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I have missed a bit since last posting but it sounds like you guys have maybe figured it out. Since my 900 seems to auger through the snow just fine, unless it starts to high center. The only trouble is, yes traveling at high speed is a bit scary due the that fact that the front and rear gear ratio's are different. Light steering and even throttle are needed, but when in doubt pin it LOL. At low speeds it drives well at higher speeds it does get squirrely and needs the art of counter steering and throttle control and yes like someone stated earlier pinning it will tend to get it going straight.

I have noticed at times when it hasn't gone into AWD right after flicking the switch into AWD on the fly so then I stop, rest the switch to 2WH, put it into reverse to rock it, swift back to Hi, switch to AWD and away I go?

Most often I just drive in 2WL Hi on the trails until things get really deep or muddy, in deep snow though AWD Low. Out on the lake or plowed logging roads or anything under say 6" of snow its AWD Hi. I have no sway bar I can still easily travel at speeds 40mph with no trouble over icy and or snow roads. the main trouble I have is a sore right shoulder from my wife hitting me cause I go to fast and won't slow down. ;)

The sensor system and the ECM/ECU is a bit goofy and I can see this being the trouble, too bad the ECM/ECU has to pulse the 12v going to the front coils so they don't burn out as well as the safety lock outs??? Too much Tech and the Lawyer thing.

Did the designer's and the engineer's ever hear of the KISS theory? Keep It Simple Stupid? A few pennies more and heavy duty coils, simple solenoids and switches problem solved.

I will be checking my speed sensor for filings too and cleaning and dielectric greasing all the convectors.
 

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If you look at the stator output on these machines, (pretty pathetic for the CC's) this would lend itself to the pulsing rather than "on continuous" coils and solenoids have a tendency to pull some heavier amp draw. I am almost positive Hilliard coils are 100% duty cycle.
 

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Thanks for your efforts, mrxlh.
 

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Ever since I pulled all the plugs, filled with dielectric grease and cleaned the white grease off the speed sensor mine has worked 90% of the time. If it doesn't lock in just flip the switch and it usually kicks in. Supposed to be 50F here today so id say my snow riding is done for the year I hope. Thanks mrxlh for all your help and explanations.
 

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Pulling a hill on ice with all four chained up and switch on AWD my 2 front tires don't allways spin together. Mostly just one. Is this supposed to be like that?
 

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Pulling a hill on ice with all four chained up and switch on AWD my 2 front tires don't allways spin together. Mostly just one. Is this supposed to be like that?
You might have a broken axle, AWD on a Polaris is locked front diff and both front wheels should be pulling. On a flat surface, in neutral grab each front axle and jerk on it, it should plunge in and out (to the wheel and to the diff) but not front to back or vice versa.
 

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Ever since I pulled all the plugs, filled with dielectric grease and cleaned the white grease off the speed sensor mine has worked 90% of the time. If it doesn't lock in just flip the switch and it usually kicks in. Supposed to be 50F here today so id say my snow riding is done for the year I hope. Thanks mrxlh for all your help and explanations.
Cool I am glad it worked out for you. If I can ever get by the auto parts store and get my hands on a connector I want to post a clip of how to test the speed sensor.
 

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do the front wheels on a FWA tractor stay on? or do they turn on when the rear slips???
My John Deere with FWA has the same type Hilliard type engagement.
 

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I'm a little late getting to this topic, and I certainly don't have the mechanical understanding that a lot of you have. But I'll throw my info into the ring as well, if it helps everything get diagnosed.

I have a 2011 800XP with EPS, and on hardpack snow/icey road, it likes to crab walk down the road if I try to go over 10mph. I've never had any errors pop up on the display. When I'm plowing the driveway at slow speeds I never have any issue with the back end kicking out. And when cutting a trail through new snow I never have any issues.

It really is only on the road. I've added 100lbs in the bed to help, but it doesn't really do much. If the plow is down, I never notice the problem no matter the speed. Since I have plow shoes, I've actually driven it down the road with the plow down to help me control it.
 

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I've been following this thread with great interest but have very little seat time in my 14 ranger.I posted a while back that I have never owned a side by side.ive been riding 4wheelers for many years and was almost ready to sell mine and go back to a 4 wheeler,but have since changed my mind due in large part to this forum.The 900 is really a good machine IMO.We had a big snow last week so I thought here's my chance to form my own opinion on what everyone has been talking about.Well mine does the same thing, it will spin the back wheels and want to fishtail in 4wd.Seems worse in low range.after switching to high it was more controllable at moderately low speeds.I don't think it's a big deal for me cause I don't ride snow very much.However I can't for the life of me understand why Polaris would have different gear ratios for front and rear.I'm sure they have a reason and I for one would like to know it.I think polaris does this on all of their machines across the board cause I've heard similar complaints in the 4wheeler community about polaris's in the snow,although I have no facts to back this up.I think one possible reason for different ratios is the engineers at polaris determined there would be less stress on front drivetrain but who knows.Anyway I still think it's a good machine and yes it has it's faults.I have owned all makes and all had their quirks,I could write a book on all the things I had to do to Hondas,yamahas,can ams,kawasakis,suzukis,polaris and so on.They are all good machines,just got to find the one that suits your needs then best.that's my 2 cents for what it's worth
 

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it has not a damn thing to do with a speed sensor. I believe the reason for the higher gear ratio in the rear is makes steering easier with a locked front diff. and it stops any wheel hop in sand.
 

