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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rode up a steep rocky hill today with Commander. 1/3 of the way up, I started getting a loss of power almost like faulty spark plugs. I was in 4wd and high gear. The unit slowed to the point that I almost rolled over backwards as I needed more upward thrust on the hill. I was finally able to stop on a semi flat spot but the engine did not have enough power to climb the 45 degree hill. My dealer said I probably burned the clutch belt because I went up the hill in high gear instead of Low gear. Any ideas? Low gear would not have produced enough speed to get over the hill. This is a hill that I climb with my Honda Rubicon. I saw several ATV's come up after I wenched myself to the top so it was not that bad of a hill. I am afraid to trust the Commander on another hill climb if it is not designed to climb like an ATV. My dealer wants to sell me a heavy duty clutch upgrade to correct a problem that should have been a warranty issue. Any advice appreciated.
 

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nobody has a heavy duty clutch upgrade for the commanders, the dealer is blowing smoke up your skirt. he will sell you a new belt that is sub par to what you already have and think he did something. dont buy a new belt from your dealer. they commander belt that comes on the machines is the best belt you can put on the machine. the belt you buy at the can-am dealer is NOT the same belt it is a thinner and weaker belt. if you need a new belt your best bet is to buy the highlifter 3GX belt or wait untill the dealers start getting the real commander belts in stock.

you should have climbed in low gear. you can run 35mph in low range, which will carry enough momentum to climb up nearly any hill. the commander is like a billy goat. it has a nearly perfect weight bias and is not rear heavy like some machines. the commanders will scale 50+degree inclines but you should be in low gear to do so. high gear is just too tall of a gear in some instanecs
 

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What they said Sandpiper, low range when climbing like that...

Were you really low on gas then, like almost empty?.....Lance....sent via TapaTalk
 

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I have been up a number of longer hills both slow and fast, rock and dirt with no problems with the stock clutch. But then again I only have about 12 hours on my Commander 1000 XT so that is not like long term use but I didn't have any power or slipping problems.

I did find one of the spark plug wires was not all the way clicked onto the spark plug when it came back from the dealer from the 10 hour service. So that could have been the start of the problem for you, not getting a good spark under a load and then having a clutch problem because of the lack of power.
If you want to check the spark plug caps and have not pulled off the panels around the engine you can watch AIRDAM, Adam's video to get the panel off and go from there. (thanks Adam)

I used this to get the pop rivets out without scratching anything.
Harbor Freight Tools



Here is the AIRDAM video for the clutch removal but works good to see how things come apart, and you only have to remove the upper panel on either driver or passenger side, they are both about the same.

Here is one hill I went up in LOW and power was great all the way up. I also hit some long rock hill climbs going slow and steep that day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the help guys. I will use low gear in the future and climb at a slower rate of speed. My dealer did install a new can-am belt but I had to pay for the labor since the failure was my fault. The Commander is everything as advertised. An awesome machine if operated properly.
Flyingbryan, my hill was a baby compared to your hill. You must have nerves of steel.
 

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I too have climbed some gnarly hills,never lost power.....but the belt problem is a whole nother story.I burned my belt just crawling over rocks in low range,I think most owners are having issues with clutches and can am is not taking responsibilty for its weak clutch.
 

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I have 600 miles and 40 hours on mine I climb hills, been to the dunes, and done a lot of 4 wheel drive in deep snow spinning for many miles in low range. So far so good, but keepping my fingers crossed. I think it is very important to follow the break in for a new belt I learned this the hard way on some other units, the first 30 miles is critical on a new belt (just my opinion).
 

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Thanks for all the help guys. I will use low gear in the future and climb at a slower rate of speed. My dealer did install a new can-am belt but I had to pay for the labor since the failure was my fault. The Commander is everything as advertised. An awesome machine if operated properly.
Flyingbryan, my hill was a baby compared to your hill. You must have nerves of steel.
Thanks Piper, as you know this thing will go up just about anything you aim it at, but I would not of had to back down from higher up. :unsure:
 

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Ok. This is really old but is the only thing that comes up in my search for Commander Power Loss. The post is actually from the day I purchased our 2011 Commander 1000. lol Strange.

