Snowmobile Tool Kit (Dan Gould)
Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 in News & Updates, President's Message
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The stock snowmobile tool kit hidden away in the average snowmobile is little more than an empty promise. “I’m here for you, but when you need to tighten that loose suspension bolt I’m going to make your knuckles bleed.”

Actually, the cute little tool set may have a calming effect. Though screaming in agony, you’ll feel 100% better after throwing them into the woods once you realize how useless they are. Guaranteed.

I’ve been carrying real tools since day one. That could have something to do with my first snowmobile, a cheap junker, which blew the engine twice during its first trip under my fanny. The liquified piston was replaced with a fresh Wiseco in our hotel room that night and promptly melted again the following day at lunchtime.

I bought a brand new sled as soon as I got home, which promptly exploded the first trip out. That’s a story for another day but at least it was under warranty.

You see, I have scars, and for some odd reason I get a lot of ribbing about the rollaway toolbox stashed in the trunk of my sled. Reality is, I’ve since bailed more friends out of trouble with the tools than myself. Yes, I know, I’m now officially jinxed.

Now, don’t confuse tweaking with repairs, as so many of my riding buddies do. I enjoy adjusting the suspension settings to match conditions. I even play with the carbs at times. There’s no better time to check the track tension or a chain case than after a good rip.

Not long ago a friend had a rather odd electrical problem on a fairly new sled. Nothing major, it kept shutting off for no reason. Those in the group were mechanically savvy and we quickly diagnosed a defective connector in the main wire loom. Not something you would expect in a new sled but poop happens.

The chief mechanic of the day kept asking if I had this tool or that tool, he was clearly trying to stump me. I responded each time by handing the appropriate Craftsman over like a surgical assistant. He tried not to look surprised. The repair required among other things, a tiny Phillips screwdriver, a socket set, small open-end wrenches, a pair of wire cutters, needle nose pliers and a piece of wire, all of which I just happened to have.

This was definitely an instance that would have been difficult, if not impossible, with the stock Playskool tools that came with the sled. It also made the difference between a tow home and another 50 miles of fun on the odometer.

As the trailside garage was just about ready to close for the day, someone shouted “Do you have any tie-wraps to hold the wires in place?” They were clearly testing me. I went back to my trunk and responded, “Sure, what color would you like… blue?”

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