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Snow Trac - the VW with tracks instead of tires.
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melensdad
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:25 pm    Post subject: Snow Trac - the VW with tracks instead of tires. Reply with quote

I'm new to posting here so be gentle Embarassed

I started a thread in OTHER VW VEHICLES but then realized it might be better suited to the OFF ROAD forum? Since it is already in that forum, here is a link:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=207030

There are several photos in the thread in the link above, but here is what the heck I am talking about:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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Tim10
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saw one at a show years back.. very cool.. do you ever drive it?
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melensdad
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim10 wrote:
do you ever drive it?

Yup. We drive it all the time in the winter. Occasionally on the grass in the summer.
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greg mgm
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome! I want one.......or just a ride!
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subybaja
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool!
I see quite a few of those up here...at $10K, I don't have one, though.
I've always thought you could do some fun hi-po stuff with one- 091 and type IV? Maybe a TDI?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

subybaja wrote:
Very cool!
I see quite a few of those up here...at $10K, I don't have one, though.
I've always thought you could do some fun hi-po stuff with one- 091 and type IV? Maybe a TDI?


don't forget the long travel suspension conversion. Laughing
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SDJunkMan
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got rid of a Thiolkol, would love to have a Snow Trac.

Here's a couple of web sites to check out:
http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/forumdisplay.php?f=65
http://ubb.kristisnowcat.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi
http://www.snow-track.com/
http://snowcats.tahoebasin.com/index.php
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panzerfuska
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

how does it steer? do you brake one track or does it have some sort of special differential?
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melensdad
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDJunkMan wrote:
I just got rid of a Thiolkol, would love to have a Snow Trac.

Here's a couple of web sites to check out:
http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/forumdisplay.php?f=65

I'm actually the moderator of the Snowcat area at the ForumsForums website. There is a Swedish site that has some good information and is in English. A brand new Norwegian site, but it is not in English. There is also an Icelandic site that is in both English and Icelandic. There are links to those sites at the ForumsForums.

The Snow Trac really is a great little snowcat. It is far more user friendly than many of the other brands, and the high % of VW parts makes if very easy to maintain.

The Kristi is another VW powered snowcat. Technically a very interesting snowcat with tracks that can be raised and lowered. It is unfortunately very rare, information is pretty much lost, and they are more of a curiosity. Most that I have seen are in disrepair and that is a shame.

panzerfuska wrote:
how does it steer? do you brake one track or does it have some sort of special differential?


The steering is by a thing called a Variator. In simple terms here is a belt running between two large pulleys, when you turn the steering wheel to the right the pulley on right expands and that allows more power to be transferred to the left track, driving the vehicle to the right.

Below is a photo of the engine compartment (before I started my restoration) at the rear of the compartment you can see the top of the two Variator pulleys and a thick black belt that connects them.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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My Antique Snowcat pages are at http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/forumdisplay.php?f=65
I need information on Snow Trac, Kristi, Thiokol and old Tuckers.
If you like antique snowcats visit my discussions where they still live!


Last edited by melensdad on Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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volksaddict
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snow trac looks like a fun ride! Much advanced compared to the kristi. There's one of those I know of around here that I'd like to know more about. Has a 36hp in it. Where can I get more info on the old kristi?
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Glenn Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
don't forget the long travel suspension conversion.


Quote:
tracks that can be raised and lowered.


Ask and ye shall receive! Laughing
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melensdad
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

volksaddict wrote:
Snow trac looks like a fun ride! Much advanced compared to the kristi. There's one of those I know of around here that I'd like to know more about. Has a 36hp in it. Where can I get more info on the old kristi?


There are only two places on the internet I know of that have any information on the Kristi snowcats. One is essentially a dead website but it does have information posts. www.kristisnowcat.com

Here is a photo of a Kristi from my files, it shows the rear of the unit elevated which would be the position used when ascending hills. But in this case the operator doesn't know how to use the controls.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The other is a general snowcat discussion forum, it has a lot of the same information as the Kristi site, but is an active site. The problem is the Kristi information is buried in with all the other brands and you have to sift through searches to get the Kristi information. There is actually a lot more technical information on this site, with restoration projects, etc. http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/forumdisplay.php?f=65


glenn The image you posted is a much older Snow Trac. You will notice the tracks are different with small bogey wheels running up the front of the track. That Snow Trac is probably mid-1960's or earlier. The later designs had 2 large wheels, one in the rear (like the early designs) and one toward the front with small bogey wheels between them. Both used a front drive sprocket at the top front.[/img]
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I need information on Snow Trac, Kristi, Thiokol and old Tuckers.
If you like antique snowcats visit my discussions where they still live!
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panzerfuska
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

melensdad, great info. i wonder if you can hotrod one of these machines. . . big ol' engine. i saw a picture of a halftrack vw bug using the running gear of a kettenkrad. but with a snowcat, why go halftrack when you have the whole shebang?
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melensdad
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

panzerfuska wrote:
melensdad, great info. i wonder if you can hotrod one of these machines. . . big ol' engine.

