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Everything Polaris Ranger - Blog

  • Increasing The Top Speed Of Your Polaris Ranger

    Whether you’re doing some high-speed highway driving, drag racing your side-by-side on flat blacktop, or just have the need for speed, there are various ways to give your Polaris Ranger some added giddy-up-and-go. Simple things like tuning or flashing your machine’s ECU / ECM to remove the speed governor will increase the top-end limits on a stock Ranger, but without more substantial UTV mods, you’ll never reach the potential of your machine. 

    While LS small-block or Hayabusa engine swaps will surely make your Ranger faster, there are more practical and less intrusive ways of speeding up your Ranger — after all, stock tires are only rated for certain speeds, and your stock belt will likely slap the case like mad at high velocities. Nevertheless, if you’re tired of lagging behind your friends with RZRs and no longer want to be the caboose of your convoy, here are some ideas that could quicken up your Polaris Ranger.

    Tweaking The Engine Control Module For A Faster Ranger 

    Depending on what cc Ranger you have, a simple ECU tune can really wake your machine up. A Polaris Ranger 1000, for example, has the same motor as the RZR 1000, so you would think their top speeds would be comparable. Yet because the Ranger 1000 comes tuned down from the factory, it will lag behind an RZR — that is, if you don’t adjust the ECM. 

    You can send your ECU in to have it reflashed, or install an ECU tuner to make the adjustments yourself. Furthermore, if you’re Ranger feels sluggish, make sure that you’re using it in performance mode and that your performance switch is plugged in. It might seem obvious, but some people think their Ranger is abnormally slow, but were just riding in low or four-wheel drive. Additionally, having your seat belt plugged in and ensuring that your seat belt sensors are functional — or overriding the seat belt safety measures all together in the ECU — could also be slowing you down. 

    Going Faster With Road Tires

    If speed is the only thing you’re after, you may as well just get a sports car. At around 2,500 lbs bone stock with no adds or accessories, the Ranger will never feel like a supercar no matter how much you put into it. This isn’t to say, however, that it can’t be woken up. If you’re running bulky mud tires, your top speeds will be limited. So if you really want to go fast and ride primarily on paved roads, smooth radial tires are your best bet. 

    The lighter the UTV, the faster it will go. Ergo, light tires are best for high-speed applications. But in addition to running lighter tires, you could also run on a quarter of a tank of fuel while stripping off any accessory that you don’t use. This may seem extreme, but everything UTV related requires a sacrifice, and most things are zero sum — performance gains in one area will detract from another.  

    Increasing Speed And Acceleration With A Clutch Kit

    The best way to increase both speed and acceleration in your Polaris Ranger is with a clutch kit, and the best Ranger clutch kit is either from Gilomen Innovations or RVS Performance. With one of these clutch kits and their related tunes (as well as an aftermarket belt), you can reach nearly 80MPH in your Ranger without taking ages to get there. 

    Clutch kits are the first thing many riders do their Rangers, even before a roof, winch or windshield —  it is that good. Riders with large tires go with clutch kits as well, bringing their speeds up to near-stock levels despite running bigger aftermarket tires.

    The clutch work is rather simple if you want to do it yourself. No special tools are required — unless you have a 2015 or earlier 900, and then you should add a spider jam nut while you are in there, as the extra power will spin your spider off on the primary. Later machines had this from the factory. The nut is cheap but the tool isn’t the cheapest. 

    Most riders opt for clutch kits with a stiffer secondary spring because it pinches the belt a little more, and heavier primary clutch weights. The Giloman or RVS tune basically brings the de-tuned 1000 motor close to the same specs as the 1000 RZR. For A Giloman tune, you need to send in your ECU every time you need to change or upgrade a tune. With RVS, however, they will download tunes onto a Dynojet tuner and you can switch back and forth or upgrade the tunes yourself.

    Closing Thoughts

    The Polaris Ranger isn’t a racing side-by-side. And despite what you may have seen at the local mud hole, it’s not a submarine either. That isn’t to say, however, that going faster isn’t a priority for some riders. So if you want to wake your UTV up a bit, yet still want all the benefits that come with a Ranger, there are options to be had.

  • Proper Storage Methods For Your Polaris Ranger

    You’ve devoted a fair amount of capital to your Polaris Ranger, so why not go the extra mile to protect your investment? Sure damage might occur on the trail or when the machine is in use, but that is just part of the game and a cost of doing business. What isn’t justifiable, however, is damage, ware, and the depreciation that is unavoidable when you leave your machine out and exposed to the elements. 

