custom 1970 scorpion stinger

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David Ice from central Minnesota started with a basket-case 1970 Scorpion Stinger powered by a German-made Hirth 440cc twin. He brought it home in boxes. The tunnel was bent, dented, rusty and cracked, making it a great candidate for the project ahead.

Yamaha, Cat, Ski-Doo, Polaris … and other brands add charm!

It took him two years off and on to get it right. He began transforming this sled with the use of a 2008 Yamaha Attack A-arm setup that he thought might work. These Attack A-arms differ from standard ones, with aluminum upper arms for a little less weight. The front suspension ended up being 48 inches wide, which gives this sled a very stable ride. With this A-arm suspension, it brought the height of the front, below the belly pan, up to a clearance of 10 inches.

He used Yamaha plastic skis with dual wear rods to keep the sled from darting. David made sure the rear of the skis didn’t contact the track when turning. People who have driven his Scorpion say it feels like it has power steering! That being said, he almost gave up on his build when he couldn’t make the steering work right. He devised an industrial cam follower to use with the rack steering. It worked great! Now the Scorpion is around 105 inches long.

I have remarked that this Scorpion could be called a “Heinz 57” with all the different snowmobile company parts used on it! The rear suspension came from a 136-inch 2008 Polaris Touring M-10. It has three shock absorbers (instead of bogey wheels) for a plush ride. The shock absorbers were rebuilt, valves changed and springs cut down to make a lighter sled and again, a softer ride.

David figured he could only use a 0.75-inch rubber track lug to clear the tunnel, so he found an Arctic Cat 136 track that fit. He also used an Arctic Cat driveshaft with an 8-lug drive. With the driveshaft being long, he turned down the right side of the shaft and put a keyway in it for the brake disc.

David used a Ski-Doo Summit hydraulic brake setup for this sled because it was held with only two bolts through the tunnel. David also had to build out the belly pan to accept the disc brake on his front driveshaft.

On this model Scorpion Stinger, the original fuel tank was made into the belly pan. David made a 2.5-inch seat riser and cut out the center of the seat to hold a hand-built 5-gallon fuel tank.

When you make so many adaptations, you have to make new places for a lot of things! For example, the muffler needed relocating because the brake assembly took up its usual placement. To ensure there wasn’t any exhaust leakage, David used Yamaha exhaust bellows with Donaldson single mufflers, which send straight out the front of the sled, and it still works great!

Bumpers were re-chromed, and the hood and seat covers are reproductions, making it look like a “new” old snowmobile. Finally, David put a small Polaris toolbox under the hood for extra plugs and tools if needed.

Everybody that sees David’s Scorpion Stinger at shows sure likes what he’s done. He doesn’t know how many hours he has worked on this project, but from my view I’m sure glad he did it. We can call this Stinger a modern-day cruiser.
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