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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
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    275

    Default My Third (and Fourth) vintage sled projects..... 1979 Polaris TXL 340 @ Centurion 500

    Sometimes you have to pick up where you left off, or in my case start over with the same but different sleds. I found these local at a estate sale, parked in a barn since 1991 & 1997. Supposed to be one owner sleds. I let all my spare parts go with my last two so hopefully I don't need to hunt down too many things. I will be slow on these, but I will post updates as I make some progress.

    I can't get my pictures to work so they will have to wait.

    Hope you enjoy,

    Kirk

    https://kirksvintagepolaris.blogspot...e-polaris.html
    Last edited by kirk600; 04-25-2021 at 08:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Baudette, MN
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    Default

    You’re killin’ me here Kirk. What are the odds of scoring a Centurion on an estate sale? Easily one of the most desired vintage Polaris sleds of all-time. Then to get a TXL on the deal is just icing on the cake - lucky, lucky, lucky! I’m happy for you but also extremely envious.
    Been on a couple of vintage rides with a fellow that converted a Centurion racer back to stock. That triple was one sweet running sled!
    Yeah, the board is still kind of broke in general and when it comes to posting photos/links. It can be done but it is inconsistent and frustrating. We can talk about some photo options once the board is back to normal.
    Congrats and really looking forward to seeing the process of getting these beauties back on the snow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
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    275

    Default

    Thanks Kelly, I have been looking for a good project, was thinking about a ifs sled like a early Indy 500 but these kind of changed my mind for now. I couldn't believe my eyes when I went to the sale, they are both all original, and both are a better start than my last two. Should be a great little project.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    The Keweenaw Peninsula
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    2,786

    Cool

    I hope you can get some pics posted. I know there are some funky issues going on right now with posting pics and use of certain punctuation. I am just really curious to see these. Nice find regardless though! I will let my imagination run with it for now. -Mezz

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
    Posts
    930

    Default

    I am also interested in following these, the first new sled that I purchased was a 1980 Centurion, it still is one of my three favorite sleds of all time, I also like following Kelly's projects as it brings back lots of old memories of riding in the 60's, 70's, and 80's

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
    Posts
    275

    Default

    Thanks Mezz and bearrassler, I have tried multiple times to post pictures and I cannot get them to load. Might be interested to know that both motors roll over with compression, the master cylinders are both frozen, looks to even have original hyfax on both of them. Both need seats redone as they are cracked and the wood is crusty.
    I pulled the seats and tanks off today, removed the air box from the TXL. To do so I had to remove the throttle cables and caps off the carbs as there is not enough room to wiggle it out. I can not explain it, but one carb does not have the needle or clip in it! So hopefully I can find out what it takes by taking the other carb apart and get those added to my list. I tried to get some color back on the gas tanks with a heat gun, but it was not working so it looks like I will be painting them like I did on my TX.
    Last edited by kirk600; 04-22-2021 at 10:19 PM. Reason: apostrophe makes numbers appear

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
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    275

    Default

    well I am trying to work through the bugs of posting images, so far no luck. I did remove the seats and tanks from both sleds, and have been prepping the tanks for some fresh paint. They were more tan than blue, and the heat gun trick did not give favorable results. Not much else to report, stay tuned!!

    Kirk

    https://kirksvintagepolaris.blogspot...e-polaris.html

    Let me know if you can see the pictures via the link.........
    Last edited by kirk600; 04-25-2021 at 07:50 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
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    Default

    the link works on my end, so everyone should be able to see them too. Not very many , but it is a start!

    Thanks for your patience, and thank you Kelly (Skiroule)

    https://kirksvintagepolaris.blogspot...e-polaris.html
    Last edited by kirk600; 04-25-2021 at 08:06 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    The Keweenaw Peninsula
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    Default

    Nice! Really nice! Lucky find, looking forward to your progress. -Mezz

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Baudette, MN
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    Default

    Awesome looking sleds! I love the midnight blue color on these sleds and the graphics scheme.

    A lot of the parts look like they’re in very good shape and are ready to go as is – hoods, pans, windshields, etc. That saves a lot of time (and money). Still think you hit a motherlode here.

    Curious thing about the missing carb needle. Seems unusual for the clip to just fall off but even then, the clip and needle should still be in the housing. Suppose someone could have taken it apart, lost the needle and then lost interest in fixing it.

