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