I have been running the DDP clutch kit on my 900 Crew with 29.5” Terms for about a year. I recently installed the Duraclutch on my machine. For anyone who is interested, here are my findings so far…
To spare everyone from having to read all of the details I’ll jump right to my conclusion…My preference is the Duraclutch.
Here’s my best effort at an objective review comparing the 2 clutches…
You can expect good customer service from the folks at Duraclutch and Dirty Dawg Performance. They were both a pleasure to deal with. Both took the time to answer questions and offer assistance after the sale.
Both packages arrived quickly and well protected. Nothing was missing.
The DDP kit came with a new secondary clutch and a spring/weight kit for the primary clutch. You can order a new primary clutch with the spring/weights already installed but it costs more and DDP uses the same stock primary clutch. I decided to save a few bucks and just install the spring/weights myself. Installation was easy and straight forward. Simply swap out the secondary and change the spring and weights in the primary.
I did have some alignment issues with the DDP which required me to place a couple washers behind the secondary to get the belt perfectly aligned, no big deal at all. I also had to install a couple of shims on the inside of the primary to hold it open just a tad to allow the machine to shift gears properly. The primary clutch had just a little too much squeeze and was engaging the secondary making it very difficult to shift. After adding the shims the machine shifted perfectly.
The Duraclutch kit came with a new secondary, new primary, and a new belt. Installation was straight forward, remove the primary and secondary and replace with new primary and secondary.
Even though the DDP kit took a little more time to install and fine tune, both kits are pretty straight forward. The Duraclutch was an easier install but if you spend a little more money on the DDP kit that comes with the primary spring/weights installed on a new primary clutch then the installation would be the same with the exception of any alignment/tuning needed.
COMPARED TO STOCK CLUTCH
DDP: Compared to the stock clutch setup it is quieter, smoother shifting, better low speed engagement, better high end speed, and a little bit better engine braking. The DDP clutch setup makes a stock machine noticeably more responsive and fun to drive. The common delay in engagement that the stock rangers have when pressing the gas was eliminated. The clutch engages quickly and firmly. Overall it gave the machine a sportier feel. I liked it.
DURACLUTCH: Compared to the stock clutch setup it is NOT quieter, the clutch noise level is about the same. Compared to the stock clutch setup the engagement is quicker and smoother, the low end grunt is noticeably lower, high gear is more usable, and the engine braking is substantially more aggressive.
Both clutches are a substantial improvement to the stock clutching
DDP COMPARED TO DURACLUTCH
The 2 clutches are hard to compare as they both perform well but give the machine a noticeably different feel and the machine will drive differently. The primary question I would ask myself when considering these two clutches is “How will I be using my machine?...”
Are you going to be performing work with your machine or is it used primarily for play?
If it is used primarily for play, what kind of play? Deep mud? Easy trail cruising? High/Low speed? Etc…
If it is for work, what kind of work? Plowing? Hunting? Heavy hauling? etc
The DDP clutch has a very slight delay in engagement, it is not instantaneous, but when it engages it hits hard and gives the machine a ‘feel’ of having more ‘get up and go’… It makes the machine more fun when just playing around.
The down fall with the DDP comes when hauling heavy or traversing challenging terrain. The clutch doesn’t stay as solidly engaged at very slow speeds (under 5mph). If you are trying to crawl over obstacles you have to maintain a little bit of momentum to keep the belt in constant engagement. Most of the time it really isn’t an issue. But what has proven to be the Kryptonite to the DDP is getting the tires turning from a dead stop when they are hung up or have resistance, for example, stuck in the mud or pinned behind a rock. It is then that you can smoke a belt pretty easily if you aren’t careful.
The Duraclutch engages differently than the DDP. It begins to engage instantaneously. It is absolutely buttery smooth. It doesn’t ‘hit hard’ like the DDP. In fact, at first I didn’t like that the Duraclutch didn’t feel as ‘sporty’ as the DDP. I liked the seat of the pants feel of the DDP as it just felt rowdier.
After driving the Duraclutch just a few hundred yards I noticed it wasn’t any slower to speed than the DDP just a lot smoother, and the DDP was pretty smooth. The Duraclutch just has an overall different feel at engagement. Picture driving a stick shift truck. The DDP feels more like dumping the clutch pedal a little when taking off, and the Duraclutch feels more like if you smoothly let the clutch pedal out.
