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1981 Arctic Cat el Tigre 6000 Restoration Project

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Uploaded on Apr 26, 2008

I purchased this vintage sled for $300 off a Craigslist posting in Huntington Beach, CA as a summer 2008 restoration project. Apparently it was part of a large estate sale and made it's way out west from Michigan some years ago. It has 1600 miles on it and is in really good condition but has been sitting for a year or two. This initial test run in the mountains near Fresno, CA told me a few things: the carbs are likely gummed up, the wrong radiator cap was being used, the jets need to be changed, the fuel filter in the gas tank needs replacing, and that hotter plugs should be used (e.g., NGK BR9ES). The sled ran for about 20 minutes then lost nearly all power -- coolant began spilling out instead of circulating. My buddy and I then loaded the sled back up into the van and did what most men do when contemplating difficult situations -- we went to the bar. Coincidentally, the guy sitting next to me at the bar in Huntington Lake owned a Cat dealership and had a brother who used to race Arctic Cat Sno Pros in the 70s. The next thing I know I'm on a cell phone with this ex-racer and we're discussing how to make my sled run better. With a beer, a shot of Jameson and an oily radiator cap on the bar in front of me, I was truly a happy man.

I love these old Cats and remember riding the model 5000 which my family owned when I was a kid. Some of the best times I had growing up were tinkering with that sled in the garage with my father. I hope some of you Cat enthusiasts have similar memories and that you will enjoy this video and appreciate the classic nature of this gutsy sled.

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