UTV TROUBLESHOOTER

“Your tech guy doesn’t have a clue”, by Sarge McCoy —

HOW HIGH CAN A RANGER JUMP?

Dear Sarge,

I have a Polaris Ranger. This past weekend I replaced a worn-out drive belt. Ever since then, when I put the Ranger in gear, it jumps either forward or rearward, depending on which position I shift into. I checked the clutches for alignment as you have suggested in the past. And they are in alignment. I asked the tech at the dealership, and he said they all do it! Really? It didn’t jump before. Could I have gotten a bad factory drive belt? Your advice is much appreciated.

Adam Gonzales

Union Grove, Texas

First off, Boot, your so-called “tech” is an idiot! Your Zooter does not have to jump when placed in gear! You were being dismissed! He either didn’t want to deal with you or he truly hasn’t a clue. What you need to do, Boot, is remove that new belt and, using a clutch puller, remove the clutch and check the spider’s buttons for caked dust behind them. The dust can force the clutch to tighten up causing it to not disengage. When the clutch is partially engaged, of course, the Zooter will jump when jammed into gear! A new, wider drive belt just makes the condition worse. While you are inside the clutch, check the spider and cover bushings for caked dust too. With everything clean and the idle set correctly, you should be able to shift into gear smoothly. May I suggest you dismiss your dealer’s service department! Dismissed!

CONCERNED ABOUT OVERALL PRICE

Dear Sarge,

We own a small truck farm in Ohio and have been looking for a UTV to do some light work around the farm. I have looked at almost all of the major and minor brands out there. I kind of wanted a diesel for fuel efficiency and towing power and an old-fashioned bench beat for ease of entry and exit. By the time I spec’d out what I wanted and needed, I determined I also needed a trailer to carry all the stuff I planned on carrying because most of the models have very limited bed area. Add all this up and I could purchase a truck for the same 30K! Sarge, do you have any suggestions?

Jerry Zimmerman

Willard, Ohio

I can understand, Boot! I am betting you overlooked a U.S. manufacturer who has a mini-truck-configured Zooter that may fit your requirements better than the larger OEMs. Go to
https://intimidatorutv.com/models/truck/ and look at their line of Intimidator Trucks. I love the idea of their 6-foot aluminum bed with fold-down sides and tailgate, creating a flatbed. Power options include your diesel engine. It couldn’t hurt to check them out. They are available at selected Cabella’s stores (www.cabelas.com/product/intimidator-internet-truck-series/2332775.uts). Because you really didn’t check out “almost all” the major and minor brands, you will now report for “office hours” where you will be admonished for lying to Sarge. Dismissed!

ARE THEY REALLY MADE OF UNOBTANIUM?

Dear Sarge,

I am trying to restore a 1971 Honda US90. I have sourced most of all the parts, except for the rare one-piece tire/wheel combo used on the US90s. Is anybody making new ones, because originals seem to be made of unobtanium? I really don’t want to install the modern two-piece tire/rim set. I am hoping you can provide a source.

Dennis Hutchins

Los Vegas, Nevada

Private Hush-Up, you don’t want much, do you?! Original Ohtsu one-piece balloon Zooter tires are as rare as hen’s teeth! I have seen them come up on eBay occasionally, but the price is astronomical. A pair of tires that will hold air can fetch a grand! And most, given their age, are rotting on their rims! As a substitute, the Firestone 6×6 one-piece tire/rims from that era can be substituted. You can also substitute the ’76 ATC90 tires, which were actually three pieces vulcanized together. A strip of center tread was vulcanized (glued) to two strips of sidewall. This was then inserted into a two-piece rim  bolted together with a sealing O-ring in the middle. But, Boot, if you want an original, be prepared to sell off your first born to get a set of original Ohtsus that hold air. Count off 25 while you are waiting, Boot! Dismissed!

I’M IN, I’M OUT, I’M IN, I’M OUT!

Dear Sarge,

I have a 2007 Arctic Cat 700 EFI 4×4. Recently it has started jumping in and out of 4×4 when shifted to 4×4. It is electronically shifted, so I checked the switch for water entry but could see none, so I am turning to you, Sarge, to help me.

Brian Dashnaw

Decatur, Indiana

Private Dashboard, you are giving up way too early. Did you reference your service manual for testing the front drive selector actuator? Can you even hear the actuator cycling? I’m betting you didn’t even try, so I am recommending quarter-decking until you can perform 65 marine-regulation push-ups! Here is your service manual: www.mymowerparts.com/pdf/arctic-cat-atv-repair-and-service-manuals/arctic_cat_2007_400_500_650_700_service_manual.pdf. Refer to Section 5, “Front Drive Selector Actuator,” and test your actuator. Replace as necessary as outlined in Section 6, “Front Drive Actuator.” If you are feeling adventurous, you can disassemble your “dead” actuator and attempt to repair it yourself. Be aware that you can’t hurt it any more than it is because it doesn’t work now and you might get lucky. Also, be aware there are no repair parts available, but again, you might get lucky and a good COT&S (clean, oil, test & ship) might restore operation. Dismissed! 

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