As we challenge ourselves and push the limits of our extreme-performance UTVs (and ATVs), we’re bound to cook a CVT belt every now and then, but racers seem to go through belts faster than most. Standing on the throttle and brakes at the same time might earn you a good start, but what happens when that abused belt lets go while in front of the pack? This happened to one of our test pilots during a shootout between Polaris’ RZR XP 900 Jagged X and Walker Evans, so we replaced the belt with a Gates G-Force belt (part number 21G4140). Here’s how to do it.
We removed the left rear wheel so we could take better photos of the process, but the belt can be changed trailside with the tire attached. Besides the ATV lift, we used a flat-blade screwdriver, 10mm T-handle, 10mm socket, 17mm T-handle (wheel lugs) and the Polaris shock-spring preload tool. Park the UTV on a level surface, chock a wheel and leave the transmission in neutral or any gear but park.
Remove the eight, self-tapping CVT cover screws and then the outer CVT cover by rotating the rear out and down. The bulbous front will bottom against the shock spring; force the cover to bend it into submission. Loosen the hose clamps on the exhaust duct at the top rear of the inner CVT cover and remove the rubber coupler.
In our case, all that was left inside the CVT covers were chords wrapped around the clutch. We unwound the chords and pulled them away, making sure no chords or pieces of CVT belt remained on or in either spool.
Remove the engine cover in the XP’s bed, and remove the seats or storage bins to access the insulated hatch, which uses two plastic latches, just like the RZR hood. The way the exhaust duct is configured, belt debris was slung up and forward where it was deflected by a metal screen. We fished all the debris out of the duct and screen. Check the cut intake duct, too.
Here’s what was left of the stock belt. It’s not likely that Polaris would honor the warranty on this belt considering the abuse we put it through. When we were sure all the debris had been cleared out, we replaced the rubber coupler on the duct and tightened the hose clamps.
Loop the replacement CVT belt over the front of the clutch assembly as shown. See how much shorter the belt is than the distance around the rear pulleys? We had to force it onto the pulley.
Place the weights at 12 and 6 o’clock on the second spool, and insert the fat end of the shock-preload tool into the cavity, rotating the tool toward the pulley as shown to force the spools apart. Walk the belt on by rotating the spools and belt. Try not to pry it on to avoid damaging the new belt.
Here’s the new belt in place. Make sure the rubber seal on the inner CVT cover is in place, and force the outer cover past the shock spring and CVT clutch. Then, replace and tighten the eight CVT cover bolts and four wheel nuts and enjoy your smooth, new CVT belt!