    A stock ranger should never be left outside unprotected. Add a navigational system, communication units, subwoofers, UTV speakers, and other delicate electronic accessories to the mix and you’ve got even more of a reason to keep your rig sheltered. Some might argue that you probably should build a storage building of some kind before putting $20,000 into a side-by-side. But for many riders with limited space or a fixed income, this just isn’t an option. Whatever the case may be for you and your situation, here are some ideas for storing your Polaris Ranger when it’s not in use. 

    Storing Your Ranger Indoors

    Putting your Polaris Ranger inside a garage is an obvious way to fend off the ravages of Mother Nature. If you don’t have a garage, a pole barn or insulated pole shed will do the trick. But if all you have is a small patch of land, a simple lean-to structure or a pop up carport can also work. We’ve even seen people store their Rangers in 20' shipping containers.

    Indoor storage is beneficial not only because it keeps your Ranger out of the wind, rain, snow and sun, but also because it deters small animals from using your side-by-side as a free AirBnB. Rats, mice, and rabbits all love stuff like this. They climb up under the chassis and build nests where it suites them, chewing on wires, gnawing threw plastic, and dropping excrement with blatant disregard. 

    This is not to say, however, that vermin aren’t an issue inside as well. We know people that keep their UTVs in a locked shop, surrounded by a locked fence, and with motion alerts on their phones to prevent theft, all the while neglecting the more plausible damage that will undoubtably occur should a few stay rodents manage to get inside.

    Storing Your Ranger Outdoors

    For those that don’t have a shop, shed, or drive-in basement to store their Polaris Rangers in, the next best thing a UTV owner can do for their machine is give it partial coverage. Garage roofs and covered patios work well, and as we stated earlier, a car port is an easy solution for UTV storage. You can have a one-car carport put up for less then a grand, and put steel on the sides and back wall. Most companies will charge a lot to enclose them, but it’s easy and cheap to do yourself. 

    Enclosed trailers are another solution that work great for both storing and hauling a Polaris Ranger, but again, for those without an excessive amount of zeros in their bank account, things like this are out of the question. So if you’re wanting to protect your machine with the least amount of money, a UTV storage cover is your best bet. Go to a Can-Am dealership and get a breathable Defender cover that the Crew Lonestar or Limited machines are shipped in.

    Other Polaris Ranger covers work as well, so long as they have the elastic bands that go all the way to the bottom of the tires with the straps underneath. You should avoid using regular tarps unless you’re covering your machine from snow, as tarps tend to trap moisture underneath.  

    Making sure that you cover your machine when trailering it is also important. Road salt, fast-flying sand, and other impacts from the open highway will dent, ding, and damage your Ranger when in tow. It should be noted, however, that not all storage covers are meant to be used for trailering. The fabric by the straps may start to tear if you use a storage cover as a trailering cover. The fabric will unravel and the cover might fall apart completely.

    But even Polaris Ranger trailering covers may fail if you don’t secure it or the machine properly. Nine times out of ten, when you hear someone saying that their trailering cover is junk, it’s typically due to improper use, not an inferior product. So strap your trailering covers down tight, use the built-in ratchet strap around the bottom, and crank the cinch strap down low from side to side to keep everything nice and secure.

  • Tips And Tricks For Hauling, Trailering, And Towing Your Polaris Ranger

    For many Polaris Ranger owners, choosing the right trailer consumes almost as much consideration and deliberation as choosing the side-by-side itself. Price is obviously a factor. And wile UTV-specific trailers can be bought that are ride-ready, they can be a tad pricey. Add enclosed trailer options, single-axle trailers, dual-axle trailers, boat trailers, and the various lengths and connection types within each category and it’s little wonder why riders often experience purchase anxiety when looking at trailers for hauling their Polaris Rangers. Luckily for riders that already own trailers, with a little retrofitting and the right load placement, almost any adequately-sized trailer can be modified to haul a two-seater or Crew cab Polaris Ranger.  

    Using Non-UTV-Specific Trailers 

    Depending on where you’re located, you can probably find and convert an old boat trailer to haul your Polaris Ranger. This is all fine and dandy, but if you’re hauling your Ranger on a modified boat trailer, be cognizant of the tongue weight. Most boat trailers have the axel towards the rear. If you are not careful you will end up with your UTV too far forward, which results in there being too much weight on the front part of the trailer. If the weight is distributed too far forward, the hitch of your towing vehicle and not the trailer’s axle will be carrying the majority of the weight. The acceptable tongue weight for any trailer is somewhere between nine and fifteen percent of the gross trailer weight. 

    The problem with boat trailers and other non-UTV-specific trailers is that they usually lack the requisite hooks and tie-down rings to keep the vehicle stable and in place. If you know your way around some basic power tools, you can bolt D-rings through the floor of your trailer, making sure that you use a large enough plate/washer on the underside if you’re not attaching to metal. If you’re installing D-rings into wood, you should also keep a close eye on the areas near the tie downs to identify any rot, lest you lose your Ranger due to rotten wood on your trailer. 

