2008/2010 FireCat Review
As promised here is my review of my 2008 FireCat with updated limbs and Cat2 cams.
I got the limbs Dec. 17th and installed them using the original Cat cams and new Roto cups. The limbs rely on machined side plates on the Roto cups for alignment. They are not drilled and pegged on the underside of the limbs so they can "float" longitudinally in the Roto cups. They only thing I can see to keep them from sliding is the limb bolt. This may work. Time will tell.
The Roto cups sit in the riser the same as the old ones so no shifting should occur here. The limbs are narrower and the limb forks so shorter axles are needed (included in the package). There are two thin (1/16") washers on each side of the cam. Cam lean was very evident and very bad at full draw. A call to Joel at Martin confirmed that the older Cat cams are not compatgable with the new limbs. He sent me a pair of 2010 Cat2 cams which I installed in about 15 minutes.
Bow specs fell within a reasonable proximity to factory with the ATA being 32 1/4" (both sides) and the brace height being 6 7/8". Draw weight peaked at 53# with 50# (1M) limbs.
At first glance there appeared to be no cam lean and a straight edge held along the side of the cam and parallel to the string confirmed that there is virtually no cam lean at rest. I removed the cables from the cable slide and checked again, with the same results. At full draw I could see no cam lean so I had a friend look from behind me as I stood and aimed. He said he couldn't see much of any cam lean at full draw. So far, so good.
Now for the tuning. I tied on a nockset 1/4" above square and moved the centershot in toward the riser. The centershot is closer with these new limbs, about 1/8". Put in a peep and took a shot at 10 yards with my old 20 yard sight setting. It was off a little with the first arrow hitting low in the X-ring on a Vegas face. Pretty darn close for a thrown together remake.
Bow is quiet and performing as well as can be expected. More work to come, as I don't have properly spined arrows for my setup. Bare shaft at 15 yards and paper tuning both show the same thing. Nocking point is right on and left tear through paper (stiff arrow for me). Need new arrows anyway with a softer spine.
Here some info about the new Cat2 cams. The cams have been redesigned to minimize cam lean. The cable track around the inner part of the cam is machined in spiral, meaning that as the cam rolls over the cables tracks deeper into the physical center of the cam. This is what helps with the cam lean as the pressure from the cable is shifted more toward the physical center of the limb forks, evening the pressure. The spiral (or helical if you will) isn't real noticable till you look hard, but it's there. It appears to work well.
The modules are different, too. First off they are not a silvery color, but more of a charcoal. They are narrower with a deeper groove for the cable to track into and the outer edge is rounded where so many people were getting severe cable serving wear. Also, there is a little gap between the cable and the module (at least on my bow) so this should help, too.
My shooting keeps going down hill along with muscle depletion so shooting test won't mean much to people, but with the bow set for 26.5 " draw, 42# of draw weight, and a 275gr arrow the bow chrono's at 256 fps. With some tweaking I should be able to get 260 fps to 265 fps out of it.
The only other thing I would say is that it has new Stone Mountain strings (Martin). I put a peep in right away and am having no peep rotation as of yet, with approximately 100 shots through the bow yesterday. My shoulder hurt today.
OK, now I'm open to questions and/or suggestions.
I'm glad to see your brace being 6 7/8 because I've never been able to get the 7" no matter how many twist I've put into the cables and thought it was me.lol. I never thought about measuring from both sides to Check ata. How far did you measure out from the riser to get your center shot?
The rest is sitting at about 13/16" right now, but that is just an eyeball setting. Because my arrows are not the right spine I haven't bothered trying to move it yet.
By the way, that 6 7/8" brace height is with the limbs backed off 3 turns. With the limbs bottomed it would probably be closer to 6 3/4", which would suit my short draw length just fine, but that would also mean I'd have to yank the cams over at 53# which is quite impossible for me at this time.
Years ago, 1997 to be exact, I had a Golden Eagle prototype with a 5 3/4" brace height and I cold shoot that well. Just couldn't keep limbs on the bow. Crack-Crack. That bow shot 290 fps at 27", 60# and 315 gr arrow.
Are the Dakota strings 8125 or 452X?
Looking at my cams - the cable track seems to be helical (spiral). The cable is closer to center at rest and moves out some as you draw.
My thought is they are the new style with the old modules on them. Dont know if that is possible but...
These pics arn't very good but from them can you tell me what year they are?
