Joe Puchalik's Vintage Polaris Wide Track Electra 440 Snowmobile Restoration Project Site
Polaris Wide Track Electra 440 snowmobiles restored (or being restored) by Joseph Puchalik
Polaris Wide Track Electra 440

My 1977 Polaris Wide Track Electra 440

This sled was what got me started on all this vintage snowmobile restoration business. My family has owned this Polaris Electra since the early 1990s. It was always a little ghetto, but it ran well and was a lot of fun. Time and disuse got to it though (it only had 1174 miles on it when it "died" the first time), and eventually it became needful of a total overhaul.

After my '79 John Deere Trailfire 440 got stolen, I had no snowmobile anymore. And not being a man of great financial means, I wasn't going to be spending $7,000 on a sled I'd ride a couple times a year. So, I decided I'd fix up the old Polaris sled and get it running again. I've tried to document my restoration process in photos as much as possible, so maybe this will be helpful to others who are restoring - or even just trying to fix - an old Polaris sled out there.

My dad and my little niece playing on my '77 Polaris Electra. This picture was taken on July 4th weekend 2006, just after I had finished the major restoration work.
My dad and my little niece playing on my '77 Polaris Electra. This picture was taken on July 4th weekend 2006, just after I had finished the major restoration work.
 

My 1974 Polaris Wide Track Electra 440

This sled is nothing more than masochism. Pure and simple. After three years of rebuilding one Polaris snowmobile, I bought another one... but I couldn't help myself. I found it on Ebay. Since there was no reserve on it, and no one had bid on it, I stood a real good chance of getting it super-cheap. Initially, I was buying this as a parts sled to cannibalize for the sled up above, because the seller said the engine was seized. So, I got the sled for $35 in the end. And when I got it home, I figured "let me just throw a little transmission fluid in the cylinders and see if the engine unfreezes..." It was the same motor (EC44PQ-04) as the '77 Electra, so if it worked, I'd have a spare, right?

A week later I come down to test it, and what do you know? It's free. Not only that, but once I got the fluid cleared, it started right up! I knew I was in trouble right then and there. I knew that with the way my brain works, I'd never be able to stop myself from fixing this sled too. But hey - if you're gonna go snowmobiling, you don't want to go by yourself, right? So now, I'd have a sled that someone else could ride if they wanted to go with me...

My 1974 Electra wedged into my old garage in Dumont, NJ. The hood was so banged up it didn't stay on the machine anymore, so I took it off and put it on the shelves behind the car you see.
My 1974 Polaris Electra, wedged into my old garage in Dumont, NJ. I kept it here to try to keep my girlfriend from finding it! It had a hood, but it was so busted up it wouldn't stay on, so I kept it on a shelf in the back behind the car. And the car... let's not even talk about the car right now, OK?