Project RZR

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It has been a while since my last update.  The last 500 or so miles brought a few issues into focus. First we broke a rod end on one of the rear lower control arms. Upon replacing it I threw some paint on the control arm and put the RZR back into service.  One ride later I noticed the paint had rubbed off right where the inner rod end screws into the lower control arm. It quickly became apparent that the control arm was hitting the rear mounting plate on full compression.  A little clearance with the grinder seems to have resolved the issue.

Another ah-ha moment came a few weeks into September.  I bottomed out the RZR particularly hard which caused a loud screeching noise which got louder if you let off the throttle.  When I got home I discovered the skid plate had been pieced by a rock which impacted and bent the cross member that runs under the engine and rear driveshaft. Upon closer inspection it became clear that the interference had been going on for a while.  This would explain the whistling noise our RZR had since new at certain rpm's and the terrible gas mileage it had given us up to this point.

My fix was to cut out the stock cross member and gussets and replace the cross member with a piece of 1.50 x .250 wall DOM tubing.  The gussets were cut off the old cross member and re-used. I also cut a slightly thicker plate to weld in and protect the oil pan.

Since my driveshaft had a pretty nice matching groove carved into it I sourced a used replacement off of E-bay for $80.  The center mounted carrier bearing was also swapped out for good measure. I was a little surprised at how torn up the delrin skid plate was especially since the rock only missed my secondary gas tank by an inch or so.  As some added insurance I bolted a few steel plates to the top of the skid plate where the two fuel tanks are at their lowest point.

In case you are wondering, yes, gas mileage has improved enough so that I may not have needed to add the second 5 gallon tank. That said, given the choice I'd prefer an added tank over an externally mounted fuel jug any day of the week if only for the reduced fire hazard.

I have added two non-maintenance items to the RZR. Since this is an older model the aftermarket parts market has been shrinking and there are sometimes good deals to be had in closeout sales. I managed to score a new MBPR slip on exhaust for a really good price off of E-bay.  It added a little authority to the exhaust note and seems to allow the RZR to pull a little better at high altitudes based on my butt-dyno (6-7000 feet is where we typically camp and ride). The new exhaust was also a fraction of the weight of the stock exhaust so that can't hurt.

The last addition was a half windshield that I picked up in a closeout sale online.  I really wanted a full windshield but have been unable to find one at a price I'd be willing to spend. That said I have been pleasantly surprised by how well the half windshield works.  It really does block a majority of the wind when driving which virtually eliminates the wind burnt feeling on your face after a long day of riding and it keeps the front cab warmer which is nice at altitude. The one downside is the need to clean it from time to time so the dust/dirt it collects does not inhibit your visibility. Being plastic, the windshield will scratch so I use a bottle of water and a micro fiber towel to wipe away dirt to keep scratching down to a minimum.

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