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Team Fast 136" M20 - 2011+ Apex XTX (Version 2.0)

Discussion in 'Skis, Studs, Tracks and Aftermarket Suspensions' started by Redbeard, Apr 29, 2017.


  1. Dusty Dan

    Dusty Dan Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    206
    Country:
    Canada
    Snowmobile:
    2016 SRViper LTX LE
    2012 Vector
    Hi Joe, it's been a while. I had the Vector and M20 out yesterday for the first time this year. Had problems all day....had to keep adding air or it would be dragging my back flap. I thought I had an air leak as I had the skid out to do all the wheel bearings this year, but after looking at it in the shop I am not so sure. Hard to do alone, but I even video taped myself raising the rear of the sled. What I think is happening is that the small Assault shock next to the airbag does not appear to have any pressure meaning the airbag took the full load on the trail. There seems to be about 2" of free play as I lift and then I get the full weight of the sled.

    Do you know the purpose of the Assault shocks and would you know what pressure they should be at? If they need to be recharged I could probably get it done locally rather than the huge shipping fiasco I would have sending them back to Fast. I do have a call into Brian, but memory tells me he is a busy man.
     
  2. Redbeard

    Redbeard Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    IN
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2012 Apex, 136 M20, PB80
    2008 Vector, 136 M20, PB80
    2004 RX Warrior
    1995 Vmax 4 800
    1995 Vmax 600 LE
    1995 Ovation 340 LE
    Hello, Dan! Good to hear from. Sorry to hear your first day was so frustrating.

    How rapidly are you losing air? Did it lose air at the same rate all day, or did it seem to get better after a few miles on the trail? I ask that because when you air them up in a warm shop, the air pressure rapidly drops once outside, requiring a positive adjustment. I know I have to make a few positive adjustments to mine once on the trail, then they're fine.

    If that's not the case, I'm almost certain you have an air leak. It's very frustrating, I know...especially when working alone! The best way I know to check, is to start at one end of the air system and work your way across to the other end. If soap water doesn't reveal the leak (I've had that happen), you'll need to unhook and cap off all the various components and air them up independently. Use a cheap air pressure gauge to physically watch each test. You may have to get some tee's and fittings, but component segregation might be the only way. If you still can't find it, disassemble the air compressor head. There is a reed valve in the head of the piston that can stick open and let the air backfeed and bleed out.

    The main purpose of the little Assault shock is to dampen the compression and rebound of the air spring. It's instrumental in the overall performance of the skid. Without it, the sled would ride like a diving board. I wish I could help you with your gas pressure question, but I honestly don't know? It's not impossible that a seal has blown out rendering the shock useless. If all else fails, remove it. There should be resistance to push it down, but spring back on its own, but not like conventional shocks.

    I would first start with the air loss issue, because the Assault shock won't support the sled by itself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  3. Dusty Dan

    Dusty Dan Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    206
    Country:
    Canada
    Snowmobile:
    2016 SRViper LTX LE
    2012 Vector
    Really appreciate the quick and thorough reply Joe. I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned "riding like a diving board". Brian did call me back and he thinks the Assault shocks need a rebuid so I am in the process of pulling them now. I did have to add air regularly yesterday but it seem to hold overnight. At any rate I will get them rebuilt and go from there. I really appreciate your help Joe, you are a resource for may of us!!!!

    Best.
     
    Redbeard likes this.
  4. yamadoo

    yamadoo Yamadoo is a snowmobile ' aholic'. Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    3,230
    Location:
    SE MN work North shore Superior play
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    15 Viper STX DX red/white
    13 Apex XTX 45 anniversary RED/WHITE/BLACK
    10 Vector LTX Blue
    11 Venture Gt
    86 SnoScoot(2) for grand kids
    Joe you keep helping people and your just going to build that reputation

    Thanks for being helpful again what makes this site great
     
    Elton Buss and Redbeard like this.
  5. Elton Buss

    Elton Buss Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    n.e. pennsylvania
    Redbeard, you were 100% correct the M10 & M20 suspensions love grease. I have seen in the past the aluminum cross shafts wearing and almost having a flat on one side from the steel tube.
    I purchased a xtx from a friend last year and now I have to decide if I am going to follow your example of making it a 136.
    I grease my warrior with the M20 every ride.
     
