The idea for snowmobiles came from military technology. The rubber tracks used on their off road vehicles proved to work well in snowy conditions. Canadian Joseph-Armand Bombardier used the same design ideas to create his first multi-passenger large snowmobiles, and then his Ski-Do in 1959.
There are four major components involved in driving and steering one: an engine, clutch, tracks, and skis. They also have a windshield and a seat similar to those found on motorcycles. Snowmobile shocks make the ride more comfortable.
The engine is similar to the engines used in personal watercraft, and sends power to the track drive. This is essentially a large gear mechanism that rotates the tracks and makes the machine move. The faster the engine, the faster the tracks rotate and the faster the machine goes.
The clutch system is a pulley based continuously variable transmission. It consists of two pulleys connected by a drive belt. The primary clutch sits on top of the engine, with a pressure spring that holds the primary clutch's two halves apart when the engine's rpm is low. When the engine accelerates, the clutch weights generate centrifugal force that closes the clutch and allows the belt to move freely to transmit power.
The secondary clutch connected to the track drive turns the wheels to power the tracks. This clutch also has a spring that operates the cams that are sensitive to torque. When the engine's rpm increases and the primary clutch transmits power, the cams squeeze and tighten the belt.
This continues during acceleration. Once in top speed, the primary clutch closes and moves the belt into a higher gear. Since it needs less power to maintain speed than it did during acceleration, the secondary clutch now opens. This process of changing gears happens smoothly at all stages.
The tracks are similar to tank tracks, except they are made out of lightweight materials like rubber. The tracks spread the weight out over a greater surface area, allowing travel on soft, slippery and unstable terrain and keep it from sinking in the snow. Sharp studs can also be added to the tracks for greater resistance to slipping in icy conditions.
Instead of using the tracks to steer, a snowmobile uses a handlebar/ski mechanism. Steering is similar to turning handlebars to steer a bicycle or motorcycle. The handlebars are connected to the skis mounted at the bottom of the snowmobile. Snowmobile shocks keep the ride comfortable and help you stay in better control. These snowmobile shocks have improved greatly over the years
How Does a Snowmobile Work?
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 4:07:03 PM America/Denver
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