How to Adjust Track Tension on your Ski‑Doo Snowmobile

Man adjusting the track tension on his Ski-Doo Snowmobile

Setting your snowmobile track tension properly is key to extracting the best possible performance from your sled on every ride and to extending the life of your snowmobile track. In this Ski‑Doo how-to guide, we’ll show you when and how to adjust your Ski-Doo snowmobile track tension.

When should I adjust my Ski‑Doo track tension?

Track tension should be inspected before every season and typically requires small monthly adjustments during the season or every 1,500 km (1,000 miles). If you notice your track ratcheting (the track windows skipping over the cogs on the drive axle), you should consider tightening your snowmobile track. 

Ski-Doo deep-snow snowmobile tracks require a bit more attention due to the demanding conditions they operate in. Their adjustment schedule is outlined below.

- After the first 75 km/50 miles
- Then every 500 km/300 miles up to 1,500 km/1,000 miles
- Then every 1,500 km/1,000 miles

How to adjust track tension on a Ski‑Doo snowmobile

These quick steps will help you tighten your snowmobile track and get back to your Ski-Doo adventures.

Tools Required:
- A tensiometer
- A track stand
- Two 17 mm wrenches or socket wrench
- A 10 mm wrench
- And a flat-head screwdriver

1- Park your snowmobile and remove the tether cord.

2- Raise the rear of the snowmobile off the ground high enough for the track to be completely off the ground. This is most easily done with a track stand or a hoist.

3- Measure the track deflection. To do this, set your tensiometer to the proper settings to match the technical specifications in your Ski-Doo Snowmobile Operator’s Guide. Position the tensiometer on the track edge between the front and rear idler wheels and press down until you get your reading. Generally, if your track has more deflection than the spec outlined in your operator’s guide, you need to tighten it.

For the 2023 Ski-Doo Renegade X-RS 850 E-TEC used in our video, we’re setting our tensiometer to 16 lb/32 mm.

4- To tighten the track deflection, remove the rear idler wheel caps. Pry them off easily with a flat head screwdriver, exposing the rear axle screw.

NOTE: On models with two rear idler wheels, this is just a nut rather than a screw.

5- Loosen the rear axle screw/nut with your socket wrench. It does not need to be completely removed.

6- Tighten the adjustment screws on both sides of the rear skid rail with your socket or wrench. Do this as evenly as possible for proper track alignment. Continue tightening in small increments until proper track tension is achieved.

7- Retighten the rear axle screw/nut to the specs outlined in your Ski-Doo Operator’s Guide.

8- Before you’re done, check your track alignment. You should do it every time you adjust your track tension. Make sure everything is clear of the track, start the sled and slowly rotate the track for about 15–20 seconds.

WARNING: Never stand behind or near a rotating track. Debris could be projected causing severe injuries.

WARNING – To prevent serious injury or death from carbon monoxide: Never run the vehicle in poorly ventilated or partially enclosed areas.

9- Measure the track clip distance from the outside of the rail on each side of the snowmobile. The outer edge of the clips should be equal distance from the outside of the rail.

If the track is not aligned, loosen the rear axle fastener, and tighten or loosen the adjustment bolt as needed. Repeat those steps with small adjustments until the track is correctly aligned.

10- With your track correctly tightened and aligned, replace the rear idler wheel covers.

With everything secured back into place, it’s time for your next Ski-Doo escapade. We’ll see you on the snow!

Frequently asked questions

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