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Thread: Chaining up a 6x6?

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    Default Chaining up a 6x6?

    Anyone ever chain up a 6x6?
    Specifically, if you just have one set of chains, does it matter much if you put them on the center set of wheels or the rear?

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    I have a 2010 Ranger 6X6 and have chained up the front, with no problems and chained up the rears with no problems. If you're concerned about steering traction I'd chain up the fronts. Typically the rears on a 6X6 are always locked no matter what setting your drive system is in, and given that the Polaris AWD system is a limited slip system if you were gonna pick between rear or center I'd pick rear they always have power with no slip.

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    Is it a 6 wheeler or ranger 6x6? The ranger up thru '09 will do better to chain the rear tires. The 6 wheeler up thru '08 could go either way. A friend likes to chain his middle tires but the bulk of the weight is carried by the rear axle. I only put chains on the front of a rig if the rear is already chained up and I still need more traction.

    1S1K- When did polaris go limited slip? Their differentials have always been locked when engaged.

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    This from a 1999 Sportsman 500 Owner's Manual. Exclusive Demand 4 Drive System (AllWheel Drive)
    This Polaris AWD is equipped with aunique, Polaris exclusive, Demand 4Drive(AWD) system which is activated by aswitch on the right handlebar. When theswitch is “off” the 4x4 is in 2 wheel drive atall times. When the switch is “on” the 4x4is in Demand 4 Drive and the front wheelswill automatically engage anytime the rearwheels lose traction. When the rear
    wheels regain traction, the front wheels will automatically disengage. NOTE:
    CAUTION:

    The override switch also allows activationof Demand 4 Drive (AWD) in reverse, if Demand 4 Drive switch is on.There is no limit to the length of time the vehicle may remain in Demand 4 Drive.The Demand 4 Drive switch may be turned on or off while the vehicle is moving. If the switch is turned off when thefront hubs are driving they will not release until the rear wheels regain traction.
    Do not switch on Demand 4 Drive if the rear wheels are spinning. This may cause severe driv



    My usage of "Limited Slip" is probably not a technical term nor what Polaris would call it, but the Polaris AWD system is not a "Locked" system nor does it have the ability to "lock" like an AC "Diff Lock." As I understand it, when an AC is in "Diff Lock" there is zero slip, the tires are "locked" and power is being applied. As I understand it, the Polaris AWD system has to have the rear wheels (which are always locked) loose traction, which IMO is a fancy way of saying "limited slip" before power is engaged to the front tires. I have only owned Polaris and I can tell you that the "slip" is not even noticeable, unlike the "slip" that you might feel in a truck with AWD. Also, the reason why I think Polaris chooses to describe its system using words like "loose traction" vs. "limited slip" because most riders are familiar with the "limited slip" in their truck and don't want that in a wheeler.

    I can only speak for the 2010 or newer Ranger 6X6, but when the AWD button is in 2WD, three wheels are locked at all times (rear and one of the centers) so on a 6X6 you at a minum have three wheels locked. In the middle position, the center and rear wheels are "locked", but only in the sense of when the original 3 loose traction the 4th wheel engages. In the AWD position, power is applied to all six tires when the original 3 (rear and one center) loose traction. I'm no expert. This is my understanding of the system and from my experience seems to be pretty accurate. However, if there is a gear head out there who can provide info. I'm sure others are interested in an explanation.



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    This regarding the 2010 RAnger 6X6 AWD system.

    Drivetrain / Traction


    The new engine is mated to a CVT transmission with six-wheel shaft drive. The all-wheel-drive, “On-Demand” Polaris system electronically monitors all three sets of wheels and seamlessly transfers power back & forth if any are losing traction -- a 6x6 will continue moving forward even when the four rear wheels are slipping. There's a wrinkle in the traction control system that allows the wheels to slip more than usual in certain situations so it can "paddle" its way out of deep snow and mud. A Hilliard front differential offers “locked” front-wheel drive, yet allows one tire to rotate faster and still put power to the ground. It’s the best traction system available.
    If you’re buying a 6x6, my guess is that you’ll be doing a little white-knuckle riding at some point anyway. Getting stuck in mud or snow in a 6x6 would be virtually impossible, and Polaris contends the six-wheel-drive system is "perhaps the most advanced ever offered in an off-road vehicle.” The all-wheel drive system is "on demand" and kicks in when the 6x6 starts to slip and slide. It was flawless for the entire test period, and we found the rear would barely break free before the fronts clawed for grip. Selecting the rocker switch on the dash is the only “demand” it makes on you.

