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Indy Lite Track Changeout

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  • jeff schmitz
    replied
    Originally posted by nhoracle View Post
    I'm really interested to see how this turns out. I bought a 97 Indy Lite GT a few years ago with 700 miles on it, for ice fishing here in New Hampshire. Also use it for trail riding with the kids, and thinking about getting another one. I got the GT stuck once in 3' powder going up hill.. so a taller lug would be nice. I've had other small twins before, but these little Polaris 340s can move for what they are. I haven't put the gps on it, but speedo reads 65 bombing across the lake and it gets there pretty quick. And it pulls my <400lb 7x8 ice shack very well. I'd like to know how the 8 tooth works out if one is found.. I don't need to do 60 as much as I need to pull stuff with it.(45mph speed limit on trails here in NH, no limit on frozen lakes) I'm also looking into getting older 85-88 Indy 488 to mod with xtra 10 and 15x144x1.5 track.. So I can do the one time $50 Vintage registration...Then who cares if we get snow or not. Here in the NorthEast, Polaris Indys are a dime a dozen.. so Parts should always be easy to find. Again, I'll be watching this thread closely, maybe add to it as parts/time allow.
    NH
    I just finished replacing the stock 133.5 inch X15 inch X 2.52 Pitch X.72 inch lug height track on one of my 4 mid '90s Indy Lite GT's, the '95 in this case. I started with a freebie, nearly new Skid Doo 136 X 16 X 1.25 inch paddle track of the same pitch and considered trying to put it under the Indy Lite GT. The conclusion I came to was yeah, maybe it was possible get a 16 in. wide track to fit but at the least a dozen or more of the pop rivets used in sled construction would have to be drilled out and reversed so the button heads were in the tunnel instead of outside. So I cut a half inch off the track with a battery powered DeWalt circular saw. Went remarkably well, I used a 3 foot piece of half inch or so wood trim remnant as a fence along the drive lugs to keep the cut straight. Lots of smoke, do it outside if possible! A friend helps for keeping the top part of the track above the cutter but a set of overhead lift points worked for me. The cut came out very clean; I was glad I didn't have to fight the extra inch of track getting it in the tunnel. Skid removal and old track removal was as laid out in better posts, going back together got interesting. A bit of a battle to get the drive axle in but finally got it. The trick mentioned above of taking the chain case off would help. On paper the 133.5 and 136 should have worked no problem as the 2.5 inch length difference should have been split top and bottom on the track. I had a fat inch left of rear adjust on the idlers with the stock track so figured maybe a bit loose with the 136 but not grossly so. Didn't work out that way. With the adjusters at full aft I still had 3 or more inches of sag with no weight, Polaris calls for a ten pounder at track center 16 inches forward of the rear axle. Not giving up I played with "sucking track" up by trying the bottom most hole of the four at the front torque shaft mounts. That sucked some track but without dropping the rear mount point really made the suspension grouchy and bound up. Larger rollers for the top track carrier wheels was a thought but those are offset inboard rather than symetric and are a 5/8 inch bearing bore to boot. Didn't eat that much track either. Ultimately I drilled out all the four forward mount holes and used the second one down to get just a bit of benefit, it also mated the skid quite happily now with the stock rear mount points and for the first time the suspension seems to have enough support. Note: the torsion springs used on the GT version of the Indy Lite and the ones used in the short track Lite and Lite deluxe versions are the same Part number. That would make the same spring wrong for either the two up rated GT or the Lite/Lite deluxe pair. I've always felt the GT was way to soft personally. Next, the final solution to the problem. I went to my local snow machine salvage yard and got the largest rear idlers they could find easily - off a Skidoo of some version, 180mm across vice the 160 mm stock Polaris idlers. Same bearings, bore, centers, etc. just bigger with a lot more "contact area". Track is now completely adjustable to proper tension, the wheels do raise the track a bit off the rear heels of the skid/hyfax but not a lot. Now I wait for next year's snow. With the skid out was also the time to free up the rear torque arm shaft, that will be a later post. Also replaced some wheel/roller bearings, after ~ 25 years they were ready! Yet another post. A note of the Ski Doo Track I used: When comparing both the paddle "areas" of the .75 inch stock track and the 1.25 inch Skidoo track the resulting paddle area was very close to double after the conversion. While the difference in height was not double there was more paddle across the track, giving the effect of a 1`.5 inch track had the lugs just been double stock.

