Vintage Snowmobile Parts: Hope Abounds

If you're lucky enough to own a running condition vintage sled, but your mechanic bites his fingernails to the bone every time you take it for a spin, maybe it's time to think about getting some parts for the old gal. Vintage or classic sleds may not be able to get new spurs, but they can sure get the retreads they need to keep riding the trail for decades to come.

Read My Lips - Vintage, Not Old And Useless!

Just because a snowmobile is out of production, that doesn't mean it has to be put out to pasture. In fact, some of the old veterans of the trail can put the younger, shinier, and more powerful whippersnappers to shame. Case in point - in the 2006 Pixar Animation film Cars, the old 1950's 'Doc' Hudson Hornet literally leaves the gleaming Lightning McQueen in the dust by using nothing more than pure technique.

Special Parts For Special Sleds

There are many sites that you can go to for genuine vintage parts, such as Mfgsupply dot com, that offer everything from oil seals to drive belts. For example, you can get Kimpex tracks for the '75 Ski-Doo Alpine for under $500. So the issue isn't with parts as much as it is with how to figure out which part you actually need. Unless you're an experienced snowmobile mechanic with years of experience servicing vintage sleds, you're bound to make a mistake or two when ordering parts. After all, it is the rare vintage snowmobile that actually comes with an instruction and parts manual in pristine condition. If you're lucky, you'll have that, and there's no problem.

Vintage Snowmobile Parts: Help Wanted

But what if you're on a blind trail and the most mechanical thing you've ever done in your life is remove the training wheels on your kid's BMX? Fear not, because the resourcefulness of the human race extends to vintage snowmobiles as well. You can reach out to either the Vintage Snowmobile Club of America or the Antique Snowmobile Club of America through their forums (or fora, if you want to split snowflakes) and get all the information you need. Such clubs are sardine-packed with helpful experts that are almost as keen as you to get your sled up and running, sometimes more.

Parts For Vintage Sleds vs. Vintage Parts For Sleds

Vintage sled parts are of two kinds – the kind that are re-conditioned from genuine old parts, and the kind that are newly manufactured to fit old specifications. It all depends on taste, is how it seems. A lot of veteran snowmobile enthusiasts wouldn't be seen dead using new parts; they'd rather scour the earth for either re-conditioned parts or parts recovered from 'dead sleds' of the same make, while others are more accommodating and will take anything that fits, as long as they get the sled up and running. Ultimately it boils down to your individual preference and the urgency of your need. Vintage parts often take weeks or months to locate and ship if they're hard to find. Besides, they could cost you a bundle. Some parts that are rare and tough to replace often come with a four-figure price tag.

Vintage Sled Parts: He Who Checks The Specs Prevails

When ordering parts, especially if you're paying for it with an arm, a leg and a spare kidney, it's useful to double and triple check the specifications. Often, manufacturers would have made their part a sixteenth of an inch smaller or bigger than a competitor's counterpart (good use of that word, by the way) just to force customer loyalty. This, for you, means weeks of waiting that ends in a disappointing misfit situation. A little extra care and checking around among the experts will save you time, money and frustration.