Glide Washers: Will They Make a Difference?

Question:

I found the following description for Thunder Products Glide Washers:

“Drive Clutch springs are in constant motion, being subjected to compression, rebound, end to end radial torquing, distortion, and vibration. “Glide Washers” are custom made with a baked-on lubricity coating. By placing a washer on each end of the spring it can no longer bind on the spyder or clutch cover.”

What do you think would be the benefits of installing these glide washers on my Crossfire 7? In other words would I notice any difference?

Submitted by: Kerry Johnson

Response:

Thanks for your question.

The concept of seating a clutch spring at both ends in a high density plastic or lubricant impregnated washer is not new. BRP Ski-Doo uses a similar principle in their TRA III clutch.

We assume this is for all the reasons you mentioned in your question. I am also assuming the Thunder Products Glide Washer you are referring to is more than just a washer but actually covers the side of the spring at both ends. This would alleviate any potential binding of the spring against the side of the spider and cover.

Undeniably, this would be a benefit if the design of the Arctic Cat clutch in your CF-7 is prone to this problem. At this writing I do not know if that is inherently true. Your question has sparked my interest and I will pursue a further investigation – possibly because I’m a nut.

Okay, the real issue is this – Can you (or I) tell the difference such an accessory would make? Maybe. In the case of a trail sled where you might run a clutch spring for 5000 miles and/or never change it, you would probably benefit from a spring change more than the installation of this kit.

In other words, if you’re looking for a big improvement in performance, tune up your clutches more often and do the basic stuff like weight and roller bushing inspection/replacementand/or lubrication and the installation of a new spring.

In the case of a hard core rider who is regularly cleaning and tuning his clutches, this kind of modification will probably net a result which the rider can detect – because of their attention to clutch performance and the resultant affect any modification makes to the primary’s ability to transfer power.

Snowmobile CVT tuning has always been a black art. This will continue as more technology emerges from both the OEM’s and the aftermarket. At the end of the day it’s about maintenance for the average rider.

If you have more than 2500 miles on your Scooter and haven’t touched the clutches, I’ll pretty much guarantee you’ll be shocked at the improvement in performance and fuel economy you’ll get from a cleaning, inspection and replacement of worn parts and the installation of a new spring.

For the tuner it’s about all-out absolute high performance. For the trail rider it’s about practical maintenance and a return to the performance the sled delivered when new.

Hope this helps.

Motorhead Mark

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