hard riding? Other than that definitely look at the track, folks that push their machines too hard are often on rough and low snow surfaces and the track and hifax and undercarriage suffer because of it. Also, don't buy machines from hardcore trappers, they use them like tools and it's a hard life being the mount of a committed trapper. My dad back in WI has a liquid indy 500 from the 90's with over 10k on it. He's replaced everything from simple trail use but the pistons, but that is the dealio with snogo's they are easily the highest maintenace machine I've ever put my hands on.

                            Beyond the inspection, it is more about talking candidly with the owner about their use, if the guy acts Hinky.....move on. Also, if it's at his house, take a peak at his other equipment and the shape that it appears to be in....like the foot of his jet outboard

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                            • #15
                              I know of Yamaha 4 stroke machines that are still running fine with over 30K on them.
                              4 stroke machines if taken care of will require rebuilding much less often than comparable 2 stroke machines.
                              The new injected 4 strokes are highly reliable. Cold weather can make starting an issue with 4 stoke sleds just like your car but if equipped with a block heater and battery blanket will start in any weather. I have heard the Skidoo's with the ACE 600 engine are excellent machines and there are reports of them starting without being plugged in down to -40.

                              As has been said the previous owner has the biggest influence on equipment condition.
                              sigpic
                              www.arcticangler.ca
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy_7mPiqoqw&t=11s

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