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2011 Ranger Crew rear c/v axles keep popping out of diff

21161 Views 29 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  salamander992
Hi all!
This is my first post on the forum so go easy on me.

My 2011 Ranger Crew has had the right rear c/v axle pop out of the differential a few times. I usually notice it about a mile or so into the ride and it doesn't matter if I am on a dirt road or going down a bumpy sandy wash. It doesn't matter if its in 2wd, AWD, or 4wd. It still pops out occasionally. I got bigger "stronger" axles since the c/v/ boots were going out anyways. This did nothing to solve the issue. I wound up making my own circlip out of spring wire and it seemed to help for a bit but then the same thing started happening again. This time the c/v popped out and punched the differential seal so we decided to rebuild the trans to make sure everything was good to go inside. The differential output splined cups are in perfect condition with no signs of wear and the internals of the trans and diff are in good order. I have switched back and forth from the stock axles to the "stronger" aftermarket axles with no improvement. Now the left side c/v axle has popped out and its really frustrating. What is making this happen and what can I do to permanently fix the issue? Is it possible that the axles are too short?
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do you have a lift on your crew?

seems I recall this problem happening on and off to some members here with 800s ... I've never had it happen personally, but I think those who are running a lift are having the majority of problems with axles not staying put.
My Ranger is bone stock. No lift, no big tires, nothing but the upgraded axles that pop out just like the stock axles.
have you checked the clips ?
Wonder if you have some junk built up in the female end preventing the axle clip from seating properly...see if you can get a pick in there and scratch out any gunk/debris from where the clip seats...

Once you confirm it is clean, you can try to place a rubber o-ring under the clip to force it to stay open a tad bit more...some guys even use clips that are squared on the outside instead of rounded....
I have checked the clips, re checked the clips, purchased new stock replacement clips, purchased stock replacement upgraded axles with new clips, purchased square edged clips that were not even remotely going to fit, built my own clips, and repeatedly cleaned out the female splined cups in the diff to make sure. Same shit, still pops out.

I have worked on a bunch of vehicles with this type of C/v splined axle interface and I have never had the axles pop out like this. I'm also pretty sure that they shouldn't physically be able to pop out due to the confined space they are in. Even at maximum articulation there should be no way for the suspension to pull the axle out of the diff and the axles should be long enough to prevent this type of thing happening. I'm tempted to cut the axles and lengthen them a bit. Anyone ever had to do that to their stock Ranger? Probably not. WTF?!
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Are your axles plunging properly?

Is there any plane your diff, is it firmly secured?

Do you ever bottom out the suspension on that side that is popping out?

Might try hang a camera off the rear so you can capture it when it happens on video that might help
Axles are definitely going into the splined cups all the way when assembling. I can feel and hear a click when the clip engages at the end of the splined cup.

The diff is solid mounted with no play. We try to go easy on the ranger since its not a Razor :) sometimes we do possibly bottom it out but most times the axles have popped out on flat dirt roads. Plus the axles pop out on both sides. It has mostly happened on the passenger side but now the drivers side is doing it too. I might try that camera idea to see what gremlins are tearing apart my Ranger.
Check your sway bar. A buddy of mine with an 800 had this happen a few times and finally figured out that his sway bar was broke in two(half). Thus allowing it to over articulate.
Sway bar is still intact. What else can allow the suspension to over-extend and pull the axle out? Or am I looking at a problem of really crappy tolerances and the circlips never really seat, or the splined interface is so sloppy that the axle can just wiggle itself out?
polaris's design on the front and rear diff allows the splined area between the splined cv end, and the cup end of the diff to corrode and get sloppy. There's no seal to keep out the dirt/ water/ and mud. You might have to pull the trans apart and put cups in the diff.

I've got 3 800s that are 2011s and a 2012, and I have never seen this problem though. I've worn the cups out of the front diffs on all 3 machines, and the rears are also worn, but have never had an axle pop out?

How much slop are we walking about? how much up and down movement?
I have a 2009 HD and had this happen to me after about a year of regular use at my farm. It was covered under extended warranty and the sealr gave me no issues. After further investigation, the Polaris dealer found that the diff was NOT properly machined when manufactured.

A Polaris engineer actually flew in to inspect the unit after several calls to the claims department by the dealer. All that said, they replaced the diff and both rear CV shafts, haven't had an issue since.

