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Discussion Starter #1
I know basically nothing about snowmobiles other than a few things some people have told me what to look for. I want to get a fan cooled sled for the bay preferably. That is what most people have hinted towards.

Are there certain models that are fan cooled vs liquid cool. I have been looking at Polaris ones. Are there certain models that are only fan cooled? The reason I asked is cuz I feel like an idiot every time I email someone from craigslist asking them.

Thanks.
 

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Basically you can ask the seller if the engine is an FC or LC. FC stands for Fan Cooled, LC is Liquid Cooled.

I know 1991 Trail Deluxe is a 488FC, It is a two person sled by design and will easily do 70 with 260 pound person on it.

But a lot of models came with optional LC engines.
 

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Anything below a 600cc may be fan cooled. 600cc and above are definitely liquid cooled.
 

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I know basically nothing about snowmobiles other than a few things some people have told me what to look for. I want to get a fan cooled sled for the bay preferably. That is what most people have hinted towards.

Are there certain models that are fan cooled vs liquid cool. I have been looking at Polaris ones. Are there certain models that are only fan cooled? The reason I asked is cuz I feel like an idiot every time I email someone from craigslist asking them.

Thanks.
I would not feel like an idiot asking. It is a legitimate question. And something the seller should know.
 

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I would not feel like an idiot asking. It is a legitimate question. And something the seller should know.
I agree. Idiots don't ask questions.
 

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I know basically nothing about snowmobiles other than a few things some people have told me what to look for. I want to get a fan cooled sled for the bay preferably. That is what most people have hinted towards.

Are there certain models that are fan cooled vs liquid cool. I have been looking at Polaris ones. Are there certain models that are only fan cooled? The reason I asked is cuz I feel like an idiot every time I email someone from craigslist asking them.

Thanks.
Sorry, I don't know much about polaris. If you look at Arctic Cats, the Z are all fan cooled. Example= from the 90s well into into the 2000 models, Z440 and Z570 are fan cooled models....ZRT, ZL and ZR are all liquid cooled models. Not sure if any touring sleds had the fan cooled engines.

Maybe polars had a similar lettering for fan vs liquid? Anyone know?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice! I didn't know much about this, so just wanted some people's opinions. Also, what are some key things I should be looking for or asking about when buying an older snowmobile?

Thanks.
 

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How has it been stored and transported. Outside storage is hell on em and transport in an open trailer throws a lot of road salt on em, that'll also eat em up. Is it stock ? If not what has been done to it. If it is heavily modded, it's prolly less reliable and beat to hell also. If you don't know much about sleds, stick with "Stock". Are there receipts for any work done. Maintenance records. Miles, under 6K- good, 6K - 10K prolly needs some work. Over 10K best be cautious or take someone with you that knows sleds. Take a good look at the suspension(skid),make sure all the idler wheels are in good shape and roll freely. Ask when the bearings were last replaced, same goes for the shocks. If they're old and nasty lookin or leaking, could get pricey to repair/replace. Ask if they happen to know the compression in each cylinder(shouldn't be more than a 10% difference)If possible, check it yourself. The overall appearance of the sled will pretty much tell you whether or not it was properly cared for. I've had the best luck and reliability out of Ski-Doos and Polaris's. They've all had me, but those two are the only brands I will own. JMHO
Good luck and Happy trails !!!
 

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Great post Dalejiw25! My all time favorite, most reliable snowmobile is the Yamaha Phazer!

Phazer: 1984-88/89
Phazer II: 1989-98
Phazer 500: 1999-2001

All three versions feature the same tried and true iron clad 485 cc fan cooled engine. Pretty much the same drive train over the years to. Everyone I know that owned one, including myself loved it on trails but complained it wasn't fast enough (*85 mph top speed) but no one ever complained about it being overly reliable! :D

Hunt around as there was quite a few with the electric start option and even a few with reverse that today I wish I had on mine! ;)
 

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Even though I'm a cat guy, I have to admit, those ha ha's are known to be reliable. Dalejw25 gave you a good break down on what to look for. Aside from giving the suspension a good look over, and I being comfortable with the miles. My #1 concern would be the engine. I would like to know if anyone has ever been in the engine and why. Compression is high on the list. I would have a hard time purchasing a new sled that has been re-ringed. Sometimes a tell tale that someone has been inside the engine is wrench marks on cylinder head bolts and such.

Study the A-arms and spindles as well. They can replacements after a wreck, but the mounting structure can be bent. In this case the machine would likely handle terribly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks a lot for the replies. A lot more too look at than I thought and I just wanted to machine to go on the bay and ice fish with. But I don't want to buy anything and be stuck or stranded out there.
 

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New ones break down too.

I like my 91 Polaris Trail Deluxe it has a 488 Fan Cooled, Electric Start, two person sled. I wished it had reverse, but this model doesn't.

It has yet to fail me and it is like a tank. I had to rebuild all the front suspension on it. But the trail arms broke because they rusted out. So instead of just replacing the trailing arms I rebuilt the front suspension with new shocks and tie rod ends, and all that stuff.

I also replaced the seat with a used one off Ebay and I replaced the hood and windshield. Basically the only thing that is still original is the engine and track.

If I keep this sled long enough I will replace the track this coming summer.

I bought the sled for 500 and I probably put 500 into it. But I have no plans to ever sell it.

My other sled is a 98 600xc but it is liquid cooled twin cylinder engine. I plan on redoing this one this summer, repaint the hood, new seat, and a few other little odds and ends. This one has the xtra 10 suspension. I would consider selling this one only so I can upgrade to a newer sled.
 

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I have enclosed some pics of mine. Hope they help. They will show you what you wanna see when looking. It is a 1998 Polaris Indy Trail Touring 488 fan cooled, electric start w/reverse. I picked it up a couple years age for $1200 and put about$300 into the suspension(New shocks and bearings in rear skid. front was good) The track had less than 500 miles on it when I bought it. The deals are out there you just gotta find em. Also, you wanna check the skis, make sure they're in decent shape(+/-$300 new) and the carbides underneath aren't in too bad of shape. Not a big deal though at about $70.
And "NO" its not for sale :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yea that is a nice looking machine man. That is exactly what I am looking for. I will keep my eyes out for something like that. Thank you for your insight!
 

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Thanks. With the lack of snow this year there are plenty of nice sleds up on CL. I've seen a few nice 2-ups goin for around 2K that I wouldn't hesitate to look into.
 
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