The DDP is quieter. I don’t know why but it is. The Duraclutch has noise levels similar to a stock clutch setup. You will notice the lower noise level right away with the DDP.
Here’s where the real differences show up between the two clutch kits. To put is simply, the DDP has a sportier feel, the Duraclutch delivers more of a utilitarian/workhorse feel. In fact, if you were to drive 2 machines back to back (one with each clutch) you would most likely assume that the machine with the Duraclutch was actually geared lower.
Most of my riding is under 20 MPH and I ALWAYS use low gear…always always always….With the Duraclutch it feels like it took both my High and Low and shifted them down a notch. In low I can creep along and 1 or 2 MPH all day long just slowly crawling over stuff…. The machine simply performs much better at slow speeds with the Duraclutch versus the DDP.
Just for reference, With the Duraclutch my rpm’s at 10mph in Low are 5600, and 10 mph is about the maximum ‘cruising’ speed for me while in low, mainly because of the rpm’s. I didn’t test top speed in low but I did hit 15mph a few times without hitting the limiter… With the DDP on the other hand I would regularly cruise up to 20mph without is sounding like the rpm’s were getting too high. It isn’t something that is important to me but you can go faster in low gear with the DDP kit no doubt.
The DDP can handle slow speeds too, just not as well. Instead of smoothly rolling or transitioning over stuff it is more gently hitting obstacles and gently bouncing through instead of a slow crawl. The difference gets more and more noticeable when weight is added. The more weight that is added to the machine or the larger the obstacle the less well the DDP performed at slow speeds. Just picture rolling through the woods in your pickup in 1[SUP]st[/SUP] gear versus 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] gear, that’s a pretty good comparison of the 2 clutches at slow speed.
With the Duraclutch, high gear is now my primary gear. I have always preached that you never want to use High gear because it is much harder on the belt. The Duraclutch made low gear a bit too low for cruising around but it made my high gear pretty close to my old low gear (as far as usability)… I spent quite a bit of time stopping/starting, climbing hills, etc in high gear and I really liked how it performed. I never felt like the machine was lugging or struggling. I was able to cruise at 30 mph at 5300 rpm… I can go as slow as 5-7mph comfortably or as fast as 30+ all in High gear making it very useable…
The DDP did make High gear better than stock but not as usable as High with Duraclutch. If I drove a lot of flat smooth trails or dirt roads I think the DDP would work just dandy in High as the primary gear to run in, but it was still a little short on grunt while turning the bigger tires below 10mph to be useful on the less smooth routes…
The DDP does give the machine better engine braking than the stock machine. I was expecting better though. This was the main disappointment I had with the DDP kit. I have descended long and steep hills while being grossly overloaded while using the DDP clutch. Everything worked just fine but performing the ‘Polaris two step’ is still very much a requirement, but again, no big deal…
The Duraclutch delivers much more aggressive engine braking, so much so I found myself using High gear while descending some pretty steep hills to keep the tires from sliding on the snow/ice patches… If engine braking is important to you the Duraclutch pretty much eliminates the ‘two step’…
The DDP kit was a welcome improvement over the stock machine. It did everything noticeably better. It got the 29.5” tires turning just fine in most situations. The clutch would struggle to hold the belt while trying to turn the more aggressive tires if the machine was stuck in the mud or deep snow. It had a ‘sportier’ feel and I would happily run it again if my primary riding was higher speeds with lighter loads. Don’t get me wrong, I hauled some stupid loads with the DDP, but I blew 2 belts in one trip and got the clutch cover so hot on another trip it deformed it, it was so hot I couldn’t touch it. That’s what will happen if you haul too heavy too slowly with the DDP.
The Duraclutch does change the personality of the Ranger. It makes it feel/drive more like a work horse, overall less ‘sporty’ feeling than the DDP. The engagement is silky and the shifting is butter. The spring/helix setup seems to hold the secondary closed longer producing a lower geared machine. If you were intending to use the Ranger for any work (plowing, mudding, hunting, hauling, spraying, towing, crawling, etc) my suggestion would be the Duraclutch. You had better want engine braking though because it has pretty solid engine braking.
Overall the Duraclutch seems more appropriate for how most folks use their Rangers...
So, looks like I’ll be selling my DDP kit and keeping the Duraclutch…
If anyone in my neck of the woods wants to take the Duraclutch for a spin I’d be happy to show it…