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Grooming in Vermont with 08 VK Pro

VKbcnorth said:
You mentioned a hard start after the summer. I had the same thing happen. I put a bit of gasoline in a small spray bottle and sprayed two mistings of gas into each of the three carburator intake bells. The engine fired immediately and kept running - it filled the fuel lines while running on the fuel I sprayed.

Thanks, I'll try that next year. Or maybe next month the way things are going. I have groomed only three times so far this winter here in Vermont. We had a "January thaw" around the 1st and lost almost our entire base - all 2 inches of it. Right now we have about 3 inches of loose snow on the ground. Haven't started the VK in a couple of weeks.

But conditions are great right now for logging with the frozen ground - easy for the tractor. I've been out every day doing tree cleanup from our big December 1st windstorm. I lost over 300 trees that day and I've got to about 100 of them.
 

Hey Frank,

My VK Pro is running fine. Pretty reliable grooming machine now. We started out with a slow December in terms of snow, but January and Feb are making up for that. I've been out grooming 15 times, about every other day since the beginning of Jan. Riding mostly with 2 to 4 inches of new snow, but we got 10 inches yesterday and it worked great.

When ever we get a snow storm coming through I usually groom during the storm to stay ahead of it. Yesterday I rode about 6 hours, covering about 50 miles (yes we groomers drive slow), pulling a 6 foot wide roller most of the day. Today I was out again with the roller and the groomers making great conditions for our weekend skiers.

The only problems I've had this year have been during long grooming runs, greater than 5 hours when I accumulate so much ice/slush underneath that the track doesn't run smoothly. Probably happens to me since I'm plodding along at 5-10 mph. Every night I store the VK Pro in a heated barn to melt away the day's ice/slush.
 
Ive heard about trouble about ice build up between the track and the tunnel, because of the undertunnel exhaust. Here in Norway we have a snowmobile selling company that have figured out a solution for it.Its called the Geilo edition, They have rerouted the exhaust to come out on both side of the back rack, they have also widining the A-arms like the rx-1 size and mounted rx-1 sway bar for the tippyness, talked to a owner of a sleed comming from there and he said it was a much better handling sled

Glad to hear that you are well into your season,hope for regalury uppdates on your post here, im in here evry day to see whats happening :yam: :4STroke: :-o
 
Nice updates. I wish that company was closer.

The pictures from your link showed a couple other things: snow scratchers way up at the front suspension and left hand throttle.

Any idea how much it cost parts and labor to do the exhaust conversion and the suspension updates?
 
I dont think the exhaust rerouting is expensive, because a welding company would have done this in a fast pace with a pipe bender and connect/weld it to the muffler, and covered the oppnening in the tunnel with aluminimun.

for the suspension they have widing it with 4cm on each side and used the rx-1 sway bar. They say handling this machine is much easier and more stabile than orginal.
But i do not know about the cost, the machine on the picture i new, and it cost the same as the orginal.Norway is very expensive so i think you are better off asking a local shop..Maybe your next projeck??t:)
 
It's the 2012 grooming season, we have finally begun hear in Vermont, so time to update the thread. By this time in the year I usually have been out grooming about 20 times. Today I did my first run of the season. We got 4 inches of new snow on top of a hard but minimal base, so I fired up the VK and went out with the roller for the first time.

Shifting was harder than I could ever remember and I had a very loud noise after idling. I went back to a DVD I got from ABR Trails about setting up snowmobiles for grooming and they talked about these problems with the VK that are all related to belt tension.

I looked at the belt this morning and I couldn't squeeze it was very tight. I couldn't sqeeze it within 3 inches and I think the specs are closer to 1 1/2 inches. I called my dealer and the service manager walked me through the process of taking off the belt, pulling off the secondary clutch and looking at the three adjustment screws. He said if there were any washers left under the screws to take them out.

I found the three screws on the backside of the secondary clutch. I'll attach a picture with the screws slightly backed out. There were no washers. The ABR DVD gave me my second hint. Some groomers have had their screws mushroom so they can't push the secondary clutch apart as far as normal.

My screws didn't look bad, but I decided to take a quick run out to the dealer to compare them to new screws. Interesting - mine had warn down about an 1/8 inch so they couldn't hold the clutch open as far and the belt tension was way too tight. I'll attach a picture of my old screws vs. the new ones, the old shorter screw is on the left.

