Reed valves might be one of the most neglected parts on a two-stroke snowmobile. That’s too bad because many snowmobilers might be giving up performance or dealing with an engine that’s hard to start because of worn reed petals.
Research online showed that new reed petals are available from Arctic Cat, and Ski-Doo factories for about $25. Petals from Yamaha were considerably less expensive. Availability of Polaris reed petals is limited to some fan-cooled models that have cylinder reed induction; complete reed cage assemblies are available for Polaris liquid-cooled engines for about $100. Boyesen and Moto Tassinari have a variety of reed valve systems available.
Laziness or hatred of all things intake probably isn’t the reason reeds are ignored, but instead it’s more likely because they’re hidden between the airbox and the engine, which itself is harnessed under wires, hoses, cables and a steering post, especially on snowmobiles built in the past five years or so.
No matter how you eventually get to the reeds on your sled, inspecting them is the same for any engine. Here’s how we removed and reinstalled the reeds on a 2002 Polaris 600 XC SP in the EDGE chassis, along with a rundown of the purpose of reed petals and how to inspect them.[satellite auto=off thumbs=on]
Want to learn more about snowmobile engine reeds? Learn more in Engine Reeds 101!