Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow? - Polaris RZR Forum - RZR Forums.net
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post #1 of 19 Unread November 6th, 2019, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

I had the RZR up a trail with a little snow on it the other day and am not really impressed with the AWD system. For winter/slippery trail riding it sure would be nice to be able to put it in full time 4wd. The AWD system works great in the summer on loose dirt and rocks but on slippery snow that little bit of wheel spin required before engaging the front end really lets the back end start to slide downhill. I would think those Minnesota boys would know how to develop a better 4 wheel drive system on an offroad machine. Maybe it's because they are a bunch of flat landers out there and have never thought about going uphill on a 30% plus grade, off camber mountain trail. I have ridden my RZR around my neighborhood in snow plenty of times and had no complaints but getting it on a snow covered trail was a whole different matter. I have a 2013 570 base model, no turf mode and no power steering if that makes any difference in the AWD but I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

Also, how long is the front axle supposed to stay engaged? It seemed that if I was going up a hill and hit a spot that I had to let off the gas and then get back on it, it would disengage the AWD until the rear slipped again. I assume that is operating normally. I also know there does not seem to be any work around to "lock in" the 4 wheel drive temporarily. Which is unfortunate.
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post #2 of 19 Unread November 6th, 2019, 08:53 AM
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

It takes 1/20 turn of rear wheel slip to engage the front drive, hardly any at all, it will then stay engaged until the front wheel speed matches the rear wheel speed and the tension is released form the rollers (a throttle blurp, or stop ), even if you turn the switch off, it will still stay engaged until the tension is released from the rollers, it really functions quite well, but it doesn't drive exactly like a 4wd truck.

The problem you are seeing on downhill is from no throttle being applied to actually drive the front wheels, or so little that the rear wheel speed isn't fast enough to drive the machine, so you get the skipping effect and the machine starts to slide toward the path of least resistance.

Blurp the throttle to slip the rears & engage the front wheels before you start down hill, that will keep tension on the rollers and keep the front drive engaged, then keep a small amount of throttle in it while descending to keep the clutches engaged, and stay off the brakes.

In short...throttle up!

I've never been dissatisfied with the AWD operation in snow to answer your original question.
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post #3 of 19 Unread November 6th, 2019, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

Good to know. I didn't have any issues going downhill since I didn't really need the engine braking where I was at, it was more blipping the throttle on the flats or when I was getting on it going up a hill. Guess I just need to keep my foot in it the entire way up the hill if I don't want the front diff disengaging.
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post #4 of 19 Unread November 6th, 2019, 07:47 PM
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

Another possibility is to change the tires. Make the rear tires an inch smaller or the front tires an inch larger. The system would think the rears are slipping, should stay engaged anytime above idle, I think. *Shouldn't* damage the front diff unless you get on dry pavement and still in AWD.

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post #5 of 19 Unread November 6th, 2019, 09:39 PM
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

I have climbed up and down many snow covered mountains in many different rzr’s over the years without any issues , Blip your throttle a little when descending
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post #6 of 19 Unread November 7th, 2019, 05:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver View Post
Another possibility is to change the tires. Make the rear tires an inch smaller or the front tires an inch larger. The system would think the rears are slipping, should stay engaged anytime above idle, I think. *Shouldn't* damage the front diff unless you get on dry pavement and still in AWD.

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For my self I wouldn't go that way. It puts too much steady pressure on the diff gears.

For the original question. Never been disappointed..floor it and the awd will stay engage. Just a joke but it works. On the other hand you could wire up the front diff so it can have juice( or in this case a ground has I can remember). I was about to go that way but never took the time to do it. It's easier when you have the wiring diagram. I have the service manual so I've kind took a glimpse at it to make it work.
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post #7 of 19 Unread November 7th, 2019, 06:01 AM
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

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Originally Posted by pete4x4 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver View Post
Another possibility is to change the tires. Make the rear tires an inch smaller or the front tires an inch larger. The system would think the rears are slipping, should stay engaged anytime above idle, I think. *Shouldn't* damage the front diff unless you get on dry pavement and still in AWD.

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For my self I wouldn't go that way. It puts too much steady pressure on the diff gears.

