Silber Turbo – Gen4 850 Summit Product Review

Just like any other snowmobiler, the thought of turbo charging my sled has lived in my mind from the moment I discovered aftermarket turbo systems. Although my intentions of buying a turbo had to date been more of a pipe dream than anything else, I found myself walking away with a new Silber turbo kit at the Denver Snowmobile Expo last year. The sled I intended on installing this on was my 2017 Ski Doo Summit 850 with 1,600 miles. After a year of running this set up here are my thoughts –

Installation – 4.8 / 5

Silber advertises that this kit can be installed in as little as 3-4 hours which is possible for an experienced technician with the correct tools on a new sled. For most users, plan on a full day especially if your sled has some mileage. Being that I was installing this kit on a sled with mileage not everything came apart as easy as the video shows, more specifically the primary clutch.

Silber includes decent instructions on how to install the kit but the best resource for installation is the video posted by Brandon Cox that goes step by step through the installation. This video is extremely comprehensive and includes all instructions you will need for installation. If you choose to do this yourself, save the headaches and buy the special tools needed to disassemble the clutches. Although it is possible to do it without the clutch tools, it will save a lot of time and headaches when you get to the clutching portion.

The video shows the steps to remove the ECU to have the fuel map reflash completed that comes with the kit. If you are installing in an area that does not have a Silber dealer nearby you will need to remove the ECU and send it to Silber. I am fortune enough to live near several dealers who can reflash the ECU while still on the sled so I was able to skip the steps of removing and reinstalling the ECU.

Installing the turbo assembly, airbox, intake & charge tube, oil lines & coolant lines was extremely easy but did take some time. Being that the sled I installed this on was not brand new, the clutch work was the most difficult portion of the install as it took some effort to get the clutches off and apart.

If I were to buy this kit again, I would likely do the installation myself again since I tend to do my own sled work, and this was a simple install. If you do not want to install the kit, there are a wide range of Silber dealers out there. Some good dealers are Advantage Tuning and Vickery Motorsports that will install the kit for a reasonable price.

Fitment – 4.5 / 5

Fitment of this system is extremely thought out and capable of passing as a factory set up. The turbine, blower, waste gate and all piping come assembled as one unit and fit exactly where the stock can was. The intake tube and charge tube run over top of the engine and take a bit of wiggling through the chassis supports but once in place, look as though they are meant to be. One of the strengths of the Silber system is the utilization of the stock air intake eliminating the need for a snorkel running through your side panel. Although this seems like a minor detail, it is critical in those deep days to eliminate powder bog. Except for the occasional bog on an epic day, I have absolutely no problems with clogged intakes.

The only place that I saw a minor flaw in the fitment is just above the turbo on the plastic vent that is used to cool the stock exhaust. Although not visible from the outside, the turbo will slightly melt the plastic vent enough to smell it while riding the first few times out. A fairly minor detail in my opinion but worthy to note.

Fueling & Clutching – 3.8 / 5

This system is marketed by Silber as tunerless “pull and go” and I would say this is 98% correct. The kit comes with weights for the primary and a chart for what weight and fuel to run at each elevation. Since most of my riding is over 8,000 feet, I choose to stay with 5psi last season in order to only need 91 pump gas.

The kit comes with a 3, 5 and 7psi spring with the ability to run up to 10psi by combining the 3psi & 7psi spring inside the waste gate. I’ve read online that it is possible to do this with the 5 and 7 to achieve 12 but have not tried it since the system isn’t intercooled.

Also included with the kit are new longer bolts for the primary clutch clickers, along with various size weights to put on the longer bolts. Instead of changing ramp angles on the stock clutch, Silber chose to lengthen the clicker bolts to allow room to add weights. This was likely done because it simplifies the install and allows for very quick clutching changes on the snow. Since the Summit comes stock with the clicker system allowing fast changes to the ramp angles, it makes sense that Silber would go with adding weight over changing ramps to simply the install.

Silber gives a chart showing the fuel type to run at each boost level along with the weight to run. When I bought the kit, I was advised by Silber to start at 5psi with my clickers on 3 and set my weights to the elevation I typically ride at. To change to 7psi the steps would be run 2 gallons of 110 mixed with standard 91, bump my clickers up one notch and change the spring.

