THE ULTIMATE RZR PROJECT BUILD
— Making it faster, wider & more fun —
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Every extensive UTV build is an undertaking of multiple magnitudes. We often cover projects that others have put together in their own garages, shops and front yards, so we don’t experience the build process. Every once in a while we take on the task of generating our own projects, and this build was one of our most involved. Polaris RZRs are pretty straightforward in construction, and that simplicity makes working on them somewhat easy. However, working through many learning curves to build one of the most immersive projects we have constructed was fun but hard work. All of that paid off when we unloaded our Polaris, aimed it towards the towering dunes of Dumont, California, and shifted it into drive.
We started with a 2018 Polaris RZR XP Turbo Dynamix two-seater. It is fast and fun in stock trim, but associate editor Collin Duffy wanted something eye-catching, and he knew that we would all learn a great deal building it. He set out to collect parts that enhanced every facet of performance, along with adding some good-time parts that weren’t quite necessary but add fun. The goal for this RZR was to build a rig that was faster, handled very well in multiple types of terrain and was simply enjoyable to drive.
We began by tearing the machine down to just the frame, engine and inner plastic paneling. That meant the cage, doors, seats, suspension, brakes, plastics and much more had to be removed. It took months to rebuild this RZR XP Turbo, working around our busy testing and editorial schedules.
Reliability is very important to us. We have seen engines torn open and beefed up on the inside, which generally leaves them less durable than stock. Instead of messing around with internals, we started off by installing a Boondocker Dominator turbo upgrade kit. The stock Polaris engine can handle a better turbo that works more efficiently. The kit came with a new turbo, aluminum charge tubes and a Dynojet tuner with two tunes—one for 91-octane pump gas and another for race gas. A hardware package and a clutch kit with adjustable magnets and weights, as well as primary and secondary springs, were included. This kit gave our RZR a boost of over 30 horsepower! On top of that, we installed a Boondocker double-down muffler that expels gases quicker than stock.
The stock intake and air filter of a Polaris RZR works well, so we kept it on the machine. We eased its job by installing an S&B Particle Separator that sucks in dirt and air, spins the dirt out and allows much cleaner air to enter the intake.
SUSPENSION IS SET
The next step after engine upgrades was to work on installing the suspension. Our LoneStar Racing (LSR) MTS +3.5 suspension kit is one of the crowning jewels of this build, but it wouldn’t work nearly as well on stock shocks as it does with an Elka Stage 5 package. LSR offers multiple kits for UTVs that increase strength and enhance performance of your machine. The MTS kit gave our Polaris a much wider footprint with trailing arms that add rearward rake to increase high-speed stability.
The first generation of Polaris; Dynamix Fox Live Valve shocks performed as promised, but they are not as adjustable as Collin wanted them to be. The machine is piloted in the dunes and the desert, where terrain changes and so do the requirements of the shocks. Elka offers many different shock setups for the RZR, and we got our hands on their top dogs, the Stage 5s. These shocks are piggyback reservoir 2.5-inchers in the front. The rears are 3.0-inchers with remote reservoirs. Larger shock bodies allow more oil volume, which translates to better performance and cooler operating temps. They all come with high- and low-speed compression, rebound and spring preload adjustments with a dual-rate spring setup.
The springs were chosen based upon the type of terrain we drive in, and so was the valving. Elka also asks what suspension would be utilized to make sure we received the correct length and setup for it.
When we installed the new suspension, we mounted up new rotors, brake pads and lines from Galfer USA. The new lines are longer to accommodate the wider suspension setup. Galfer’s rotors are wave types, which help dissipate heat easier and cause less brake fade. The new brake pads are sintered, which offer strong braking, great heat-fade recovery and are less damaging to the rotors under constant heavy braking. Finally, we could install our System 3 SB-3 beadlock wheels and 32-inch RT320 tires, and lower the RZR back on all fours before bolting the protective Tusk 3/8th Quiet-Glide skid plate underneath.
The time-consuming part of building this machine wasn’t having to take parts off and put them back on multiple times, or making adjustments for proper fitment. It was the ensemble of electrical components and wiring installations that went into the build. Fortunately, with the help of a few buddies and some wiring lifesavers from XTC Power Products, we got it done.
