ATV Television's Blog

The Latest News and Doug's Ramblings & Ravings.
Including Doug's "Here's what I think!" and "What were they thinking!"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Project RZR - The Ultimate Trail Rig Moving Right Along!

We've started preparring our 2011 RZR in our attempt to make it the most capable trail machine to use exploring the vast expanses of the Paiute Trail system.

One of the first things we did was remove most of the stickers. I like the clean look. Could you image if your car came with all these stickers?

We then took some clear silicon sealant and sealed the seam in the front fender wells as we've noticed that in mud and snow these can leak. We then installed our floormats made from the BedRug. We do this for several reasons; One to quiet the interior, and two, so that we can fill in the silly heel pocket that drives us nuts! We installed our High Lifter aluminum top - which of course we glued some carpet to, once again as a sound-deadening process. We then bolted on our reaview mirror. I think every ATV and UTV should come standard with a mirror! We also installed our Ram GPS mount up under the roof. We put a QuadBoss fender bag in between the seats for added interior storage.

Because we hate rattles, we also ran several wraps of black electrical tape around the grab bar to keep it from vibrating!

To increase the suspension's articulation we remove the front sway bar entirely and back the rear sway bar as far off as we can. This way it lets each wheel move a couple inches further before it moves in like our government controlling things. We've seen some folks remove the rear altogether but we have yet to try it.....but we will.

We installed a set of Super Works shocks with extended body length. This gives us all the advantages of Works Performance shocks and a 1" to 1 1/2" l;ift all in a single package. We love 'em. If you contact Works, ask for the ATV Television build.

As you could also see in the previous picture, we installed a 3000 pound KFI winch complete with synthetic cable and aluminum fairlead. Once you use a synthetic cable you'll wonder why winches even come with twisted wire cables! We mounted our switch just behind the shifter and the remote left under the seat.

The stock skidplate leaves a lot to be desired for hard trail riding.

So, we installed a complete set of HCR aluminum skids. Wow! These are incredible. They go on using the stock hardware and actually bolt on without any problems or misaligned holes. I can't say enough about how well these skidplates fit - especially since we've heard many stories about the horrors of trying to install aftermarket skids, and seen enough of it ourselves that we typically don't add aftermarket skidplates.

One this we did that I highly recommend is to run some rubber insulating tape between the frame and the aluminum. It really keeps the reflective noise and vibration to a minumum.

This was another one of those products we hesitated to bolt on. The RZR's are notorious for letting dirt past the filter and into the engine, some going kaput within 200 miles! So, a good filter is a must, and K&N are one of the best. Why the hesitation then? Good filters add a lot more induction noise - something I don't really want. And they require quite a bit of work to install. But the thought of a ruined engine after a couple days on the trail was motivation enough for me. We'll have a complete Product Review segment on it, but it required removing the bed to install. But in addition to being sure the installation was correct it gave me the ability to double check everything else under there. BTW: The sound is louder than stock, but I think I can live with it. If not, the next step would be to carpet the engine cover behind the seats.

There we go! We mounted a set of 26" Goodyear MTRs on 14" High Lifter wheels. These seem to work really good in every condition except snow. We'll see how they last. You can see the lift that the extended Works Performance shocks give the RZR. On the rear is our incredible RyFab cargo box with a pair of RotopaX fuel and storage packs mounted to the lid. I think we are now ready to hit the trail!

We have a few more pictures on our website.

And we have already started work on our Project Suzuki King Quad!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Test Updates

Ranger EV -

And it handled quite well!
We are absolutely amazed at how well the new EV is working around our place. We're preparing the video  that will show the EV hauling firewood and towing the rough cut mower to have up hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

It never ceases to amaze us the smiles the EV puts on other's faces. Quite, powerful. Of course we still struggle with really testing it's full potential as a trail machine as we can't find the right can to carry the spare volts with us. Or is that watts? Whatever.


Kawasaki may not endorse this but the Mule moves
 this around my ranch without a problem
We are also getting our diesel Mule test ready, but since the EV's been here we've used the Mule less than before. Suddenly a diesel really seems noisy and smelly. But of course, nothing else sitting around the shop can haul and tow like this thing.


Now that we have the 2011 RZR test completed we can get started on the modifications we plan to make to it to make it the Ultimate Trail Machine! The pile of parts is growing. Some decisions are easy, some much harder.
One of the first things I do is remove all them danged stickers!
 We have the HCR skid plates and kick panels.
 We've got our KFI winch.
 We've got our RyFab cargo box.
 Although we've got a couple RotopaX fuel and storage packs, we're still figuring out if want to mount them a little different this time.
 We're also trying to decide whether to mount the long travel, extended length Works shocks or try the air shocks from Legend Air. I can't seem to get past the thought that as you lift it that it will also be stiffer.
 Also, ATR makes a pretty cool kit that includes a lift kit, strengthening tubes and Fox shocks that looks like it might be the answer.
 Then there's the tires and wheels. We ordered the Blue and White edition so that we had nicer-looking 12" wheels that will still be 50". Now what tires. We also still have our 14" High Lifter wheels with the Goodyear MTR's that I really liked on the last RZR we fixed up.
 And the cage! I've love to put on a lower-profile, better-looking cage, but wonder if it's really worth the effort.
 We plan to remove the front sway bars as before, and either loosen or remove the rear as well.
 Bolt in the GPS
 Bolt on some additional lighting front and rear.

Some RZRs seem to work just fine, but most need an air filter upgrade to be sure the inners stay clean. So we have that to do - no matter what!

Wow, all of a sudden it looks like a lot of work! Maybe I should just put some miles on it stock ;-)

Suzuki King Quad 750 EPS -

Still looking for the perfect box!
One of my favorite ATVs, and one I always want sitting around here to measure other ATVs against. It's coming along well as a project simply because it's easy to get trail-ready.
 Carlisle ACTs mounted on the stock wheels
 A pair of RotopaX one gallon fuel packs mounted on the rear rack.
 Have a bag on now but still looking for the right box.
 The GPS mount was easy.
 Still need to mount the winch.

RZR 4 -

What can be said?
Just hit over 500 miles on our RZR 4 and getting ready to send it back. Not sure we're real happy with some of the noises it's making. It sure handles great, but sure is big when you don't need all that seating space.

We're replacing it with a new Ranger 500EFI crew. I enjoyed putting miles on one at the new model intro in Montana and for how I explore the trails with three other people onboard, I think it will work better than the RZR 4. Certainly smaller feeling.

We'll see.

Teryx -

The Teryx never once let us down - even in severe conditions
The Teryx just continues to do everything it's asked. It is the most trusted trail rig when we ride where there are no 50" trails to worry about. It's towed a trailer up to 10,000 feet to haul down loaded (both the Teryx's bed and the trailer) with firewood.

I wish it were a little quieter. I wish it had a hand-actuated parking brake, and I wish it had an automatic-clutch, manual transmission. But that is most likely asking too much:-)

I guess wishing it were 50" wide would be too much too?

It still is what sits right outside my office door, but then I don't have an electrical plug that close.

Brute Force -

The Goodyear MTRs work great but the wider fronts
make the non-power steering harder to steer!
After burying it in the mud within the first 25 miles of use, it has forgiven me and continues to be at the ready when needed to explore the 50" trails. Ran the Goodyear MTRs on it for a while but being so used to power steering on the other ATVs we put the stock tires back on to ease the steering. I guess I should have put on the ACTs as nobody likes the stock tires much.

Hopefully we have some more 2011s on the way as my favorite time to put the miles on are in October and November!