Mysterious noise in the back, a tale of mystery and imagination.....

Attention Vendors. Please email robert@rabtech.com any instruction manuals you may have for your products. They will be added to the FILEBASE tab for members to access.
  • I know there are reports of all kinds of obnoxious noises coming from the back of the slingshot but this one really blows me away.


    First off I was worried that it might be related to faulty bearings of the wheel axle or one of the pulleys. Once that was ruled out then the clear choice for me was a defective belt because when I am in a left hand turn or driving straight the noise was loud and consistent but when I am in a right hand turn the noise goes away completely but only in the turn. When the car is lifted and the swing-arm unloaded the noise is barely heard rotating the wheel but when the swing-arm is under load (belt under tension) then the noise is clearly heard when rotating the wheel.


    I was so fed up that I finally scheduled a visit at the dealership 90 miles away, I was hearing the noise as I pulled into the dealership but as my luck would have it by the time the service guys took her for a ride, yup you guessed it the noise was missing completely. I blamed it on a rainshower that drenched the car before they got to it and also the belt being way too loose for some reason.


    As far as they were concerned there was nothing wrong with the vehicle (see above video to know there is clearly something wrong).


    90 miles later I get back to my place (noise still missing) I then reset the tension and alignment of the belt (following to the letter the 25 steps of the service manual) and proceed to clean the belt as per the manual instructions and of course the noise predictably comes back (made the above video right after doing the belt maintenance).


    I finally send a bunch of videos to the dealership who passed it on to polaris. I wanted an answer to what the hell was causing that noise. The vehicle is still under warranty (2.5 months old/5k miles) but the belt is not. So for me I just want to know what is the issue. The best answer I got from polaris was a possible defective belt.


    Now here is the part that doesn't make sense, for 3 days straight, I drive the car for 20-30 miles a day and the noise is consistently present. I finally take a day off from driving her and the following day without doing a damn thing to her (no cleaning, no adjusting etc) the noise is completely gone. For two days and 40 miles the noise is missing, I am about ready to scream.


    I know the way to get the noise back is to wash the belt (as per the manual instructions). My working theory now is that it's moisture acting on a rubber/metal contact producing a wet rubber noise involving either the belt, the wheel axle or pulley axle rubber materials (i.e. o-rings etc).


    Once the vehicle is giving some time to sit still (24hours) the natural lubricants and moisture evaporating away will eventually take care of the noise. This is nuts because it means I can't wash the back area without the threat of that noise coming back and hanging around for at least a week. So either I let the back end get all grimey and dirty or I put up with the obnoxious noise for close to a week.


    Anyone seen or heard of this before? If I just knew what part was causing this I would lubricate the crap out of it. I was hoping the polaris engineers would have the answer but nope.

  • Oh dear, gremlins are the WORST!

    Have you tried lubricating the belt once it is clean? I use Liquid Wrench silicone lube, that generally quiets the noise for a couple weeks of daily driving.

    At worst, it's a $5 can of lube that's good for all sorts of things around house & garage, so you can't go too far wrong giving it a try.

    I usually take the belt shield off, wash with warm soapy water, and a stiff brush. Then I rinse with a hose, let dry for an hour. Then spray the belt, roll the sling forward a bit & repeat until the whole belt is lubricated. Allow the lube to dry 30 minutes or so before you take a test drive.

    This was my belt noise salvation when nothing else worked.

    The smarter you get, the funnier I am.

  • Yup what he said. Get some dry silicone spray and lube the belt. Flat ground, in neutral, push forward or pull back, spray the belt, let dry a few minutes. Now go for a quite ride. When the angle drive gets on your nerves get some Red Line 90/125 shock proof lube and change the gear oil. Run your belt a little looser than recommended and you should be good.


    LC

  • Bearing on the pulley side. How did you determine it was not the bearing? If you have not pulled the axle and inspected! Bin there and done that I was pulling the axle about every 6,000 miles and greasing and saved it for about another 16,000 miles and Polaris finally decided that they had a problem. This was with two 2015 Slingshot's we saved the second one by greasing for another 8,000 miles before the bearing finally came apart. Then Polaris replaced both sets of bearings on both Slingshot's under warranty. We were doing a video each time we pulled them down and sent to Polaris. Grease the bearing if it is still good and loosen the belt tension.

  • Bearing on the pulley side. How did you determine it was not the bearing? If you have not pulled the axle and inspected! Bin there and done that I was pulling the axle about every 6,000 miles and greasing and saved it for about another 16,000 miles and Polaris finally decided that they had a problem. This was with two 2015 Slingshot's we saved the second one by greasing for another 8,000 miles before the bearing finally came apart. Then Polaris replaced both sets of bearings on both Slingshot's under warranty. We were doing a video each time we pulled them down and sent to Polaris. Grease the bearing if it is still good and loosen the belt tension.

