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Arctic Cat with Sportsman IRS or Sportsman with Arctic Cat front differential?

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Arctic Cat with Sportsman IRS or Sportsman with Arctic Cat front differential?

  #1  
Old 06-22-2000, 12:13 AM
Pro Rider
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 2,203
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Why not? My ArcticCat500 Auto is sitting at the dealer, for sale, doing nothing. There are some very good features on the Arctic Cat, most as good and a few better than Polaris. But it has some very bad points. My new Sportsman has been a delight and a dissapointment.
The front wheel drive-4x4 system on the new Arctic Cat is clearly superior. It is simple and it works. It is manually engaged by a lever in front of my left knee which engages/disengages the front differential, which is limited slip.
The double A-arm front suspension is classic but
needs to be modified to eliminate the understeer.
This is do-able.
The rear suspension/rear axle is a disaster.
Arctic Cat guys are stripping out these rear ends
regularly and the body roll resulting from this
4-link live rear axle, without an anti-sway bar, is intolerable to the point of dangerous, from the standpoint of the lousy handling. Harvesting a Sportsman IRS, with A-arms,halfshafts,sway-bar, hubs and wheels, and using a matching front differential in the rear, driven off the AC driveshaft is also do-able...but indeed a formidable task.
Meanwhile the Sportsman is sporting an AWD system that is a joke. For all the talk of "true
4-Wheel Drive" just because there is a ring and pinion in front instead of a true differential,
FACE IT, you don't even know if it's in 4-wheel or 2-wheel drive-ever! All this nonsense about
different ratios in order to engage, and wheel slippage. What kind of convoluted system is this?
This isn't just academic. Downhill the things just won't stay in 4-Wheel drive. On smooth hard steep climbs they won't stay in either.
That's two pretty obvious situations when it needs to be in 4x4 and the machine has "decided"
for us that it doesn't. Once the wheel spin/slide
begins, the 4x4 may or may not engage, maybe help,
maybe hurt. When I want 4x4, DSpam wordSpam word Spam wordSpam word Spam wordSpam word Spam wordSpam word IT, I want 4x4!!
So the Sportsman is heavier, motors are pretty
equal,4-valve water-cooled 500's, AC has an aluminum clutch cover, they both have autos w/EBS,
The Sportsman front hubs could be welded or
locked fairly easily. Gee, if an Arctic Cat front differential just happens to be the right ratio. Or if some aftermarket company would produce a KIT, including a spacer/shim to lock the front hubs and a front differential with a
mechanical lever like the new Arctic Cat to engage the 4x4 via the front differential. A third position on that lever, creating a 2wd/AWD
(limited slip)/4-wheel Lock......Hmmmmmmmmm...
That sounds way easier and cheaper than
building a whole IRS on the AutoCat and getting the thing to handle decently.
The SP already handles great, the new composite clutch cover is a big improvement over the plastic.
It needs a serious 4-wheel drive system, what it has is strictly recreational level, I want serious. Loose downhills, hard-smooth-steep climbs, gee... I live in the mountains of New Mexico,other than sandwashes, that is pretty much it.
Silly Later, Fourlix

SP500, 425EXP, 325Mag, AutoCat 500 For Sale?
ArcticSport, AutoMan, SportsCat, KittyMan500
 
  #2  
Old 06-22-2000, 07:03 AM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 775
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Meanwhile the Sportsman is sporting an AWD system that is a joke. For all the talk of "true
4-Wheel Drive" just because there is a ring and pinion in front instead of a true differential,
FACE IT, you don't even know if it's in 4-wheel or 2-wheel drive-ever! All this nonsense about
different ratios in order to engage, and wheel slippage. What kind of convoluted system is this?

Fourlix I usually agree with you about 90% of the time with me owning both of these machines and with them being put through some of toughest rideing territory east of the mississippi I don't understand your grief with a few things for one the rear suspension on the AC I find it to have just about the same body roll as the Sportsman but with the Sportsman with the better handling obviously because of the sway bar. But in no means find it dangerous to ride. And on the issue of the 4 wheel drive I really don't have a problem with mine engageing when I need it to it has never failed me yet where 3 wheel drive machines have had trouble. Although I do agree with you on the fact it would be nice to have some kind of system on the Polaris where the front could be locked in, and also would be great for true 4 wheel hold back coming down steep stuff without having to go through the process of having to back up and hold the over ride button...I do find the Artic Cat superior in coming down steep stuff with its true hold back...but I do find some of the facts you present interesting....oh and one more thing you wrote:

?
This isn't just academic. Downhill the things just won't stay in 4-Wheel drive. On smooth hard steep climbs they won't stay in either.
That's two pretty obvious situations when it needs to be in 4x4 and the machine has "decided"
for us that it doesn't. Once the wheel spin/slide
begins, the 4x4 may or may not engage, maybe help,
maybe hurt. When I want 4x4, DSpam wordSpam word Spam wordSpam word Spam wordSpam word Spam wordSpam word IT, I want 4x4!!

