Sarge answers all of your questions regarding working on and maintaining your ride. This month he has a few lessons about wheel spacers.

Dear Sarge,

I purchased a 2011 RZR 800 that came with aluminum wheel spacers. Last night I removed the wheels to do some maintenance, and I noticed that a couple of the spacer studs were loose. I tried to tighten them, but they just spin in the spacers. I Loctited the studs, but when I tried to tighten the lug nuts up to 90 pound-foot, one of them still turned. So, do I replace the wheel spacers with new aluminum ones or this time go with steel?

Terry Sysco

Panaca, Nevada

Private Hamburg, why are you torquing your wheel studs to 90 pound-foot?! Recommended torque is 30 pound-foot plus 90 degrees! And, in case you are interested, Boot, that roughly equals 60 pound-foot. I would recommend you take your wheel spacer to a shop that Helicoils and have them repair your two studs correctly. Note that they can heat the Loctited stud to burn the Loctite to remove the stud for a proper repair with a Helicoil. Then, after you provide me with proof of a 10-mile force march at night, you are to reinstall the spacer and wheel, and torque it correctly to 30 pound-foot, plus 90 degrees or just plain 60 pound-foot. Then, give me at least 25 push-ups more, Boot, for needlessly destroying equipment! Dismissed!


Dear Sarge,

We have a 2009 Yamaha Rhino 450 that we purchased used this past fall to use primarily as transportation to our hunting camp. At the time we thought it was a great buy. The previous owner had installed a windshield, doors and a back window. But, last fall on the first trip up to the camp, we were shocked at the cab noise level. The interior noise was so great, we ended up using our shooting earplugs to cut the din! Sarge, do you have some suggestions on how to cut the noise down to an acceptable level?

Larry and David Spokane

McCall, Idaho

Private Spoke, usually I get questions about exhaust noise, but I can help you, too. In case you want to silence the exhaust note, consider the Silent Rider muffler add-on here:
rider-silencer-bt-5a-yamaha/dp/b000wkffyo. That cuts the popping of the single-cylinder motor. Your cab interior noise is mostly from either harmonics, reflection of sound off the windshields and doors, or the intake honk. Requisition a length of 2 1/2-inch ID flex hose and reroute the intake to up under the front hood to reduce intake honk. To cut reflected sound, install 1/4-inch adhesive-backed foam sheet to the underside of the roof and the cab side of the box. Product can be found here: www.soundaway.com/
soundproofing-foam-mat-s/34.htm. The plastic engine cover can be covered on the underside with Dynamat foil-lined, heat-resistant sound-deadening here: www.dynamat.com/brands/dynamat-
xtreme/. Finally, harmonics are cured by finding any vibrating or buzzing component, and either tighten the offending part or rubber mount it to create a vibration barrier. Now that you can hear me again, you can count off 50, each! Dismissed!


Dear Sarge,

I have a Polaris Ranger 900 with a 3-inch lift kit. After chores are done I like to go muddin’ out back, and my father is completely against mud riding because he says it tears up the Rangers. He says that when a UTV is in deep water or mud, the water gets into the bearings and seals and that is what causes damage. I still go in the mud anyway because I like it!. Sarge, I thought the oil seal’s job was to keep the oil in and the mud and water out. I submerged mine a lot, and I never had any signs of water going past the seals.

Sam Netto

Marble Falls, Texas

Private Netflix, I side with your father on this one, Boot! Bearing seals were never designed to be fully waterproof. Dirt mixed with water creates a grinding compound that works its way through the rubber seal lips and into any moving parts and destroys the interiors. Cleaning your Zooter after each ride, especially with a pressure washer, can actually force dirty water past the bearing seals. Since you obviously will not listen to authority, especially when they are right, I will show you a way to extend the life of your bearings. Every other ride, grease all fittings with a waterproof grease. This will keep water from getting into the bearings because there will be no room inside the bearings for the water. Wheel hubs should be disassembled, the inner seals on the bearings removed, the hub tapped for a Zerk fitting, and the hub reassembled. Now, fill the hub with grease until it just starts to blow out the outer seals. Again, we have removed all interior space for water to enter. All the ball joints can be carefully drilled and Zerk’d, too. Will this mean you will have no failures in the future? Absolutely not, Boot! But, what you have done is increased the MTBF (Meantime Between Failures). If you choose to ignore Sarge, your MTTR (look it up!) will increase significantly, and your wallet will be considerably lighter! I am sure that any recruit that likes mud as much as you do will “enjoy” doing 25 push-ups in your mud hole “out back,” Boot! Dismissed!

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