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Discussion Starter #1
First off I have a 2014 570 Crew and got about 500 miles on it. This is my first Polaris, owned suzuki and yamaha ATV's prior to this ranger. This weekend in about 10" of snow I got a good feeling for how the AWD system works and I am a little on the fence when comparing it to real 4x4. I noticed that sometimes it took the rear end getting a little sideways before the front end engaged the AWD and when it engaged it was very obvious as I noticed the vibration in the floor and some in the wheel. Is this normal? Also what point in the AWD system is engaging the AWD, the front diff? Just seems to me that the front should engage sooner than it does especially in snow and it seemed like it was in and out of AWD more than it should be probably due to the slippery terrain. From what I read this all seem normal, but I am a little worried about the vibration as my warranty is about a month from expiring. Thanks for any insight.
 

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Can't help ya about the snow situation but in mud the awd system is flawless
 

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what your describing is pretty normal just how the system works. if the back tires aren't slipping it disengages the front and you have to be below 3000 rpm I think for it to engage.
 

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The front wheels "should" engage after the rear wheels rotate 1/5 of a revolution. So if the rear end is getting sideways before the front end locks up, I have to think that something isn't right.

Regarding the vibration.......there's a pretty good chance that it's coming from the front driveshaft. The Crew (longer wheelbase vehicles and 4 seaters in general.....my RZR4 does it to some degree) seem to have more issues with that due to the significantly longer front shaft. At only 500 miles, I wouldn't expect that the U-joints and/or front carrier bearing is worn out, but it would be worth looking at. Climb under it and see if there's any noticeable play in the front driveshaft and, if so, I would definitely call your dealer and mention it.
 

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......if the back tires aren't slipping it disengages the front and you have to be below 3000 rpm I think for it to engage.
I forgot about that aspect. If you are already above 3000 rpm's and then flip the switch to AWD, then the front diff' will not engage until you drop back below 3000 rpm's. It's a "safety" feature to prevent a high shock load to the front end, possibly causing damage to multiple parts.

But if you already have the switch in the AWD position, then the front end should engage as soon as the rear tires spin 1/5 of a rotation. So in deep snow, I wouldn't wait until you are spinning or stuck before engaging AWD.

Keep in mind that we don't get a great amount of snow here and I'm not a wealth of experience in that particular area, but the few times I've gotten to use mine in the snow, it performed exactly as I would expect it to.
 

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I've only had mine out a handful of times this winter but mine engages smoothly. I have to TRY to get it to turn sideways if AWD is on.
 

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Mine does the same thing on ice. It worked great in the snow, but on ice that 1/5 of a turn on the rear wheels is enough for the rear end to want to come around a little. On top of that the factory tires leave a bit to be desired in the snow traction department. I just recently got some new rubber and cant wait to try the new tires out on the frozen lake and snow. We use ours quite a bit in the winter for ice fishing. I think that once you are used to the 4X4 system you will come to love it....I have.
 

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my machien does the same on hardpack snow and ice. Its a polaris thing..no way of gettin around it really unless ya find a different front diff thats locked all the time..then your kinda screwed for locking and unlocking it. Ive thought of a few ways to get around this but aint got the money to play with. lol

Its an overrunning clutch design (am i right guys?...isnt that what hilliard calls it?) kinda like a one way bearing. If you've had suzuki's and yamaha's, im sure youve heard of 1 way bearings. They're famous in starter housings and such on the yamaha's and Zuki's. (ever heard a warrior crank over?...and it sounds like its gonna explode the starter? Or when ya shut one off it clanks real loud..) Kinda very similar in the way they work. it'll freewheel in one direction untill a load is put on it, then it stops. In our case, it'll freewheel till the front driveshaft MAKES it lock up and pull. Its a piss poor design in my opinion. SOmetimes it'll leave ya in a shitty place or get ya screwed. i wish it was locked solid for steep hill descents...but as i said...i aint got the money to try different options. haha..othrewise i bet i could fit a different front diff in that was manual lock in/lock out!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all of the replys! I wouldn't' say that it got completely sideways be for the awd kicked in but i felt myself getting a little loose on acceleration and the rear slipping a bit before feeling the front kicking in. It actually made it kind of hard to stay in a straight line because it wanted to turn off and on. None of it was hard to deal with, just not something I was used to coming form 4x4 atv's. I plan on using this for ice fishing and I can see it doing the same thing then. I didn't know the awd only disengaged after dropping below 3000rpm, I will keep this in mind. I can see tires making a big difference in this situation as well. One thing I noticed this year driving on tar at a slow cruise in 2wd was a little noise coming from the front diff area, from what I read this is normal. This might be related to the vibrations I feel when AWD engages?
 

