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MASTER Sidewinder issues list and known fixes

kinger

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
7,371
Location
Clear Lake, IA
Website
www.piergenius.com
Curious of people agree we need a master list of issues for SW and any known fixes. Keep adding to this and I can update the first post as needed. If you disagree with a percentage of impact once 2 or more user agree I will update the post.


Format:

Issue – What happens – Probability of occurrence 0% never happens 100% failure imminent – known fix and/or link to instructional thread

In no order of importance

1. Blown Belts – Belts blow some within hundreds of miles – 95% - misaligned clutches and heat greatly contribute to belt failures. Clutch offset should be 59mm. Belt temps should be under 180 F. Razorback belt temp gauge is nice. Check offset after blown belts in case stub shaft moved inward, thus increasing offset. If stub shaft moved, press apart, clean, green loctite, and press back together.

2. Top gear bushing – Top gear bushing wears out and can ruin jackshaft – 75% - No absolute fix but it is recommended to change the top gear annually as part of normal yearly maintenance to avoid issues and use at least 16oz of quality chain case oil. Possibly Hurricane top gear fix: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/hurricane-fix-for-upper-gear-bushing.160234/
Hurricane roller gear: https://hurricaneperformance.ca/pro...urricane-roller-bearing-procross-upper-gears/

DMC top gear with better bushing: https://dmcproducts.net/shop/ols/pr...bushing-sidewinder-thundercat-8kc-e769a-11-00

UPDATE 7/29/20 - Ebay item #124081821870.Bushing is 50% wider than stock,his Email, davidmoegle@gmail.com (@MrSled not sure if he is a supporting vendor here or not I can remove if not allowed) He also offers upgraded brass shifting forks to replace the stock plastic ones .

3. Driveshaft bearing – Inner race spins on DS and ruins DS – 90% - BOP DS saver reduces the risk but may not eliminate it: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/barn-of-parts-driveshaft-saver-bearing-lock.156732/

UPDATE 7/29/20 - tsiceman had pics that showing his install of a anti rotation pin/and slotted inner race to”trap”this pin. The pics were under this thread:
https://ty4stroke.com/threads/driveshaft-toast-my-fix.160778/#post-1534294

4. Chain case tensioner – Fastener backs out on tensioner, causing catastrophic chain case failure – 80% - Tack weld the fastener: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/keep-an-eye-on-your-chain-tensioner-idler-bolt.154568/

5. Rollover valve – Freezes and builds up oil pressure in oil tank causing it to leak engine oil – 50% - (Effects ‘17, ‘18, and ‘19 only) — Freezes....Delete ROV: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/getting-rid-of-the-roll-over-valve.151185/,

Install Yamaha heated ROV kit pre 2020 SW models - part number is 90891-50166-00, and/or use BOP oil tank gasket: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/barn-of-parts-oil-tank-gasket.157511/

6. Waterpump – plastic impeller spins on shaft or breaks engine gets hot – 50% >4000 miles – replace with billet from dasaracing post #88 https://ty4stroke.com/threads/water-pump-failure.159258/page-6

7. Cracked head – mixes oil and coolant from over TQ’d NPT fitting in head – 20% - Replace head

8. Tri-hub rear idler – Fails and leaves stranded – 50% - replace with 4 wheel kit: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/new-2019-heavy-duty-rear-wheel-kit.154729/

9. Bent tunnel ext over 146” – tunnel bents at or near the seam on the two pc tunnel – 20% - Add additional reinforcement plates: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/barn-of-parts-rear-tunnel-stiffeners.155776/

10. Bent front suspension cross shaft – Cross shaft bolts shear off and possibly wrecking tunnel – 50% - Beef up cross shaft with Artic Cat race RR shaft or the BOP solution: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/barn-of-parts-cross-shaft-saver-rr-upgrade.153889/

11. Bent tunnel at front arm or rear suspension mount point – Usually from the cross shaft shearing – 50% – Replace tunnel or use this repair/upgrade kit: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/barn-...epairs-the-front-skid-mount-in-tunnel.153861/

12. Coolant hose leaks in tunnel – Hoses leak drops of coolant – 70% - Need to disassemble sled and rear skid to tighten, smart to add a guard as well to prevent ice from hitting the hoses: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/barn-of-parts-tunnel-cooler-hose-protector.153930/

13. Clutch Rollers – Flat spot impacting performance – 50% - MANY ideas here no clear cut easy solution known

14. God Awful clutch rattle – Makes a racket at idle and annoying – 90% - No know HARM from this but it is annoying. New CV tech PB80 clutch may help, also Hurricane stub shaft may help: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/hurricane-clutch-noise-elimination-system.153680/

15. Snow ice build up on intercooler – Hinders performance and sled will cut some power – 30% - No real harm here just annoying, this new screen prevents ice from building on IC: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/snow-free-intercooler-guard-new-design-in-stock-see-page-5.148989/

16. Skis….pre-‘21 skis are junk and should be replaced with something from C&A Pro, Curves, Doo 5.7 or 6.9 Pilots, or something comparable.