We started by installing a Rockford Fosgate Stage 3 sound system. This involved taking apart the whole dash and moving the computer that controlled the old shocks to a new location. The kit came with an in-dash-mounted 10-inch subwoofer, speaker pods that mount by your feet, a head unit, amplifiers, and the included wiring and hardware.
We then installed a plug & play four-switch power control system and radio intercom plug & play wire harness from XTC Power Products. These kits bypass most of the wiring headaches we would have had and were extremely easy to install. They sent us switches with symbols that matched the products we planned to install, so all we had to do was run the wiring from the separate products to a terminal box.
With the dash sealed back up, we could add a below-dash mount to our Rugged Radios RRP660 two-person system with a RM-60-watt radio. In-car and out-of-car communications are very helpful, and Rugged Radios offers many different options to choose from. This setup comes with push-to-talk buttons, helmet wiring kits, a Bluetooth module (allows you to pair your phone or music listening device to hear music in your helmet or answer phone calls and more) and a radio.
In order to install some of our electrical upgrades, we needed to mount our impressive CageWrx roll cage. This cage can be ordered raw and in pieces for you to weld and get painted, or they can do it for you at a higher cost. It is built with intrusion bars for a much stronger and safer construction over stock, but it does add some unavoidable weight to the build. We ordered their rear bumper that tied into the cage.
Rugged Radios offers an M3 two-person Big Boss helmet pumper pack that includes a filtered-air pumper, Mac-X pumper hoses, a control unit, and the proper wiring and mounting pieces. The pumper was mounted to the roll cage, along with Rugged’s hose holders, and the control unit found its home in the cockpit.
The S&B particle separator was mounted to the cage, along with a set of Buggy Whip 4-foot blue lighted whips. Power was ran to the whips and separator from the XTC switch kit. Next, we installed an impressive LED light bar from Baja Designs to the front of the CageWrx cage, right above the dash. Most light bars are mounted to the roof of UTVs, while pod lights are installed on A-pillar mounts. We decided to stick with a streamlined look for the machine while still enhancing our night vision with the light bar closer to eye level. It was wired to our XTC switch kit.
A Baja Designs dome light was the last electrical install on the cage. We picked up blue BD rock lights and placed each in a wheel well of the RZR. This helps while running technical trails at night and gave the RZR a cool look in the dunes. Baja’s stock replacement Pro headlight kit was the final light upgrade to the Polaris.
KEEP IT COMING
The difficult parts were done, so we could focus on buttoning the project up. We mounted a set of Simpson Pro Sport wide seats and 2-inch H-style harnesses in the cockpit. UTV Inc. shipped over their expertly crafted RZR XP doors that have steel frames with aluminum door shells. After installing Assualt’s passenger grab handle, Ballistic D steering wheel, Hellfire shift knob and B2 Bomber side mirrors, we focused on the outside of the rig. We ditched the stock fenders and mounted up Maier’s wide body kit and their X17 hood to add style points! A CageWrx front bumper and an Assault Ind. Hellfire V2 front grill rounded out the front end.
The final piece to our Polaris puzzle came in a purposefully simple but stylish color scheme from One11 Ink in Valencia, California. One11 wrapped all of the black parts in white, added decals and lined out the aggressive angles of the RZR in a brilliant purple striping.
TIME TO PLAY!
A goal of this build was to have a machine that was seamless in enjoyment. Collin wanted to be able to climb in the car with a friend, crank the Rockford Fosgate sound system, fire up the comms and go play. Everything involved provides comfort. The Simpson seats are plush, and the harnesses hold you snugly in place. The Rugged Radios helmet pumper system provides cool, fresh air in your helmet that also cuts down on a fogged-up visor. Talking to your passenger without having to yell is awesome, and the Rugged RM-60 radio let us reach out to other rigs in our group. The Assault Ind. D-shaped steering wheel has a great feel and helps out with ingress and egress from the cab.
The combination of Elka shocks and long-travel LoneStar Racing MTS kit took the Polaris RZR XP Turbo Dynamix ride to a whole new level of stability and smoothness. We realized that transforming a RZR XP Turbo would have been a smarter move since the Dynamix system works quite well already, and know there is a RZR XP Turbo S that has the same width as the LSR kit. However, the LSR control arms and trailing arms are brilliantly constructed and stronger than the stock Turbo S parts. The additional horsepower and performance of the BoonDocker Dominator kit require upgraded suspension performance and certainly stronger stopping power than the Galfer USA steel-braided brake lines and wave rotors provided.
