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THIOKOL/LMC/DMC Technical Issues Forum Technical repair issues & questions for Thiokol/DMC/LMC

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Old 02-28-2008, 01:14 PM
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Default Thiokol Spryte A-Model

I am looking to by a cat for backcountry skiing. I found one and the guy is asking $8,000. I have 0 experience with snowcats and if it is a good deal. Here is what it has:

Ford inline 6, OC-4 drive, 2 man cab, weighs in at 4,000 lbs, 36" tracks. The tracks belts are old and he is throwing in new belts. New: windshields, paint, seats, most tires, fuel tank, fan belts, hoses. It has 3,093 hours. Has a front blade, but it sounds like the hydraulic pump is going out.

So is this machine worth $8k? Thanks in advanced!
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

The hydraulic pump is critical, find out the cost to replace this before you go much farther. $8000 is probably a good deal, condition is certainly a factor and we can't see photos so it is hard to judge condition. A Spryte is a great unit, there are different versions and I am NOT an expert on the various versions (this is a A model). Hopefully 'mtntopper' or one of the other guys can jump in and help you out a bit more. Any photos?
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

B_Skurka - Thanks for the reply. The guy stated that the hydraulic pump works but squeals. So I'm guessing it needs to be rebuilt of replaced. I'm not even sure what the pump is. I was hoping someone here could help me come up with a ball park figure/cost for a pump. The cat is in good shape. He stated to replace the track belting before use. He has a new pre-punched track belting he will throw in. I do not have pictures yet. I am planning on going to look at it this Saturday.

If there are some things I should pay close attention to, please let me know. Again, I do not know squat about snowcats. Just been researching for the past week.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

Contact member "boggie" here, he can tell you more about hydraulic pump repairs than all the rest of us combined. "mtntopper" is a Thiokol expert here and he can give you information on the differences between the A, B, etc models, tell you about the OC rear ends, etc.

Take lots of photos and post them here, I'm sure people here will be able to help you out. If you have problems posting pictures, send me a "PM" and I can help you post them since I am the moderator for the snowcat area, if I'm not around, then "Doc" is our administrator and you can send him a "PM" asking for assistance in posting photos.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

Looks like you could use an avatar. Considering the name, will this fit?
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

B_Skurka - Thanks again. I do understand the difference between the different Spryte models. This one is the A which has the OC-4 rear. So not a strong workhorse. Cannot push a lot of snow or haul a heavy load. I just seen the hours on the machine 3,000 plus and thought that was high.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

bobpierce - Yes I ride a 2003 GS Adventure with Jesse Bags and various other parts. Love the bike. Also, ride a 05 Honda CRF450X.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

Ok got a few pics. Please let me know what you all think and if it is worth the $8k asking price with the 3,093 hours.
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

I would say NO! A Spryte with a blade AND a OC-4 rear diff are a bad combo. The OC-4 is not that strong to begin with. Then you add the extra weight of a spryte VS Imp and ahave it pushing GOD knows what with the blade. Usually people start pushing all kinds of stuff besides snow. Dirt, Mud sand gravel ect ect. To replace an OC-4 you are looking between 4K to 8K. I would pass on it. JUST MY OPINION.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

You want a Spryte with the much stronger OC-12.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

Now that that photos are up, and I see how beat up that front blade is, I have to wonder exactly what they used the blade to push? As bent as it is, it looks like the blade was in the local demolition derby. The rest of the snowcat looks to be in decent visual condition. It appears like there is some rust around the door frame? But I'm not seeing dents on the body to match the beat up front blade.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

here is the question what is your budget if this machine fits then i would say go for it if your back country skiing take the blade of as all cat preform better with out them. if you need the blade then you would be better off with a latter machine with the oc 12
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

Any snow cat that you are considering to purchase from any person known or unknown to you or even if you think you like them should be throughly checked out by you or someone knowledgeable on snow cats prior to your purchase. The only exception is if they give you a notarized unconditional warranty in writing for 1 year that covers 100% of all repairs, parts, labor, and then I would still be real skeptical of such a great deal. There is a reason most cats are sold and when you know the real reason then the purchase decision to buy or not to buy is easier. I am not saying all cats for sale are bad but what I want you to realize that many times people do not take proper care of a machine and when repairs are needed they sell it to an unsuspecting party.

As to this cat it may or may not be worth 8K, but 5K to 6K may be a good buy if the rear end is good and it runs good. It everything works 8K is not out of line. The hydraulic pump for the blade used on this cat is probably just a power steering pump and rebuilds are fairly easy to acquire. I have seen worse sell for more and better sell for less but the ones selling for less are getting harder to find with the demand for personal use cats at an all time high.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

I appreciate everyones responses. Being a rookie gives more of an idea what to look for. I think I will still go and look at this cat Saturday and see it in person. I did ask the seller today on the phone about the front blade and why it looked so dented up. His explanation was not that great. He stated that the blade he thinks was previously in a C or D shape and someone pounded it straight. I do not really buy that explanation.