    Redbeard likes this.
  6. Redbeard

    Redbeard Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    IN
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2012 Apex, 136 M20, PB80
    2008 Vector, 136 M20, PB80
    2004 RX Warrior
    1995 Vmax 4 800
    1995 Vmax 600 LE
    1995 Ovation 340 LE
    Keep us posted on what you do! An LTX is the absolute most easy to mount an M20 into, but an XTX is also doable with some elbow grease.
     
    Elton Buss likes this.
  7. Redbeard

    Redbeard Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    IN
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2012 Apex, 136 M20, PB80
    2008 Vector, 136 M20, PB80
    2004 RX Warrior
    1995 Vmax 4 800
    1995 Vmax 600 LE
    1995 Ovation 340 LE
    Replacing the original hyfax on my buddy's Apex M20 today. There's 2500 hard miles on this set. Glad I looked, as there is only 1/16" of usable hyfax left.

    The M20 slide rails are a Polaris rail profile, and believe it or not, Yamaha offers Dupont slides for them. Viper_Dave uses the Dupont's on his M20 Apex, and has had great success. These slides are a direct fit, but cost about $85 a piece. They last much longer, as Dave is up to about 3000 miles on a set with plenty of life left.

    I've been using cheap graphite slides on my M20 sleds, with ok success. I order them from Dennis Kirk. They are 57" long, and are actually meant for a mid-2000's Polaris RMK Trail. The screw holes aren't in the right position, but at 57" long, there's plenty of extra material to trim from each end and still use the existing hole in the new slide, without drilling a new one. I simply bolt the old and new slide together, then use the old slide as the benchmark to cut the new with a compound miter saw. It takes a few extra minutes to cut them down, but I don't mind, as it's much cheaper than ordering from Fast. I'm satisfied if I can get 2000 miles out of a set a graphite slides for $45 per set.

    123951.jpg 20200229_095222.jpg 20200229_095238.jpg 20200229_095258.jpg 20200229_095400.jpg 20200229_095902.jpg 20200229_100255.jpg 20200229_100315.jpg 20200229_100210.jpg 20200229_101620.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
    DGZRT and Elton Buss like this.
  8. Snorunner

    Snorunner Expert

    Messages:
    246
    Location:
    Deerwood
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2016 Vector XTX
    2017 Vector XTX
    2001 Arctic Cat
    A true Farmer and proud of it as you should be!
     
    Redbeard likes this.
  9. Redbeard

    Redbeard Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    IN
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2012 Apex, 136 M20, PB80
    2008 Vector, 136 M20, PB80
    2004 RX Warrior
    1995 Vmax 4 800
    1995 Vmax 600 LE
    1995 Ovation 340 LE
    I have my buddy's Apex 2.0 in the shop for some post season maintenance, and a few small M20 related upgrades.

    First on the list, is adding extra idler wheels to the M20 rails. TF offers this kit, which consists of:

    (2) PPD brand 5.35" wheels w/6205 bearing

    (2) Polaris 5131314 idler wheel blocks

    (2) Spacers

    (2) 5/16" x 3" bolts, grade 5

    (2) 5/16" x 1" bolts, grade 5

    (4) 5/16" nyloc nuts

    When I purchased this kit for my Apex in 2013, it was $100. So, I did some research and came up with an identical, but much cheaper alternative. I dug through my piles and ended up finding six good used wheels from a '98 Polaris XLT! These wheels, with bearings, are $25+ each, so....score! I then landed a NOS set of idler wheel mounting blocks and hardware on Ebay for $14.95 shipped. Score! The only pieces I had to make were two aluminum spacers that are needed to bush the wheel farther away from the rail so it will clear other suspension components. So, I dug through my piles again, and found some aluminum rear axle pipe spacers salvaged from an old Proaction skid. Cut them @ 1/4" thick, and done. Easy job!

    Next will be updating the air line that connects the rear air spring to the tunnel.

    Stay tuned...

