Area51 Project - Mike's 2006 Powertek REV:
Well it finally happened, after 9 years and over 6000 kilometres, I finally retired Project Renegade and upgraded power, technology, and comfort. I purchased a 2006 REV 800 HO short track for a great price as it needed a bunch of work. As I've stated before project Renegade didn't start out as a project at all, well this time project Powertek is definitely starting out as a project! Prior to purchase I inspected the sled and seen that the frame was straight and had not been bent or broken, but had seen some neglect in the parts replacement department. As a bonus, the original owner had upgraded to X-package handle bars & windshield, installed a Skidoo skid plate, hand guards, tunnel strengtheners, riser block and included a factory skidoo deluxe cover. The sled also featured electric start, an upgraded 1.5" Camoplast Intense track, and had no missing panels, parts or grills.
Beauty is often in the eye of the beholder. I had been looking for a sled to replace my 1997 500 long track and wanted something newer, affordable, a project without getting into major structural repairs. I came across this sled on nlclassifides and checked it out with Mark French. We looked it over and seen that although it was dirty and plastered with stickers, there was no frame damage, it had a lot of accessories, a new upgraded 1.5" track, and the plastics were not cracked. It did need some work as the motor was weak and it needed some suspension parts replaced. With this in mind I made a reasonable offer, struck a deal, and brought the sled home.
This sled needed a good cleaning and a load of monster energy decals removed. These were removed slowly by heating them with a heat gun and then removing any remaining glue with 99% pure rubbing alcohol. I think the sled breathed a sigh of relief when returned to its original clean lines!
The sled was washed, dried and polished up with SC-1 Cleaner/Protector.
Real repairs began with replacing upper and lower ball joints on both sides, and replacing all 16 A-arm bushings to tighten up the very sloppy front end. With the new parts installed the suspension is tight & just like new but could use new skis and shocks. For now I reused the worn out skis, but installed a new centre carbide on each one (taken from my used parts bin).
Next on the list was to install 2 new lower side panel rubber latches, this was done by drilling out the old rivet, and installing the new latches with a new3/16x1/2" long rivet. I also noticed one of the front hood hinges was missing, so a new hinge was purchased at the dealer and installed with new hardware and red lock-tite.
Next I removed the RAVE Valves, cleaned off the heavy carbon deposits with brake cleaner and a 3M Scotchbrite pad, and reinstalled them with new o-rings and gaskets.
The chain case was serviced by removing the cover to inspect the chain and to see what gear set was inside. The stock 23/43 gearing was still in place and the fluid wasn't too neglected. I did find a cracked off cover bolt which was causing a small leak. This was easily removed with Vise Grips and a new bolt installed. This is why its very important to thoroughly check literally every bolt on a used sled when performing your first round of service work.
Next on the list was fixing a hole in the muffler, the metal on the rear of the muffler was very thin and rusted through. I cut a patch panel to cover the area, secured it with steel pop rivets and coated the area with hi-heat muffler cement. This should hold until I can find a good used muffler, or replace it with some sort of trail can.
When I reinstalled the freshly painted exhaust, I also installed new donut gaskets as the original gaskets were completely shot.
The last item I installed was a Bombardier Gas Caddy which I already had in stock from my old sled, Project Renegade. Since this can was actually designed for the REV chassis, I only needed to install 2 metal brackets in the locations already marked on the rear tunnel cover.
As of today, the last of February 2012, I only need a centre shock and some snow to get out for a test ride. Over the summer I plan to have the engine freshened with new Crank bearings, seals, new pistons, rings and necessary gaskets. This should ensure a trouble free ride for a good few years to come!
When I bought my REV earlier this year, I knew the motor was weak and in need of a rebuild. Still, I wanted to get out for a test run to see what else may need to be addressed over the summer. Not surprisingly, the motor did blow on an overnight trip to Sooley's cabin, and I had to be towed back to the truck.
Molten aluminum in the exhaust is usually a bad sign.
In October, Maffer and I got to work removing the old engine. It was pretty straight forward, you need to remove the exhaust and Y-Pipe which was made much easier by using a metric Allen key socket with a ball end about 4" long. I picked up a set at princess auto that work on a 3/8" drive ratchet and they were extremely handy for this whole project. We removed the electric starter and unbolted the recoil starter. We also removed the rave valves & reeds, although the motor will come out with these attached.