    You can source your D-rings from any hardware store or sporting goods store. Mount a thin steel plate on the bottom side of deck and bolt them down. And the best part is that you can put them anywhere you want. Some might tell you to use eye bolts. However not only are eye bolts a pain because they extend further than D-rings, but they can also break under dynamic stress. 

    Many owners of non-UTV-specific trailers use wheel tie downs to secure their Rangers when in tow. Simply drill holes for eye bolts just in front of and just behind each tire. Strap each tire down tight and your machine won't move. When you arrive at your riding destination, pull your hubs off, clean and inspect your wheel bearings, grease them up if they are good, replace them if they are bad, and you're ready to go ride. You can also get an e-track to bolt to your deck, and there are straps with e-tracks clips sewn onto them for easy attachment. This is a great option for those who need to balance their trailer load just right for extended or high-speed highway jaunts. 

    On a similar vein, you can also install some semi-flush rings like the ones they put on the floors of enclosed trailers. Running over eye bolts or D-rings may not be any worse for your UTV tires than running over rocks, sticks, and stumps at a high rate of speed on the trail. But breaking, bending, or damaging a tie-down bolt or ring is not something that should be overlooked. 

    Hauling And Trailering Tips For Ranger Owners

    No matter what type of trailer you’re running, never ever use a winch to tie down your Ranger when in tow, as this is the number one way to damage your winch. The constant jolting with the long travel suspensions will break teeth in the gear drives of the winch. Any winch repair center will be quick to tell you the same.

    To maintain proper weight distribution, it might be prudent to back your ranger onto your trailer. Not only will this will give you more tongue weight because the motor is in rear of the Ranger, but your trailer will also tow better and will be much more stable at higher speeds. To do this easily, it might be beneficial to install some UTV rear view mirrors

    When it comes to checking your trailer setup, we’d suggest to check it about every half hour give or take in each direction. You also shouldn’t discount the benefits of a couple of inches of drop on the hitch. Ask any experienced hauler and they’ll tell you that a drop hitch works wonders. They allow you to level out your trailer when in tow and let it ride lower as well. Whether your trailer is empty or loaded down to the max, it will ride well regardless. 

  • A Detailed Understanding Of The Polaris Ranger Turf Mode Issue

    If you go around researching turf mode issues on the Polaris Ranger, you’ll likely end up more confused than you started. Many people you’ll talk to might say that the newer Polaris Rangers don’t have the same turf mode issues as the older ones. Others might say that the turf mode problem is a complete myth. We here at Everything Polaris Ranger, however, realize this is a nuanced issue. We know guys who’ve run thousands of miles on jacked up Rangers with monster tires, with zero issues with their machine’s turf mode. We also know guys who busted their turf mode on stock machines with low triple-digit milage while loading them on a trailer. So what’s the deal? Is there a problem with the turf mode on the Polaris Ranger? And if so, what can one do to mitigate damage?

    The obvious truth of the power sports world is that if you go out and beat the crap out of your machine, things are bound to break. We know certified Polaris mechanics with over 10K miles on their Rangers that have never had even the slightest issue with their turf mode. 

    Now if you jack your Polaris Ranger way up and put tractor tires on it, there will be added stress, which will make the chances of messing your buggy up more likely. You’ll frequently hear people bashing the reverse chain and turf mode issues, but you have to think that Polaris has been around for ages, and If they didn’t make a good quality machine they would surely be out of business. So yes, the turf mode is an issue, but you can’t discount operator induced issues. 

    A fair number of Polaris Ranger turf mode destructions can be attributed to operator error — whereby a driver engages while moving or spinning their tires. Even if you’re not deliberately engaging your transmission while the tires are in motion, it is possible for the solenoid to have a bad connection and lock in and out on its own, causing the gears teeth to break. 

    That and Overloading the spool on modified side-by-sides are the primary reasons that turf mode explosions occur. Yes there are some cases of the bolts backing out, but the only way this happen is by having a great deal of vibration. It does happen but not to the extent some would like to portray.

    This issue of bolts backing out and busting the transmission case was the typical culprit in the older Polaris Ranger models. To prevent this, you must take the transmission apart and glue the turf bolts in with Loctite to prevent them from backing out. Alternatively, you can delete the turf gear and spool all together, or install a better spool like the ones used in the Polaris RZR.

    Although the issue is less frequent in newer editions of the Polaris Ranger, it can still occur. Cheap components and design can cause teeth to break in the turf gear of newer Rangers, which then falls off, binds things up, and causes the transmission case to break. 