No it is NOT possible.

Nobody would ever do that Laughing Laughing Laughing

Why screw up a perfectly good 40hp engine and increase the performance? Rolling Eyes

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I'm in the process of a total upgrade on my Snow Trac, but still keeping much of the original look. I found New Old Stock Hella switches for the dashboard and hooked them up to very modern PIAA lights that are now mounted on the roofline facing forward, the first picture above also shows a set of side mounted Hella rubberized lights. Another set of Hella rubberized lights are mounted on the rear. All three sets of new lights work off the NOS switches. I also upgraded the interior of the headlamps because the original reflectors were badly pitted and corroded.

The photos below show the process of converting them to modern Halogen H4 Hi-Low headlamps.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I'm also modifying and upgrading several other systems. The original battery has been upgraded to a dual battery set up that uses Optima coil batteries and a 1000amp switch that allows me to choose battery 1, battery 2, both, or neither battery. A new 95amp alternator was added too.

Oh, and my interior has been reupholstered with Hawaiian fabric that has palm trees and flamingos Shocked

A Magellan Color Meridian GPS unit is being installed on the center of the dash. A new old stock chrome fan has been hung from the ceiling to direct air onto the windows to cut down on fogging issues. There is also an auxiliary ceramic heater that is added to suppliment the massive heat that the little air-cooled engine puts out Rolling Eyes

Basically the upgrades will be making it safer to use and somewhat more comfortable too.
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My Antique Snowcat pages are at http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/forumdisplay.php?f=65
I need information on Snow Trac, Kristi, Thiokol and old Tuckers.
If you like antique snowcats visit my discussions where they still live!
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melensdad
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some other photos of the things I just talked about.

The old style bakelite Hella Switches that will control the new lights.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

New Mirrors, PIAA lights and Hella side lights.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The chrome fan for the interior:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The dashboard. . . you will notice the steering wheel is from a Schwimmwagen!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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My Antique Snowcat pages are at http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/forumdisplay.php?f=65
I need information on Snow Trac, Kristi, Thiokol and old Tuckers.
If you like antique snowcats visit my discussions where they still live!
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wyobuggy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who knew I owned a rare snowcat??

I had a Kristi in the late 80s in Leadville Co. Ran great , tracks were dying fast. Biggest problem I had besides the tracks was that the exhaust pipes kept cracking at the heads. Got poor and sold it to a rancher in Wyoming whose name I seem to have lost. Sad

Vails ski museum used to have a Kristi on display. But that was 15-20 yrs ago.

Mine was the long body model. Wish I still had it!!!
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melensdad
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wyobuggy wrote:
Who knew I owned a rare snowcat??

Based on the numbers I have seen for production, there were only about 375 of those KT3 snowcats built. That was Kristi's most popular model and they do show up for sale every once in a while.

But if money was the reason you sold it, then you sold it in time because those tracks that were going bad could have easily cost over $2000 to repair. The belting is not cheap!!! Kristis, if properly belted, had 4 belts on each side, the two center belts of each side were taught, the remaining two belts were left loose and only were attached to every-other cleat. This allowed the belts to better shape themselves to the ground conditions. I'm not sure it it worked or was a gimmick, but supposedly it helped on side slope conditions. Many other snowcats, like my Snow Trac ST4, had cleats (called grousers) that were shaped to have edges running both parallel and perpendicular to the direction of travel. The Kristi used thick wooden cleats/grousers that only ran perpendicular and thus they needed some other way to prevent side slipping. The hydrauliclly adjustable tracks, and the floppy belts were supposed to provide superior side slope abilities.

In actual use, did you adjust the hydraulics on the tracks when you were ascending, decending or crossing slopes? Did it really help? Did you notice a real benefit? Question
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I need information on Snow Trac, Kristi, Thiokol and old Tuckers.
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melensdad
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, for you sand rail junkies, the Snow Trac was also well suited for sand travels!


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The photo above was published by the Swedish magazine Classic Motor Magasin, December 1999 and shows a Snow Trac, rebadged as a Sand Trac, in use in Africa. They were also used in the Texas oilfields to haul people & gear.

I'm surprised the windows and the roof hatch are closed! I know mine heats up like a greenhouse in the summertime sun. I wonder if there was some sort of airconditioner that was installed in this unit?
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I need information on Snow Trac, Kristi, Thiokol and old Tuckers.
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caroth
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:15 pm    Post subject: Actual Kristi info Reply with quote

Just wanted to correct the Kristi production numbers. There were only 110 Kristi KT-3 snow vehicles built. First one built was in 1960 and last one built was 1968. Details on the specific models are found at http://www.KristiSnowCat.com.

Information found in this post is copyrighted from ©KristiSnowCat.com.


Last edited by caroth on Tue Dec 26, 2006 10:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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