Does your Can-Am differential need a rebuild? Let’s take a look at some of our top recommended rebuild options for enhancing your utility vehicle’s performance!
Over the years of working in the UTV world, a common question Halo Performance has received from Can-Am drivers is whether the differential can be rebuilt. A differential rebuild can extend the life of your vehicle while enhancing its overall performance, however if your differential has failed because it is being used beyond its designed limitations the rebuild could be a waste of money. Since there are multiple reasons you might be considering undertaking this work, we’re here to answer all of your most pressing questions on the topic. Let’s look at some of the key signs of a broken differential and discover whether rebuilding, purchasing a replacement, or upgrading is the best option for you.
Why Would You Need to Rebuild a Can-Am Differential?
While the majority of vehicle owners won’t ever need to consider rebuilding their differential, if you have been experiencing issues recently with yours, you may need to consider this option. We commonly find that people need to rebuild a differential following extreme use/abuse, tire size upgrades, power upgrades, or accidents where extensive damage may have occurred to the vehicle.
Many times, replacing a differential can cost a fortune, even costing more than an old vehicle is worth. Of course, it can really depend on what the issue is, but for the best long-term results and price point, rebuilding a differential may be the best option. Rebuilding a differential is a task you can try and take on yourself or outsource the work to a mechanic.
How Do You Maintain a Can-Am Differential? Do You Need to Change Your Oil?
Establishing a proper care and maintenance routine for your Can-Am differential is incredibly important to avoid having to rebuild it in the first place. Roughly every 2000 miles, you’ll need to change the differential fluid.
If you forget to keep up with this, over time, heat is created from the friction of the metal rubbing against the metal. In the long run, this can weaken your gears and slowly wear down the surfaces of these parts. We know that in most cases, the differential never gets the same level of attention that your engine does.
However, when it’s neglected for too long, it could damage other parts of the vehicle. Then you will be left with a damaged UTV and a steep repair bill. Don’t let that happen to you! If you need some tips on proper maintenance for your UTV, check out the YouTube video below.
Signs That Your Rear or Front Differential is Broken
There are various signs to look out for when it comes to a broken rear or front differential. One of the most common issues that drivers notice is difficulty steering and noisy operations, which may happen alongside a loud noise. The grinding of your gears or a clunking sound is a key indicator that there are issues with your front differential. The rear differential may also make unusual noises, which may be paired with abnormal wear and tear on the tires of the vehicle.
In summary, these are some of the most common signs that your differential needs a rebuild:
- Whistling or grinding noises
- Oil leaks from the differential
- Decreased vehicle performance
- Grinding gears
If you notice your vehicle is experiencing any of the following, then you will want to look into rebuilding your differential ASAP. Driving with a damaged differential can create further damage to other parts.
Can You Rebuild a Can-Am Differential Yourself?
Rebuilding your Can-Am differential is perfectly doable by yourself. This option allows you to save money on a task you can learn how to do yourself. That being said, it will take more time, especially if you’ve never done one before.
If you are going to try this alone, then make sure you follow tutorials to ensure you don’t make any errors during the process. When performed by a professional, you’ll find this job usually takes three to five hours. For that reason, you’ll need to have a good amount of time to try it by yourself, as you’ll need to replace the housing, bearings, gears, and seals.
Check out this video to learn how to rebuild a Can-Am differential by yourself. They offer excellent guidance for first-timers but make sure you take your time to avoid missing out on any steps.
Rebuild or Purchase a New Replacement – Which is the Best Option?
Another question we are often asked by drivers needing to replace their Can-Am differential is whether rebuilding it or replacing the differential is the best option. Naturally, there are pros and cons to both solutions. Generally, rebuilding your differential is going to be the more affordable option, as some differential replacements can cost nearly the same as an old vehicle. Even if you don’t take on the rebuild by yourself, you’ll find it shouldn’t cost you more than $500.
When considering replacing or repairing the differential, you’ll need to also check out the damage to the nearby parts of your vehicle. Many drivers find the axles, transmission, or driveshaft are damaged, which could add to the list of repairs you need. In these situations, you may find a replacement is the best option, as it would be too much work to rebuild all of this from scratch. It all comes down to the condition of your differential and how much can be salvaged to help you decide which is the best route for you to take.
Automatic or Selectable Differentials for Can-Am Vehicles
Since Can-Am vehicles can support both automatic or selectable differential options, you’ll want to decide which is the best solution for you based on a variety of factors. While both differentials serve the same purpose of making turns easier and giving additional traction, they differ in their effectiveness and price point. Let’s take a look at some of the main differences in automatic and selectable differentials for your Can-Am vehicle.
In general, we recommend a selectable differential when you can. You’ll have more control over how the power is distributed to your vehicle and wheels. It gives you the chance to control how the vehicle reacts on the road, which can be beneficial when driving on different terrains and in various weather conditions. It’s all about finding the option that works with your current budget though, which we know will be the deciding factor for most drivers.
Your Can-Am differential can either be replaced or rebuilt should you find you are having issues with this part, but most drivers should be able to use their vehicle for many years without having to take on this task. It’s completely possible to rebuild the differential by yourself, and the tutorials we’ve shared above will take you through this process so you can have a go at this alone.
Make sure you always work with an experienced Can-Am mechanic if you have any concerns about the damage to your vehicle though. Selectable differentials require more work to install, which is why you’ll often want to leave this task to a certified mechanic. With a new differential in place, you’ll be able to continue using your Can-Am vehicle safely for many years to come.
About Halo Lockers | OX Off-Road
Based in Odessa, Florida, Halo Lockers is the UTV division of OX Off-Road. OX has been making selectable lockers and off-road-related parts for over 2 decades. Exceptional quality and product strength define our UTV products. Our products are made in the USA – NOT in China. We only use the best materials, manufacturing, and metallurgical processes. When you call us to discuss upgrading your Can-Am side-by-side vehicle, you are going to talk with an expert. Please call 727-230-7803 with any product questions or for assistance with the ordering process. Allow us to take your side-by-side vehicle to new heights.