Heres my problem. I have a cabin on a pretty rough dirt road 4 miles from the pavement. We use the Commander to get there from the parking area. Much quicker. 4 miles takes 45 minutes in the truck. When I am cruising along in high gear. I use the black key. If I am on a flat or downhill I can fly up until it hit the 35 mph mark (where the ket cuts out) but if I am on a flat and hit a hill or even a slight incline I hit about 21-22 mph and it sounds like when I hit the 35 mph mark. I have not tried this in low gear because it is just a dirt road that others drive their trucks on so I am in high. I do know that there are 4 spots on the way up that this happens and 1 spot on the way down. Always the same spots. It really sucks in the snow in the winter when this happens. It'll make me have to back down alot of times and try again. And in the same spots over and over it cuts out. HELP!!!
 

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Ok. This is really old but is the only thing that comes up in my search for Commander Power Loss. The post is actually from the day I purchased our 2011 Commander 1000. lol Strange.

Heres my problem. I have a cabin on a pretty rough dirt road 4 miles from the pavement. We use the Commander to get there from the parking area. Much quicker. 4 miles takes 45 minutes in the truck. When I am cruising along in high gear. I use the black key. If I am on a flat or downhill I can fly up until it hit the 35 mph mark (where the ket cuts out) but if I am on a flat and hit a hill or even a slight incline I hit about 21-22 mph and it sounds like when I hit the 35 mph mark. I have not tried this in low gear because it is just a dirt road that others drive their trucks on so I am in high. I do know that there are 4 spots on the way up that this happens and 1 spot on the way down. Always the same spots. It really sucks in the snow in the winter when this happens. It'll make me have to back down alot of times and try again. And in the same spots over and over it cuts out. HELP!!!
Try your other key. Dollars to doughnuts your keys are programmed wrong.
 

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The grey key is the all out power key. It does make a difference. I only use that on better roads. No need to have everything its got on the road I drive. Might just try it tho to see if it changes anything on the hills. I use it in the winter with the deeper snow. It was doing it then too!
 

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I had a '12 with nothing but clutch issues and burning up belts in low and high range driving on a gravel road burnt up belts. Properly broke in belts. Changed to a QSC primary and STM secondary. Now have never had issues since. I went thru 5 belts in 200 miles. Now 700 miles on same belt. All with no warranty or even a solution to why it was doing that.
 

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As badly as you were going thru belts, there definately was something wrong. Since your shops never found the issue and 5 belts in 200 miles is totally crazy, I'll take a guess at it.

The primary inner and outer sheaves are not locked together. The outer sheave is a taper fit, just pressed on so to speak, pressed on and held by the single bolt. If in your case, that taper fit was lesser than perfect, it would be able to slip on the shaft.....unlike the inner sheave that has instant acceleration or deceleration, depending on your right foot.

So your inner is doing what the engine dictates, but the outer (poor taper fit) can't do exactly the same thing, you have belt slippage.....equals excess heat between belt and sheaves....equals belt failure.

The best OEM setup now is the Maverick turbo primaries....they are completely locked together and are awesome.
 

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That is correct. Or what we could figure. The QSC works great on it now. Took it to 2 shops and everyone said there was nothing wrong. I run trails, no big tires no rock climbs no hard pulls. Stock tires. It is babied from the stuff some guys throw at these things.
 

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Too late now, but it is simple to check for slippage between the 2 halves. Glad that your running with the gang now instead of changing belts all the time!
 

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How do you do the check ? Is there anyway to lock them up without buying a new setup? Thanks


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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How do you do the check ? Is there anyway to lock them up without buying a new setup? Thanks


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
The easy check is to mark both halves on the outer circumference with a black felt tip marker. Run the machine as normal, throw in many WOT launches, etc, and when convenient check those 2 marks....if they aren't across from each other anymore you have your answer.

Couple years ago 2 guys used to lock them together. It worked, but performance was still marginal, so many guys eventually went to aftermart primaries anyway. As mentioned, CanAm upgraded the N/A Maverick primaries to a 100% locked up for the turbo models starting in 2015.
 

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Do you know how they locked them together? I'm on a tight budget and wanted to make my belt last. Thanks for the reply


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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It wasn't let out by them how they did it because they were wanting to patent the idea...I don't believe they followed thru with it. I have never seen one, so don't know how it was done, but peeps had to ship their clutches out to them for machining etc.
 
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