    Update 12/2020 Got to play with the sled, what a game changer! Zero perceptible bad effects of the front torque tube mounting point being a position lower and the sled is far happier in deeper snow. Most noticeable change is the reduction in power needed to stay happy in challenging snow. Where I would normally just pin it and wish for more thrust I now do quite happily with less throttle. The sled launches much better, before it was easy to put in too much gas and spin/dig the track. Now it just launches with no drama. Nice. No apparent penalty as to drag, in fact it is good for 10 mph (indicated) more going flat out across an untracked lake in moderate snow compared to a '96 with a stock track. I do have a set of wider Powder Hound plastic keel type skis on this sled; that may explain the lack of adverse impact on steering. I don't think a 1.5 inch X 136 paddle would fit under this sled without going to smaller drivers which would in turn provoke a knock on problem in the track length area. You might get away with a 133.5 X 1.5 in combination with a 8 or 9 tooth driver and the larger 180 mm rear idlers. A possible way to check for clearing a 1.5 would be to ty wrap a piece of wood of the proper dimensions to the track and rotate it through the tunnel. So over all the track conversion was a resounding success!
    Last edited by jeff schmitz; 12-31-2020, 17:37.

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  • gogglefurnace
    replied
    The trick is to pull your chaincase off the bulkhead, put in axle and track, then finesse chaincase over the axle and bolt up.

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  • ak_cowboy
    replied
    I swapped in a 136x 1.25 track by taking the track, skid, and drivers out of a regular Indy. No problems so far

    sent from my igloo

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  • Buckwild
    replied
    I took on this very project with much help from this thread but I just wanted to let other people know who might try this that a 1.5" track WILL NOT FIT even with the 8 tooth drivers because you cannot push the track up far enough to slide your driveshaft back into the chain case without the inner drive lugs catching on the sprockets i had to cut my track down .25 of an inch to allow me to get my driveshaft back in.

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  • Ak River Rat
    replied
    I'm bumping this so I can find it easier, to remind myself I still have work to do. Those 8 tooth drivers are pretty hard to find. Seems like everytime I find a set, I'm a day late. Anybody have 8 tooth drivers laying around? Want to make a deal?
    ARR

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  • nhoracle
    replied
    I'm really interested to see how this turns out. I bought a 97 Indy Lite GT a few years ago with 700 miles on it, for ice fishing here in New Hampshire. Also use it for trail riding with the kids, and thinking about getting another one. I got the GT stuck once in 3' powder going up hill.. so a taller lug would be nice. I've had other small twins before, but these little Polaris 340s can move for what they are. I haven't put the gps on it, but speedo reads 65 bombing across the lake and it gets there pretty quick. And it pulls my <400lb 7x8 ice shack very well. I'd like to know how the 8 tooth works out if one is found.. I don't need to do 60 as much as I need to pull stuff with it.(45mph speed limit on trails here in NH, no limit on frozen lakes) I'm also looking into getting older 85-88 Indy 488 to mod with xtra 10 and 15x144x1.5 track.. So I can do the one time $50 Vintage registration...Then who cares if we get snow or not. Here in the NorthEast, Polaris Indys are a dime a dozen.. so Parts should always be easy to find. Again, I'll be watching this thread closely, maybe add to it as parts/time allow.
    NH

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  • Ak River Rat
    replied
    8 tooth driver found at JJ Powersports in MN for $61 landed in FAI. Now on to getting the track. Hope to have time tonight to find and order it.
    I'll pull in the parts sled and start on it. Hope to have everything off I need before the rest gets here, and know what else I'll need. Then get all that ordered. With any luck, I may have it all back together and running this month. That in part will depend on how I manage my time w/ wood cutting and other spring time activities.
    ARR

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  • Ak River Rat
    replied
    Well, I've been trying to get smarter, not sure it has been successful to date. I spent quite a while perusing e-bay w/ no luck for the drivers. Then I happened onto a blog which gave a Kimpex part number for the 8 tooth driver. It is 04-108-22. I have found a couple of sites that appear to still have them, but will wait until Monday to verify. Dennis Kirk shows 1 in stock, LA Motorsports, JJ Powersports, Hudon's, and US27 Motorsports show they have them. We know that what we see on the "net" may not be accurate.
    Curious, are the drivers the same for Polaris and Yamaha? I saw something that alluded to that, but was not able to confirm it yet. The Polaris has a 1" hex shaft (.987?), w/ a 2.52 pitch.
    The GT I bought had reverse, but it blew up. The inner half of the case is toast, though my parts sled has one, and one tab on the cover is cracked. I have a buddy that is an exceptional welder might be able to fix it. The outer gear failed badly, and the big reverse gear has some wear.
    Does anybody know what reverse kits will interchange w/ the mid 90s Lite 340? It might be prudent to be looking for parts for it.
    I did find numerous 1.5"x133.5 tracks on e-bay for not too much money. But thinking more, would I be better off to look for a 1.25" x 136 track and move the skid frame back a bit? I saw where some guys have done that successfully. 3" can't make that much difference, it would just add the option of buying a new track.
    Thanks guys,
    ARR

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  • Ak River Rat
    replied
    Just found out from Polaris that the 8 tooth driver is not available. Help me out here so I make sure I am doing the right thing. The track pitch on those machines is a 2.52, so the driver, regardless of the number of teeth, still has to be the same, right?
    The parts guy said the 95 XLT SKS w/ paddle track had the 8 tooth driver as a stock item. Anybody know anything else about the drivers?
    I don't want to go lay out money on a track if I can't find the rest of the stuff to make a good match. Thanks guys,
    ARR

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  • Ak River Rat
    replied
    A full 2 years later, and I am re-engaging this. I just bought another GT w/ Reverse, which is broken, but should be able to piece stuff back together. I am waiting for Pete at Polaris Outpost to call back to see if they have the 8 tooth driver.
    Is there a standard application that any of you found for an 8 tooth driver, or are they always a retrofit? Do the drivers come on the shaft, or are they separate?
    I did find some 133 x 1.5" tracks on e-bay, much less expensive than buying brand new. I thought I'd start w/ the 1.5" and if that is too much, cut them down.
    Not sure if I'll gear down yet or not. I thought I'd wait until I get back in the woods to try it out and pull some logs.
    Vince, been a long time since we sat down and talked, might as well do that in my garage and turn some wrenches. Unfortunately, since cancer treatment, I'm not drinking much. I miss my good beer, just decided to take it easier.

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  • coldparadise
    replied
    Vince, Excellent read! I'm not even doing that but when I do, I'll print this out. Thanks!
    SJ

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  • gogglefurnace
    replied
    i put a 1 1/4 x 136 on a 92 lite gt with a 3/4 set back and no change of drivers. tight but it will work. a change to 8 tooth drivers will allow a 1 3/4 paddle, but tight tunnel clearance. don't know if the 340 will handle the snow coming forward in the tunnel from the taller track but the 1 1/4 works great. i went with plastic skis too. great mod. no gear changes.

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  • Vince
    replied
    bump for mainer

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  • Vince
    replied
    Originally posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    beer for a blue ribbon guy. Thanks googlefurnace.
    Need to get some projects out of the garage. Maybe this weekend I'll pull both the 340 and the 340gt inside. The easiest thing will be to retrofit the 340 with the 1.5 track and extras as it is a running sled.
    Yes, I could just scrap out the other sled completely and use the GT extension to put on the short track sled. Will need to decide how best to apply my time and dollars.
    You guys make all this sound way too easy. I got a feeling I am going to need more beer than I currently have to get this project off the ground much less finished.
    yeah... beer EH?



    hmmm might just have to come do it for you.....................:rolleyes:

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  • Ak River Rat
    replied
    blue ribbon

    beer for a blue ribbon guy. Thanks googlefurnace.
    Need to get some projects out of the garage. Maybe this weekend I'll pull both the 340 and the 340gt inside. The easiest thing will be to retrofit the 340 with the 1.5 track and extras as it is a running sled.
    Yes, I could just scrap out the other sled completely and use the GT extension to put on the short track sled. Will need to decide how best to apply my time and dollars.
    You guys make all this sound way too easy. I got a feeling I am going to need more beer than I currently have to get this project off the ground much less finished.

    Leave a comment:

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