Rebuilding that old dog By the staff of Dirt Wheels

UTVs have certainly come a long way since the original RZR platform was launched well over a decade ago. They are now triple the size and quadruple the horsepower of that little 50-inch-wide 800. However, there are still tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of that original RZR still out there. With a little attention and TLC, that machine can be made mighty again.

Wiseco tells us, “EPI did an amazing job building a clutch specifically for our setup. This custom-tuned care was noticeable when driving and worth the money when you have limited resources and are deciding where to put your money.”


After close to 15 years of use out of the older twin-cylinder, single-cam, pushrod engine, you can expect them to have some power loss as well. So, to help debut its new Garage Buddy RZR engine rebuild kit, Wiseco embarked on a low-cost RZR rebuild to show the positives of rebuilding one of these old dogs.

Under the collar and at the heart of this 2011 RZR S 800 project is the Garage Buddy engine kit. For an incredibly low price of $1199, the kit comes complete with two new pistons, rings, bearing gaskets, rods and a crank all pressed together and ready to install. If you can’t take on a repair like this, you would need to hire a competent mechanic to tear the engine apart and put it together properly. But with the time and money you save sourcing all of these parts at the dealership parts counter, it helps cover that expense. The Garage Buddy RZR S 800 kit comes with +2mm overbore pistons with 10.2:1 compression pistons, so 15 years of power loss will come back on that first trail ride. According to Wiseco, the kit includes Japanese-sourced main bearings and OEM-quality seals, a pair of made-in-USA forged Wiseco piston kits, a complete engine gasket kit, an hour meter, and a packet of Maxima assembly lube.

These kits aim to make restoring power affordable, convenient and reliable. The connecting rods on the crankshaft were engineered in-house at Wiseco, and are forged, heat-treated, and shot-peened for improved tensile strength and reduced stress risers. They also use graded bearings in the rod’s big end, and bronze bushings in the small end for proper clearance, improving performance and longevity. Stock bore sizes are available as well. For this build, Power Seal took care of the cylinder bore, hone and re-plating for an extra $550. The kit doesn’t not come with valve-train components, but those parts have been available from Wiseco for years.

For this kit, a tuner is not necessary, but the Wiseco guys installed a Power Commander race tuner so they could get the most out of a HMF XL Swamp Series full system. To get all that new and retuning power to the ground, an EPI clutch kit was installed as well.

The Garage Buddy kits come with a 90-day from purchase and 10-hour warranty. Oh yes, we forgot to mention that the kit comes with a free hour meter. This is a good touch since the OEM hour meter may not be resettable.

This kit included a complete crankshaft assembly, Japanese-sourced main bearings and OEM-quality seals, a pair of forged Wiseco pistons, rings, wrist pins, a complete engine gasket kit, an hour meter and Maxima assembly lube.


The budget build was more than just about bringing the power back. All four corners were tightened up with new OEM wheel bearings and A-arm bushings. Thanks to Four Forty Powder Coating, the shock’s springs were given a new look. Further out on the corners, new Tusk Cascade wheels and Megabite radial tires got the machine rolling extra smooth. AMR Racing built a custom graphics kit to cover up the old bodywork, as well as show off the new Garage Buddy mascot.

In the cab, DragonFire EVO harnesses and a steering wheel keep the riders in control, as do the upgraded RZR XP 1000 seats. The cage was left stock, but Morimoto light pods and rock lights were installed.

The drop-in crank and rod assembly saves you time or money at a shop. A 90-day warranty also gives you extra peace of mind your motor is done correctly.
During this restoration, they powdercoated the shock springs. We would have changed the shock oil while we had the shocks off as well.
Pistons are available with a 2mm overbore or in a stock bore size. So, depending on the amount of hours your machine has on it and its needs, you are covered.
For the mix of mud, clay and sand riding they do in Ohio, the Megabite tires are a good all-around choice.


The more UTVs on the trail, the better. We know that the Polaris RZR S 800 was a blast to drive in 2011 and would still be fun today. If a budget restoration keeps you active on the trails and enjoying the outdoors, the effort is priceless. Wiseco offers Garage Buddy engine kits for many older and current ATVs, UTVs and dirt bikes, so if you have one in need, give them a visit at www.wiseco.com or buy direct from dealers like
www.denniskirk.com. Tell them the guys at Dirt Wheels Magazine sent you, and we will see you out on the trail.



2mm big-bore pistons: (included in Garage Buddy engine rebuild kit)

Power Seal: www.powersealusa.com 

Cylinder work $550

Dynojet Research: (800) 992-4993, www.dynojet.com

Power Commander race tuner $429.99

Wiseco: (440) 951-6600, www.wiseco.com

Garage Buddy Engine Rebuild Kit P/N PWR223-820B $1,199

Uni Filter: (714) 535-6933, www.unifilter.com

Uni washable air filter $42.95

HMF Racing: (216) 631-6980, www.hmfracing.com 

XL Swamp Series full exhaust $829.95


EPI Performance: www.epiperformance.com

Clutch kit $229.99


A-arms/width: OEM, all-new bushings

Front axles: OEM, replaced wheel bearings

Front shocks/wheel travel: OEM, powdercoated springs (illusion red)


A-arms: OEM, all new bushings

Rear axles: OEM, replaced wheel bearings

Rear shock/wheel travel: OEM – Four Forty Powder Coating powder coated the OEM springs Illusion Red


Rocky Mountain ATV: www.rockymountainatvmc.com, (800) 336-5437

Megabite radial 28×10-14 tires: $149.88 ea.

Tusk Cascade 14×7 4.0 +3.0 wheels $104.99 ea.


DragonFire Racing: (800) 708-9803, www.dragonfireracing.com

Suede D iron series steering wheel $94.99

Quick-release mount $179.99

Shifter knob $34.99

EVO harness seat belts $119.99

Seats: RZR 1000 seats w/ adapter plates 4 Forty Powder Coating: www.facebook.com/Fortypowder/

Powder coating Shock springs (illusion Red) Price varies

AMR Racing: www.amrracing.com

Graphics: A range of options and prices

The Retro Source: www.theretrofitsource.com

Morimoto cube light pod $74.20 ea.

Morimoto Pixel rock lights $25.44 ea.

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