Many times weâ€™re asked about the rust-colored substance on many of our sleds exhaust springs. This is simply a hi-temp silicone that we apply a small amount of in between the coils of the stretched exhaust springs in an attempt to dampen engine vibrations and subsequent spring breakage. This practice started years back where, on multi-day cross country runs, some exhaust springs (usually on a Polaris) would fail along the way.
Exhaust springs come in a variety of sizes and should be properly matched to the distance between the spring loops on the pipes or manifolds. If a spring is too loose, the exhaust system could leak or experience accelerated wear due to the loose fit of the components. If a spring is too tight you run the risk of spring breakage or pulling apart the loops on the pipes.
The amount of spacing between the windings (coils) in the center of the spring indicates the amount of tension. According to aftermarket pipe manufacturer Starting Line Products, there should be a spacing of 0.040â€ to 0.050â€ between the center windings. This can be easily measured with a feeler gauge if you want to get a grasp of what this distance â€“ between a 1/16 and 1/32 of an inch. Usually the loop on the pipe can be reformed (bent) slightly with something like a locking pliers (Vise-Gripâ„¢).
You pretty much want to be able to see a bit of a gap between the windings â€“ no gap indicates not enough tension, and too much of a gap increases the risk of pulling a loop off somewhere down the trail.