How to Replace Polaris Ranger 800 Front Ball Joints
A Polaris UTV is a hardworking beast that can take a great deal of punishment, but when you push any machine to the limit, components such as the ball joints are going to wear and need replacing.
Watch the video above and follow the steps below to learn how to replace the front ball joints on a Polaris Ranger 800 Crew.
Tools and Parts – Polaris Ranger 800 Crew Front Ball Joints Change
- Ratchets and extensions
- 13mm, 15mm sockets
- Torx T25
- Torque wrench
NOTE: We worked on a Polaris Ranger 800 Crew, but the process is the same or similar for most UTV makes and models.
Section 1: Accessing Polaris Ranger 800 Crew Front Ball Joints
Step 1. Raise the front of the Ranger and support it on axle stands. Make sure the axle stands are positioned under the frame (not the floor panels) and remove the front wheels.
NOTE: Don’t work on your side-by-side or any other vehicle using a jack alone. Always make sure the vehicle is properly supported on axle stands.
Step 2. Remove the two 15mm bolts from the brake caliper mounting bracket, then slide the caliper and bracket off the brake rotor. Use a zip tie or bungee cord to hold the caliper out of the way so it isn’t suspended by its brake line.
Step 3. Pry the cap off the wheel hub, then remove the cotter pin, the castle nut and the two cone washers from the end of the driveshaft. Pull the hub from the steering knuckle.
Step 4. Remove the cotter pin, steering arm bolt and two washers from the steering knuckle. The bolt has a 13mm head at the top and a 15mm nut at the bottom.
Step 5. Remove the two 13mm pinch bolts from the steering knuckle that hold the ball joints in place. Pull the ball joints free from the steering knuckle and remove the knuckle.
Watch the clip below to see the brake caliper and steering knuckle removal segment of our Polaris Ranger 800 Crew front ball joints video.
If you’re removing the ball joints with a ball joint replacement tool, you won’t have to remove the A-arms from the vehicle and you should go to Section 2 below. However, if you’re removing the ball joints with a press, you’ll have to remove the A-arms from the vehicle and you should skip to Section 3 below.
Section 2: How to Install Polaris Ranger 800 Crew Front Ball Joints Using a Ball Joint Tool
Step 1. Remove the retaining circlip from the control arm.
Step 2. Position your ball joint replacement tool over the ball joint and press it out from the control arm.
Step 4. Reinstall the retaining circlip into the control arm.
Step 5. Repeat the process for the ball joint in the other control arm.
Once the new ball joints are installed, skip down to Section 4 below.
Section 3: How to Install Polaris Ranger 800 Crew Front Ball Joints Using a Press
Step 1. Remove the Torx T25 bolt from the brake line bracket on the upper A-arm, then hang the brake caliper somewhere further out of the way using a zip tie or bungee cord.
Step 2. Remove the 15mm shock absorber mounting bolts from the upper control arm and the frame, then remove the shock absorber.
Step 3. Remove the 15mm upper A-arm mounting bolts from the frame. You’ll have to remove the forwardmost mounting bolt first, otherwise you won’t be able to remove the rearward mounting bolt. Next, remove the upper control arm.
Step 4. Remove the front bumper to access the lower control arm mounting bolts.
PRO TIP: At this point you can remove the driveshaft to make working on the lower control arm easier. Simply pull the driveshaft out from the transmission case. If the driveshaft doesn’t pull free or if you prefer to leave it attached, simply lift it and hold it out of the way with a zip tie or bungee cord.
Step 5. Remove the 15mm lower A-arm mounting bolts from the frame, followed by the lower control arm itself.
Watch the clip below to see the control arm removal segment of our Polaris Ranger 800 Crew front ball joints video.
Step 6. Remove the retaining circlip from the control arm.
Step 7. Position a socket or piece of pipe with a diameter larger than the ball joint but small enough to hold the A-arm on the upper side of the A-arm. Next, press the old ball joint out of the A-arm and into the piece of pipe.
Step 8. Position the piece of pipe on the underside of the A-arm and press the new ball joint into the A-arm.
Step 9. Reinstall the retaining circlip into the control arm.
Step 10. Repeat the process for the ball joint in the other control arm.
Step 11. Reinstall the upper and lower control arms. Lightly grease the non-threaded shaft of the control arm mounting bolts and reinstall them. Torque each bolt to 30 foot-pounds.
Step 12. If you removed the driveshaft earlier, push it back into the transmission casing.
Watch the clip below to see the ball joint installation segment of our Polaris Ranger 800 Crew front ball joints video.
Section 4: How to Reinstall Polaris Ranger 800 Crew Front Control Arms
Step 1. Grease the driveshaft splines and slide the steering knuckle back over the driveshaft.
Step 2. Push the upper and lower ball joints back into the steering knuckle, then reinstall the pinch bolts and torque them to 23 foot-pounds.
Step 3. Reinstall the steering arm with the two washers and the mounting bolt to the steering knuckle, but don’t torque the mounting bolt yet.
Step 4. If you removed the shock absorber earlier, reinstall it now and torque the upper and lower mounting bolts to 30 foot-pounds.
Watch the clip below to see the control arm and shock absorber reinstallation segment of our Polaris Ranger 800 Crew front ball joints video.
Step 5. Grease the inner and outer sides of the wheel hub, then slide it back over the driveshaft splines and into the steering knuckle.
Step 6. Reinstall the two cone washers onto the driveshaft splines with their raised centers facing outward.
Step 7. Reinstall the castle nut and torque it to 80 foot-pounds. Have someone apply the brakes to stop the nut rotating as you torque it.
Step 8. Install a new cotter pin and bend it as shown in the image below.
Step 9. Reinstall the brake caliper and mounting bracket, then apply blue threadlocker to the two 15mm mounting bolts and torque them to 30 foot-pounds.
Step 10. Reinstall the brake line bracket on the upper A-arm with the Torx T25 bolt.
Step 11. Torque the steering arm mounting bolt to 40 foot-pounds, then install a new cotter pin and reinstall the cap over the wheel hub.
Watch the clip below to see the wheel hub, brake caliper and steering arm reinstallation segment of our Polaris Ranger 800 Crew front ball joints video.
Repeat the process to replace the ball joints on the other side and you’re done.