I have only 3300 miles on my sled, but my dealer thought that with the slow grooming speeds I'm running all the time, and the stop and go, that these screws were definitely taking a beating. Something for others to watch out for.

Anyways I got three replacement screws and some new washers in case I needed them to back off the screw depth a bit inside the clutch. I installed the screws without any washers first and the belt fell right into normal spec range - with the top of the belt running between 1.5mm above the secondary clutch to 0.5mm below. My belt sat dead even with the top of the clutch plates.

Took it out for a quick test and shifting was like butter. I know I never thought I would right that about a VK, but it was really smooth. And no crazy squeal noise during idling.

Problem solved and I know now how to tune the belt pressure and will check on it and do so during the season, especially if the shifting starts to get stiffer again.
 

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New modifications to my VK

I have done two modifications to my VK during the off season. First I had my dealer add a temperature guage.

I have two manual switches to turn on the primary radiator fan and the secondary. I usually just switch them both on when I go out for a grooming run and I haven't had any overheating problems since.

Another groomer raised the question though - maybe sometimes my sled engine isn't running warm enough.

So with the temperature guage now I can monitor the temps much more closely and see the effects as a turn the fans on - first the primary and then the secondary. I'll report back results over time.

Anyone know what the normal/suggested operating temperature range is for the VK Pro and should it be any different for the grooming application?
 

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Weight post

I finally broke down and added a weight post to the front of my VK Pro.

Now I have already done just about every suspension modification I have heard about related to the VK to get the weight up front.

I use my ski dolly on the back for towing so it takes all the tongue weight of my grooming drags and places minimal tongue weight (less than 10 lbs) on the VK.

But I thought I would finally experiment with some weight on the front end. Got a simple post welded together that will take a couple of 25 lb standard weights up front. I put an old firehose around the front bumper as a wrap to protect the paint.

I've used it half a dozen times at the end of last season and with just 25 lbs out there it makes a difference.

Yes it might be considered a little dangerous out there for skiers, but I'm grooming when there really isn't much ski traffic and with the weight on in front at worst someone is going to run into the rounded weight, not the actual support.

Anyways, just one more thing to improve the steering and if it means that there are a couple more uphill turns that I can make now then it's all worthwhile.
 

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Hi Air19 and the rest
New here , old to yamahas , have a set of fluid drives from the 70's
BUT I do have a 93 VK540II that i groom around home and set some ski
track with...if I had snow (N of Toronto On.)...
Anything that tugs from the back under load tries to straighten
the sled when you turn and under steers....the solution for old alpines
was to install a goose neck hitch to tunnel behind the operator. Then it
works more like a tractor trailer applying weight to the full length of
the sled instead of tugging the back down and lifting the front of sled
up...When you turn w/o any load behind , you will notice a natural
pivot point under sled where the back end starts to swing out while the
front turn in...Normally under the riders butt, so you would need to
go behind that and need a new short seat and rest.....
A lot of work but took the bump steer out of Alpines....
It would require alot of work on a modern sled because of cooling
and exhaust ....
My homemade drags are pulled from the back and the VK bump steers
bad enough w/o a drag in the bush so I have had to change my techique
compared to my old 74 TL433F Yamaha with a small 40" drag...
I have watched here for a few years and decided today to sign on..
Thanks
Ron
 
Welcome Ron,

And thanks for the ideas about steering while pulling a load!

Share some pictures sometime of your VK540. Great sled.
 
Morning....My VK seems to be camera shy and I am low tech when it
comes to posting pics..But I do have a pic on a diff site of my other
potential groomer..A 1980 Arctic Cat Quad Trac
http://www.acscc.com/forum/index.php?ap ... image=4656
hope that worked....Always wanted one and finally got one.
The rest of the fleet (about 28 incl remains) are old Yamahas with the
fluid drive
http://www.acscc.com/forum/index.php?ap ... image=3618
The track setter is homemade from stuff around and has proper poly
skags under it.
It looks like I might have loaded a pic sucessfully...lol
I had better quit having fun,,,the one pic is a fluid drive unit which
are run with a timing belt and drive like an automatic car,,no slip
except in the oil
thanks for space...I'm waiting for VK pro's to drop in value enough
to collect one...LOL..but needs to be red
Ron
 

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