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  1. #1
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    Default My Third (and Fourth) vintage sled projects..... 1979 Polaris TXL 340 @ Centurion 500

    89722743-14E1-4F12-BA29-3124337E63A9.jpeg6E4390DB-740A-4F7E-A744-8D436D5E1935.jpegSometimes 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. Hope you enjoy, Kirk https://kirksvintagepolaris.blogspot...e-polaris.html
    Last edited by kirk600; 09-06-2021 at 01:44 AM.

  2. #2
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    Default

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

  10. #10
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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
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    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
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    Default

    7CA1ED07-ED23-41EC-B3EF-F33CF83DA062.jpegWe 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
    Last edited by kirk600; 09-06-2021 at 01:51 AM.

  13. #13
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    8AD96585-D12D-4102-9F27-307F74248357.jpegFound 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
    Last edited by kirk600; 09-06-2021 at 01:48 AM.

  14. #14
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    B14D1B53-76B0-44CD-97A9-E30A962982E9.jpgSo 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.
    Last edited by kirk600; 09-05-2021 at 10:01 PM.

  15. #15
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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
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    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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    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
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    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
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    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

  20. #20
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    Kind of late in reporting, been tied up with work and summer projects...... but I am still making a little progress on the TXL. I got it out from under the tarp and on the lift this morning. I pulled the spindles, ski's and steering arms. Cleaned it up a little more and rolled it up into the mobile garage. Now I have access to it with out weather delays. I am going to pull the steering and handlebars to paint them then I hope to begin assembly. Hope you enjoy the updates..

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

  21. #21
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    Well I got a little bit more done this week. Painted handle bars, installed carbs, fuel pump and carb flanges. Snaked the flange bolts into the tunnel by taping them to a long zip-tie and pulling up! Works like a charm!!! New speed nuts hold them in place. I had to cut the original ones off and also had to replace the tank bracket as it was rusted beyond repair. Hope you enjoy the updates and see the pictures.
    https://kirksvintagepolaris.blogspot...laris.html?m=1

  22. #22
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    kirk600, just curious, what's your method of choice to clean those gummy carburetors? I use ultra sonic but was curious what you use

  23. #23
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    EC717176-135B-4B71-8E2C-9DBD4B149F6C.jpegI use Berryman B12 carb choke and throttle body cleaner.....in a aerosol can, and a tooth brush or q-tips. It's the best carb cleaner I have found and it's available at many parts stores. Some carbs might take a soak but even as nasty as these were they cleaned up great in a few applications.... probably 20-30 minutes total each carb.
    Last edited by kirk600; 09-05-2021 at 02:58 PM.

  24. #24
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    So here's a little update for those that are watching. I appreciate your support and hope that all of you have a great weekend. First a little story.......
    I worked with a old guy years ago at a local service station, and he said something about common hand tools that has stuck with me ever since. He started out saying is that a positive or a negative whenever you were working on a customers car. You usually had a tool in your hand, and I always thought he was asking if the job was rewarding or a bummer of a job. If the customer was around I would always say it was positive as I am helping someone with a job so they can get back to work or whatever they need the car for. He would just smile and walk away...... same response if the customer was not around and I said it was a negative job......this banter went on for over a year, not every time but frequently enough that I got curious what his intentions were.
    One day I said Steve what kind of job he was working on, a positive or a negative? He said that depends on the tool you need for the job. Every positive job requires a Phillips screwdriver and a negative job requires a flat blade screwdriver..

    It is the screwdriver head and he told me a customer years ago didn't know how to ask for the right tool except by the shape of the screw head.. negative is a straight line and positive is a plus symbol..
    Stay positive my friends!!!!!

    So for the update I had to grab my negative screwdriver and attempt to remove the windshield. It didn't go as planned as I stripped out multiple screw heads and I had to get my dremel grinder out to cut them off. Did this from underneath the hood so I would not damage the finish on top where everyone could see my mistakes! Wend slow and spraying water on bolts to keep the heat down.Went fairly well and got it removed in one piece without any extra holes showing. Got the fuel filter and lines back on and cleaned out the air box now I need to determine is it supposed to be glued together or will the fasteners that bolt it to the chassis keep it in place? I am pretty sure I need to glue it back together.

    That's all that I have for this week folks, take care

  25. #25
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    https://kirksvintagepolaris.blogspot...laris.html?m=1

    I forgot to add the link for pictures. I got instructions from Kelly a few months ago but I don't know how to find the image codes on my blogger pictures to bring them over here. If anyone has some idea how to do this with a Apple Phone please let me know. Something about right click image is my road block

    Thanks for following along,
    Kirk
    This is as close as I can get.......
    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U2CuCOb1B...E8D75F08E.jpeg
    Last edited by kirk600; 09-03-2021 at 07:00 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default

    Last edited by kirk600; 09-03-2021 at 07:13 PM.

