Adding studs to your snowmobile track can provide you with extra traction to help navigate slippery conditions. They work by providing you with extra grip that can come in handy when you are accelerating, braking, and turning.
I’m Chaz, a snowmobiler and gearhead with 25+ years of experience riding and working on all kinds of sleds. I’ve put studs on many tracks over the years and have learned how to complete this task correctly.
In this post, I’m going to show you a step-by-step guide to properly stud a snowmobile track so you can take advantage of this added traction when you ride.
Get out your studs, and let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- What You’ll Need
- How to Stud a Snowmobile Track (8 Steps)
- Things to Consider
- Getting Everything On Track
What You’ll Need
You’ll need a few standard tools to complete this job, in addition to whatever stud or traction kit you are going to use. The sizes of tools you need will be specific to your sled.
- Stud kit or package
- Cordless drill
- Socket set
- Tape measure
- Hex bits
- Track marker or paint pen
- Track cutter
- Shop blanket or rug
- Stud pattern outline or reference
How to Stud a Snowmobile Track (8 Steps)
Once you have all of the needed parts and tools, it’s time to get started. The instructions you’ll see here are how I stud a track, but there are multiple methods that all get the job done.
1. Lay down a blanket or rug and turn the snowmobile on its side (or put it on a lift)
This first step is to make sure you don’t cause any damage to your sled or the surface you are working on. Get a shop blanket, drop cloth, rug, or anything else and lay it out next to your snowmobile.
Then gently flip the machine on its side (two people make this go much smoother). Make sure you have enough room to move the track around easily and that you have enough space to walk around the snowmobile.
If you have a snowmobile lift that doesn’t lift the machine by the track, you can also use that rather than tipping it over.
2. Loosen the belt (if needed)
You might need to loosen the drive belt to track to allow it to spin and give you access to each section. Not all snowmobiles need to loosen, but a hex wrench where the belt drives the track should do the trick if yours does.
3. Choose your stud pattern or template and mark the stud locations
The next step is to choose a stud pattern and mark the locations. I would suggest using a template that comes with your stud kit, as this will give you an ideal traction layout and allow you to use the studs in a way that will provide adequate grip.
Lay the template over the track and use the paint pen to mark the stud locations through the holes. If you don’t have a template, you can use a tape measure to locate the stud placement and make a mark that way.
You can choose different layouts and templates depending on how many studs you want to use and the type of riding you are doing. These usually come with your kit, or you can print them out and use them to match your track.
Here is a good link to some various stud patterns that I would recommend using.
4. Cut out stud holes
Attach the cutting tool to your drill. Go through each stud location you marked with the paint pen and drill out the hole. Be careful that you don’t push the drill too far through and damage any other parts of the snowmobile.
Run through the track twice to double-check that you have drilled all of the corresponding holes to match your stud pattern.
5. Insert Stud
Once all of the holes have been drilled, you can insert all of the studs. Make sure that you point the end of the stud toward the outside of the track. Push each stud in firmly and hold it in place while you move onto the next step.
6. Attach backer and nut
If you are using a single stud style template, you’ll need to attach a backer and nut to each stud. Place the stud through the opening of the backer and then loosely screw down the nut.
Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have loosely attached every stud.
7. Tighten nuts
Once all of the studs are in place, go through and tighten each down securely. You can use a wrench and socket or a drill with a socket extension. You will want to torque the nuts so that they are secure but not too tight to dig into the track or crack the backer.
I recommended going over the track twice to double-check that each and every stud has been properly fastened.
8. Flip the sled over or lower it down
Flip the sled back upright or lower it down from the lift. You are studded up and ready to rock!
Things to Consider
You will want to make sure that you have the proper style studs to match your track. Snowmobile tracks will either be one-ply or two-ply, and you need to get a stud designed for the corresponding style.
The length of your stud is another consideration. Depending on how much additional traction you want and the type of track you have, you’ll need a stud length to match. This can be a personal preference, but you also might want to contact the manufacturer for recommendations.
Some people like to use Loctite on the threads of the stud and nut. I have never done this, in case I want to take the studs of later. But it’s an additional step that can keep the nuts from loosening and losing a stud.
I also recommend using carbide-tipped studs because they are the most durable. Check out some of the best stud options here.
Getting Everything On Track
Studding a snowmobile track is a pretty straightforward DIY task. All you need is a few common tools and a stud kit, and the entire job can be completed in under an hour.
Always make sure you follow a good traction pattern or template and that you have tightened down every stud entirely before you take it to the trails.
Have you ever put studs on your snowmobile track? Do you have any tips or advice for other riders? Let us know in the comments below.About Chaz Wyland