WANDERING, SLOPPY & OVER-HEATED UTVs

— The Troubleshooter, By Sarge McCoy —

Dear Sarge,

I just made the jump from the RZR 900 to the 1000. I swapped my aftermarket tires and rims over to the 1000, and I am not happy with the steering. It wanders, whereas the 900 was dead straight. Did I pick the wrong tires? Can’t you use 900 tires on a 1000?

Casey Yates

Waka, Texas

Boot! How do I glean what aftermarket tires and rims you put on your 900 Zooter? My crystal ball is in the shop! However, I can make a few educated guesses. 1. The tires you have did not wander at speed until you put them on the 1000 Zooter. That means it is most likely not the tire’s fault. 2. Your aftermarket rims were most likely 4×3 offset to gain some more width for stability. That is generally accepted practice on the 900 Zooters. 3. Nothing was done to the 1000 Zooter except install the aftermarket tires and rims. When the 1000 Zooter was designed to gain extra suspension travel, longer spindles were utilized. This allowed a 5×1 offset wheel to be used. You are using 4×3 offset (maybe). This kicks your wheels outward 2 inches more per side. Normally, that is not a problem. However, to go along with the increased width, taller tires are normally used. 4. So, you most likely had 30-inch tires on the 900 Zooter. I am betting if you went with 32s or taller, the steering sensitivity would be reduced but not eliminated. What you unintentionally did is increase the scrub radius beyond the recommended 1-inch maximum. (A very complete explanation of “scrub radius” is available here: https://shocktherapyst
.com/wheel-offset-and-suspension-performance/). You have three choices here: replace the stock tires and rims, change the rims, increase the tire height or (and this is free) set the front toe-in to toe-out of 1/4-inch for starters and see how it feels at speed. See my November 2016 column for how to adjust toe-in/toe-out. But, I’m betting you don’t have my wisdom from 2016, so here it is again, but note follow the procedure not the measurements: “Loosen all the tie-rod adjustments. Align front wheels to back with string, adjusting the tie-rods as necessary to get the front wheels pointed straight ahead. Now, adjust the tie-rods until the steering wheel is straight. Finally, adjust the tie-rods so each front tire toes inward 1/8 inch. This gives you the correct 1/4 inch toe-in that I recommend. Measure the toe-in with a long straight edge from the back of the front tires, center of the tires. Then, do it again from the front of the tires and center of the tires.” While you are on the ground measuring, count off 50 situps! Dismissed!

HOW MANY BARS TO BOIL AN EGG?

Dear Sarge,

We have a 2015 Odes Dominator four-door 4×4 with an overheating problem. With five adults on board, I am running 3–4 bars on the temperature gauge, except when I try to climb any hills, then I hit 5 bars and boil over. I was in high range at 10 mph. Sarge, have you got any advice short of not carrying the whole family?

Cleve Wilson

Cooke City, Wyoming

Private Cleveland, I can think of several reasons why your Zooter is overheating. First is, stop running in high range with five people on board and climbing hills! You are lugging the motor and overheating the drive belt! That is the exact reason they created low range, Boot! Second, your Zooter came from the factory with marginal cooling and no oil cooler. I suggest you upgrade your radiator to the latest version complete with twin cooling fans and an oil cooler. Look for “MotorcycleDoctor” on eBay. The units run about $280. Third, remove your thermostat and place it in boiling water to make sure it is opening fully. I have seen some thermostats that barely open, restricting water flow. Fourth, flush your system and refill your new radiator with Engine Ice coolant. Most people have noticed a reduction in engine operating temperatures. Measuring operating temperatures via the coolant temperature bar method is a bit crude, even for the Marines! Here is the breakdown for what the bars actually mean: 2 bars =  <79º C or 175º F; 3 bars = 79º–90º C or 175º–194º F; 4 bars = 91º–98º C or 196º–208º F; 5 bars flashing = >98º C or >209º F. I would also suggest an aftermarket water temperature gauge. There are many analogue and digital weatherproof gauges available. Choose what you like, and then you will know exactly what temperature your Zooter is operating at when you are abusing it and running in high range! Laugh, Boot! Now, on your face, Boot, and count off 50 for abusing your Zooter! You didn’t think I forgot that, did you, Boot? Dismissed!

RE: SLOPPY, FLOPPY GENERAL

Dear Sarge,

Back in April you suggested to Ted Cook to request SuperATV to make him a full-length skid plate. If you had taken the time to look at their website here—www.superatv.com/polaris-general-4-full-skid-plate—you would have seen that they have them in stock! Standing too close to the 155s again?!

Dan Riceland

San Diego, CA

Private Rice-cake, when I replied to Ted Cook, it was in February for the April edition of this fine rag. At that time there was nothing listed for the 2017 Zooters. Five months later, there is. Did Ted Cook contact them? Don’t know. But I am glad they are finally available, because not everybody can afford to trade every year, and when people purchase used Zooters, they would like to accessorize them just like new Zooters. Unlike you, Boot, I am standing on the “trigger” end of the 155s. And, like Ted Scott, I am recommending you for another go-around of BRC, phases and two! Dismissed!

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Fixing UTV problems