A snowmobile tunnel is the rear portion of the snowmobile frame to which the rear suspension and seat are mounted. The tunnel is permanently affixed to the bulkhead to form the FRAME. The tunnel may be often overlooked during maintenance. It is exposed to snow, dirt, and grime regularly. The constant subjection of the tunnel to moisture and dirt not only makes it unsightly but can also corrode and damage it in the long run. It may also impact the structural integrity of the snowmobile and even lead to serious injury. An unkept tunnel will also lower the resale value of the snowmobile in case you are planning to sell it. It may also impact the motor vehicle insurance premium and any claims that you might make in the future.
It is especially true of the snowmobile tunnels that are made of raw aluminum. The tunnels that come with a powder-coating don’t require maintenance or upkeep, but those made of materials that are prone to corrosion do. Even if the snowmobile tunnel of your sled looks fine from the top, its underside may be in a ghastly state. You can clean and polish it every once in a while for keeping it in tip-top condition.
Maintaining A Snowmobile Tunnel
There are a few accessories that you may require for maintaining your snowmobile tunnel. These will include a microfiber cloth, a brush, sandpaper, an orbital polisher, and aluminum polish.
Get Rid Of Dirt and Grime
The first step for maintaining a snowmobile tunnel is to get rid of all the dirt and grime from its surface. You can use a brush if the dirt is dry or pressurized water in case the tunnel has mud on it. Do not get water into the engine compartment or on electrical components. You can use a suitable soap and cloth as well to clean it. You can also remove the seat of the snowmobile beforehand so that it doesn’t come in the way. Once you have removed the dirt and grime, you can dry the snowmobile with a microfiber towel or cloth. If you have pressure washed it, you can leave it to dry for a couple of hours first.
If the snowmobile tunnel has scratches on its surface, you can remove them with sandpaper if required. You can use fine-grit sandpaper for treating the scratches by rubbing it on them. There are a few compounds available that can assist you with the same. Clean any residue after wet sanding using a microfiber cloth.
You will have to undertake polishing next to return the snowmobile tunnel to its full glory. There are different types of aluminum polishes available, and you can choose one that you like. Apply it using a sponge or microfiber towel and rub it until it turns blackish. You can use an orbital polisher to reduce the time and effort required. Alternatively, a polishing ball or cone can be attached to an electric drill for the same. Polish the snowmobile tunnel until it begins to shine. Once finished, remove any residual polish using a microfiber cloth. You can also use elbow grease for the same.
Maintaining and polishing the snowmobile tunnel not only prolongs the life of the sled but can also increase its resale value. It can be done once or twice a season, depending on how often you use your sled.