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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to purchase a 2ed machine for friends/family to use when we ride. I have had it in the back of my mind that a Commander would the unit to buy for this purpose. I have been looking at gently used machines and know it wont be a problem to find something. However I have also been reading a lot of the forums and there seems to be some issues that keep coming up with the Commanders. I understand you can get on any forum about any machine and read about issues but on the Commander forums the issues seem to be more common. Is it just me reading too much in to it or have there been specific issues? One of the issues is the clutch/CVT belt. I have had CVT driven machines (both speed and torque sensing types) since I was a young child, I understand how they work and how to operate a machine so that you are not burning up the belt. I have never broken or smoked a belt, ever! However I can see how the HP make by the Rotax engines would shorten belt life considerably. This could be especially true with drivers that are not keenly aware of what is going on in the CVT case. Of course I would give anyone using this machine a "schooling" on how to operate and understand there is going to belt maintenance regardless of these factors. However, if there is already a "belt/clutch issue then I am not so sure a Commander is the best for my purpose. Other issues are front end problems, mostly weak components, Rackzilla seems to be a fix for this?? front diff. problems and rear end problems. In general and beside the obvious what should I look for in a year or two old Commander. Is there a certain year/model I should stay away from? When riding we always put the least experienced drivers in between experienced drivers so I am not to concerned about the Commander having too much power. I am also very selective about whomever drives it. I will not buy another Polaris and really don't care for AC too much. Sorry for such a long winded question. I DO appreciate all comments from Commander owners. Thanks to everyone.
 

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The common upgrades for the weak points are,,,, install the Rackzilla steering to dump the weak tie rods that will get bent,,,, install power steering as these are very front end heavy feeling so the enjoyment will still be there after a 6 hour drive,,,,, expect to replace the 391,411, or 506 rearend because of whining problems from the straight cut pinion and poorly setup factory specs

Your success with cvts has been due to understanding how they work and machines with half the SxSs weight. One man on a quad vs 4 men in a 4 up SxS has different belt demands. The key for a stock cvt to keep belts happy in these is using low range at lower speeds with your knowledge and common sense from experience, then pass that on to your drivers with schooling - exactly what you had mentioned.

Finally, your choice with a commander as a secondary machine is great in the fact you can have a key programmed per OSHA specs that limits speed to 25 mph and engine torque etc is also reeled back. This is a great feature for first timers driving , then up them to a standard, then performance keys progressively.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thx for the great response. That is the info I was looking for. I have experience with straight cut vs helical cut and although the straight do have a whine it was never bad enough (once you knew what the whine was caused by) I considered replacing anything. Actually just knowing they are stronger was a good thing as far as I was concerned. So are they really that loud? And what are you replacing them with? On another note I am curious if anyone has any experience with the Gator 850 RXS. It is really the only other machine I have considered to fill my need. A good friend bought one last fall and I spent some time in it at Brimstone where it performed well. What I don't know however is if there are any issues with them. I will have to say that the Deere seems to be built better/heavier by just looking at it for what that is worth. I really do like the Rotax engine best but just need to get one or the other and be done with it. thanks again for the help.
 

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Several uses of straight cut gears in the past has always emitting a noticible whine and was normal.....a couple instances that come to mind is if you ever have had the pleasure to ride/drive a car with the GM M-22 Rockcrusher manual tranny, or the turbo 475 automatic ( a turbo 400 with straight cut 1st gear) in P-30 chassied motorhomes), that whine is a sweet sound. These commander rearends I mentioned start out with said whine, but will start getting louder and louder to the point of rattling and then total failure.....far noiser than what should be heard.

Two options have been successful, after the owner has had enough, is the XMR rearend to adapt into the chassis and a brand new commander rearend which has since been engineered better with a spiral/bevel cut pinion/ring gear....both options are the remedy to the 391, 411 and 506 older whiners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
M-22 I built a 63 split window vette with one and an L-88 for power. I was scarey fast. Have also had high performance boats with straight cut gears in the lower units but this Commander issue sounds like a real bad deal to me. Even if it is fixed now what are all the owners of previous machines doing? Sounds like a class action situation to me. Why does anyone buy a used Commander? Have they done something to fix the weak front ends? I am beginning to think I should look at something else. I dont mind regular maintenance but complete front ends and rear ends?
 

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You can keep your stock steering rack and pinion, which usually is not any problem for peeps, and just buy aftermart tie rod ends and should get you by nicely. When you test drive one, listen really close for that noise. Get the serial number from the rearend tag and if last 3 numbers are one I mentioned, use this knowledge for bargaining with owner or dealership unmercifully. Tell them to drop price $1000 for the bad rearend you are buying from them. That money will buy you a great replacement.

BTW, this latest year of commander has the new rearend with spiral cut and all peeps are loving it.
 

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BRP said they started installing them in 2014, so I guess it could be possible to buy a latelatelate model 2013 with the new rear....what I want to know is what the last 3 numbers are on these new 2014 rears. If anyone buys a 14, please report back!
 

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I'll check tonight when I get home. My rear end doesn't wine at all, but my front one does when in 4wd. Called my dealer and he said it wasn't normal and they'll check it out. If necessary they would replace it under warranty...

Grtzzz

2014 Can-Am Commander XT-P 1000 with some addons...
 

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Haven't heard of any complaints about the front whining, so yes, you should have them check it out. The cvt area has had a lot of complaints over these years about being WAY TOO LOUD, but most have come from newbies to cvts and rotax. Once they learn or see how the cvt operates, all is good usually.
 

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I do understand the cvt and the noises they make, but I'm sure it's the front diff and it's only when in 4wd. The visco does work like it should tough...

2014 Can-Am Commander XT-P 1000 with some addons...
 
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