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Old 12-23-2019, 12:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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School me on Polaris Rangers - Do's and Don'ts

All:

As title states the old lady and I have been considering the Polaris Ranger/UTV vehicles as of late. We live on a lake and have a large hill at which our house sits down at the bottom of near the water. Parking/garage space is up at the top of the hill. Most people around the lake use golf carts to get around, and one can get about halfway around the lake on private dirt roads never touching the pavement. Our location is very social, with bonfires and parties all over pretty much every night of the summer.

Well, I'm not interested in paying golf cart prices for a motorized lazy boy recliner, and my trail rigs are a bit too big to stuff down some of the smaller "paths" if you will. I have been considering a purchase like a UTV to use for snow plowing, ice fishing, yard work/construction, cutting wood, launching fishing boats, and a ton of other applications as well. We are huge outdoor people, and if we are not on the water most of our vacation is spent camping, wheeling, trail riding, etc.

From what I've stated, you can see the appeal of a short wheelbase vehicle with 4x4 and locking diff. I like the idea of using a sxs for a lot of our trail riding as well, and keeping the jeep for more hardcore/rock crawling stuff.

As a cheap bastard/younger person who has a lot of other expenses (first home, boats, trucks, student loans, wheeling rigs, etc) I'm not exactly looking to finance a new purchase or justify 15k on a lightly used unit. I am looking for something 5-10 years of age, with the 800/900 motors to still make an occasional trip to the sand dunes/road driving. Obviously I am open to the 1,000 but I doubt I will find one in my price range. Likely looking to buy outright around 5k-8k on these budget-wise although I may have a little bit of wiggle room.

If i was to get one I would need the utility bed, 4x4, windshield, and something that the old lady would be able to operate even if I wasn't around (sometimes timid of the LS swapped jeep toy without me around).

For those that have experiences with these vehicles, what are the pros/cons of each? Are there any features these must have? Does anyone have any personal experience with these? Any specific year ranges/models suggested? Anything specific to look for when buying?

I am looking specifically at Polaris Rangers, single cab, dump bed. 800-1,000cc no less. I am not looking for a rock crawler nor to purchase one that someone has used as such. Would maybe consider the can-am defenders as well, just don't have as much knowledge of them. Not really into the Chinese junk, I'm looking for a reliable machine with plenty of aftermarket support/parts availability.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by Cool Hand Luke; 12-23-2019 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 02:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I got a 2010 ranger 800, paid 8k in 2015 +/- with plow and soft cab and doors.

Does everything you want to do old lady even drives it.

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Old 12-23-2019, 02:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I got a 2010 ranger 800, paid 8k in 2015 +/- with plow and soft cab and doors.

Does everything you want to do old lady even drives it.

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Definitely like the heater and plow options. Both will be on my rig if I don't buy one that already has them. Has it had any issues in the 5 years or so you have owned it? Obviously wear items and general maintenance but I don't consider that an issue, just part of vehicle ownership. Do you think it is underpowered with the 800?

I must say even seeing some older models around 2003-2008 they seem to hold their value pretty well.

Last edited by Cool Hand Luke; 12-23-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 02:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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don't count out the 570 ranger. I have a 14 midsize and stock for stock, it has more low end grunt than my dads 800. they lowered the gearing in the trans to help the smaller motor. its not a speed demon, but will run 50ish stock if speed is a big deal.
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Old 12-23-2019, 02:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I check my mail doing 50 down my driveway.

I don't have a heater but 20 minutes plowing it gets warm inside.

Nothing broke yet something ticking in the front driveline, ujoint maybe gotta investigate it yet.



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Old 12-23-2019, 02:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have had both a Ranger and a RZR

The Ranger was very useful around the property.

Both of them tore up grass pretty bad when turning across it.

They have models with a 'turf saver' rear end

Sounds like you are going to be driving it in a neighborhood, that might be something to look into.
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Old 12-23-2019, 02:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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don't count out the 570 ranger. I have a 14 midsize and stock for stock, it has more low end grunt than my dads 800. they lowered the gearing in the trans to help the smaller motor. its not a speed demon, but will run 50ish stock if speed is a big deal.
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I check my mail doing 50 down my driveway.

I don't have a heater but 20 minutes plowing it gets warm inside.

Nothing broke yet something ticking in the front driveline, ujoint maybe gotta investigate it yet.

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Thanks for your reviews, sounds like it will work well for our needs. Definitely going to an 800-1000cc. I want to be able to get going past 50mph. We have some sand dunes a few hours away and although the jeep usually goes there are a lot of other trails/two tracks and camping up in that area, and if we plan to go on more than just the sand I would rather bring a UTV and make an entire trip on it. Not to mention anything other than my dirt private road is all 55mph corn fields around here.