Now for that 2% tuning that is needed. Since the boost is not controlled by the ECU, you get the same boost no matter the elevation. The clutching is set for a specific elevation / boost which creates a specific amount of horse power. This causes some mildly noticeable lag when getting to higher elevations due to the decrease in horse power being that the boost does not increase with the elevation. This is where the Boondocker Sidekick kit has a leg up. Boondocker uses an adjustable waste gate which allows the boost to increase and decrease with elevation. This equates to the same horsepower being created at all elevations allowing the clutching to be set for a specific amount of horsepower consistently being created. This will eliminates problems with under/overrevving with elevation changes and keep the sled running at peak performance no matter the elevation.

Because of the problem caused by fixed boost, you will need to watch for under/over revving to keep the sled running at top performance. I set my clutching to above 6,000 feet on Silber’s chart and adjust my clickers up or down if I see consistent over or under revving. Silber makes it very clear in their instructions running the 850 ETEC over 8,000 rpms will cause damage to the reeds so it is crucial to watch your rpms with varying snow conditions.

Function & Performance – 3.5 / 5

With close to 30 days on the snow last year I had the opportunity to ride this kit in windshield deep power to rock solid snow. Silber markets this kit as smooth consistent power and with the custom fuel map that Silber developed, I can say it truly is as smooth as they say. There are no flat spots, unusual bogging, or any other strange behavior. The sled runs as good or better then the stock map but with the added fun of boost.

The kit is most noticeable in the deep powder but more specifically it is a game changer if you like riding steep trees. The kit allows you to climb and be more technical with your line. When riding the steep and deep, keeping momentum is everything. This kit adds the horsepower needed to regain momentum after slowing the sled down when going through highly technical areas. As with any kit though, keeping that turbo spooled is key. Throttle modulation while using the brake lever becomes more important and with the custom fuel map that comes with the kit, the throttle response is quick when the turbo is spooled.

Now for the complaints – Although this is minor, when the ECU was reflashed, the altimeter always shows 26,800ft no matter the elevation. I was a bit worried at first that the ECU was fueling the sled incorrectly but the fueling seemed spot on so there must be a disconnect with the gauge output. After a quick talk this year with the Silber crew at the snow show this year, I found that the problem lives in the gauge itself and not in the map and there is not currently a fix for this.

The biggest item I noticed throughout the season on this system is the cooling. Let me start off by saying after close to 30 rides and 900 miles on this kit last season, I did not have a single problem with the sled overheating and never once worried about damaging the sled. One thing I did notice was the overflow tank always seemed to show as low when under pressure.

During the installation, a coolant line is removed from the overflow tank that instead of going directly from the engine to the overflow tank, changes to go through the turbo then to the overflow tank providing cooling for the turbo. Although this is unconfirmed, my theory to the cause of this problem is the heat from the additional fuel being burned and cooling the turbo itself is causing more expansion and contraction of the coolant then a stock sled. This means when running the engine hard, the coolant expands enough to come out the overflow and once it cools down, the system shows as slightly low on coolant.

If this truly is the problem, the simplest fix would be a larger overflow reservoir to allow more room for expansion of the coolant. In defense of the current design, once the overflow occurs once there would be adequate room for the additional expansion and therefore the over flow would not occur again. Being that this solution increases the price of the kit, I can understand how Silber chose to leave the kit as is since it doesn’t cause problems with cooling.

Total Score – 4.1 / 5

For several years I had thought about a turbo kit and the only reason I had to not buy was the price and reliability of the older kits. I can remember rides years ago with people that had the “piggyback” systems that require substantial tuning to get running properly and I felt that for the price paid versus the amount of time tuning simply didn’t pay off.

With the modern kits on the market today that are truly bolt on tunerless kits, the reliability concern I once had is no long there. The Silber kit truly is 100% reliable on new and used sleds, assuming of course the install was done properly, and your sled didn’t have preexisting conditions before install.

With price being the second thing that kept my turbo dreams at bay for several years, this kit also solved that problem. The best part of the kit is that it not only comes with the turbo system itself, it comes with all the clutching you need. When you pay for the kit, there are no additional items you must buy to get the sled performing properly, the price is the price for a pull and go system.

Lastly, value is something that is difficult to measure and lives in the mind of each person when buying a product. I can honestly say, Silber has put a product on the market that measured on a horsepower per dollar basis sets the bar high in the Turbo market.

