4 Common Polaris Ranger Drive Shaft Problems – Reasons +Solution

Facing problems in your drive shaft is common while driving. But anything unusual activity in the drive shaft or the wheel must be addressed immediately.

So, what are the common Polaris Ranger drive shaft problems?

The U-joint must be worn-out or damaged if you notice unusual vibration or noise in your Polaris Ranger driver shaft. You need to replace the u-joint in this case. If the drive shaft doesn’t turn, the drive shaft is damaged and needs to be changed. If the shaft shudders while accelerating, the u-joint needs to be tightened.

This article contains all the solutions to these common drive shaft problems. Keep reading to know more about them. 

Polaris Ranger Drive Shaft Problems

Remove and Repair Polaris Ranger Drive Shaft

The drive shaft of your Polaris Ranger can face common problems, including unusual vibration or noise. Before going into a detailed discussion on them, let’s take a quick look at those common problems and their solutions. 

ProblemReason Solution
Drive Shaft VibrationWorn-out u-jointReplace the u-joint
Drive Shaft NoiseWorn-out u-jointReplace the u-joint
Drive Shaft Not TurningFaulty drive shaftReplace the drive shaft
Drive Shaft Shuddering While Accelerationloose u-jointTighten the u-joint

Problem 1: Polaris Ranger Drive Shaft Vibration

Symptoms

You will notice intense vibration coming from underneath your ATV while accelerating higher than 50 KPH.

Reasons

The vibration occurs because of a worn-out u-joint or bushings. If the vibration comes from your ATV’s rear part, the problem is in the rear drive shaft. And If the vibration comes from the front part, the front drive shaft u-joint or its bushels worn out.

Solutions

You need to replace the U-joint of the drive shaft. Here’s a method of replacing U-joint without any special tools.

  1. First, lift up the car front or rear, depending on the faulty drive shaft, with the help of a floor jack. 
  2. If your Polaris Ranger has external snap rings, unplug those with needle nose pliers.  And if your Polaris Ranger has internal ones with C-clips, use a flat-head screwdriver and snap them open. 
  3. After removing the rings, you have to remove the u-joints. For that, you have to use a hammer and, with moderate pressure, hit on the drive shaft. The joints will be removed. 
  4. Now, check everything inside and make sure they are not damaged or worn out. Damaged parts need to be replaced. Also, clean dust and debris from the ring grooves using a brush or rug. 
  5. After cleaning, take the new U-joint, place it on the yoke, and push it through any side to adjust properly. The other end of the U-joint will come through the other side. This side of the U-joint is called the bushing.  
  6. Then, you must place the bearing cap onto that bushing and use a hammer to fix the cap firmly. 
  7. Keep putting the snap rings on the position one by one and turn them around. 
  8. After that, you must lubricate the u-joints and re-install the drive shaft in your Polaris Ranger.

That’s how you change the U-joint. And the vibration should be fixed.  

Problem 2: Polaris Ranger Drive Shaft Noise

Symptoms

You will hear unusual noises, including rattling, clicking, scrapping, clunking, and squeaking from the shaft.

Reasons

The abnormal occurs because of damaged or torn out U-joint or bushel as well.

Solutions

In the same way, described in problem 1, you must replace the U-joint to eliminate these weird noises. This replacement will cost you around $240 to $290. 

Problem 3: Polaris Ranger Front Drive Shaft Not Turning

Symptoms

You will face problems while turning the vehicle.

Reasons

When the drive shaft is bad, it prevents the car from turning properly.

Solutions

You have to replace the entire drive shaft. Polaris ranger drive shaft replacement consists of the following steps.

  1. First, you have to loosen up the hub nut from the wheel with the faulty shaft. Unscrew the split pin and turn the hub nut loose. Don’t remove the nut all the way. 
  2. Lift your ATV with a floor jack. Take off the wheel and brake calipers. At this point, you have to take off the hub nut all the way. 
  3. Take off the hub all the way after removing the lower ball joint nut. 
  4. Now, you will notice the exposed drive shaft. Take it off. 
  5. Take the new drive shaft and attach the hub again. 
  6. Reassemble everything and tighten the hub nut with the required torque provided by your manufacturer. You should find it in your ATV manual.

Now, the front drive shaft should turn properly. 

Problem 4: Polaris Ranger Drive Shaft Shuddering While Acceleration

Symptoms

Your Polaris Ranger shudders when you attempt any acceleration. 

Reasons

The shuddering occurs because of a loose u-joint.

Solutions

You have to tighten the u-joint in the following way.

  1. First, use a floor jack and lift up your ATV.
  2. Remove the snap rings from the wheel. 
  3. You might notice the U-joint is not placed on the yoke properly. Use a hammer to hit one side of it and properly place it in the yoke.  
  4. With the hammer, tighten the bushing cap as well. 
  5. Clean around the u-joint and lubricate it. 
  6. Reassemble everything in the same order you took them out.

The shuddering should be gone after that. 

Tips For The Proper Maintenance of Drive Shaft

polaris ranger drive shaft maintenance

If you maintain the following tips, your driveshaft will run smoothly for a long time without showering any problems.

  • Lubricate the Polaris Ranger u-joint after every oil change. Make sure to use high-temperature grease. 
  • Regularly clean the u-joint.
  • Inspect the drive shaft occasionally to ensure nothing is damaged or worn out.
  • Rusty drive shafts can be a problem for your Polaris Ranger. Remove the rust by using  WD-40 spray and a brush. 
  • If you notice unusual noise or vibration from the shaft, it must be checked immediately. If you are not experienced in this process, consult a repairman.

Related Resource- Polaris Ranger Drive Belt Problems -5 Common Issues & Solutions

FAQs

Can You Remove The Front Drive Shaft And Still Drive?

Driving is possible after removing the front drive shaft in an ATV with a lockable central differential.

What Happens If A Driveshaft Fails While Driving?

If your drive shaft fails while driving, you can’t use the steering. The car won’t go backward or forward. Moreover, you won’t be able to accelerate the vehicle. 

How Long Does A Shaft Drive Last?

A shaft drive can last up to 75,000 miles of driving. However, proper maintenance is important to make it last that long. 

Conclusion

These are some common Polaris Ranger drive shaft problems you may face. This article should be enough to provide you with all the solutions you need. Make sure you regularly maintain the drive shafts to make them long-lasting.

That’s all for now. Best of luck with the drive shaft and have a good day. 

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