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EPR How-To Series

  • How to Find Your Polaris Ranger Roll Bar Size

    When shopping for Polaris Ranger accessories, there are several details about your UTV that should be known before pulling the trigger. While many commonalities exist between different years, editions, and models of the Polaris Ranger Mid-Size, Polaris Ranger Full-Size, Polaris Ranger Crew, and Polaris General, there are a few key distinctions that would prove problematic if overlooked. If you're looking for a quick chart, you'll find the info needed here. If you'd like to dive a bit deeper into the sizes & style options - keep reading further down the post!

    Polaris Ranger Roll Bar Size by Vehicle

    • Ranger 400 - 1.75"
    • Ranger 500 - 1.75"
    • Ranger 570 - 1.75" (Pro-fit cage use PF-Out and PF-In Clamps)
    • Ranger 800 - 1.75"
    • Ranger 6x6 800 - 1.75"
    • Ranger EV - 1.75"
    • Ranger XP 900 - 1.75"
    • Ranger XP 1000 - 1.75"
    • Ranger Diesel - 1.75"
    • Ranger 1000 - 1.75"
    • Ranger Crew - (Pro Fit cage NOT ROUND use PF-OUT & PF-IN clamps) Use 9” Bolt On mirror for rearview
    • General 1000 - 1.75" (Top crossbar only, Pro-fit cage use PF-Out and PF-In Clamps)

    Among the various specifications that distinguish one Polaris Ranger model from another, differences in roll bar / roll cages / rollover protection structures (ROPS) are near the top of the list in terms of importance. Although all sizes and styles of factory Polaris Ranger ROPS are certified to withstand a rollover, some aftermarket accessories only work with one particular cage style. 

    Polaris Ranger accessories like roofs, windshields, and cab enclosures need to match your machine’s cage style to fit properly, and things like side-view mirrors, gun brackets, and other accessories that mount onto the vehicle’s ROPS must also be compatible with the size and shape of the roll bars and crossbars. As far as the Polaris Ranger is concerned, there are two ROPS variants: ProFit cages and Non-ProFit Cages.

    Before 2014, all Polaris Rangers used tubular-style roll cages with round, cylindrical bars. Starting in 2015, however, Polaris introduced the ProFit cages that are semi-round, and semi-rectangular. Some confusion arises because the 2015 Polaris Ranger Full-Size 570 was made using the same chassis as the Polaris Ranger 900 XP -- with the ProFit roll cage. Then, a year later, Polaris made another version of the Full-Size Ranger 570. Except instead of using a ProFit 900 XP cage, they stuck 570cc engines inside Polaris Ranger 800 chassis with round-tube roll cages and strut front suspension.   

    The 570 Full-Size Rangers with ProFit cages and dual a-arm front suspension became a part of the XP family, and in 2017, Polaris lengthened the wheelbase by four inches and reintroduced Turf Mode. And while we could go on and on enumerating the differences between each year and model of the Polaris Ranger, for the sake of brevity, we’ll stick to differences in roll cages. 

    The main difference between ProFit cages and Non-ProFit cages are their shape and size. Many accessories made to fit ProFit body styles won’t work on Non-ProFit body styles. Things like doors, windshields, and mounting clamps that work with one cage style usually won’t work with the other. And because most of the newer Polaris Ranger editions have ProFit cages, the majority of aftermarket accessories are made for new body style (NBS) Rangers. If you own a regular-cab (round tube) Ranger, you’re going to want to find accessories that fit 2010-2014 800 XP Rangers.  

    As far as perimeter lengths go, Polaris Rangers that were made before 2015 (2014 and older) have rear bumper crossbars that are 1.5 inches, with 1.25-inch rear top crossbars on the four-seater versions. The Polaris General has 1.75-inch top crossbars, and the rear harness bar on the newer Ranger models is 1.75 inches as well. 

    A surefire way to ensure that you’re getting the right accessories to fit your cage is to simply measure it. Measuring calipers can be used to find the length and diameter of your machine’s roll bars, and you can also use string or printable cutouts like the one found here to measure the perimeter of your roll tubes.

    At the end of the day, you can avoid serious frustration by knowing the style and size of your Polaris Ranger Mid-Size, Full-Size, Crew-Cab, or General roll cage. If you own a Ranger with the ProFit cage, there are many brackets, clamps, and other mounts made specifically to fit NBS Rangers. And if you own a Ranger with round, tubular roll bars, ensuring that your accessories are compatible with it will help you to avoid returns and unnecessary modifications.  

  • Keeping Your Young Loved Ones Safe In A Polaris Ranger

    One of the safest things you can do to guarantee the safety of your children when riding a Polaris Ranger is to drive nice and easy. But even still, when your youngsters’ lives are on the line, a few more safety precautions should be implemented. After all, when you’re out and about in any off-road vehicle, you’re at the whims of Mother Nature, so taking a few added precautions doesn’t make you paranoid, but rather, prudent. Things like kid-size helmets can protect your youngster's heads from bumping and blunt impacts, while car seats and booster seats will ensure the proper performance of factory as well as aftermarket seat belts and harnesses. Your most precious cargo can never be replaced, so taking the extra steps to guarantee their safety and well-being while tagging along in your Polaris Ranger is undoubtedly your number-one priority.

