If you are riding a late-model two-stroke sled, chances are it is likely fitted with reed cages. The reeds on the reed cages act as your “intake valves” for your engine, and the reeds are exerted to torture as they open and close thousands of times each minute.
While waiting for your sled to start running erratically might be the norm, inspecting the reeds is a wise thing to do as a preventative measure. Inspecting your reed petals is a fairly quick, cost effective, and easy do-it-yourself maintenance project that ensures your engine is receiving the proper air and fuel mixtures required to achieve consistent power delivery and obtain peak horsepower output time-and-time again.
When checking your reed petals, concentrate on the very tips, or edges of the reed material. Look for edge chipping, surface tears, cracking, or a peeling of the surface material. Also, check to see if the reed petals are maintaining a tight static gap seal against the reed valve surface. The tolerance for air gap varies slightly by manufacturer, and also varies per each model.
1. If your machine’s reed valve petals are pulled away from the cage, cracked or have rough edges, the petals should be replaced.
2. Inspect the reed cage for foreign material between the reed petals and its seat. Also inspect the reed petals for deformation or other surface damage.
3. Remove the reed petals and rinse the reed cage components in clean solvent. If the petals show edge or surface degeneration, replace them with a new set.
4. Re-install the new reed petals and all required components to the reed cage assembly. Check the clearance between the reed cage with a feeler gauge and compare the clearance to you’re machine’s specifications. If the clearance is improper, check to see that the unit is assembled properly.
Note: Used reed petals may appear to be in good condition but fail to give the proper clearance due to material elasticity breakdown and softening. In such cases the reed petals should be replaced.
5. If the cage, specifically the over-rubber in the sealing area with the reed petals, shows damage or deformation then you should replace the entire assembly – petals and cage together. Do not mismatch cages or petals – all should be of the same design and manufacturer on each cylinder.
6. Using new sealing gaskets, replace the reed cage assembly, carburetor or throttle body on the engine and complete all required re-installation procedures.
When it comes to selecting reed petals, it is often a matter of balancing performance with durability. Reed petal life expectancy varies dramatically with your sled’s engine and intake design and also varies greatly depending on how hard or how often you ride. Someone who is always on the throttle, pushing the engine to constantly run at peak RPMs can expect less life from their reeds petals. The reeds should be inspected pre-season, and if you ride at high rpms for long hours then it is a good idea to check your reed petals mid-season to ensure maximum horsepower.
The reed petals in your 2-stroke snowmobile take an incredible amount of abuse! Over time, all 2-stroke reed petals deteriorate and lose their ability to regulate the airflow rates. Simply stated, reed petals wear out and your sled’s horsepower and performance is then compromised.
Boyesen Engineering solves this problem by offering a complete range of reed petal upgrade and replacement options, from their Superstock OEM upgrade petals to their Carbon Tech and Power Reed performance petals. These simple performance bolt-ons are ready-made for riders looking to increase the performance of their stock intake system. Boyesen also offers replacement reed petals for all of their “Rage Cage” complete intake systems.
To learn more about the importance of reed petal maintenance and to discover the benefits of RC2 Ultra-Flow technology visit www.boyesen.com, or call 800-441-1177 to speak with a product expert.