Last edited by Cool Hand Luke; 12-23-2019 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by crispins View Post
I have had both a Ranger and a RZR

The Ranger was very useful around the property.

Both of them tore up grass pretty bad when turning across it.

They have models with a 'turf saver' rear end

Sounds like you are going to be driving it in a neighborhood, that might be something to look into.
I have Ag style tires on my Ranger and it doesn't tear up my yard. 2014 crew with the Yanmar diesel. It's a heavy SOB too, full metal cab with glass windows.
Even loaded with firewood to the max (it basically bottomed out), it doesn't tear up the grass.

It has open diff 2wd, 2wd locked and 4wd, I think most have that?

I drive it all over the roads around my house which are a mix of gravel and pavement and it's no different than driving a car.

Last edited by nate379; 12-27-2019 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 12-26-2019, 07:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crispins View Post
I have had both a Ranger and a RZR

The Ranger was very useful around the property.

Both of them tore up grass pretty bad when turning across it.

They have models with a 'turf saver' rear end

Sounds like you are going to be driving it in a neighborhood, that might be something to look into.
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I have Ag tires on my Ranger and it doesn't tear up my yard. 2014 crew with the Yanmar diesel. It's a heav SOB too, full metal cab with glass windows.
Good to know. I would use the term neighborhood loosely. All dirt roads, dirt drives, very little pavement. I'm not looking to do donuts in neighbors yards just scoot around. Many others use gators, quads, etc to get around so it's not like I'll be the only SOB on the golf course with a gas side by side.
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Old 12-27-2019, 03:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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A Ranger should suit your needs. I personally don't like them as I find them really uncomfortable, and I'm not a fan of Polaris, but unless your riding long distances that shouldn't be an issue.

Here, Polaris sells for top dollar, even in the used market. If you only need a two seater, I would find a used Yamha Wolverine R-Spec. I've seen them around the $7k range, and they're comfy.

A buddy of mine bought a 2019 Polaris Ranger 1000 and every time he hops in my Yamaha the first thing he says is how much more comfortable it is. After I rode in his machine, it was obvious.
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Old 12-27-2019, 09:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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A Ranger should suit your needs. I personally don't like them as I find them really uncomfortable, and I'm not a fan of Polaris, but unless your riding long distances that shouldn't be an issue.

Here, Polaris sells for top dollar, even in the used market. If you only need a two seater, I would find a used Yamha Wolverine R-Spec. I've seen them around the $7k range, and they're comfy.

A buddy of mine bought a 2019 Polaris Ranger 1000 and every time he hops in my Yamaha the first thing he says is how much more comfortable it is. After I rode in his machine, it was obvious.
I hadn't considered the wolverine, mostly because it was less than the 800cc minimum I had kind of replaced. I looked into them and I'd say there were very few of them used in my region, and most were more expensive than the Ranger counterparts. My biggest complaint about the wolverine was the tiny bed size - it doesn't appear to be nearly the utility vehicle of the ranger. At 26, I'm not willing to sacrifice utility for comfort just quite yet. Either will ride far smoother than my leaf sprung lifted diesel on 35's
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Old 12-27-2019, 02:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I hadn't considered the wolverine, mostly because it was less than the 800cc minimum I had kind of replaced. I looked into them and I'd say there were very few of them used in my region, and most were more expensive than the Ranger counterparts. My biggest complaint about the wolverine was the tiny bed size - it doesn't appear to be nearly the utility vehicle of the ranger. At 26, I'm not willing to sacrifice utility for comfort just quite yet. Either will ride far smoother than my leaf sprung lifted diesel on 35's
The X2 is 850cc, but tops out at 52mph. The Ranger bed is slightly bigger, but not by much.

We have a dealer here who sells X2's brand new for around $11,700, so that might explain our lower prices.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I've not run other than a couple Rangers so can't compare, but I've got a bad back and I've never thought them to ride rough. I wouldn't be able to deal with a buckboard wagon ride like the old school ATVs of the 80s that I grew up riding.

I'd say rides better than the built up Grand Cherokee I had, and everyone the ran that said it rode really nice.

About the only thing I don't care for is the side bar makes it a bit hard to get in and out with a cab (need that bar for the door latch though) and the seat bottom is meh at best. I may end up redoing the foam in it or adding a cushion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FleshEater View Post
A Ranger should suit your needs. I personally don't like them as I find them really uncomfortable, and I'm not a fan of Polaris, but unless your riding long distances that shouldn't be an issue.

Here, Polaris sells for top dollar, even in the used market. If you only need a two seater, I would find a used Yamha Wolverine R-Spec. I've seen them around the $7k range, and they're comfy.

A buddy of mine bought a 2019 Polaris Ranger 1000 and every time he hops in my Yamaha the first thing he says is how much more comfortable it is. After I rode in his machine, it was obvious.

