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    2018 Ski-Doo Driveline and Belt Improvements - The Inside Info

    Posted by mboncher
    on Friday, August 11, 2017

     Truth be told, when the AmSnow crew first saw the most recent update from Ski-Doo on the 2017 model year drive belt issue (see very bottom of this article), we were perplexed. No doubt we will probably get lambasted on the good ol' Faceplace and World Wide Interweb for saying this, but in our experience (several thousand miles on separate new 850 units) we did not experience any belt issues on our MXZ or Renegade trail sleds. Surprisingly, our Western crew did not experience any premature issues on their Summit 850s either. When this issue first popped up we actually went out to several dealerships too and all the dealerships said they had very few had actual customer contact with folks that had issues.

    Now, we are certainly not saying that the belt issue did not need to be addressed, because obviously there are consumers who did have some issues. However, in the many, many, thousands of miles of testing we have done there are several major things that contribute to belt failure that are not covered by OEMs. Included are: towing large objects (like heavy snowmobiles that are not running, or fish houses), wet and heavy snow conditions running at high rpms, bad belt deflection/alignment, prolonged use at WOT, etc. These factors (and other more user-focused than machine-defect focused) are where we see the vast majority of belt failures. We know, because we purposely do these kinds of things to test sleds and belts! We also see the carnage of blown belts in the same places year after year. It can almost be hilariously predictable.

    Our own take on this specific update is more detailed than most reactions we have because our initial feeling was 'Hey, how come us trail guys don't get any help'. Certainly, it would be nice if Ski-Doo would have replaced at least one of the belts that customers went through free of charge, but we have an insider feeling that the individual dealers may have some flexibility here to get reimbursed. Our other hope is that for next year, all the already announced changes will 100% fix ANY issues. Finally, something we as consumers need to continue to remember with ALL OEMs is that unless there is a CPSC recall or specific warranty issue, then we are at their mercy. If anything, medias like AmSnow and the general public can keep OEMs transparent by discussing even small issues. Personally, I think that is why Ski-Doo did this update when, let's be honest, they really did not have to do anything. 

    A great quote that an old snowmobile guy told me recently was, 'When my truck needs a reflash for a transmission issue, I have to pay for it, and I certainly don't get a brand new transmission from Ford the next year.' That is very true, but we love our sleds much more than we love that old Ford!

    See the full Ski-Doo Update below.

    2018 Ski-doo summit/Freeride driveline updates and 2017 belt durability improvements:

    BRP strives to offer Ski-Doo owners the best product performance, reliability and durability. For Model Year 2018 BRP has already announced changes to Ski-Doo REV Gen4 snowmobiles proven to improve drive belt durability, these are recapped below.

    Changes for Model Year 2018 already announced;

    • New gearing (Summit and Freeride)
    • New drive belt
    • Improved cooling in CVT compartment  - New Clutch cover with improved flow
    • Revised PTO and MAG engine mount
    • Finned fixed pDrive sheave – for improved air flow
    • Revised CVT Calibration
    • Frame reinforcement (directs air flow for better cooling) on mountain sleds

    In addition we promised to update our customers on steps taken for Model Year 2017 REV Gen4 owners, and those too are outlined here:

    While the vast majority of 2017 owners did not experience an issue related to drive belt life, there was a considerable amount of buzz surrounding belts and heat last season. We want people to know that BRP is being proactive and transparent in addressing any real or potential issue well before the next riding season. Furthermore, as the OEM it’s our job to deliver on our product promises - and the reason for this frank communication. Our goal is zero issues for our customers and we continue to work diligently in that direction.

    For customers with 2017 REV Gen4 sleds, the charts below list updates and product improvements that can be performed under warranty and those that can be done if the owners wish at their expense.

    The updates are listed in their order of effectiveness for reducing belt temperature, which considerably improves belt durability.

    Mountain sleds:

    Summit 154 and 165 –

    • Updated gear ratio (21 top/53 bottom)
    • PTO Engine Mount Shims

    These updates are at no cost to the customer

    Additional Options available for Summit 154 and 165

     Order of effectiveness

     Description

     Covered by

    1

     Change Gear Ratio (21/53)

     BRP

    2

     Install improved drive belt (p/n 417300531)

     Owner

    3

     Remove engine cover and modify CVT cover

     Owner

    4

     Install shims on PTO engine mounts

     BRP

    5

     Replace drive pulley fixed sheave

     Owner

    6

     Install engine compartment reinforcement plate

     Owner

     

    Crossover and Trail sleds:

    Even though most drive belt issues were related to mountain use, drive belt failure may occur on crossover and trail models in very specific riding conditions. Owners of MXZ and Renegade models can update their snowmobiles at their discretion. Dealers have the necessary information to handle those requests.

    Suggested options available

     Order of effectiveness

     Description

     Covered by

    1

     Install improved drive belt (p/n 417300531)

     Owner

    2

     Remove engine cover and modify CVT cover

     Owner

    3

     Install shims on PTO engine mounts

     Owner

    4

     Replace drive pulley fixed sheave

     Owner

    5

     Replace MAG engine mount

     Owner

    6

     Install engine compartment reinforcement plate

     Owner

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