Jim Baird's Arctic Adventure: How to Tighten Your Snowmobile Track

Ted's track was loose. We knew it would start slipping soon and we still had a very long way to go. His track also needed a little bit of straightening. A track tightening could be done in a pinch by flipping the machine on its side (unless it's a four stroke,) but it's better to perform this fix by propping up the back end. (Read your manual if you don't know the specs for your specific machine.)

For our machines, we wanted 10 pounds of pressure on the track of the second-to-last wheel. After tightening, we didn't use a scale to test the poundage; we just compared the weight to a 10-pound lake trout I caught earlier in the trip.

Most snowmobile brands have bolts somewhere near the back of the track. If you want to tighten the track, turn them equally. If you want to straighten it, you will have to turn one side more than the other, depending on which way the track is misaligned. In the North, you need to improvise.

People who find themselves stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken track will cut the fender off their machine, whittle screw holes in it, and at the break in the track. Then they take bolts from other places on their machine to secure it and ride on. There are a lot of things you can come up with when you have to. We all know the old adage about neccessity. This video shows what we did.