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Hi everybody, in going to buy these two snowmobiles tomorrow and was wondering if anyone here can get a closer model/year ID than I can.

So far I'm thinking that they are
1: 1987-88 Ski Doo Stratos or Escapade with a Rotax type 503 496cc fan cooled engine.

2: around 1978 Arctic Cat Cheetah or Pantera with either a 440cc or 500cc Suzuki fan cooled engine.

I only have ONE picture to go from and ZERO other information. Thanks in advance :) Screenshot_20191219-175149_Samsung Internet.jpg
 

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That's a Panther. Could be a 4000 or 5000. Pantera was on the Panther chassis in 75 I think, went to the tiger chassis in 76,77,78,79.

Yes on the Stratos / Escapade. Stratos was one up, Escapade a two up.
 

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It sure influenced my decision. Asking price is $150 for both sleds. If I get one working engine I'll be happy. I'm hoping the 503 is healthy so I can shoehorn it into one of my Elans. What are your experiences with the Suzuki 500 fan? I'm honestly interested.

Thanks for the schooling on Cats. I haven't owned any yet. I do have a friend that sure likes his M series sleds though. For the most part I haven't been real impressed with any Artic Cat products I've been around (mostly ATVs) but the sleds seem like they are higher quality than the ATVs. I like the fact that they are mostly Suzuki engines. I've had great luck with Suzuki with motorcycles, ATVs and cars outboards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Brad460- I dont have any expectation to get either of these riding. If they are in good enough shape to fix, I will but for $150 I'm not expecting much.Mostly interested in the engines and other parts to keep my other sleds going on the cheap.
 

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The one thing about the fan cooled Suzuki engines is that parts are cheap and easy to come by.

I've not had a 500, but have had the 370, 340, 440 Suzuki motors and while I've had to rebuild them after getting them, the previous owners ran the hell out of them. The 340 fan is actually one of the funnest sleds I have in my yard.

The 440 is one fun motor. Have a 1980 Panther in my yard with that in it. Power to weight ratio is ridiculous. Two normal guys can lift the entire sled.

I just can't imagine much of a difference between the 500 and 370 except power. I know the next step up, the 570/580 motor was a very reliable motor.

I don't much about the Escapade, but everyone knows the 503 motor was as about as reliable of a 2 stroke as you could get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good to hear. I'm pretty much buying the Ski doo and getting the Arctic Cat as a bonus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maxmachz- your right it's not a Pantera, I had that confused with the Panther. What is the difference between a Panther and a Cheetah? On the Boss Cat 1978 page they look the same.
 

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Thanks guys, I bought them yesterday. They are rough but the price was right. I paid $50 each for them. The stratos could probably be saved but I don't have much interest in it. I'd rather transplant the 503 into one of my elans.
20191220_194512.jpg
20191220_194549.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh they are an 88 Ski Doo Stratos with the 503 Rotax w/4333km. And a 78 Arctic Cat panther 4000 w/440 suzuki Fan w/ 3900 miles.
20191220_194741.jpg 20191220_194537.jpg
 

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I'd be curious of the HP difference between that Cat 440 and the Stratos 503. Cat/Suzuki 440 was one heck of a motor. The one I have has pretty high compression, I think it was 142-143 if I recall correctly. Very quick motor.

I think that Suzuki 440 had around 45-50 HP (up to 55 HP with dual carbs)

503's of the era was also around 50 HP.
 

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Great find...!

I have seen worse starting points than that become mint condition restorations. Judging by the pictures, they are at least not molested by some fourteen year old kid with Monster stickers, half meter high handlebar riser and a home made footrest stiffeners...? These appear to be more parked and forgotten about...?
 

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They are in the same ballpark for power from what I've found on here and other forums. The 503 has dual carbs and a tuned pipe so I think it would probably out perform the single carb Suzuki that doesn't appear to have a tuned pipe. Of cours with the machines they're in idk. The Stratos looks like it weighs a ton! I know there is alot more to it but those two factors would have a big impact on power.

They do seem to be mostly unmolested which is a huge plus.
20191220_194741.jpg 20191220_194531.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Anyone care to school me on the TRA clutch on that 503? Is it a good clutch? How about the clutches on the Cat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My buddy suggested I maybe put the Suzuki 440 into the exciter 440 that I have. I plan to rebuild the yamaha 433 (hole in one piston). I really like the yamaha motor it has reeds and a tuned pipe. Only one carb though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Also bore and stroke are different by a good bit. 20191220_195403.jpg 20191220_195155.jpg
By my calculation the Rotax is what it claims 496cc. But the Suzuki isn't even a 440 it's only like 431cc. The suzuki would have to be tuned much better to keep up with a engine that much bigger.
 

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