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HD10 Max Limited with LT Backcountry Tracks (and a bunch of questions!)

Jamie W

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Hi folks,


we finally got our Defender for a shakeout cruise up to 10,600' where we're building an off-grid cabin.  It's ski/sled access only six months a year so the Can Am is a crucial piece of equipment to make all that possible.  But...confused on several bits of conflicting info and wondering if folks here can help?

Thing One: Break In Period.  Dealer said don't worry about it basically. Manual says 250 miles. YT has suggested couple tanks of gas.  Curious if having the Backcountry tracks on it, plus a snowplow is already putting it under more strain than would be ideal for breakin?


Thing Two: What settings can/should you run the LT tracks in?  Dealer said any/all--2WD rear, 4WD, High/Low, Rear diff lock. Manual said only and always 4WD.   


Thing Three: RPM and top speeds.  Highest we got was about 20MPH at 5400 RPM. It's at 10K' plus so has lost a chunk of power to elevation, but it doesn't feel punchy enough to float/stay on top of/power through snow much deeper than a foot or two (and we get that a bunch up where we are).


Thing Four: Elevation, octane and timing.  One forum said 87 is spec'd. A Can-Am specific post said 91.  Is the engine EFI so lowering octane doesn't boost high altitude power, should we stick w 87 vs 91 and how bad exactly is ethanol content b/c it seems the only ethanol free stuff we can get is 91.  (ideally I'd try 85 ethanol free up here)


Thanks for any/all help!



Can Am 2023.HEIC

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Welcome to the forum.

I don't know the answer to running with tracks but I run with 30" tires and whenever I am in the steep and deep I run in low range to put less stress on the belt.

You will be past break in and you won't likely notice a change.

I have a 2019 HD10 and I have done a clutch kit and a tune so I now run 91 octane no ethanol fuel. My threads are in the build section and you can read them when you have time.🙂

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my opinions on your questions:

1. I honestly don't think there is a break-in period on the defender.  I was told that I just needed to change the oil once I hit 1000 miles.  I don't believe that putting the tracks on or plowing snow right after you take delivery is going to put any more stress on it than if you waited until after break-in.  I've found that these things are pretty much tanks and with regular maintenance they'll last awhile.  Obviously the tracks are going to put more stress on certain components compared to tires, but from my experience with the Camso tracks my machine doesn't seem to mind it.


2. I run my machine in 4wd all the time when the tracks are on and in high gear unless I'm climbing or the snow is coming over the hood.


3. I can't really elaborate on the elevation issues since I'm from Minnesota and we're basically at sea level being at only 1,200ft lol


4. The only thing I would say could help at elevation is a tune and a turbo haha I don't think the defender was really made to high mark.  As far as octane recommendations, I've heard it both ways, "only run 91 non-oxy" "only run regular 87 unleaded".  I personally run 91 non-oxy only for the fact that if ethanol fuel sits long enough it leaves a white residue when it evaporates.


Hope you find the answers you're looking for.  Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Break in is 1000km. As far as running tracks, I run the LT360s but on much harder snow then what you would be using and most of the time run at 4500-4700rpm and 20-25km/h Its not fast with the tracks, but it is very torqy. I run in 4wd with rear dif lock. I wouldn't run in 2wd simply because the front tracks could start plowing/dragging depending on weight distribution over terrarin. You want them moving. 

Is the defender the right machine for high altitude, not sure. The turbo mavericks seems to be popular in the powder/high alt environments because they have the power and lower weight for floatation. I have seen turbo kits available for the defender that may help with the elevation issue to run better, but not sure it would give you the top end your looking for to get better flotation. 




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