With the carbs out of the way we disconnected the last few wires & lines, drained the coolant and the motor was ready to come out. I took a lot of pictures of the wire harness, vacuum lines for the DPM, and the cables which came in handy during reassembly.
The engine compartment was extremely dirty, I couldn't wait to start cleaning it up!
With the motor out of the sled I found a major problem, the lower case was split open. This meant I would need a replacement motor instead of a rebuild. The piston skirt on the mag side broke, some went out the exhaust, more down in the base. This jammed the crank and then split the case. I sourced a donor motor in Carbonear and took a trip out over the highway to pick it up. The seller also threw in a good used stock muffler to replace the one I patched together last year.
The donor motor was a year or two older so I had to swap the cylinder head, as my Powertek has a knock sensor that the replacement motor did not. This was easily done, I cleaned the mating surface, washed it thoroughly and installed it according to my factory repair manual. While on the bench, I installed the motor mounting plate, RAVE valves, reeds and a pair of spark plugs.
While the electric starter was off I replaced the bendix with an OEM kit from the dealer. The gear on my old bendix was chewed up. This was due to a weak return spring which allows the gear to wander out and contact the ring gear on the primary clutch while you're riding, it was a common problem on these machines.
Of course while the motor was out, I took the opportunity to completely clean the engine compartment of oil, exhaust crud (from the old leaky donut gaskets) and belt dust.
The motor installation was put on hold while I waited for my bulkhead braces to arrive, so I moved on to the rear suspension. I wanted to pull the skid for an inspection and replacement of worn parts. I replaced every bearing in the skid, as well as the bearing in the driveshaft. The chain case bearings were in great shape so I reused them.
New (L) old (R). These brackets hold the end of the torsion springs and were well worn!
While everything was apart I striped and cleaned the suspension rails as I wanted to black them out. I decided to try some POR15 paint which is supposed to chemically bond on bare metal, plus I already had some left over from my trailer rebuild project. If this doesn't hold up I'll have them powder coated, but they sure look fantastic! With the rails painted I also eplaced the worn out hyfax.
The last item on the rear skid was to replace the worn out leaking stock shocks. Mary Murray, my local shock rebuilder, had a pair of freshly rebuilt Fox shocks for sale, so I picked them up and bolted them in place.
While the skid was out I tackled my next appearance mod. I wanted to coat my tunnel black without the expense or the hassle of completely disassembling the frame to have it powder coated. I decided to try Duplicolor aerosol truck bed liner (blue can from NAPA, not the black water based crap from Canadian Tire). This product worked well on the racks of my Honda Foreman ATV, its held up great over the last 3 years. I prepped the tunnel by cleaning with brake parts cleaner, thoroughly sanding with 120 grit sand paper, and wiping down with 99% pure rubbing alcohol. The more time you put into prep, better are the results.
I taped off the areas I did not want coated and applied the product in one generous coat. I did not paint the top of the rear heat exchanger in part to avoid performance of the cooler, and because this area is covered with a plastic panel. With the bumper and plastics reinstalled the sled looks fantastic!
When I bought the rear shocks from Mark Murray I picked up a set of front ones as well. He had a bunch of brand new Ryde FX 9200 series rebuildable shocks in stock for a great price. The old shocks were easy to remove, just one bolt top & bottom and they were out. To swap springs we mounted the shock in a bench vice, turned the tensioners as low as they would go, then Maffer pulled down on the spring while I removed the keeper plates. The springs were easily installed on the new shocks as there is a lot more adjustment. They fit in place perfectly, we made a rough estimate to the spring adjustment making sure each side was adjusted equally.
I also bought a pair of brand new black/yellow marble skis for the sled identical to the existing but nearly worn through skis on the sled already. I installed four carbides I had in stock from my last sled (they only had a couple hundred kilometres on them) but I replaced the rusty nuts with stainless lock nuts & washers.
I also swapped out the stock x-package bar pad for one from a 2009 REV-XP Summit (thanks Steve Long). This piece is a bar pad and riser cover all in one, and looks much cleaner as it covers all of the wires on the riser block. I let the brake line and throttle cable hang free outside the cover so they wouldn't bind during sharp turns.
Finally after nearly a month my bulkhead braces arrived from fellow dootalk.com member "wwracer" in Alaska. He designs, fabricates, and sells these braces which bolt/rivet to the stock bulkhead under the engine to make it much stronger. This way if you strike something and bend an A-Arm or even the Nun, the bulkhead under the engine has a better chance of not being damaged. A minor bend here means pulling the motor to fix, a major bend means replacing the entire tunnel.