For the original question. Never been disappointed..floor it and the awd will stay engage. Just a joke but it works. On the other hand you could wire up the front diff so it can have juice( or in this case a ground has I can remember). I was about to go that way but never took the time to do it. It's easier when you have the wiring diagram. I have the service manual so I've kind took a glimpse at it to make it work.
That only bypasses the ECU to energize the coil, it doesn't effect the actual engagement of the drive at all. The rear wheels still have to slip. I can build a harness for you to do that if you like.

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Help me get some info in these threads: Tire Height --- Front Diff
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post #8 of 19 Unread November 7th, 2019, 07:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete4x4 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver View Post
Another possibility is to change the tires. Make the rear tires an inch smaller or the front tires an inch larger. The system would think the rears are slipping, should stay engaged anytime above idle, I think. *Shouldn't* damage the front diff unless you get on dry pavement and still in AWD.

Sent from my S9+ using Tapatalk Pro
For my self I wouldn't go that way. It puts too much steady pressure on the diff gears.

For the original question. Never been disappointed..floor it and the awd will stay engage. Just a joke but it works. On the other hand you could wire up the front diff so it can have juice( or in this case a ground has I can remember). I was about to go that way but never took the time to do it. It's easier when you have the wiring diagram. I have the service manual so I've kind took a glimpse at it to make it work.
That only bypasses the ECU to energize the coil, it doesn't effect the actual engagement of the drive at all. The rear wheels still have to slip. I can build a harness for you to do that if you like.
I was on to energize the plate inside that engages the front diff.
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post #9 of 19 Unread November 7th, 2019, 08:01 AM
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

Yes.... thatís all it does, itís a magnetic coil that applies tension to the armature plate so when the rear wheels slip and overdrive the front, the sprauge will rotate and the the rollers will engage the ring gear. If you wire it direct, all youíve done is bypassed the ECU sending a ground to energize the coil when the switch is on


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Help me get some info in these threads: Tire Height --- Front Diff
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post #10 of 19 Unread November 7th, 2019, 08:17 AM
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RWB713 View Post
Yes.... thatís all it does, itís a magnetic coil that applies tension to the armature plate so when the rear wheels slip and overdrive the front, the sprauge will rotate and the the rollers will engage the ring gear. If you wire it direct, all youíve done is bypassed the ECU sending a ground to energize the coil when the switch is on


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Just leave the AWD switch engaged. Much the same, except if you bypass the ECU you can do things like engage the AWD at full throttle and disintegrate the sprague.

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post #11 of 19 Unread November 7th, 2019, 08:23 AM
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

Pete, gotta remember the Polaris AWD system is electrically enabled but mechanically engaged. Unless the rear wheels are slipping it won't engage. Caveat, if there's mechanical damage / malfunction in the front Hilyard diff, it can stay engaged, no matter what you do. Short of pulling the propshaft, anyway.

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post #12 of 19 Unread November 7th, 2019, 11:39 PM
 
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

You also would have no proper braking if it was full time 4x4. If one wheel locked it would lock all wheels through the driveline. Not to mention the steering would be extremely difficult to turn because you no longer have a front differential to allow different wheel speeds while turning. Full time 4x4 with lockers is not all what its cracked up to be.
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Last edited by HONDARACER; November 8th, 2019 at 12:11 AM.
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post #13 of 19 Unread November 9th, 2019, 08:25 PM
 
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

Locking up on snow and locking up on dirt is a whole lot different story. I have a Colorado ZR2 and a Jeep Rubicon and can tell you that being locked up too much in snow is sometimes "not nice" Its a whole different driving scenario. You have to go out and "play" in a safe area to learn the locked up limitations.
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post #14 of 19 Unread November 10th, 2019, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

Hondaracer, I believe you misunderstood what I was stating in my original post. I wasn't talking about having a locker or having permanent full time four wheel drive, I would prefer a four wheel drive system such as my truck or four wheeler have where you push the four wheel drive button and have power going to both front and rear differentials at the same time so that power gets to all four wheels and you do not have to wait for the wheel slip in the rear before the front engages. Not locked at all four corners.

A locker on the front axle can be helpful at times but I can count on one hand how many times I have ever felt the need to lock in the front end of any of my 4wheelers in over 10 years of owning wheelers with that option.
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post #15 of 19 Unread November 10th, 2019, 09:16 AM
 
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Re: Anyone else dissatisfied with Polaris AWD in snow?

As far as I know the rear end is a spool, no diff. The front,I donít know. How you would steer in snow with all wheels spinning. Thats why sleds have skis .
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