When operating your snowmobile, you’ll want to make sure you are doing so properly, for both your personal safety and to protect the machine’s components. In most cases, running without a can or a belt is done for cleaning purposes or to check that other parts are running smoothly. In any event, you will want to take additional precautions to make sure you are doing so safely.
Can a snowmobile run without a can or a belt? A snowmobile can run without a can or belt, but you should be very careful when doing so. Especially running without a belt, the motor should not be above idling as you risk damaging the sheaves or engaging the clutch, which could blast off. Running without cans will decrease your power and drastically increase noise.
It is not recommended to run without either a can or a belt because of the dangers it can pose and the decreased level of performance. We will advise you on the dangers as well as how to run the snowmobile safely if you do choose to run it without either component. Operating your machine safely and getting the most out of its functions are the most important considerations.
The answer to that is not quite so simple so read ahead to figure out the dangers you may face by riding without either of these two pieces of equipment.
A ‘can’ is also known as an exhaust canister or a silencer on a snowmobile. It attaches to the motor in order to funnel exhaust, and in doing so, it keeps the motor’s noise level down and also maintains back pressure, which provides the most efficiency and power. When you remove the can, you will experience a much louder running engine and less overall power.
As far as noise is concerned, this is mostly up to preference. Especially in more densely populated areas, keeping the noise down on your snowmobile may be a necessity. If you do not mind the loud noises or prefer them, running a snowmobile without a can will allow for this. Replacing the original cans with aftermarket ones can also increase sound levels.
Studies have shown that increased exposure to excess engine noise from snowmobile engines can result in hearing loss and damage to those around it on a regular basis. Operating without a can will increase these risks.
More concerning to many snowmobile users are issues related to performance. Without the exhaust can, exhaust flow is left wide open. Limiting this flow at an optimal level with a can helps to build up back pressure, which produces the ideal mixture of fuel and oxygen to allow for peak performance.
These are some of the primary reasons that not using a can will hinder engine performance:
You can run a snowmobile without a can if you are willing to sacrifice some of the performance and can tolerate louder noises while operating your snowmobile. It is advised that you do not operate loud snowmobiles in populated areas for the impacts of noise pollution. Sacrificed performance may also lead to a shorter life of your snowmobile.
Unlike a can where you can actually operate and ride the snowmobile, running a snowmobile without a belt is more dangerous and cannot be ridden. The main reasons to run a snowmobile without a belt are to (1) keep snowmobile moving in the off-season and (2) check for issues with other machine components.
If you want to run the snowmobile in the summertime, so it doesn’t sit without use for months, many people will run it without a belt to store it in cooler places. If you do choose to run a snowmobile without a belt, we recommend keeping it in an idle position as to not increase the RPMs and avoid engaging the clutches.
There are some considerable dangers that are associated with running a snowmobile without a belt, especially when revving the engine at high RPMs:
Checking for potential problems with your snowmobile may lead you to run the engine without a belt. If you choose to do so, your goal is to not raise your RPMs and keep your machine idle as to avoid the dangers mentioned above. This should not be a regular occurrence but used to maintain your vehicle in the off-season or to diagnose other problems related to the operation.
Whenever you are working on a snowmobile, especially if running with either component missing, you should take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. You should be practicing these safety measures:
While we do not recommend making it a regular habit of running your snowmobile without a can or a belt, these can be done safely if you follow the proper protocol of not engaging accessory elements to the engine or you do not mind performance and noise-related changes in the case of cans.
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