    If you go online, almost all of the posts you’ll see regarding issues with turf mode involve people jacking with their machines, which might leave you to believe that those who leave them stock will have zero issues. A long-time customer of ours used to think the same thing. His Ranger was completely stock, and luckily the transmission case didn’t break as he heard it popping and brought it straight to the shop. 

    The taller and heavier the tire, the more your chances of busting your turf mode go up. Bigger tires put more stress on the rear axle, and this stress adds heat. So even if you put Loctite on your bolts, heat can the bondage in Loctite to break down. So bigger tires can be a reason for the bolts loosening up.  

    The 2019 Ranger has improved turf mode, but it’s not bullet proof. You can jumped your Ranger, roll it over a few times, and break multiple front differentials without breaking the turf mode. That being said, it’s cheaper to fix it before it breaks. And if you’re running a lifted machine with heavy tires, your chances of busting your turf mode are only exacerbated.  

    If you’ve busted a case and the turf mode, you’re going to need a new case. You should also consider getting a double reverse chain upgrade, a heavy duty pinion plate, and the turf delete (spool). If you don’t ride high speeds, you might also want to consider a gear reduction.

    For those who want to do the turf delete themselves, the turf mode comes out relatively easily in one piece, and the spool goes right back in that spot. It’s pretty simple, but getting to a split case is a hassle. Just take your time and try to remember where all of the small pieces go. Once you pull the case apart, pull out the turf gear and drop the other in. There is a retainer that holds the turf mode in — mounted using four Allen head bolts. You should be able to wiggle it out by itself.

  • Common Problems With The Polaris Ranger High Lifter And How To Solve Them

    The base model of the Polaris Ranger is good, but the High Lifter edition is even better. This “undisputed king of the mud” comes stock with various protective accessories and innovative water draining features, and larger tires that make it perfect for mudding. But because this machine is made to be used and abused, it is not surprising that parts and components begin to break and fail. If you have been an owner of the Polaris Ranger High Lifter for an extended period of time, you’ve most likely encountered some type of failure on another. And if this is the case, perhaps we can shed a bit of light on the common issues with the High Lifter edition of the Polaris Ranger as well as how to solve them.  

    Rusty High Lifter Differential Splines 

    One common issue with the High Lifter is rust accumulation on the splines and differential. Because this machine is often used in the mud, the build-up of rust makes sense. And once the splines begin to rust against the differential, they can become extremely difficult to get off. Luckily, other riders have gone through this, and we’ve got their solutions.

    You might be thinking about pulling the axle from other side and sticking an extension or long punch in there to knock out the rusted splines from the back side. This, however, takes a bit of work to take everything apart and put it back together. Plus, not all years of the High Lifter will allow this, as the differentials are sealed with no way to punch them out from the other side. 

    A good way to deal with rusted-on parts is to soak the crap out of them with PB Blaster. They can be stubborn for sure, and you might have to tap and pull on them a bit. You can use a slide hammer and the upper arm as a pivot as well. Take a strap and wrap it tightly around the cup and the arm while the arm was pushed up. Hold pressure by pushing it down, which will cause the strap to tighten up more (essentially pulling on the cup), and have a buddy use a slide hammer. If all else fails, try Kano Aerokroil. It’s a bit costly, but definitely some of the best stuff on the market. 

    Vibrations In The Differential Area

    Similar to rusted splines, the front differential area is known to vibrate in the Polaris High Lifter. This is often caused by a bent or out-of-phase driveshaft, which can cause the pinion bearing to come apart and wreak havoc on the pinion seal as well. Even if you only notice the vibrations in four wheel drive, the driveshaft could still be the culprit, as it may only be under load when 4wd is engaged. You can try to replace the carrier bearing, but if the vibrations persist, you should replace or balance your drive shaft. 

    Breaking High Lifter Output Shafts And Snorkel Gears

    Even if you’re not using your Polaris High Lifter for extreme mudding, it is not uncommon to break the snorkel gear or output shaft — especially when backing up in reverse. Generally, with repetitive failures, there’s a common issue. If the transmission has been rebuilt or replaced, there’s a high chance that the gear lash is not being measured correctly and there are incorrect tolerances. If not, some aftermarket parts may help. We know riders that have replaced their output shaft and gear with an aftermarket option by the side-by-side parts provider Turner, and haven't had any problems since.

    Stuttering And Hesitations In Reverse

    Some riders have contacted us about reverse issues in their High Lifter Ranger, where it hesitates and then kicks into gear as they accelerate in low or reverse. They have complained that it almost gives them whiplash, and blame the factory gear reduction. This can be easily fixed, though, with an aftermarket clutch and tune. The Gilomen clutch and tune, for example, is night and day. 

