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Let me start off by stating I am overall really happy with with my DuraClutch. I have one installed on both my Ranger 900 XP and my RZR 1000 XP. But I thought I should relate what happened to me as a cautionary tale. It happened a bit ago but I’m just getting around to relating it.

I initially installed my DuraClutch on my Ranger in 2016 and it had been great. There are a couple of really steep trails we ride, back side of Monument Hill for those familiar with riding in Alaska. With my DuraClutch, if I came off the gas going downhill my Ranger would come to a complete stop without touching the brakes. Smooth starts. As others have commented, it did take a bit of getting used to when slowing to a stop. Not bad, just different. Overall I’ve been very pleased with it.

During the 2018 hunting season my wife and I were out in my Ranger with another friend in a 4 place CanAm. We were heading back to a prime moose area but it had been a very wet year and it was extremely muddy on what is, even in dry years, a tough trail. We were in about 10 miles, after a good 3-4 hours travel. Like I said, it’s a tough trail. The winches were getting a good workout!

At one particular soggy grass / muskeg area, all of a sudden my Ranger started feeling like the belt was slipping. I wasn’t getting normal power and was getting stuck in an area I normally would have gone through easily. I immediately started to make for a dryer spot when my clutch / transmission started making loud grinding, metal on metal noises. Not good.

Sadly, I was literally in a spot no one could even get to me to help. I had no choice but to try and struggle a few more feet to an area where we “might” be able to get my machine out. I KNEW I was probably destroying my clutch, but I didn't have a choice. It was that or leave my Ranger in a bog 10 miles from the nearest road. By the time I made it, I had NO power at all. No clutch. “Smoke” (proablly steam) was billowing out of the clutch housing. NOT good.

This whole sequence of events probably took less then 5 - 10 minutes from the first indication of a slipping belt feel to total clutch destruction. After ignominiously being towed out by a CanAm, which took another 6 - 7 hours, we pushed it onto the trailer. My engine ran normally, but I had no power at all. If I attempted to put it in ANY gear, I got a lot of extremely ominous clinking, clanking, metal on metal sounds. Luckily, I had a full bottle of 18 year old Single Malt in my RV after that ordeal!

I got the machine back to the dealer and they removed the pieces of the DuraClutch. And I do mean pieces. We sent them to the local DuraClutch rep. I had just had my DuraClutch refurbished the month prior and this trip was the first outing since having it worked on.

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When he got back to me I’ll admit I was a bit perturbed, particularly since I had just had it worked on. Basically the aluminum on the DuraClutch had gotten so hot it had started to crystallize. The only way this could have happened was if the clutch itself had been submerged in water. We looked closer and found the clutch housing cover to have a slight warp to it. Whether this was the cause of water getting into the clutch or because of the heat generated, I’ll probably never be sure. The back seal on the housing was also somewhat suspect.

I ended up replacing the entire clutch housing, front and back, and getting an entirely new DuraClutch installed. The good news was, the DuraClutch Rep sold me the new clutch at his cost and the local Polaris dealer felt some responsibility, so they split the cost of all the repairs with me. (Needless to say, they have my business for life.)

I now check the seal on my clutch housing as a routine matter of course and replace the seal at the start of each riding season regardless. I’ll admit the first few times I went out after this I was apprehensive crossing any water!

My purpose in writing this tale of woe is to hopefully help someone else from having it happen to them. It you routinely, or even occasionally go through water high enough to submerge your clutch housing even partially I suggest you make it a practice to check that you have a good seal and your housing remains water tight. With the constant engagement of the DuraClutch, if it gets wet enough to cause significant slippage it can be fairly catastrophic.

While it was embarrassing to be towed out by my friend's CanAm (who reminds me of it to this day.) at least we DID get out. It wasn’t a place I was looking forward to spending the night.

The DuraClutch is great. Just don’t get it wet!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What did your belt look like?
Did you ever smell burning rubber?
Did you see any water inside the housing?
Belt wasn't as bad as you would expect, but it certainly needed to be replaced. I've had worse. Never smelled anything, but with all the normal Alaska smells in the mud that's not surprising. I never noticed any water in the housing, but the DuraClutch Rep said that was the only way to explain what happened. It was certainly possible. I just don't know HOW it got in the clutch housing. We weren't in water deep enough to come in an intake or anything so it had to have been a seal or something similar.
 

