I had to get this ole girl into the snow and formidably so. The JAG’s strengths were few. It’s light and good on gas. So for the nights and weekends of the past year I started to address some weaknesses. Skid, track, and engine all needed a serious revamp. with all these undue challenges the biggest obstacle was to spend 0$. maintenance items are always bought anyway, however I believe the cost for some bearings, handlebar hardware and fiberglass materials added up to less than 100$
As everybody who’s owned one knows, the 1977 JAG couldn’t accelerate its way down an ice laden hill. Nor could it float on top of 4 inches of snow. These are the realities that were quickly dealt after I was given this sled sled by my uncle’s. The only price I had to pay for this slow hulk of fiberglass steel and aluminum was to “get it running”. However; I grew very fond of this ole girl, even with all its shortcomings. that is until it would get stuck again.
A more contemporary skid from an Arctic Cat was installed. after this, the engine was pulled, fiberglass was cut and an xtra10 independent front suspension from a Polaris spx replaced the rock solid front leaf sprung system. Unfortunately the tried and true 340 Suzuki spirit also had to go. In its place a robust 488 fanner from a Polaris trail.
Once all the wires were ran and the last zip ties were cut the engine fired to life. We were about a month away from our first measurable snow but this would give me time to work out any unforeseen problems. On December 15 the first measurable snow fell in our area. I might have been the most surprised that the sled neither broke or lagged performance, but instead was a marked improvement in all areas.
“What a waste of time! ” LOL! All the parts sourced for this sled were traded for labor. I recieved an spx without a skid and engine in return for general labor. An indy trail was sourced with a fresh engine and a terribly worn suspension and chassis. This was exchanged for other sled work. When all was said and done, it’s fun to watch people point out parts that don’t belong. This project will always live on as a glaring success as long as eyebrows are being raised and sideways glances are recieved. A fit reward for the work put into this old sled is the chatter, whether it’s positive or negative.