Order your Silber turbo for your Ski Doo Summit 850 here!

Ride Report – 11/18/2018

We had a group of 7 ride out of greenrock today and what we found made it seem like late December conditions! Coverage from the parking lot in greenrock was excellent for November. There was several feet of snow on the side of the road and fairly good coverage on highway 130 all the way to the junction with N. Even Libby flats had fairly good coverage.

Near the junction of N and HW130 we found 2-3 feet of new snow with a surprisingly good base underneath for November. Still plenty of landmines buried and partially buried, but again, for November very good coverage.

We continued north on N and found plenty of deep snow to play in. Lakes were mostly frozen but we still avoided them as much as possible. Streams were very well covered for this time of year but there were still plenty of holes to be found. Hillsides had fairly good coverage. We found a few spots with good coverage that we could do some mild climbing without to much worry of rocks but for the most part tree riding and climbing should be avoid until the base builds more. Stick to the meadows for now.

The base will likely settle early this week and the highway will likely start to be patching if you are looking to ride before thanksgiving. Hopefully the system moving in late this week will pan out. This will likely set up Colorado and Wyoming with a good base to kick off the season.

CSA Awards

The Colorado Blizzards are very excited to announce that one of our families will be receiving Colorado Snowmobile Association Snowmobile Family of the Year! Thank you Rexford’s for everything you do for our sport and for being such genuinely great people!

We also want to congratulate Brandon Tudizzle Cox for receiving Snowmobiler of the Year! Thank you Brandon for everything you do. Your efforts to promote our sport are second to none and we need more people like you involved in the snowmobile community!

 

Snowies – 12/27/17

Needless to say, the last storm drastically improved the conditions in the snowies! Grooming out of Greenrock has not started yet but there is plenty of snow on the shoulder up until the road closure sign so grooming should start soon.

The road is mostly covered with some dry patches where there is a lot of wind. These areas will likely not have snow on them until grooming begins and packs a base down. The road is ridable at regular speeds up and over Libby flats but there are a couple dry spots on Libby flats until grooming stats. The east face still needs a bit more snow but with some careful navigation avoiding thin spots, the east face is ridable off trail.

We continued over Libby flats where the snow started to get extremely deep around lake Marie. Lake Marie hill was climbable but it was difficult to say the least. We played in this area but the snow was so deep that climbing any sort of hill was extremely difficult even for the turbos in the group.

We continued down 130 to the intersection with N and proceed south off highway 130 towards the Nelson Waterfall area. This area had some amazing snow but once again, extremely deep. To climb the trees just south of the highway 130 / N intersection took constant full throttle to stay moving. There were times we were running full throttle through the trees for multiple minutes to keep moving. The waterfall was untouched but the snow was way too deep to climb it.

We decided to boondock North towards the Quealy hut and continued to find epically deep untracked snow. We took a quick break at Quealy then we headed southeast from Quealy and played in the meadows and trees which continued to be great conditions. Around 3pm, we started to head west on NO towards widow maker with the intent of going through the gap. Widow maker is starting to fill in well and is climbable (if you choose) and the rollercoaster is 95% filled in and ridable.  The gap is crossable but be careful to follow the track with good snow.

In summary – The snowies are open for riding! All lakes are frozen solid, blow holes are minimal and landmines are beginning to diminish. We did hit a couple minor things but for the most part, coverage and base is good for this time of year. If you haven’t been out yet this year, now is the time to start!

Rabbit Ears – 12/26/17

We rode out of Dumont parking lot on rabbit ears today with 2 sleds and 2 snow bikes. When we arrived, the parking lot was not plowed yet but the frontend loader showed up shortly after we arrived.

From the parking lot, we headed north with the intent of going to the Tower on Buff Pass. When we departed it looked like the trail had been groomed within the last week or so but there were not trail markers out yet.  Although the trail was groomed recently, the new snow had blown in the trail so it was somewhat difficult to follow without the markers but still possible.

This storm seemed to have been very wind driven so a common theme throughout the day was 12” to 18” in the meadows then epic snow 48”+ deep in the trees. From the parking lot, the new snow was deep but it was clear there wasn’t much of a base. The base didn’t start to get deep enough to trust until we got through the “twisty’s” in the trail.

