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Hey guys I was just wondering if a front prop shaft off a 2017 sportsman 850 will direct fit on my 2018 or is there a way to change the universal joint....... the dealer won't tell if it does or not ...they want me to buy a new shaft .....I rather change the joint then spend 300 on a new shaft ....
 

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The dealer probably CAN'T tell you. 2018 changed to a new tubular prop shaft vs. the old style solid bar shaft of the previous models. I'm sure it would interchange though since the shaft length and splines would still be the same. If all you need is u-joints there's no real reason to change the whole shaft other than its just easier and more profitable for the dealer.
Ah Ha!! I did some looking and see what the deal is now... Polaris doesn't even list a part number for the u-joints that fit the new updated shaft. They ONLY list the entire prop shaft for 2018 and up. Just another example of Polaris gouging owners for more $$ at every turn or, I guess, a result of our modern throw-away economy in which you don't repair anything. You just toss the old and replace it with new. There's also no way to determine from the parts catalog if the old u-joints will fit the new shaft either without getting one out and measuring it. :unsure:
 

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LOL... I hadn't looked before but I'm in the same boat with my 18 1k dang it! No listed joints for the front or rear prop shafts. You're supposed to change the whole thing. I'll have to look into replacements when I get time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The dealer probably CAN'T tell you. 2018 changed to a new tubular prop shaft vs. the old style solid bar shaft of the previous models. I'm sure it would interchange though since the shaft length and splines would still be the same. If all you need is u-joints there's no real reason to change the whole shaft other than its just easier and more profitable for the dealer.
Ah Ha!! I did some looking and see what the deal is now... Polaris doesn't even list a part number for the u-joints that fit the new updated shaft. They ONLY list the entire prop shaft for 2018 and up. Just another example of Polaris gouging owners for more $$ at every turn or, I guess, a result of our modern throw-away economy in which you don't repair anything. You just toss the old and replace it with new. There's also no way to determine from the parts catalog if the old u-joints will fit the new shaft either without getting one out and measuring it. :unsure:
LOL... I hadn't looked before but I'm in the same boat with my 18 1k dang it! No listed joints for the front or rear prop shafts. You're supposed to change the whole thing. I'll have to look into replacements when I get time.
Ya I might just bring it to a driveshaft shop and make me one that I can service it with grease and changeable universal ....lol ... polaris is making it that I don't want to buy a other one the only problem I have with polaris is the shaft and bushing ......lol
 

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You can still change the joints. Its just that Polaris don't list a part number for the joints. You'd just have to get an old one out and measure it and then get a spicer or Moog or Napa greaseable joint to replace the OEMs. It may be that the OEM joints for the pre-18 models fit but they are non-greaseable as you already know.
Good luck and let us know what you come up with.
 

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This is an interesting subject. As Polman said, looks like they changed from a solid shaft to a tubular one in 2018. Everything else though seems to be the same, so technically the solid shaft should fit. Not sure why they would change that as there really isn’t any problems with the shaft, but u -joints tend to go. Lighter possibly? Regardless, no replacement u-joints are identified for the tube shaft but you can pull one out and get a match. It was put in there, so someone makes them and they are replaceable.
 

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This is an interesting subject. As Polman said, looks like they changed from a solid shaft to a tubular one in 2018. Everything else though seems to be the same, so technically the solid shaft should fit. Not sure why they would change that as there really isn’t any problems with the shaft, but u -joints tend to go. Lighter possibly? Regardless, no replacement u-joints are identified for the tube shaft but you can pull one out and get a match. It was put in there, so someone makes them and they are replaceable.
LOL... the WHY is to try to force you to replace the whole shaft @ $200-$300 a pop rather than just a $20 joint.
Ain't no mystery there!
 

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LOL... the WHY is to try to force you to replace the whole shaft @ $200-$300 a pop rather than just a $20 joint.
Ain't no mystery there!
Possibly, but I doubt they do comprehensive cost analysis to determine future profits based on replacement prop shafts. More than likely they wanted a cheaper supplier to bring their manufacturing costs down and increase sales profits, and lighter tube shaft was one of the cost cutting measures. Owners and suppliers will come up with replacement options.
 

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Oh, you can bet you're last dollar they figure in the HUGE clear profit of about 200% markup plus shop time @ $110 per hour by making parts non-serviceable and throw away rather than repairable. There are more and more examples all the time when you compare the older machines vs. the new. I've got a 1996 Sportsman in the shop right now doing a complete make over on it. That old machine has something like 27 grease fittings on EVERY moving part from u-joints to steering shaft to tie rod ends. Its 25 years old with about a gazillion mud soaked miles on it lol. Its NEVER had a u-joint, bushing tie rod or anything else replaced on it till now because about ALL the parts are serviceable and repairable. Polaris ain't made a dime on that machine during its entire lifetime since it was sold new!
The new machines often won't run 6 months to a year of hard riding without needing bearings, tie rods, bushings, etc. etc. and Polaris increasingly makes sure those parts are "non-serviceable" so they wear out fast and can't be replaced. For example, fuel pumps supposedly can't be replaced. They want you to buy the entire tank @ around $600-$800. And the prop shafts we have been discussing here can't be greased to make them last and they are VERY aware that they wear out quick so they purposely don't offer a replacement joint. You are supposed to buy a whole new shaft for $300. A quality greaseable u-joint costs $20-$25 and when greased regularly will last 100 times longer than one you can't grease. There is example after example of the same sort of thing on all the newer machines. They have even started trying to make the clutches non-serviceable even by the dealers so you have to throw them away and buy new. If you haven't priced them they are VERY expensive to replace.
I call BULL SHIT on that one martino!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You can still change the joints. Its just that Polaris don't list a part number for the joints. You'd just have to get an old one out and measure it and then get a spicer or Moog or Napa greaseable joint to replace the OEMs. It may be that the OEM joints for the pre-18 models fit but they are non-greaseable as you already know.
Good luck and let us know what you come up with.
Will do
Oh, you can bet you're last dollar they figure in the HUGE clear profit of about 200% markup plus shop time @ $110 per hour by making parts non-serviceable and throw away rather than repairable. There are more and more examples all the time when you compare the older machines vs. the new. I've got a 1996 Sportsman in the shop right now doing a complete make over on it. That old machine has something like 27 grease fittings on EVERY moving part from u-joints to steering shaft to tie rod ends. Its 25 years old with about a gazillion mud soaked miles on it lol. Its NEVER had a u-joint, bushing tie rod or anything else replaced on it till now because about ALL the parts are serviceable and repairable. Polaris ain't made a dime on that machine during its entire lifetime since it was sold new!
The new machines often won't run 6 months to a year of hard riding without needing bearings, tie rods, bushings, etc. etc. and Polaris increasingly makes sure those parts are "non-serviceable" so they wear out fast and can't be replaced. For example, fuel pumps supposedly can't be replaced. They want you to buy the entire tank @ around $600-$800. And the prop shafts we have been discussing here can't be greased to make them last and they are VERY aware that they wear out quick so they purposely don't offer a replacement joint. You are supposed to buy a whole new shaft for $300. A quality greaseable u-joint costs $20-$25 and when greased regularly will last 100 times longer than one you can't grease. There is example after example of the same sort of thing on all the newer machines. They have even started trying to make the clutches non-serviceable even by the dealers so you have to throw them away and buy new. If you haven't priced them they are VERY expensive to replace.
I call BULL SHIT on that one martino!!
Oh I know it ridiculous the fuel pump went in the 850 and I would've have buy the whole sending unit but I found company quantum high flow that sells high performance fuel pump for like 80 buck and never had a problem with it
 

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Oh, you can bet you're last dollar they figure in the HUGE clear profit of about 200% markup plus shop time @ $110 per hour by making parts non-serviceable and throw away rather than repairable. There are more and more examples all the time when you compare the older machines vs. the new. I've got a 1996 Sportsman in the shop right now doing a complete make over on it. That old machine has something like 27 grease fittings on EVERY moving part from u-joints to steering shaft to tie rod ends. Its 25 years old with about a gazillion mud soaked miles on it lol. Its NEVER had a u-joint, bushing tie rod or anything else replaced on it till now because about ALL the parts are serviceable and repairable. Polaris ain't made a dime on that machine during its entire lifetime since it was sold new!
The new machines often won't run 6 months to a year of hard riding without needing bearings, tie rods, bushings, etc. etc. and Polaris increasingly makes sure those parts are "non-serviceable" so they wear out fast and can't be replaced. For example, fuel pumps supposedly can't be replaced. They want you to buy the entire tank @ around $600-$800. And the prop shafts we have been discussing here can't be greased to make them last and they are VERY aware that they wear out quick so they purposely don't offer a replacement joint. You are supposed to buy a whole new shaft for $300. A quality greaseable u-joint costs $20-$25 and when greased regularly will last 100 times longer than one you can't grease. There is example after example of the same sort of thing on all the newer machines. They have even started trying to make the clutches non-serviceable even by the dealers so you have to throw them away and buy new. If you haven't priced them they are VERY expensive to replace.
I call BULL SHIT on that one martino!!
That’s not just Polaris though. It’s all brands, all types of vehicles. Things change. Technology changes. People change. And it’s cheaper for China to make disposable components rather than engineering in grease fittings for example. Most people now a days also want “non serviceable” components. People are lazy and you’re right, it’s a throw away society. Now the people on this forum are a different breed. We want to fix and figure stuff out. But you look at the membership here vs the number of popo’s sold and the majority aren’t asking how to change a u-joint on a front prop shaft. Ultimately I personally don’t think the bean pushers put much thought into the serviceability costs over the life of the machine. They are more interested in reducing production costs to increase immediate profits. But that’s my opinion, and just like an a$$hole, everyone has one 🤣
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That’s not just Polaris though. It’s all brands, all types of vehicles. Things change. Technology changes. People change. And it’s cheaper for China to make disposable components rather than engineering in grease fittings for example. Most people now a days also want “non serviceable” components. People are lazy and you’re right, it’s a throw away society. Now the people on this forum are a different breed. We want to fix and figure stuff out. But you look at the membership here vs the number of popo’s sold and the majority aren’t asking how to change a u-joint on a front prop shaft. Ultimately I personally don’t think the bean pushers put much thought into the serviceability costs over the life of the machine. They are more interested in reducing production costs to increase immediate profits. But that’s my opinion, and just like an a$$hole, everyone has one 🤣
Ya I agree on people are lazy and don't want to service there own machine ......lol but I like to do my own work and service that way it a little easier on the wallet and I know it done ...I just don't trust the dealer on service they seam that they like charging you for stuff you don't need or say they did the service and nothing was done witch happen to a buddy of mine 😡 ......
 

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Ya I agree on people are lazy and don't want to service there own machine ......lol but I like to do my own work and service that way it a little easier on the wallet and I know it done ...I just don't trust the dealer on service they seam that they like charging you for stuff you don't need or say they did the service and nothing was done witch happen to a buddy of mine 😡 ......
A friend just picked his Sportsman 570 up from Dealership today for it’s “First Service” for $360.00. I actually changed all fluids for it last fall. I also installed his Polaris 2500 Winch for him. I asked him if he really believed the front gearcase Fluid was changed cause the winch would have to be removed and reinstalled. I’m not sure and he can’t be sure they did which is why I tried to talk him out of that service. It’s just better KNOWING it was done!
 
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