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I have a dilemma, or at the very least a very disheartening concern: I rode with a group yesterday for about 8 hours, over dirt paths, rocky terrain, river beds, and dirt and gravel roads. I have noticed that the ACE kicks up ALOT of rocks. The constant harmony of rocks hitting the fender wells is music to my ears..I love it. However...I got the Ace pulled up onto the trailer and was looking it over and both of the rear axle housing (metal cylinder tubes) closest to the engine have numerous deep grooves in them as if a rock got stuck between it and the flat piece that sits in front of it. Im not a mechanic and not sure if that's what its called, but Im sure you more savvy posters know exactly what Im talking about. Im wondering if this happens with all Ace's and other ATV/UTV's...I would think there would be something over them to keep rocks from getting caught and tearing them up. While I do realize they are metal, I am positive this is a bad thing! Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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It's the fat part of the CV axle. I don't know exactly what to call that part either.

You are right to be concerned about that. Mine has grooves too.
In fact, mine still has a rock stuck in it. It does appear to be a design flaw.
I don't know if there is anything we can do about it except inspect it regularly though.

I am more concerned about the CV boots though.
When checking out my axles, I noticed one of my boots is torn. That's going to be expensive. I doubt they'll cover it under warranty.

I also had rocks elsewhere as well. One was in the A-arm. If it were a bigger rock, one good bump in the trail would have killed the grease zerk.

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BTW, I've never had this happen on any of my ATVs or the RZR.
I've had a torn CV boot or two from sticks in the deep woods, but never from a rock.
Also never had a place that seems like it's begging rocks to collect there against the axle housing.

I love my ACE, but if I can't take it riding in rocky terrain without ripping a CV boot or wiping out the axle in some other way, I'll have to sell it.
 

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Scoundrel, I sure hope that there is an easy fix to this problem. It would be a great loss to the Ace community if you sold your Ace. In that same area where the rocks accumulated on your Ace and also under the transmission and engine, I tend to collect dried oak leaves. I check the area after each ride as I am concerned about a possible fire hazard. They get so impacted that I cannot wash them out. I have to use a coat hanger and scrape them out.
 

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I probably will not sell my ACE. I am probably over-reacting.
It has just shaken my faith in the machine, but I can probably find a way to make it better.

A good set of skid plates and A-Arms guards will probably go a long way toward keeping rocks out of there.
I need to go bug Factory UTV about making a set of skids.

In the meantime, I ordered a CV boot kit ($35), which comes with some grease and a couple of clamps.
Supposedly these clamps do not require a special tool to install, like some other OEM clamps (Kawasaki).
When I replace the boot, I'll document it and make a how-to post with pictures.
 

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None of the big UHMW vendors have an ACE or currently have plans to make a skid plate set.
Polaris makes some A-arm guards for the ACE but they're $150/pair and they don't look like they cover much.
They might have distributed the rock impact and prevented me from messing up my alignment, but they aren't going to keep small rocks out.
 

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Sometimes aftermarket skids cover more area under the machine than the factory one.
I don't expect that the bottom plate would stop rocks from going up into that area, but it is possible that a set of aftermarket A-arm guards, which would be part of a complete skid plate kit, would go up high enough to deflect more rocks.
Fewer rocks = much less likelihood that one of them will jam in the axle area and rip a CV boot.
 

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Scoundrel, is there any way that a piece of rubber (similar to the inner fender flaps that we used to put on the inner fender to protect the upper a arms on 55 Chevys) for a flap which would deflect the rocks away from this area help? I'm at work and can't go look at mine, but I just wonder if there were a way we could use something like a mudflap material, (rubber sheet with textile in it) and cut it to fit around the a arms to be a rock deflector for that area? Just a thought....
 

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That's a good idea, and I'll have a look when I get a chance to see if I can build an A-arm shroud or something.
If the bottom is open, I'm thinking a Polaris A-arm guard to cover the bottom, and then thinner rubber/plastic cut to fit, and zip-tied in place - maybe fastened to the A-arm guard on bottom.
 
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