The new braces almost triple the thickness of the frame in this vulnerable area. Now if I strike something I can replace the Nun section of frame as it bolts in place. The frame under the engine is one piece all the way to the rear of the sled.
Since its a lot easier to install these with the motor out, delaying installation of my new motor was definitely worth the wait.
Side Note (February 2016):
This is what can happen to these sleds without a bulkhead brace. At the annual Sooley Cabin winter trip in February 2016 Maffer struck a culvert with the right ski on his 2006 REV 500ss. This drove the ski back about 3" and put a good kink in the tunnel right in the area I spoke about above.
We managed to carefully straighten the area using steel angle iron and C-clamps then bolted a piece of steel flat bar in place to sturdy up the weakened tunnel. It's not perfect but much better than it was before the repair.
Back to my build:
With my bulkhead braces installed, I was ready to reinstall the motor. As mentioned previously, the engine will fit in with the RAVE valves and reed cages installed, so I left them on, but took out the spark plugs. When I had the engine half way in, I connected the Oil Pump Cable, main oil feed line, impulse line for the fuel pump and mounted the starting motor. The engine slid in the rest of the way with a little wiggling and negotiation but it really wasn't too bad. The rest of the job involved reinstalling the Y-Pipe & bolts with red lock-tite, connecting all the electrical & vacuum lines, installing the carburetors, and bolting up the recoil starter. Once ready I turned the sled over a bunch of times (holding the oiler wide open to remove air) to pump gas to the carbs. The sled started up with a small amount of mixed gas dropped into the cylinders and ran great. I bled the cooling system with the front of the sled raised higher then the rear to remove air from the heat exchangers.
With the belt installed, I hung the rear of the sled to adjust the track alignment/tension and to perform the torque procedure for the primary clutch as outlined in the shop manual. Knock on wood everything seems to be working great, I have the sled cleaned up and ready for snow. Lastly I removed the factory 2000's style decals, carefully trimming and leaving "skidoo MXZ" on the side panels, but removing the rest. This really gives the sled a clean uncluttered appearance. A new set of black/grey hand guards from a current XP chassis sled are on the way from eBay to replace the cheap floppy Acerbis ones on the sled.
With all of the work completed last year on project Powertek I'm pleased to say that the sled ran great all season! The new/used motor is holding up well, although not the most reliable engine Bombardier ever designed, it certainly pulls like a train! The new shocks greatly improved the ride and handling of this sled, and the coating on the tunnel and paint on the slide rails is also holding up perfect. My black & grey XP hand guards arrived late last winter and were easily installed in place of the floppy Acerbis hand guards that came on the sled.
Also late last season I installed an Equus water temperature gauge so that I can easily monitor engine temperature and not rely on the "it's too late" warning light to come on. This installation has been detailed in the How To's section on the Projects in the Shed page.
Earlier this year Mark French sold his 2010 Yamaha Nytro so I purchased his Sledstart HID headlight kit to install in project REV. The bulbs are an exact replacement item, but I had to make a small modification for them fit properly. In stock form the wiring for the bulb will rub on the front pyramidal frame and eventually chafe through causing a short circuit. This was easily fixed by removing 2 small Phillips screws and turning the bulb base 180 degrees so that the wires exit the on top of the housing instead of below. The ballasts were ty-wrapped to the frame to keep them secure. This is a great plug and play kit that retains hi & low beam function, and does not bring up any error lights in the dash.
On a ride at Sooley's cabin in early January 2013, I managed to break the center out of my front bumper when I ran over a small tree. (I guess it wasn't so small or just froze up pretty good!) I ordered a new replacement piece and installed it with relative ease. You really miss not having that front handle for moving the sled!
It's held in place with 4 10mm bolts, and two bolts for the hood hinge also have to be removed and swapped to the new bumper.
While finishing the bumper installation I noticed there was no resistance in the Right Front shock. I found that the oil/gas had leaked out, likely due to a bad seal. After quick call to my local shock rebuilder Mark Murray and I had the shock out, rebuilt and reinstalled the same day. I purchased these shocks from him last year and once again I was impressed with his outstanding service and no hassle warranty repair.
