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Belt drive for a trail sled?


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#1 351c

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 05:29 PM

Anyone ever try a belt drive for trail riding?
In looking at the improved acceleration of a sled with no studs in looser snow (not icy or hardpack) I'm really thinking about reducing rotating mass and how it would improve smoothness and acceleration. I mean, a timing belt in a car lasts 1500-2000 hours, albeit not the same loads.
If it is durable I don't see a downside?

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#2 mark32786

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 05:34 PM

I thought the major “no” reason was the shock to the drive train in trail riding vs off trail, ie loose powder vs hard pack
Unstudded might save you somewhat from that “ shock”.
I can’t see the payoff though. Might have better luck with an aftermarket primary and secondary clutch for rotating mass. Pending the model I thought there was some aftermarket brake rotors available and some light weight drive shaft options around also

I will throw this out with this one, I set up a newer procross with a bdx rotor and driveshaft after the owner bent the shaft hitting a rock last year. Nice pieces but he couldn’t tell the difference other then less brake fad( he was extremely hard on them) feel in the lever. Never had to clutch out the loss of weight. Still pulled 8300 like the stock set up. Mpg was alittle better by a few tenths for whatever reason though. I do run the same parts on mine 17 kitty and have the same to report. I guess it’s all what your chasing to get to though

Edited by mark32786, 31 March 2021 - 05:43 PM.


#3 jcjc

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 05:50 PM

i'd have a belt drive on my sled if there were performance gains but there's too many posts across the various forums where people have said they couldn't tell a difference.

so what that means to me is that any gains are going to range from imperceptible to very slight and at a cost of 1k, it's not worth it.



#4 mikmaze

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 06:04 PM

why do we have to have a chaincase at all, belt or chaing??? why can't they gear a cvt right so it can go straight into the drive shaft............



#5 Pit Grunt

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 06:49 PM

Cat tried that and it failed.  I think it was called diamond drive... Do not remember why it failed.

 

also a one time Doo was looking at rear axle direct drive.


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#6 Hoser Sledhead

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 07:20 PM

why do we have to have a chaincase at all, belt or chaing??? why can't they gear a cvt right so it can go straight into the drive shaft............


I'm no engineer, but my guess is two-fold.

First, the existing system allows for more options regarding gearing and setup. This allows the same clutches to be used on different machines (Summits VS MXZ for instance).

Second, having the belt on one side and the chain on the other allows the torque to be balanced. Of all the torque was to be applied to the PTO side of the engine the entire frame would twist on hard acceleration.

Again, I'm speculating here...

#7 JLR82

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 07:25 PM

Cat tried that and it failed. I think it was called diamond drive... Do not remember why it failed.

also a one time Doo was looking at rear axle direct drive.

The gears would strip.

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#8 mikmaze

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 07:47 PM

nah, no fancy planetairy drive, secondairy is mounted to the drive axle. 



#9 mile9c1

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 07:51 PM

Diamond Drive was a great system, totally eliminated the Jackshaft and chaincase. Replaced it with a planetary gear set behind the secondary clutch. Very simple setup and made track swaps a cinch.

#10 djm

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 08:05 PM

351C I had hoped to be belt drive this season.  But there are no belt drives right now for the trail sled length chain case.  All have been designed for the longer mountain case.  There have been a few who have cleverly adapted the mountain chaincase belt drive to a trail sled.  I have been talking to Tom Korbza of TKI fame in Billings, Montana.  He has designed one for the Ski-Doo trail sled chain case.  Hopes to have pictures of it up shortly and production parts soon too.  All this was supposed to have happened before last season, but this thing called Covid kind of got in the way.  But he is close now and I hope to have one of the first for my 2019 128 850.  

 

For you doubters out there, you need to go read some of the clean air SAE papers. These is a significant improvement or should I say reduction in power to drive the track with the belt drive chain case over the chain.  No grease, mostly open chain case. The percentage gain is higher/larger than the return from 9" rear wheels.  If you add it all up, larger rear wheels, Dupont sliders, larger drivers and belt drive; the savings is really significant. I am not going to site any numbers but I have read most of the SAE papers and have seen how they tested and seen the range of gains the various teams have seen over the last few years.  If not, I would not be doing these things.  But it is like free horsepower... and or reducing stress on the engine at a give speed as you don't have to use as much throttle to obtain what you want.  Just saying.. Not sure why more manufactures other than Polaris have not gone to it.   They used cogged belts for many high power applications.  The blowers on top fuel dragsters and funny cars take a lot of power to drive... And if you think hooking up a 150 to 170 inch track with one and climbing impossible angled shoots out west is easier than running down a trail... jumping of 15 to 25 foot cliff and hitting the snow with the power on. light loads.. I don't think so.  

 

Any way TKI is going to be there soon with parts, I hope my name is at the top of Tom;'s list for one of the first ones..  I now where a few guys have adopted the C3 belt drive.  And most of the clean air students have used bits and pieces of the mountain set ups to make theirs. And those young engineering students and their mentors are measuring and quantifying all of their improvements for their presentation papers.  



#11 JLR82

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 08:05 PM

Diamond Drive was a great system, totally eliminated the Jackshaft and chaincase. Replaced it with a planetary gear set behind the secondary clutch. Very simple setup and made track swaps a cinch.

But they always blew up

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#12 djm

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 08:10 PM

why do we have to have a chaincase at all, belt or chaing??? why can't they gear a cvt right so it can go straight into the drive shaft............

 

Can't make the pulley's (clutches) small enough or big enough. The Primary is already about as small as it can be and still have enough surface area to apply the load the belt.. and there is not much room to make the secondary any bigger, and if you could the surface speed at the outer diameter would be too high.  You would have to have a primary half again as small and a secondary twice as big..  You have essentially close to another 2 to 1 gear reduction on the chain case side.. If you were direct drive.. you would have to make that up in the smaller primary and larger secondary.. it's not happening. 

 

But hey when you get your electric snowmobile with 100% torque at 0 rpm; you will be clutchless then!  i assume they will use a belt or a chain just for convenience of mounting the engine where they want which I doubt will connect directly to the end of the drive shaft.  


Edited by djm, 31 March 2021 - 08:13 PM.


#13 HemiChallenger

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 08:26 PM

Belt drives are the real deal. Why so many of the mountain (and one oem) guys use them. If the costs start to come down they'd be on everything. 

 

Look up aluminum gear sets for the current g4. Less weight. reduced drag. 


General opinions, clutching and observations on g4 900 ace: https://www.dootalk....0-na-g4-thread/


#14 jcjc

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 08:31 PM

djm,

 so are you saying significant improvements are made when you combine the belt drive with larger rear wheels, larger drivers, and dupont sliders?

if so that makes sense of course but that's vastly different and much more expensive than just buying the belt drive.

the people saying there's no difference is a red flag for me in terms of the fact that the seat of your pants feel is subjective but if it really increased performance in a worthwhile manner (as in bang for the buck), then there'd be far fewer people saying they noticed no change.



#15 HemiChallenger

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 08:52 PM

The problem with snowmobiles is subjective feedback and constantly changing elevations/snow conditions. DJM is talking about the belt drive by itself. 


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General opinions, clutching and observations on g4 900 ace: https://www.dootalk....0-na-g4-thread/





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