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Is there a general opinion about the advantages or disadvantages of the 2 forward speed gearbox versus the older 1 speed gearbox? Is the top end greater in the 2 speed, is the low range of the 2 speed better for grooming? does the low range tend to cause overheating? Is one more dependable?

Of the Alpines, is there a most desirable model year and why?

Danke,

Wulfspur
 

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Since none of the experts answered (they're probably all up there racing CQ !!) I'll risk my non-expert opinion. I'm not very experimented on the Alpines but I've worked with them a bit.

I can't comment on the 1 speed vs 2 speed gearbox, as both machines we had were 2 speed. IMO as a work/grooming sled the 2 speed is probably a much better machine, with the engine in its power band at very low speeds. Better cooling, and easier on the drive belt too I guess. The low range will actually help with the cooling, as the engine (and the cooling fan) revs faster. In both machines we made a cut out, covered with a screen, in the hood by the cooling fan to allow it to draw cooler air. Normally this is not required but we worked our Alpines hard late in the spring in warm weather (sugar maple season) and that helped the engine run cooler.

One was a 640, the other a 503. The 640 apparently puts out about 40hp, while the single carb 503 was about 50 hp. The 503 was a peppier engine, but the 640 also did the job, and both engines are pretty bullet proof.

Carl

 

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the 640 was very easy to over rev and blow something... the 503 on the other hand was bulletproof (unless you shot it with a gun :wink_old: )
 

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Since none of the experts answered (they're probably all up there racing CQ !!) I'll risk my non-expert opinion. I'm not very experimented on the Alpines but I've worked with them a bit.

I can't comment on the 1 speed vs 2 speed gearbox, as both machines we had were 2 speed. IMO as a work/grooming sled the 2 speed is probably a much better machine, with the engine in its power band at very low speeds. Better cooling, and easier on the drive belt too I guess. The low range will actually help with the cooling, as the engine (and the cooling fan) revs faster. In both machines we made a cut out, covered with a screen, in the hood by the cooling fan to allow it to draw cooler air. Normally this is not required but we worked our Alpines hard late in the spring in warm weather (sugar maple season) and that helped the engine run cooler.

One was a 640, the other a 503. The 640 apparently puts out about 40hp, while the single carb 503 was about 50 hp. The 503 was a peppier engine, but the 640 also did the job, and both engines are pretty bullet proof.

Carl

Carl pretty much covered it. I have owned 8 of them. I also like the two speed, for same reasons, I will add, I woundn't worry about top end speed, these things are not speed machines. The 80-81 if I remember, mine all had 640's, 2 speed trany boggy wheel underneath ,with about 3-4 in of give and than would bottom out. If get going to fast, the thing would feel like it was going to fly apart or you flip that boggy assembly upside down. keep a bungie cord from fount to back over the top to keep them flat to the ground .Also the power shaft coming out of the tranny was hard on bearings replace when have a apart with roller style bearing you never have to do again. I too used cut a hole in the side for air intake and put drier vent there worked perfect, to keep air going in that fan. The 640 was good engine but would eat pistons if you overheated it,in warm weather. What model ? I would choose the later Alpine II. 503's 2 speed, slide rail, better ski, turn better. These were just much better machines. Dependable Hum... . I mean ,your talking about a 35+ year old machine, These are very hard to find parts for. They were King in there day.There were also very high maintance machine. You couldn't give me one for free today :).. Save your money and Buy a swt.
 

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Carl pretty much covered it. I have owned 8 of them. I also like the two speed, for same reasons, I will add, I woundn't worry about top end speed, these things are not speed machines. The 80-81 if I remember, mine all had 640's, 2 speed trany boggy wheel underneath ,with about 3-4 in of give and than would bottom out. If get going to fast, the thing would feel like it was going to fly apart or you flip that boggy assembly upside down. keep a bungie cord from fount to back over the top to keep them flat to the ground .Also the power shaft coming out of the tranny was hard on bearings replace when have a apart with roller style bearing you never have to do again. I too used cut a hole in the side for air intake and put drier vent there worked perfect, to keep air going in that fan. The 640 was good engine but would eat pistons if you overheated it,in warm weather. What model ? I would choose the later Alpine II. 503's 2 speed, slide rail, better ski, turn better. These were just much better machines. Dependable Hum... . I mean ,your talking about a 35+ year old machine, These are very hard to find parts for. They were King in there day.There were also very high maintance machine. You couldn't give me one for free today :).. Save your money and Buy a swt.
I always wondered how the Alpine compared to a SWT. I've never been on an Alpine but done a fair share of grooming and pulling with a SWT. I found the SWT to be very reliable and very strong pulling. I have a WT and it pulls like a Prius compared to the SWT which is like a tractor.
 

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As the Video shows they can pull, as they say it takes weight to move weight.The way they were treating that one, it is going to be in the bone yard.No Machine will take that year after year. I would have taken the time to put something up front of those trees. Skies, car hood, some type of skid, there have been many ideas, over the years, point being, if want your machine to last. The Alpine is a tractor of machines But.rides like little ride wagon, Turns like a mule, and is a gas hog.It was not a, lets jump on drive around for fun thing ,It will where you out. In my opinion, the newer SWT's are about a do all machine as you can get.I got mine in a Army auction, some a paid only 202.00 for.I bid on 15 of them, closed bid and they called me up and told me come get your 8 machines, oh boy my wife had a heart attack.:). I kept 3, 2 running one for parts . Sold the rest. But as i said, i was always, working on them fixing some thing.
 
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