The thumb warmer had not worked on this sled since I bought it. With such a short "to do list" this year, I decided it was time to replace it. To fix this problem you have to replace the whole throttle lever as the heater is glued directly to it. I purchased a new part from the dealer, disassembled the throttle block to access the wiring and installed the new lever with ease. I chose to cut, splice, solder and heat shrink the connections for a reliable installation. While everything was apart I took the time to disassemble and service my kill switch which started acting up after summer storage. A little corrosion on the terminals is easily cleaned and the switch works like new. Check out my fixingREV Kill Switch HOW TO for more information on this relatively easy repair.
So this is the finished product so far. I'm very happy with the performance and look of the sled and I doubt that will change in the near future. The REV chassis provides a great ride, predictable handling and is pretty sturdy without being too heavy. This sled is a huge leap forward in technology and design over my old 1997 S-2000 chassis machine, the new XP chassis machines are really only an incremental improvement over my trusty '06. I believe my REV with the extra bulkhead braces will stand up better in a ski impact than the new machines so I'm happy to keep riding this beast and enjoy a great sled with no monthly payment!
Its been a few years since the last update and I'm happy to report that during that time Project Powertek REV has been trouble free and working well. We don't get a chance to log as many miles each winter as we did in the past, but this sled works well each and every time its called on.
One item that came on the sled but didn't really fit me was the 8" handle bar riser (plus a 1.5" pivot adaptor). I always found it a bit high standing and especially high sitting.
I got a great deal on a new 6" PowerMadd riser at Honda One and installed it using the existing pivot adaptor.
Now the bars are much more comfortable and should give me better control especially when side hilling.
I last had the rear suspension out 5 years ago so I figured it was time for an inspection. I suspected the shocks needed to be freshened as the rear was sagging more than it should.
I pulled out all four shocks and sent them to my awesome shock rebuilder Mark Murray to have them inspected and freshened up with fresh oil and gas.
Next up was cleaning the power valves. Again, its been a few years of running off the shelf Formula run 2 stroke oil from Canadian Tire, but overall they were in great shape. A quick scrub with brake cleaner and a Scotchbrite pad and they were as good as new.
The gaskets and o-rings were still in great shape so they were reused.
While installed on the machine the black painted rails still looked OK. Upon closer inspection the POR15 paint which was supposed to chemically bond to metal didn't adhere even though it was properly prepped according to the instructions. I scraped off what remained and thoroughly sanded both rails.
I recoated the rails this time with standard oil based Tremclad paint. It's a lot easier than a total disassembly for powder coat and should hold up at least as good as the POR15 even if I have to periodically touch it up. It's a small detail that's coated in snow & ice most of the time, but I still love the slick blacked out appearance!
I suspected the pipe may need a little work, the aluminum covers were loose and rattling so I disassembled them and found the pipe extremely rusty. I spent some time scraping off the flaky rust, cleaning with a coarse wire wheel and a flap disk (outdoors) before painting.
While cleaning and prepping for paint I found a couple of pinhole leaks on the underside of the pipe.
I decided to try a quick backyard repair with high heat JB Weld 2 part putty as it received decent reviews online. If this doesn't work out I'll probably replace the pipe entirely.
I painted the entire pipe and exposed parts of the muffler with brush on high heat Tremclad paint, using two coats to achieve a nice thick layer of protection that should bond well to the rusty surface.
The aluminum pipe cover was looking quite tired, I didn't want to polish the entire thing so I concentrated on polishing the Ski-doo logo while prepping the rest of the surface for paint.
I painted the two top covers with a light coat of etching primer followed by two coats of high heat brake calliper paint which should work well on this surface. I didn't paint the bottoms as you cant see them plus the paint would only get rubbed off by the rubber mounts anyway.
Since everything looked so nice and new, I polished up the stainless bands that hold the aluminum covers to the pipe.
While the front shocks were out for rebuild I inspected the front suspension for free play. The only parts I found slightly worn were the upper control arm bushings. The stock skidoo plastic bushings are very cheap so I picked up a new set for each side and replaced them. The lower control arm bushings were in great shape as were the ball joints and tie rod ends.
The only other free play found was in the lower steering bushing under the exhaust pipe. With the pipe removed for cleaning/paint it was an easy fix installing two new bushing halves purchased at the dealer.
The main reason the aluminum pipe covers were loose and rattling was because the muffler padding/insulation was worn out and collapsed. Some people remove them to prevent the pipe from rusting, others say they help keep heat in the pipe making the machine run better and definitely quieter. I decided to replace them with brand new pieces purchased at the dealer for a very reasonable cost.