The he dealer is actually a friend of mine and had some connections with corporate. They claim to only have had less than 100 reports of this issue nationwide back in 2010. You may pass this info to your nearest dealer to see if they can assist. Hope this helps.
So I took the rig over to Ride Now on Ina in Tucson and explained in great detail what was going on and all of the info that I was able to come up with here and elsewhere online. I specificallly asked them to contact Polaris Corporate to see if they had any experience with this issue. The stealership told me they did contact Polaris and that they have "never" had any similar issues. Total B.S. but that's what you get when dealing with pea-brained worker bees at Ride Now. They "looked" at my machine and charged me $120. Then they proceeded to offer to tear apart the differential to see if there was an issue. They gave me a $1200 estimate just to do the tear down and that's not including any parts that they might want to throw at it. I kindly took my machine home and vowed never to spend money at Ride Now again.

Once i got the rig back, I put the rear end on Jackstands and took the axles out. I started and ran the machine in 2wd so the diff cups were spinning and used a small cut-off wheel on a Dremel tool to cut the groove where the axle circlip sits deeper and more square. I cleaned the parts and liberally applied red Loc-Tite to the splines and reassembled everything. I have only had about 20 minutes drive time on the rig since but so far so good. except that the check engine light came on and now I get to figure that out. Thanks for all the input and suggestion. I will repost later after more mileage has been put on the machine.
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Hi everyone. I've had the same issue for years. We have a 2011 Ranger Crew 800EPS, I feel for anyone and everyone that has these issues for Polaris doesnt give a ding dang doodle about it. First time my stocks started popping out in upgraded to Gorilla's, no change no real improvements except the boots are much stronger. I've tried cleaning them, rings in, rings out, o rings, lock tight, dealers, small engine guys, etc etc.. everyone says "you need the clips" Literally short of jb welding them into place I've come to accept that leaving the clips out makes it a hell of alot easier to push the axles back in and not destroy the boots in the process.

Our 2011 has 371 hrs, 3429klm and completely lost my faith in the Ranger game. It would be interesting to see everyone's VIN # to identify the manufacturing issues.
My VIN 4XAWY76A5B2170428
(I hope someone steals it)

Polaris Rangers slogan
Clips out, dont exceed 15klm an hour and for the love of christ dont articulate the suspension.. lol

Good luck!
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Obviously the original thread is an old post but apparently the problem continues for some. Common sense tells me that if the axles didn't pop out when the vehicle was new but began to after it had some miles/years on it, that wear or time has changed something.
One thing not mentioned in the previous post (unless I missed it) is the possibility of wear to suspension components, i.e. bushings, wheel bearings, etc. My though it that there were deformation of the suspension bushings or wear in wheel bearings or other parts which has stacked up to allow the wheel to move away from the differential just enough to overextend the axles allowing the axle to pull free.
This is merely pie in the sky pontification, but it may be worth checking out since every other option seems to have been tried.
Agreed old post and thank you for taking the time to respond.

For the record, wheel bearings, all bushings, shocks changed and problem persists. Happened with stock axles and with aftermarket but get this......When I run my tracks they don't pop out. Figure that one out. (No pun intended)
Just a wild guess, perhaps with tracks the suspension doesn't travel as much as with tires. IF that is the case maybe the factory engineers messed up and allowed too much suspension travel given the axle length and suspension geometry.
It would be interesting to see if the axles stayed put with tires on flat ground with no suspension moving up and down. My thought here is that at the extreme ends of suspension travel enough room is allowed for the axles to pop out.
IF that turned out to be the case and it didn't do it when new, perhaps something inside the shocks is worn and allowing additional travel. Some shocks have a rubber bump stop at the ends of their longest travel to prevent internal damage and the sudden jolt one would get at the end of travel. IF that rubber were missing or flattened out, over travel might be allowed with resulting axle problems.
Bear with me here, I'm just tossing out ideas, not saying this is the actual case.
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Awesome you're still tossing ideas out there. Appreciate it.

What you are saying makes alot of sense, I was considering ordering longer axles.

I've tried adjusting shocks softer and harder and they were changed about 150 hrs ago, again only 370 hrs or so on the unit and no real hard miles, originally purchased to put tracks on with cab system and heater when we had newborns to still enjoy the outdoors comfortably. You would think this would be a relatively easy fix considering the amount of units out there. The picture attached shows after a 10klm ride hunting birds on a gravel road, slow as slow can be, no real articulation in the suspension.

Maybe just longer axles

Thanks again.


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What about replacing the hubs? I know disassembling the trans to replace them would be a PITA but it should solve your problem. Of course it would require new axles as well.
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I did this a couple years ago. In affect, it does not let the axles get pulled to their limit if that is the problem. 2 very large machine washers glued together moves the axle ends in a quarter inch or more can always remove if and when.
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