Cool XLT

"Dear Ralph" March 10, 2006 0
Dear Ralph: I have a 1998 Polaris XLT Special. My problem is the hand warmers have never worked well. I have even gone as...

Dear Ralph:
I have a 1998 Polaris XLT Special. My problem is the hand warmers have never worked well. I have even gone as far as to replace the original warmers with aftermarket ones, but it didn’t help – they actually seem to be even worse. At the time I installed them, I sprayed some expanding foam into the bar ends, thinking it might help to insulate them and stop some heat loss, but it didn’t help. Do you have any suggestions?
Dave Jacobson

Anytime we talk about hand warmers not getting hot enough, we must first determine if they are heating at all (which in your case they seem to be at least warming somewhat). Many sleds of this vintage were limited by the electrical output capability of the alternator system (magneto). In the case of your sled, the output is rated at 280 watts, which isn’t bad, compared to the 200 watts of many Polaris models at that time. Still, it doesn’t provide a whole bunch of juice to power things like hand warmers. This has to power the headlight, tail light, brake light, instruments, and ignition system, so your warmers get what is left over. It ain’t much.
The actual output is going to vary with engine rpm, so if you’re putting around at low speed the warmers are not going to get very hot. Run the sled harder, and they should heat up to maximum.
What we’re getting at is that the warmers are likely getting as hot as they can. You’re probably better off with the OEM heaters, at least they were an engineered match to your sled. This being the case, we need to look at trying to retain the heat that is being generated. Windshield design, height and width, has a great influence on perception of warmer function. Also, if you have installed a set of bar risers there is likely more airflow across the bars, sucking away precious heat.
Other options include a set of hand guards to provide additional wind deflection, warmer gloves, or gauntlets to better protect your hands.

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