I own a 2003 Arctic Cat Firecat F7 with 11,156 miles on it. When do you recommend that I do an engine overhaul on this sled? It runs great with excellent fuel mileage and uses very little oil. Since my dealer hasnâ€™t seen a Firecat with such high mileage he is unable to answer this question. I welcome your comments and/or suggestions. I have attached a picture of the odometer.
If it was me, I would do the top end at a minimum, and right about now would be a good idea. At a minimum inspect the top end and see what the piston skirt clearance and ring end gap is. If the piston-to-cylinder tolerances are getting “sloppy” you can replace the pistons, rings and wrist pins with relative ease compared to the alternative. Left unchecked for too long, a sloppy piston can rock inside the cylinder bore and catch on the ports and the rest of the story gets ugly and expensive.
Even if the pistons and rings are within tolerance, Iâ€™d still replace them, along with the wrist pins and gaskets since the engine is apart. Even though the sled seems to be running good, Iâ€™d also expect youâ€™ll notice a nice gain in performance with the new rings installed.
Maybe the right question here is at what point should a preventative inspection be conducted? Iâ€™d love to hear what everyoneâ€™s experience is on this one (email@example.com). This will vary from engine to engine, but many two-stroke engine builders will tell you that 11,000 miles on a top end is just plain lucky. Number of seasons can be as much of a factor as total miles, depending on storage conditions and the shape of the engine when it was put away for the summers.