Polaris Chaincase Oil Question?

General Discussions: Tech Talk: Polaris Chaincase Oil Question?

By switchbackmke on Monday, September 28, 2009 - 09:47 pm: Edit Post

Just finished putting a new track on my 07 Switchback, and now need to put oil in the chaincase. Looked in the factory service manual as well as the owners manual and they don't give a weight or service classification of the oil like you would typically see in say your car service guidelines. All they say is to use Polaris Synthetic Chaincase Lube. I have a bottle of Mobile 1 Synthetic gear lube in the garage that is 75W-90. Wanted to know if I could use this in lieu of the mystery Polaris Oil. Any thoughts?

By sargebbj1953 on Monday, September 28, 2009 - 10:09 pm: Edit Post

Do not use gear lube. I would go buy a quart of chaincase oil from your Polaris dealer.

By polarisrider1 on Monday, September 28, 2009 - 10:51 pm: Edit Post

Just buy the Polaris Synthtetic. Get the larger bottle it is a way better deal than the premeasured bottle. measure it out yourself. I think you need between 9 to 12 oz. Dealer will tell you.

By skeeter2010 on Monday, September 28, 2009 - 11:24 pm: Edit Post

Well here we go again the great debate over chain case oil. This is usually get lots of hits

So here is my opinion. Use motor oil standard or synthetic 10W30 or 40 or even straight weight oil the chin case is nothing but a timing chain. The same one that goes 200,000 miles in a car I would also recommend changing it out a couple times a year. The money you save on not buying OEM oil will by you enough oil for a few change outs the important thing is to get all the little filings out to reduce wear

By bruno on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 08:09 am: Edit Post

Motor oil is not a good idea, The detergent in it will cause foaming. Motor oil is designed to be pumped not churned. If motor oil is all you can get use a non detergent type. But the best bet is to use a good chain case oil, I like klotz, or amsoil. The manufactures stuff is always a few bucks more., but it's good too.

By winter_time on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 08:44 am: Edit Post

automatic transmission fluid is what i use

By skidoo50 on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 08:48 am: Edit Post

Here we go again.

By bouncer on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 09:09 am: Edit Post

When they say detergent type oil, meaning it has an additive that will encapsulate the carbon byproduct leftover in the engine from the result of combustion. This is why the oil turns black. It is holding this carbon that would otherwise end up on all the engine internal surfaces and form sludge. Any liquid will foam if agitated enough. It is not because of the detergent in the oil.

SO,, if you run motor oil, a detergent type would be an over kill for this application but would not hurt anything.

I look at it this way. At -10 degrees would I want 75w-80w gear lube in my aluminum chain case? Can you imagine the stress those parts are taking just to get the stuff moving like liquid again.

You will be fine with a motor oil but remember not to use synthetic until the sled in broke in. Otherwise the shaft seals might not seat in and leak.

By michaeladams on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 02:36 pm: Edit Post

oil,oil everywhere,and not to shot to drink

By dcsnomo on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 06:07 pm: Edit Post

I'm not an expert, but I am a realist. Given how important the chaincase is, and given the high dollar amount of a failure, why would you not do exactly what the manufacturer reccomends? So you get nicked an extra $10-$20 for the manufacturer label, at least you know it is the right stuff.

By booondocker on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 06:39 pm: Edit Post

Pooshaw....oil is oil. Remember that the use will be in cold temps so the trick is to use something that does not get thick when it gets cold, which is why the recommend synthetics because it doesn't jell up like dino oil can.

You are simply lubricating bearings and preventing seal failure...just think about it a bit. There is nothing in there which will self destruct, or whip up the lubricant...just a chain that is buzzing around and a couple bearings that have need for constant lubrication. Buy whatever you want, including tranny lube, but don't mix them because some don't like that. If your chain case is prone to get water in it, then change it a couple times per season. If you knew how many people out there don't bother to change it at all, you wouldn't worry about what type or vicosity...just keeping the oil without moisture is the ticket.

