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Well it's my turn for the rear axle bearing failure, I was in Maggie Valley last month attending SSITS 2019 when that awful creaking noise started under 5 MPH, every rotation of the rear tire:arghh:.

So when I got home I cleaned the drive belt and loosened the drive belt tension...with no success, I jacked the rear tire up and rotated the wheel first with the belt installed then I removed the belt to confirm the bearing noise every 360 degrees of rotation. I could hear the bearings click, click, clunk!!
I just turned 5K miles on my 2016.5 Slingshot and don't want to waste the entire Summer driving season at my local dealership so I dove in my garage removing the old bearings and ordered all three replacements from Polaris.
By now I have searched all of the related threads and read hundreds of posts about these bearings and their issues and after I inspected my failed bearings I have formed my own opinion of the failure and what I can do to help extend the life of both bearings.

First I will post some of the damaged bearing pictures, IMO the reasons they both failed were belt tension (too tight) and heat from lack of grease.
This in-turn this caused the needle bearing bushing to rotate against the OD of the axle tube which causes more heat, melts grease in both bearings, and loosens the clamping force of the double nuts, (because of the aluminum spacer and bearing expansion then contraction, not because of the nuts loosening).
look closely at the roller bearing and the swingarm bearing bore you can see melted grease then look at the needle bearing bushing, it has spun free around the axle tube, this bushing should always stay clamped tight from the 250 lb.- ft. torque from the double nuts.

I will post more pictures hopefully this week when my OEM parts are back from my local machine shop.


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Does that outer race not have a groove and hole in it? The early bearings had the groove so adding a zerk was worth while. If no groove, a zerk won't work.
 

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The replacement needle bearing OD does have the hole and grease groove and I did drill and tap for a 1/4”-28 grease fitting. But that’s only part of the issue.
I will show my fix after I get the parts back from the machine shop hopefully this week!
 

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First off let me say this is MY attempt to extend the life of the axle bearings, this is not a fix for bad engineering by Polaris and is not a simple fix-all solution for dealerships but I do hope Polaris is watching!

Ok, my parts are finally back from the 2nd machine shop! My first attempt was not a success because I didn't know how hard the needle bearing bushing was.
The first machine shop tried to cut a keyway and estimated the Rockwell hardness was 60 or above they recommended another machining process called EDM electrical discharge machining.
Our axle tubes are case hardened at each end of the bearing surfaces and can be milled.
I will post more pictures soon and write a follow up report.
Test fitting bushing..jpeg


Here are additional pictures of the two parts I had keyed, this ensures no rotation between the needle bearing bushing and the axle. I feel that when lack of grease is at the OEM needle bearing, it starts a friction that rotates the bushing which causes more heat, wear, and bearing noise. Note the grease starting to be pumped out between the needle bearing and the new bushing. Between adding a grease fitting that can be greased and locking the bushing I should greatly reduce the chances of heat, wear, and bearing failure.
bushing greased via greased fitting..jpeg

Test fitting bushing..jpeg
Sprocket double nuts installed..jpeg

New bushing with keyway cut..jpeg
Keyway length..jpeg
Keyway width..jpeg
 

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After my swing-arm was replaced under recall, my rear bearing made some initial noise and I thought, "Oh, great!", but it stopped and I haven't noticed the clicking in 20000+ miles since then.
 

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Update: I just returned after a test drive, all is quiet now!

I did have to readjust the drive belt tension and realign the belt before the test drive.

FYI, I'm keeping my belt tension set at 7/8" COLD now as IMO the factory specification is too tight at .625".

P.S. I will be driving my SS from Maine to Tannersville, PA attending SSITP 2019, so far I'm very happy with my "fix" and can't wait to go on my next SS road trip to PA. Hope we have a good turn out and good weather!
 

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Thought you guys might want to keep your ears open for noises in the rear end, I noticed mine at 4K when it started a rubbing sound that I could hear when I coasted up to a stop, The noise would increase with the speed and then it went away for awhile then came back stronger. I hope Shack can post the video I made of the noise.
I took it into Cycle Springs and Noel got me right in and had it fixed in a few days, Polaris shipped the parts right away. It pays to have a good dealer that knows how to get the job done. There are 2 sets of bearings in the axel housing, and one is American made and the other was same company but stamped Japan ,It was the Japan one that failed on mine, but both replaced. The American bearing ,top pic was the big View attachment 14043 View attachment 14044 ger of the two.
Hi thanks for the knowledge can you tell me the part # so I can Ofer them mines is doing that exact noise
 

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Slingshot%20assembly%20diagram.jpg
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These parts sheets are from a polaris web site to use as an example only.

