Polaris Ranger Lift Kits: A Complete Buyer’s Guide To Lift Options For The Polaris Ranger
There are many ways to lift a Polaris Ranger, and as you might expect, each way has its pros and cons. Most people lift their machine’s to fit larger tires underneath, while others install lift kits on their Rangers for more ground clearance and a smoother ride. Whatever your reason is for getting a lift, it definitely pays to do a little homework before you pull the trigger on anything. So from bracket lifts and portal lifts to aftermarket suspension lifts, here are a few things you should know before you decide on a lift kit for your Polaris Ranger.
Spring Adjustment Lift
The easiest and cheapest way to make your Polaris Ranger ride higher above the ground is to simply adjust the shocks. When the springs are moved to outer hole and the coils are placed on the stiffest settings, your Ranger should sit a bit more than two inches higher. To reset the springs, all you have to do is unbold the top shock bolt and move the shock to the outermost hole. Use the spanner wrench in your tool kit below the seat, on the bottom of the shock you will set an adjustment with slots around it, keep clicking till it's on it's maxed out setting. Do this on both the front and rear and you’re good to go.
You may notice that the ride is a bit stiffer, but if you load up your rig with a bunch of equipment, supplies, and beer, it should smooth the ride out. The biggest difference you’ll feel is a stiffer ride when crawling, but the machine’s overall comfort on the trail shouldn’t be affected that much.
Polaris Ranger Bracket Lifts
Aside from adjusting the coils on your Polaris Ranger, a bracket lift is the easiest way to achieve more clearance and make room for larger aftermarket UTV tires. 2”, 3”, and 4” are the most common sizes for bracket lifts, and while 6” and even 8” bracket lifts can be installed, they tend to make the machine more top heavy and reduce cornering performance. However, many riders with Polaris Ranger bracket lifts also run forward a-arms for additional room. Companies like Outkast Fabworx even design and build a-arms with built-in lifts.
Depending on what else you upgrade on your Ranger, a bracket lift often changes the geometry of the vehicle, putting added strain on other components. Take, for example, a Polaris Ranger with SuperATV’s 6” bracket lift. All things being equal, the angles will be very strong. This looks badass, but many riders experience problems with the axles eating the boots.
Your own personal riding style and throttle control will also determine how the lift affects other components -- axles in particular. We here at Everything Polaris Ranger have installed several and have sold a ton of them, so we know firsthand how they affect a machine. We’ve seen guys running 30" up to 36" tires with zero issues using the 6” bracket lift -- a few of which were running portals as well. This just goes to show how many variables are involved in the performance of your Ranger. Things as seemingly innocuous as tire pressures or wind direction can have a large impact on how your rig rides.
Polaris Ranger Portal Lifts
We recently did a poll asking riders to choose between a 6” bracket lift or a 6” portal lift, and the response was overwhelmingly skewed toward portal lifts. And if you don’t have to factor in price, this makes sense. With Portals, your ground clearance will be at the wheel, not the frame, which is easier on your machine’s axles and drivetrain. But while portal lifts may be superior on an engineering level, their high costs are prohibitive for most riders. Even compared to SuperATV’s 6” lift kit that comes with top-of-the-line Rhino 2.0 Axles, a portal lift is still in excess of $500 more expensive.
Polaris Ranger Suspension Lifts
Another way to achieve lift in a Polaris Ranger is to upgrade the suspension. But to do this, it often requires other upgrades as well -- such as axles and control arms. Suspension lifts offer a great degree of flexibility, increasing the machines ride height without sacrificing the plushness of the ride. Most suspension lifts are highly adjustable, allowing you to adjust the preload and move the placement of the springs between the inbound and outbound settings. This is a great option for riders who tackle many different terrain types. If you’re going over whoops, you might want softer suspension, but if you’re going around sharp corners at high speeds, maybe not so much.