february 2016 ask the experts


AmSnow.com is now SnoWest.com

Ski-Doo Comparo
Q: I want to upgrade from my ’02 MXZ 700 to a ’05 MXZ 600 SDI Renegade. How do you think they compare? – Anonymous

A: You’re talking about two different chassis and engines, so comparing the two is difficult. But since you asked … The 2005 MXZ Renegade marked the second year of the “rider-forward” REV chassis from Ski-Doo. You’ll sit more over the engine than the behind-the-engine feel of the ’02 MXZ built in the ZX-X chassis. Both engines are widely regarded as more than capable. We’d venture to guess you’ll find the larger 16x136x1.25-inch track on the Renegade even more to your liking on and off the trail than the 15x121x1.0 of the 2002 MXZ. However, the super-wide 47-inch ski stance of the Renegade may not be as friendly in boondocking situations as you’d like it to be. Over time, the OEMs discovered a narrow stance was actually better for off-trail maneuvers. But each rider has his or her own style/preference, so what we think may not always be exactly what you’re looking for! – Experts

Q: I bought a used 2006 Ski-Doo Renegade 600 H.O. last year with about 4,000 miles on it, but in immaculate condition. It has only one problem: horrible gas mileage. It’s a consistent 10-12 mpg for groomed trail riding. I have ridden with several of these 2006 600 H.O. engines in the past, and they are very capable of 16-20 mpg. Where do I start looking? Is this a sensor problem, a fuel system problem, or an ECU problem? – Mikuni Madman

A: If it is a carbed version, there are several things that can be done. A lot of my customers have dropped one main jet size, and taken the plastic packing washer that is under the jet needle and put it on top of the clip that holds the needle. This improved performance and netted better fuel economy. You have to be careful to pay attention to the amount of ethanol in the fuel you’re using. When doing any carb recalibration, always check piston wash and plug color, and adjust jetting as needed.

The next option is changing your drive ratio. Many owners of that sled will drop a tooth size or two on the jackshaft. That will result in a transmission that works easier to maintain mid-range trail speeds and may actually be able to sustain your current top speed. Both of these simple modifications should get your machine running better and more efficiently. Always pay attention to belt condition, idler wheel bearing condition and track tension. – Todd Guthrie, Dyna-Tek Performance

Checking other MPG issues
There are a couple of things that should be checked, and could be culprits causing gas mileage to decrease. First thing that should be done is a leak down check on the engine. Reduced compression is one of the main culprits that can cause reduced gas mileage. Others include poor spark, plugged air intake, broken reed valve, or improper reed valve seal. The ECU will typically not cause any fuel mileage issues. – Jason Houle, Straightline Performance
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