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Track alignment tension tool


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2 hours ago, jdels said:

Interesting.  What is your assessment?

I like it.  Use to hang a weight off the track to adjust them.  Start the sled to spin the track and make a final adjustment. 

With this I've haven't had to adjust the track after setting it with the tool.  I normally run my tracks a little loose and it's easy to gauge how tight or loose with the index lines on the tool.

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1 hour ago, ICG said:

Is it just too simplistic  to do it by eye????  that's what I've seen  my local  Arctic Cat do for ever....

For me I run my track loose almost to the point of ratcheting.  I've had to adjust my track on rides on occasion.  Using this tool with a more precise way of measuring I have not had to adjust my track during a ride.  I also work on sled on the side and don't have the luxury to test ride them so it works out well for that.  If you look at an Arctic Cat service manual Arctic Cat also has a tool to check track tension.

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4 hours ago, Doug said:

For me I run my track loose almost to the point of ratcheting.  I've had to adjust my track on rides on occasion.  Using this tool with a more precise way of measuring I have not had to adjust my track during a ride.  I also work on sled on the side and don't have the luxury to test ride them so it works out well for that.  If you look at an Arctic Cat service manual Arctic Cat also has a tool to check track tension.

Same here.  Been doing it by feel for years but sometimes you miss.  Plus I maintain 4 machines so this could be a nice time saver.

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  • 1 month later...

most manus give you a force and location to pull, and a distance it should be from the rail.  New guys get a fish scale, and tape measure.

After a couple hundred a year, you can eyeball it lol

I always run it on the stand for left right alignment, and make sure the center rear idlers are running centered in the rows of internal lugs.

Edited by krom
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1 hour ago, mnstang said:

It's internet lore that running a super loose track is fast.

It's a balance.

A track that is to tight will loose top end.  A track that is to loose to where you loose top end will also ratchet on acceleration and braking.  Find the point where the track ratchets and tighten it up alittle from there.

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On 7/10/2023 at 8:21 PM, Doug said:

It's a balance.

A track that is to tight will loose top end.  A track that is to loose to where you loose top end will also ratchet on acceleration and braking.  Find the point where the track ratchets and tighten it up alittle from there.

Even if it's not ratcheting, if it's close to ratcheting and the track nubs are moving half way up the driver nubs, that's a lot of friction which is wasted energy.  If the track is flopping from excess play, that's wasted energy also.

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3 hours ago, mnstang said:

Even if it's not ratcheting, if it's close to ratcheting and the track nubs are moving half way up the driver nubs, that's a lot of friction which is wasted energy.  If the track is flopping from excess play, that's wasted energy also.

Different ways of looking at it.  It's also shifting to a higher gear technically.

I'll go with what has worked for me over the years and with testing.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/15/2023 at 4:21 PM, mnstang said:

Even if it's not ratcheting, if it's close to ratcheting and the track nubs are moving half way up the driver nubs, that's a lot of friction which is wasted energy.  If the track is flopping from excess play, that's wasted energy also.

They also balloon causing a ton of drag if too loose. Erik woog has a good presentation about track tension on you tube. I do have the woody’s tool but have never used it 

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On 7/15/2023 at 7:37 PM, Doug said:

Different ways of looking at it.  It's also shifting to a higher gear technically.

I'll go with what has worked for me over the years and with testing.

Explain what you mean about shifting to a higher gear.  

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11 minutes ago, mnstang said:

Explain what you mean about shifting to a higher gear.  

Engaging the drives at lower smaller dia compared to mid or higher larger dia.  Same as the primary clutch and belt on a smaller scale.

In testing with a tight track always had a slower top speed.  Loosen the track until you start seeing the speed fall off which was normally when you had ratcheting under braking and sometimes during your hole shot. You'll normally get ratcheting during braking before your hole shot.  Tighten the track at that point 1/2 to a full turn when you feel the track ratcheting.

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27 minutes ago, Doug said:

Engaging the drives at lower smaller dia compared to mid or higher larger dia.  Same as the primary clutch and belt on a smaller scale.

In testing with a tight track always had a slower top speed.  Loosen the track until you start seeing the speed fall off which was normally when you had ratcheting under braking and sometimes during your hole shot. You'll normally get ratcheting during braking before your hole shot.  Tighten the track at that point 1/2 to a full turn when you feel the track ratcheting.

No idea what you're talking about with the gearing thing. But a tight or loose track doesn't change that at all.

And like I said earlier I don't subscribe to the loose track thing.

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  • 2 months later...

Thinking you guys need to buy a draggy and do some testing.. Tight track is faster in every way. Ballooning the track is the biggest speed robber up on top end.

Edited by jonlafon1
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21 minutes ago, jonlafon1 said:

Thinking you guys need to buy a draggy and do some testing.. Tight track is faster in every way. Ballooning the track is the biggest speed robber up on top end.

Sold my timers and radar gun years ago.  There's a sweet spot between the track ballooning and being to tight.  This is just an easy way to be able to measure it to stay in the sweet spot.

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1 hour ago, Doug said:

Sold my timers and radar gun years ago.  There's a sweet spot between the track ballooning and being to tight.  This is just an easy way to be able to measure it to stay in the sweet spot.

No I agree you CAN go to tight. BUT. Just go watch the outlaw sleds and or big power sleds. The track is tight as a banjo string when the sled is lifted of the ground. Like no sag what's so ever.  Many think loose and or just tight enough that it does not ratchet is fast.. Its just not and a draggy and testing will prove it. Trail riding probably not a major issue. It is a cool tool to save time.. And trail riding I run mine with a little more sag.. But running down the track its banjo string

Edited by jonlafon1
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2 hours ago, jonlafon1 said:

No I agree you CAN go to tight. BUT. Just go watch the outlaw sleds and or big power sleds. The track is tight as a banjo string when the sled is lifted of the ground. Like no sag what's so ever.  Many think loose and or just tight enough that it does not ratchet is fast.. Its just not and a draggy and testing will prove it. Trail riding probably not a major issue. It is a cool tool to save time.. And trail riding I run mine with a little more sag.. But running down the track its banjo string

For ice racing we run the tracks as tight as you think you can possibly run them, then give the adjusters a few more cranks for good luck.

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2 minutes ago, racinfarmer said:

For ice racing we run the tracks as tight as you think you can possibly run them, then give the adjusters a few more cranks for good luck.

:thumbsup:  for sure..  When the slides start to dust/wear slightly you gotter just right

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6 minutes ago, racinfarmer said:

Just run the Vespel ones and high clip every 3rd clip.

I used to love the "super slippery" from wahl brothers.. They have not carried them for a few years now but I did like those and felt they cut friction alot.. Maybe drill them out a little. Good idea on the vespel

Edited by jonlafon1
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