Please double check your slingshot part numbers before ordering your bearings as they can get rather costly if you have to replace more than the needle bearing!

I replaced Fig. # 17 & 18 then after I had everything tore down and did a condition inspection and found that I also needed to replace Fig. # 12 & 13.
 

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Well mine went out at 14K miles, not being a mechanic I had them replaced at the dealer; bearing rear socket, bearing rear wheel, bushing needle axle, sensor-speed wheel rear, for a grand total of $683.50! I complained to Polaris and they were very sympathetic, just got a call from the dealer; they turned me down completely! So, we have bearings going out @ 14K, totally unacceptable, one recall after another unacceptable, Polaris is a POS company that built a POS product that they won't stand behind!
 

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Well mine went out at 14K miles, not being a mechanic I had them replaced at the dealer; bearing rear socket, bearing rear wheel, bushing needle axle, sensor-speed wheel rear, for a grand total of $683.50! I complained to Polaris and they were very sympathetic, just got a call from the dealer; they turned me down completely! So, we have bearings going out @ 14K, totally unacceptable, one recall after another unacceptable, Polaris is a POS company that built a POS product that they won't stand behind!
I'm sorry to hear you had a problem. I've now got around 58,000 miles on my 2015 Slingshot with around 22,000 of those miles since I added my turbo 2 years ago. I agree that Poalris made some poor design decisions to save money (thanks Bean-counters!), but my overall experience with my Slingshot has been enjoyable. I still think about you every now and then and appreciate the extended test drive you allowed me to have with you before I bought mine.
 

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2016 Slingshot --- 74,000+ miles with NO bearing problems.
So tell me, why do I and so many other owners with low mileage have this problem? Not a hot rodder, so the only thing it can be are bad bearings, WHICH, should lead to another recall or at least no charge when the bearings go out at such low mileage. I've had cars with over 100K miles with no bearing problems, I've had motorcycles with close to 100K miles, no bearing problems. I'll tell you, we early adopters were the beta group because Polaris didn't want to spend the time and $ to fully test this machine. As a result, as you know, one problem after another, my problem was I didn't put enough miles on the machine early so now I pay the price. As I said Polaris is a POS company with a POS product.
 

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I'm sorry to hear you had a problem. I've now got around 58,000 miles on my 2015 Slingshot with around 22,000 of those miles since I added my turbo 2 years ago. I agree that Poalris made some poor design decisions to save money (thanks Bean-counters!), but my overall experience with my Slingshot has been enjoyable. I still think about you every now and then and appreciate the extended test drive you allowed me to have with you before I bought mine.
Thanks, BKL, I'm so glad you are somewhat satisfied with this machine, guess you have had better luck and are closer to a dealer than we are. Any problem I have requires a 100 mile round trip, so it takes a little bit of planning on my part, with a friend or family member to get the thing into the dealer. As you know, we put our own time, money and effort to get this thing approved in Texas, sorry now I did it, wound up with a ragged sounding oven with about $6K in accessories. I've got $3K corbin bags that pop open all the time and have never worked properly, I've got a hood that is poorly designed and doesn't close properly, I've got an aftermarket exhaust, trying to mitigate the heat, that has broken an exhaust stud and is rattling around, and I don't how many trips for recall's. Now I've got a $700 bill for bearing failure that should not be happening with 14K miles! Been nice knowing you, I'll be dropping this dog as soon as I can salvage something out of this disaster on wheels.. You would hope that an American co would be better than this, but this is what we have. Dealer told me one time not to feel bad about the Slingshot, it is about like all Polaris products, more comfortable in the shop than on the road!
 

