It’s almost that time again, winter-lovers. You and your snowmobile have had quite the season, and you want to store it properly, so you can have another good winter together next year. Here are some tips to help you store your sled safely, until the snow flies again.
Storing Your Sled
When you get down to it, there are two types of snowmobile owners.
There’s the type that will neglect their machine all summer, leaving it unprepared and unprotected. Their machines don’t last long- wearing, cracking, and becoming a hotel for rodents and birds.
Then there’s the type that take care of their machines, the best way they know how. Unfortunately, that’s still not good enough a lot of the time. They will treat the fuel, cover their machine and walk away or, they will read this handy guide, and know how to properly care for their sled this year.
Don’t be the first type. Be the snowmobiler that can rest assured that they are doing everything in their power to keep their machine running, and running well.
The first thing that you will want to do when preparing your machine for off-season storage is to clean, dry, and polish all surfaces. Once it’s clean, inspect it carefully for any damage, such as cracks, scratches, and worn paint. Paint the ski-bottoms, and any bared metal or scratched spots.
Get out your tool kit, lubricating oil, grease, some blocks, and a cover; the real work is about to begin.
Protection for Prevention
Now that you are ready to take proper care of your snow machine, follow these steps:
Start your engine, pulling on the oil pump cable to hold it open. Run the machine like this for ten to fifteen minutes, to ensure that sufficient oil is circulating to properly lubricate the internal workings.
Fill your gas tank. You want your gas tank completely full, including a gas stabilizer to prevent condensation. This should help to keep the oxidization minimal, and prevent condensation, which could potentially damage your machine.
Empty all of the fuel from the carburetor, by removing the float bowl drains. Allowing all of the fuel to drain by doing this, you will prevent blockage in the jets and the passageways.
Remove your machine’s drive belt, storing it completely unrolled. If you store your snowmobile with the belt still in place, the belt will set to the installed shape and it won’t turn properly next season.
Take out your battery, and put it somewhere safe, where it will be free of any direct sunlight.
To keep animals from nesting inside of your machine, completely block off all openings. Animal nesting will impair your machine’s performance, possibly causing serious damage.
To keep your track from stretching and cracking in storage, loosen the track tensioning bolts completely.
Some sleds require you to take apart your secondary clutch, and grease the sheave bushings. Check your manual to see if your machine is one that needs this. If it is, go ahead and do so.
Coat any exposed metal surfaces (including nuts, bolts, and fasteners) with WD40 or a similar oil. Keep the plastic and rubber parts oil-free, because the oil will cause them to break down.
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