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I can't take it anymore, I ordered the Duraclutch. I've been putting more hours on mine since the weather is getting nicer. If I run it at high speed and high rpm it's fine, but after one or two minutes of low speed driving it's impossible to shift. I think I could fix that, but the jerky starts and freewheeling down hills is driving me nuts. Every time I come down my driveway I have to let off to slow down, it disengages, and when I get back on it it grabs and locks up the rear tires. The only way to avoid it is to drive with both feet on the pedals. I don't remember my old 500 being this bad, but maybe I'm just spoiled from driving the Mechron, it stays engaged down to 5 mph with no throttle.
 

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My Duraclutch arrived earlier this week, I installed it exactly per the instructions, removing one shim from behind the secondary and torquing bolts to spec. I backed it out of the shop and was immediately very disappointed. I couldn't shift it out of reverse without shutting off the engine. I ran it around a bit to see if something would loosen up, but each time I stopped it was difficult or impossible to change gears with the engine running. I brought it back in and removed the cover. The secondary was turning slowly in neutral at idle. I adjusted the idle down to 950 rpm which made no difference. I removed the one remaining shim from behind the secondary, this seemed to help but it was still not good. At this point I was furious and decided to wait until the next day to call SVI. I called and left a message, they called back within a few hours. After going over several things with Tim we determined that excessive misalignment of the belt was causing side loading on the clutch. Since I had already removed all of the shims from the secondary there was no more adjustment left. Tim said the secondary would need to be modified and he offered to modify one and send it to me. I have a lathe, so with his approval I decided to do it myself. I had to disassemble the secondary so I could chuck the hub in the lathe and remove .060" off of the rear mounting surface. I got it all back together and it is working fairly well. I still have trouble shifting out of reverse occasionally. I think I should have taken a bit more off to get the alignment perfect, but Tim said .060" so that's what I did. I should mention that Tim assured me that he would do whatever it takes to make me happy.

It's hard for me to give a good review after spending $1500 and then going through all that to get it working, but it seems to be everything they say it is. Engine braking is better than expected and engagement is as smooth as can be. I do have concerns about the long term durability of it. It still has all of the same parts that wear out on a stock Polaris CVT, plus some extras. The clutches are the same size as you would expect to find on a 5hp go cart, though it does have two of them. The clutch shoes/drum on a Yamaha is huge in comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
After reading about your problems Interceptor I contacted Dura Clutch to push the issue since I am dragging it to Costa Rica and I do not have a metal lathe. They assured me I would be fine. It is in my bag heading to CR today. I will post after I get there and get it installed.
 

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same problem

i have the 2011 ranger diesel with the same shifting problems as everyone else. I have hardly any hours on the machine and so far i have been sitting on the sidelines trying to let my dealer figure it out. Based on your experience now with the Duraclutch i am thinking about dumping the machine and going a different direction. i dont want to throw good money after bad. Your thoughts?
 

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Hi Dave, thanks for all your information. My 2011 Ranger Diesel will not shift just like all the others. I am not a mechanic and must count on my dealer to make repairs. That being said, i am trying to decide whether the duraclutch is the answer or not? I hate to spend $1500 plus installation to have more problems. It seems like not everyone has been satisfied by the DuraClutch remedy. I am starting to think i would be throwing good money after bad. Your thoughts? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Got it put in Sunday. I have not been able to get it on the road for a long run to get it hot yet. Driving it around in the yard has been as advertised. Takeoff is great no lurch very smooth and engine braking was obvious even on small slopes in the yard. No shifting issues so far but need a good long run to get everything hot. Hope to do that this week. Stay tuned.
Bill Moore
 

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Hi Dave, thanks for all your information. My 2011 Ranger Diesel will not shift just like all the others. I am not a mechanic and must count on my dealer to make repairs. That being said, i am trying to decide whether the duraclutch is the answer or not? I hate to spend $1500 plus installation to have more problems. It seems like not everyone has been satisfied by the DuraClutch remedy. I am starting to think i would be throwing good money after bad. Your thoughts? Thanks
Sorry I didn't see that you were addressing me!

The issue with the DuraClutch in this thread was the first review that I have seen on them that wasn't positive. For me it was a night and day difference and basically saved my machine! I'd bought the shift update kit, and the 2012 clutch before getting the DuraClutch so I know what you mean about throwing good money after bad and I did dread the thought of it not working.

You may talk to the DuraClutch guys and see if they would accept returns if not satisfied, etc. They are very reasonable guys and Mitchell Johnson, the head of SVI, is a very smart guy. I've spent a few hours on the phone with him regarding the DuraClutch and I can tell you he knows his stuff.

If you can change a tire you can change the clutches in these using a puller that you can get online for about $40 and basic hand tools. The two hardest parts are getting to the very bottom screw on the clutch cover and then putting a belt on. It requires a bit of strength but isn't too bad. No judgement at all, just letting you know it's not very involved. I started doing all my own work on mine because my dealer charged so much to pick it up and do any work at all. Turns out he was a crook and is out of business now. He was arrested after not paying Polaris anytime a customer paid in cash. When folks would put down $10-15k for a new machine he would pocket it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Gave mine a 7 mile each way to town Friday. Very happy with the engine braking no shifting issues. I think what I like most is the smooth takeoff. We park it on a carport and have to back off of it and before it lurched off and was a pain. I give it a excellent rating.;D
 

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Polaris Rangel Diesel 2014 shifting issue

I had a hard shifting issue and spent a lot of money into a solution and a lot of time into learning why the clutch was functioning the way it was.

