–Sarge McCoy Troubleshoots The Problem —


Dear Sarge,

I have a 2015 RZR XP 1000, and I have snapped both lower ball joints. I didn’t hit anything that I know of. I was just riding along and they just popped apart! I have 30-inch tires, and people have told me it is those tires that are causing my ball joint breakage. I really do not want to go back to the stock tires. I can’t believe it is all caused by a 1-inch-taller tire.

Jenna Davidson

Mantua, Utah

Boot, your tire choice is only part of the problem. The tires you chose are heavier than the smaller OEM Maxxis Bighorns. This puts a greater strain on the ball joints. Plus, your Zooter is now 4 years old, and your ball joints haven’t seen a bit of new lubricating grease. I would replace the OEM parts with Super Dave’s greaseable ball joints here: That will help. Next is replace the sacked tender springs on your front Walker Evans shocks with either new or HD springs. Your sagging front end puts a greater angle on the ball joints. Add all of these problems up and you can break ball joints, Boot! Grab a pencil and paper, Boot, because I want you to locate and give names to every spider in the Barracks! Dismissed!


Dear Sarge,

I have a Polaris RZR 900, and we ride Baja a lot! The continuing problem we have is the air filter plugging up. I have tried various filter elements, but they all plug up with the fine-silt powder so prevalent down there. Pre-filters have not helped, either. I even tried the Donaldson filter. Cleaning in the field each day is a mess that I have just stopped doing, and now just carry a spare filter element for each day we are out. I have heard about that military dust separator that keeps the majority of dirt away from the filter element. Is this a direction I should go?

Dean Kamble

San Diego, California

Private Soup Can, the S&B particle separator is a good direction to take but not the only one. R2C Performance Products ([847] 922-8031) has an air filter that is field cleanable and uses military filter media. The claim is better filtration, less restriction  and field cleaning can be accomplished by blowing the filter element outward with compressed air or vacuuming the outside to remove accumulated dust. See here: Report to the Motor Pool, Pvt. Soup Can, because the Motor Pool Sergeant needs every Humvee’s air filter replaced before field maneuvers. Dismissed!


Dear Sarge,

I recently purchased a 2018 Can-Am X3 900 H.O., and the only real issue I have with it is the roll cage. I just think the hump just doesn’t look right, so I started looking for a lower cage. Nothing really looks right to me. Does anybody make a decent, strong cage that provides a smoother, lower roof line? The look I am shooting for is a 1940 Ford Coupe. Also a fitted (not universal) roof would be nice too. Am I asking too much, Sarge?

Dennis Hutchins

Mapleton, North Dakota

Private Munchkin, in a ready-made cage, yes, you are asking too much. However, if you make your own, then no! Before you go ballistic thinking you need a well-equipped shop with a tubing bender, consider that you only need access to a welder or know someone who is competent sticking two pieces of metal together. You can purchase all the pre-bent pieces to assemble your own cage. Look here—–super-shorty–cage-kit-can-am-maverick-x3.html—for a Super Shorty cage from CageWRX at Now, Boot, since you didn’t enjoy your “hump,” you will enjoy mine! The marine crucible! At the end (assuming you survive), you will “love” the hump! Dismissed!


Dear Sarge,

Fellow Marine SSgt no longer on active contract here. I have a 2013 Suzuki KingQuad 500 EPS that’s stock, except for a 2-inch High Lifter suspension kit and 27-inch Mega Mayhems on 12-inch ITP Hurricanes. After a very expensive 5-minute venture in a mud hole last year at the Hillman, Minnesota, Mudfest, I ended up replacing all four axles with aftermarkets by American CV. My problem is that my Zooter hasn’t been the same since. It pulls very hard intermittently to the left, and the left rear axle clicks very loudly at slow speeds. I’ve had the power steering checked at a dealer to no avail. Help!

Travis Grime, SSgt USMC (no longer on active contract)

Shafer, Minnesota

I am not sure just what you have there, Sarge. I went to the American CV site, and they are basically just a warehouse for product. And, it looks like they are mainly automotive. I plugged in your specs, and the 2013 model doesn’t come up. And further more, they have no product available for your Zooter?! But onto your problem: the only reason a CV clicks is there is no grease or it is worn. Since it pulls, I read that as binding. I would suggest you pop the bands and pull back the boots and have a look inside. It wouldn’t surprise me if the CV joint was dry and damaged. May I suggest turning to one of the axle purveyors in this fine mag that specialize in Zooters? Semper fi! 




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