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EPR Vehicle Overview Series

  • 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. 

  • Polaris Ranger Suspension: Adjustments, Additions, And Upgrades

    The suspension system on the Polaris Ranger can’t compare to something like an RZR, but for most riders, the stock Ranger suspension is good enough. Depending on the edition and year of your Ranger, you can adjust your suspension to match your style of riding and the terrain you’re driving over. Alternatively, you can also install aftermarket springs, shocks, and entire suspension systems in your ranger to improve its performance. Either way, we’ll give you our two cents as to the best Polaris Ranger suspension systems and setups. 

    Adjusting The Suspension On Your Polaris Ranger

    You can greatly affect the ride of your Ranger by adjusting the suspension. Be it a 900, a 1000 XP, or a Northstar edition, you should be able to make adjustments to your Ranger’s suspension -- that is, unless it’s a rather old Ranger. You can not only adjust the hardness of your suspension, but the rebound, preload, and other settings as well depending on your shocks. Typically, the stiffer the spring, the harder the ride. But you can adjust the spring’s preload settings to change your ride height as well. 

    You can move the shocks to the outward hole and give your rig some height and stiffness. If you’re looking for ground clearance but like soft suspension, our suggestion would be to get something like a 3” bracket lift. It’s cheap and leaves your suspension on the lowest setting while still giving you added height. 

    Augmenting Your Polaris Ranger Suspension

    If adjusting your shock settings isn’t cutting it but you don’t want a full-blown aftermarket suspension setup for your Polaris Ranger, you may want to consider upgrading just the springs. S3 springs, for example, will give you more suspension travel as well as a slight lift. If you’re running a lift larger than 3-4 inches, there could be axle issues along the line if you stick with factory axles, but many riders change out their axles anyways to get the right angles and geometry in their Ranger. You can check your factory specs on the axle angle. You may be pushing the limits with a lift and HD springs, but aftermarket Ranger axles like the Rhino 2.0s have a larger angle ability than stocks.

    If you want a little more suspension travel when you ride trails and other sketchy areas, but still use your Ranger for farm and ranch work as well, the S3 HD springs are perfect. Those types of suspension springs are for heavy loads, things like the snow plows and such. But you can also get them for hauling deer, corn, and things of that nature without worrying about overloading your springs. 

    There are different front shocks depending on the year of your Polaris Ranger as well. Some have aluminum bodies, while others have steel bodies. You can always try long travel a-arms and things of that nature, but the only way to increase travel is if you have hl shocks and you switch to non hl shocks -- on a factory machine that is. A better solution is the SuperATV big lift without the lift bracket and RZR 1000 front shocks all the way around. You will still need to add some preload to the rear to get it back to level, but the ride and handling are night and day versus stock or stock with a 3” lift.

    In terms of spring length, not all Polaris suspension springs are easily compatible with every year and edition of the Polaris Ranger. We’ve talked to many riders who though that the turbos are dual rate and XP’s are progressive rate springs. But the dual rate/progressive rate being turbo/1000 dependent actually depends on what year you have. Furthermore, they aren’t dual rate, they just have tender springs. There is no doubt that the 2018+ Polaris Rangers are leaps and bounds more advanced than the older models where suspension is concerned. However, the stock shocks will not handle well under all circumstances. 

    Take the 2019 Polaris Ranger Crew as an example. If you’ve ever taken one for a spin, you’ll know that the more people you have in it, the better it rides, and the harder you push it, the more you appreciate the dual sway bars. If you aren't using the capacity of the machine, the shocks will likely be a little on the stiff side.  Even on the softest setting and rebound, the shocks still seems a little slow. That said, even the crew has a light nimble feel in the woods, while the older Polaris Rangers felt more like driving a school bus. Although a Ranger will never perform like an RZR, you’ll still be able to hot foot your machine through some tight trails with enough practice. 

    Suspension Upgrades For The Polaris Ranger

    There are quite a few aftermarket suspension kits for the Polaris Ranger, such as the ones by Elka and Walker Evans. Another good company for aftermarket Polaris Ranger suspension kits is 814. They’re half the price of the other suspension kits, and arguably perform as good, if not better. They have both the Trail series for the trail riders, and Dominators for high speed applications. 

    With such suspension setups, you might need a limiter strap as the shocks have more travel than the suspension. The straps keep your axle from binding from too much angle. You can also get rid of the front sway bar to get more travel and a smoother ride. But with regards to the rear sway bar, most suspension manufacturers include a rear sway bar in the back that is set exactly where it needs to be. Any higher and it might be prudent to remove it in order to get the most droop out of your shocks, but these guys know what they’re doing and are ten steps ahead.  

    We’ve known Polaris Ranger owners that upgraded to the Bandit UTV Suspension Shocks and really liked them. They are completely rebuildable, and the founder is a former pro rider, so you know he is very knowledgeable. L&W fab out of Ga is developing a long travel kit, but they have yet to release it to the public. As it stands, though, your options for aftermarket shocks, springs, and other suspension components is quite broad.

