UTV of the Month
|Polaris Ranger 6×6 Crew
UTV of the Month for September 2009
This one of a kind creation was the brainchild of SPC. Kevin Knight, U.S. Army 172nd. Infantry Brigade. SPC Knight is on duty in Echo, Iraq and works in the Infantry Recovery Workshop.
The Ranger 6×6 Crew is used to haul personnel and their gear all over the base there. It is often used to tow trailers, one of which is over 7,000 lbs (don’t try this at home).
The Ranger 6×6 Crew started its life as a 2008 Polaris RANGER 6×6. When Kevin got a hold of it, the Ranger was in sad shape. The engine and transmission were in the bed. The roll cage and 90% of the plastic was removed, and there were a lot of parts like the shifter cable, relays, spark plugs, injectors that were just plain gone.
Kevin found an older Polaris Ranger 4×4 that was used for parts and the cage, seat and frame were used for the “stretch” in the middle.
According to Kevin, the stretch it’s self was really simple. Since he had the Polaris Ranger 4×4 for parts that he cut the chassis and seating area out of it.To keep from having to extend all the cables, wire harnesses, coolant lines and what not, he cut the Ranger 6×6 frame between the bed and seat frame, keeping the engine and transmission under the front seat.
Then the extra seat and frame from the donor Ranger was welded in place, plus it was extended it out another 7″ for leg room. Then some channel iron was used for bracing so it won’t fold like a taco.
Kevin was forced to use multiple diameters of pipe to extend the exhaust, and some good ol’ back woods engineering to extend the rear driveshaft (which could not be farther from balanced).
Then the fun began… The rear floor, engine cover, rear seat storage boxes, and roof were made of 3/8″ aluminum sheet and 1/2″ aluminum diamond plate. All of the welds were done with a MIG spool gun, as Kevin’s TIG stopped working. The panels were lined with low budget acoustical/heat mat (very similar to Dynamat) to control heat and the massive amounts of rattle.
He also made two rear seat storage boxes, one of which holds 2 JVC speaker boxes, and the other holds a 400w amplifier with room to spare. A JVC MP3/CD player is mounted in the glove box.
Overall Kevin said it is a blast to drive. A bit slower and lower than factory, forcing them to attack speed bumps at a 45 degree angle to avoid bottoming out.
The turning radius suffers the most, now at about 45ft. curb to curb.
It comes in extremely handy out in the Iraqi desert. Being a 6 seater, they now have the ability to shuttle 5 guys with all their gear without making more than 1 trip, which is very important when *you know what* hits the fan.
The Ranger 6×6 Crew is driven daily, making parts runs, meal runs when we work late, and pulls multiple trailers, one of them weighing in at 7,300lbs (well over the manufacturer towing capacity).
Kevin wishes that he could have had the right materials and equipment to work with, making the Ranger 6×6 Crew much lighter, safer, and more sensible. But I think this project shows that good old American ingenuity and knowhow are alive and well in the U.S. Army. I wonder if anyone at Polaris Industries will take notice and come up with plans for a factory Ranger 6×6 Crew?
2008 Polaris Ranger 6×6 EFI Specifications:
Polaris Ranger 6×6 Pictures: