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!


  1. Awesome build up! When I get finished with school and can afford a RZR I will definately be getting one. Just a few questions for you....Would removing the sway bar with the stock suspension cause a lot of dive in the corners, or is a good set of radials enough to remedy the problem? And to go along with that, do the Works shocks work so well you don't need the sway bar? Also, do you find that with the increased lift it seems more tippy? And lastly, I thought Polaris fixed the air intake problems after the 2008 model year, is this not the case?

  2. Oh, and by the way, thanks for all the great info.

  3. Thanks Dan! We've been at this a while! We love the RZR and since our first ride in Feb '07 we've been looking at ways to make it a better machine!

    A set of good radial tires is by far the best thing you can do to a RZR and should be the first item you change - even before you drive it!

    I don't think I'd remove the sway bar with the stock tires. You can take a look at our Product Review of the Carlisle Badlands radials. In there we had the front bar disconnected and with the only change being the radials, spun donuts out in the dirt.

    The increased ride height of the Works Extended shocks don't seem to make it more tippy, but the combination of sitting higher, taller tires, no front sway bar and the loosened rear bar does make it lean a lot more. It gets people's attention the first time that's for sure.... But this thing is setup for trails not racing.

    In one of our Product Reviews I set the RZR on a sidehill, got out, and actually tried to tip it over. It goes a long way before it goes over. The danger is speed!

    Polaris doesn't seem to realize the air filter problem, or at least the extent of it. I've heard from a dealer that they will only rebuild the engine once for getting sand in it. How strange is that?

    Polaris' weak link is that they count their dollars too closely and the potential for customer goodwill to lackadaisically. A couple hundred dollars more on each unit would go a long way to alleviate their poor reliability.

  4. Doug,

    I hope that Polaris listens to your inputs on how they can make their machines better. As a respected voice in the industry, thanks for fighting the battle for us!

    At least Polaris is continuing to come out with better products each year, while other manufactures are standing by in this slow economy. With some luck, maybe by the time I am able to buy a RZR, they will have ADC and a better air intake on them!

  5. i just bought a 2011 rzr ,do i need to worry about the air filter ? the dealer told me the 2011s we non problem ? thanks

  6. Most likely you should change the filter system. We have run a few RZRs with the stock intake system with okay results but seen way too many with engines ruined in as little as 200 miles!!!

    We have just installed the UMP filter. It's designed like my CAT filter. It's not cheap, but rebuilding the engine out of warranty isn't either!

    We've got that update coming next week hopefully.

  7. I'm sure this was addressed by WORKS on the developement of those extended length shocks, but I figured I'd ask you Doug: Any problems with CV Joints binding? I know this is a big problem with cheap lift kits for RZRs. What are your thoughts, comments about it?


  8. The Works shocks don't lift it as high as the bolt on lifts, but CV bind can still be a problem if you set the shocks too high. I've kept an eye on them while testing both with the Works shocks as well as the lift kits. Sometimes you can hear the clicking. The best way to check them (the CVs) is to check how warm they are after or during a run. The stock CVs can only take about an inch more lift from what I can tell. We've looked at Gorilla CVs but they are very expensive!

  9. Hey Doug, What are your thoughts on the KFI Aluminum Hawse Fairlead vs. the typical roller fairlead? Do you think it would be more likely to fray your cable vs rollers? Whats you experience say? The Aluminum Hawse Fairlead sure has a clean look.

  10. The aluminum fairlead is primarily designed for use with synthetic cables (ropes) and for use with them I think it's way better. There are no edges to catch the rope on if you pull at an angle. The most extreme use I've run into that ruins a cable is snowplowing. We have both a steel cable and roller fairleads and a rope with the aluminum fairlead on winches and in one short season the steel cable is untouchable while the rope is still prefect. I don't think I'd choose to use any other combination. In fact I'd like to put that same setup on my FJ!

  11. Thanks Doug, sounds like thats the way I need to go when I pull the trigger on a RZR when I get my tax return!!!! I finally got the wifes approval.

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  13. Hey I just got the RZR! It's a 2011 indy red/white le 50". I love it! I just got my UMP air intake but haven't installed it yet. Also, maybe I don't need to worry about it but the stock front CV-boot guards sure don't look like they provide enough protection. What are your thoughts Doug, and can you or would you make a recommendation on something better?


  14. I have never run anything but the stock guards and have never had a problem. Perhaps it's where I ride or how I drive;-) I think the bigger problem is the CV joints themselves and I know of no answer for that other than the very expensive aftermarket units for use with long travel kits. Remember, any guards other than those little plastic units will add weight where you don't want it.

  15. Sounds good, I just have a fear of some stick flipping up and tearing the cv boot, hopefully it never happens. What is the width on the rims and tires you are running? Are you running the same width front and back? I want to run 26x11x12's on the rear but I'm not sure they will work on the stock wheels for fear of the tire hitting the right motor mount. It sure is stupid how they have that positioned!!!!

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