INSIDE LOOK: POWERSPORTS NATION

— Quality used parts for half price —

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

The Powersports Nation front office is clean and well-organized. It is a family-owned business, as well as a busy but organized business.

Our staff has had plenty of experience with salvage yards for our cars, trucks and even motorcycles. Generally, there are rows of stacked machines in various states and conditions. Some allow you to find and remove your own parts, while others have staff that handle those tasks. Generally, parts from these sources look about like something pulled off of junk. We had never been to a salvage business for quads and UTVs, so we weren’t sure what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t what we imagined to see at Powersports Nation (PSN).

An area about the size of a football field stores carefully chosen and coded frames. All have new titles.

The company has a storefront and nice office area despite only a tiny amount of walk-in business. There was a full staff manning screens and dealing with customers. The expected rows of dilapidated and cannibalized machines were not in evidence, either. The vast majority of machines come from dealers, who, thanks to PSN, can offer a modest trade-in price on machines that a dealer could not offer for sale used. When the machines arrive on 48-foot gooseneck flatbeds, they are evaluated by techs. Most are not accident salvage. In some cases the engines check out healthy, and they are tagged for sale as used, but most end up in parts or as cores for PSN’s crate motor division.

This is where the engine and transmission magic happens. Techs in this room bring tired engines and transmissions back to life.

Machines are washed, pulled partially apart and washed again. All the fluids are captured, and then a single tech per machine tears it down. Parts are evaluated and divided in parts for recycling or trash and parts that are viable for sale. In the case of PSN, that means parts that are of good quality (parts deserving a 30-day warranty). What is left of each machine gets loaded onto a rolling cart.

After a thorough inspection, machines end up in this tear-down room to be broken down into salable pieces. Quads still outnumber UTVs at least 10 to 1.

Each and every part is photographed, small parts are bagged and all of the wearable parts (like clutches or bushings) are graded 1 through 5 and given a bar-code sticker. Then the entire machine is stored in a bar-coded cubby. Parts are sold out of that cubby for six months. At the end of that time, all left-over parts valued at less than $50 are discarded.

This is how a complete quad ends up: all of the quality parts settled onto a single cart on its way to be photographed, tagged and coded.

Frames that check out straight and in good shape are set aside for inspection by law enforcement. All frames deemed fit for sale are coded, titled and stored outdoors for sale.

This entire barn is filled with bins that contain a complete machine’s inspected and approved parts. The entire stock of parts rotates every six months.
These are fresh crate engines ready to be packed for shipping. All openings are closed up, and 80 percent of the engines have been tested on a bench. A new oil filter and air filter come with each engine.
Rebuilt engines are heat-shrunk in plastic, then double-bagged in preparation for shipping.

CRATE MOTORS AND TRANSMISSIONS

More and more PSN sells fully rebuilt engines and transmissions rather than used engines. PSN engines have warranties, and we watched a room full of techs building engines and transmissions. The company keeps a number of engines on the shelf and ready to go, but increasingly they use the customer’s engine and/or transmission for a core if possible. If the engine isn’t salvageable, PSN uses a core in stock.

This may be a used part, but this isn’t the way we are used to getting salvage-yard parts.
Foam and plastic are added to the bottom of a three-layer box. The engine is added, covered in plastic and encased in more foam.
The box is shut as the foam expands. The result is a perfectly packed engine ready for shipping.

We witnessed the process and were impressed with the quality of the work. Unfortunately, if you have a brand-new machine, chances are PSN won’t have one parted out. But we walked a warehouse with literally thousands of tested, rated parts for sale, and we saw a large number of 2017-model parts on the website. We were impressed with the quality of the parts and the knowledge of the staff, so we asked about some small parts we needed for 2018 machines. The part numbers cross-referenced, and we went home with the parts. All parts come with at least a 30-day warranty, and all crate engines have a warranty! Contact PSN at (402) 371-7002 or find them at www.powersportsnation.com.

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