  • What To Expect From The 2020 Polaris Ranger Lineup

    Sadly, 2019 will be the last year for the Polaris Ranger 900. But thankfully for all us power sports lovers, Polaris’ 2020 lineup promises to be one for the record books. In the 900s place, the 2020 Polaris Ranger and 2020 Polaris Ranger 1000 will leave nothing behind. So if you’re debating on what Polaris Ranger to buy or are just interested in the new lineup of Polaris Ranger UTVs, you’ve come to the right place!

    In terms of differences between years, the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 is the same as last year, also a twin cam engine with 82hp. The new Polaris Ranger 1000, (which is replacing the Ranger 900) is a totally new motor, single cam with the 61-62hp.

    With this 61-62 hp ranger and 55 lb ft of low end torque, the new SOHC engine in the 2020 Polaris Ranger 1000 has a configuration that makes it a complete torque monster. For Polaris to have actually released torque specs for their 2020 Rangers is a huge deal. If they brag about it publicly, you know it must be something worth letting out there. And despite having horsepower on the lower end, horsepower doesn’t put you back in your seat, torque does. Horsepower is basically how fast you hit the wall. Torque, on the other hand, is how far you take the wall with you. Besides, with a Gilomens tune you can unleash at least 20 more ponies from your engine without even breaking a sweat. 

    The new 2020 Polaris Rangers will have two different cams, single and dual overhead cams. Polaris also made improvements on the clutch and did away with the reverse chain -- which is now now gear driven. The 1000 level Ranger starts at $13,000, and the Ranger 1000 XP starts at $16,900. This, however, is only the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP,) so you can probably get a better price from a good dealer. 

    Other than price the biggest thing that you get with the new 2020 Polaris Ranger 1000 XP is the dual overhead cams -- more power up top and less torque down low. The non XP Ranger has more torque at 3000 rpm. Compared to the 2017 1000 XP’s -- which had a single chain drive for reverse and a not-so-good stock clutch -- the entire driveline of the 2020 Polaris Rangers is much better (plus, they also have more power at a lower RPM).

    Between the extra comforts of the Polaris Ranger 1000s, the fact the 900s will be obsolete now, and the fact that most people want full power, many riders are choosing the XP 1000 as their new toy in 2020. While the standard Polaris Ranger is more economical than the XP 1000, a lot of side-by-side owners still prefer the XP with the better dash and instrument panel. Further, the location of the muffler on the Ranger 1000 is kind of dumb if you ask me. You'll put a hole in it or knock it off when you’re in reverse backing up to hitch up a trailer. So if you do have the 1000 edition, you better be careful hooking up a trailer to it. 

    The 2020 Polaris Ranger Highlifter edition also comes with a few updates. Ranger HL 2020s come with the turbo s gear driven reverse -- which is also found on the 2019 Highlifter and back country editions -- and a new plow mode -- like the Ride Command editions. 

    Yes 2020 is going to be a good year for the UTV community. With significant changes to their 2020 lineup, Polaris changed up more than the body style. With relatively reduced prices, Polaris is bringing their UTVs to a lower segment and competing directly with the cheaper Can-Am Defenders. But unlike Can-Am side-by-sides, Polaris machines have differentials that are weak and easy to break,  their clutches won’t be garbage, and the heat from the motor won’t burn your bum and cook you like a well done slab of meat. 

  • Analysis Of The 2019 Polaris Ranger 570

    2019 Polaris Ranger 570 Overview

    The Polaris Ranger 570 has gotten mixed reviews from riders, and the 2019 edition is no different. Most owners of the 2019 Polaris Ranger 570 say that they love their machine and have had zero issues. It is dependable with plenty of power, able to go anywhere the 900 and 1000 Rangers go. And while it may not push you back in your seat or go as fast as the 900 XP when accelerating, you can easily reach top speeds of around 63MPH with an ECU reflash. Regardless, we’re going to get into the nitty gritty of the new 570 Ranger, giving you the good, the bad, and the ugly. So let’s dig in and go no holds barred on the 2019 Polaris Ranger 570. Continue reading

  • 2019 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Overview

    A Look Inside The 2019 Polaris Ranger XP 1000

    With nearly 1000 cubic centimeters of displacement in it’s 4-stroke, twin cylinder, DOHC engine, a stock ground clearance of 13 inches, and a payload capacity of 1,500 pounds, the 2019 edition of the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 is a force to be reckoned with. It is a versatile machine that, like most side-by-sides, has both pros and cons for domain-specific applications. With a few aftermarket modifications, however, the 2019 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 and it’s larger crew cousin can tackle whatever terrain you may encounter. Continue reading

  • 2019 Polaris Ranger XP 900 Overview

    A Look Inside The Polaris Ranger 2019 XP 900

    There is no doubt that the 2019 Polaris Ranger XP 900 is leaps and bounds more advanced than the older models. It’s not uncommon to see a 2019 XP 900 Ranger outperform their RZR brethren. We at Everything Polaris Ranger have personally witnessed a 2019 XP 900 with a 3” lift, no sway bars, and 32” tires with 2” deep lugs leave an RZR 900 on 28’s in the dust on a windy paved road. However, top-end speeds are not the only performance metric. While the new edition of the Polaris Ranger XP 900 may have some giddy-up-and-go, when things get steep and tires get airborne, it’s hard -- if not impossible -- to find a utility side-by-side that will ride like a Razor. The Polaris general is about as close as you can come, but the bed space is limited to say the least. Continue reading

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