We switched between STI sand tires and HD9 wide wheels for the dunes to System 3 desert tires and beadlock wheels. The STI Sand Drifters worked wonderfully in the sand. The fronts had a lot of bite while cornering, and the rears offered good traction. We could do with a few less paddles on the rears to turn the tires easier. The System 3 RT320 32-inch-tall tires ruled in the hardpack and rocks of the desert. They slide controllably and have great bite. Go to page 68 for a full test!
This build turned out to be a blast to pilot in any terrain. It cocoons the driver, keeps him connected and in touch in comfort and safety. Add the fact that the car turns heads everywhere we drove it, and it adds up to success. The wheels in Collin’s head are already turning, and another project is in the works!
ASSAULT IND.: www.assaultind.com, (714) 799-6711
Grab handlebar $189.99
Hellfire V2 front grill $149.99
B2 Bomber side mirrors $299.99
Push-to-talk communications plate $29.99
Steering wheel hub $64.99
Ballistic D steering wheel $139.99
3-piece aluminum gas cap $89.99
Hellfire shift knob $64.99
Striker iPad enclosure $149.99
BAJA DESIGNS: www.bajadesigns.com, (800) 422-5292
RZR XP 1000/RS1 headlight kit Pro $984.95
40-inch S8 LED light bar, driving/combo $1,079.95
Rock lights in blue $64.95 each. Dome light $74.95
BOONDOCKER: www.boondockers.com, (208) 542-4411
Dominator kit $2,995
Double down muffler $549
BUGGY WHIP INC.: www.buggywhip.com, (760) 789-3230
4-foot blue whips $199 each
SYSTEM 3: www.system3offroad.com
SB-3 15×7 beadlock wheel $181.99 each
RT320 tire $239.99 each
S&B FILTERS: www.sbfilters.com, (800) 358-2639
Particle separator $399
CAGEWRX: www.cagewrx.com, (951) 223-9118
RZR XP 1000 sport cage assembled, powder coated $2,199.99
Added rear bumper $299.99
RZR XP front bumper assembled $339.99
ELKA SUSPENSION: (800) 557-0552, www.elkasuspension.com
Stage 5 2.5” front shocks $1999.99 a pair
Stage 5 3.0” rear shocks $2,799.98 a pair
GALFER USA: www.galferusa.com, (805) 988-2900
Front wave rotor $137 each
Rear wave rotor $137 each
Front HH sintered pads $66.36 each
Rear HH sintered pads $38.40 each
Brake line kit $170
LONESTAR RACING: www.lsracing.com, (480) 834-2990
MTS +3.5 suspension kit $4,205
MAIER MFG: www.maier-mfg.com, (800) 336-2437
RZR X17 hood $199.36
Wide body kit $859.98
ONE11 INK: www.one11ink.com, (661) 295-9882
Custom wrap N/A
SAFECRAFT: www.safecraft.com, (800) 400-2259
PB3 quick release extinguisher $259
SIMPSON SEATS: (800) 654-7223, www.simpsonracingproducts.com
Pro Sport wide seat $579.95 each
ROCKFORD FOSGATE: www.rockfordfosgate.com, (800) 669-9899
RZR Stage3 kit $1739.99
RUGGED RADIOS: www.ruggedradios.com, (805) 541-1696
RZR below-dash mount $45
RRP660 2-person system w/ RM-60-watt radio & helmet kits $1,228
M3 2-person Big Boss helmet pumper pack $456
Hose hanger $19 each
Bar mount $30 each
STI WHEEL AND TIRE: www.stipowersports.com
HD9 Comp Lock sand:
Front 14×8 $164.20 each
Rear 14×10 $176.63 each
Sand Drifters 30-inch:
Front $155.62 each
Rear $198.56 each
TUSK: www.rockymountainatvmc.com, (800) 336-5437
3/8” Quiet-Glide skid plate $549.99
UTV INC.: www.utvinc.com, (480) 718-5511
RZR XP doors $726
XTC POWER PRODUCTS: www.xtcpowerproducts.com
Plug & play 4-switch power control system $329
Radio Intercom plug & play wire harness $149.95