    Are you at all tempted to shoot a little fuel in them and see if they’ll fire?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
    Posts
    275

    Default

    Yes I am tempted, but I am going to do a little more research before I go there........ I don't know anything about them or how long they have been sitting. I know the "recoil" on the centurion needs work as it will not do what it's name implies!
    So after I check exhaust for mouse nest, verify spark and go through carbs and give it fresh fuel and plugs I will probably give it a try. Might pressure test the cooling system too......that was the best part of the TX sleds......no fan, no radiator just gas and go....... so simple yet powerful and light!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
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    Default

    We got a few more parts removed today from my TXL, carbs clutches exhaust and fuel pump. Things are pretty gummed up at the moment, but after a soak should be good to go. I actually had a brand new needle for the missing one on the TXL, it is in a artic cat bag so it has to be from my old El'Tigre 6000 I owned 30 years ago. Been all Polaris since then. Price was $3.99 on package....... 6DH4 on the Needle genuine Mikuni. That's all I got for today, posted a few pictures on my Blog, hope you enjoy

    https://kirksvintagepolaris.blogspot...e-polaris.html

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
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    275

    Default

    Found the jet needle tonight, it was stuck in the jet in the bottom of the carburetor. I don't know what happened to the clip that is supposed to hold it in the slide, but at least it didn't get into the engine! Pictures added again hope you enjoy ��.....

    https://kirksvintagepolaris.blogspot...e-polaris.html

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
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    Default

    So the latest updates, I got the TXL carburetors cleaned up. The only thing that really worked, and worked well is Berrymans B12. That stuff works wonders!!! I ordered new needles &seats for the TXL just waiting for them to arrive.
    Pulled the primary clutch cover off, looks like weight bushings and pins are loose so I will pull the spider and see what else is needed. There comes a point where it is more economical to replace with a newer P-85 clutch. I have a nice one off a 2012 600 rmk that was replaced for electric start. If necessary It's about $100.00 to have it machined to fit this sled. My last one fit with no machining required, just had to add shims to set belt to sheave clearance, as the belts are wider on newer sleds. Another option is to change secondary at same time and run a different belt that has correct dimensions.

    That's all for now, hope you enjoy the updates.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Baudette, MN
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    Default

    Thanks for the updates Kirk.

    It's hard to appreciate just how nice these sleds are to work on until you've tackled some of the other brands of the era. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Polaris engineers of the day were engineers out of necessity in order to solve problems or make machinery improvements on their farms outside of Roseau. You can tell there was considerable thought put into things from the mechanics point of view (well, except for maybe the ease of removing the jackshaft from the chain case).

    In my opinion, the P85 would be a big improvement over the original clutch, not to mention parts availability. I have a deep bore Team Rapid-Response P85 on my 440 and I absolutely love it. I have a used one somewhere that I might make use of on one of the other sleds but it would also require machining. Do you think it would have to be re-balanced it after you have it machined?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
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    Default

    Kelly
    It is my understanding that machining the clutch for fitment on the crankshaft does not require a balance....I have had two done at Micro Belmont before they closed down, neither one was rebalanced. I also had two clutches rebalanced, my 700 and 800 when I put the adjustable outer clutch covers on them and both times they commented how little the balance was affected.

    Couple things that you can do, is install the P85 parts on your existing inner sheave and have that rebalanced then the bore is not affected. I think the TX TXL Centurion are 32mm bore, maybe 33mm Which is close to what the newer EFI sleds have too. Just sliding the 2012 clutch on my old TXL it was only .200" farther out from the stock clutch if my memory is correct. I read on VS guys bolt them on and go.
    Hope this answers your questions Kelly,

    Kirk

  17. #17
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    Dec 2009
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    Baudette, MN
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    Yes, it does. Thanks!

    I had heard about guys using the inner sheave from their original clutch and pairing it with the P85 outer assembly. Pretty simple (and inexpensive) solution. I did not know that the bore depth was that close between the two clutches. Maybe under a lot of riding conditions a straight swap would work fine. I would think that under high RPMs it might get a little more dicey but maybe it's a little more forgiving than one thinks. The deflection on those old sleds wasn't always very precise.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
    Posts
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    Default

    So to follow up with the primary clutch discussion, I decided to check fitment once again as my memory can sometimes fail to recall small details. The difference between the two clutches(factory 1979 TXL & 2012 Polaris 600 RMK) on my TXL is .100" or thereabouts! I posted a few more pictures showing my measurements for you all to enjoy.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
    Posts
    275

    Default

    So not much to report, I did get the exhaust painted and installed back on the TXL hopefully will get back to working on it soon.

    https://kirksvintagepolaris.blogspot...laris.html?m=1

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