Diamond Drive Service

SnowTest November 2, 2005 3
***After reading this article, be sure to read Diamond Drive Service CAUTION*** With an increasing number of Arctic Cats now fitted with the radically-different...

***After reading this article, be sure to read Diamond Drive Service CAUTION***

With an increasing number of Arctic Cats now fitted with the radically-different Diamond Drive gearbox, the number of questions and curiosity surrounding these units is increasing.

First off, about the only service the units should require is to drain and replace the lube in the gearbox. This should be done, at a minimum, annually (once a year). When performing this service, we want to carefully measure the amount of fluid that is drained and to inspect the fluid so we can determine if there is moisture entering the case. Ideally there should only be three ounces of lube in the case; some units could have slightly more, but anything over four ounces can cause problems.

You can get the lube right from an Arctic Cat dealer, or better yet you can get an entire kit from the designers of the Diamond Drive system, Black Diamond. Their lube kit, that includes a precise amount of higher-quality synthetic lube than what Cat uses, along with a new o-ring for the drain plug and a tube of gearbox sealant so you can remove the cover and perform a full inspection. (Do NOT use chaincase lube or you will pay dearly for that mistake!)

If all you want to do is replace the lube, you can do that, too. Flip the machine up on it’s right side and you will find a drain plug on the lower rear of the gearbox behind the drive shaft up inside of the tunnel (on the first year ZR 900s it’s down under the secondary clutch on the other side of the gearbox). Have something ready to catch the lube (a measuring device like a Ratio-Rite works good) and remove the drain plug. Once all of the lube has drained (it is slow to drain, as the gearbox is vented through the airspace around some of the threads) you will want to measure the oil once it is done draining as this will indicate if we are losing fluid through a leak (this happened to one of our 2006 Crossfire 700s).

We’ve heard a number of units may have seals that were installed backwards during assembly at the factory. This can allow water to enter the gearbox, and can lead to problems like what we experienced on our 2005 F6 this past season – “freezing” of the gearbox when it gets cold. It could also lead to excessive pressure in the gearbox, causing a “hydro lock” and, of course, rust. If the lube has a yellow appearance to it, there very likely is water entering the gearbox.

Once the lube is completely drained, place the sled on it’s left side. Here is where the trick starts – you will have to put a hose on the bottle if it is not equipped with one, and direct it into the hole. Don’t spill any, if you do, determine how much you spilled and only add that much. Do NOT overfill the case, this will cause big problems! Replace the plug and you’re done.

We’ve also heard a small number of units slipped out of the factory with zero lube in the gearboxes. If you got one of these, you wouldn’t have made it more than a couple of miles and the gearbox would have failed. But if you picked up a 2005 unit and haven’t used it yet, it would be wise to verify there is actually fluid in there before blasting off on your first ride, only to be seriously disappointed. Granted, not many units got out with this condition, but strange things happen when we’re talking about mass production on an assembly line.

You can also upgrade many of the secondary clutch components with higher quality, better fitting and more secure components from the aftermarket. Both of the threaded plastic adjusters that fit into the secondary can be replaced with billet pieces that will not move or break like the plastic pieces, providing more security to the belt fit. Realize the outer piece has left-hand threads on some 2005 and all 2006s, while the older units had right-hand threads (less secure due to the direction of rotation of the clutch).

Special thanks go to Black Magic Racing and Black Diamond for their assistance in preparing this article.

***After reading this article, be sure to read Diamond Drive Service CAUTION***

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