Otherwise, go to your lubrication bin and grab a bottle and stop worrying about it. Some people are absolutely annal about these things and it is nothing but amusing at best.

Now if you are going to put oil in Cat's diamond drive, that would be different and there could be complications (tho it wouldn't surprise me if it didn't) if'n you use something other than what is recommended.

By polarisrider1 on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 07:54 pm: Edit Post

Why rewrite the program? How cheap do we go here. We are looking at 9-12 oz. of oil. If you have to reinvent the wheel go with a non detergent oil that is at the weight of what your sled manufacture recomends. They spend millions on researching this stuff. Why re-think something so minor? This is like burning Boat or weed wacker oil in your sled to save a dime. (rest has been self edited).

By obob on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 11:31 pm: Edit Post

I use Full Synthetic Amsoil, and change every fall, 7500 Hard rockin Miles. 02 Polaris 700xcsp.
Geared, Clutched, jetted, V-Force 3 Reeds, Piped.
I'm just saying i ride hard, Sleds are expensive toys. Take good care of them and do good PM, Spend a buck where it is best spent. So you will get your money's worth and the most enjoyment from it. Cut corners and don't take care of it,and it will come back to bite you.

By polarisrider1 on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 11:48 pm: Edit Post

obob- that was put perfectly. I actually started to get tearey eyed. Great answer!!

By eao on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 12:20 pm: Edit Post

My 2 cents from years in the lubrication business.

Do not use motor oil, ATF or gear oil in the chain case. They are not designed for that kind of application.

The spec's call for an extreme pressure light oil lube. Engine oil is not extreme pressure, ATF is a hydraulic fluid. Gear lube is extreme pressure but 75W-90 etc is just too thick to lube the chain, its designed for hypoid gears (ring & pinion). Using the incorrect type of lube can cause seal damage, metal pitting or chemical reaction with the metals used inside the case. The manf. of chain case oils have formulated them to take these things into consideration. The fact that some people used something else and never appeared to have an issues is no reason to do what they do.

In cold weather the 75W-90 gear lube thicken up and cause drag. Some gear lubes can get thick as molasses in cold weather,

By marty__kms on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 02:12 pm: Edit Post


Look at what your started…lol.

My favorite is the guy who will spend $10,500.00 on a sled and then spend 3 hours researching how to save $10.00 on oil, damn accountants and engineers. (Pun intended)

By sundown on Thursday, October 01, 2009 - 08:48 pm: Edit Post

Use whatever weight lube you are comfortable with, but make sure it has an "EP" rating. All that horsepower you guys are cranking has to get from drivetrain to track via the chain and sprockets. True you are lubing the bearings, but that is not where the filings are coming from. You need the extreme pressure lube because of the force generated between the sprockets and chain. This is the wear area. Also remember that the more you boost horsepower and increase traction the more stress you put on the chain and sprockets.

By switchbackmke on Thursday, October 01, 2009 - 10:37 pm: Edit Post


Would have never thought.......

Really justed wanted to know if anyone knew what service classification or rating there was on the polaris chaincase lube. Wasn't about being cheap.
Just curious. But it has been fun reading.....we'll call this one dead, done, buried, fried, and finished.
Thanks guys.

By 800le on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 09:14 pm: Edit Post

I have a 2001 800 LE and I have thought of and researched using after market oils and lubricants. But why? Everyone has an opinion on what you should use. So, I have stayed with Polaris' lubricants with one reason why. When you buy an expensive toy such as a snowmobile why use after market oils and lubricants in it just because they are cheaper. I ride with different people at different times and I have noticed that some of these guys suit up, fire up, and zoom their gone without any warm up. Then within 3 or 4 thousand miles their motors have pucked. Myself I start my sled let it warm up ,and suit, up warm my track up and then take off. That warm up procedure and not being cheap is the reason why my 800 is still going strong at 10,000+ miles and still starts on the second pull. Dont get me wrong I have replaced the normal wear parts track, carbides, clutch, etc.