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I had my Ranger XP 900 in 20" of snow last weekend, and it performed great! I even attached a tow rope and a plastic sled to do a little ******* sledding. Everyone had a great time.
 

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My 2013 does the same thing in snow; gets sideways. I think the best way to get around it is tires. The factory tires are horrible on the snowpack and in powder.
 

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Well the connector I thought was the right one, is not the one I need. If anybody else has issues (I know there is more snow on the way this week, it was snowing in LA this morning) try replacing the speed sensor. A friend was having EPS issues on 2 separate machines and while removing one from the 850 Sportsman, there was a crack you could not see without removing it. It was causing the EPS to not work faster than a slow crawl. In the 900 ranger the EPS light would come on after every water hole. Both bikes performed flawlessly through deep mud/water this weekend without any more trouble after replacing the speed sensors. The scenario on the 850 has me thinking this is exactly what you guys here are experiencing in snow.
 

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I put my 2011 800 into four wheel drive, it's locked up, it pulls nice and even. The rears do that slight slip, and the fronts are pulling too.

Now, my experience with driving in snow, .. the short wheel base is squirrelly in snow with ATV's ans UTV's My old Bronco would squirrel out too at times. I've seen videos showing the same thing .. with all brands, all sizes, in all terrains. Sometimes, they pull like a champ, sometimes they squirrel out!

Like short wheel based plow trucks even four wheel drive units, will be more prone to this condition. Throw a wing plow into the mix .. be very careful! Some time .. 10 wheelers with wings can be sketchy on ice, but they generally are more of a stable platform for the wing plow. So yeah ... just have to deal with it, and realize that there could be a mechanical short coming in individual machines as well.
 

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Hi William,

Thanks for contacting Polaris with your Ranger XP900 traction question. I understand that you don’t currently own one of our Rangers, and that you read about this concern on the forums, so have not experienced this concern yourself.

When looking at specific concerns, it is important to keep in mind the type of vehicle that is being used. Rangers are designed to be an off-road, mulit-purpose vehicle. They work great in most conditions. When it comes to Rangers being used on ice or hardpack snow, the vast majority of issues come about from people driving the Ranger too fast for the conditions. It is just like a car, if the roads are icy, it will slip. Further, the Ranger weighs much less than a car or truck, which also contributes to reduced traction. Couple that with the fact that the Ranger puts out a lot of power for its relatively low weight, so the tires will have a tendency to break loose. This does not represent a defect, and therefore there is no “fix” for it, only user education that can be provided.

I hope this helps you understand what is going on with this specific concern you are reading about on the forums.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact Polaris, William, and I hope you have a great day!

Respectfully,

Cody
Consumer Services
Polaris Industries Inc.
 

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never had this prob before

Cody,

Just seems odd to me that in 20+ yrs of riding atvs and utvs, i have never owned a machine that was as dangerous to drive on hard packed conditions as the XP-900. I have owned many polaris sportsmans, and several other brands over the years and never experienced this much squirrelyness from any of them. Dont get me wrong, I love my Ranger, but it is very frustrating to have a four wheel drive machine that wont go in a straight line on a hard packed road... All other conditions it is a wonderful machine, i love it. Thanks:
 

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Hi William,

Thanks for contacting Polaris with your Ranger XP900 traction question. I understand that you don’t currently own one of our Rangers, and that you read about this concern on the forums, so have not experienced this concern yourself.

When looking at specific concerns, it is important to keep in mind the type of vehicle that is being used. Rangers are designed to be an off-road, mulit-purpose vehicle. They work great in most conditions. When it comes to Rangers being used on ice or hardpack snow, the vast majority of issues come about from people driving the Ranger too fast for the conditions. It is just like a car, if the roads are icy, it will slip. Further, the Ranger weighs much less than a car or truck, which also contributes to reduced traction. Couple that with the fact that the Ranger puts out a lot of power for its relatively low weight, so the tires will have a tendency to break loose. This does not represent a defect, and therefore there is no “fix” for it, only user education that can be provided.

I hope this helps you understand what is going on with this specific concern you are reading about on the forums.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact Polaris, William, and I hope you have a great day!

Respectfully,

Cody
Consumer Services
Polaris Industries Inc.

Wow! Twenty six pages and the answer was in front if us all the time. If you go too fast on ice, you will slip. Who knew?
 

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Yeah, I would have expected a better answer than that from Polaris, oh well, I wonder what the response would be about my new transmission coming without the holes all tapped?
 
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