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  1. #1

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    Sleeved cylinder nikasil plated?

    I am working on a 1999 XL1200 LTD with a melted piston for a friend who bought it used. All 3 cylinders are sleeved and show 66V on the side. First question, are sleeves stock for this model? Secondly, are they nikasil plated? I was arguing with a friend because I thought the sleeved cylinders did not have nikasil plating and can be bored without plating (from my snowmobiling days in the late 70's and 80's) - is this true? Back then it was only the Suzuki cylinders on Artic Cats that had nikasil plating. I think that Suzuki were ahead of their time.

  2. #2
    jeffg426690's Avatar
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    The 66v had Nikiasil plated as OEM, aftermarket replacements are typically sleeved.
    The debate between sleeves vs Nikasil is not a convo I'll entertain, both have their merits. For your application sleeves are just fine, the bonus is that they can be bored and honed where Nikasil can not.
    Just keep in mind that you should allow for a bit of warm up before pinning the throttle w sleeves.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Jeffg! I am surprised that all 3 cylinders were sleeved but I suppose it's possible. I read somewhere on this forum that the 1999 XL1200 Ltd came with sleeves from the factory so now I am confused. The cylinders are 66V and the model ski is XA1200X, which seems like an oddball when ordering parts. Anyway, sleeves are not plated, correct? Only no-sleeve cylinders?

  4. #4
    jeffg426690's Avatar
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    When ordering parts go by yr and model of ski, not the motor.
    You could easily have a reman motor from SBT, they sleeve all their rebuilds. Look on the rods and see if SBT is stamped on them, dead giveaway. Unfortunately SBT is known for kinda sloppy tolerances in their motors. Nothing else is different aside from the power valves (which are upgraded and don't need wave eater clips).
    Correct on sleeves not being Nikasil coated. In this case, reman cylinders use them as they are less expensive and work just fine. Big debate on which is better, in actual use no difference. Nik is much more durable but also much more costly to get repaired after a melt-down. Lots of OEM's used sleeves in 2-stroke days.

  5. #5
    sdlvx's Avatar
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    Sleeve vs Nik is a big debate. It usually ends up with the sleeve people (me included) saying it's easier and cheaper to fix and isn't too much different. Nik does a better job transferring heat and as long as nothing catastrophic happens, nik is hard and won't wear out and lose compression like a steel sleeve can after a lot of use. Arguably it's not a big deal as you can just bore out a little bit and put bigger pistons in.

    I like sleeves, but they have draw backs. It also slightly changes the port timing the more you bore it out, usually makes the timing a little lower on the top as the top of the exhaust port is usually slanted downwards, so you dig into that material and it ends up lower.

    You can maybe run .5mm or 1mm larger on one cylinder but it does change the weight and balance a bit. Once a cylinder is sleeved and it was nik there is no going back. You have to remove quite a bit of material to fit the sleeve in, and nik only binds with aluminum.

  6. #6
    butterbean_29512's Avatar
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    Just a little food for knowledge, SBT and WSM both offer sleeves for the 66v. They are NOT the same outside diameter. The WSM is a larger sleeve. If you are replacing sleeves, the SBT sleeve will not fit in the WSM overbored casting, but the WSM will fit the SBT overbored casting if it is bored out larger to accept the sleeve.

  7. #7
    butterbean_29512's Avatar
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    Personally, I think sleeves are fine if its just gonna be used as a stock recreational ski. Once you start building it into a performance machine I think nikasil coatings become mandatory. Side note....its a big debate, almost as big as the oil debate. Someone ran the numbers, and figured that if the motor was taken good care of, and you never damaged the nikasil you could get 3 or 4 rebuilds out of one cylinder before having to finally replate the cylinder and start fresh. I tend to agree. Also, when freshening up a nikasil cylinder it does require a hone to remove the glaze before installing new rings. Lastly, I know Millennium Technologies is the gold standard, but I purchased a set of replated cylinders from a fellow forum member earlier this year, and they were done by a company named CV Tech AAB. They are out of Quebec. They offer all types of services. I was very impressed with their work, and would go to them directly if I need anything else plated.


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