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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone, first post on here so I apologize if this is not listed in the correct category, mods feel free to move as necessary.

I can't say that I am much of an Ace enthusiast but the company I work for uses Aces for its ATV tour rental business, and when this issue came up I thought it might be worth spreading the word.

As the title says we have been having some issue with the frames of our units. We have recently found that the driveshaft to the front differential is rubbing on, and in some cases through, the floor board. After some figuring and multiple measurements we determined that the frame is bending and causing the driveshaft issue.

The issue occurred last week, and we have been working on straightening them out. Some of the units we first had issue with had been in minor low speed rear ending collisions with other Aces, or had been tipped on their sides. Even though none of these accidents were serious we kinda figured that the damage was occuring at that time. Today however we checked one of our un-crashed, or otherwise damaged machines, and found that it's frame was beginning to bend from normal riding.

We have taken the unit to the dealer and are awaiting the official word from Polaris. We had taken them to Polaris before but they were telling us that because of the crash damage there would be no warranty coverage, understandably so. I will update when we hear from Polaris, they said they will know tomorrow.

In the mean time I thought I would put it on here with some pictures and description so anyone can check for damage to their own machines. I can't imagine everyone will have these issues but some who ride hard might. I also wanted to get some feedback if anyone has had the issue besides us.

I tried to upload the pictures, but bear with me if they are not there right away.

Picture descriptions:
1: bottom of unit with skidplate off you can see where the driveshaft rubbed because it is rusty
2: Floorboard just in front of seat, you can see the driveshaft coming through.
3: this is a picture of where the roll cage connects to the main frame under the front fenders, you can see the thin metal of the square tubing is being pulled through by the small head cap screws.
4: Reinforcement plate installed in same location as pic 3


Picture 3 is probably the most important, as it is what you can check the easiest to see if frame damage is beginning to occur, as best as I can tell this is the first sign of frame bending. It seems like the bend is occuring just in front of the seat right were the shaft comes through, i would guess since that is where the bottom of the frame goes to single frame member thickness.

I do have more pictures video etc., and will post them if this thread takes off or anyone finds damage.

So check your frames and cage mounts for damage and if you find something post here please! Thanks!
 

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Thank you Jeepguyde for taking the time to post this up.. Although I haven't looked at mine for damage (yet), I bet several of us here would appreciate if you could post up whatever other pics/video you have.. I know rental machines usually get beat on pretty hard, so if there's a weakness to these Aces, your company is likely to find them first..

--ringding
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Most of the other pictures I have are pretty much duplicates, the video I wanted to upload is too large so I will try to figure that out. The video shows the driveshaft up close as I tighten down the front rollcage mount with the new metal reinforcement tab in place. You can see the driveshaft moving back into place, it doesnt go all the way back even nearly, but the little bit of movement is proof enough to me that the weak point is at that connection. Other wise i have a few pics of what I have been doing to straighten them out, which is just jacking the frame against a makeshift beam.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here are those pics and the tabs I put in, not a solution but hopefully it will slow down the problem for now.

And yes these machines get run pretty hard, the terrain is rocky and our inexperienced guests aren't the best at dodging big rocks. One thing worth mentioning is these units are rentals but not in the traditional sense, they only go out on guided tours and are under the close supervision of our guides from both front and rear at all times. Simply put they aren't run any harder than we know about or see. There is no place that the machines could be jumped or anything crazy and the trails we take are tame enough for 2wd 98% of the time.

With that being said, these machines go through torture, as they are routinely in and out of creeks and puddles all day every day, and the dust factor from running as many as 15 units in a row takes its toll on the units. 2 of our units that were new this year were put into service on May 18th and they are already at 1500+ miles.

Other common problems we have encountered are front wheel bearing failure, front tie rod wear beyond usability, excessive bushing wear, all bushings, front back top and bottom. Even the strut bushings are worn from eating dust. These are all pretty routine and occur with about 1000 miles or 100 hours. and by routinew I mean every last unit has had those item replaced.
We have also had some flukes with broken struts, just 2 though.
 

