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Discussion Starter #1
We have a brand new 2014 ranger XP for use at a cabin. We have not put tracks on as the road is usually groomed. Prior to grooming and in long, steeping driveway, with soft snow maybe 12 inches we are sliding all over even in all wheel drive and low gear.

Are we doing something wrong?

Thank you all in advance!
 

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No, the tires (and the machine) are not designed for winter use. You are going to have to install winter type tires. Big open lug tires are terrible on snow.
 

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Not good for winter use?
Not what I wanted to hear when I'm about to spend 13k or so on something....
I would assume tires make a huge difference, but do these machines suck in the snow overall?
.Sorry not trying to hijack your thread cycling67 just wanna make sure I buy the right machine.
Thanks
 

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My first Ranger and our first snow this year. About 6-8 inches, wide open fields. It goes thru it fine but at any speed higher than 10 and it feels like it on roller skates. Fun and not big deal around here but could see it being big issue on tighter trails or around drop offs. I am going to look into better tire options and perhaps weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I also think it is a bit unsettling to spend that kind of money and literally have no traction on snow. Roller skates was a perfect analogy. There is only maybe 8-10 inches, soft in places on the road and driveway. Not dragging any snow beneath machine it is 100% slipping from the tires in all wheel drive and low gear.

We will look into tires and also weight in the back.

It seems strange to me that true 4-wheel drive is not an option. Is this typical of side by sides?
 

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The fat back tires r most of the problem. They r a pig on ice in the snow as far as the handling. But they will go threw the snow just not straight. And said problem gets compounded with any speed. Chains make a big difference but then again speed is limited. Mine will climb steep logging trails with 6" of snow without any problem other than u have to steer it.
 

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I'm very interested to see what replies you get too. Having the same problem with a new Browning Edition. We also have an older 700XP that has no problems whatsoever in the snow.

From I've been able to gather is that the newer rangers use a limited slip AWD in which the rear tires have to be slipping before the front will attempt to engage. If the speed/engine RPM are too fast, as in high range, the front end never will engage & we're basically left with a very expensive 2WD vehicle.

From what I've seen, our Ranger is what I'd consider dangerous in this condition because fishtailing with this short of wheelbase is just not a good thing, if you're in a bad spot to begin with.
 

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The fat back tires r most of the problem. They r a pig on ice in the snow as far as the handling. But they will go threw the snow just not straight. And said problem gets compounded with any speed. Chains make a big difference but then again speed is limited. Mine will climb steep logging trails with 6" of snow without any problem other than u have to steer it.
Our 700XP, as well as all of the other 4 wheelers we've owned have had 'fat' rear tires, OEM & otherwise & this 2014 900XP is the ONLY one to have had this problem.

As long as you can go slow enough the AWD on the 900 will work, you just have to stay ~10mph

Kind of a sad day when you can't ride a brand new Ranger with the old one you've had for years, cause the new one can't keep up!
 

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Check you toe-in and toe-out.. I see a ton of people complaining but I drive my stock 2013 900 in snow all the time(we have 80cm of the stuff right now). Its squirly as hell in 1 or 2 wheel drive, but fine in 4. I think many of them are not setup right at the dealer and this causes them to be squirly.
 

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After plowing for 40yrs with a pickup and plow, (chained up) I was amazed that my 800 with stock tires did so well. I don't think I'm going to need chains at all. The snow was only about 6in. two days in a row. but my yard is wide and I have to move it a long way. By the way, the Eagle plow with electric angle works very well.
 

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I was under the impression that the Polaris AWD system has always kick in when the rear tires began to slip. Similar to Can Am. It's been this way for a while now.
 

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Check you toe-in and toe-out.. I see a ton of people complaining but I drive my stock 2013 900 in snow all the time(we have 80cm of the stuff right now). Its squirly as hell in 1 or 2 wheel drive, but fine in 4. I think many of them are not setup right at the dealer and this causes them to be squirly.
Thanks.

I'm pretty sure faulty alignment isn't a big factor with our 900 - cant ride it fast enough that toe in would be!

This is purely how the Polaris AWD is programmed to work, or rather, 'not work' in our case.

The front wheels just aren't engaged when the rear tires are spinning/turning too fast. At very, very slow speeds it seems to work.

Seems to be far more common than not & most seem to declare that this is how the system is supposed to work. I just wish I'd have known that before purchase.
 