Last edited by nate379; 12-27-2019 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've not run other than a couple Rangers so can't compare, but I've got a bad back and I've never thought them to ride rough. I wouldn't be able to deal with a buckboard wagon ride like the old school ATVs of the 80s that I grew up riding.

I'd say rides better than the built up Grand Cherokee I had, and everyone the ran that said it rode really nice.

About the only thing I don't care for is the side bar makes it a bit hard to get in and out with a cab (need that bar for the door latch though) and the seat bottom is meh at best. I may end up redoing the foam in it or adding a cushion.
The suspension rides fine, but the bench seat sucks, especially if you're riding 8-10 hours a day.
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Old 12-30-2019, 06:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone, much appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Sounds to me that a ranger is what you need. The newer 570 rangers are about as quick as the older 800s, but dont be scared away from a later model 800... they're solid engines just dont make as much hp per cc as the newer twin cyl engines...
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Old 12-31-2019, 12:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Love my ranger. I actually daily drive it around town. Much easier to get around in than a 3/4t crew cab truck.
Have done a bunch to it to get it where I wanted, but overall I'd buy another in a heartbeat.







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Old 01-02-2020, 08:26 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Love my ranger. I actually daily drive it around town. Much easier to get around in than a 3/4t crew cab truck.
Have done a bunch to it to get it where I wanted, but overall I'd buy another in a heartbeat.








This is beautiful. Were you able to get yours street legal? If so, what was the process? I'm assuming you're rural enough like me to where you could probably get away with it regardless? How does it do on fuel? What accessories would you recommend as "must haves"?

Sorry for all the questions but I really like this.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:20 AM   #19 (permalink)
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This is beautiful. Were you able to get yours street legal? If so, what was the process? I'm assuming you're rural enough like me to where you could probably get away with it regardless? How does it do on fuel? What accessories would you recommend as "must haves"?

Sorry for all the questions but I really like this.

Yes, this one is tagged/insured/street legal. I registered it in SD.
Even though everything is legit, I still expected to be stopped as I ride through cities all the time. Police officers just wave.
I plan to take it on a few long trips this spring/summer. Building a M416 trailer to tow behind it.
Longest trip I've taken so far was 200mi round trip (day trip). That's about the limit of the fuel tank capacity. I do carry 10gal of extra fuel just in case I don't find a fuel station.
It gets right at 17.5mpg regardless of how I'm driving it.


Quick rundown on this machine:

2019 Ranger Northstar Ride Command
All Decals Removed/Painted Jeep Silver
Factory Heater
Factory Air Conditioning
Factory Nav/Backup Camera/Front Camera/Bluetooth
Factory Windshield Wiper/Washer
Factory Sealed Cab
Factory Sound Suppression
Heated Seats - Polaris Accessory
Hood Rack - Polaris Accessory
Compustar Remote Start
50% 3m Ceramic Tint all around
SATV 4" Portals - 15% reduction
33x10.50R15 KM3s - Replaced the 34" Warrior RT tires in pics above ^
15" Black Rhino York wheels
SATV 4" Fender Flares
SATV Arched/Raked Front/Rear Control Arms - 1.5" front & 1.5" rear rake
SATV HD Ball Joints
SATV HD Steering
SATV Frame Brace
SATV UHMW Sealed Bushings
Custom-Built Bi-Xenon Headlights - Morimoto D2S 5.0 Projectors - Diode Dynamics Switchback Strips
Corbin Customs Turn Signal/Hazards Kit
Corbin Customs Horn Kit
Duraclutch - MUST HAVE - unbelievably better than OEM polaris clutch
5000lb Front Winch - rear is in the works
ICOM IC-2730A Dual Band VHF/UHF 50W Mobile Radio
Diamond VHF/UHF Antenna
ICOM External Speaker



Here's a video showing how it cruises on the highway. Very easy to drive.
Around the 1:30 mark I open it up a bit.



youtu.be/rSWsmIlEOuw


^ Not sure how to embed a video?
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Last edited by tim_zr2; 01-02-2020 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 01-02-2020, 04:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
nice roach.
 
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Sweet rig @tim_zr2, how far off is the speedo with the portals, or is the speedo on the GPS referenced? Do you have to change oil more often in the portals where you are running them at road speeds?

cheers!!
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:51 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Sweet rig @tim_zr2, how far off is the speedo with the portals, or is the speedo on the GPS referenced? Do you have to change oil more often in the portals where you are running them at road speeds?

cheers!!
15% gear reduction offsets the tire size difference. Speedo is accurate when checked against GPS.
I change portal gear oil every 1000mi or so. Portals haven't gotten hot on the road.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:08 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Couple of up-to-date pics of the ranger. And one of the plan I'm working toward...








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Old 01-02-2020, 08:34 PM   #23 (permalink)
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