PIONEER vs RANGER, RZR BALL JOINTS & MORE

–Advice from Sarge McCoy —

WHICH UTV SHOULD WE GET?

Dear Sarge,

Several of our group are trying to decide on the joint purchase of a small 500cc UTV for getting to and back from our hunting camp in the Adirondack Mountains. We have narrowed the choices to two models. We wanted small and maneuverable due to the terrain we will be in. If it was more open, we would look at the four-seaters, but during our test drives, we decided it would be better to make several trips into camp and still be able to get to where we could haul any deer out. So, our choices that we test drove are the Honda 500cc Pioneer and the Polaris Ranger 570. Both have bench seats that we all thought would be more useful than buckets. Your opinion would be appreciated, Sarge.

Dennis Magster

Cortland, New York

Private 30-Round, if you did indeed drove both Zooters, it should have been obvious that the Pioneer is quieter, if that matters to your group. And, even though the Ranger has a dump box, I think it would be a challenge to put an eight-point in the box. I think the open tube rack on the Pioneer would be easier to strap down an eight-point. Also note, although this point may not be of importance to you, the Ranger takes more real estate to turn around. The Ranger does have superior suspension, more power and a higher top speed. Again, if it matters to your group, the Ranger’s CVT automatic transmission operates more smoothly, but the Pioneer’s five-speed transmission offers automatic and manual modes, is more efficient and doesn’t use a drive belt. So, Boot, I can’t give you my overall opinion, because your requirements are a bit vague. I suggest you all double-time into camp with full packs and then decide. Dismissed!

DO I REPLACE THE TOP OR THE BOTTOM?

Dear Sarge,

I have an almost-new 2013 Polaris RZR XP 900. The fellow did some racing with it and broke the lower ball joint, and it sat like that for four years! I now have it and intend to repair it. I wanted to replace the ball joints with RCV Performance ball joints. However, after purchasing the car, I can only afford to replace two and do two at a later date. So my question to you, Sarge, is, should I replace the top or the bottom ball joints first?

Terry Frailer

Long Prairie, Minnesota

Private Girly-Man, let’s just suppose I say to replace the upper ball joints, what becomes of the broken lower ball joint, Boot? Do you operate that Zooter on three wheels? Of course, you fix the lower ball joint! Not only because it is broken, but the lower ball joints tend to break first, which causes a lot of collateral damage. As soon as practical, I would replace the uppers too. Private Girly-Man, you will report to the range officer at zero-dark 30 and commence loading magazines in the ASP for the day’s exercises. Dismissed!

HISSING AND CLUNKING

Dear Sarge,

I have a clunking 2016 Hisun 800. Recently, it has started clunking on decelerating. I live a long ways from a dealer and was hoping you could direct me to a solution. Accelerating and steady-state operation is fine, just deceleration.

Clyde Barro

Cedar Hill, Texas

Private Bonnie, I bet you thank your parents for your name! Some Hisun 800 Strikes have been known to produce that sound, and it is usually due to improper assembly at the factory. It could be a bad one-way bearing on the primary clutch. Replace it with anything but an NTN bearing. Try RBL or KYK one-way bearings. It could also be the nut has worked off the short drive shaft from the transmission to the rear differential. It could also be the retaining bolts holding the transmission to the engine mount. Basically, you need to make sure the rear end doesn’t move when you wiggle it. If it does, then it is either bad bearings or loose retaining bolts. You will need a shop manual, and I don’t even have to ask if you have one, now do I, Boot? Thought so. Get one from here: www.manualslib.com/manual/1113756/hisun-hs800.html. Boot, report to the Range with your “Chicago Typewriter.” I haven’t fired one since ’Nam. Dismissed!

WATER-COOLED DRIVE BELT

Dear Sarge,

I have a 2015 Polaris 570 Sportsman. Recently, we did a three-day ride up in northern Ontario, Canada. The trail system we rode had lots of water, and I had to drain my CVT of water quite a few times. If the water level got up to the CVT cover, I usually had to stop and drain it. My dealer replaced the outer cover seal and silicone all the entrance and exits on the cover, but it still leaks. My dealer is at a loss as to what to do next. So, I am turning to you, Sarge, because I am sure you have heard of this problem before.

Dennis Friot

Ogdensburg, New York

Private Fish-Fry, your dealer didn’t go far enough with his use of silicone. Remove the rear CVT cover from the engine, clean the area and apply a generous amount of silicone to the mating surface. Polaris wasn’t always precise with the factory silicone sealant there. This procedure will require the use of a clutch puller and a factory service manual. You do have both, don’t you, Boot? Didn’t think so, so here is the 2014 service manual: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0bxzegpaqosakm00ycdn0t3rfyta/view. And for the clutch remover tool: www.amazon.com/pit-posse-pp3120-primary-sportsman/dp/b004qj9dx6. Reinstall the inner cover. Next, remove the factory rubber seal on the outer cover. Place a heavy bead of silicone where the factory seal used to reside. Spray some blue windshield washer fluid on the inner mating surface to prevent the uncured silicone from sticking. Install the outer CVT cover and loosely tighten it up, leaving approximately a 1/8-inch gap. Leave the uncured silicone to dry for several days. Now, tighten up the cover, compressing the new perfectly mated and dry silicone cover gasket. When you need to remove the cover again, the cured silicone will not stick to the inner cover. Count off 25, Boot and tell your dealer’s mechanic he owes me 50! Dismissed! 

Got a problem with your UTV? Sarge McCoy can help. E-mail your questions to the  Troubleshooter at [email protected]

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