We've had a Polaris RZR XP4 1000 for about five and half years now. Sold the two old XP900s and snagged a 1000 four seater. We call it the R&R Desert Tour Bus because we're always taking friends, guests and such out into our beloved desert.
When we got it, the very first thing that had to be done was a cage. I don't trust the stocker at all. Seen too many fold up. We also added a few desert requirements (stowage box, spare tire, winch) and then as we used it other parts got replaced (suspension arms).
The old gal's seen almost 11,000 miles of use, a new engine (it died January 1st, 2021 about a mile from the exit of Tonto. Never have I heard an engine go from 4,000 rpm to 0 rpm so quickly), it's had transmission issues and, well, it's tired. Polaris's stuff is pretty good for about 10K and then they wear out. Bummer.
The last few times we've been out in it, I've worried about making it back home. This is not an option out here - the desert kills people all the time and I don't wanna make the news. So we picked up a 23 XP4 1000. Same machine as last time. Why not switch brands? I'd LOVE to have a Canned Ham X3 four seater or maybe take a look at the new Kawasaki Terex four seater. Great machines. Well, there's a problem and an answer as to why not one of them.
Space. That's the issue. Plain and simple, space. You see when we purchased out Lance toy hauler a few years back, one of the main reasons we got the Lance was, and it said it right there on the brochure, FITS A FOUR SEAT RZR! We really liked the Lance bed camper we had when we started deciding if we wanted to go camping or not, so why not replace that with the same brand that FITS A FOUR SEAT RXR!
Stock tire size on the XP4 is 29" in diameter. Back the RZR right in, touch the two wall spots, strap the machine down, close the ramp and be off to play. Put 31" tall tires on because they work better, have more ground clearance and DOESN'T FIT IN THE TRAILER!!! It FITS A FOUR SEAT RZR! - as long as you don't do squat to it. I'd love a Canned Ham but I don't want a new toy hauler. I like our Lance a lot. So, XP4 it is again.
Once again, cage is a must. Cagewrx Desert Shorty was chosen. Have this on the old one, it fits perfectly, really easy assemble and comes as a kit. I also ordered roof panels this time instead of the old cloth setup.
Started looking at doing the needed upgrades. Wow, that gets pricy really quickly. You don't realize it when you add here and there. Hmmm.... upgrades. Well, I do have Shock Therapy shocks on the old one and they're KILLER. It has their sway bar on it, it has Super ATV arms up front and high clearance stuff in the back and the new HEATED seats will drop right in.
Looks like I have some parts to pull and parts to exchange.
The front end was bolt on. All the same hardware, it was a straight up easy exchange.
Who ever gets the old XP4 is getting brand new shocks and suspension arms.
Rear suspension had to play ugly. The 2017 had 10mm diameter hardware. The 2023 has 12mm diameter hardware. That meant that to put the 23's stuff on the 17, I was going to have to drill out all the bolt holes. No big deal, especially on the inner mounting points as they're just holes in a couple of plates. The rear carriers, on the other hand, took a bit of careful work making sure that I got the drill aligned correctly. They were about 3" of hole to enlarge. It all went well, though.
I had to drill out all the spacers on the SuperATV suspension and then order new hardware that fit. Wasn't a bad job, just a job.
Cage was next so off came the stocker. Discovered that a friend of mine is a Cagewrx dealer so I gave him a call. Really appreciated the pricing.
The Cagewrks kit darn near snaps together. The tubes are keyed and notched and it just takes a tie down to hold the whole thing in place. Took an afternoon assembling it and tacking it in place.
I think the only thing I don't like about the Cagewrx kit is that they want you to use the stock RZR door hardware. It requires cutting the hinges out of the stock cage and moving it over to single vertical bar. I did it on the 17's cage but it was a total pain in the ass. The rear grab bar is also located up high and not really comfy for passengers to hang onto.
This time I cheated. I used the OME lower section of the B-pillar. It fits perfectly, the doors fit, the seat belts fit - pretty much everything is right there because it's the stock stuff. No brainer... I made a couple of sleeves to stub the lower section of the B-hoop to the upper ends of the Cagewrx B-pillar.
Another thing I kept was the upper seat belt mount. I got them wrong on the 17 (too low so they bind in the ring). This time I just copied the location, cut the mount out of the cage and welded it in place on the new cage. It fit like a glove.
Got the cage welded as well as I could while it was still on the chassis then pulled it and finish welded the entire thing. Added an antenna mount, put the roof on and got the light bar mounts installed.
Originally I wanted a tilting glass windshield. I'm sick of the Lexan half windshield on the 17. It scratches, it's statically charged so it attracts dust, it has a fold right in my line of sight - it's a pain. We mainly use it for road driving - it keeps bugs out of your teeth pretty well. I've got it set up so that it takes two knobs to hold it in place and it stores on the back roll cage. Less than a minute from pull over, get out, move windshield, get in, go.
