Project RZR

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I recently picked up a 4 seater UTV and these pages will document the changes I make to it. This is something my family has been talking about for a while and after some searching we finally pulled the trigger on a very clean 2013 Polaris RZR XP 4.  This model is actually the Walker Evens edition which the previous then took to blacking out all the trim. 

On the day the RZR came home it was setup with the following parts: Pro Armor doors, Polaris aluminum Roof, 30x10" Mongrels on 14" MSA Vice M16 beadlocks w/ spare mounted on a set of Dragon Fire backbone cage supports, 4 point harnesses for all of the Triple-X seats (buckets front, bench in the back), Alba high clearance rear control arms, Dragon Fire Heavy Duty rear axels, Dalton clutch kit, front and rear Dragon fire bumpers, Polaris side mirrors, Pro Armor trailing arm guards and all sorts of other  odds & ends. The only things missing from our wish list were heated seats, an intercom and a sleeker cage.

We took the car out for a ride the next day and everything performed better than expected.  I was especially happy that I could not feel any shock fade over the course of our 4 hours of riding.

After a quick cleanup the RZR was parked in my shop so I could modify the factory cage.  This is my before picture and you can see how the factory cage slopes upward (way higher than it needs to for our uses). I chose to address this by doing what is known as a cage "chop".  Essentially you remove a section of tube from the B and C pillars, sleeve and then re-weld the tubes back together.  Due to the angle of the roofline there isn't really a need to chop the A pillars on these models.

The cutting started at the cross brace between the two C pillars.  I completely cut the cross brace out and discarded it. Next the B pillars were separated from the main roof bars.  Finally I took a 6" section out of the C pillars approximately an inch above the factory seat belt mount. This allowed the cage to sag as you see above in the first picture. I made some tubing sleeves from some 1.50 x .120 wall tubing I had and plug welded then into the lower part of the C pillars. With the help of my wife and a few straps we were able to pull the upper C pillar bars outward and down over the new sleeves. Once the upper C pillar was tack welded to the lower C pillar we were left with what is shown in the second picture above. 

Next up was figuring out how to modify the Dragon Fire backbones so I could retain my spare tire mount and the extra cage bracing they provide. We played around with positioning them high vs. low and decided they looked best up high. As you can see in the picture the new cage position would require the backbones to be shortened.

   Now that we knew where the new crossbar needed to go we cut the factory C pillar cross braces down so I could set a new 1.50 x .120 wall cross brace on top of them.

Once the new crossbar was tacked into place the backbones were cut at the upper clamp, shortened using my tube notcher and then re-welded to the upper clamp. We then figured out how much needed to be removed from the B pillars to bring them down flush with the top of the main bars and repeated the same cut and sleeve procedure we used for the C pillars.  I believe we ended up removing about 3.5" of tubing from the B pillars. Lastly I welded in an A pillar spreader just above the dash. We got a nice tight fit by loosening the cage clamps at the base of the A pillars before inserting the bar and then re-tightening the clamps.  A quick test fit of the roof showed it could drop on with just a few changes to the mounting clamp hole positions.

This is what the side profile looks like after final welding, grinding and painting. A 5' 10" adult can ride in the back with room for a helmet.  For reference my rear bench is still using the stock seat bases.  I will gain about an inch of clearance by switching to these metal seat bases made by Lasertabs down the road.

 I swapped out the front seat bases for some of the Lasertab metal seat bases to allow me to install a seat slider without raising the seats. 

I used a factory Polaris seat slider #2877390. They come with a bracket mounted top and bottom making them very tall.  The simple fix to the height issue was to remove and discard the top and bottom brackets that came with the Polaris seat slider (shown in the second image above), these two parts account for 1.5" of height.  Note - save the mounting hardware that attaches the "U" shaped bracket. To get them mounted to the seat base I centered the slider, positioned it over the seat frame rails (roughly centered) with the adjuster lever facing inward and marked two mounting hole positions that would line up with the factory seat mounting holes.  Next I drilled thru both pieces on the seat slider with a drill bit that would allow for a clearance hole for a 5/16 bolt. 

Once that was done I then drilled a larger access hole for a 5/16 socket head cap screw just thru the lower portion of the seat slider.  This allows you to place the slider on the seat frame rail and bolt it to the seat frame by passing the cap screws thru the access hole and threading it into the seat frame. Finally I set the Lasertab base on the bottom of the seat slider and using the hardware that came with the slider, attached the base to the slider.  Note - I did have to slide the nut in between the seat rails using a telescoping magnet, then threaded the bolt in from the seat base side. The wires coming out of the seats are from the two heating pads I installed.  I went with kits purchased from E-bay.  For approximately $90 I was able to get enough pads to put two in each seat along with all of the switches and relays.

Comparison shot before and after.

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