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Chopping the Polaris Ranger Cage: Why And How?

There are many reasons why one might want to chop the cage on their Polaris Ranger. Clearance in the woods, for instance, can become problematic with a lifted Polaris Ranger rolling on large aftermarket tires. However chopping your ranger can also help it fit into your seven-foot garage or enclosed trailer without the need to deflate the tires and pile people in the bed. Add things like 4” portals, a 2” bracket lift, and aftermarket shocks to your Ranger and might just be a little too tall to go where you want. Whatever the case may be, here are some things to consider before, during, and after chopping the cage of your Polaris Ranger. 

Things To Consider Before Chopping Your Ranger Cage

Although not the hardest modification you could make to your Ranger, lowering the cage does require a few important tools and a bit of know-how. An circular saw, plasma cutter, or similar metal cutting tools can be used to make the cuts in the cage, and a welder is required to put it all back together. 

You should also make sure that a frame chop is absolutely essential. Although many think that it makes the Ranger look way more nasty, it does make buying accessories more of a pain — especially full Polaris Ranger windshields, cab enclosures, and doors. Furthermore, if you’re tall, you may want to either go a bit shorter with your chop or do a seat chop in conjunction with your cage chop so you’re not knocking your dome all the time when you ride.  

Mathematically speaking, you can’t take any length out in the vertical direction without also lengthening the top. You’re working with a triangle, which means you can’t shorten one side and keep the same angle on them without compensation on the other side. This only works if the sides were to be parallel with each other. And not every Ranger is built the same cage wise, so the process might be slightly different depending on which edition and year you own. For example, the 900 Rangers are a little different with the braces, and they don’t use round tubes. Their rear pillar is also vertical, which makes a chop job even easier. 

Chopping Your Polaris Ranger Cage

Take care when welding your machine so that you don’t fry the throttle position sensor, mass air flow sensor, crank position sensor, or anything else electronic for that matter. Disconnecting the battery is a must, but even this doesn’t necessarily protect all the electronics in your Ranger when making welds. In addition to disconnecting the battery, also disconnect the brains of your Polaris Ranger (the main computer box), and try to keep the welding ground as close as possible to where you are welding.

This is a helpful diagram that you can use when lowering your Polaris Ranger cage:

You should chop the front bar on the bottom at bung and middle and the back bar on the top at the bung. Take the cage off, make all your cuts, bolt the front and back legs back on, set the other part on and then tack everything up. Once it all looks good, you should pull it back off to make the final welds. 

Some will say that 5” is the max chop length, but we’ve seen guys with up to 11” chopped off their cage. While we’re not suggesting this, it is indeed possible. Around 4-6 inches is the most common. If you chop the back 4”, you can do a 4.5” or a 3" chop on the front. 

You will have to play around and take a little each time from one end to get what you want, but if you go more than 5" in the rear, you will have to add length on the top center — which makes running an aftermarket roof quite difficult. We’d suggest doing the back rack first, and then align the front to meet the back section to see what you need to chop. Chop small and work it out, don’t just measure 5”, chop, the realize that you messed up. 

Polaris Ranger Seat Chops

For those who are tall or those who take their cage down to extremely low lengths, you can get more headroom with a seat base chop. To chop the seat bases in the Ranger, you start by cutting the frame for the seat, then trip the plastics to recess the seats. U-boat the seat frame, cut the last piece of the frame off, measure how low you want to go, then cut again. You then weld them back into the factory spots, and bolt it back together. You’ll no longer be able to use the under-seat storage trays, but that’s a sacrifice many riders are willing to make. 

Closing Thoughts

Whether you’re chopping your Ranger cage to fit it in your toy hauler, wanting to reduce the hight of your machine for better clearance under trees and other foliage when trail riding, or just want your rig to fit inside your garage without having to call your neighbors over to sit in the bed, a cage chop can be done on a Polaris Ranger. You might struggle to fit a windshield on after it’s chopped, but your local glass shop can surely cut a pane of glass or poly to fit the new height. 

Some people might think it a tase of money, and others do it purely for the looks. We’re not advocating a cage chop nor are we discouraging it. At the end of the day, it’s your machine, so do what you want with it. Just make sure that whatever you do, you do it right!

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