    Gilomen has High Lifter-specific tunes for both the 900 and 1000 High Lifter. Not only will this help with the hesitation issues, but the power that is unlocked is hard to even describe. No matter if you are running in low gear, at highway speeds, in reverse, uphill, through mud, or just want to punch it to pin your copilots to the back of their seats, the Gilomen clutch kit and tune completely delivers. 

    Hitting 70mph on 30” tires is not a problem, and clutch engagement is almost instant. Backing up and parking is noticeably different, with the biggest advantage being that your High Lifter will remain in its power band. If you have put bigger tires on your machine, you have probably noticed the lack of power, which is far less than you used to have.

  • Pros And Cons Of The Polaris Ranger Crew

    Every UTV has its pros and cons, and the perfect machine for one rider might not be optimal for another. And so the case is with the Polaris Ranger Crew, a larger machine capable of hauling maximum cargo and passengers. Yet the very thing that makes it the perfect machine for handling large loads also makes it underwhelming on tight trails. Is the Crew size Ranger for you? We’ll discuss further this piece of side-by-side engineering, so you can determine for yourself if this rig is the right rig for you and your UTV needs.

    Pros Of The Polaris Ranger Crew

    With large bench seats, ample room, a big bed, and the power to haul a tremendous amount of weight, there are few occasions where you’ll be overloaded or need to haul more than the Polaris Crew can handle. After all, if you only wanted to haul two people you may as well have gotten a four-wheeler. 

    Compared to other UTVs and side-by-sides, Polaris machines produce way less vibration and noise. The room inside the Crew is crazy to say the least, and plenty big enough for the whole family plus gear. Hunting is where the Polaris Crew shines though, as it is tough, there’s room for gear, and the exhaust and engine are both very quiet. The ride and power steering is amazing compared to other utility side-by-sides as well, and most of the riders you’ll talk to couldn’t imagine owning anything but a crew Polaris. If you can afford the Northstar edition, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll regret it.

    The 2020 Ranger Crew 1000 XP Northstar with ride command is among riders’ favorites. It offers a great smooth ride and is a pulling beast. With air conditioning, heat, and a window washer, most riders who own this machine wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

    Not only does the Polaris Crew gave the capacity to seat more people (great for job sites, moving crews, etc.) but the seats are larger as well. Add the fact that they have storage under the front seats and you’ve got yourself a vehicle that can be loaded to the brim with cargo, gear, tools, and spare parts. Furthermore, the resale value of the Crew is second to none. If your need change or you’re wanting to upgrade to the latest Crew, you’ll have no problem selling your old one — so long as it’s not loaded with aftermarket stuff that reduces the target market size and makes it less general and more specialized. 

    Cons Of The Polaris Crew

    Yes there’s a lot to praise about the Polaris Crew. But nothing in life is perfect, as is the case with the Crew. One obvious feature of the Crew is it’s large size, which is great if you need the capacity, but not so great in tight trails. The turning radius isn’t great to say the least, and it’s a lot harder to turn around in tight areas. Additionally, some of the older Crew models might feel a little underpowered, and the suspension on the Crew is stiffer than other Ranger models. Add to this that the seats are straight up and don’t recline and your back might be a little sore after a long day of riding. 

    Another con of the Polaris Ranger Crew is the net doors that come stock on the machine. If you add aftermarket doors and a roof to the total cost of the vehicle, it becomes more expensive than the factory sticker price. But if you install a soft cab and make your own roof you can cut some costs. 

    With regards to clutching, the Ranger Crew — and most other Rangers for that matter — the clutch and transmission leave a bit of room for improvement. Putting these machines in gear is a bit more difficult than, say, a mid 2000 Rhino, where when you put it in gear you knew it was in sync. However, these issues can be mitigated with a clutch kit — like the Gilomen clutch kit and tune. 

    Closing Remarks 

    Some regard the Ranger as a work side-by-side, meant for tooling around on the farm, in the woods, and just working. They can haul mulch, drag trees, carry gravel, and transport you to your hunting blind. People expressing this opinion would argue that If you want to rock climb, mud bog, or jump hills, you should purchase something suited for that type of riding. However, with the right modifications, the Ranger can be whatever kind of side-by-side you want it to be. 

    The Polaris Ranger is built off of the 900S RZR, with the same motor and transmission. Just because the plastic is different doesn’t mean it’s not to be played with. Anything can be made to play or work, including the Crew-size Polaris Ranger. After doing some improvements such as adding a Giloman clutch, SuperATV suspension, etc. you’ll fid that the Crew has plenty of power and is more than capable of accomplishing most tasks. Sure it might turn like a school bus, but most people are more than willing to have a larger turning radius to gain the many other benefits that a Crew provides. 

  • How To Make Your Polaris Ranger Ride Like A Dream

    Some cynical Ranger riders out there might argue that it’s impossible to make the Polaris Ranger ride like a dream — or at least very expensive to do so. But we (along with may other experienced riders) respectfully disagree. Sure your Polaris Ranger may never ride as smooth as a Buick LaCrosse, but there are many things you can do to smoothen out your ride. Some techniques are easy, while others are a bit more difficult and require significant amounts of spare change. Whatever the case may be, you are the ultimate decision maker, and you have to choose between the various options to make your Ranger ride softer, smoother, and better. 

    Tires Tires Tires

    There are various tire-related aspects of your Polaris Ranger that can affect the smoothness of your ride. First and foremost, the tire pressure you run can be adjusted to provide a smoother ride depending on the surface you’re riding over. Reducing the PSI to nine pounds can help, but going down as low as five pounds will make it run a lot nicer. This makes sense, as a more pressurized tire won’t absorb as much force from the ground below. Additionally, running lower tire pressures will also give you wider footprint, which in turn gives your machine more traction. Some riders don’t I run their Rangers with tires less than eight PSI, as the risk of hitting a big rock and damaging the wheel is greater. After all it’s much cheaper to pop a tire than to replace a Ranger wheel, and the tote can take way more than the wheel can. In the end, though, the pressure you run will depend on the tires you have.

    Speaking of Polaris Ranger tires, not all treat types and tire brands are created equal in the smoothness department. This should be obvious, as monster mud tires with gnarly tread are surely rougher than tamer road or street tires. The STI XComp tires are among the better UTV tires for riding all terrain types, while tires such as the Hankook Dyna-Pros or Sedona Rock A Billy’s run nicer on roads and flat surfaces where speeds are higher. Run big mud tires and your Ranger will feel like a tractor with steel wheels on hardpack. But tires like Pro Armor’s 26” Crawlers are grippy on rocks, will get you through the mud, and run as smooth as a Cadillac on the pavement. 

    Smooth Rides With Ranger Suspension

    Like the tires you use and their level of pressurization, the suspension you have in your Polaris Ranger goes a long way in the smoothness of your ride. If you're running a lift, you can go softer on your shocks. There are plenty of options available, but shocks like those by Zbroz are a good option for a smooth ride. Throw them in your Northstar Crew and you’ll be rolling like a Lincoln at 65MPH on the trails — you won’t even get your chin wet drinking a beer. 

    It’s also worth taking a look at Elka, Walker Evans, or Bandit Suspension to cure your shaky and bumpy ride. Just do your homework on quality so that you get the full travel out of your shocks with no limits on them. And we can’t talk about suspension without mentioning 814 UTV Suspension. These options may be a bit pricy for some riders, but your ride will be plush to say the least. 

    Other Ways To Get A Smoother Ride In The Polaris Ranger

    Wheel spacers are often the culprit for rough rides. Wheels that are farther out provide more leverage for movement. But this distance isn’t the issue, as longer a-arms that put the wheels at the same distance apart from the frame are much better ride-wise than wheel spacers. The turning definitely goes to crap with wheel spacers on the Ranger as well, with the change in scrub radius with spacers being the key factor that screws up the steering geometry, which in turn can cause a bumpy and / or jerky ride. 

    Bracket lifts will also affect the ride of your Ranger. A lift alone without other modifications to the shocks or suspension system will change the geometry of the shocks, which will affect the ride. Arched a-arms can provide lit without changing the machine’s geometry, and portals are the ultimate way to both gain height and a smooth ride. Yes they’re expensive upfront, but they will more than pay for themselves in the long run due to the money you’ll save on wear and tear. Plus, you can run taller tires, not lose your gear ratio, and best of all, get a smoother ride! 

  • Modifications To The Polaris Ranger: Why, How And Where

    If you’re new to the UTV scene, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of modification options available on the aftermarket. It doesn’t matter where you go, be it UTV events, OHV parks, or popular off-roading trails, you’ll almost guaranteed to see modified Polaris Rangers out there ripping it up. Some Rangers have simple mods, while others are completely decked out and bad to the bone. But why? If you’re not sure about aftermarket parts, accessories, or modifications and want to know more, keep reading. Today, we’re going to talk about why people modify their Polaris Rangers, what these aftermarket modifications actually do for the machine, and which mod options are best for what reasons.

    Modding The Polaris Ranger

    A lot of people have asked us over the years if modifications to the Polaris Ranger actually enhance the vehicles performance. Sure some mods are mostly for the “wow factor”, and it is definitely a dude thing to want the biggest and baddest ride in town. But there are few (if any) aftermarket accessories for the Polaris Ranger that aren’t good for something, and each accessory has its place and function.

    When deciding on specific modifications to and accessories for the Polaris Ranger, the right parts, equipment, components and mods will depend on what you use the machine for. If you use it for yard work, farm work, hunting, etc. a few accessories like windshields and roofs are nice, but not needed. If you plan on really off-roading the machine, almost everything on your Ranger will need upgrading. But let’s not get ahead of urself here, because some riders would disagree with the necessity of a roof and windshield for a farm-working Ranger… especially the roof. Polaris seats can double as solar collectors in the hot season, making the seats dang near scalding. Sit down with only shorts on and you’re bound to get burnt. 

    Ranger Vs RZR

    If all sorts of modifications are required to turn a Ranger into an ultimate off-roading beast, many riders opt to get an RZR instead. And yes this is a good question. When compared to an RZR on a purely performance basis, the Ranger does appear to be a little more clumsy… that is, bone stock, straight from the factory without any modifications of any kind. That being said, Polaris Rangers are plenty stable for mudding, and you can definitely build a nicely-performing rig that can still get work done. Because when it boils down to it, an RZR can never outwork a Ranger. Besides, t’s hard to fit a big ol’ cooler in an RZR… but surely there's a mod for that too!

    Riders who want three seats but don’t want the four-seat RZR wheelbase may also opt for a ranger instead of an RZR. People who hunt, ranch, farm, or need a vehicle with more cargo space typically get Rangers, adding what they want later for a work / play machine. Factor in the price differences and it’s no wonder why so many individuals in the market for a side-by-side go for Polaris Rangers

    Other Reasons For Modifying The Ranger

    Undoubtably, a lot of the Polaris Ranger modifications you’ll see are done for a certain look. Appearances aside, however, many riders get their new machine, and before getting home decide on at least a few few mods to have done; but there’s a clear distinction between modifications done for aesthetics, and ones that provide practical, real-life, value. 

    Things like roofs, doors, and windshield are added for rider comfort, and a winch is an obvious accessory to have in case you get into trouble. Also ,swapping out the tires and wheels may prove beneficial depending on the terrain on which you ride. For example, if most of the miles put on your machine are down the highway to and from your deer lease, the stock tires won’t last and are easily damaged on the rocks, stumps, and bumps you’ll likely encounter on a hunt. 

    Going too big with the tires and wheels can bring further complications, as room becomes an issue and rubbing may occur. For this, lift kits as well as wheel spacers can help riders maximize their tire size. 

    Closing Thoughts

    There are many guys and gals that just want to have things a little cooler, a little better, and a little more unique on their Polaris Ranger. Add the frustration of getting stuck, the fear of missing out, or the inability to go where you want and the reasons why riders modify their machines becomes clear. One might argue that thousands upon thousands of dollars are spent to create a vehicle that would be easily outperformed by an old Jeep — which comes with a heated cab, AC, and is street legal — but that’s clearly a flawed argument. Whether it be for work, exploration, having fun, or generating cool stories, a stock Polaris Ranger is great, but a modified one is even better. 

  • Never Get Lost Again When Riding Your Polaris Ranger

    When you’re ripping up your Polaris Ranger deep on an OHV trail or bushwhacking it Off-Road on a private dude-ranch, the last place you want to find yourself is lost. Some say you cannot find yourself until you lose yourself, but it the UTV world, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Especially during the winter months when visibility is restricted and the risk of frostbite and hypothermia are high, getting lost in your side-by-side is an awful experience. Whether you’re trying to find a specific location, or simply ensuring that you know how to get back to the trailhead, here are some ways to navigate when riding your Polaris Ranger. 

    UTV Navigating With Phone Apps

    If you’re in a situation where you’re liable to get lost, you’re likely going to be out of cellular range without any cell signal. That being said, even if you don’t have any cell service, your phone may still have some use. There are many popular apps and phone programs that one can use to navigate when tearing it up in a UTV. A simple and easy-to-use navigational app is Google maps, which has topographical features and works offline when you’re out riding, hunting, or working far from civilization.  

    Some riders use the Maprika app as it doesn’t work off of cell signals, and the GAIA app is also a well-made navigational phone app that hasn’t let anyone down that we know of. Use it on your I-phone, I-pad, or other mobile device and never worry about it loosing signal or failing to track. You can download just about any map you can think of inside the app — we personally love the USGS topo maps as the details are phenomenal. The GAIA app has more features than most of the standard $600 plus stand alone GPS’s, and has both a free and paid version — the paid version having more options of course. 

    Other apps like the Avenza app work with no signal and have access to the national Forrest motor vehicle use maps. Avenza will read geoPDFs without cell signal, and you can download geopdfs from USGS for almost every square inch of the United States from most states natural resources department/fish and game. Your phone will track just fine as long as you have the app on and templates or overlays downloaded while you have data. Most of these navigational apps will "track" even if turned on while there's no signal. Motion X is another good one, but it's only available for the iPhone with no android version. Polaris’ Ride Command works as well, showing where the marked trails are but not giving you step-by-step driving directions.