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Yikes! I feel like I'd be more than just perturbed...

Did you do the installation, or was it done by the dealer? If the housing was warped, I would think the dealer should have noticed that when the clutch was getting serviced a month ago.

My primary clutch has heat cracks in the sheaves (previous owner beat the crap out of it before grenading the transmission of his Sportsman, where the engine/clutches came from), and I'm planning to run with the damaged clutch until I do few more repairs, then replace with a duraclutch over this coming winter after I (hopefully) sell my Samurai. I guess I'll make sure to fully seal the clutch case before replacement, though I don't have any water crossings in my usual trails.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yikes! I feel like I'd be more than just perturbed...

Did you do the installation, or was it done by the dealer? If the housing was warped, I would think the dealer should have noticed that when the clutch was getting serviced a month ago.

My primary clutch has heat cracks in the sheaves (previous owner beat the crap out of it before grenading the transmission of his Sportsman, where the engine/clutches came from), and I'm planning to run with the damaged clutch until I do few more repairs, then replace with a duraclutch over this coming winter after I (hopefully) sell my Samurai. I guess I'll make sure to fully seal the clutch case before replacement, though I don't have any water crossings in my usual trails.
All installation and all repairs / servicing had always been done by the dealer. I traveled a lot in my job so I just didn't have time to deal with it. That was one reason I was "perturbed". In reality I got pretty hot. (Like, boiling.) That was also why the dealer split all repairs with me. We didn't know for sure why we had water intrusion, but they felt some responsibility. But, in the end it worked out okay, considering. I ended up getting a new, next generation DuraClutch with new clutch housing for about $450 installed.

I don't "think" the housing was warped prior, but it might have been a little off. It's like the rear seal. It didn't look that bad, but ... Was the front seal installed properly? We think so, but ... At any rate, I just check the integrity and seal on the housing more than I did before. We end up running through a lot of water up here so it pays to be sure.

If you do end up getting a DuraClutch I think you'll really like it. For how I use my Ranger (mostly hunting) it's perfect. We are riding slow but have a lot of technical trails. Water, rocks, mud etc. I put one on my RZR (Highlifter Edition) also. I really like the Engine Braking you get with the DuraClutch. I had some discussions with Todd at Hunterworks about a DuraClutch or Dalton on my RZR. His bottom line was "I sum it up by saying do you spend most of your time under 30 or over? Under Duraclutch and over (Dalton) Clutch kit."
 

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The DuraClutch is the best upgrade anyone could do to a ranger. And the stimulus check from the president will cover most of it.
I got a used one for my daughters 570 Ace last year. Much safer then just freewheeling down hill.
 

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Let me start off by stating I am overall really happy with with my DuraClutch. I have one installed on both my Ranger 900 XP and my RZR 1000 XP. But I thought I should relate what happened to me as a cautionary tale. It happened a bit ago but I’m just getting around to relating it.

I initially installed my DuraClutch on my Ranger in 2016 and it had been great. There are a couple of really steep trails we ride, back side of Monument Hill for those familiar with riding in Alaska. With my DuraClutch, if I came off the gas going downhill my Ranger would come to a complete stop without touching the brakes. Smooth starts. As others have commented, it did take a bit of getting used to when slowing to a stop. Not bad, just different. Overall I’ve been very pleased with it.

During the 2018 hunting season my wife and I were out in my Ranger with another friend in a 4 place CanAm. We were heading back to a prime moose area but it had been a very wet year and it was extremely muddy on what is, even in dry years, a tough trail. We were in about 10 miles, after a good 3-4 hours travel. Like I said, it’s a tough trail. The winches were getting a good workout!

At one particular soggy grass / muskeg area, all of a sudden my Ranger started feeling like the belt was slipping. I wasn’t getting normal power and was getting stuck in an area I normally would have gone through easily. I immediately started to make for a dryer spot when my clutch / transmission started making loud grinding, metal on metal noises. Not good.

Sadly, I was literally in a spot no one could even get to me to help. I had no choice but to try and struggle a few more feet to an area where we “might” be able to get my machine out. I KNEW I was probably destroying my clutch, but I didn't have a choice. It was that or leave my Ranger in a bog 10 miles from the nearest road. By the time I made it, I had NO power at all. No clutch. “Smoke” (proablly steam) was billowing out of the clutch housing. NOT good.

