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New chains on my 6x6 - break in?

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  • New chains on my 6x6 - break in?

    I replaced the two chains on my '05 Polaris 6x6 today, and after a fair bit of learning I think I've got them dialed in to the desired tension. I don't ride much other than a couple times during hunting season, but I figure I should put a few miles on to make sure things are working well in the weeks to come. Assuming I put ~20 miles on and the chains retain their tension, is there anything I should be particularly mindful of as I go afield this fall? Do the chains stretch to the degree that they need to be tightened in the first 50-100 miles? Any regular pitfalls to be aware of would be much appreciated, as this is the first time I've done this on a machine that I bought used a few years back.

  • #2
    Did you change any sprockets? The main drive sprocket usually
    Wears out first. If you do ever change it I suggest changing to an 11 tooth from the stock 12. It makes a huge difference.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

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    • #3
      Interesting question I just replaced my center chain that broke and took out the sprocket, chain guard and belt, at least it did not hurt the gear box. Some ware I read the chain was pre stretch. If true or not I don't think it's a problem the reason I say that is there is no information saying it need to be tighten in a few miles. My plan is to check it after I get back home or you could bring all the tools and plan on adjusting it in the field.

      One thing I did learn is I will not wait to grease and check out the chains again.

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      • #4
        Nope, I didn't change the sprockets. There appears to be some wear on them, but overall they seem fine to my uneducated eyes. I probably need to get the machine in front of someone who really knows what they're looking at, but for now it's at least functional again.

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        • #5
          They will stretch. Especially the front chain. Always have the tools with you to adjust your chains on those. I always carry a spare set of chains and sprockets when making long trips. And one set of axle bearings and seals. They take a beating on the center axle when loaded heavy and working them hard. Always replace chains and sprockets as sets. Worn sprockets will take a new chain out pretty quick. Service your axle bearing if you havent done so this year.

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          • #6
            Alaska Bearing sells a much heavier duty o-ring chain that's worth the extra money. It's stronger than anything else available and doesn't stretch nearly as much. If you can only afford to do a couple of them I'd at least replace the center and front since they're the most difficult to replace in the field. It's sold by the foot so you only buy what you need. If it were me I'd use it for all four.

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            • #7
              Agree'd on the new sprockets to go with your new chain set. Also I would expect some stretching if even minimal and it just makes good sense to be prepared to adjust it out in the field. For that matter I would think extra chain and master's should be on hand....if something's gonna go south it seems to happen at the worst inopportune time for me anyway.
              I know on the new 6by I bought in 94' the chain guard went bye bye as it just holds crap and debris to shorten the chain life.

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