The issue with the clutch has to do mainly with the narrow rpm band that Polaris is trying to work with.


I'm going to copy and paste a couple notes I'd written on another site. I have the first Diesel Duraclutch that was sold to the public and the first note I'm posting was before I was allowed to say I had the clutch. I don't guess I was really prevented from saying I had the clutch, the owner just asked me to not discuss it at the time!


Not so much the spring as much as the actual design. Polaris is trying to do the best they can with the equipment they have. The diesel doesn't have the rpm range that the gas engine does and has a much different powerband than the gas engine. For example the diesel governs out at 3850 rpm and makes good power between 1400 rpm through at least 3600 rpm. The diesel clutch tries to take advantage of this as best it can and engage at around 1200-1300 rpm, even though the engine idles at around 1050 rpm.

I may be a bit off but the 800 gas engine can rev to at least 7000 rpm and makes power from maybe 2000 rpm through 6500 rpm. It idles at around the same 1050 rpm but the clutch doesn't engage until around 1800-2000 rpm (sorry if I'm off on this, I've only been in a gas Ranger once).

This is a huge difference in operating limits. The diesel has to go from idle to engagement in about 200 rpm while the gas has a few hundred rpm more to engage simply because it has a different powerband.

Polaris is making the clutch tolerances between idle and engagement as close as possible to try to match the powerband of the diesel and at least with the 2011, it's a little close.



The Polaris update for the 2011 clutch fixes this somewhat in that it raises engagement rpm to about 1500 rpm. The update comes with a new primary spring and a shim for the secondary. It's a little aggravating in that you don't get going as quickly as you did with the old setup, but at least you can shift now.

Changing to a 2012 clutch is a possibility, however be aware that the tolerances here are very close as well. I've had both the 2011, 2011 updated and 2012 diesel clutches. The 2012 clutch works but I do have a hard shifting issue with it as well. My alignment between primary and secondary is perfect, however, after riding for a while and everything gets hot I get a hard shifting issue. It's not as bad as the 2011 hard shift, but still it's there.

The hard shift when hot took a while to figure out and I really didn't have much of a clue as to the cause until I talked to a few people and learned how the belts were made. I thought the reason was due to viscosity changes with the transmission lubricant when hot causing the viscosity to drop and there not being as much internal drag within the transmission. However, the real cause appears to be that the belt is expanding when getting fully warmed up and when it warms up I get a hard shift. Letting the belt cool will result in much better shifting. What is happening is drag on the primary clutch is causing the belt to continue to try to turn the secondary clutch. Since there's tension on the secondary, the secondary is trying to turn the internal gears. When you're trying to shift, the gears are meshed together under enough pressure that you can't shift.

Ever lean hard into a closed door and try to turn the door knob? Hard to turn the knob isn't it, same thing is happening here.

I wish I could get the 2012 clutch tuned a little better and sacrifice a little engagement rpm to eliminate the hot hard shift, however I'm going to try a couple other things first.

One other thing to consider with the 2012 clutch is that it has a roller center bearing which is a known failure point.



You could try the 2011 update, it's very easy to install and is definitely cheaper than the 2012 clutch. The part number is 2878856 and includes a new primary spring and a secondary spacer. I think I paid around $30 for mine and installed it in an evening. The 1500 rpm engagement is different, but shifting is much better.





Here is the second note:

Some background on my setup and issues with previous clutches. My Diesel is a 2011 and its original clutch was a unit similar to the 2009 and prior (I think) clutches. There is no center roller bearing and it's overall a simple reliable clutch with no engine braking. However, the 2011 with this clutch has some issues with hard shifting due to a number of factors. Basically since the diesel engine has a limited rpm range, Polaris had to do as much as they could with the range they had. Factory idle is approx. 1050 rpm and it governs out at around 3850 rpm. To make the most of this rpm range, Polaris tried to have the clutch engage as fast as possible and really cut back on clearances between the primary clutch sheaves and belt. This made some factory units have hard to impossible shifting due to clutch drag.

Polaris had a service bulletin for hard shifting and their fix for the 2011 clutch was a cheap (about $40), but effective, primary spring and secondary shim. The primary spring raised engagement rpm slightly and the secondary shim spread the secondary apart slightly. The clutch would now engage at around 1500 rpm instead of the previous 1250 rpm.

