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Indy Lite GT 1995 Frozen Rear Upper Torque Tube Shaft

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  • Indy Lite GT 1995 Frozen Rear Upper Torque Tube Shaft

    I recently had the skid out of my '95 Indy Lite GT for a track swap. I knew the skid had issues with greasing, particularly the rear upper torque shaft that attaches to the tunnel. No grease flow when I greased the skid. Turns out Polaris has a real train wreck in the greasing department throughout the machine, one of two glaring weak points in an otherwise really good sled. First, Polaris used a press in type of zerk in most spots on the Indy's rather than thread in types. As a further kicker a lot of mine don't have the sealing spring loaded ball in them either, they are just holes! Sheesh. On the 4 skid grease points they elected to spot weld them as these zerks will sometimes pop out on their own when greasing. (The ski attach foot is infamous for this) Sometimes the spot weld will have a "bubble" that prevents the grease gun coupler from locking on and sealing, the result is grease all around the zerk and none in the shaft. Grrr. The other problem that occurs in the skid and other places is grease does not flow out to the ends of the shafts, the shaft eventually seizes and in some cases loosens the tunnel attach bolts. This starts a "hogging" process that oblongs the hole in the tunnel at the forward attach point. The rear attach point is a steel bracket assembly. Note: The front point is a steel doubler plate inside the tunnel with four vertical holes of which only the top one is drilled through the aluminum tunnel wall. Should you have a hogged out hole I would try drilling out the next hole down and using it. The geometry change is slight, you might not have to have the torsion spring tension set as high as normal either to set ride height/firmness and the track tension might have to be taken just a bit forward as the lower hole used "eats" a bit of track since it is below the plane of the drive axle.

    Here's what worked for me. It's tempting to use a hammer to drive the shaft back and forth in the torque tube to free it and this can work. BUT it is very easy to mushroom the end of the shaft (the rear shaft is steel, the front shaft is aluminum) and really cause some bigger problems with the track carrier wheel bearing fitment and getting the shaft out of the torque tube to clean the old dried, glue acting grease off. Put the skid on it's side, heat the torque tube with a hair dryer or heat gun and then apply the penetrating liquid of choice to the shaft and let it get pulled into the tube. You can also put a bolt in the shaft with washers to make it bottom out and get tight at the same time to enable rotational torque with a wrench. It will eventually start rotating grudgingly, keep working at it and at some point the shaft can be removed then cleaned. The tube can be cleaned out as well and the plugged zerk too. Since the zerk is welded it cannot be removed. I grease the shaft really well then put it back in, the intent is now to pay very close attention to seeing grease come out the shaft ends when greasing. If it doesn't then drop the skid and clean it. It won't get better on it's own. For what it is worth, the front ski attach bolt/bushing setup has an even more dysfunctional set up as does the steering tube grease point!

  • #2
    I've had Polaris snow machines for decades. Never had the problems you mention other than the zert coming out of the grease point on the ski saddle. Regular greasing will keep everything lubed and free.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.


    • #3
      In practical terms the grease point on the ski foot is worthless, Polaris may well have just not bothered. The reason is even if it is greased with a gun, the only thing that can actually be greased is the outer surface of the bushing that is actually inside the foot. The bushing is 5/8 diameter on the outside (the bore diameter through the ski foot) and 3/8 inches internally, the diameter of the bolt that fastens the ski to the foot. Grease will never make it into the bolt bore of the bushing. The main reason the zerk "blows" out is the internal area meant to be greased is plugged. Quite often if you take the ski off it is an exceedingly difficult job to get the bushing out. Since the bolt never gets greased I don't bother greasing that point anymore, just drop the ski and grease both areas by hand. Note: If you do want to cure the "blow out" of the ski foot press in zerk it is a five minute job to drill the hole the press in zerk comes out of, tap thread it to a 1/4 28 thread in zerk. There is more than enough depth to that hole for threading. FWIW the grease zerk just above the ski foot for the spindle is thread in! Go figure. The other real train wreck for greasing on these Indy Lites is the steering tube one just inboard of the carbs. It too is a press in, is very difficult to get at and is known to come out when pulling the grease gun coupler off! I took a 12 inch of piece of thick wall copper tubing, threaded it on both ends for 1/8" pipe thread and extend the grease coupler in from the clutch side of the engine past the carbs. The copper is soft enough to bend to a useable shape. These days I put on the needle grease fitting to avoid stressing the steering tube fitting. Two of my Lites are missing that zerk, one I did, one was that way when I got it. To fix it at the best the carbs have to come off, at worst the engine has to be pulled.


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