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I drove my 570 in 6-8 inches of snow this weekend and I noticed the lack of traction as well. I was sideways if I was trying to go fast. I was nervous when the trail was right by the river edge. My old Polaris Sportsman 400 did alot better than this did. Same tires only the back tires are wider on the 570. Not buying any new tires until these wear down some.
 

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Personally I think "most" people are wrong.. I keep seeing complaints about this on here, yet I don't that issue on a completely stock machine.. We have to ask ourselves "why". I believe its because I went through my unit after receiving it and checked everything. My toe was way out (3/4" toe out) from the dealer and I adjusted it (zero toe).

My machine is multi-use, plowing, hunting and general trail riding. It gets near daily use and from October to March it gets use in the snow and ice.

I think that alignment plays a part in any speeds over 5kph. It couldn't hurt to try adjusting it and see if it gets better. I know last year a couple of people did and reported the problem went away.
 

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I probably haven't done a good enough job of explaining this problem, even yet.

The fishtailing & loss of control is caused by the fact that the front wheels are not engaged except only during a very narrow parameter of speed & rear tire slippage.

If the rear tires are not slipping at all, the front end is not engaged & the front wheels are not pulling.

If the rear tires are slipping too fast &/or the forward speed is too high, the front end is not engaged & the front wheels are then only pushed by the rear. If there's not enough traction on the rear to overcome the resistance of pushing the front end, the rear end 'fishtails' & you lose control of the vehicle.

When this phenomenon is happening, you can switch the AWD off & you will see no difference in the vehicles behavior.

This is an AWD issue.

Weighting the rear of the vehicle may help, but only in the same way that it would help any 2WD vehicle in the same conditions. The root cause of the problem is still due to the poorly designed function of the Polaris AWD that must have taken place sometime after the last 700XP's were built.
 

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I probably haven't done a good enough job of explaining this problem, even yet.

The fishtailing & loss of control is caused by the fact that the front wheels are not engaged except only during a very narrow parameter of speed & rear tire slippage.

If the rear tires are not slipping at all, the front end is not engaged & the front wheels are not pulling.

If the rear tires are slipping too fast &/or the forward speed is too high, the front end is not engaged & the front wheels are then only pushed by the rear. If there's not enough traction on the rear to overcome the resistance of pushing the front end, the rear end 'fishtails' & you lose control of the vehicle.

When this phenomenon is happening, you can switch the AWD off & you will see no difference in the vehicles behavior.

This is an AWD issue.

Weighting the rear of the vehicle may help, but only in the same way that it would help any 2WD vehicle in the same conditions. The root cause of the problem is still due to the poorly designed function of the Polaris AWD that must have taken place sometime after the last 700XP's were built.

Whoa... Wait.. that is not how the AWD was designed.. I'm not sure where you read that information.. Its true that the front wheels are not engaged until the rear slip, but they engage within 1/8 of a turn of the rear wheels. That means if the rear wheels slip 1/8 of a turn the fronts will engage.

Plus I'm not sure where you heard the fronts will not engage if the forward speed is to high.. We got freezing rain over the weekend, making our roads a skating rink. I took the SxS out and the fronts engaged even over 40kph (i.e. driving 40kph and stomp on it the fronts would kick in). The unit would make a very slight sidways kick before the fronts kicked in and pulled it straight.

I think you have a very different issue.. I see a huge difference when I turn my AWD on. Doesn't matter speed! On icy roads it goes from undrivable and very scary to docile and predictable. I have no weight in the back and was driving around with my 200lb eagle plow bolted on the front.
 

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Whoa... Wait.. that is not how the AWD was designed.. I'm not sure where you read that information.. Its true that the front wheels are not engaged until the rear slip, but they engage within 1/8 of a turn of the rear wheels. That means if the rear wheels slip 1/8 of a turn the fronts will engage.

Plus I'm not sure where you heard the fronts will not engage if the forward speed is to high.. We got freezing rain over the weekend, making our roads a skating rink. I took the SxS out and the fronts engaged even over 40kph (i.e. driving 40kph and stomp on it the fronts would kick in). The unit would make a very slight sidways kick before the fronts kicked in and pulled it straight.

I think you have a very different issue.. I see a huge difference when I turn my AWD on. Doesn't matter speed! On icy roads it goes from undrivable and very scary to docile and predictable. I have no weight in the back and was driving around with my 200lb eagle plow bolted on the front.
Opps one correction.. Its 1/5 of a turn not 1/8...
 
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