December 16, 2020 by Dan Gould
If you want to increase performance and longevity, upgrade your snowmobile suspension with grease fittings, also known as Zerks.
It’s a straight-forward DIY project that can be tackled on a weekend with basic tools.
Removing a snowmobile suspension is easy. Putting it back can sometimes resemble a wrestling match.
I’m not exactly sure when they disappeared, maybe 2003? All I know is that some jerk omitted the Zerks from my snowmobile.
Maybe not all of them, but my grease Zerk count plummeted from roughly a dozen to a single pair. Oscar Zerk would be outraged! Obviously, someone out there hates general maintenance.
This stock snowmobile suspension bushing shows wear after only 900 miles. Grease enters Mainway Solutions bushing through machined ports.
Truth be told, a lot of people despise general maintenance, preferring clean fingernails over perfectly articulating joints.
But snowmobilers tend to tinker. We hang our grease guns in the open, for everyone to see, and rebuke those in white shirts that inquire, “What’s that disgusting thing oozing all over the wall?”
These heavily worn rear suspension bushings need replacing.
This was nothing but an invitation to extract the rear suspension, which led to further dismantling and parts strewn all over the place.
Hmm… not only were the suspension bushings showing surprising amounts of wear, but the OEM parts didn’t exactly fit as God intended.
The search for suspension salvation led to Val Casciani of Mainway Solutions. Val is a true believer in greasable snowmobile suspensions and offers a slew of quality replacement parts, complete with Zerks!
Actually, these are better described as upgrades, rather than replacements, as they far exceed the original pieces by a factor of “wow.”
The rear shock rocker arm takes a miserable beating to save your backside. Comparison of Mainway Solutions upgrade with Zerks to the stock Ski-Doo part.
Val’s one of us, a purebred slednut. Except he’s got the skills to design and build solutions, instead of complaining, like me. Call Mainway’s tidy shop in Ontario and Val answers the phone. It’s that kind of place.
My goal was to replace the OEM bushings in the rear suspension with the good stuff: machined bronze and stainless, not compressed powdered bronze or plastic.
The swing arm bushings in the rear suspension arms need grease. Mainway Zerks are mounted in rifle-drilled bolts which flow grease to the bushings.
The process was fairly simple. I took my time, using Mainway Solution’s slick bushing install/removal tool (recommended) to swap out the old and press in the new. All with simple tools.
Greaseable fittings deliver consistent sled performance and long service. If youÕre a high mileage rider or someone who hangs onto a machine beyond the expiration date, Zerks are a must.
The instructions are clear, although I did watch a few of the DIY videos beforehand, in preparation.
Upgraded bushings and grease fittings installed on the R-Motion skid.
You could upgrade your snowmobile suspension with grease fittings, also known as Zerks, the old fashion way. Drill, tap and install the Zerks to the stock bushings for pennies. I’ve seen it done with great success. It’s an upgrade, so long as you have the time and skill, and feel confident with the quality and condition of the stock parts.
Heavily worn snowmobile mobile suspension bushings dramatically impact performance and ride. A grease Zerk would have prevented rapid wear.
Here’s a dumb statement that needs to be stated: Quality parts cost more. That’s why the OEM’s use economical ones.
At first glance the cost of quality might seem a tad high but consider the US-Canadian exchange rate and the fact that your suspension will simply perform better by substantially reducing stiction, and all of a sudden you talked yourself into a weekend project that will extend the life expectancy of your sled.
That’s the beauty of the suspension kits by Mainway Solutions. It’ll also save you cash over a few short years. And lastly, your zerk count will increase to acceptable levels.
Dan is the executive director of the NEW HAMPSHIRE SNOWMOBLE ASSOCIATION, editor of the Sno-Traveler and nhsa.com.