I also agree from what I have read the past week the OC-4 diff is not meant, nor strong enough to push the blade. The only reason I could see I would need a front blade is to push or level out snow drifts.

Well if anyone has a reasonable priced snowcat let me know what you have. I'd be willing to truck out to say Idaho/NV.

mkntrakes - So are you in Castle Rock, CO? I am in Bailey.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

gs_adventure,

One thing I can say for certain is that if you don't buy this machine, the time researching different options will serve you very well. Let me give you an example.

I use my snowcat for tree skidding in winter on my property. That's the only reason I bought it.

When I first got interested in this solution I thought a Thiokol Imp might do the job. In fact, I was dead-set on getting on on eBay and it's a darned good thing I lost the auction. Then I thought I'd get by with a larger gasoline engine cat, perhaps a Spryte. As time passed and I learned more, and talked with more people, I finally wound up with the big diesel hydrostatic monster. Well, today when I was skidding a tree down the hill I realized that nothing short of what I'm using would have done the job. My current machine can probably drag a couple of Imps chained together. I can skid a 2' diameter 20' long log with no problem using the rear lift frame I built.

As for the parallels to your situation. . .I think that if you pass on this machine you'll eventually conclude that you must have an OC-12 if you get a Spryte. Repairs of these machines are a tremendous hassle. They don't break down at the right time. Imagine that machine's OC-4 cracking apart on a trip. You'd have to leave the machine there and fix it in the field. You'd spend more fixing it than it's worth.

Part of the challenge I'd face looking at that Spryte, aside from the rear end, is that it looks pretty good - nice paint job, seats, clean, etc. None of that stuff matters if you can't count on the machine with 100% confidence.
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

Looked at this snowcat today. The track belts definitly need to be replaced. He does have new pre-punched hole belts, just not installed. The grousers are all rusted and some what bent. To replace the belts all the nuts and bolts would need to be replaced. The cab is in ok shape. You can see he or someone painted over a lot of service rust. The font blade is home made. The rear diff looked like it may have a small oil leak at the gasket. I asked him if next weekend we could take it for a test drive and he preferred we did so in a parking lot and not on snow. He did not trust the tracks he stated. He also stated that the OC4 diff is very strong and that a lot of people do not know what they are talking about and that they are stronger and you can trust them more than you think. Just that they are not very strong for pushing heavy snow. From all that I have read the OC4 may not be what I am looking for.

I also found a couple Imp's in South West Colorado here. How does the Imp compare to the Thiokol A model's?
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

I agree with everyone's advice on the A model sprite. The OC 4 just can't handle the abuse of a blade or heavy pulling. If you where to use it for cabin access over a short distance without a blade, then maybe. Just don't pay much for it! (and plan on working on it a lot.)
It has drop down axles and lower gearing than an Imp which helps, but not enough. An OC 12 is the way to go, but will cost more to purchase. For back country skiing, I wouldn't go smaller than a Sprite.
I have a highly modified Imp that has the oc 4 differential that was rebuilt by Petersons Equipment last year. I feel really good about it now, but I don't abuse it at all and never pull anything. I probably put 250 miles on it this year without any problems. It was costly to repair, but was worth it.
I wouldn't run away from an A model sprite, but would be very cautious and know it's limits. If your the only operator and baby it, it could last a long time. Name:  pics 001.jpg
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

I am steering away from the A-model and would rather go with an OC-12. That Imp you have sure looks nice. Nice job!
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

Also check out the Super Imp! They have an OC12, automatic and are easy to tow. They are small but bigger than an Imp and have excellent flotation! I love my Super Imp. I have this year alone gone over 500 miles of back country in every type of terrain and snow. Never was I stopped. I am very impressed. Next year I will be going with a larger cat for the simple fact I need to carry more gear than the 1500 pounds I was carrying and would like to build a rear cargo/cabin so I can stay out in the field for days at a time until each site is up. You cant go wrong with a Super Imp (wide track)!
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Thiokol Spryte A-Model

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowcat Operations View Post
Also check out the Super Imp! They have an OC12, automatic and are easy to tow. They are small but bigger than an Imp and have excellent flotation! I love my Super Imp. I have this year alone gone over 500 miles of back country in every type of terrain and snow. Never was I stopped. I am very impressed. Next year I will be going with a larger cat for the simple fact I need to carry more gear than the 1500 pounds I was carrying and would like to build a rear cargo/cabin so I can stay out in the field for days at a time until each site is up. You cant go wrong with a Super Imp (wide track)!
I do believe we have a total religious conversion from Aktiv SnowMaster as the only snow cat, to a Thiokol, DMC and LMC convert who has finally seen the light of day and discovered the real snow cat.....
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