3rd Annual Vintagesledders RatRod Contest
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 15:07

There's still time to join the fun known as the Vintagesledders RatRod contest!


The rules are simple:

Any sled can be a Ratrod, all makes, models, etc...
You do not have to purchase a new sled for your Rat Rod project, dragging one out of the weeds that you already own is fine.
Add-ons such as car parts and household items are fine.
The sled you build must be completed and have ridden the required miles by March 1st 2012.

Pure Rat: Minimal cash expenditure and maximum patina. Up to $200. Mixing and matching between brands and throwing in non-sled parts is preferred. Garbage bag seat covers are approved. Non-sled power plants are approved. Must run 20 miles on an organized run. We want pictures of the rat at the organized run.

Race Rat: Make a rat for racing. Up to $400 because sometimes money has to be spent to comply with rules and/or be competitive. Must complete 1 or more sanctioned or well known regional fun race (Eagle Swamp and CCVSC first snow for example of regional fun races). Trail riding miles can count towards the requirement of 20 miles, but the sled must be raced at least once to qualify for this class. Grass drags, oval/lemans and cross country races are all approved. Racing the rat in more than one type of race is approved. We want pics of the rat at the race  W9n

Touring Rat: Build a budget long distance cruiser. Up to $400 because reliability often requires some new parts and items like bearings, hyfax  and ski runners will likely need to be replaced to make the sled worthy of 50+ mile days. Patina optional. Must complete 200 or more miles at well known vintage rides. We want pictures of the rat on the rides.

Most importantly:
Sled builds should be documented online with before, during and after pictures of the project.
Please post up a picture or two of your project sled and then start its own thread in the ratrods section on the forum:



Here's some of the builds underway right now:


Greenbloods "VADER"




Nutter's "Race Daddler"


Wheelyhorse's Long Track Exciter



What are you waiting for? Join the fun and enter the Vintagesledders.com Rad Rod contest today!


More info can be found in the official Vintagesledders Rat Rod Thread.



Snowmobile Barn Museum Show
Friday, 11 November 2011 09:14

Forget football and last minute yardwork for this weekend and head to the 10th annual Snowmobile Barn Museum Show and swap!



Rain or Shine

928 Cedar Ridge Road, Newton, NJ 07860








68-73 Trail Original Antique 67 & Older
68-73 Trail Restored Best of Show
68-73 Muscle Mini Sled
68-73 Racer Sno Pro
74-84 Trail Original Most Unique/Custom
74-84 Trail Restored Best Display
74-84 Muscle Sled 74-84 Racer

For information Call:
Andy Smith 908-581-7427 Dan Klemm 973-534-7823


This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


For even more information about the show and the snowmobile barn museum please check out their website: snowmobilebarn.com

German Revolutions
Monday, 31 October 2011 14:29

Two stroke motors were the favored power-plants for snowmobiles beginning in the early 1960's to the mid-1970's. The comparatively light weight to horsepower ratio and compact design was more desirable than the four stroke standards of the time. Fewer moving parts and more horse­power at higher RPM made them more attractive to manufacturers and consumers alike as snowmobiles made the transition from rear engine utility vehicles to front engine sport machines.


German motors were adapted to snowmobile use from industrial stationary units used to power pumps, generators, and the like. Most were fitted with the German Bosch magneto ignition system and, of course, the recommended spark plug was Bosch. Diaphram carbs replaced the float bowls.


Gutbrod-Werke GMBH in West Germany manufactured motors used by the Bolens Division of FMC Corporation and bore their name. Multi-cylinder models from 310cc to 438cc were produced from 1969 to 1972. In 1971 they made available the first three cylinder motor in a produc­tion snowmobile. Their engine design was unique in that the crankshaft was split and coupled togeth­er. Castrol at 20 to 1 was the preferred fuel to oil mix.


Hirth Motors of Kreis Ludwigsburg, West Germany, were distributed by Wisconsin Motor Corporation in Milwaukee.

Hirth's were utilized by many Canadian and American manufacturers as early as 1963 in the Sno Bug.

Motor sizes ranged from the 10 horsepower, 246cc 81 R, to the mighty 793cc three cylinder 230 R "Honker," which turned 80 horsepower and many heads at the race track.

The 171 R 634cc was also a very popular and successful model. Hirth even offered a 493cc 24 horsepower opposed twin, the 180 R.

Hirth motors were cooled by centrifugal fan until 1970 when they switched to axial fan (belt driven) cooling.

The recommended fuel to oil mix was 25 to 1.


JLO engines were manufactured in Pinneberg, West Germany, and distributed from Syracuse, New York.

The first two stroke Ski-Doo was powered by an 8 horsepower JLO in 1961. JLO made many models from the tiny L99 used in the Yard Man Sno Cub to the free air 3 cylinder 650cc used by Arctic in the King Kat.

JLO twins were cooled by centrifugal fan until a design change in 1970 and a switch to the axial fanT

Rockwell Manufacturing bought JLO on Oct. 1, 1968, then billed as the largest manufacturer of small engines in West Germany with a heritage of over half a century of quality performance.


They again changed hands and homes, and in 1975, after Scorpion moved the operation to Cros­by, Minnesota, JLO-Rockwell became Cuyuna, named for the nearby Iron Range. Cuyuna became the only American-made snowmobile engine at that time.

Fuel to oil ratio went from 20 to 1 on early models to 40 to 1 on later models. JLO's were used in snowmobiles longer than any other Ger­man manufacturer.


Lloyd Motoren Werke GMBH of West Ger­many produced two models used in snowmobiles. They were also used in small automobiles.

The 386cc twin was used by Yukon King in 1968-69, Sno Prince in 1969-70, Ski Daddler 1969 and Herters in 1970.

Cooled by centrifugal fan, the fuel to oil mix­ture was 40 to 1, somewhat lean for the era.

The Lloyd engine blazed its way into racing history when the 1968 Yukon King factory team won every race they entered in the 295cc stock class.

The North American distributor was in Kitch­ener, Ontario.


Sachs motors were made by Fichtel & Sachs AG in West Germany. They had distributors in Quebec and New Jersey.

Motor sizes ranged from the SA 280 277cc to the SA 2-740C, 735cc. Sachs made several perfor­mance models, the SS and C fan cooled and the R Twins were cooled by axial fan and the sug­gested fuel to oil ratio was 25 to 1.

Sachs motors found their way into many dif­ferent snowmobiles, most notably the Canadian Alouette and Eskimo.

Sachs very probably had the most durable and dependable recoil starter of all the German motors.


The Wankel Rotary engine was invented by Felix Wankel and made by Fichtel & Sachs. The 303cc RC1-18.5 was manufactured for Curtiss-Wright Corporation from New Jersey in 1968 to 1970. The fuel mix was 40 to 1.

Its successor, the KM 914B, was made from 1971 to 1972. The fuel to oil ratio was 50 to 1. Both models used Tillotson HL diaphram carbure­tors, and both produced 19 horsepower, 303cc.

The KM24 was next in line and was in service until 1975. It used a mechanical fuel pump that was mounted on the rewind. Fuel to oil ratio was 50 to 1 and was rated at 23 horsepower, 294cc.

Rotary oil was recommended for the KM24, while Shell Rotella, Mobilmix TT, and Essolube HD30 were among the preffered oils for the earli­er models.


Polaris, Alouette, Skiroule and Arctic Cat all featured the Wankel Rotary at one time or another. Cat was the last to use the Wankel in 1975.

Many incorrectly surmise that Rotax, the mainstay motor of Ski-Doo, was a German prod­uct While there were many similarities, Rotax engines were manufactured in Austria.


Motosacoche, or Mag motors used in Ski Daddler,- were manufactured in Switzerland, as were early Kohler two strokes.


By the early 1970's the demand for more power and easier starting brought Japanese motors into the limelight. Fuji, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and others became the exclusive power plants for most of the major brands.

Smaller manufacturers began to die off as the snowmobile market tightened, taking German motors with them as they faded into history.


Reprinted with permission.

Huge Snowmobile Online Auction
Monday, 24 October 2011 18:48


A huge collection of snowmobiles and snowmobile collectables are going up for sale on an online auction later this week. You name it, It's going to be for sale, from a perfectly restored King Kat to a very nice original rear engine Polaris. There's something for everyone. You want more information and details? Here's the link to the auction:http://www.penningtonauction.com/onlineauctions.html. You will want to follow the auction thread in the Vintagesledders.com Forum too. Happy Bidding!

Sledder of the Week Oct 10 -16th
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 08:34

jonny 1

VintageSledders Screenname:Johnny Homelite

Real Name:John Stipe

Location:Forest Lk. MN.

Family:1 wife, 1 daughter

Current sleds:1969-Homelite, Forester, Explorer, Ranger. Homelite 650 mod,74 Homelite trail mod, 1970 skidoo nordic, 1989 Indy lite, 99,01 ZRT 600's

Favorite brand:Homelite/skidoo

Dream sled:72 TNT

Do you show? Swap? Race? Yes, I try them all, don't know if I'm any good at any one in particular.

Favorite vintage snowmobile event:It's a tie between Milbank, and Waconia

How long have you been into vintage snowmobiles? Started riding them in the 70's, never stopped really, it's a hard habit to break.

When did you first get bit by the vintage bug? Watching my older brothers ride our 70 oly, and nordic on the lake by my house, then a few years later a friend called me and asked if I wanted a 1969 Homelite sled.

Other hobbies: Fishing, hunting, 4-wheeling, changing spark plugs, bon fires, giving advise, picking agates.

Random fact about you:I once owned and operated a 1950's Eyerly Loop-O-Plane, and did NOT guess any weights.




In an effort to make the vintagesleds world a little easier to navigate, each week we will pick one vintagesledder and put up a short bio submitted by that person.

The information gathered is completely volunteered by the member.

If you would like to participate in Sledder of the Week, just fill complete as many of the questions below as you'd like, then send in your information along with a picture of yourself to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

VintageSledders Screenname:
Real Name:
Current sleds:
Favorite brand:
Dream sled:
Do you show? Swap? Race?
Favorite vintage snowmobile event:
How long have you been into vintage snowmobiles?
When did you first get bit by the vintage bug?
Other hobbies:
Random fact about you:

Thank all of you for helping make this site a great place to be. Be sure to check out all the previos Sledders of the Week in the Vintagesledders Forum.

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