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Discussion Starter #1
2017 Arctic Cat Trail.
Only mods currently are a K&N filter and a gutted OEM muffler. Before this event I had been running a HMF muffler but it's just too loud, straight thru is nice, quieter is nicer.
So I cut open the stock muffler, gutted the catalytic converter section and removed the remaining fiberglass muffler packing.
This week went for my first ride with this mod and had an issue.
It was in mid to high 30's, riding high desert 5000/6000' elevation, a lot of low gear roads, snow, mud, water filled streams. Went about 30 miles like this without going to WTO.
Then on the way back to the truck, hit a stretch of packed sandy road, moist and sticky. Opened it up to 50+mph playing with sliding the corners and enjoying the heck out of on/off WTO.
About 3 miles of this and I smell plastic burning, thought it was a strap off the rifle bags hitting the muffler. If only.
Turns out the muffler got so hot it was dripping melted cargo bed, in liquid form and left me with a 2" square melted hole in the black cargo bed about 4 to 5 inches from the rear plate/spark arrester area. Didn't catch fire, barely.
I'm assuming the hot exhaust hits the diversion plate where it's directed to the forward flowing tube and there dispersed to outer shell, and that plate conducted the heat to the shell. I looked at the headers and they weren't noticeably glowing hot.
Should it get this hot?
I replaced plugs just before the ride and was keenly aware of double checking the plug wire caps to plug connection.
Am I running too lean? Always thought it should run a tad richer, do I need a fuel programmer?
Or should I check the timing?
Any suggestions?
 

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Did you make sure the spark arrestor was free of debris when you welded it back together, mine did that when it was plugged up.

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i only take the cat out and leave the insulation around the outside of the muffler so the can of the muffler doesn’t transfer as much heat. But it sounds like airflow around your muffler was the problem. Do you have a rear bumper that reflects the heat back and with stuff in the rear cargo area might be the culprit. The exhaust on these machines needs a clear path.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I checked the spark arrester before I installed it but now thinking about it I should check it again as maybe enough material got to it to clog it?
There was very little fiberglass stuffing left, charred and crispy. Only have 1100 miles on the car.
I had 2 gun bags in cargo bed and no rear bumper, clear airflow for muffler.
I've always thought this engine could use more fuel but it always runs good. Kinda stumbled this weekend starting for first time in 2 months, and was below zero for a good part of that time at nights in the garage, it's been cold. Loaded it early am at 20degrees and it started okay then and for the rest of the day on new fuel.
I threw a cheapo Walmart flat black paint on the entire can and it grayed out from the heat, cheap paint does that. Going to pull it and do a new prep/paint with better paint (after I get the plastic off).
I just ordered a DEI heat blanket good to 1350degrees at direct contact, 6" x 12" with ss clamps, that should do the trick.
Still worried it needs more fuel even though I never get below 4500' elevation.
Any suggestions on a good fuel programmer?
 

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I don’t know who is still doing fuel programmers for these machines. Maybe dynojet.
 

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I had a similar problem on my 2014 X after I rebuilt it. Rebuilt the top end complete and changed the fuel pump. My wife noticed it smelled like burning crayons in the garage after the first good rip out. Didnt think anything of it ( Assembly scents...) for an hour and went to look over the machine. Sure enough the bed was so hot I couldnt keep my hand on it and the underneath had started to droop and melt. Luckily it's winter and got snow on it and cooled the bed down. Did some digging on this forum and decided to take the muffler back off and removed the heat shield. The muffler was split on the inlet side at the top about an inch long and somone had done a poor job welding the cleanout plate on and it was leaking out there also. I welded them back up and put it back together and a few rides later and it's still pretty warm to the touch, however not anywhere close to melting the bed. Was also taking a bit longer than usual to crank and fire, watched a few videos to compare, decided to change the fuel pump. Made a huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think Dobeck also has a programmer available.
Last night I pulled the muffler and the spark arrester, there was some of the fine dust from the old muffler packing on the screen, about 1/4" worth along bottom so the screen was well over 95% open, that wasn't the problem. Am going to check the plug wires again, I put some dielectric grease in them and think that can be a problem. Read elsewhere that dielectric grease acts as an insulator so if I got it on the plug connections that could impede the electrical conductivity of that connection. Will run it this weekend when it's a little better weather and post the result. Thanks all of you.
 

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If you find it's the same, maybe warm it up and put some new plugs in and give it a good hard acceleration and shut it off and check the plugs. Will tell you if it's leaning out or not. I did read your first post that mentioned you changed the air filter and modified the pipe. There is potential there to lean it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MYSTERY SOLVED ! !

HMF pipes require removing the OEM heat shield to mount their pipe, they use bolts instead of rod welded to muffler at 2 rubber bushings.
REMEMBER to mount OEM heat shield when remounting OEM muffler.
Damn, I'm dumb.....
Lesson learned.
I still have some DEI self adhesive heat shield just received from Amazon, will wrap OEM air box as well as under cargo bed and maybe add to heat shield at fire wall .
 

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I added self adhesive insulation to the bottom of my bed. Haven’t had hot weather to test it in yet.
 
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