Ski Alignment

line UP YOURS by Betheviper


Do not use the dam bar


 The dam bar doesnít take into consideration bent skis, spindles, and wore parts. You donít take the tires off your car to do an alignment do you?


                Why and how can anyone line up a sled with loose parts?  the front end of your sled is loose new or not.  Lets start first with tightening this up first.  If you check your spindles you can move them around with the weight off the sled.  to cure this remove the spindles and the spindle bushings. stand the bushings up and cut a slit down one side of it about  1/16in. wide. do this to all the bushings top and bottom.  Now cut  a piece of coffee can into 4 strips 1in. by 2in., I prefer Foldgers but I suppose you could use some generic brand to save money. Donít use tea bags as they wont work.   Now install the lower bushings back in the trailing arms with the coffee can on the the outside of the bushing.  Install the spindle in the trailing arm. Depending  how wore out you bushings and spindles are will determine if the spindle will fit. if it does not then remove the bushing  and  shim (coffee can) trim 1/4 in. off the shim and repeat until the spindle slides very tightly up in the bushing.  When both the bottoms are done do the same for the tops.  When you  do the final installation I have found that the most convenient place to put the slit for the bushing is at the outer rear corners so the grease that leaks out can be easily wiped off.


                Front end tight now right, NO, check your radius rods. These things have been smacking around since day one.  The other problem with them is that they are not greaseable so the collars inside rust . This in turn makes the bushing wear out even faster.  Lets fix both problems while we are here. First remove your bushings and collars. clean up any rust on the collars. Cut the same slits in the bushings and  do the same shim trick to make the collars fit tight.  The other problem is easy to fix, install grease fittings in all the rod ends.   This makes for a little more cleaning  but a lot tighter front end.


                At this point you need to make camber adjustments before you can do the rest of the alignment.  Thank you YAMAHA for making it so dam hard to adjust this.  Some people use the bar to do this or a angle gage on the trailing arm. This doesnít take into account the rock you hit on the side of the trail last week.  that is why I use a level on the top of the ski .  Ski should be setting level when you are done.


                As for the rest of the front end check it all out and replace what is loose.  A loose part pounding sends vibration through the whole mechanism and will wear other parts prematurely.  If you are doing this to an  SX or V-MAX you will probably need to buy a SRX or Viper bell crank. The one your sled came with is a bushing and is  not very tight. Even the srx/viper bell crank has some play.   WHAT BRAND CRANK               Check your spindle to ski collars and bushings too.  This is another non grease able part that is subject to a lot of water. The only location for a grease fitting  for this requires that you drill and tap the hole at an angle.  Tricky to do so if you donít dare then just remove your skis a few times a year and grease them.


                Front end tight ???  if so then we are ready to go. First you will need to make a trip to the metal shop.   Buy a piece of 2-3in. band iron 9ft. long. and two pieces of band iron 1/2in. by 2in..   The other things you will need are two pull straps, tape measure, four 2x4s 6in. long, and a person that weighs as much as you do with your gear on (within 20lbs or so, unless you are anal retentive then we better get out the gram scale).


                Ready to go???  We will assume that your rear skid is adjusted  just the way you like it and that your track is centered (that is another story).  First place the 2x4s on the floor just in front and behind the track to one side so you can place your long straight edge along side the track on the 2x4s. This will give you a thrust line to measure to.   Place the other two under the front of the sled so to support the straight edge .  At all times make sure that the straight edge is against the track front and back.   Set the small pieces of band iron under each  carbide so that the ski balances without touching.  This will allow the ski to float around and let you get an accurate reading from you tape.  With your fat buddy on the sled  have him move around to settle the suspension out.  Hold the bars  straight ,  If  the bell crank is not in neutral (this occurs when the the lower part of it is pointing straight at the center of the sled) you will need to adjust the center rod.  When the bars and bell crank are aligned then strap the end s of your bars tight to the back bumper so it wont move.  This will free up your buds beer hand.   Keep the beer flowing to your buddy so as to keep him on the seat but not fast enough to cause him to fall off prematurely.  As far as the tape measure goes if you donít know what to do with it then you should not be doing this.  Measure to the carbide bolts  to get close then finish with the carbides themselves.  I usually set mine for 1/8 toe out at the end of the rod.  More if you are a lazy rider (makes steering not as responsive) 


                Something to note while looking at your skis in the riding position.  Where is the contact patch on the floor (with alignment pads removed)?  If it is front to middle of carbide this will cause the ski to dart or wander even if your front end is tight.  The correct way is to have the rear half of the carbide touching.  If you need to correct this you will need to shim the back of the ski rubber.  There are two ways to do this.  One is to add rubber to the existing one, the other is to add a metal shim to the ski and rivot it in.


                Well this should get you started on a good line up.  Remember that if you change anything, like limiters or shock preloads, then a steering correction could be needed.  The reason for this is that as the suspension is compressed on a Yamaha the skis toe out  further and further.  So when your dealer jacks your sled up and lines it up with the dam rod then be assured that you have just paid for your sled to be aligned for the few times that your are riding with the front end in the air.  On the off chance that the dealer does the rod alignment  with the weight on the sleds nose,  it may be close enough to ride it and not have a problem.  YEH THATS WHAT I WANT  CLOSE ENOUGH.  Do it yourself and make it right.


good luck

love sledding always


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