Installation Instructions for the
Polaris Front End Kit
Friction Fighter Front End Kit for Polaris
|Ski Spindle Bushings, inner and outer with bolts and nuts |
|Radius Rod Bushes, inner and outer |
|Trailing Arm Bushes, inner and outer with bolts and washers |
|Tie Rod Boot Bushes |
This is an excellent opportunity to be able to carefully go
through the front end alignment and setup procedure. There is a lot of
performance to be had for a fairly small investment. Please read all
of the instructions before starting. Familiarize yourself with the
concept of the kits and what we're trying to accomplish with the front
Tie Rod Boot Bushings
In our quest to make front end components with less friction and
binding than the factory originals, we came up with this innovative
You may or may not realize that the tie rods cause quite a bit of
side to side drag on the steering; even more in bumpy terrain. This
drag will occasionally cause a boot to tear. When the boot tears open,
then anything that you ride through can wind up in your engine
The purpose of these bushings is to allow the easy passage of the
tie rods from side to side without any friction. They're hard enough
to scrape snow and ice off the tie rods as they move.
Loosen the locknuts on the outer ends of the tie rods, then run
them back up against the rod end just using your fingers. This will
leave them in the same position they were in for assembly.
Remove the nuts and bolts from the tie rod to the steering arm.
Then remove the tie rod end being careful not to move the inner jam
nut (from above). Slide one of the boot bushings on the tie rod and
position it next to the end of the rubber boot.
A mild solvent like BRAKLEEN or alcohol sprayed on the out-side of
the bushing will make it slide into the rubber boot easi-ly. Do not
use silicone or Armorall or one of these as they will allow the
bushing to slide back out of the boot. There is a shoulder on either
end of the delrin bushing to prevent it from sliding in or out too far
once it is in position. (The idea of the solvent as the lubricant is
that it will evaporate leaving no slippery residue.)
Once the bushings are in place, install the rod ends to their
original rods, then bolt them back on to the steering arms. Tighten up
the jam nuts against the rod ends. This is a good time to check your
ski toe out if it hasn't been done this season.
Remember to go back and check any of the hardware removed to make
sure that everything is tight!
Trailing Arm Bushings-Rear
With all the attention paid nowadays to suspension travel and
steering - this little piece has been overlooked.
Today's wear bars with large carbides and wide ski stances really
increase the side loading of the stock rubber bushing with it's metal
sleeve. In most instances, the metal insert is twisted sideways and is
up against the metal of the trailing arm.
This piece is designed to eliminate this problem and give much
smoother operation of the trailing arms. Our new bushing can be used
two different ways. In a wide ski center setup, install the black or
purple bushing from the inside out using the bolts and washers
provided in the kit. This will offset the inside of the arm outward
3/8" to compensate for the wide front end.
Locktight should be used on the bolts so there is less chance of
them loosening. Make sure that the new bolts are used, they're much
stronger than the factory ones and are less susceptible to bending.
Make sure to use a new washer on both sides of the delrin bushing.
In a standard width front end, install the bushing from the
outside of the arm, again using the bolts and washers provided.
It is a good idea to check the alignment of the spindles after
changing the bushings, the alignment will probably change slightly
because of the more precise bushings.
Now is a good time to regroup your tools, make a quick pitstop,
eat your lunch and get ready for the next part of the installation.
Ski Spindle Bushing Kit Installation
This small kit can really change the way your sled handles. It is
important to check the front end settings to gain the maximum benefit
from these bushings.
- Raise the front end of the sled, a tall jack stand works well.
Pick it up high enough for the ski spindles to clear the floor.
- Remove the skis. Remove the old bushings in the spindles.
Carefully clean out the holes in the spindles. This is the time to
check the camber setting of the spindles. Using a 5/8in. bar set the
radius rods to allow the bar to pass through both spindles without
binding. The factory workshop manual gives a good break-down on how
to do this.
- These bushings will cure any of the side to side play normally
found in the factory ski spindle bushings . However, they will not
cure loose rod ends, worn bushings in the bellcrank, or worn spindle
to trailing arm bushings. These other components all have to be in
excellent condition to have the steering work properly.