I'm very happy with the finished look, it's a nice custom touch that works with the blacked out/yellow highlight theme of the sled and much cleaner than it was before I started!
While working on the rear skid I replaced a lot of the small rusty bolts with new Stainless hardware I received with an (incorrect) stainless bolt kit for my 250sx ATC project.
Surprisingly all of the rear suspension bearings replaced in 2013 were still perfect as was the hyfax. The skid was reassembled with my newly rebuilt shocks and was ready for re-installation in the sled.
With the skid installed I ran the machine to adjust track tension & alignment then tightened the rear axel bolts. Always use a proper stand when performing this job to prevent serious injury should the track let go.
After a polish with SC1 and a greasing of the rear suspension project REV is all ready to hit the snow provided we actually get back to cold winter temps this year here on the East Coast! All in all I'm still very pleased with this sled. Even the Duplicolor truck bed lining on the tunnel is holding up perfect! It was a lot of work over the years, but this machine is as tight as a new sled at a fraction of the cost. The initial purchase price and initial parts list for the rebuild/rehabilitation was paid for 5 years ago, and this is the first money in parts I've spent since, totalling only $300 which is pretty good value for an East Coast sled.
In the 3 years since my last Project REV update the sled has only had a few runs, many of the crew have sold their sleds so weekend rides are few and far between, but Project REV has made appearances at 2 annual winter trips, usually alongside Project Foreman due to crappy snow conditions.
Surprising even to me, although winter of 2020 was epic beyond measure for snowfall, Project REV remained parked as French and I logged a lot of seat time in our tracked Argos hauling lots of Ice Fishing gear into the country all over the Avalon Peninsula week after week.
Fast forward to Winter 2021 which has had a slow start but by February was finally taking shape with our first extended periods of sub zero temperatures and finally some snow. With Bill back from the West Coast, and both AJ & Ronnie with working sleds I decided to pick up project REV from storage and get it ready to ride. I did an inspection of the sled to check for any nests or damage, as well as cracked carburetor to engine boots and oil level. All seemed great so I kicked over the electric start and the sled roared to life with ease a testament to the benefit of using Seafoam engine treatment.
First I needed a means to transport it as I sold my open deck utility trailer as it finally succumbed to rust. This bed-slide is for accessing my work tools with the tonneau cover closed. I didn't want the ski carbides digging into the plywood surface so I installed sections of EZ-Glide which protects the bed and makes loading/unloading much easier. I will soon build a set of 7' wooden ramps also covered in EZ-Glide for loading the sled when snowbanks aren't available.
My Gates Extreme 434340 drive belt is 8 years old is still in great shape, albeit doesn't have much mileage but will be swapped out for a fresh unit to prevent a trailside failure due to age.
When I stored my machine in the Spring of 2019 I found the kill switch was acting finicky. Thinking it was just dirty again I took it apart for repair.
The contacts were clean but I did find a crack in the bottom of the switch housing running behind the mounting screws, hence pressing on the switch opened the crack and didn't allow the contacts to connect.
With a gentle snap the defective part broke free. This winter I purchased a used kill switch/throttle assembly, harvested the piece I needed (right), then swapped over my less faded red button and rubber gasket to the replacement piece.
Installed and working great, all that was left was to reinstall the bar/riser cover. Next I did a thorough inspection of the sled, lubed the ball joints and performed a full grease of the rear suspension and drive axel bearing behind the secondary clutch with BRP purple low temp grease.
My original OEM battery which had been getting weaker in recent years finally kicked the bucket, so I replaced it with a new BS brand battery from Honda One. This line of batteries are cheaper than the OEM Yuasa and have been working great in project Foreman for the last couple years.
Over Christmas Sandra and I purchased a vinyl cutting machine which has been great for making some preliminary Shed-Headz.com decals and heat transfer vinyl T-shirts. Having recently updated the Shed-Headz livery on Project Foreman and Project 6x6, I decided it was time to retire the old bright white logos on Project REV as well.
My new decals were made from a beautiful textured grey vinyl which has the look of dark brushed aluminum when you see it in person. I think it goes with the machine nicely, and of course matches the updated header logo from this website.
On the trunk I replaced the old Shed-Headz lettering with the new style logo, left my Area51 Logo and added new Area51 Project lettering to bring the livery up to date. Now all I need is some fresh powder and some time to get out for a rip!
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith