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Replacing Snowmobile Skis

If you love hitting the fresh snow on your favorite Yamaha snowmobile, you already know how important it is to make sure everything is in working order before you head out. There is no denying the importance of snowmobile maintenance as it can be the difference between getting stranded after a ride or getting back home safely. One of the most important aspects of snowmobile care is making sure your skis are ready to ride. Here are a few things you need to know about replacing snowmobile skis.

Why It Matters?

It matters because worn down skis negatively impact the quality and safety of the ride. If the skis are worn down, they will have a harder time gripping the ground so riders lose traction and speed. Not replacing snowmobile skis when they are worn down will also take a toll on your snowmobile overall. The carbides will naturally take on more of the effort which will wear them down and the rest of the snowmobile will attempt to compensate. If you want to have a safe, enjoyable ride without adding wear and tear to your snowmobile, you need to maintain your skis.

Knowing When to Replace

The key to replacing snowmobile skis is knowing when it is necessary. The most obvious way of telling when it is time to change them is to look for any signs of damage. If the skis are warped, rusted, dented, or have visible signs of wear and tear, it is time to replace them. You should also replace skis when you are going from one type of riding to a different type. For example, if you are still riding on OEM skis the factory-made for general riding, you may want to upgrade your skis to something more specialized when doing deep powder riding or hard-packed terrain riding.

Knowing How to Replace

Aside from knowing when to replace skis, knowing how is the other crucial component. Most skis are part of a system comprised of the ski you can see and also a bunch of smaller elements which may or may not be partially out of sight near the bottom of the hood such as knuckles, bolts, washers, and pins. Since each model may be different, the best way to go about replacing the skis is to locate your owner's manual and follow the steps involved. You can also locate a schematic showing where all the smaller elements connect so you can follow that as your guide. Once you have those in place to guide you, the rest is easy.

  • Place snowmobile on its side or on a lift so you can easily access the area and avoid pressure on the snowmobile.
  • If nuts or washers are rusted, use WD40 to make loosening them up a bit easier. If they are really rusted together and won’t budge, consider adding careful pressure with a flathead screwdriver and hammer.
  • Follow the owner’s manual and/or schematic when installing skis.
  • Replace all parts when replacing the skis. If you are just replacing the ski and not all the nuts, bolts, and washers, you are doing a disservice to your snowmobile. These smaller parts are prone to age and rust so it makes sense to change all of it out at the same time rather than worrying about a rusted out bolt in a year or two when the ski is still in good riding condition.