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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know of myself, and 3 others who all broke this bolt and messed up their chaincases, chain, and cover all within the same week. All are in the shop for repair now, (ranging from 2004-2005 model years), Was there ever a reason, or a fix for this?? I told Harry in Walden to replace the bolt with an American made grade 8 for my own piece of mind, although Im uncertain that this was WHY the bolt broke anyways. He did say that my bolt broke about 1/4 inch into the thread, probably within the sheath of the sprocket.
 

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I wonder how many guys actually use a torque wrench on this bolt. Peace,beeler
 

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I keep hearing "don't torque the fastener any more than you have to" from numerous posters on this board. I am not bashing you michahicks, because I have read many of your posts and got a lot of very useful information out of them. I am not an experienced sled mechanic. However I have spend a lot of time in my garage building Chevy engines, and paying close attention to torque for bolts.

Without question when a bolt breaks or comes loose the answer is TORQUE IT RIGHT - not torque it less, not torque it more, but torque it right. Using a torque wrench to tighten a bolt is damn near a science. There are so many variables that can change the pre-load it is ridiculous. For instance: ARP bolts says to torque and loosen each bolt FIVE TIMES before final torque is applied to reduce thread friction. ARP bolts specifies the use of a specific lube not just on the threads but also under the head to take bolt to washer friction out of the occasion. This is a HIGHLY stressed bolt (obviously), and just like rod bolts or head bolts there should be a very specific procedure.

For those that say torque the bolt less I would ask you to do some reading:

http://www.kimballmidwest.com/Catalog/Mark...w%20Failure.pdf

http://www.arp-bolts.com/Tech/T0_FastenerE..._08_FastenerEng

Under torque a cap screw and the bolt streches EVERY time the force exceeds the pre-load. Eventually that bolt breaks just like taking a piece of steel and bending it back and forth with break it. Overtorqueing the bolt will also cause it to fail. Neither of these statements is my opinion - it is what every person who is an expert in fasteners that I have ever read has stated. The Kimball link above has a short and very easily explained article that describes this.

Until we get someone who knows what they are doing to analyze the bolts that have failed we will not know whether over torque, under torque, or simple under sized bolt is the real cause. Either way it is pretty obvious that Polaris royally screwed this up by using a bolt that is simply too small for the load placed on it.

Again, not a bash, hopefully just giving people some info and locations of where to look to learn a little bit more about a subject that seems very simple, but isn't.
 

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I've had good luck cleaning the threads very well using brake cleaner, a pick and a brush. I reinstall the bolt with red loctite (sorry michahicks!) using a torque wrench and hitting the head of the bolt with a propane torch for 5-10 seconds. I let it sit overnight, and fill it the next day.

5300 miles so far and no problems. I do this procedure twice a year when I change tracks to go out west.
 

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THE ORIGINAL BOLT IS A GRADE 8 BOLT, yes I was yelling that.
 

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Torque'd correctly and red locktite is good advice IMO.

I have mechanical reverse and did the 3/8 upgrade for the hell of it.

I feel there are three scenerio's for failure.

1. Factory applied thread locker is inadequate and damage can occur when bolt backs out.

or 2. re-installed bolt installed same manner as number 1. above (gear change, driveshaft service, track change etc.)

or 3. re-installed bolt over torqued and then breaks causing damage when gears move off.



If the correct bolt is installed correctly there should be no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I keep hearing "don't torque the fastener any more than you have to" from numerous posters on this board. I am not bashing you michahicks, because I have read many of your posts and got a lot of very useful information out of them. I am not an experienced sled mechanic. However I have spend a lot of time in my garage building Chevy engines, and paying close attention to torque for bolts.

Without question when a bolt breaks or comes loose the answer is TORQUE IT RIGHT - not torque it less, not torque it more, but torque it right. Using a torque wrench to tighten a bolt is damn near a science. There are so many variables that can change the pre-load it is ridiculous. For instance: ARP bolts says to torque and loosen each bolt FIVE TIMES before final torque is applied to reduce thread friction. ARP bolts specifies the use of a specific lube not just on the threads but also under the head to take bolt to washer friction out of the occasion. This is a HIGHLY stressed bolt (obviously), and just like rod bolts or head bolts there should be a very specific procedure.