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Great info! I wonder if a bit of tubing welded/bolted in and run in parallel to the OEM frame would cure it? (essentially doubling the frame material at the point of failure).. or maybe a more substantial roll cage would be enough..

*clever jig btw to true it up again :)

--ringding
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the compliment on the jig, a couple grader blades and some scrap 4x8 to make a beam strong enough to bend it back and a 20 ton jack got them rolling again. It is far from ideal but I work with what I have laying around. Trust me I would prefer a longer term solution, and that is the idea of this thread, if others are having problems then I would rather defer to polaris for the solution. I can think of lots of ways to brace the frame but I would rather leave that liability on Polaris rather than our company.

I really do think it is a problem on the main frame side. The roll cage is very stout and doesn't seem to be the problem. I also think the tabs I put in are going to go a long way to increase the stiffness of the connection to at least stop it from occurring from just normal wear, but I think front impact accidents will still bend the frame. May not seem like a big deal but with our company you gotta pay to play, so if you crash you pay damages. I am sure you all know a bent main frame equals totaled unit and big money. Guests have already been less than thrilled with the $1500 dollar price of front end damages. All our accidents have been at less that 10 mph, no one has been hurt in the slightest, so it is not like they are bad crashes.
 

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Very interesting. Mine has less than 50 miles on it but I'll be keeping an eye out on this now.
 

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This is very interesting, I will have to check my 325 Ace. Do you use other makes of ATV's/ quad bikes and how do they stand up to the work. Thank you.
 

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It shouldn't amaze anyone that things like this happen when a piece of machinery is used commercially. and no consideration is taken to the well-being of the machine. I'm sure the statement about how these machines are used was an understatement. There is no telling of what these machines are put through. They may have a lifetime of wear in a single week or two. I thank the OP for this discussion since it is another thing we should look for as our Aces get older and have more miles on them.....but I can just about guarantee that 1500 miles on these commercially used machines is like many thousands of miles on my machine and most of our members machines. and even with that being said, our machines with many thousands of miles will still be in much better shape
 
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Wow, this is certainly disappointing to me. Although I take care of my machines I want to ride them hard I am certain I will need reinforcements in the frame. As a metal fabricator myself I would like to say great work on the jig. Thanks for sharing this information, it could really save many of us some work.
 

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Sure enough the frame is showing the same signs as his pic #3 (but slightly less) and the plastic is starting to touch the driveshaft what is interesting is that the frame on my ACE 2014 is fine. I can tell that the frame is different between the two models. In the older model the frame is straight. In the newer model it curves.
 

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Doesn't anyone think it is kinda odd that supposedly one member has multiple bent frames and no one else has one? We have vendors on here that race these things and they haven't reported any frame problems that I am aware of.

A 10 mph (?) front end / rear end crash can do quite a bit of damage and bending it down in the middle is where it would be most likely to bend.

I know a guy that rolled one 4 times down a hill and the frame itself held up great except for some mounting tabs. I am not worried in the least.
 

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Sure enough the frame is showing the same signs as his pic #3 (but slightly less) and the plastic is starting to touch the driveshaft what is interesting is that the frame on my ACE 2014 is fine. I can tell that the frame is different between the two models. In the older model the frame is straight. In the newer model it curves.
So are you saying you have one that the driveshaft is touching the plastic?
 

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It shouldn't amaze anyone that things like this happen when a piece of machinery is used commercially. and no consideration is taken to the well-being of the machine. I'm sure the statement about how these machines are used was an understatement. There is no telling of what these machines are put through. They may have a lifetime of wear in a single week or two. I thank the OP for this discussion since it is another thing we should look for as our Aces get older and have more miles on them.....but I can just about guarantee that 1500 miles on these commercially used machines is like many thousands of miles on my machine and most of our members machines. and even with that being said, our machines with many thousands of miles will still be in much better shape
In many of those cases, the 'Drive it like you stole it' attitude applied. I'd suspect a few 'Duke boys' type jumps?
 
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