I don't how the rest of the riders will fair on this but I have never had trouble with mine staying in, simply put when it is in a bind it climbs when its not its back in two its as simple as that, the only time I have really found it a problem was when coming down super steep stuff and only 2 wheels hold back...if your bike is doing this you seriously need to get it back to the dealer cause I don't think you will find another owner in here that is having this problem.
In having 2 solutions as you were talking about if you did add a lever to the Polaris to put it into 4 wheel drive, I really find it a pain on the AC every time that I want to put it into 4 wheel drive to have to shift in and out so you see maybe the Polaris system is more superior than you think...what are the rest of your all views on this...
 
  #3  
Old 06-22-2000, 07:36 AM
Range Rover
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 170
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overall i am not really impressed with polaris' 4-wheel drive system. my brother in law has a 1994 polaris 300 4x4. decent machine in the mud but on loose terrain like gravel and rocks it falls very short, especially going up and down hills. i have seen him many times trying to go up hills where he starts out fine, then looses momentum, the rear tires slip then the fronts engage, then then he gets going again. then the process starts all over again. in his own words "my polaris is a death trap going up and down loose hills... you have to stay on the gas way to hard to keep the front wheels engaged" my father in law jokes that the only thing more dangerous than a polaris 300 on a hill is 1962 ski-doo snowmobile where you are stradling the carburetor and it backfires. ride on fellas.......
 
  #4  
Old 06-22-2000, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,521
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My sportsman 4 wheel drive works flawlessly, it is the best system out there. I never notice it going in and out of 4 wheel drive, but it always gets me in and out of the mud and up and down every hill that it is pointed at. Better than any ATV I have personally ridden or owned. I don't know allot about the technical parts of it, but I do know from real world experience riding with other 4 wheel drives, that the Polaris is the best system, I have taken my Sportsman in mud that my Honda 300 4x4 had to be towed out of. The true 4x4 on my two Polaris's work perfectly. It is one of the best things I like about my Sportsman even stock I know I am going to get out of almost any situation that quite frankly most others systems would be stuck. I will admit I have never driven an Arctic Cat but have ridden with a couple Arctic Cat 500's. I thought they did great. Mine always stays in when needed and out when not needed. As for slipping then kicking in never have had that happen to me. It kicks in way before the rear tires can actually spin enough to slow down, I am not sure of the ratio but it is not even one whole turn of the rear tires as far as I know. It is true 4 wheel drive due to the fact that when engaged all 4 wheels have power going to them all the time. To me that is true 4 wheel drive.
 
  #5  
Old 06-22-2000, 09:38 AM
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You make it sound like your sportsman is making a few revolutions of the rear wheels before the front kicks in. That is not how the 4wd is made to work on the sportsman. If paying close attention, you should barely be able to notice any spin of the rear wheels before the fronts kick in. I have never seen a situation where anything got better traction than a polaris. And there is no way to weld the front hubs on the sportsman. You should take one apart and see how it works, or else have someone explain it to you. The only setup out there that can come close to competing with the traction offered by a polaris is the traxter (disregarding the underpowered King Quad).
 
  #6  
Old 06-22-2000, 09:41 AM
Range Rover
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 170
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i know what you mean about having the "true 4x4". i have it on my king quad too. mine has a manual selector to choose between 2x4, 4x4 (limited slip) and 4x4 ( diff. lock). it definately helps in sticky situations. congrats. on the sportsman it is a nice machine.
 
  #7  
Old 06-22-2000, 09:46 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 170
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you don't need 500cc if you are smart about how you drive. it is all in the gearing. don't be pickin' on my king quad!!! :-)
 
  #8  
Old 06-22-2000, 09:59 AM
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TheArcher, That was funny man

00 400ex
www.geocities.com/cory_14/
 
  #9  
Old 06-22-2000, 10:06 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,087
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I hear different comments about the 4X4 engaging or disengaging improperly. I haven't had this problem myself. However, if you are having this problem, I would disassemble the front hubs and look for obvious problems. Look for anything unusual. The locking mechanism is very simple. Just pay attention to how it comes apart. This will also help you to understand how it works. The only system I like better than this is the Suzuki King Quads 2X4 4X4 and 4X4 Lock But if the Polaris system is working properly it is better than any limited slip and in some ways even better than the King Quads.

Greg
 
  #10  
Old 06-22-2000, 10:15 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 1,474
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Put a differential on a Polaris and be a 3wd like all the rest?I hope you have better ideas than that.
 

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