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    The term limited slip in a truck refers to something taking place in one axle from tire to tire. When one tire slips it engages the tire on the other end of the differential. Polaris On Demand system is referring to an axle to axle effect. When the rear tires slip it engages the front axle/tires. It used to say in the books that it took the old chain drive rigs a 1/4 turn in the rear tires to engage the front axle. The new stuff may be quicker, but I haven't measured it.

    You have the rear axles mixed up in when and how they work. When the switch is down or off, as far as the fewest tires receiving power, the middle tires are locked and both turn while the rear is only sending power to one tire at a time. When switched to the middle position the rear diff locks and all 4 rear tires turn. It actually locks and you can see the solenoid on the rear axle that actuates the locker. In the switch up position it sends power to the front diff and powers a magnetic coil. When the rear tires start to slip it engages and locks the front diff. The way it senses the slip is the front driveshaft is turning with the rear axles and when it turns and the front tires/diff turns at a slower rate the mechanism in the front diff locks and both front tires have power.

    I don't know where you got that article in your second post but they are wrong about having one front tire rotate faster than the other. All three diffs are locked solid when the switch is in the up position. There is no traction control system that electronically monitors the drivetrain. They make it sound like it is one of the new cars with all the fancy traction control stuff. This system is purely mechanical and the only electric part is the locker solenoid in the rear diff and the magnetic coil to actuate the locker in the front diff. No computers monitoring anything.

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    Sounds good to me. I turn the key, put gas in it and go. But, can we agree that the Polaris AWD system when it is "Locked" is NOT the same as, lets say, an Artic Cat when it is put in "Diff Lock."

    Also to the OP, sorry to hijack the thread, but in our defense, you would want to put chains on the tires that are "locked" the most and like I mentioned I've had them on the front and rears (which apparently I should have them on the centers).

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    No problem.... This is a 2002 Sportsman 6x6. The reason I asked is because I assumed that the center axle (the forward-most axle of the two rear axles) bears the most weight, and therefore would be the one to chain up. However I have clearance issues because of other equipment I added, so was curious if I would do just as well to chain up the rear-most axle.

    In other words, do the two rear axles carry the same percentage of the weight of the machine? It just seems, I don't know why, that the rear-most one might bear less than the center axle.

    I have mud tires on the front (steering) wheels and do not plan on chaining them up.
    Last edited by HarryHyde; 06-13-2012 at 09:11. Reason: Add year model

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    Harry- Perfectly fine to chain the rears on the 6 wheeler. For the box to hold up to 800 pounds polaris put a hurky spring on the rear axle to carry most of the weight. To maintain a good ride they put a lighter duty one on the mid axle. Since it is a chain drive rig the rear two axles are literally solid.


    Quote Originally Posted by 1S1K View Post
    Sounds good to me. I turn the key, put gas in it and go. But, can we agree that the Polaris AWD system when it is "Locked" is NOT the same as, lets say, an Artic Cat when it is put in "Diff Lock."

    Also to the OP, sorry to hijack the thread, but in our defense, you would want to put chains on the tires that are "locked" the most and like I mentioned I've had them on the front and rears (which apparently I should have them on the centers).
    Yeah we agree that the polaris system is unique and in general very different from the rest of the pack. Hopefully I described it so it was understandable. The true 4 or 6 wheel drive of the polaris rigs is why I have always gravitated toward them. I get real frustrated riding a 3 wheeled wonder. Any offroad rig should be true all wheel drive. That's why the truck we built a while back had lockers front and back. Fortunately the rest of the pack is finally coming around with their diff locks and other variations to get all tires under power.

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    Thanks mod. Will do.

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