By polarisrider1 on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 11:59 pm: Edit Post

800le, you omly have 10,000+ miles on that sled. It is a guzzler after all. I put 8800 miles on my 01 800 xc sp in the first 2 yrs. I had the 2 yr. engine warrenty. Never warmed the sled up. Rode it like I stole it all throughout Canada in hopes of cashing in for a new motor. No such luck. When the warrenty ran out I got alittle worried, so I unloaded it on a brother-in-law Still running strong for my brother-in-law (who is a big guy) 3rd track 4th drive bearing (speedo side). same motor 24,000+ miles on it. It did drink the gas (pre power valve motor). Does your electric suspension shock still work? I had that gizmo on my 2000 700 xcsp 45th aniversary. Or did yours come with M10?

By eao on Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 07:53 am: Edit Post

Polaris (also Arctic Cat)lubes are bottled by a company called Lube-Tech. They are a oil provider serving the small engine and power sports industry. They blend it, bottle it, distribute it and the OEM's set the prices.

The OEM's want you to think its special but in reality is likely no better than any other oil found on the shelves of the discount stores.

In other words, they are taking generic oils bottling for oem's who are selling them at a premium.

By booondocker on Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 08:19 am: Edit Post

"My favorite is the guy who will spend $10,500.00 on a sled and then spend 3 hours researching how to save $10.00 on oil, damn accountants and engineers. (Pun intended)"

If you make it sound complicated enough the 50 cent can of oil the manufacturer puts out that costs $20 will put money in the pocket of the dealer right? Today's oil is not yesterdays oil. The worst stuff is 50 times better than the best of the old stuff....take it from there.

"Engine oil is not extreme pressure" So what is happening at the crankshaft and piston rod bearings is "light duty" eh?? Do you know that oil will break down the chain/sprocket/bearings by wear or too much pressure?? Lots of fooweee in the lubrication business too...that's why one claims better than another, but is made by the same company who puts different labels on it.

While it is definitely true that because some have never had a break down by using xyz oil instead of the "real McCoy" stuff that costs 10 times more, one could also say that despite using the expensive spread, they still had to replace the parts in the chain case after awhile and for all they know, the stuff that the manufacturers use is sub-par and designed to bring in business to the back room of the dealership. Conversely, maybe the other stuff would have worked better...who's to say?

"They spend millions on researching this stuff."

On this one...I am pretty sure that we can say that NO sled company spends money on this...they don't spend it on testing the sled let alone doing lubricant tests. More likely they go to the chart see what fits the application and call the oil company to make up a batch with their private label on it and charge the crap out of people for it over the next 20 years.

As I said before....lots of guys are afraid to get their car oil changed at anything but a dealership...cause yeah just can't trust anybody else to do it right...for them, go for it...for everyone else....the driveway ramps work just fine and save a nickle in this day of trying to save a dime. But hey...who am I to say....all annal persons form a line on the right...everyone else on the left...time to get the H1 shots...let's see who drops first!

By eao on Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 09:47 am: Edit Post


So what is happening at the crankshaft and piston rod bearings is "light duty" eh??

There is a big difference between an engine and a gear case.

In an engine oil is forced between the metal surfaces by the oil pump and it maintains that pressure, not so in a axle or chaincase or differential. If the oil, ATF etc does not have extreme pressure additives (and they don't because they are not needed) the gears/chains meshing will force the lube out and there will be margin protection. There is no oil pump pushing the oil between the metal surfaces to protect them.

Research has shown that NO motor oils contain extreme pressure additives presently. This includes major motor oil company’s petroleum and synthetic products as well as specialty synthetic motor oil producers such as Amsoil® , Redline®, and Royal Purple®.

By vx700xtc on Monday, October 12, 2009 - 11:20 pm: Edit Post

How long do you think the oil in your chain case stays cold? Ride your sled about 10 miles, stop, and feel your case,, cold?? no.
Had many sleds over 10000 miles, always used gear oil, used to use 85-140, now I mostly use 75-90. Never replaced a chain, or bearings in a chain case.

By longtrack on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 07:51 am: Edit Post

I put my Grandmothers Pea Soup in my Ski-doo it works fine.

