Years ago when I started to take an interest in snowmobile racing, I learned that amongst drag racing circles there were many cliques, the exclusive circles or group of persons with one leader who from what I seen pretty much held the hands of their tuner friends as they went from practice testing to actual races.
The clique members would feel less intimidated by all the other racers guided by one tuner. If a sledder was lucky enough to hook up with one of the better tuners they might actually see some progress in a few seasons of racing. More often than not you had to be brand loyal to what the master tuner ran in the present or a favorite brand of theirs in the past. Many racers I have seen would become totally dependant on the leader, learning nothing of how to clutch a sled.
One of the best things that happened to me is I was never allowed in some of these circles. I questioned "why" I was supposed to make a change and was a sort of an upstart. People traditionally try a whole bunch of clutching setups and find that some worked and some didn't, but it wasn't always clear why.
Another best thing that happened to me is getting to know a seasoned troubleshooter.
A gentleman named Dave Stewart who used to own a factory Rupp oval team in the 70's. His passion was clutching sleds and helping underdogs by drilling into their heads for them to know "Without understanding WHY something works, it's very hard to figure out how you would select a different clutch detail(s) that might address a slightly different problem and make the system react worse."
Dave taught us: 1) Learn why a detail on the system works the way it does. 2) Share your information wisely with people having genuine interest.
I quote his words they are burned into my memory: You will arrive at your own prejudices in your own way--not have them spoon-fed by a self appointed clutch tinkerer who doesn't know anything about your sled.
After his death I went on my own. Some guys looked upon me and felt sorry because of my hard work in trying different ideas in clutching and having what it looked like - was being cursed with punishments of failure all the time when actually after a change, I was learning what my sled was telling me. I wrote notes and reviewed them and moved forward.
Just like Ghandi said, the stages of patience; "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they hate you, then you win"
"Patience is defined as" keeping the law", in this realm, "keeping the law of the clutch parts".
Today's tuner is a student of clutch tuning books, aftermarket clutch component company products, telemetry, data recording equipment, internet chat forums, a drawer full of clutch components, purchased clutch kit packages and rampant copying of clutch kits.
There are still "The Cliques" out there, however I see more and more tuners becoming a student of their clutches and not just centered around one person.
Sharing information wisely and being accurate in recollection has attracted tuners who I think are brilliant and have great passion to share also.
I have constant feedback from a lot of tuners out there in snowmobile land who carry the knowledge of their tuning exercises. They email me instead of posting on the snowmobile forums or call me on the phone or we meet in person.
A few reasons you don't see much technical clutching talk on the internet chat forums like the forums listed in the Links page; The tuner who can read in at a forum from their work, their company's Information Tech department do not allow them to post when they view the forums at work, and/or they claim lack of typing skills.
One can ponder; Who is the more important person? The tuner with questions or the tuner with answers? My opinion, the tuner with questions is soooo valuable and there are no dumb questions. The tuner(s) find answers through observation and idea exchanges. Every tuner who asks questions...thank you. The generous tuners who share accurate and valuable information of their experiences...thank you. We've gained wealth in knowledge.
Please see my comments as a concentration of information from tuners in the field who perform exercises and correspond with me somehow and I only act as an amateur editor to gather this information.
This information represents individuals who are nameless inquisitives sharing their experiences - Some will be mentioned in my clutch troubleshooting book "Increase Your Clutching IQ".The information here on this page from tuning friends and my own notes has a heavier weight than just me, which is then just good.