    Using A Car Seat In The Polaris Ranger

    Similar to on-road vehicles, both front and rear-facing car seats can also be used in the Polaris Ranger. Pretty much any care seat approved for regular automobile use can be ran in a Polaris Ranger. However, a common issue is that the stock Polaris Ranger seat belts don’t always tighten up enough or stay taut when fully pulled. You can use a razor knife or something similar to cut the stitches between the belt and the flap, which will let you tighten up your child’s seat just like you can in a car. This flap is there to prevent your seat belt buckle from falling into the seat, so removing it doesn’t diminish the strength of the seat belt in any way. Alternatively, you could also drill holes into the flat piece behind the seat and install u-bolts to use the safety belts that the car seat came with.

    Ratchet straps can also be used to secure a car seat in the Polaris Ranger. Small ratchet straps can hook around the mount where the seat belts bolt behind the seat, and there is a clip that comes on the back of most car seats to are meant to lock the seat belts for older cars that don’t have locking seat belts, which are perfect for ratchet straps. Car seats with extra head padding are advisable, and you can never go wrong with extra straps to hold the car seat down. But even a Polaris Ranger with a car seat and a full windshield can’t protect your child from dust. So in addition to avoiding bumpy terrain, you should also try to avoid dusty areas when riding with your young children on board. 

    Using A Booster Seat In The Polaris Ranger

    Like car seats for babies and riders under the age of two, Polaris Ranger booster seats can also be installed for kids too big for car seats, yet too small to fit the stock seatbelt. The right age/size appropriate seat will make all the difference. You want something that will elevate their posture enough so that the factory seatbelt goes across their shoulders, not their neck. The same goes for 4-point harnesses. If you don’t have a booster seat and are not using a youth-style harness, the connector strap could also be located directly across their neck, rather than their chest. You don’t want them sitting too low, yet you don’t want them elevated too high either, lest they not receive the torso protection that seatbelts and harnesses are designed to give. You want them boosted to the location a normal adult would sit at. 

    Using Youth-Style Helmets In The Polaris Ranger

    Many states make it mandatory for individuals under the age of 18 to wear helmets when riding in a side-by-side. And while this may be no issue for teenagers and older kids, for those that require car seats, helmets can often cause more harm than they prevent. 

    A bulky, full-face helmet, for example, might put your child’s head at a dangerous angle when used in conjunction with a car seat. Furthermore, the weight of even the lightest off-road helmets can be too much for a young neck to bear. Add sudden stopping, turns, and, god forbid, a collision of any kind, and severe neck damage, whiplash, and other issues are more likely for young children wearing heavy helmets.  

    Padded toddler helmets are a good solution, as they are mostly foam and weigh next to nothing. Lightweight bicycle helmets can help you circumnavigate the law in some areas, and half-shell skateboard helmets are similarly suited to pass the inspection of your local Forrest Ranger.   

    You might be of the opinion that people need to stop looking to the government to protect them, and that the government needs to change their mentality and not be involved with such issues. Just know, however, that the warden will follow the law regardless of how sound it is, writing you a ticket regardless of your rational pleas and superior arguments.   

    In Closing

    At the end of the day, keeping your kids save while riding in a Polaris Ranger is up to you. Car seats and specialty-designed UTV booster seats are a given, and helmets are unquestionably beneficial for older riders. But be careful when putting heavy helmets on underdeveloped necks, lest you cause the very thing you’re trying to avoid. 

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • All Geared Up: How to Properly Maintain your Polaris Ranger Winch

    No matter the weather, no matter the terrain, it’s always a great idea to have a working winch on board. On long trips especially, having a winch can mean a quick tow out of a hairy situation. ATVs and UTVs are awesome for going where no larger 4x4 can make it, but all the same, it’s best to be prepared when you’re traversing the backcountry. Continue reading

  • Basic Care Guidelines for your Polaris Ranger

    The crisp air of early morning jerks you awake as you trudge out into the day’s first glimpses of sunshine. With gloves warming your work-worn hands, you wake your favorite Polaris Ranger from its slumber. The day ahead is full of chores and responsibility, but as you park your rear behind the steering wheel and putter out to meet the day, somehow it doesn’t seem all that bad. After all, with your Polaris Ranger, no job is too big.

    While the Polaris Ranger takes good care of you, acting as your trusty sidekick on the best and worst jobs, it’s crucial to keep your UTV in tip-top shape for the long haul. Your Polaris owner’s manual will include details regarding maintenance intervals and suggestions for upkeep, but if you’re looking for a quick reference, look no further than the list below. From the time you get it home to the day you have to retire the old workhorse, you want your Ranger by your side when you need it most. Follow the servicing guidelines below to ensure a long life of great service.

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  • Planning your Plot: Kolpin DirtWorks vs. The Plotmaster

    Farming your very own plot of land can be a time-consuming but rewarding process. Why go to the supermarket for day-old produce when you can have fresh-from-the-ground fruits and veggies? All the same, having the right tools at hand will improve your experience and increase your results. Most people may think you need specialized farm equipment to grow your own garden, but what you might not realize is you can foster a large plot of land—with only your UTV and some towable equipment. Never mind a green thumb. Continue reading

  • How To Use a 4 or 5 Point Harness in 2015 Polaris Models

    Safety features are great but as of 2015 you may run into an issue if you try to upgrade the stock lap belts to a more advanced 4 or 5 point harness restraint system. New for 2015, all Polaris models have a lap belt safety switch which interrupts the ignition when belts aren't buckled. When the safety feature is engaged, your Ranger will be limited to 5mph. This is great for stock seat belts, but not so great for aftermarket 5 point harnesses. Fortunately, there is a simple solution for this and it's relatively inexpensive to implement.

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