Great review of the new parts and good pics too. I have a few questions since I too have a 2008 Firecat. It had both limbs replaced last June after my original bottom limb cracked. It now has 2009 Firecat SE limbs and so far no problems as far as these are concerned.
What prompted you to get all these 2010 parts and did you have to buy these parts or did Martin swap these under warranty because of problems? Was it due to cam lean, and if so, how severe was the problem? I don't have much, if any, at rest but there is a very noticeable amount at full draw. Did you have a chance to compare performance, such as speed, draw cycle smoothness/harshness and drop into the valley, between the 2008 parts and 2010 parts? Did you have to change your strings because of differences in the 2010 parts? Did you get the parts delivered to you home or to a shop? If I were to do the same do you think Martin would have me go to my dealer to verify the problem and initiate the process of replacing the parts or would they send them to my home, with me sending the old parts back afterward?
I've also wondered about the new roto limb cup design changes and what they improve. The absence of peg holes in the limbs would seem logical in that the integrity of the limbs isn't compromised - I like that. As to the side plates - do the limbs run on these? If so, do you think this would weaken them over time in that area? Do you think there's any chance the limbs can move side to side which could potentially cause a change/loss of accuracy?
Thanks in advance for your time and answers.
speaking of the "new" CAT2 cam. Is it a 3rd run of cams after the debacle with the originals eating cables or are they the improvements after the first run of cams. If you remember when you were down here I called Martin and ordered Wisecane some of the improved CAT2's after he was having problems with his. Like I mentioned are these the cams you are refering to or is it even a newer design.
Scott, I'll answer you first. Yes, I remember you ordering new parts for Wisecane's bow. Just what parts you got is something I can't answer. I am not even certain about what changes were made at that time, but I think it was a modification to the modules. I think what they did was just machine them about 1/16" narrower and possibly round off the sharp edge where the cables rubbed.
Originally Posted by scepterman30x
I never had a problem with mine so never had to get new mods. I am still not aware of whether they modified the cams by that time. What I can say is that both the cams and modules for 2010 are completely different from my original models.
Now I'll work with the other guys. You might want to stay on this and get a few answers on the other things.
The difference was that they positioned the "helical" part of the cam where the cable attatches a little further out away from the mod because I did compare and I did use his original mods.
Originally Posted by Rockyhud
I'll start at the top and work through this. The only reason I made the change to the bow is because my top limb just happened to split about 6 weeks ago. When I called Jeremy I just figured that the 2010 limbs, being 4 ply instead of three, would be a better limb so I requested them. At the time Jeremy didn't tell me that they came with new style Roto-cups and axles. Maybe he assumed I knew. I found later that the new limbs also required the new Cat 2 cam, which Joel sent me. String sizes remained the same
The new Roto cups are machined from one piece of aluminum. I don't think there is much chance of a sideplate breaking off. There isn't much, if any stress to the sides. Just how the limb is going to be stable in the cup is a question I can't answer. Just have to wait and see.
I've now shot the bow with all the new parts. I can't discern much difference in draw cycle, or other performance. Really, I'm making wholesale changes during this whole process. Installing a different rest, different arrows, peep with a Verifier lens. In the meantime I'm waiting for my spine tester to be completed before I finish my new arrows.
As to how about getting parts? As a customer Martin will require you to work through a dealer. If you are having problems that require warranty service then that's what you, the dealer, and Martin have to work out.
As a Martin shooter I can have the parts shipped directly to me and I return the parts being replaced (part of the RA procedure).
In your case, if you're having no issues with the bow I wouldn't worry about it. If you'd have to buy the new pieces it would not be worth it. Just like me last year--I was hearing about cam leans and cables rubbing on the modules, serving being rubbed out ina couple hundred shots. I wasn't having any of these issues at that time so I didn't do anything about it. And it was also hard for me to explain to people what might be causing the problems because I had no first hand knowledge. More recently I'm trying to learn more about these things to be able to help others.
The cam is the same as my 2010 cams. The module appears to be the same except for the color. Mine are a charcoal flavor.
By the way, if you want batter pics then just back off where the camera can focus. It's digital man. Take a picture then view it. If it isn't right take some more. I learned this doing underwater stuff. I might take 50 pictures of a moray eel and only keep three of the shots. But he ain't going anywhere and neither am I so I stay there and shoot, adjust, shoot, adjust and so forth till I get the best results. It's how to learn. Similar to tuning bows. Just try stuff to find what works for you.
Sorry to preach.