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Customizing Your Suspension Setup for WideTrak Models

Break in the suspension on your Polaris WideTrak snowmobile for approximately 150 miles (240 km) and re-grease all suspension parts before making any fine-tuning adjustments.

Settings will vary from rider to rider, depending on rider weight, vehicle speed, riding style and trail conditions. Polaris recommends starting with factory settings and then customizing each adjustment individually to suit rider preference. The snowmobile should be methodically tested under the same conditions after each adjustment — trail and snow conditions, vehicle speed, riding position, etc. — until the best ride is achieved. Adjustments should be made to one area at a time in order to properly evaluate the change.

IFS components

Front Suspension Adjustments
Always verify ski alignment before making adjustments to the Independent Front Suspension (IFS). Consult your Owner’s Manual for instructions on checking alignment. If the skis are misaligned, see your Polaris Dealer. The camber adjustment also may be affected.

The tension at which the shock coil spring is set is called spring preload. For the best ride, the spring preload should be set as low as possible to use the full travel of the ski shock, with occasional light bottoming. To determine if your snowmobile is using the full travel of the ski shock, push the jounce bumper down as far as it will go on the shock rod and test ride the snowmobile. The bumper will move up on the rod in direct relation to the amount of travel. If the shock travel is full, the bumper will be seated at the top of the shock.

Shock components

Shock Spring Preload
Increasing spring preload will increase ski-to-ground pressure. Decreasing spring preload will decrease ski-to-ground pressure.

Front Springs
For models without externally adjustable or revalvable shocks, the front springs can be changed if spring preload alone isn’t sufficient and further adjustment is desired to control suspension stiffness. Special tools are required to adjust front springs. If you feel that your front suspension needs adjustment, your Polaris Dealer can assist you.

Rear Suspension Adjustments
Rider weight, riding style, trail conditions and vehicle speed all affect suspension action. Each rear suspension can be adjusted to suit rider preference and deliver excellent performance for a given set of conditions. However, all suspension designs and adjustments involve a compromise or tradeoff. For example, a suspension set up for snow-cross racing would provide a very stiff ride on a trail. A suspension set up for trail riding would bottom out harshly on a snow-cross course.

Your Polaris Dealer can provide the initial suspension setup information. Additional adjustments can be made after initial setup. Make adjustments to one area at a time so you can evaluate the change. For further assistance, your dealer can assist.

Suspension Performance Tips

  • Rider weight usually determines the position at which the spring preload should be set. However, this may vary with riding style. With a little experimentation, each rider can find a preferred setup. These adjustments are easy to make, involve very little time or effort and greatly affect the ride.
  • In deep snow, a new rail slide will offer improved performance over a worn rail slide. It also can improve top speed.
  • When riding on ice or hard-packed snow, adding a set of bogie wheels to the rail may enhance the snowmobile’s performance. Bogie wheel kits are available from your dealer.
  • Polaris offers track kits for improved flotation in deep snow. See your dealer for assistance.
  • Keep the suspension pivot points lubricated. This will reduce moisture and rust buildup and ensure proper function of the suspension components. Grease rear suspension pivots before adjusting the rear suspension.

Track Tension
Track adjustment is critical for proper handling. Always maintain correct tension and alignment. Tension adjustments should be made only after the track is warmed up and limber.

Moving parts can cut and crush body parts. When performing the checks and adjustments recommended, stay clear of all moving parts. Never perform track measurement or adjustments with the engine running.

Warning: Improper track tension can cause serious damage to the snowmobile, which can result in loss of vehicle control and serious injury or death. Always maintain the track tension as specified.

1. Turn the engine off.

2. Lift the rear of the snowmobile and safely support it off the ground.

3. Place the recommended weight or downward pressure on the track at the location specified (see the below chart).

WeightMeasurement LocationMeasurement
10 pounds (4.54 kg)16 inches (40 cm) ahead of forward idler wheel shaft bolt3/4 to 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm)

4. Measure at the point where the weight is hanging.

5. Check for specified slack between the wear surface of the track clip and the plastic rail slide.

If the track needs adjustment:

1. Loosen the rear idler shaft bolt.

2. Loosen the lock nuts.

3. Tighten or loosen the track adjusting screws as necessary to provide equal adjustment on both sides of the track.

4. Repeat the measurement on the other side of the track.

Tip: Check more frequently when the snowmobile is new.

5. Start the engine and slowly rotate the track at least five revolutions. Let the track come to a stop. Do not apply brakes.

6. Check track alignment, as noted in your Owner’s Manual, and adjust as necessary.

7. Tighten the lock nuts.

8. Tighten the idler shaft bolts. Torque to 35 ft. lbs (47.5 Nm).

Suspension Coupling
For most riding conditions, the alignment tab should be positioned at the open hole, about halfway between the plus and minus marks.

  • If more ski pressure is preferred — for riding in hilly terrain on hard surfaces with a high vehicle load — turn the adjuster knob clockwise. Ski pressure will increase as vehicle load increases. For maximum comfort, set the suspension to bottom out occasionally.
  • If less ski pressure is preferred, turn the adjuster knob counter-clockwise. Ski pressure will decrease as vehicle load increases.
  • Turn the knob fully counter-clockwise (minimum setting) for riding in deep snow without a passenger and with a low vehicle load. Do not exaggerate adjustments. A couple of turns on the adjuster knob usually will give the desired effect.

Rear Spring Settings

  • To check for the recommended rear spring settings, lift the rear of the snowmobile and then slowly lower it. Measure the distance between the ground and the running board.
  • Without letting the suspension settle, the rider should carefully mount the snowmobile. Measure the distance between the ground and the same spot on the running board.
  • The difference between the two measurements should be approximately 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). If the difference is greater, adjust the rear spring equally on both sides and repeat the first three steps.
  • Compensate for heavy or light drivers or cargo loads by adjusting the rear spring eye bolt length. Adjust spring tension so there is equal tension on the long leg of each spring. Tighten the bolt for more spring tension. Loosen the bolt for less spring tension.

Tip: Rear spring settings affect ski-to-ground pressure. If ski pressure is too light, tighten the rear springs.

For more information, see your authorized Polaris Dealer. To find a dealer near you, use the Dealer Locator.
Maintenance tips, procedures and specifications can be found in your Owner's Manual.
To find diagrams and replacement part numbers, use the online parts catalog.

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