Winter comes with great fun and excitement. The thrills and bliss of snowmobiling across snowy terrains during winter cannot be compared with any other thing. This accounts for why early and proper preparations must be made before hitting the trails. To prepare you for snowmobiling this winter, you need to know the major components that make up your mobile device. The snowmobile jackshaft is one of such essential gear you must have.
Imagine cruising across the terrains, and the snowmobile fails to dart. The situation becomes so challenging that without proper knowledge of what to do, you end up retiring to your home. To avoid such bitter experiences, the guide below will expose you to the jackshaft: a central connecting framework in your snowmobile’s drivetrain.
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What Is a Snowmobile Jackshaft?
There can’t be an accurate description of a snowmobile jackshaft without mentioning other components that make up the drivetrain. A snowmobile drivetrain comprises the drive gear, engine, drive belt, jackshaft, crankshaft, clutches (primary and secondary), and other parts.
The connection between a chain drive gear and a driven clutch, which is the secondary clutch, is bridged by a jackshaft. A jackshaft can be described as an extended metal framework that connects the drive gear with the secondary-driven clutch. It extends across the snowmobile and transfers power to the chaincase from the clutch.
To easily locate the snowmobile jackshaft, you can take a look at the snowmobile drivetrain. From the rear, the sequence should be:
Track > Track drive > Chain driven gear > Chain > Chain drive gear > Jackshaft > Driven clutch > Drive Clutch > Engine
Uses of a Snowmobile Jackshaft
A snowmobile jackshaft is used for the following purposes:
- It is suitable for transferring power from the secondary driven clutch to the chaincase.
- It aids the easy flow of energy across the sled.
- It aids the proper functioning of the entire mobile device.
- It regulates the amount of noise produced by the snowmobile’s bearings.
- It regulates the snowmobile’s speed across all trails, including the toughest and roughest environments.
Snowmobile Jackshaft vs. Driveshaft – What Exactly is the Difference?
There is a high possibility to mistake the snowmobile jackshaft for the driveshaft. This is because of the considerable similarity between the two components. Regardless, you can easily differentiate between them. When removing the chaincase lid, the first component you will find is the jackshaft. It has some smaller gear attached. The other component with a larger gear is the driveshaft.
That’s not the only difference that exists between them. They also differ from each other based on functionality. While a driveshaft transfers power directly from the chaincase down to the track, the snowmobile jackshaft transfers power from the driven clutch to the chaincase.
How to Grease a Snowmobile Jackshaft
Keeping your snowmobile jackshaft in a good state is one thing you should not fail to do, particularly if you do not want to suffer more devastating consequences. Ensuring that your snowmobile jackshaft is in good shape and condition will ease the stress you will go through each time you set out for the trails.
When you fail to lubricate your snowmobile jackshaft as and when due, it can result in massive wear and tear in every part of the drive chain. You should know that it is much easier and cheaper to lubricate your snowmobile’s bearings regularly than to change them. While lubricating your snowmobile jackshaft, it is also essential that you do it well. Failure to do so could amount to other severe damage.
Therefore, you must know how to take proper care of your snowmobile jackshaft by lubricating it. Below are some step-by-step approaches to help you do that effectively.
- Ensure you drain the old oil in the chaincase properly.
- Remove all the components close to the jackshaft, such as the chaincase cover, the secondary clutch, and the gear.
- Carefully and properly lubricate the bearings with the suitable lubricant.
- Reassemble every component.
- Pour fresh oil in the chaincase.
Alternatively, you can choose to do your lubrication via another means. This method is relatively easy because it does not require the removal of the components before greasing. On the contrary, there is a disadvantage attached – you won’t be able to lubricate the other parts of the snowmobile’s bearings effectively.
Usually, snowmobiles come with sealed jackshaft bearings, making lubrication quite tricky. This is because there’s invariably no way you can effectively carry out lubrication without removing the plastic seal first. Thus, you might not have the desired outcome if you choose to grease your snowmobile jackshaft the other way.
How to Remove a Snowmobile Jackshaft from a Snowmobile
Before you begin to remove the jackshaft bearings, you need to remove the entire jackshaft first. That’s the best way to start if you do not want things to get complicated. So, how do you remove the entire jackshaft from the snowmobile? Below are some steps you should take to achieve that:
- Remove all the components attached to the chaincase, such as washers, snap rings gear, and the lid.
- Remove the snap ring on the side of the bearing and the secondary-driven clutch.
- To aid easy removal of the jackshaft, you can apply some heat to the snowmobile’s bearing seat.
- Grab and pull the jackshaft out using your hand.
- Perhaps the shaft gets stuck; use a rubber mallet to drive it out carefully.
You need to know that the process of removing a jackshaft from the snowmobile varies from one model to another. Hence, before you begin to remove the jackshaft, ensure you go through the snowmobile’s service manual.
How to Replace Snowmobile Jackshaft Bearings
Changing your snowmobile jackshaft bearings should be an easy thing to do once you know how to remove them from the sled.
Whenever you plan to change the jackshaft bearings, you have to do first things first. Doing first things first includes buying all the replacement parts beforehand. You will most likely find these parts in a kit with all the components – the seals, O-rings, outer bearing, chaincase, etc. Having procured all these components, you can proceed with the replacement process.
After removing the entire jackshaft, reassemble all the new components and fix them appropriately.
It would be best if you had a freezer at your disposal such that after the initial fixing, you can place the bearing in it. The next thing to follow should be the application of some heat on the bearing seat. Ensure that the bearing is facing the right direction before carrying out the installation.
You can proceed with the replacement at this moment. With the aid of a hammer and an aluminum pipe of about 2 feet in diameter, gently tap the bearings. They should be appropriately set after that.
When to Replace Jackshaft Bearing
Changing your snowmobile jackshaft bearings should be done when you notice that the drivechain is malfunctioning. You can easily know your snowmobile jackshaft bearings are due for replacement once you notice wear and tear in the drive chain.
The speed of a snowmobile jackshaft functioning at a good pace should match that of the engine RPM or be relatively close to it. A decline in the speed rate should also inform you of a potential need to change the bearings. Lubrication might offer the initial solution to this problem. However, if you desire a long-term solution, replace the bearings.
In addition to the above, you can choose to change the bearings once you pull the jackshaft out of the sled. You can carry out such regular replacement to avoid recurrent problems.
The snowmobile jackshaft constitutes an integral part of the sled. The significant differences between a snowmobile jackshaft and a driveshaft lie in their components and functionality variations. Proper lubrication of the jackshaft can save you a lot of stress and cash if effectively carried out. Also, the jackshaft will transfer the power from the secondary-driven clutch to the chaincase with more incredible speed.