Snowmobile Chassis Setup for USI X2 & VX-301 skis
Snowmobile Chassis Setup for X2 & VX-301 skis.
There are many different snowmobile chassis out there and some require no adjustments at all and others require a great deal of chassis adjustment. The instructions below may be altered to suit your riding style. Some like a sports car feel and others want a smooth luxury ride. So, my best suggestion is ride your sled stock first for a short distance and make changes after that. You will know if your chassis needs to be adjusted. Always test ride your sled a couple of hours at least before you go on a long trip to get the perfect set up.
Follow these simple instructions and you will have the best handling sled you have ever owned:
1. Let your front skid frame chassis limiter straps out usually one or two positions from stock. In some cases, all the way out is best. If they are screw type adjusters, usually ¾ to 1.5 inches works great.
2. Tighten your center skid frame shock spring. If it is a clicker style take it to its medium highest or highest setting. If it is a screw type, put about a 1/2 inch or more preload on the shock from stock. If it still seems heavy put another 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of preload on the shock. (You can adjust preload on any shock spring 1″ inch before you need a new heavier rated spring.) If you weigh more than 250 pounds, I would go to the next heavier spring automatically. This procedure will lighten the front end considerably.
3. Tighten your front ski shock springs as well. If they are clickers, adjust them to medium hard to hard. If they are screw types put another 1/4 to ½ an inch of preload on them. If you have gas or air shocks, set your shock pressure at 65-75 lbs. or even a little heavier as needed. This will stop chassis roll in the corners and give you a lighter steering feel. Add more preload if the inside ski still picks up in the corners. I know it says in your owner’s manual that loosening preload lightens the front end, but in truth it does not. Only statically does it take weight off, but while riding the opposite is true.Your sled won’t wallow in the corners as much due to too much chassis roll. Like a race car – you wouldn’t drive into a corner at high speed on shocks that were set way too soft.
4. Soften your skid frame rear end. Guys forget to do this and if it is set to stiff you chassis won’t work and it will make steering much more difficult. No matter how much preload you put in from step 2, this will stop your chassis from working and defeat what you were trying to gain. Your chassis should bottom out 2-3 times a day under normal riding conditions. If it does not your chassis is not working to its best potential. Tech Tip: If your skis come off the ground 3-6 in. under full acceleration from a dead stop your chassis is working perfectly.
5. Last and possibly the most overlooked setting is “ski alignment”. Make sure this is done last and check it every time you make a chassis adjustment to your sled. I set mine at ¼ to 3/8 inch tow out for trail riding. For a fast setting, this is the measured difference between measuring across the front wear bar studs and the rear wear bar studs. There are better more accurate ways, but this works for most standard trail and mountain riders. You should put a light bungee cord across the ski hoops when you do this adjustment as this will take all the free play out of the bushings and guarantee you have the proper tow out on your ski alignment. (Slight adjustments to one area at a time to your chassis after these changes are made are recommended, so you know if you are going in the right direction.) Follow these instructions to the letter and I guarantee you will have the best riding sled you have ever owned. Since I have been in this business since 1988 and an avid snowmobile rider since 1968, these settings work without fail and the best part is you did it all on your own. Happy Riding, Kevin W. Metheny