17. Track tension/deflection - Studs hit tunnel, track out of alignment - 50% - Review Precison EFI video in this thread: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/track-alignment-issue.159009/. Note especially important to run track tighter when studded.

18. Roll over valve dumps to air box- oils up intake - 100% - Suggested to re-route the hose somewhere else either with a crankcase breather, a catch can, or dumping under the sled somewhere. Post #36 in this thread: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/quick-ltx-gt-report.159191/page-3

19. Muffler Torx Bolts - hard to access, weld in place, can break off - 50% - Replacement of existing torx muffler bolts with a hex head bolt and using copper anti-seize. See @ROCKERDAN thread: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/my-rtx-le-50th-build-thread-rockerdan.149801/#post-1384052

20. ChainCase Tension - Questions about best for top gear reliability - 100% - Recommend 1 -1.5 turns loose from tight

21. Loose clamps - Clamps loose from factory leaking coolant, boost, oil, etc - 50% - inspect the sled for loose coolant hose clamps and connections. Same with vacuum hoses, intake boots, and basically anything with a clamp.

22. Tunnel separating from front heat exchanger - 40% - Repair with additional plate as needed as every repair is different. Post 53 here is a example with pictures: https://ty4stroke.com/threads/tunnel-dammage-due-to-ice.157153/page-4

23. Sled randomly overheats - Air in coolant - 50% - Follow the bleed how to located here:
https://ty4stroke.com/threads/sidewinder-coolant-bleeding-process-how-to-inside.161863/
A must view is the excellent thread from @ROCKERDAN located here:
https://ty4stroke.com/threads/my-rtx-le-50th-build-thread-rockerdan.149801/
 
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Thank you, Our Proven DMC gear with heavy duty bushing is back in stock and available on ebay.
Our design offers 50% more bearing area to support the load. We have several test sleds and customer sleds with over 5K miles and zero failures.
We also offer the brass shift fork pads.
 

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Anyone know how many of these issues were addressed for 22 model year?
On my 20 I personally never had a problem with #1,#6,#7,#9,#10,#11,#13,#17,#23.. #2 and 3 hasn’t been addressed and is a must, #4 should be looked at, #5 can still be an issue, #8 is no longer used, #12 supposedly was fixed with better hoses but I would still add bop protectors, #14 is normal, I never had a problem with #15 while trail riding, obviously #16 have been addressed, #18 to #21 should be addressed or looked at. #22 can be a problem if ice builds up in tunnel, there are a few ways to avoid this.
 
On my 20 I personally never had a problem with #1,#6,#7,#9,#10,#11,#13,#17,#23.. #2 and 3 hasn’t been addressed and is a must, #4 should be looked at, #5 can still be an issue, #8 is no longer used, #12 supposedly was fixed with better hoses but I would still add bop protectors, #14 is normal, I never had a problem with #15 while trail riding, obviously #16 have been addressed, #18 to #21 should be addressed or looked at. #22 can be a problem if ice builds up in tunnel, there are a few ways to avoid this.
I saw a post on instagram directly from Yamaha rep said that the #3 driveshaft issue was addressed. Shaft was hardened more and clearance was tightened up. It was the rep at haydays answering online questions
 
I saw a post on instagram directly from Yamaha rep said that the #3 driveshaft issue was addressed. Shaft was hardened more and clearance was tightened up. It was the rep at haydays answering online questions
Could possibly be the case but I would still use the bop drive shaft wedge, the bearing needs to be locked to the shaft, for the cost of the wedge it saves a lot of headaches later. I had my bearing out when sled was new in +2*C and I can tell you it doesn’t spin easily, -20*C and it gets very hard to spin and that why it needs to be locked on shaft.
 
Could possibly be the case but I would still use the bop drive shaft wedge, the bearing needs to be locked to the shaft, for the cost of the wedge it saves a lot of headaches later. I had my bearing out when sled was new in +2*C and I can tell you it doesn’t spin easily, -20*C and it gets very hard to spin and that why it needs to be locked on shaft.
I got a new shaft last fall and the fitment was improved. Like you said I still put a BOP wedge in it.
 
Thanks for the shout out!

JT Products has the heavy duty Trihub replacements for the 2012 - 18's. We also have the Stealth heavy duty big wheel kits that use the slightly bigger diameter wheels with bigger bearings for all the years. The 19 and newers have a 3 wheel set up that has its own problems with the wheels chunking apart because how thin they are. Our 8.2" Stealth kit are the best kits out thr for less cash that others!! Check out or site with most of the models back to 2003.

www.jtatv.com

Todd
 
So invest $25K and then another $10K on aftermarket parts to hopefully make it reliable , absolutely brutal ?
 