The 2012 and up Diesels use a version of the standard Polaris clutch with a roller center bearing. I bought a clutch like this and wasn't really satisfied it. Mostly I was unsatisfied because I didn't get the performance I expected and I paid for an entire 2012+ clutch. My engagement rpm was around 1250-1350 rpm but I still had some drag that produced hard shifting. I found that my clutches were slightly misaligned from the factory and shimmed it as close as I could get. This improved the drag issue but never did totally resolve it. At this point the drag was better than the original 2011 clutch but not quite as good as the modified 2011 clutch. My 2012 clutch had a particular issue where the clearances were so tight that when the belt was cold, shifting was perfect and all measurements with feeler gauges were well within spec. However, after getting the belt warm, it would expand slightly and those good clearances were no longer good, resulting in drag. Because of this and especially due to cost, I thought the modified 2011 clutch was the best bang for the buck.

Both the 2011 clutch and the 2012+ clutches do not have engine braking and have the same clutch feel as any other Polaris I've ridden. In this case I'm talking about the jerky engagement that comes from the pulley acting as both a clutch and a transmission. Easing into the throttle causes a jerky start due to the belt slipping and the best way I've read to overcome this was just to stab the throttle slightly to cause the pulley sheaves to come together and cut back on slippage.



Now to the good part.... as I'd mentioned earlier I received the Duraclutch this week. I was able to install it today and take it on a ride. I can honestly say, so far, that it has performed flawlessly and is everything is is promised to be. It is the absolute best modification I've made to my Ranger.

The best thing about the Duraclutch is that it separates the clutching action from the pulleys. It lets the pulleys act as a CVT and uses twin centrifugal clutches for clutching. The belt is constantly in tension and is constantly pinched by the pulleys. The centrifugal clutches are very smooth in engagement and since the belt is already pinched, starting the Ranger is much more smooth in all conditions. There is also no drag and no hard shifting with this clutch, even after riding hard and getting everything warmed up fully.

An additional bonus that I had never experienced was engine braking. I'm not able to compare it to the standard Polaris EBS since I've never owned one, I can say that the Duraclutch braking is very effective, even with a diesel. I would say a gas engine with the Duraclutch would perform much better in braking! The thought of an exhaust brake did cross my mind, but the valve springs are probably pretty light and I would be afraid of floating an exhaust valve during braking.

The Duraclutch uses a standard Polaris belt and fits under the regular CVT cover. The belt is not the same belt the stock Diesel clutches use, but is a common belt used on a much more powerful machine.








Now after having the Duraclutch for almost a year. I can say the performance is still the same. Its the best thing I've done to my Ranger. It is always smooth to engage, no jerky starts and no belt burning. You don't have the transition time where the factory clutch is transitioning from being a clutch to a transmission. With the duraclutch, the clutch only acts as a clutch and the belt only has to function as a transmission. The belt stays continually pinched and pinched good.

Separating the clutching action and the transmission action is the only way you can get the performance you want with the limited rpm range of the Diesel.



I can still get into a situation every once in a while where hard shifting will occur. It's due to the way the Duraclutch does engine braking.

Engine braking on the Duraclutch is far superior to the factory Polaris braking system and uses a one way bearing that acts on the sheave of the clutch. The Polaris system lets the clutch open up and the belt fall onto a one way roller bearing. This means the Polaris method has braking acting on the bottom of the belt where it doesn't have too good of a grip. The Duraclutch, since it acts on the sheave, will brake through the same part of the belt that is used to drive the machine (the sides of the belt).

This can affect shifting for instance when the machine rolls backward a bit after stopping. It's sort of like putting an automatic transmission in park on a hill without setting the parking brake.

The solution is a behavioral one, be sure to put the parking brake on before letting off the regular service brakes or hit the brake before the machine has a chance to roll back a bit (I usually don't even think when I do this now).

If you do get it bound up this way, just give the machine a little fuel to drive it forward or reverse enough to unload the transmission and allow shifting. I do this a time or two every time I ride.

Even with this quirk, the Duraclutch is by far better than the factory clutch could ever be!


Sorry so long, hope this helps!
wow!this is a lot of good information I know this post is old but you answered a lot of questions that I have I have a 2014 Polaris ranger diesel and im experiencing the same issues you are . and im going to buy a duraclutch but for my year and model its not avaiable till January 2020 .

I guess this is the only fix for this machine I thought like you mentioned get a stronger primary spring or lighter weights but I guess the combination has to be perfect or it wont work . I dont even know where to get a stronger spring . but I guess Ill just have to wait for the 2nd gen duraclutch to come out . Once again VERY good info . Oh and one more question has anybody experience the hard shifting on the 2014 ranger diesel models I figured they would have fixed the issue since it began in 2011 I dont understand we have other diesel buggies at work different brands and they dont have any problem shifting or RPM . I guess it was a bad design all together

ohh well the only fix now is the Duraclutch
 

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I hate it since the shifting problem is obviously a Polaris screwup, but I do not have the resources of Mrmike to go head to head with them. I have this 2011 in Costa Rica now so I can't take it to the dealer I bought it from and put up a fight.
I am going to the states in April and plan to buy a Dura Clutch for it before I tear up the transmition. I think I can bring it back in my checked bags.

My question is... Does anyone that has installed one that bought a clutch removal tool want to sell it since they are done with it? I can't see buying one for $40 for a 1 time use. I saw something on one thread about using allthread but would need more info to try that.
Thanks
Keep the removal tool. You should remove the clutches to do routine maintenance-blow out the clutches/belt dust.
 
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