By Sommer Wildes
TLDR (too long didn't read) in blue for quick scanning
Hey all! I'm new to the Side-by-side/UTV world. We own a smallish farm and decided to go with the 2021 Tracker 800LE Crew. We like the seating and the ride is smooth. However as a newbie I have some questions that maybe some of you longtime side-by-side/UTV owners can help with. We're still in the "break-in" period and it seems that after 30 min or less of driving the dash area gets super hot. You can feel the heat waves coming off the floorboard by your feet and my phone sitting in the little hole (where a radio might go) felt like I left it in the hot sun for too long. The glovebox was also way too hot.
So the question is, is this normal, or should I start checking engine coolant and filters? We literal have had it a day. I have read forums and looked up info and can't find anyone mentioning this issue. I just don't want to burn the thing up before we've even put it through it's paces ya know!
Thanks for any help!
These are my other off road toys. I raced dirt bikes Cross Country and Enduro's for many years. Old age requires me to slow down the pace just a bit. So UTV's here we come. I miss two wheels but bad knees and hip makes it hard to swing a leg over the new bikes these days. Michigan native but made my home in Arizona in 1980.
I picked up an old beat up 2010 American Sportworks Bull Dog 300 BD300. I would like to restore her... Does anyone know a good source for parts other than the OEM? I find $130 for brake pads is kind of unreasonable... I also need a steering rack and other things... I took apart the steering rack and it needs a new bearing and oil seal... Of course the OEM only sells the complete rack for over $200.. I found the correct bearing for $6.00. I am having trouble finding the correct oil seal..
Anyone that has info on one of these machines, please chime in... I am used to the ease of finding info on Polaris, Honda, Can Am, Kawasaki, etc....., Info and parts on these seems to be scarce.. Some of the parts on it look like Golf Cart parts as well as some look like Go Kart parts..
So, I have found a very possible and very interesting engine swap after looking for quite awhileBTW I am still looking and researching. I present to you the 1.4L cylinder out of a Chevy Cruze.
Let me first caveat this by saying I have NO problem with my Chery engine. But it seems to have only so much potential and there is not enough technical support and R&D out there. Considering there are thousands and thousands of Chery 1100s out in the world (mostly in other countries) we should have WAY more options than we do.
The problem I DO have with the Chery 1100 is the transmission it is bolted too. Even if you BORE, Supercharge, Nitrous this engine the tranny just too weak. I would be more inclined to do motor work if there was a stronger gearbox we could strap to it. My experience has shown me the output shaft is weakthats a stock motor. If you power it up what is next to goprobably clutches.
NOW--Why the 1.4L turbo out of a Chevy Cruze?
ITS AN ECOTEC!
They are plentiful (fleet car motor) and can be had for relatively cheap ($500-$2000 depending on condition and if it comes with or without the turbo).
They are compact and lightweight--all aluminum block and cylinder head.
They are decently powered (138hp) and even better torque (148 ft/lbs)!!! Most smaller engines, to include ATV/UTV gas powered engines, the hp numbers are always higher than torque numbers. I care about TORQUE! In this case torque is the king over hp and it peaks at 2500 rpm!!! This motor was specifically designed to produce low to mid-range torque.
Also, keep in mind factory engines are designed to be economical. This engine could be easily tuned or a bigger turbo installed to go well over 200 hp.
Now, the most IMPORTANT partputting the power to the ground:
The stock Cruze comes with either a six speed manual or an automatic/hydramatic six speedwith manual shift capability!!! Now, I know what you are thinking. We need a low first gear. Now, I cant find anything online about the Troopers first gear ratio. I called Joyner and I am waiting for a call back. If anyone knows please post. My best guess is its around 5:1???
More intriguingfirst gear in the manual of the Chevy Cruze is 4.27 which is quite low in comparison to most cars being in the 3:1 range. EVEN BETTER the automatic comes with a first gear ratio of 4.58 to one. That is the lowest factory first gear ratio I have found in any FWD 4 cylinder car so far. If you know of one lower please share. Now that may not be low enough for us, but when you keep in mind WE ARE DOUBLING OUR TORQUE it should offset the need for a granny gear. Last, it comes with the manual shift option. This means you can just push the lever forward to shift and back to downshiftNO CLUTCH!
Now this is just a birds eye view of this potentially sweet drivetrain swap. Outside of the normal custom intake/exhaust, mounts, rewiring of any engine swap here are some of the bigger things that need to be figured out/answered:
How do we lock up the differential in the gearbox differential like the trooper is? The trooper has basically a spool (fully locked). In RWD buggies Joyner turns the motor and tranny 90 degrees and opens the differential (I hear some models are full locked).
How would auto/hydramatic transmission handle the stress of offroad?
Will technology get in the way of making things simple? Nowadays if you disconnect a seat belt sensor the car wont start (exaggerating herea little). How hard will it be to simplify the ignition system and get the electronics for the transmission of in harmony?
Interested to hear your guys thoughts and concerns