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I’m about to do my 25 hour service sometime this week. The manual suggests the front gearcase and transmission fluids be checked and topped off. My inclination is to do a fluid change on both instead. What’s the popular wisdom? Check and top off or change fluids?
 

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I would change. The front is just a bit over 6 oz. Pretty easy to have some kind of contamination.
I was a avid reader of a oil forum and most would change the fluids after a brief breakin period. I did 2 generators last winter and both had a fair amount of millings but both had no filtration. I plan on a brief running and change of fluids when I get a new machine
When I first joined someone got a unit that had no oil in a part of their machine so a good pre ride inspection is a must IMO. Don't want to attempt luck in trying Polaris's new 1 year warranty
 

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I would change. Those 25 hr services should be included in purchase if they aren't already.
But they would miss selling that expensive demand drive fluid. Interesting that a search has Hilliard recommendation is Mobil 424 , JD 20(superceded by JD21). Both are hytran fluids.
Car dealerships use the oil change as a pretty cheap sales tool but one of my local Polaris dealerships has a backlog currently at over a month. MN open cab riding season is if you look at last couple years is only 4 months
 

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Lots of people change becasue they don't read the manual as closely as you do and assume all fluids have to be changed at 25 hours.

Some change because they believe it good practice. Doing so can't hurt a thing but may be wasteful.

I didn't change mine, I simply checked it at 25 hours and changed it as specified in the manual. In my case (and perhaps the case of many owners) AWD is seldom used and the front differential gets little engagement (except in winter plowing snow). My front diff didn't engage at all during the first 25 hours. The transmission is always used but when I checked mine at 25 hours the lube looked like it was new. Most of my driving (99%) is in Turf mode and on pavement at 25 hours. Although the gears all turn and bearings are all spinning when the front differential isn't engaged, there is no load on anything in the front differential and the parts are just spinning in clean lube. Any steel shavings that might be present from break in or manufacturing are caught by the magnet on the drain plug and taken out of circulation.

I believe the engineers have a good handle on maintenance intervals based upon testing and I don't think I know better than them. On the other hand, if I believed I had committed abuse of the equipment or run in deep water and thought there might be contamination I'd change it immediately, recommendation or not.
 

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Lots of people change becasue they don't read the manual as closely as you do and assume all fluids have to be changed at 25 hours.

Some change because they believe it good practice. Doing so can't hurt a thing but may be wasteful.

I didn't change mine, I simply checked it at 25 hours and changed it as specified in the manual. In my case (and perhaps the case of many owners) AWD is seldom used and the front differential gets little engagement (except in winter plowing snow). My front diff didn't engage at all during the first 25 hours. The transmission is always used but when I checked mine at 25 hours the lube looked like it was new. Most of my driving (99%) is in Turf mode and on pavement at 25 hours. Although the gears all turn and bearings are all spinning when the front differential isn't engaged, there is no load on anything in the front differential and the parts are just spinning in clean lube. Any steel shavings that might be present from break in or manufacturing are caught by the magnet on the drain plug and taken out of circulation.

I believe the engineers have a good handle on maintenance intervals based upon testing and I don't think I know better than them. On the other hand, if I believed I had committed abuse of the equipment or run in deep water and thought there might be contamination I'd change it immediately, recommendation or not.
Steve, this is the wrong thought process on this.
Your Front Gear Case is turning all the time Engaged or Not, creating fines in the Gear Case.
The magnet does capture some of them, but most settle in the bottom of the case.
And due to the design, you NEVER get the fines out of the case completely.
Raise the front of the unit apprx 30 degrees when changing the Front Gear Case Fluid and change it often.
If not the fines cause premature wear between the coil and Armature plate, destroys the Hub Bearings and causes engagement issues.
 

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Steve, this is the wrong thought process on this.
Your Front Gear Case is turning all the time Engaged or Not, creating fines in the Gear Case.
The magnet does capture some of them, but most settle in the bottom of the case.
And due to the design, you NEVER get the fines out of the case completely.
Raise the front of the unit apprx 30 degrees when changing the Front Gear Case Fluid and change it often.
If not the fines cause premature wear between the coil and Armature plate, destroys the Hub Bearings and causes engagement issues.
Thanks for the heads up on this Greg. I knew it was all turning engaged or not but assumed that since there was no load wear would be near non existent.

In any case I always follow the recommended change intervals.
 

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I just posed the ? to a good friend that works at Brainerd International Raceway as a car mechanic-rebuilder and his friend who races as they just picked up my old VW powered dune buggy and they said drop and fill. Its to cheap to skimp especially with the front only being 6+- oz.
 

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But they would miss selling that expensive demand drive fluid. Interesting that a search has Hilliard recommendation is Mobil 424 , JD 20(superceded by JD21). Both are hytran fluids.
Car dealerships use the oil change as a pretty cheap sales tool but one of my local Polaris dealerships has a backlog currently at over a month. MN open cab riding season is if you look at last couple years is only 4 months
With my 2018 RZR S 900, I asked my dealer how much just to change the oil if I provided my own oil and filter? I did not even mention doing the trans etc. Shop charge for anything is $99 minimum. I took my 2017 Sierra PU to a local GMC dealer with my own oil and filter, they charged me $20 and did a 20 point inspection as well and I never even bought the truck at that dealer.
 

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With my 2018 RZR S 900, I asked my dealer how much just to change the oil if I provided my own oil and filter? I did not even mention doing the trans etc. Shop charge for anything is $99 minimum. I took my 2017 Sierra PU to a local GMC dealer with my own oil and filter, they charged me $20 and did a 20 point inspection as well and I never even bought the truck at that dealer.
Closest Polaris dealer also has a $99 minimum and a shop rate of $120/hr. It generally takes me 45min-1hr to do a complete Ranger service. Oil, filter, air filter, plugs, front diff, trans, coolant and brake fluid levels, grease and a general look over. At my shop I charge for the time it takes to do the work in 15 minute increments. I use a hourly labor guide only as an estimator as there are too many variances with off road machines. I've had a single axle replacement take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours.
 

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I have a local small engine mechanic that used to manage a Yamaha shop that is good. $50/hr. Usually won't charge me for simple diagnostic and repairs have a stop watch attached to them to keep proper time. I usually tip him a box or 2 of 22 ammo. I can manage most maintenance issues and now probably collecting my last paycheck have the time and not the $$$
 

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I have a local small engine mechanic that used to manage a Yamaha shop that is good. $50/hr. Usually won't charge me for simple diagnostic and repairs have a stop watch attached to them to keep proper time. I usually tip him a box or 2 of 22 ammo. I can manage most maintenance issues and now probably collecting my last paycheck have the time and not the $$$
I too use a watch, well kitchen timers. I can't give out much free work but I do help diagnose problems over the phone and folks stopping by. It's good business, they'll come back when they have a big problem that's over their heads. The one exception on free labor is when a parent doesn't have the funds to fix their kids dirt bike/atv. It's easy to tell when they come in and the kid is downbeat and the parent is asking how much, how much. Lets just get him/her back to riding and not worry about it.
 

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Word of mouth about being fair in prices charged for services can go a long way. At least in my book. I send him a lot of work. I fully understand he has a shop to heat and a family to support.
I'm not much on supporting motorized baby sitters. I had a serious chore list and helped out at the neighbors to support my wheeled habit when I was a kid.
 
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