How To Maintain, Repair, And Replace Your Polaris RZR Differentials

Jan 14th 2021

In the powersports world, you’ve gotta pay to play. And with a Polaris RZR, it seems like the harder you play, the more you must pay. However, regarding Polaris RZR differentials, you can save money in the long run by paying upfront for aftermarket Polaris RZR differentials. Investing incrementally by changing your differential fluid and conducting periodic diff rebuilds where needed will also save you big time in the long run. So whether you’re looking to maintain your Polaris RZR 4 differentials, repair a damaged front or rear Polaris RZR differential, or replace your Polaris RZR differentials completely with upgraded options, spend more time riding and reduce your rig's downtime due to differential issues by heeding the advice of the off-road experts at Everything Polaris RZR!

Checking And Changing Your Polaris RZR Differential Fluids

You don’t have to be mud riding to accidently get water inside your Polaris RZR differentials. And if your breather tube isn’t mounted facing downward, something as innocuous as washing your Polaris RZR could push water inside the differentials. A stopped up or punctured differential vent line can also allow moisture infiltration, which makes the periodic checking of your differential fluid a necessary and important thing to do.

If you check the Polaris RZR service manual, you’ll see that the differential fluids are meant to be changed every 100 hours or 1000 miles. For peace of mind, however, many RZR owners choose to change their machine’s differential and transmission fluid every 50 hours or 500 miles -- the same as the engine oil. How you use your UTV will also affect the wear on your differentials, and if you find yourself riding through mud and water, the periods in which you should check your differentials and change the differential fluid must be shortened. If there are leaks in the differential seals and your differential fluid is milky, rectifying the issues immediately will prevent costly repairs down the line.   

Fixing Damaged And Sloppy Polaris Ranger Differentials

Although it might be true that the cups in the front differentials of the Polaris RZR are designed poorly, if you ride with slop in your axles and differentials, things are most definitely going to get worse. While your Polaris RZR differentials should have a small amount of play, they shouldn’t be sloppy in the way a bad wheel bearing is. So if you’re wanting to rebuild your front Polaris RZR differentials to eliminate slop, or if you need to replace your rear Polaris RZR differentials because they’re completely shot, there are many options at one’s disposal other than replacement factory Polaris RZR differentials.

Direct differential swaps may be possible between RZR editions, but not all RZR differentials are compatible with all RZR models. The 2020 Polaris RZR Trail and Rock edition, for example, has RZR Turbo front diffs and axles in them from the factory, but the gear ratio between the two machines is different, which makes direct differential swaps from one model to the other quite difficult. Similarly, you couldn’t swap an RS1 differential into the former machine because the RS1 has both different gearing as well as a turbo transmission. A 2020 Trail and Rock RZR has the same differential case as an XP turbo, but the ring and pinion aren't the same.

Instead of doing direct differential swaps, your best bet might just be to upgrade the parts inside your current differential case. If you’re mechanically inclined, a front differential rebuild for the Polaris RZR isn’t too difficult. It could be that your ring and pinion are fine, and you simply broke the differential sprague or cage. But if your diffs are messed up to the extent that a Polaris RZR differential rebuild kit won’t work, then set of aftermarket Polaris RZR differentials could be what you need.

Aftermarket Polaris RZR Differentials 

Companies such as SuperATV make great replacement differentials for the Polaris RZR, while front drive systems by firms like Hillard provide semi-locking differentials for on-demand 4WD. And with everything from Polaris RZR differential gear cases, seal kits, and armature plates to differential roll cage spragues, roller kits, and differential bearing replacements for the Polaris RZR, Everything Polaris RZR is also a great place where folks can go to find Polaris RZR differentials and differential-related products!