How To Replace Your UTV Roll Cage
We all know of someone or have experienced a roll over at some point in our off-roading life as a UTV owner. This can be one of the most stressful times and when the dust settles and everyone is accounted for and safe, we immediately think about the next step which is how to repair our machine. It can be a very tense time and if you do not have insurance it can be even more stressful. If you have ever rolled your UTV and caused enough damage to require you to replace your UTV roll cage, we hope to shed some light on how to DIY repair this process so you can save some money and time.
After the shock of the roll over passes, look the machine over carefully. Roll over structures tie into the framework in many places and every joint needs to be looked over. A Polaris Ranger I was tasked with repairing had been impacted on the sides and more severely on the top passenger upper rail. This rail had bent down significantly, but it also forced the rear portion of the structure downward into the lower frame. After searching on an online parts house exploded view, I discovered that there was a rail that ran across from the left to the right and that was what the upper roll cage mounted too. This was the reason (among many) that the cage sat tilted to the right side.
I made a list of parts as well as a mental note of what they looked like on the parts skew. Then I went to search for used parts on the world wide web so I could replace the UTV roll cage. One company that I have found to be a reliable source for parts is Power Sports Nation in Norfolk Nebraska. This company parts out hundreds of machines every year and they seem to have loads of great usable gently used parts on hand. I had quite the list and everything except for a few plastic parts were in stock! I think the total for my entire parts list was just over $1200 dollars. I would soon be back in business and man it was getting exciting.
The tools needed to replace a UTV roll cage are typically all simple hand tools. A good metric socket and wrench set along with a large set of metric Allen head sockets and some Torx bits should get you through this one with ease. You may or may not need a friend to help hold certain sections as you remove them, though. The roof on my Polaris Ranger did not need to be removed as the crash had done this for me, so I moved on to the right-hand side section of cage. As I pulled each section apart, I put the bolts to that part back in the holes they came out of so I could keep up with them during the repair. After carefully unbolting the four bolts holding the right side “A” Pillar together as well as the upper roof line section, I was able to take the damaged rail out.
I then removed the roof line section of flat sheet metal and the left side “A” Pillar. The only two parts left to remove were the back protective structure and the cross section it is mounted to. You will need to take the seat belts and hardware off of the old cage and reinstall them on the new section. This is easily done with a 15mm socket and 18mm wrench to hold the nut on the back side.
At this point you might need some help unless you can engineer something to hold the large rear cab section in place until you get a good grip on it to set it off the cab. There are two bolts on each lower side of the cage holding it in place onto the cross section. If you tilt the bed up the back of the cage can be leaned backwards against it until you can remove it. After removing the rear of the cage, the lower cross member support that holds that rear cab up gets unbolted and laid to the side. Some bolts on the cross section are well hidden and need some patience for getting to them.
At this point your Polaris Ranger is now naked and ready to be inspected even more thoroughly for any other damage that might have been hidden under there. If everything looks good, it is time to now install all of your used parts in the reverse order so you can finish the job of replacing the UTV roll cage so you can get out and drive it again.
This repair is very easy, but it is time consuming. The parts for such a replacement can be found very reasonably and companies like Power Sports Nation makes it very easy for you to get back on the trail in a renewed machine that looks like it has never been injured. They even had a nice used roof for the newly installed cage as ours was destroyed in the incident.
Tip For Fuel Side of the Polaris Ranger
On the driver side of my Polaris Ranger, I had to remove the fuel filler neck from the tank to get that panel off. It takes a small Philips head screwdriver to loosen the clamp that holds it in place.