For those that say torque the bolt less I would ask you to do some reading:

http://www.kimballmidwest.com/Catalog/Mark...w%20Failure.pdf

http://www.arp-bolts.com/Tech/T0_FastenerE..._08_FastenerEng

Under torque a cap screw and the bolt streches EVERY time the force exceeds the pre-load. Eventually that bolt breaks just like taking a piece of steel and bending it back and forth with break it. Overtorqueing the bolt will also cause it to fail. Neither of these statements is my opinion - it is what every person who is an expert in fasteners that I have ever read has stated. The Kimball link above has a short and very easily explained article that describes this.

Until we get someone who knows what they are doing to analyze the bolts that have failed we will not know whether over torque, under torque, or simple under sized bolt is the real cause. Either way it is pretty obvious that Polaris royally screwed this up by using a bolt that is simply too small for the load placed on it.

Again, not a bash, hopefully just giving people some info and locations of where to look to learn a little bit more about a subject that seems very simple, but isn't.[/b]
Thats some good stuff there, thanks. The worse thing about this problem is that so far, NO-ONE has come up with a real fix yet, the issues can be repaired, but when will they break again,.this is a catastrauphic failure that leaves you stranded every single time, and I am a bit (no, a lot) peeved at Polaris for ignoring this issue. They must have sold a million dollars worth of parts from this, is that what they are after? Ya know, after 6-7 Polaris sleds and 4 ATV's, I wonder now if that was a wise move to shove all my money into one brand. Can I ever trust the XC on the trails again?? Its always going to be on my mind now when riding, maybe the next brand wil be something else.
 

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Thats some good stuff there, thanks. The worse thing about this problem is that so far, NO-ONE has come up with a real fix yet, the issues can be repaired, but when will they break again,.this is a catastrauphic failure that leaves you stranded every single time, and I am a bit (no, a lot) peeved at Polaris for ignoring this issue. They must have sold a million dollars worth of parts from this, is that what they are after? Ya know, after 6-7 Polaris sleds and 4 ATV's, I wonder now if that was a wise move to shove all my money into one brand. Can I ever trust the XC on the trails again?? Its always going to be on my mind now when riding, maybe the next brand wil be something else.[/b]
I don't believe there is a problem or anything to worry about if the bolt is installed correctly. The design is not "new" but the problem is more recent. The internet is "new" and has exposed it like it's the plague.

The internet also killed the Fusion.
 

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I don't believe there is a problem or anything to worry about if the bolt is installed correctly. The design is not "new" but the problem is more recent. The internet is "new" and has exposed it like it's the plague.

The internet also killed the Fusion.[/b]
I think you may be correct when you state that but the emphasis is very strong on the INSTALLED CORRECTLY part. I just tore apart my chain case and found that the fastener was loose as a goose. Even though I bought the sled used I have to assume that with stock gears and 1,500 miles the Polaris factory is the one who installed that bolt.

You say the internet exposed the problem. Well there are literally DOZENS of reports on this board by people who had catastophic failure, and many like myself that checked and found a failure about to happen. Many of those know for a FACT that Polaris is the one who installed that bolt, and many others installed it themself to the spec that Polaris puts in their service manual. The internet did not create that, Polaris did. I can only assume they will not fix the problem because they have made a BOATLOAD of money for themself and their dealers. When somebody gets killed by having no brakes when the chaincase comes apart Polaris better hope I am not on the jury!

It would be very easy for Polaris to determine the problem by a little destructive testing whether over torque (tensile failure) or under torque (cyclic failure) and tell us the recommendation for what to do. Instead they apparently see this as a way to sell more parts (upgraded driveshafts with 3/8 bolts along with new gears, chains and chaincases when they break).

Also, to the original poster. If you go back and do a search of Polaris driveshaft bolt you will find a lot of recommendations of what to do. The one that makes sense to me if you have the thing torn apart anyway is to take the driveshaft to a machine shop and have it drilled and tapped to a 3/8 bolt. A 3/8 gr. 8 bolt has a strength that is at least 2,000lbs greater than a 5/16" bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Also, to the original poster. If you go back and do a search of Polaris driveshaft bolt you will find a lot of recommendations of what to do. The one that makes sense to me if you have the thing torn apart anyway is to take the driveshaft to a machine shop and have it drilled and tapped to a 3/8 bolt. A 3/8 gr. 8 bolt has a strength that is at least 2,000lbs greater than a 5/16" bolt.[/b]
I would if I had it here, however the job is being done for me near my VT location, so its a bit late for that, but as a follow up question, if you were to tap the shaft to 3/8, how do you fit that bolt through the lower gear? Does that have to be redrilled as well, or is there an 'upgrade' cog available?
 

