Why the 16 and newer Polaris Vehicles have a slow speed noise!!!
Video at bottom of the page
This does not affect Turbo RZR's or Ranger 900's built after 16, they don't have the same secondary clutch the rest do.
Lots of people are constantly complaining about the slow speed squeal or high pitched whistle that goes away around 10 mph and I am one of them as a owner of a 17 Ranger 1000 and a 18 XP 1000 and the 16 XP 1000 I had did it too. My own vehicles do it bone stock, the Ranger does it with the Duraclutch system, and they both do it with stock clutches with clutch kits all to a different varying degree depending on the situation is as you will read below.
Since we sell and support clutches and now have our own belt I felt like I should figure it out. Well I did but not alone, wish I was that sharp!! LOL. Anyway, I contacted every clutch related person I knew from Polaris on down to get to the bottom of it. Two different people said it is a resonance issue and runs at a frequency that is causing it but that was not enough info.
Finally I got a hold of the right person and he wants to remain nameless but here is the deal. The new BOSS secondary clutch which is the built on shaft design secondary that Polaris started using in 2016 does not have a center shaft made into the clutch it uses the transmission shaft to run on. His exact quote was "It is the L over D in the bushings in the clutch and it causes instability". Trying to make this a little entertaining at the same time, I was like what the heck is L over D, I replied back to his email asking and said, "Is that Load over Diameter?" thinking I was taking a wild guess and he said yes it it. Man was I feeling smart!! LOL. That didn't last long!!!
So what this means is the bushings in the new clutch are much smaller and narrower than the old clutch used in the 14-15 models with the center shaft and when the clutch is closed at idle and speeds up to 10 mph the clutch is not as stable as it runs as the older clutch and it has a vibration in it which creates a resonance at a frequency that causes the high pitch noise we are all hearing. The reason it goes away around 10 mph is the clutch spreads apart, the bushings are wider and that creates more stability and the resonance goes away.
Anything that changes the load on the clutch can change the resonance making it louder or quieter. Putting a new belt on normally makes it louder, until that belt gets fully broke in and really limbered up it will be louder. Putting a clutch kit in, that the secondary spring is stiffer seems to make it louder and driving under a greater load like going up a hill or putting on bigger tires that have a load driving slow makes it louder. Then there are snorkels, man on man do they make that clutch sound like it is squealing like a pig!! The snorkels are just a direct line to the clutch and through the hard pipe or tubing make it sound like it is a megaphone and it is near you ear.
Now the big question, what do we do about it? Sadly none of us know how to stop it. This is not a plug for our new belts but I was talking with the engineer yesterday about it and I stumped him. We are going to try something on a sample belt he will make and send me to see if it helps. That may or may not do much, as time will tell. While on this, this is the nice part of having our own belt, we have the ability to make running changes over time to fine tune a belt as needed.
While on belts it seems that once a new belt gets around 400 miles on it, the sound comes down a bit.
At this time, this article is more about letting you know what the noise is, basically tell you it is normal sadly and there are people trying to fix it or make it quieter. I know I am on a mission to do something about it, I don't like hearing mine!!!
Update to this article is the video below that I did after writing this in attempt to fix it and got more info on why, watch video!! In this video even the "quiet secondary" had our Thick belt on it.
After talking to Team Industries who makes this clutch about this and my own remedies, I am sorry to say there will be no fix for this. Polaris is not changing it until next genaration of clutches and the two fixes I came up with can't be used because they cause other problems that were worse than the noise.