Don’t you think 10k is a far stretch? I’m over 9k on mine and still original xs belt and sled is tuned, top gear, bearing lock and lock down the tensioners screws are really the only things needed. Everything kinger mentioned is like any other sled manufacturer, some sleds have issues and other’s don’t.
If you think kinger list is long I’ll write down issues with my bud’s 2 stroke’s.
#1.. 2022 850 engine blew first ride… okay I’ll stop lol..
 
Don’t you think 10k is a far stretch? I’m over 9k on mine and still original xs belt and sled is tuned, top gear, bearing lock and lock down the tensioners screws are really the only things needed. Everything kinger mentioned is like any other sled manufacturer, some sleds have issues and other’s don’t.
If you think kinger list is long I’ll write down issues with my bud’s 2 stroke’s.
#1.. 2022 850 engine blew first ride… okay I’ll stop lol..
$10K in aftermarket upgrades is probably on the low side. With a shop rate of $120-140 hr now all this will add up real quick . Imagine pulling the chain case apart every season to service a top gear bushing and on and on and on, come on ! I owned one of these sleds with the hurricane 290 bundle and it had build quality issues right from the get go . At 500m the sight glass popped out and took out the entire chain case. It was a huge disappointment and I lost a lot of money when I dumped it. Back on a 200 HP MCX kit Apex with EPS. It's reliable and alot faster than a stock SRX. All I do is add gas and go
 
$10K in aftermarket upgrades is probably on the low side. With a shop rate of $120-140 hr now all this will add up real quick . Imagine pulling the chain case apart every season to service a top gear bushing and on and on and on, come on ! I owned one of these sleds with the hurricane 290 bundle and it had build quality issues right from the get go . At 500m the sight glass popped out and took out the entire chain case. It was a huge disappointment and I lost a lot of money when I dumped it. Back on a 200 HP MCX kit Apex with EPS. It's reliable and alot faster than a stock SRX. All I do is add gas and go
10K is a major exaggeration.
Pros and cons between the apex and winder have been debated here till the cows came home.
At the end of the day, there's a reason why one of them is still being built(and the entire years supply sells out in one day), and the other is not.
 
10K is a major exaggeration.
Pros and cons between the apex and winder have been debated here till the cows came home.
At the end of the day, there's a reason why one of them is still being built(and the entire years supply sells out in one day), and the other is not.
It's not but ok . This topic for the most part is about durability, engineering and R&D or lack there of. There is absolutely no disputing the Apex is a far more robust, durable and well engineered platform . There are many 2006 Apex's still out there running great with many more miles to go. In my opinion they're won't be anything left of a Sidewinder in 16 years . Respectfully if you honestly think you got good value for you $25k good on ya and keep spending .
 
How soon we forget about how much we spent on our apex’s also. I think back about my apex and think it was pretty bulletproof until I really start adding stuff up. I sold my 06 apex with 10,500 miles that I loved and thought it was a great sled. Off the top of my head I replaced

2 oil tanks
Radiator
Both running board heat exchangers
3 flex pipes
mid pipe
Exhaust Donuts
Front end bushing twice
Had to weld rear suspension twice
Stator
Handlebars and rocks heater (it needed it)
Transfer rod (broke)

17 sidewinder ltx le just broke 11,000. I love this sled too and just ordered a 23 SRX
Off the top of my head I replaced

Center shock shaft (bent)
Upper center shaft (precaution)
4th big wheel kit (precaution)
Driveshaft
Stationary secondary sheave (cracked)
Secondary rollers twice
Primary rollers once
Driveshaft saver
Oil tank gasket (precaution and never leaked with bov still hooked up)
Last trip the lower seal in chaincase let loose and still have to fix so not sure what needs replacing in there

I know without a doubt I put more money into the apex but I feel like the apex was more reliable for some reason. I think im just brainwashed from hearing nonstop the sidewinder is a maintenance nightmare and the apex is bulletproof. My experience has been the opposite when I put it on paper. My winder is stock btw and never had the clutch off it yet although it’s due.
 
It's not but ok . This topic for the most part is about durability, engineering and R&D or lack there of. There is absolutely no disputing the Apex is a far more robust, durable and well engineered platform . There are many 2006 Apex's still out there running great with many more miles to go. In my opinion they're won't be anything left of a Sidewinder in 16 years . Respectfully if you honestly think you got good value for you $25k good on ya and keep spending .

The last year the apex and sidewinder sold together (2018) there was what, $900 retail difference between the two (?) (2018 Apex anniversary vs Sidewinder LTX LE). If there was a new Apex in 2023 it would, in todays market sell for a similar difference in price compared to a similarly equipped sidewinder, maybe even more than the sidewinder because you would not get the economy of scale that comes from two companies selling the same chassis/motor. The above list is largely a reference list, most people will take care of the 3-4 things that should be addressed and be happy for many miles. The apex was a great machine in its day and I doubt we will ever see another one like it but lets not pretend that it was without its own issues. Still love the apex but mine is for sale.
 


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