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Hole in the bottom gear is large to accept the splined shaft, no need to drill
 

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I always wonder why this problem is new when the design is old. All my other sled have never ever broken or loosened a bolt but my 05 has came loose. The only difference I can see is that all of my old sleds used a bearing with a lock collor on the speedo drive side. Im wondering if this is doing the work keeping the shaft from moving side to side instead of the little bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I always wonder why this problem is new when the design is old. All my other sled have never ever broken or loosened a bolt but my 05 has came loose. The only difference I can see is that all of my old sleds used a bearing with a lock collor on the speedo drive side. Im wondering if this is doing the work keeping the shaft from moving side to side instead of the little bolt.[/b]
I had a 'theory' that maybe the bolts used in certain models were substandard, maybe ordered from China for cost savings or something,..just a theory, but I like hearing others as well, like the bearing on the speedo side being different, hmmm, interesting.
 

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You say the internet exposed the problem. Well there are literally DOZENS of reports on this board by people who had catastophic failure, and many like myself that checked and found a failure about to happen. Many of those know for a FACT that Polaris is the one who installed that bolt, and many others installed it themself to the spec that Polaris puts in their service manual. The internet did not create that, Polaris did. I can only assume they will not fix the problem because they have made a BOATLOAD of money for themself and their dealers. When somebody gets killed by having no brakes when the chaincase comes apart Polaris better hope I am not on the jury![/b]
Wow, I can't believe what a bad mood I'm in today. Must be something to do with the fact that I'm suppose to be on a sled in Boulder Junction right now, but instead I'm home reading how bad the trail conditions are. Sorry for the pissy tone guys I know I'm new on the site and need to tread lightly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow, I can't believe what a bad mood I'm in today. Must be something to do with the fact that I'm suppose to be on a sled in Boulder Junction right now, but instead I'm home reading how bad the trail conditions are. Sorry for the pissy tone guys I know I'm new on the site and need to tread lightly![/b]
Lack of snow in MId Jan is most likely to blame,..no problem...I agreed with it anyways, except for the no brakes part, thats a non-issue as the track locks up solid when this happens,...
 

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I had a 'theory' that maybe the bolts used in certain models were substandard, maybe ordered from China for cost savings or something,..just a theory, but I like hearing others as well, like the bearing on the speedo side being different, hmmm, interesting.[/b]
Thats pretty much the same theory i had also. I know some years ago polaris sent out recalls on chaincase bolts and washers due to improper hardness and tempering.. I had one for my 95 xcr chaincase so i still wonder if its an on going issue. All i can say i have not had this problem...maybe because i have a buddy that goes through our sleds when new...one of the things he does is go through the chaincase...makes sure its got his grade 8 bolt loctited in there along with proper gear alignment...chain tension and oil level.
 

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Thats pretty much the same theory i had also. I know some years ago polaris sent out recalls on chaincase bolts and washers due to improper hardness and tempering.. I had one for my 95 xcr chaincase so i still wonder if its an on going issue. All i can say i have not had this problem...maybe because i have a buddy that goes through our sleds when new...one of the things he does is go through the chaincase...makes sure its got his grade 8 bolt loctited in there along with proper gear alignment...chain tension and oil level.[/b]
When I went though my sled changing the chaincase oil, I put a socket wrench on the bolt to see if it was tight and it was so I didn't mess with it.

I think it has more to do with riding style than anything, guys who slam on the brake and right back on the gas creates a lot of flex which some smart people on here think could be the cause.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
When I went though my sled changing the chaincase oil, I put a socket wrench on the bolt to see if it was tight and it was so I didn't mess with it.

I think it has more to do with riding style than anything, guys who slam on the brake and right back on the gas creates a lot of flex which some smart people on here think could be the cause.[/b]
Have to disagree, my buddies 2005 XC has only 1000 miles on it, and hes an easy rider, usually goes with his wife, he doesnt come CLOSE to beating on his machine like I do, he got 1000 miles out of his, I beat mine for 2700 before the snappage,..I just dont see any correlation there.
 

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There is no correlation, rhyme or reason to it. Almost luck of the draw. Best to be safe and check it every 500 or so miles. Thats a pain yes, but.......................... there's just no way to know. I bought a 01 XCSP 500 a few years ago. I replaced the bolt with a new oem bolt and torqued it to spec. All before my son drove it. The bolt had the nyloc patch in it. Chaincase filled to spec with good lube. 700 or so miles later it broke, took out the chain ruined the gears. Got lucky and it didn't hurt the case. 1,500 miles since and its ok. Like it or not, we check it every 500. If a trip runs longer than that, then it will wait. I've seen it on 700's, and 600's. All Edges of various years.
 
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