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Used 2018 guidance

590 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Timmy
Hello best and brightest..

New here and to sxs in general. I have a opportunity to purchase from a dealer a traded 2018 Wildcat xx. Its currently all black, no decals. It has 2002 miles on the clock. No maintenance history. Rear axle boot is blown and they're going to replace the axle.

I'm hoping to learn what are the most important things to focus on with this model rig from the most knowledgeable source..... you, current owner's and aficionados.

I really am hoping it works out, I really like these models, but I also don't want to buy a worn-out problem rig either. Me and the wife and daughter will be using it for just trail rides.

Thank you very much in advance for any guidance.
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When I got mine I read as many of the threads on here as possible. If it looks like its been in a lot of mud and water then you may have to do the brakes and bearings, etc sooner than if it was ridden in mostly dry areas. I had mine blow up because the bolts on the intake clamps were not even finger tight. So it was sucking sand/dirt/mud. So I would look over the SXS and just see if anything is lose or not together correctly. I think the early 2018's were more prone to some issues as far as assembly from the factory . Other than that , jack it up and feel for any play in wheel and suspension. They put some wider gears ion the transaxle in the 20 and newer I think. I'm not sure how to check to see if there is a potential issue with that. Maybe a search on here will give you some tips.

With that many miles on it, you are past the timeframe that the plugged up oil filter would have caused a problem. So You should be good with the engine. They all turn over for a little bit before starting. So that is normal. If I was you I would ask the dealer to change all of the fluids . Or If you did the fluid changes Yourself you could get an even better idea of how it was taken care of. The front diff,transaxle , and engine oil of course. But look at the air filter , see if there is any dust inside that got past the filter, how clean or dirty the filter is, Look at the oil filter and see if it has the hours written on it and or the brand. might tell you the last time it was changed. look to see if you can see any signs that the drain plugs have had a wrench on them . If they look like they have been in and out a few times You'll have a better idea of how often the fluids have been changed. I would also just look at all of the fasteners that You can see and see if it looks like stuff has ben on and off. Then You might have a better idea of if it has had issues that were fixed or whatever. Look at the tires and if they are worn unevenly.

Other than the axles there is not a lot of stuff that can be seen that were known issues that I can think of. So I would look at everything you would look at on any used vehicle. There are 3 versions of Axles now and depending on the style riding you do , one may work better for you than the other. Another subject you can search on here for.

If everything looks and feels tight and clean, and original I would think it was not abused and should be a solid sxs. Put some 4 or 5 point harnesses in instead of the stock seat belts. Much safer and more comfortable in most conditions. If you ever roll it, You'll be glad you put them in. Even if you never roll it they are much more comfortable in my opinion. In prior UTV's I was stiff and sore after a ride with stock belts, and after putting some 3inch harnesses in I felt safer and drove more relaxed and did not hold on as hard since the harnesses hold you in place well. The XX suspension is so amazing that its not going to beat you up like a utility model . It was the first thing I did to mine.
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Search through the threads and you will find all the info you need. Every SXS has issues and problem areas. Anyone who says differently is lying or ignorant. The problem areas for the XX are easily fixed, although a couple of them cost some $$ to fix properly.

Rear axle boots: First step is to make darn sure that the rear trailing arms are adjusted properly. Next level would be to by the latest generation of XX axles from the OEM only, no aftermarket. The best solution, but the most $$, is the Speed double plunge axles. (yes, I know I just contradicted my last point with this aftermarket solution.) Speed axles are hands down the best.

Water pump impeller can fail: At a minimum either buy or build your own Speedwerx bleed kit. Next level would be to buy a billet aluminum impeller. The ultimate is a Speed water pump.

Cabin heat from radiator: Just move the radiator to the rear. Just do it. A bit of a PITA to get done, but the stock radiator works well and you can use most of the stock plumbing to get it done. No more overheating and it looks cool. Frees up the front area for an aux. fuel cell, storage, etc.

Clutching: Leave it alone unless you have serious complaints with the stock clutching. Avoid the Speedwerx PTO "upgrade". As a shop owner who has rebuilt engines that were destroyed due to this part failing, and having not one but TWO of them fail on my own car, just leave it stock and deal with the noise.

Noisy car: Yes it is. Deal with it. Buy a good helmet with a pumper system and intercom for you and your passengers. You will thank me later.

Uncomfortable stock seats: Many manufacturers make an aftermarket seat.

Soft stock suspension: Pick a suspension tuner and have them build the shocks for you and how you drive. A chunk of $$ but now is the time to do it. You will get years of pleasure from a properly tuned suspension.

Steering rack upgrade: It is fairly weak in stock form. It is accepted as mandatory to install a bushing kit and double shear brace kit. Not hard to do for the shade tree mechanic and not expensive. It will save lots of grief down the road.

Engine: Pretty darn solid in stock form. Use good quality oil that is not OEM Textron with a good filter and change it frequently.

Coil failures: This is an issue. A few of us are looking at better options. I am currently running Yamaha R1 sport bike coils and they seem to be holding up well. But there are other options as well.

