Many riders have questions about how to properly adjust their snowmobile track. It’s not difficult for those with a little mechanical aptitude.
First, raise the snowmobile off the ground
Since the track needs to spin for this procedure, make sure the sled is securely hoisted.
Next, loosen the rear axle. Depending on the sled, you should find a bolt on each side. Loosen both bolts. You can’t do it one bolt at a time; generally, you have to put a wrench on each side to loosen the axle.
With the axle loose, check the tension to determine if the track is too tight or loose. Once you’ve made your determination, loosen the adjuster bolts. Back the jam nuts off on both sides and give them a spin to back them out of the way.
Let’s assume the track needs tightening. To tighten the track, turn the bolts on either side of the axle clockwise with a ratchet and socket. Watch the track while tightening. Pay close attention to the distance from the track to the slide. As you tighten, the track will rise up toward the slide. That means you’re getting close. Push down on the track to gauge its tightness.
Once the track seems close to proper tension, take a measurement
The sled shown in the video requires measuring 16 inches in front of the rear axle. At that spot, push down on the track with about 10 pounds of pressure. Look for 3/8 to 1/2 inch of distance between the track and the rear slide while applying 10 pounds of pressure.
You can purchase a tool that measures pressure. Otherwise you can approximate 10 pounds. Move over and perform the same procedure on the other side of the snowmobile.
Once you’ve determined the track is within the correct specifications, make sure the axle is square. To do this, measure from the adjustment block to a fixed point on the slide. Do the same on the other side.
To align the track, start the sled and rotate the track
It will find its own alignment. Shut off the snowmobile and look at the position of the track clip relative to the slide. Do this on both sides of the track. The track may have shifted in one direction, creating more space on one side versus the other. You can either tighten one side or loosen the other to adjust the angle of the axle and align the track.
After making any necessary adjustments, start the sled and rotate the track again. Shut off the snowmobile and again check the distance between the track clip and slide on both sides of the snowmobile. Once they’re equal, the track is aligned.
At this point, tighten the jam nuts. Then tighten the axle bolts so the axle can’t shift. Sometimes people forget to do this. Check both sides just to be sure.
Your track is now properly tensioned and aligned.