This whole sequence of events probably took less then 5 - 10 minutes from the first indication of a slipping belt feel to total clutch destruction. After ignominiously being towed out by a CanAm, which took another 6 - 7 hours, we pushed it onto the trailer. My engine ran normally, but I had no power at all. If I attempted to put it in ANY gear, I got a lot of extremely ominous clinking, clanking, metal on metal sounds. Luckily, I had a full bottle of 18 year old Single Malt in my RV after that ordeal!

I got the machine back to the dealer and they removed the pieces of the DuraClutch. And I do mean pieces. We sent them to the local DuraClutch rep. I had just had my DuraClutch refurbished the month prior and this trip was the first outing since having it worked on.

View attachment 23358

View attachment 23361

When he got back to me I’ll admit I was a bit perturbed, particularly since I had just had it worked on. Basically the aluminum on the DuraClutch had gotten so hot it had started to crystallize. The only way this could have happened was if the clutch itself had been submerged in water. We looked closer and found the clutch housing cover to have a slight warp to it. Whether this was the cause of water getting into the clutch or because of the heat generated, I’ll probably never be sure. The back seal on the housing was also somewhat suspect.

I ended up replacing the entire clutch housing, front and back, and getting an entirely new DuraClutch installed. The good news was, the DuraClutch Rep sold me the new clutch at his cost and the local Polaris dealer felt some responsibility, so they split the cost of all the repairs with me. (Needless to say, they have my business for life.)

I now check the seal on my clutch housing as a routine matter of course and replace the seal at the start of each riding season regardless. I’ll admit the first few times I went out after this I was apprehensive crossing any water!

My purpose in writing this tale of woe is to hopefully help someone else from having it happen to them. It you routinely, or even occasionally go through water high enough to submerge your clutch housing even partially I suggest you make it a practice to check that you have a good seal and your housing remains water tight. With the constant engagement of the DuraClutch, if it gets wet enough to cause significant slippage it can be fairly catastrophic.

While it was embarrassing to be towed out by my friend's CanAm (who reminds me of it to this day.) at least we DID get out. It wasn’t a place I was looking forward to spending the night.

The DuraClutch is great. Just don’t get it wet!
We were trailering our 2013 Ranger and 2017 General in Utah and got caught in a brief but intense thunderstorm. Had to pull over to the highway shoulder briefly because could not see. After it subsided we continued to our campground for the night. Preparing for a trail ride the next morning, I backed our rigs off of the trailer. No problem with the General, but the Ranger was just not right. Inspection revealed the clutch housing half full of water from the rain. I drained it, left the plug out, and went on an all day ride to make certain it would be dry as a bone. Same clutches now over 13,000 miles. The water entry was from the side intake during the rainstorm. I made cab roof high snorkels with tight cap seals for trailer traveling, sealing off the side intakes. Rarely need to service the air filter now, and way less dust in the clutches.
 

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All installation and all repairs / servicing had always been done by the dealer. I traveled a lot in my job so I just didn't have time to deal with it. That was one reason I was "perturbed". In reality I got pretty hot. (Like, boiling.) That was also why the dealer split all repairs with me. We didn't know for sure why we had water intrusion, but they felt some responsibility. But, in the end it worked out okay, considering. I ended up getting a new, next generation DuraClutch with new clutch housing for about $450 installed.

I don't "think" the housing was warped prior, but it might have been a little off. It's like the rear seal. It didn't look that bad, but ... Was the front seal installed properly? We think so, but ... At any rate, I just check the integrity and seal on the housing more than I did before. We end up running through a lot of water up here so it pays to be sure.

If you do end up getting a DuraClutch I think you'll really like it. For how I use my Ranger (mostly hunting) it's perfect. We are riding slow but have a lot of technical trails. Water, rocks, mud etc. I put one on my RZR (Highlifter Edition) also. I really like the Engine Braking you get with the DuraClutch. I had some discussions with Todd at Hunterworks about a DuraClutch or Dalton on my RZR. His bottom line was "I sum it up by saying do you spend most of your time under 30 or over? Under Duraclutch and over (Dalton) Clutch kit."
I am curious as to what dealer you used? I am currently buying my 2020 back country XP1000 from Hatchers Pass Polaris in Wasilla.
Also what are your thoughts on the Gilomen clutch kit? I have heard great things. I have one coming for when my warranty runs out.
Thanks
 
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