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So tell me, why do I and so many other owners with low mileage have this problem? Not a hot rodder, so the only thing it can be are bad bearings, WHICH, should lead to another recall or at least no charge when the bearings go out at such low mileage. I've had cars with over 100K miles with no bearing problems, I've had motorcycles with close to 100K miles, no bearing problems. I'll tell you, we early adopters were the beta group because Polaris didn't want to spend the time and $ to fully test this machine. As a result, as you know, one problem after another, my problem was I didn't put enough miles on the machine early so now I pay the price. As I said Polaris is a POS company with a POS product.
As far as I'm concerned, it comes down to Polaris engineering decisions being driven by the bean-counters. The issues I've seen require everything to be done properly during assembly and most of them are, but the installation process evidently leaves too much room for error. From a customer perspective, even with the extremely low percentage of failures that have been reported, it would certainly make sense to me for Polaris to handle these replacements either free or at a reduced cost. Folks who have carefully disassembled troublesome parts and modded them or just carefully reinstalled everything seem to have fixed their problems, but that shouldn't have been needed in the first place.

Thanks, BKL, I'm so glad you are somewhat satisfied with this machine, guess you have had better luck and are closer to a dealer than we are. Any problem I have requires a 100 mile round trip, so it takes a little bit of planning on my part, with a friend or family member to get the thing into the dealer. As you know, we put our own time, money and effort to get this thing approved in Texas, sorry now I did it, wound up with a ragged sounding oven with about $6K in accessories. I've got $3K corbin bags that pop open all the time and have never worked properly, I've got a hood that is poorly designed and doesn't close properly, I've got an aftermarket exhaust, trying to mitigate the heat, that has broken an exhaust stud and is rattling around, and I don't how many trips for recall's. Now I've got a $700 bill for bearing failure that should not be happening with 14K miles! Been nice knowing you, I'll be dropping this dog as soon as I can salvage something out of this disaster on wheels.. You would hope that an American co would be better than this, but this is what we have. Dealer told me one time not to feel bad about the Slingshot, it is about like all Polaris products, more comfortable in the shop than on the road!
I haven't been to a dealer in quite a while now. I bought my Slingshot in Lufkin and had to drive around 220 miles round trip, but they stopped handling the Slingshot and I have not been to a local Huston area dealer for service. I guess I need to bite the bullet and try to develop a relationship with a local dealer since I need to get the fuse box recall work done.
Too bad about the Corbin bags. I haven't read any really positive reviews about them and I don't know if Corbin is really doing anything to try and fix them.
I still get a lot of cockpit heat with my turbo kit and my Wife won't ride with me because of the exhaust smell. I've been thinking about getting a custom side-pipe exhaust w/high-flow cats to address both the loudness and smell issues, but I need to save up for that.
Your best bet is probably to remove and sell any accessories separately to get the best price for each, since they won't do much to improve the overall selling price of the Slingshot.
Good Luck selling it.
 

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Our story is that we are now approaching 30,000 miles where the one way trip to the dealer is now nearly 200 miles, so fortunately, like BKL, we too have had very few issues with our SlingShot. The initial problems with the rear bearings, (including ours), way back when, apparently came about with the single nut becoming untorqued and then thrashing the bearings, (fortunately we caught ours before bearings were damaged.) This was at the time the single nut was replaced by a double nut system and the failures, at least the complaints here, became dramatically less since. But, being mechanical, no SlingShot is totally immune from having issues now and then. If I may say, we have treated our dealer(s) with understanding and respect, where they have returned the kindness with great service. Every issue we have had arise with our SlingShot have been quickly and satisfactorily satisfied solely by the dealer without complaint, we have never had to contact Polaris themselves. With this experience we have concluded that Polaris depends on their dealers, and if you happen to be unfortunate enough to to happen to get on the bad side of a dealer, or, even worse, have a bad one, the dealer's response may be to just pass you on to Polaris themselves. At which time your probable only recourse is to try another dealer.

Bill
 

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@cyclecog I do understand the frustration with the problem. Mine was the headlight....before the recall the problem fried my fuse box. From Feb 2015 to Sept 2015 and 16,901 miles ... didn't want to wait for warrantee work so traded for a 2016...
I love the "idea" of the machine, but Polaris has just blown the execution of the concept! Surprised it has survived as long as it has and for me this latest has just brought me to the point where I have had it with Polaris. If they can't admit their mistakes, and make it right, in my mind they are not somebody I want to support or do business with anymore.
 
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