- Insert the new bushing in the spindle hole. It is not necessary
to take the spindle off the sled to install the new bushings. These
are designed to have a light interference fit. The bushings can be
lightly tapped in place with a small plastic mallet or a small dead
blow hammer. It is possible to break the bushings from improper
installation, safer way to install would be to use a longer 3/8in.
bolt and 2 large washers. Put the bolt through one side, start the
bushing, place a washer over the end of the bolt against the
bushing, put a nut on it and tighten it to draw the bushing into
- Note the delrin bushing is slightly longer than the width of the
spindle. This has to be centered in the spindle hole. As the bushing
is almost in place, loosen the nut and place some type of spacer
under the washer by the bolt head. This will allow the end of the
bushing to extend beyond the end of the spindle without being
crushed. Center the bushing so that an even amount shows on both
- Slide the stainless steel inner bushing in place. If it binds,
it may be necessary to ream the delrin bushing. Ream to 1/2in.
(.500). Most units will not require reaming as clearance is figured
into the size of the bushings.
- Install the skis using the new bolts and locknuts provided. Both
of these are stronger than the originals. This is intentional. It is
necessary to tighten up the bolts so that the sides of the skis are
tight against the stainless bushings. This is important, if the
sides are not tight against the bushing; abnormal wear will occur
and you will lose the benefit of the new bushings. NOTE: If you have
chromemoly composite skis, it will be harder to squeeze the ski side
up against the bushing. This is why stronger bolts are supplied, go
ahead and tighten them up.
- After installing the skis, you'll want to set the toe out. The
workshop manual suggests 0"-1/8" of toe out, using a bungee cord
between the ski tips to hold them together. With the new bushings
installed, it is no longer necessary to use the cord, the skis do
not have any side to side play. We recommended setting the toe out
to 1/4", much less than this will make the sled dart side to side.
- Do not worry about the zerk fittings on the spindles if your
sled has them, it is not necessary to grease these new bushings.
- Remember to check the spindle bolts for tightness after a few
hundred miles and occasionally in the future. The spindle bushings
will last much longer if they're kept tight.
- One more thing--the instructions are lengthy, but it is
necessary to adhere to them to get the best performance.
Radius Rod Bushing Set
These are designed to allow your front suspension to operate much
more freely than the factory units, with less maintenance (read--more
time for riding). "STICKSION" could be a key word here. The front end
will perform better and give you an overall better quality ride if it
is not sticking or binding.
The bushings are made of Delrin with stainless steel inner bushes.
It is not necessary to lubricate them.
It is recommended that you do one side at a time, if you're not
familiar with the front suspension.
Remove the pivot bolts from the outboard ends of the radius rods.
(Note- the top bolt that holds the steering stop is longer than the
bottom one). Remove the old bushings from the ends of the radius rods
and clean out the holes for the new ones.
On the older style bushing, 1993 and older, slide in the new
delrin bushing, then insert the stainless center bush. You are ready
for assembly. Note: These bushings are slightly oversize to make up
for wear, it may be necessary to ream them slightly if the stainless
center bushes are tight. (.500 is the reamer size)
The new style with the flanges, 1994 and up, also require the
holes to be cleaned out. In addition, check the welded areas around
the ends of the radius rods and the trailing arms for rough welds or
weld spatter. You want to remove anything that will keep the flanged
bushings from seating flush or may damage the flange on the outer side
as it rotates. Also look in the center of the hole on the radius rod
to make sure there is no weld burn through. The bushings will not work
properly or last as long if they do not go into round holes.
Press a flanged bushing into each side of the radius rod end,
insert the stainless inner bush-you're ready for assembly.
Position the bottom rod first, install the bolt and nut, then do
the top, remembering the steering stop.
When tightening the nuts, make sure that the ears on the trailing
arms are pulled up tight against the ends of the stain-less bushing.
The stainless bushings are not supposed to turn. The Delrin part moves
around the stainless piece. As with any other front end component
change, check your camber setting and the toe out.
Double check everything for tightness. After several hundred
miles of riding, it is a good idea to check all of the nuts and bolts
Did you check the other components for wear-bellcrank, rod ends on
radius rods, tie rods and drag link?
Did you take the time to set the front end to specs?
Make sure that you have all of the tools that you started with !
The only extra parts that you should have left over are the
original worn ones. If you still have new ones, go back and finish
putting them in, it's all supposed to be installed to get the most
Enjoy these kits, for even more performance: consider the Power
Crank, the rear suspension Friction Fighter shaft and bushing kit, and
the Shock bushing sets.