1968 Ski-Doo Super 370

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1968 Skidoo Super 370 Restoration

See it in action – 2MB download
(I’m the one closest to the camera)

I purchased this 1968 Skidoo Super 370 in early October of 2005, with plans on fixing it up and riding it in a few vintage runs. It needs quite a bit of TLC, but that is where the fun begins.

This engine is somewhat unique, it is a 370cc opposed twin, with one cylinder facing the front of the sled and the other facing the rear.

The first order of business was the engine. When I got the sled home, the first thing I did was check the compression on the cylinders. The rear cylinder had 100 lbs and the front had only 60 lbs. That is no good, so apart it came. I was concerned that one of the pistons may have been scored causing the low compression, but surprisingly, both pistons looked pretty good. The rings were frozen to the pistons, causing the low compression. I removed the pistons and soaked them in some WD40 for a few days hoping the rings would loosen up, but no luck with that. I then heated them up quite a bit with a heat gun and with a little dental tool and some patience worked the rings free. While I had it apart, I noticed that the main crank bearings were pretty growly from some rust formation, so I replaced those along with some new crank seals. I rebuilt the carb, put it back on the chassis and rechecked the compression. 160 lbs on each cylinder. Mission accomplished. We hooked up a fuel line, and what do you know, it runs, on to the body work…

I started with the hood. The hood has quite a few gouges and cracks, and the nose was beat up pretty badly as well. The hood has been repaired before, and there was some sloppy fiber glassing on the inside. I was able to just tear off the old fiberglass in chunks, it wasn’t bonded very well at all. Once I had it all fixed up on the inside, I started by sanding the outside. I had to sand quite a bit to get rid of the many scratches and paint cracks. After sanding, I went to work with the body filler. I have only done a little bit of body work, so this is turing out to be quite a learning process, but I think it is starting to take shape. I had the tunnel dipped in acid to remove all of the paint and rust. That is the best $75 I have ever spent. The chassis came out looking like new metal, and all I had to do was drop it off and pick it up a week later. After I finish up with the hood, I will tackle the chassis. It needs to get straightened out in a few spots, especially in the belly pan area. The fuel tank is built into the belly pan, so this might cause a few problems. I’ll have to wait and see.

I decided that I better inspect the tank a little closer, I heard some stuff rolling around inside when I was moving it. I cut a square panel out of the back of the fuel tank that would allow me to be sure that it was clean, and also give access with a hammer to straighten out the dents. There were also a couple of holes on the side that needed some attention. There was a lot of hardened dirt or something still in the tank, yes, all of those lumps in the picture above were inside the tank. I am pretty sure I would have had fuel troubles leaving it that way, what a relief that I found it. I welded a larger piece back on the tank to cover the hole, and welded some panels to fix the holes on the side. I pressurized the tank with air to check for leaks. I had a couple, so I just welded some more until they stopped. I think I will also put some tank sealant inside to give me some extra insurance. The other picture above shows the chassis after the chemical stripping and sanded and ready to prime.

I set up a “paint booth” in my buddy’s garage which consisted of plastic hanging from the ceiling to keep the dust down. I watered the floor as well, and I think that I got pretty good results. It is not perfect, but this is not going to be a showpiece, and I can say that I did it myself. I started with the sandable primer to remove some of the imperfections with my bodywork. I did about 4 coats in the areas that needed a little extra attention. The pictures above show the parts after the final epoxy primer coating, ready for the paint. It looks like the next stop is the painting.

Here are a couple of pictures right after it was painted. The colors don’t show up quite right in the pictures, but I think it is right on. I got the Ditzler paint numbers from a Vintage Ski Doo web page, and our local paint shop was able to match them up.

We just couldn’t resist putting some of it together just to get a better look at what the final product will be. I have a little bit more cleaning and painting of some of the drive train parts, but I am really close to the reassembly phase, I can’t wait.

I got a chance to finish up the painting this weekend. I had a few parts and pieces, along with the black stripe on the hood that needed to get finished up. I am glad that part is over. I got the engine installed, and even fired it up again just for fun.

Well my project is nearly complete. I still need to get the correct “ski-doo” on the side of the hood, and I need to get the proper windshield cut out. There are still a few smaller things that need to get finished, so I still have some fun ahead of me.

I just might have to find another project to keep me busy…