    If it was bearing related the noise would not go away. Plus during my one of my early belt adjustments my belt was too tight and I clearly heard what overstressed bearings sound like. Bearings have a popping sound to them. The sound I am dealing with has a clear wet rubber sound to it.

  • Oh dear, gremlins are the WORST!

    Have you tried lubricating the belt once it is clean? I use Liquid Wrench silicone lube, that generally quiets the noise for a couple weeks of daily driving.

    At worst, it's a $5 can of lube that's good for all sorts of things around house & garage, so you can't go too far wrong giving it a try.

    I usually take the belt shield off, wash with warm soapy water, and a stiff brush. Then I rinse with a hose, let dry for an hour. Then spray the belt, roll the sling forward a bit & repeat until the whole belt is lubricated. Allow the lube to dry 30 minutes or so before you take a test drive.

    This was my belt noise salvation when nothing else worked.

    Already done the silicone lube, works great for the constant ratchety sound I get from the belt as a result of dirt build-up. Unfortunately it only lasts about a week before I need to apply it again. The lube does nothing for the cyclic sound because it's not related to the teeth. It's a rotational warp pattern which means its related to the pulleys or axle motion. I hope to find some locations where a dab of grease might hit the mark.

  • Have you actually looked at the bearings.

    No that was the point of bringing it to the dealership. The fact that they couldn't find anything wrong with it (after I just drove 90 miles) tells me it's not bearing related.

    I am confident it's moisture related. I don't have the tools to be pulling bearings nor do I want to go there. Adjusting the belt and changing the oils is as far as I want to go with DIY maintenance. I had no desire to even do that but a 90 mile trip to the nearest dealership for routine maintenance is annoying.


    Also I sent that very same video you saw to Polaris, they did not come back telling me it was bearings they said it was belt related. Now if they decide to make that claim to avoid warranty obligations that's just fine because if it does turn out to be bearings down the road, then I am never ever buying a polaris product again. My next toy will be an electric vanderhall or a new vette.


    Remember, right now I have gone 40 miles without the noise. If I can bring that noise back with applying moisture (pretty sure I can) then it's not faulty bearings. Could it help greasing the bearings sure and I would do that if it was easy.


    All the videos I have seen on bearing issues show a distinct popping noise that I witnessed first hand when I inadvertently had the belt too tight.

  • If it was bearing related the noise would not go away. Plus during my one of my early belt adjustments my belt was too tight and I clearly heard what overstressed bearings sound like. Bearings have a popping sound to them. The sound I am dealing with has a clear wet rubber sound to it.

    You still did not answer the question, DID YOU PULL THE AXLE? It is not a big job to do. You do not have to pull the bearing just the axle. But you already have your mind made up so there is nothing anyone can tell you.

  • You still did not answer the question, DID YOU PULL THE AXLE? It is not a big job to do. You do not have to pull the bearing just the axle. But you already have your mind made up so there is nothing anyone can tell you.

    Looks like you made up your mind as well since you didn't read my post where I state that I took it to the dealership to have the vehicle inspected. They saw no issues with the axle or bearings and the sound wasn't even present for them. I don't have the tools to pull the axle nor do I want to push my luck in doing that. Sorry I am not an accomplished mechanic like you.


    Furthermore, I confirmed the issue tonight, after two days and 40 miles in dry conditions with no noise and no issues. Tonight after it rained I drove it to verify the issue, started off nice and quiet but 5 miles on wet roads and the noise returns. Clearly it's wet rubber rubbing against a hard surface. More than likely it's a warped belt because I visually noticed that during a 1/4 of the rotation of the cycle, the belt no longer hugs the inside edge (slight teeth showing) like it's suppose to instead it's moved towards the center of the track then returns to the inside edge.


    After sitting in my garage for a day and the belt finally drying off (averaging 75 degree dew point outside) the noise as expected would go away. This is not a bearing issue. It's a wet belt rubbing against something with excessive force.

  • I know its a pia but take an empty spray bottle and fill it with water. Drive back to the dealer and 5 or 10 miles away spray a mist of water on the belt then continue to the dealer and let them verify the noise first hand. I am a retired truck mechanic and I know what its like not being able to duplicate a problem.I am sure they will appreciate the effort.

  • I know its a pia but take an empty spray bottle and fill it with water. Drive back to the dealer and 5 or 10 miles away spray a mist of water on the belt then continue to the dealer and let them verify the noise first hand. I am a retired truck mechanic and I know what its like not being able to duplicate a problem.I am sure they will appreciate the effort.