  27. #27
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    Yeah Kirk, I had my problems with accidentally melting plastic when working with windshield screws. Your windshield looks to be in excellent shape, well worth saving. My I-Phone skills are limited but I tried this with just a random image on the internet: You probably already are doing this but I used two browser windows, one for the source of the image and a second for the JD discussion board. 1. In one browser window, press and hold on the image (in this case in your blogger). 2. Select Copy from the drop down that appears. 3. In the JD browser window select the insert Image icon in your thread post. 4. Select From URL in the pop up, highlight the address window, and select Paste and Done. 5. Do not forget to uncheck the archive local copy box. This worked fine for me and it inserted the image nicely but keep in mind I am using the Standard editor on JD, not the enhanced editor. I would recommend resizing your photo in the blogger to Extra Large. It looks like a lot of messing around but it is really pretty fast if you are good with a smart phone (I am not). I might try this again for real in the Namesake thread later to make sure I have the instructions right.

  28. #28
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    Kirk, This is the best I could do with my I-Phone (so far anyway). I copied one of the images from your blog. Your blogger setup is a little different than mine but it worked with one catch, the image does not seem to be viewable unless you are logged in. I do not know why this is happening (yet anyway). It might be that the phone copy just works differently than a laptop. I think the image could be sized bigger in your blog and ir would produce a bigger image here. It looks like it might be the smallest (default) size. I might try to look into the copy process a little more. BTW I loved the positive/negative story - never thought of scewdrivers that way.
    32ACA6B9-E071-4565-BDFA-875286DC14E5.jpeg
    Last edited by skiroule; 09-04-2021 at 07:11 PM.

  29. #29
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    Well that gives me something else to try Kelly, thanks again! We have to keep learning this new technology whether we want to or not. Kind of like EFI when carbs work just fine........
    Hope you are improving with each day in therapy, snow isn't too far off Kelly. I have to get this TXL back together so I can start on the Centurion.
    Did find a few issues with the slide rails on the TXL, hopefully my welder can fix them for me. Otherwise it's going to get a newer Indy skid.

  30. #30
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    47AF7A05-6A69-44C0-97B7-F25ECDFB977D.jpeg580090D0-1760-4797-B16C-1546C07B1522.jpg

    I did increase the size of my pictures in the blogger

    Success! Thanks Kelly for the help once again
    Last edited by kirk600; 09-06-2021 at 04:27 AM.

  31. #31
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    Last edited by kirk600; 09-06-2021 at 06:00 AM.

  32. #32
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    Glad you got it working, no worries about failed uploads anymore (a problem I have never been able to solve - most people seem to do it with no problems). The tank looks great, paint is a dead ringer for stock. If you wind up with an Indy suspension, I will be real curious about the general year you used. I assume on the TXL it is literally a bolt-in, no driver or track changes needed.

  33. #33
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    Kelly, you are correct I will not have to change the track or drivers, as long as I keep it 121 inch. If I recall any Indy skid up until and including 1990 is a bolt in swap. I sure hope I can get these rails fixed as 1979 is a one year only design..... I will have to get some pictures from the other thread and bring them over here with pictures of my current skid......

  34. #34
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    I am not familiar with that particular suspension but I seem to recall that even the earlier TXLs had a totally different suspension than the TXs. Since it is a on-off setup, I agree that you should save it if you can. Once again, it is a little piece of sledding history.

  35. #35
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    Yes I agree with you Kelly, I want to keep them as original as I can. It appears that this year had brackets bolted and riveted to the slide rails, and the following year they were cast as one piece. I am sure it was to reduce cost, both in materials and labor to assemble. I have included pictures from my last TXL suspension I rebuilt, and a picture of my current TXL. I looked at the centurion and it appears all is good on that sled. 1A919870-105B-4056-A0A5-2BC5ADBAB097.jpg38C86379-867B-4829-B83D-D1CE58DC6090.jpeg

  36. #36
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    3F0BF595-A8FA-4E06-9B8A-28DA7556E4C2.jpgA72B7076-92D7-4E9B-B417-315BC8B4C708.jpgWell today I removed the rear skid and disassembled it, I also removed the driveshaft and track. One of the drivers is pretty chewed up from something hitting it. I might have a spare around here.....
    Last edited by kirk600; Yesterday at 08:20 PM.

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