After this point we cut off trail and found great conditions. Meadow hoping and climbing what hills we could was a great time. Fuel consumption was high today with how deep the snow was, I burned about ½ tank in 30 miles.

We cut into the trees which was great riding in epically deep conditions but quickly found out it was difficult to stop and get started again, even in the flats. The snow had no bottom, so when we would start to get stuck, the sled would dig down 4 to 5 feet. The “pin & wiggle” proved ineffective today. After to many stucks to count, we decided to keep to the edges of the meadows near the trees as the snow was very deep, but not so deep we risked constantly getting stuck. At about this point, we decided to abandon heading to the tower and just ride where we were.

In summary – after this last storm, Rabbit Ears has good riding conditions. Still the occasional open blow holes, lakes were mostly frozen. I suggest staying North of the “twistys” and being careful in the trees until this new snow settles into more of a consistent base. Conditions are still thinner than the snowy’s but very much rideable. After this storm settles and another good storm rolls through, Rabbit Ears will be fully open.

First Club Ride! – Snowy’s 12/16/17

We had our first club ride of the season this last Saturday 12/16/17 with 13 members in attendance!

We road out of Greenrock leaving the trailhead at about 9am and proceeded to the west face Quealy area. The east face is still very thin and still many dry spots on highway 130. Once we got to Libby flats the road was fully covered all the way to the junction of N.

N is marked and groomed and looking great! Thanks to The Snowy Range Snowmobile Club!

We broke off into two groups and rode south east of Quealy where we found good snow in the tree but still very thin.  The small storm that moved through mid last week was not as generous as we had hoped.

We met back up at Quealy for lunch then headed out south west of Quealy where we found some great creek bottoms to get stuck in!

Everyone had a great time, we hope to see another large group on our next ride in Pinedale Wyoming!

To keep up to date with us follow us on Facebook!

 

Ride Report – Snowy Range – 12/10/17

Seven Club member rode out of Greenrock in the snowys. Conditions have improved since the last storm!

Highway 130 is fully covered, until the junction with N. At the junction of Highway 130 and N we found a crew in a creek bottom that several club members help to dig out!

Off trail riding north from 130 and east from N was good. Still land mines out there but good considering the time of year and the lack of regular storms.

The rollercoaster is filled in well, the gap is still not crossable.

Most lakes are frozen and rideable and some streams are still open. Two more  solid storms are needed to make the snowy’s 100% open for riding. If you do choose to ride, go straight to the west face and stay well west of O and north of highway 130.

 

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Ride Report – Snowy Range – 12/6/17

Two club members rode out of Greenrock in the Snowy range on Wednesday 12/6/17 and found conditions have improved after the most recent storm early this week that dropped upwards of 20″ of new snow. The western face has been favored the heavyest. It was found the that highway 130 was mostly covered with some thin/bare spots. Conditions have drastically improved since our last update for this area.

CSA Raffle Ticket Sales – Sportsmens Warehouse

The Colorado Blizzards will be at Sportsmen’s Warehouse in Loveland this week from 10am to 2pm on both Saturday 12/2 and Sunday 12/3 selling raffle tickets for a new 2018 Arctic Cat M8000 snowmobile!

Tickets are $5 apiece and proceeds go to both CSA and Colorado Blizzards to Advance, Promote, and Preserve the sport of snowmobiling in Colorado!

Stop by to buy a ticket and support both the Blizzards and CSA!

 

Annual 2018 Presidents Day Weekend Ride! – 2/16/18 – 2/19/18

Its that time of year for our annual Presidents Day Ride!

As discussed at the meeting, the ride this year will be at The Grand Mesa. We will arrive on February 16th, and depart on February 19th,  and have (3) locations for lodging available, see below –

Alexander Lake Lodge 

Thunder Mountain Lodge

Grand Mesa Lodge 

As we get closer we will announce details for rides during the weekend. We plan to have multiple groups each day in varying ride levels along with a night ride on Saturday night!

If you are not a member and would like to join us on our club ride, send us a message through our Contact Us page or on Facebook! We always enjoy riding with new people!

For club members – Details on how to reserve under our block rate will be announced through our club email distribution.

We look forward to seeing everyone on the snow!

BASED IN NORTHERN COLORADO FRONT RANGE