    I hear you. I provided them with 4 videos showcasing tire rotation with swingarm loaded and unloaded, driving in a left hand and right hand turn, the coasting video I have in this thread. Since my 2019 SL is only a few months old and the warranty is still in effect, polaris has decided in good will to give me a replacement belt even though they don't have to since the belt is past its warranty.


    If they didn't feel certain this was the issue then they wouldn't waste my time and their money with a replacement belt and would be asking me to head back to the dealership for another inspection, think about it. I do not want to take another 180 mile round trip only to hear them say it is a defective belt.


    If it was a bearing or axle issue polaris would know it (they have 20+k of these units on the road, so they have seen it all from their dealership reports) and would be taking action on it just like they took action on their defective swing-arms two years ago and the defective fuel line a while back.


    But say if I do end up with a bearing issue (I am convinced this is not the case) months if not years down the road (out of warranty) then I will be done with polaris and will sell the sling cheap or trade it in for a vanderhall.


    Besides if the replacement belt doesn't work (I will know pretty quickly) then it's clearly an axle or pulley issue and I still am under warranty so it makes no sense for polaris to not get this right the first time else I am off to the dealership for major repairs on their dime.

  • Owners of Slingshot have learned that ALL DEALERS ARE NOT GOOD. Also it took quite a while for Polaris to admit that there was a problem. My dealer to start with would not even listen to what I had to say, now he asks my opinion on problems and how to fix them. As to the bearing problems, if we had not done the videos Polaris may have not admitted to the fact that there was even a problem. This is all I have to say on your problem, drive it until it quits and do not worry about it. Better yet sell it.

  • If you all remember, 4 years ago at the Maggie Valley, Polaris stated that out of all the warranty bearings that the dealers sent back to the factory for examinations, only 2 of them were actually bad. Then within hours of making that statement, one of the slingshot's in attendance had an issue. The factory reps had the local dealer check it out (under their supervision) and replaced the bearings on it. I guess they had to up their assessments to now knowing of 3 bad bearings (as of that date). I would have felt better if they had just stated that they had as many bad bearings from their supplier as they have of the brake pressure switches.

    Never be held prisoner to your past. It was a life lesson - NOT a life SENTENCE

  • If you all remember, 4 years ago at the Maggie Valley, Polaris stated that out of all the warranty bearings that the dealers sent back to the factory for examinations, only 2 of them were actually bad. Then within hours of making that statement, one of the slingshot's in attendance had an issue. The factory reps had the local dealer check it out (under their supervision) and replaced the bearings on it. I guess they had to up their assessments to now knowing of 3 bad bearings (as of that date). I would have felt better if they had just stated that they had as many bad bearings from their supplier as they have of the brake pressure switches.

    That was@ MrZ06 and if I remember he left his Sling in Augusta Ga. in June and it took like until Sept-Oct for them to receive parts and repair. This was the reason that I started carrying a spare set of bearings with me everywhere I went. I did not want to leave my Sling for months waiting on parts and repairs. I think I bought the bearings from Oceanside Polaris for like $189 for all parts. I lubed them with Super Lube brand product and double bagged them and they are still in my SS to this day. I check every once in a while to be sure the Zip Loc bags are still in good shape. I have to add that I think @MrZ06 is from New Jersey

  • To me, if the belt is wobbling from side to side, it suggests either something is bent or not square to where it should be.


    Swing arm is wobbling from bad bearing/s or bent axle or belt pulley is bent or has loose bolts.


    I doubt that water will make the belt wobble.

  • Every one of us has been caught in the rain or the belt was wet from washing the sling, if it was a water on the belt issue wouldn’t we all have heard that noise?

    Not if the belt was warped. Like I said in my original post, the belt shows alignment issues where for a 1/4 of the rotation it no longer rides the left side of the pulley track but slides to center than back to the left. This tells me that the belt has a warp which would allow it to ABNORMALLY rub against the metal side and cause the exact sound I am hearing when wet.


    When I was experimenting with belt alignment to troubleshoot the noise I noticed that when I align the belt all the way to the right side of the track, the sound will not happen wet or dry.


    This confirms there is an alignment issue and therefore could be a cause for the noise when wet.

  • To me, if the belt is wobbling from side to side, it suggests either something is bent or not square to where it should be.


    Swing arm is wobbling from bad bearing/s or bent axle or belt pulley is bent or has loose bolts.


    I doubt that water will make the belt wobble.

    The water allows the rubber to make noise that otherwise would not be heard. Think wet sneakers. The belt is permanently warped as a defect and when dry does not produce an audible noise but the excess friction is there, only when wet will the noise be heard. I suspect using silicon lubricant only exacerbated this effect.