Author Topic: Just got an FL350R  (Read 1380 times)

1985odyssey

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Just got an FL350R
« on: October 17, 2013, 06:03:52 PM »
I just bought an FL350R with a 1997 Arctic Cat ZL440 snowmobile engine. The setup is super nice and it runs like a champ. Unfortunately, some things need immediate attention.

- Front tie rods are bent - both will need to be replaced. How about heavy duty tie rods from aftershock motorsports? Any opinions?
- Left rear axle came apart first time out due to previous repair done poorly. Luckily didn't hurt anything else. Replaced U Joint but don't expect it to be a permanent fix. I see people jumping these things with stock suspension or maybe some Works shocks, but my question is if you replace the axles now with brand new ones, do they hold up to jumping? What worries me is the whole suspension in the rear seems like a flawed system. Linking directly to the driveshaft? Who's to say it will hold up with brand new axles and not put continued stress on the driveshaft? Is my only option to really go ahead and replace both axles with brand new ones?
- Front shocks are brand new precision shocks. Seem to be good for my use. Rear shocks are gone. Any chance of replacing them without spending $500 on a Works set? In the future I would like to but right now money is tight.

Those are really my 3 main concerns and after reading a lot of posts, just curious to see what other people say. Thanks in advance.

odypilots

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Re: Just got an FL350R
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2013, 05:41:36 AM »
I think you should replace both axles if they are still available. When my 350 axle broke, it ruined a Works shock. There isn't a good replacement shock for the 350 other than the Works. Someone may have found a quad or side by side shock that works, but not that I'm aware of.
The usual 'my two cents' disclaimer applies. :)

DMoneyAllstar

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Re: Just got an FL350R
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2013, 12:41:40 PM »
The front tie rods can be re-bent.  There is a how-to on one of the buggy sites for using a tube as a sleeve over the existing tie rod to add strength.  However, like the front bolt-on bumper, the tie rods were designed as failure points to prevent something more critical / expensive from failing.  So, put some thought into anything you want to beef up.

Axles...the best thing I can recommend for axles is to find a set of working axles and run them until they break.  New axles, if you can find them, will run you like $500-$1000 EACH.  The cheap GMB brand u-joints have had mixed reviews.  Avoid the ones with the grease zerk at all cost, as these are known to be weaker.  Mods that I've only seen on a couple FL350R's are these:
1. The addition of an extra link from the frame to the rear of the trailing arm.  Have to be precise with the kinematics to make sure you've got centerlines and arc of motion in check.  This will take some stress off the axle-link.
2. Adding a limit strap from the frame to the trailing arm to either protect the shock from failing if/when an axle breaks, OR, protecting the axle from failing if/when the shock breaks.
3. Rear shock...unless you run a stout limit strap, you can only run with a shock that's the same full droop length as the stock shock.  Anything longer (if using the stock shock mount locations) will require the axles to operate beyond their ability, bind, and wear out quickly.  Works is really the only simple remedy (but not cheap).  I've seen a few rigs where they've added an upper shock mount at a higher point in order to run a different shock.

Front shocks...Works is it, or else do an a-arm swap and use something else.  Important factor is that the shocks are valved correctly for the vehicle type/weight, riding type, and rider weight.

If you're dong a ton of jumping, I'd recommend trying to find a FL400R Pilot.  The Pilot trans has a clutch in the gearbox than will allow for more flex when your landing and on/off the throttle.  However, Pilot parts are even harder to find than Oddy parts!

And for the gearbox...make sure the input shaft bearings are good and tight, as this is a known failure point.  Check the box for leaks and check your fluid level (with overflow bolt) before you ride.
'85 FL350R Odyssey
'88 LT500R Quadzilla

Corn, beans, wheat, and trees - no sand!

1985odyssey

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Re: Just got an FL350R
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2013, 07:14:23 PM »
Thanks for both your input. Very informative. I just need to find a source for new axles if these don't hold up.