ECU tunes: Get one. They have some great features and will liven up the engine a bit. Alba and Speedwerx are two of the bigger players but there are others.

Exhaust: The factory muffler has a cat and a spark arrestor that can get plugged, along with sounding "tinny". The Speedwerx Q6 is a popular muffler (I run one) that is almost as quiet as stock but sounds much better.

Safety: If it does not have aftermarket 4 point harnesses at a minimum (I prefer 5 point), just get them. Your life and those of your loved ones are not worth the junk stock seat belts. Get a fire extinguisher, learn how to use it, and have it easily accessible by anyone who needs to grab it to save you and your passengers.

Performance: The XX does not have much room for improvement in the motor department short of forced induction ($$$$). Live with it. The suspension will write checks that the engine can not cash. This car can easily handle 200+ HP but only offers 130. That said, in racing, mine usually holds its own against much of the turbo class and finishes at the top of the normally aspirated pro class while beating better than half of the turbo class on time. Driven and set up properly it is a beast in the rough stuff. Most recreational riders, unless you are in the dunes, do not NEED more power, we just want it.

Transmission and front differential: Get rid of the OEM fluids and use a good quality synthetic 75/140 gear oil, change it often. The front diff is weak, although many get many thousands of miles with no problem if driven with respect. Same goes for the transmission. If you have any concerns, or really want to push the car, Weddle has a 4 spyder front diff kit that is not too expensive that will make it all but bullet proof. Weddle also has solutions for the transmission. My 2018 has over 3000 pure race miles on his diff/trans prepping with no problems, but I will probably upgrade to his updated diff kit in the future.

All in all the XX is the most solid SXS you can buy off the showroom floor. It has some weak areas that are fixable, but it has the best suspension out of the box bar none. No ball joints to fail and the geometry is set up properly from the factory (Robby Gordon designed).

My 2018:
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Thank you so much for the amazing detailed responses. I've been reading forums constantly, and watched about every YouTube video on these XX's I still feel a bit nervous as this is my first SxS purchase. Sometimes like my Dad said if the price is too good it's bad... stay away. BUT if I can do my due diligence maybe it will work out. I was thinking of hiring a local tech to take a ride with me and do the preview, but with the solid info you provided here I may try it on my own.
Well I bought it.. I must say I'm not the most confident new xx owner at this point. The machine seemed to check out ok, I did bring my local tech with me. He said that with over 2000 miles I need to do a lot of work. He said he sees many failures on these starting around that mileage.
I read basically all of the xx forums and the crazy catastrophic failures, oil consumption issues with new units ect ect I still bought it. I did because I like the look , size and Yamaha engine. I'm nervous about the clutching and diffs.
At any rate, thank you very much for the input. I'm here now for the duration of my xx ownership.
what failures did he say that happens on these rigs at the said mileage?
Only items that wore out on mine at 2300 are the steering rack and a couple of uniballs were getting sloppy.
Front axle boots were getting sloppy causing the axle to bump the hub on the outer side occasionally.
I am anal about maintenance. 5-700 mile oil changes...Maxima heavy weight syn in the transaxle.
Belt life has been awesome. Clutch still looks good.
May do a water pump impeller soon just because...
From our conversation it seemed that common to all no matter the type of terrain was weak steering, transaxke failure's requiring complete replacement. Many clutching failure issues of various types. Coil failure's.
He said axles are just bad in general. It's our
largest arctic cat dealer too ,he actually owned an xx and now he owns a talon.
Every sxs has its issues it seems. Other than utilty and the slower ones it seems like they all have issues here and there. The chassis is still one of the best available. And if you got it at a really good price then you'll still be ok. After buying a new engine I'm about even with a new one. Cost wise. But at the time there were not any new ones around. I was thinking of a talon. But the suspension of the xx has spoiled me. And the room in the cab. Hope you get some miles on it before needing any big repairs. At least he's seen the bad stuff that can happen and you'll know what to keep an eye on.
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Every sxs has its issues it seems. Other than utilty and the slower ones it seems like they all have issues here and there. The chassis is still one of the best available. And if you got it at a really good price then you'll still be ok. After buying a new engine I'm about even with a new one. Cost wise. But at the time there were not any new ones around. I was thinking of a talon. But the suspension of the xx has spoiled me. And the room in the cab. Hope you get some miles on it before needing any big repairs. At least he's seen the bad stuff that can happen and you'll know what to keep an eye on.
All SXSs have issues, even utility ones. Mules are horrible, can hardly get them to idle right, Teryx's have massive fuel pump issues, Polaris likes to allow dust into the motor and kill the rings, and the list goes on.
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That's what I don't know. I paid 12k for 2018 2012 mikes. They put in new axles in the rear. No maintenance history. No decals just all black . Rugged radio comms and blower. Harness. I don't know if it's a good deal or not honestly. The underneath doesn't have a skid plate and it's really not badly banged up. It's my first sxs so really learning here. This group I hope will be the source for me to continue to learn and be pro active on maintenance and upgrades before shit goes really bad.
I meant less issues or seem like they have issues less often.
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