    20200320_160845.jpg 1584873736028_idler1.jpg idler3.jpg idler5.jpg idler2.jpg idler4.jpg idler8.jpg idler6.jpg idler9.jpg idler7.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
  10. Redbeard

    Redbeard Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    IN
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2012 Apex, 136 M20, PB80
    2008 Vector, 136 M20, PB80
    2004 RX Warrior
    1995 Vmax 4 800
    1995 Vmax 600 LE
    1995 Ovation 340 LE
    Second on the list, I'm modifying how the rear air spring supply line connects to the tunnel:

    One end of the air line has a swivel fitting that attaches to the air spring. The other end has 1/8" pipe threads that connect to a 90° transition fitting I made at home. This routing has never caused and issue, until you need to remove the skid for service. It's a pain to disconnect.

    Currently, you have to go through a series of steps to disconnect the air line, just so the rear suspension can be removed. It doesn't need to be this way, and Viper_Dave suggested that I simply flip the line around and have the swivel fitting at the tunnel. This way, all you have to do is unhook the swivel fitting, and the rest of the line can stay connected on the skid without unhooking any of it. So, last fall, I made this exact modification to my Vector M20. After riding an entire season without issues, I feel confident in updating the rest of the M20 equipped sleds I ride with.

    Below are pictures showing the steps in unhooking the air line. Soon to follow, I'll display the remedy, step by step.

    Cheers!

    as1.jpg as2.jpg as3.jpg as4.jpg as5.jpg as6.jpg
     
    Dusty Dan likes this.
  11. Redbeard

    Redbeard Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    IN
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2012 Apex, 136 M20, PB80
    2008 Vector, 136 M20, PB80
    2004 RX Warrior
    1995 Vmax 4 800
    1995 Vmax 600 LE
    1995 Ovation 340 LE
    I managed to get the air line reversed on the skid this evening. I removed the 90° swivel fitting from the air spring and replaced it with a 1/8" pipe street 90° fitting. The swivel end of the air line will now connect at the tunnel, while everything else remains fastened to the rear arm. THIS is the way it should have been in the beginning, as there is no need to unhook the entire line from the rear arm.

    Now I need to make the new tunnel transition fitting. ;)!

    20200324_072557.jpg 20200324_072725.jpg 20200324_175504.jpg 20200324_175411.jpg
     
  12. Redbeard

    Redbeard Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    IN
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2012 Apex, 136 M20, PB80
    2008 Vector, 136 M20, PB80
    2004 RX Warrior
    1995 Vmax 4 800
    1995 Vmax 600 LE
    1995 Ovation 340 LE
    Dan, I've been wondering if you figured out what was wrong?
     
  13. DGZRT

    DGZRT VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    959
    Location:
    Stevens Point Wisconsin
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2009 Vector LTX, 08 Vector shorty, 98 XTC 500 & 600
    I think that rusty cross shaft Needs some powder coat :)
     
    Redbeard likes this.
  14. Dusty Dan

    Dusty Dan Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    206
    Country:
    Canada
    Snowmobile:
    2016 SRViper LTX LE
    2012 Vector
    No, not really. I got the shocks back and had one short ride for lunch and back. I made a couple of adjustments early in the ride and things seemed fine but I probably won't know fully until next year. Not a great season for me.
     
  15. Redbeard

    Redbeard Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    IN
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2012 Apex, 136 M20, PB80
    2008 Vector, 136 M20, PB80
    2004 RX Warrior
    1995 Vmax 4 800
    1995 Vmax 600 LE
    1995 Ovation 340 LE
    Here is the step-by-step process of making the new 90° tunnel transition bracket. The original has to be replaced with a new bracket that has a #4 male JIC swivel fitting inside the tunnel.

    I used my original homemade patterns to trace and cut the base plate on the bandsaw. Then I cut and bent the L-shaped strips in my brake press. The L strips are needed so the air line fittings can't be stepped on while riding.

    I'm actually making (3) of these. One is for the sled I currently have in the shop, the second is for my Apex 1.0, and the third is for Viper_Dave when he comes down later this summer. ;)!

    Time for powder coat...

    20200326_172340.jpg 20200326_172603.jpg 20200318_175257.jpg 20200318_175753.jpg 20200318_175926.jpg 20200318_180009.jpg 20200326_180359.jpg
     
    Dusty Dan likes this.

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