Well, after almost two years, I'm back with the latest update from the events that were unfolding in this thread:
The last thing I posted from that thread was that I was taking the machine back to the dealer to address the shifting issue. It took a couple weeks to get the Ranger back, but it did indeed shift fine when I got it back. In fact, it worked well for over a year, and I was thinking it was going to be a happy ending, but a 2-3 months ago things started going downhill as the shifting problem arose yet again.
It started as a very minor stickiness in shifting, and I though it was just my mind playing tricks on me due to the past experiences. But as of two weeks ago the machine was once again impossible to shift when running. When I turned it off it would shift fine, and it would also shift fine when it was first started, but once you had driven it any distance (even a few feet), you could not change gears in any way aside from turning the machine off.
So back to the dealer it went yet again...
Two days ago I got a call from the dealer that the problem was that the shift cable had gone bad, but they could shift it just fine, and for $150 they would replace the cable and all would be well. I suspected that the cable going out was just due to the repeated force over the past couple months trying to shift the thing, and told them that they needed to drive the machine around the parking lot for a few minutes and they would see that it becomes impossible to shift. Yesterday they called back and confirmed that this was indeed the case, and asked my permission to take apart the transmission to see what was wrong.
Today I got a call that pretty much the entire transmission was shot, and that I could either pay $1800 to have it rebuilt, or $2300 to have a whole new transmission installed. There were no further "kits" from Polaris that they could install, and the best they could do was to send a memo to Polaris telling them about my issue.
I told them to hold off on ordering the new transmission until I had a chance to talk to Polaris, and so I called Polaris this afternoon. After 20 minutes or so of describing the problems I've had, and where things stand now with $2500+ in charges, I was basically told that the machine is out of warranty and that I'm going to have to eat the cost myself.
After dropping $12,000 on this Ranger, the prospect of paying another $2300 for a new transmission, $150 for a cable, and who-knows how much for labor has left me with a rather sour taste in my mouth.
I've treated this machine very well, and there's no reason why the transmission should be shot. We have no hills, I don't go around flooring it, and it has hardly ever had any kind of load attached to it. Aside from the transmission, it is in excellent condition. The dealer has said as much themselves.
This Ranger has been back to the shop three times in three years for the same issue. It's an issue that Polaris obviously knows about, and that affects many machines, since they have shipped these "clutch kits" out to the dealers for models sitting on the showroom floor. I know this because the dealer mentioned it on one of the previous occasions when I brought it in. And the numerous replies in the thread linked above are evidence that I am far from the only person who has been affected by this.
There is no way that this shifting issue is not related to the transmission damage. Being billed $2500+ in charges for a $12,000 machine that is less than three years old, for an issue that is the direct result of a known problem, is unacceptable in my book.
But what options do I have? When I last posted, I had only paid $4000 paid on the Ranger. Now it is completely paid off, and I am really regretting having given up the other $8000. I feel like I should have cut my losses at $4000 and taken the hit on my credit rating. Now I have a $12,000 paperweight unless I put another $2500 into this transmission, and the new transmission only comes with a 30-day warranty. So if the the whole problem repeats itself a year from now, I guess I'll have to fork out another $2500.
$2500 here, $2500 there... pretty soon you're talking real money.
If you were in this situation, what would you do?