By booondocker on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 09:02 am: Edit Post

I use my wife' facial mud...a bit gritty, for the first few miles but then she is loose as a goose....my sled that is!

By anonomoose on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 09:07 am: Edit Post

VX, this is my point. Like your car or truck or ATV, sled...weedwhacker....all are pretty functional on nearly anything made because nearly all of this stuff is pretty high tech, has great lubricating capacity, and corrosion protection. All this in a fairly low tech application, you probably could use ear wax and be fine!

By vw56german on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 03:28 pm: Edit Post

Ok, lets look at an automotive example that is similar to a chain case.

It has been stated that there is a big difference between an engine and a gear case. True, but lets look under the timing cover and see the chain and gear set there that get oil slung or sprayed on them. No extreme presure lubricant needed here and chains last many 10's of thousands of miles, often very loose. Not properly adujusted as we keep our drive chains.

My biggest concern about what kind of oil to use would be: Will it leak out of a seal because it is too thin for the application. I have seen leaks created from changing to synthetic oils where conventional was specified. I dont see where there is a need for any high tech lubricant in this area, unless specified by the manufacturer.

By joshwagner on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 05:45 pm: Edit Post

Isn't this application identical to a transfer case on a truck or jeep?

By polarisrider1 on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 06:27 pm: Edit Post

no, just use the recomended stuff and be done with it. These oil questions always get beat to death with no real winners. Your minds are made up before you type. any oil is better than no oil.

By cih7250 on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 12:21 pm: Edit Post

Amsoil Series 2000 Synthetic Chaincase Oil Product Code:TCC-BE can't beat it with a club good stuff.

By doo_dr on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 03:13 pm: Edit Post

This is a slippery thread LOL!!! I like the timing change comparison. They are identical in style and application. But on the other side I do not think it takes 100hp to turn a cam and heat builds on stressing metal. Standard or synthetic doesn't really matter in a chanincase but for one reason. Temp flow. I personally use the standard Amsoil 75-90 gearlube and have been satified for years. I figure that a smart sledder lets his entire sled warm up before hamering on it so you don't really need to worry about gear case oil flow unless you are ram roding a cold sled. If you do, you'll probably have to contend with cold seizing before chaincase failure. Remember that the chain case oil process is a bathing/slinging process. If you have oil leaks it's not from the type of oil used. Think of it as a water resistant jacket compared to a waterproof jacket. By the way. Manuals don't give specs other than OEM because they want you to buy their pretty package!!! I used cooking oil in our watercross sled. It was pretty cool to dump it (the sled) and when you opened the chain case the water and oil had already seperated like a salad dressing.

By aesynthetics on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 11:25 pm: Edit Post

What cih7250 said! For $4.55 a 12oz. bottle you can't go wrong. I can set you up as a preferred customer if you wish. I used to have lube expansion, heat and exterior residue on various sleds, not anymore! Also got tired of the price at the dealerships. Check out "A study of automotive gear lubes" and after you'll wonder why everyone isn't running Amsoil gear lubricants and oils.

By magie03 on Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 10:39 pm: Edit Post

I think I'll try waste oil, I can get that for free from a local repair shop. LOL

By vw56german on Friday, October 16, 2009 - 08:34 am: Edit Post

Hmm, waste oil.... I bet you could get a sweet synthetic blend that way. Something like: 0w-5w-10w-15w-20w-30w-40-50w-80w-90w-115 Talk about all weather!

By magie03 on Friday, October 16, 2009 - 08:41 am: Edit Post

You have it all figured out vw56german

By doo_dr on Friday, October 16, 2009 - 10:01 am: Edit Post

Then you describe what your blend like Johnny Cash sings "One Piece at a Time".

By obob on Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 11:57 pm: Edit Post

Quite honestly, I think most Vehicles have had Timing Belts for probably more than 20 Years now and No oil for lube. Hum ?

By ezra on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 12:06 am: Edit Post


By vx700xtc on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 12:38 am: Edit Post

You might be surprised at how many engines still use a timing chain.

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