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its the driveshaft, The driveshaft to the front spins ALLL the time (unless ya take it off..lol) The front diff is engaged with a magnetic device AND by being overdriven. it takes 12 volts, and the rear tires to spin in order for front diff to lock up...

so when your in 2wd, the front driveshaft is still spinning..cant stop it. sorry man.
 

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Its an overrunning clutch design (am i right guys?...isnt that what hilliard calls it?) kinda like a one way bearing. If you've had suzuki's and yamaha's, im sure youve heard of 1 way bearings. They're famous in starter housings and such on the yamaha's and Zuki's. (ever heard a warrior crank over?...and it sounds like its gonna explode the starter? Or when ya shut one off it clanks real loud..) Kinda very similar in the way they work. it'll freewheel in one direction untill a load is put on it, then it stops. In our case, it'll freewheel till the front driveshaft MAKES it lock up and pull. Its a piss poor design in my opinion. SOmetimes it'll leave ya in a shitty place or get ya screwed. i wish it was locked solid for steep hill descents...but as i said...i aint got the money to try different options. haha..othrewise i bet i could fit a different front diff in that was manual lock in/lock out!
I've also heard them called sprag clutches. It's too bad that you can't have true AWD when you select it. Not AWD after certain conditions are met. Kind of like those "auto-trac" 4WD systems the truck & SUV makers use so you can leave the transfer case in "4WD" & drive on roads that are dry & wet.
 
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turning would be horrible and you will run the risk of breaking something if it were locked in awd not to mention the safety risk.
 

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turning would be horrible and you will run the risk of breaking something if it were locked in awd not to mention the safety risk.
The front axle would still require a differential. I'm not implying that the front axle use a spool (as used in cars set up for drag racing).
 

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my idea was to locate a front diff out of an older arctic cat atv (the ones that were full time 4wd, looked just like the old suzuki 250 quadrunners) The arctic cat version had a shaft on the outsidie of the front diff that was covered with a rubber plug cover. You could take pliers OR an old shifter and turn that to lock and unlock it.. if ya had the ability to fit that in there and have axles made, linkage would be easy.. i think that'd be pretty cool..kinda like an Ox-locker! lol sorry, just daydreaming!
 

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Here in the northwestern corner of the southeastern conference I generally get a few opportunities to push significant snow each winter . I guess it's that global warming deal.

Anyway, I cannot see the downside of locking into AWD just a bit before it's needed. That way I never have problem with the rear end slipping around. It's switched to AWD before it leaves the garage and hits the snow. I will say that having a little extra weight in the back end probably helps somewhat.
 
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Yes, push the button before you need AWD. A lot of that 1/5 turn is the slack that has to be taken up after the roller cage is seized by the electromagnet. If the cage is already seized the AWD engagement is almost instantaneous. I think the problem with the sliding around is just the difference in the gear ratio's from front to rear in the standard setup. Some of the 2015 performance models, RZR 1000 and some 900's and some of the Sportsman 1000's and deluxe 850's have a much closer ratio between front and rear which should help in the snow and ice. Hopefully that will filter down to the Ranger line up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the help everyone, really helps me understand how this awd system works. I always have been one to put it in awd before it is actually needed and I actually thought it wasn't good to put it in awd when in a bad situation and on the gas but I now assume from all the comments that it can't hurt this system to switch it in awd at anytime even without lifting off the gas?
 

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No, you need to lift off the gas when you push the button in case the rear wheels might be spinning and let the rpm drop. That is another reason to just go ahead and push the switch when you are coming into a situation where you might need the AWD. If the engine is turning over 3000 rpm when you push the switch the AWD won't kick in anyway until the engine slows down. Then once the computer activates the electromagnet AWD will stay activated until it is turned off again.
I had a Sportsman 850 Touring that I would leave in AWD all winter because of the power and longer wheelbase needed the extra traction in ordinary (fast) riding situations.
It won't hurt anything to just leave it in AWD if you want to.
 

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90% of the time that I'm operating the Ranger @ our woodlot, it's in AWD. The surface it's running on is either grassy, dirt or mud (depending on the weather). I would think there is enough slippage that there wouldn't be driveline damage (like running a 4WD on dry pavement).

If I'm on the main trail and not loaded (higher speeds) I'll leave the switch selected to rear axle locked.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sounds like I am using the AWD the right way, turning it on while off the gas before I anticipate needing it. I just need to start getting used to its operation. Before purchasing it I knew the basics of how it operated but honestly thought it would actuate the AWD a little quicker than it does but like it was said before 1/5 of a revolution plus driveline slack is going to have a slight delay. I really wish there was a lock option.... Thanks again!
 
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