    OnX Hunt is another popular Nav system, but it doesn't give directions or follow roads. Google maps tries to reroute and doesn't do off road. Polaris doesn't do directions. If you want something you can input a ride route prior to riding, then follow turn by turn directions during the ride — even if I have to manually input the off road portions when we go off gravel — this isn’t he best option. But whatever phone app you use, make sure you've got yourself a proper Polaris Ranger phone mount!

    Navigating With UTV GPS Systems

    For riders who want a little something more side-by-side specific, there are GPS instruments made specifically for UTVs. The Verizon -Samsung tab works well, but stay away from the non-cell phone versions as they don’t have as good of a chip in them. There’s no need to subscribe to any service to use it, so the price you pay when you buy it is the price you’ll pay for the lifetime of the product. Magellan TR7 is another off-road GPS system, and you might want to play around with the Army Corps of Engineers info — they have them for boating, skiing, hiking, etc. But like many other apps, it isn’t the best for rout planning. 

    Navigating With Topo UTV Maps

    One of the best, surefire, ways not to get lost is a good old fashion map. Topographic maps and maps of forest roads can be bought or obtained for free at local gas stations and National Forest Departments — and even online. So with so many options out the for navigating in your Polaris Ranger, you have no excuse to get lost! 

  • Avoiding, Preventing, And Repairing Water Damage In Your Polaris Ranger

    As the saying goes, play stupid games, win stupid prizes. And this is clearly evident in the UTV scene. Especially when it comes to water crossings, many riders out there seem to have more money than brains, pushing their machines above and beyond their limitations and paying for it with their pocket book in the end. But aside from equipping your Polaris Ranger with the right water-capable accessories such as snorkels and ventilation tubes, checking your ego at the door and riding within your capabilities will also help you avoid disaster when it comes to water hazards. Furthermore, don’t let anyone drive your side-by-side who's not familiar with riding in, around, or through water. However, should you get hydro locked and flooded, all is not lost. There are ways to revive your machine from the depths, and ways resuscitate it should it become waterlogged. 

    Using Common Sense Visa-Vis Water Hazards

    If you go riding in popular areas — OHV trails, UTV parks, etc. — you are probably not surprised at how many people try riding their side-by-sides through puddles without checking them — or at least watching someone else go through them first. Instead of walking it first — or even just slowly testing the waters at minimal speeds — inexperienced riders will often go gung-ho towards puddles, ponds, pools and other bodies of water. 

    What these riders seem to not understand is that their UTVs don’t have a float-mode. A Polaris Ranger isn’t a u-boat submarine, and you can’t just blow the ballast tanks to breach the surface. Sure you can blame it on turf mode, but if your insurance has lapsed, all the excuses in the world won’t make your machine run right again. And if you end up getting stuck without a winch or a group of buddies to pull your ass out, you won’t be a happy camper.   

    Preventing Water Damage With Polaris Ranger Snorkels

    To avoid the hassle — and more importantly the expenses — associated with a flooded Polaris Ranger, you must first and foremost be prepared. Snorkel your exhaust, CVT, and all other inlets / outlets in which water can penetrate. If you’re not set up with a snorkel kit and you do go through deep water, you’re going to be lucky to make it back to the trailhead before your machine starts knocking and soaking. If the air filter is wet or there’s water in the oil, you should definitely two your machine out and flush the water out immediately. 

    So Your Ranger Got Flooded... Now What?

    To be safe, you should flush everything with diesel a few times, pull the spark and turn your rig over to blow any lingering water out of the pistons. — after all, why take chances that are unnecessary? To save a bit of money, you can flush all the fluids a couple of times using cheap oil, rear drive oil, and John Deere hydraulic fluid on the front differential (which is a good deal cheaper than Polaris diff fluid). Change oil filter a couple of times and you might need to flush out the gas tank.

    Disconnect the battery as well when you’re getting that oil out, and replace the air filter. Try to blow dry what you can with an air compressor and double check that water in not in the fuel — you can cause serious damage to your machine if you don’t. 

    If your ride is still under warranty, you may not have to do all this yourself. You can turn it in and use your insurance to have it flushed and serviced. They’ll typically give it a complete flush of the front and rear diffs, drain the oil fuel tank, put a new belt in, and replace the filters and spark plug. 

    Lessons Learned

    At the end of the day, it’s better to learn lessons from other people’s mistakes. When it boils down to it, proper gear preparation, the use of common sense, and riding within your abilities will usually keep your machine safe from water penetration. But should you encounter a puddle too deep, a creek too tall, or a deceptively big pond, there are ways to resuscitate your machine from a watery demise. 

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