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2020 Ranger Northstar Crew Ultimate
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tracks are hard on everything! Wheel spacers put more pressure on the wheel bearings and all suspension components. I don’t care though. I grease my wheel bearings once a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
tracks are hard on everything! Wheel spacers put more pressure on the wheel bearings and all suspension components. I don’t care though. I grease my wheel bearings once a year.
I’m not a hardcore trail rider so I’ll most likely leave it stock but will definitely grease the wheel bearing once a year since I’ll be using tracks for the winter months. Thanks for the quick reply.
 

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‘17 Ranger 570 Midsize
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I think people use spacers as a bandaid. You can get wheels with different offsets that do the same thing, but don’t move the leverage point out away from the hub. Moving the leverage point further out makes it more possible to break axles.

Btw, people also use spacers to put bigger tires on and the combination is a double bad thing. I believe if you just want an inch or two of clearance a minor lift is better, and doesn’t require a tire change. In other words, to get two inches of ground clearance you have to add a 4 inch taller tire that puts a lot more stress on axles and causes torque loss, or simply add a 2 inch lift and only get the extra clearance.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I think people use spacers as a bandaid. You can get wheels with different offsets that do the same thing, but don’t move the leverage point out away from the hub. Moving the leverage point further out makes it more possible to break axles.

Btw, people also use spacers to put bigger tires on and the combination is a double bad thing.
Thanks. I think the offset would be better suited for me.
 

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Does anybody have any actual experiences with spacers actually causing rapid premature wheel bearing failures ?
 
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I have questioned all this stuff for years. When they first came out with IFS 4x4 trucks back in the 80s I went through all this stuff. The first one I bought came from the factory with positive offset wheels but naturally I had to have different wheels and big mud tires. When you start changing the offset and moving the center line of the wheel further out it is actually changing the amount of leverage or load on the wheel bearing assembly. Whether or not it is enough to make a difference in the life of the wheel bearing I don't know. I'm guessing big heavy tires take more of a toll on things than anything else. I know I have one 4x4 that I bought new in 1984 and have ran aftermarket wheels (and spacers on front), with more negative offset than OEMs and have only replaced the wheel bearings a couple of times. Coming up on around 300,000 miles. I have a feeling no more miles than most people put on these side by sides none of this stuff is gonna make much difference. This is why I don't worry much about running lifts and so forth. I do have wheel spacers and 2" lift on my Sportsman ATV since it was new (2003 700) and have never touched the wheel bearings. Just my opinion.

I have the shocks moved out on both my rangers, I don't see how that can affect anything other than make the ride a little stiffer. Wheel bearings are about the least of my worries on rangers, fairly easy to replace and not that expensive. I do recommend greasing them once in a while if you get in lots of mud and water.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have questioned all this stuff for years. When they first came out with IFS 4x4 trucks back in the 80s I went through all this stuff. The first one I bought came from the factory with positive offset wheels but naturally I had to have different wheels and big mud tires. When you start changing the offset and moving the center line of the wheel further out it is actually changing the amount of leverage or load on the wheel bearing assembly. Whether or not it is enough to make a difference in the life of the wheel bearing I don't know. I'm guessing big heavy tires take more of a toll on things than anything else. I know I have one 4x4 that I bought new in 1984 and have ran aftermarket wheels (and spacers on front), with more negative offset than OEMs and have only replaced the wheel bearings a couple of times. Coming up on around 300,000 miles. I have a feeling no more miles than most people put on these side by sides none of this stuff is gonna make much difference. This is why I don't worry much about running lifts and so forth. I do have wheel spacers and 2" lift on my Sportsman ATV since it was new (2003 700) and have never touched the wheel bearings. Just my opinion.

I have the shocks moved out on both my rangers, I don't see how that can affect anything other than make the ride a little stiffer. Wheel bearings are about the least of my worries on rangers, fairly easy to replace and not that expensive. I do recommend greasing them once in a while if you get in lots of mud and water.
Thank you that’s good user info. I’m new to the scene and we just purchased a 2021 XP 1000.
 

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Rangers are a different animal than 4x4 trucks but do have many similarities. It's pretty obvious big heavy tires are more likely to cause drive train failures involving gear cases and axles, but I also think it depends on how much they are abused. I have watched the way some of these guys play with these things in the mud and I can tell that is some serious abuse. My rangers are used for hunting and working, not playing in the mud. Maybe that's why I have had pretty good luck without breaking things.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Rangers are a different animal than 4x4 trucks but do have many similarities. It's pretty obvious big heavy tires are more likely to cause drive train failures involving gear cases and axles, but I also think it depends on how much they are abused. I have watched the way some of these guys play with these things in the mud and I can tell that is some serious abuse. My rangers are used for hunting and working, not playing in the mud. Maybe that's why I have had pretty good luck without breaking things.
Thanks! That’s pretty much what ours will be used for. I’m more for sustainable and durability
 

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I don't necessarily baby my rangers and I go anywhere I need to go within reason. I'm not jumping off in a creek that is 4' deep. My opinion is these are some pretty tough machines and I have enjoyed having them, it sounds like you will too.
 

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I don't necessarily baby my rangers and I go anywhere I need to go within reason. I'm not jumping off in a creek that is 4' deep. My opinion is these are some pretty tough machines and I have enjoyed having them, it sounds like you will too.
I was on ATV patrol with the Sheriffs Dept and have much time behind the wheel, with only two wheels on the ground lol. Not many wet areas but lots of jagged mountain trails. But that was a department UTV, a Ranger at that is why I bought one... frigg’en tough on washed out trails. But now I own one and want to do everything right as far as up grades. Your info is much appreciated. I’m right in line with you.
 

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I think people use spacers as a bandaid. You can get wheels with different offsets that do the same thing, but don’t move the leverage point out away from the hub. Moving the leverage point further out makes it more possible to break axles.
How is reducing the offset any different than installing spacers? In a case where you’re adding spacers to make up for offset, you end up with the same geometry at the hub.

Sure, the spacer becomes another point of potential failure, but, so long as it is secure, the physics at the hub doesn’t change between a spacer and a wheel with comparable offset.

Full-Disclosure: I’m normally in the anti-spacer crowd, mostly as a result of despising bro-dozers and everything they stand for.

My ranger now has 2” spacers all around. I got a smoking good deal on a set of RZR take-offs with nearly brand new tires that were a definite upgrade to the stock ones (Carlisle 489s -> Mud Commanders), for less than the tires would have cost, unmounted.. and went from steel wheels to aluminum.

The greater offset of the RZR wheels brought my track width in about 2”. Had I put on 1” spacers, the geometry at the hub would have been roughly identical to what I pulled off. I went with 2” spacers because some lift came as an undesired result of my suspension adjustments, and I took the opportunity to put back in some of the tilt-stability that lifting the COG cost me.

At the end of the day, I ended up with a 2” wider-wider-than-stock trackwidth. The stubby pencil math in my head says it basically came out as a wash; I moved the wheel mass out 1” further from the hub, but my suspension adjustment reduced body-roll, and the slight improvement in stability will reduce the amount of force that gets put on the downhill-side suspension components.
 
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