Published on January 15th, 2014 | by Joe0
Polaris RZR XP 900 Adventure Car, UTV Project: with VIDEO
improving performance, safety, and comfort for all day adventure rides.
The Polaris 900 is arguably one of the most versatile off road machines ever produced. It works so well in so many types of terrain, for so many different types of off-road interests. We wanted to dial ours in for adventure off road recreation. Don’t take that as putting along trails, we want to go fast in tuff terrain, The RZR excels in these conditions, but we wanted to make it better, safer and more comfortable to travel at extreme speeds.
We wanted a race style roll cage making a mistake is inevitable at the speeds we like to cover terrain, so a serious roll cage is in order, we went with Pro Armor Asylum Cage. We used Pro Armor for most of our bolt on accessories, Pro Armor is a leader in the UTV market with a wide range of products for UTV’s give their web site a visit. The Pro-Armor Asylum cage is tough, easy to bolt on and looks way nicer than the stock cage. The roll cage wraps all the way the back of the car tying into the rear rod plate. It offers a lot of strength and security to the back of the car. Along with significantly better coverage to the driver and passenger. No reason to bake in the sun on our excursions, and you really want a good lid in case of a roll over.
A roof was also in order so we added the Pro Armor Asylum roof. It’s constructed of aluminum, bolts on very easily, is race legal, high quality + it looks cool.
We added the Pro Armor doors, they tie into the cage well although you could run the cage without doors, again sliding around corners at break neck speeds adding doors is prudent. The Pro Armor doors are race legal for most organizations, some require a secondary latch and that’s easy to add. The doors are available with either the aluminum panels as we chose or mesh webbing.
Pro Armor offers 3” 4 or 5 point Safety Harnesses. They are available in three colors, we chose black. The 5th point comes from under the seat through the crotch area, most race organizations require the 5th point, we just don’t run it. We didn’t feel the need in a recreational car, the harnesses have you so strapped in you really feel secure. The Pro Armor harness is wide and with the padding, very comfortable, it also has a couple of pockets that are real handy. We keep an LED Flashlight in both Driver and Co Driver pockets, and there are still two morepockets to use.
We wanted not only safety but protection for the car itself so we added the Pro Armor front bumper so we could slam our way through anything or anybody that somehow got in front of us. The Pro armor bumpers are aluminum keeping the weight to a minimum while still offering durability. The bumpers are offered in black or brushed aluminum, and in several styles. We chose the Ultra in black it has tabs welded to it making it a piece of cake to mount lights.
Add On Cool Stuff
We went to Rugged Radio for their RZR kit. The RZR660 kit is the way to go. It offers a mount made specifically for the XP that holds a Radio and intercom set up. The Radio is for car to car or car to camp communication, the intercom is so you can talk to the passenger. The intercom is voice activated, so no button to push, when talking car to car you need to activate a button to open the microphone. You can purchase either the radio or the intercom separately, but having both with a few cars that also have them is really cool. The Radio puts out 50 watts, so in most conditions its good for several miles, it flat areas over 10 miles is normal.
We slipped a Horn in. Loud air/electric horns can be purchased on E-bay, Harbor Freight, and auto parts stores and so forth cheaply. We grabbed some from Harbor Freight, the plastic trumpets on ours were loose so we pulled it apart and super glued it back together.
We slipped a Fuse panel under the hood, we pulled 8 gage wire from the battery up to the block. This is a much cleaner and safer way to run electrical accessories, than running individual wires back to the battery. We used 8 gauge wire for stereo systems, it is much higher quality than normal electrical 8 gage contactor quality wire. For wire connections we don’t solder them for off road stuff, we find the wire tends to break at the end of the solder point. We slip heat shrink tubing over the wire, crimp the connections with a good set of crimps and then slip the heat shrink tubing over and heat.
A rear view mirror is essential for off-road trails, Pure Polaris offers a multi view mirror that clips onto the stock cage and it worked just as well on the Pro Armor cage.
Ruger 10-22 break down. You need to be responsible for yourself in all situations and having a catastrophic problem with a mechanical piece of equipment is always a possibility. We travel up to 60 miles from our camp, in areas with no cell reception. That would be a long walk. So being able to hike out safely and possibly needing to protect yourself or feed yourself in the outdoors is a reality. The Ruger 10-22 take down is a cool addition it comes with a very nice pack that holds the Ruger along with a couple of pockets that can hold ammo along with room for other things. The pack lays perfectly stood upright between the XP seats. We picked up a Tusk Cab storage pack it hangs from the roll cage and drops down between the seats. It’s a very handy pack to hold stuff and it covers the 10-22 pack and lock it into place and hides it.
Tusk map carrier. Tusk offers lots of cool RZR packs and the Map carrier is a great addition, it straps onto the Pro Armor doors holds maps and other essentials. We also installed some Pro Armor knee pads to protect your legs from slamming into the doors, and they not only add protection, but pockets to carry a few things.
