Cougar down, more than likely out.

Technical discussion related to engine performance, clutching, setup, and other snowmachine modifications.

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Nick S
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:51 am

Cougar down, more than likely out.

#1 Post by Nick S » Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:40 pm


Finally managed to get the old Cougar moving last week after working on it extensively on and off for the past month and a half or so (exhaust repair, decarboning pistons and exhaust ports, replaced drive/cog shaft assembly, new track clips, carb adjustments etc...etc...etc). Around $200-$300 I'd say in parts (many which were used, thankfully). Took a few test runs on the pipeline that runs in the back of my house and then traveled down Plack to Chena lakes.

After finding "the new way" around the barricade someone put there at the end of Plack, got to the Chena lakes area and noticed the drivetrain started skipping in powder at near to w.o.t. with the engine simultaneously briefly bogging, mostly likely due to the fact that I still did not retention the track quite enough after reinstalling everything. Well, needless to say a weak link was found in the drive train when I stopped to check and pull the hood...that lovely bolt that holds on the primary, with the other end recessed I'd say 1/8 to 1/4 inch inside the crank.

Northern won't touch it (too old), Darby's estimates minimum $200 (thats bringing in the pulled motor) with no guarantees on whether it can be extracted. Needless to say I do not have the time, patience and additional money to throw and blow at this sled. Even if it was repaired, the new bolt may snap again since I'm not 100% sure what was skipping at w.o.t. in powder in the first place. It was bought for $500 5 seasons ago and came with a utility trailer and two helmets; and has since been rebought 3 to 4 fold in parts and repair. If anyone has experienced this and knows a way to extract a piece of bolt with hundreds of ft lbs now torqued on it..let me know. If anyone wants to buy this dirt cheap air cooled sled off me and repair it themselves, let me know. Runs pretty good, the clutch is still pressed on, runs a little rich still in the quarter to mid throttle range when it gets warmer out.

The best thing I think attm is to bit the bullet and get something made will past the stone age. Beggars can't be over choosers but here is what I had in mind:

-Age...about 3 to 8 years old.
-Trail sled...128 - 136" track.
-Primarily considering AC or Polaris..may consider other two makes
-Liquid cooled ok, air cooled slightly preferred..550 to 800cc, 2 stroke, must have pull start.
-Studded track is a plus, but not required.
-Area to strap on extra fuel tank(s) strongly preferred.
-Top dollar...$5k

2015 Bearcat 2000XT
1989 Arctic Cat Cougar 500
1979 Yamaha Enticer 300

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Re: Cougar down, more than likely out.

#2 Post by Summit800 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:29 pm

Nick, Nick, Nick, don't give up yet... its just a bolt. it can be extracted with the proper tooling.
Could it be the skipping was due to a bad drive belt? that would explain the broken bolt.

What year is the ol cougar?

Nick S
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:51 am

Re: Cougar down, more than likely out.

#3 Post by Nick S » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:58 pm

It's an 89 Steve. The drive belt was on "the list of possibilities" but the belt has low miles on it and this slippage wasn't an issue last year...perhaps some oil got on the sheaves when working on it lately...who knows. Won't know for sure until I get the bolt out. Might be able to remove the clutch with a bolt and a piece of pipe since i don't think I can get a clutch puller in deep enough to thread on the clutch. Other than drilling out the broken piece and retapping the crank, I'm pretty much out of ideas. In the mean time...would be nice to have a machine where hours ridden >= hours being worked on. :feedup:

2015 Bearcat 2000XT
1989 Arctic Cat Cougar 500
1979 Yamaha Enticer 300

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Posts: 507
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:41 pm
Location: Fairbanks

Re: Cougar down, more than likely out.

#4 Post by mit » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:39 pm

I have an old ad taped to my computer desk from last year 2000 Arctic Cat 340 Bearcat 225 miles since new starter, reverse 488-8978 doubt it is still there but what the *beep*?

Tim Berg
The Snowmachine Registration, needs to be Repealed!

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Alaskan Polar Bear
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:49 pm
Location: North Pole Alaska

Re: Cougar down, more than likely out.

#5 Post by Alaskan Polar Bear » Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:20 pm

the cougar may be down ,,,but far from out.
when the track was ratcheting the engine spooled up
when the track caught the engine bogged because the belt was gripping the clutch very well
I'm betting the clutch slipped on the shaft and tighten the bolt up till it broke,
with the head off there is very little pounds of torque on the bolt anymore.
you can get the clutch off (but why) by heating up the inner sheaves with a propane torch when it releases it will pop off the shaft, think jump
roll the sled up on its side clutch up.
when i do this i have a vacuum to suck up all the chips so they don't go where i don't want them
the bolt is easy enough problem... drill the center of the bolt with a small bit , go up in sizes untill you have it to a fair size easy out.
the easy out is stronger than the bolt
drill with a bit of care
use a bit of oil / anti seize
once out
put in a new bolt with lock tight on it ,,,works both ways
adjust track tighter,
good luck

No track and engine? what's the point?
2006 Polaris 755 RMK 159
2006 Polaris 755 RMK 151
2003 Polaris 550 super sport 121
2002 Polaris 700 RMK 144
1998 Polaris XLT Special 600 121
1976 Polaris TXL 340 Liquid
1972 / 74 Skiroule 300 RTX
and a few more

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