There are a couple aftermarket glass windshields that fold down and sit on stays in the front of the hood. But none of them fit the Cagewrx cage except the one they make and it doesn't fold or remove easily. Time to make my own. I've been told there's a guy who will cut the glass and fit it to a frame so I'm making a frame.
Blending the frame edge to the a-pillar:
Mark with sharpie
Grind to mark
The nice thing is it fits the other side very closely so I have a template.
Lots of aluminum dust.
Got the frame welded up and almost done grinding. I've purposely made the window area too small - it'll get opened up and the corners will be radiused.
I may keep the upper edge of the opening low and along the line that's there. It acts as a sun visor.
I've also seen a couple of interesting vents and have an idea for a couple of sliders that would be under the window. I have quite a bit of space - especially right there in the middle. The plan is to remove all the red stuff.
One of the things I didn't like about the mirrors is that they're held on with band clamps. That's fine for universal mounting but my cage isn't universal and I'm capable of making mounts that get rid of the band clamp aspect. Off to the lathe and I have two bungs (with nuuuuuuut pockets, of course) that get welded onto the A-pillars
The finished (from my end) product. A cage, a windshield and mounted mirrors.
One of the things we like about our old R&R Tour Bus is the removable front windshield. It makes it nice to be able to take it off and get the desert breeze through our hair and bugs in our teeth (you smile a lot whilst out in the desert - it's a happy place.)
The windshield will be held onto the front of the cage with four knobs so it was easy to find a place on the roof where the windshield would fit.
As you can see, the frame won't sit flat on the roof. I'll make a couple of stand offs that will hold the windshield and it's frame just a tad above the roof.
I got the cage and other stuff off to powder coating about two weeks ago. I was told turn around would be around three weeks so hopefully I'll see the stuff next week and reassembly will begin.
I'll quote a fairly famous phrase to close this out for now: "I'll be back."
5/27/23 - I'm back. The cage and accessories have returned from powder coating.
I must say that I'm impressed with Affordable Powder Coating here in Phoenix. I've used them for years and this time really paid off. I got a quote of $1,800 here in Snottsdale (local for me). I choked, loaded the stuff into the van and headed across the city to the industrial side of town and left everything at Affordable.
I asked for a quote and he looked at the stuff. "Not sure, but not much."
"Less than $1,800?"
"Oh definitely. Drop the first number."
They charged me $657.
I removed all the Dzus hardware before getting it powdered.
When I see the retaining springs and rivets the same color I see lack of attention to detail. I like the color contrasting so the first thing I did was get Dzus hardware reinstalled.
The next step was to get the front windshield frame venting installed. It uses springs and recesses in the cut outs to pull it down and lock it in either open or closed position.
After getting the windshield frame louvers dialed in I got the roof panels, garage door opener, rear view mirror and all the electrical stuff installed. Baja Designs light bar (I splurged on lighting), dome lights (Baja Design snagged from the '17), rear light bar (running, brake, signal & bed) and two way radio antenna wire run.
I ran pieces of MIG wire through holes I drilled at a couple of the tooooobing junctions to pull wires through the inside of the cage before assembling.
Light bar, radio antenna and dome lights come out of the right side a-pillar (left side in the pic), tail light bar out of the left one.
Rear light bar has running, brake, signal and a white one that I'll use for bed lighting.
Fire bad. Been there, done that on the Mini-Raptor. Extinguisher ready to go.
Windshield guy is coming next week to cut the glass and install it in the frame. Does it on site.
Or hope to be...
The mirrors & their wiring will be installed after I put the cage on the chassis. No reason to break shit if it can be avoided.
Found a trick Polaris power bus strip (on Amazon, of course) that has six ports that have ground and both a switched and live plug in lead (pix later). It should make for a really clean wire install.
The number of switches on the dash is ridiculous.
I strive to make them look as OEM as possible. You know, the kind that people look at and go "nice work!" or not realize it's been added on.
Gonna get the radio/intercom lines, seat heater wiring (splitting the PRP control so we can have either all the seat or just the seat base warming. This makes the world good in the winter - and a happy wife which makes a happy life) and turn signal wiring installed before I put the cage on.
More room to work and less bonka-my-haid moments w/o it.
I need to make stands for the windshield stowage over the back roof panel.
The front pair will be about 1/2" (12mm) tall and the rear will probably be about 1.5" (75mm) tall.
I'm still trying to conceptualize exactly how they'll look/work. Being that the frame is going to lay flat I need to make sure it's well supported. The glass will stiffen the frame a bunch but I don't want it flexing and shattering.
Got the old XP4 stripped of the gear that gets transferred (storage stuff & radio/intercom) and it's ready for a service, detail and to be put on the market for sale.Return Home