We finished the car in this configuration, and have put several hundred miles on it in rough rugged terrain throughout the Sierras and the High Desert. We’re happy with the add-ons and have come up with a list of upgrades that are still needed. We’ve destroyed the bottom skid, bent an A-arm and radius rod, Found the stock suspension was not cutting it with the added weight and fast speeds we like to travel at. so we’ve worked out more upgrades necessary to do what we do with the car.
Second Stage Upgrades
The RZR 900 with the mods we’ve has served us well, the RZR has never failed to get us back to camp, but with over 1200 miles under our belt in the 900 we found some room for improvement. We’d pounded the skid plate off the car, bent a lower A-Arm, and bent a radius rod. We found with the aggressive type of terrain we like to cover at fast speeds, adding ground clearance would serve us well, along with refining the drivers compartment and suspension.
The first step to enhanced ground clearance e was adding Teixeira Tech lower A-arms. We didn’t want to add width so there was no need for a set, the stock uppers are fine we just went after their Gull wing style of A-arm. Teixeira builds extremely high quality stuff as we’ve experienced in some of our previous quad builds. The A-arms were a piece of cake to bolt up, fit and finish excellent. The arms are made of chromoly steel, so not only do they offer ground clearance they are significantly stronger than stock. We also added a high clearance Teixeira radius rod, it’s no longer a radius rod but a radius arm, they call it the XGC Radius Rod. This arm is also made of chromoly steel, it is not only boxed in it actually has a center plate welded into place to make it indestructible. It offers significantly more ground clearance where you need it.
We changed the tires to GBC Mongrel 28” tires, We went with the same size all the way around, this is a common practice for Racing RZR’s and works extremely well for Off Road. The Mongrels are aggressive, flat resistant, and a very good handling tire. We clamped them to a set of OMF Performance NXG Beadlock wheels. The wheels we chose were a 14×7, the NXG’s have a billet center, making them a very strong wheel. Beadlocks are the way to go for serious off road. If you cut a tire so bad that it can’t be plugged you can go pretty well with it. We recently hit a steel pole with our prior set of tires and beadlocks so hard it put a huge cut in the tire. We ran over 40 miles on the flat with speeds up to 60 miles an hour. The tire was shredded but there was enough there to get us back and the wheel wasn’t damaged.
Another addition to the car was seats, when you spend hours in the car covering more than 100 miles a day, comfort is important. We added a set of Pro Armor seats, they are significantly more comfortable than the stock seats. They offer more lumbar support, raise your thighs up slightly, giving support and actually offering a little more leg room. They bolt to the stock seat bases so they are still adjustable and easy to remove just as the stock seats are. Pro Armor offers an amazing array of colors and piping choices, to match the color combination and styling of your car.
With the additions to the car, it has gained some weight, and we drive it possibly harder that intended stock, so we found we were exceeding the limits of the stock shocks on a regular basis. We upgraded to a set of Elka shocks. The Elka’s cured our bottoming issues, and offer a lot of tuning adjustment, including ride height, high speed and low speed damping adjustment along with re-bound adjustment. In all this allows you to get a plush ride, and not bottom. With the Elkas clamped on were able to get back to running at race speeds, with no issues.
We’ve added a lot of nice parts to the car, personalized it for what we use it for. If you do adventure trails this is a great buyers guide, every part we’ve added works as intended. We have a secure stable handling car that lets you over drive it, and it covers up your mistakes. It allows you to cover amazing trails in a short amount of time, and gets you back with no issues. If you drive the car at it’s intended pace you could get away with less safety stuff, but we have a lot of fun driving hard, if you do that get some good protection around you like we’ve done here.
|Elka Suspension||Stage 4 Shocks||$1240 Per Pair|
|GBC Motorsports||Kanati Mongrel AT28x10-14||$183.77 Each|
|OMF Performance||NX G1 Beadlock Wheels 14×7||$379.95 Each|
|Pro Armor||Asylum RZR XP 900 Roll Cage||$1,700|
|Asylum RZR XP 900 Roll Cage Roof||$350|
|RZR Doors, w/Sheet Metal, w/Cutouts||$649.95 Set|
|Ultra Aluminum Front Bumper, Black||$649.95|
|UHMW Full Chassis Skid Plate||$434.95|
|Trailing Arm Armor||$199.95|
|Knee Pad Set||$99.95|
|5 Point, 3 inch Harnesses||$134.95 Each|
|XL Sniper Seat, Black with Blue Piping||$399.95 Each|
|Steering Wheel Hub||$49.95|
|Rugged Radios||RZR 660 In-Car Communications System||$1,245|
|Teixeira Tech||X-Tream Ground Clearance A-Arms||$335|
|X-Tream Ground Clearance Racius Rods||$425|