UTV PROJECT: 2008 RANGER CREW RESTORATION
Bringing new life to an old machine By the staff of Dirt Wheels
There are a number of reasons an old UTV might be left to rot in a shed or a field somewhere. In the case of this 2008 Ranger Crew, it was ignored after a huge loss of power, seats ravaged by the sun and too many rattles to count. Instead of trading the old ride in and waiting months for new inventory to arrive, the owner wanted to keep the machine in service without paying an arm and a leg to do so.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
To get the power back to a usable level, we did the typical service, including changing the oil with Lucas SxS lubricants and changing the oil filter with an OEM replacement. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only fix we needed. It turns out fuel pressure was low and a new fuel-pump/filter assembly was needed. This fix was simple. All Balls Racing sells brand-new, drop-in, replacement fuel-pump assemblies for virtually every UTV out there. The Polaris Ranger pump is $69.95 and drops in the gas tank just like the stock one does.
We immediately felt the power was back. Where the machine could barely muster 25 mph down the trail before, it was hitting 40 after the fuel pump install. That small price got the machine back in service and assured us that the machine was worth a little more investment of time and money to bring the machine back to its former glory.
RATTLES IN MOTION
While working on the tune-up, we tightened up a half-dozen heat-shield fasteners. They were spread out under the seat and along the exhaust pipes heading towards the muffler. With those cinched up, the car is rattle-free while in motion for the first time in years.
Out back we had noticed that the rear axle shaft had a boot that was badly ripped, and the grease inside was completely dried out. For this fix, we called on All Balls Racing once again. We ordered up a complete axle shaft for $146.99. We jacked up the rear of the Ranger, removed the hub and popped the axle out with a couple of yanks. The new assembly slid right in place and worked perfect. Sure, we could have rebuilt the CV joint or just replaced the boot, but saving time and all the hassle were more than worth it.
The interesting thing about this Polaris Ranger is how the original camo hydro-dip process on the hood and wheels turned blue. The plastic hood maintained its shape and integrity, but it just looked strange. The wheels weren’t as bad, so we left them alone. So, for the hood, we ordered a sheet of wrap material from Camo4u (www.camo4u.com). They have nearly 100 different patterns to choose from, so getting something close to what you want or already have is easy. You can get a 4×5-foot sheet for $85. Precut patterns are $200–$400. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the pattern for our vehicle, so we had to cut the pieces ourselves. We will admit, it didn’t end up like “show quality,” but it did do the job. The part that made our install difficult is that the deteriorated, factory-applied hydro-dip material made installing the new wrap a pain. Next time, we will completely sand the old material off before starting the wrap install. However, the wrap material was thick, stuck well and was easy to work with. We are confident that it will stick great to raw plastic or metal.
For the cockpit, we covered up the completely shredded-up stock seats with seat covers from Covers & Camo. This company specializes in seat covers for UTVs, Jeeps and pick-ups. We went for the works on this project, and Covers & Camo delivered an excellent product made out of 600-denier nylon.
After we filled in some missing seat foam, the new covers slipped on perfectly. Multiple buckles and nylon straps behind the seats help cinch the covers on tight. Our covers were built with a Real Tree Xtra Camo fabric in the main sections, then were enhanced with a simulated crocodile skin in the seat area. Not only do the covers serve a dedicated purpose, they are now a conversation starter. The two covers cost $470, plus an additional $156 for the sewn-in Molle pockets that come in super handy. They can be used for carrying tools, guns or snacks, and giving us quick access to other things we will carry around in the Ranger.
TOP IT ALL OFF
Up top we went with a sturdy, thick plastic roof from Moose Utilities. It was shipped in two pieces and mounted easily. It solidly clamps to the stock roll cage in the corners and on the sides as well. Keeping the occupants and some supplies shaded and out of the rain not only makes the work day go by easier, the protection will help the machine last years longer. To finish things off, we installed a Moose Elite Series UTV mirror at $102.95. This is the first product we put on every UTV we drive.
With the price of a new Ranger Crew pushing $25,000 these days, the small investment we made will keep this older unit running well and looking great. In all, we spent around $2000 and put a day’s worth of work into the restoration. It just goes to show you, what’s old can become new again, plus there’s plenty of money left over to take a day off. Enjoy.
ALL BALLS RACING: See your dealer or www.allballsracing.com
CAMO4U: (434) 363-6235, www.camo4u.com
COVERS & CAMO: www.coversandcamo.com
MOOSE UTILITY DIVISION: www.mooseutilities.com