The 1976 RXL Polaris factory racer was unique for two big reasons--those first IFS sleds blew the competition away and they were the best looking sleds Polaris ever made. A Polaris 120 in RXL clothes is just a stunning miniature sled. The kids will go freaky riding one of these.
Dan Buchanan is now the sole source for Mini RXLs. Dan is a good guy. He is the person who initiated the Mini RXL and made the original pattern for the mold. You’ll find him helpful with the installation. He also knows how to make them a lot faster. Now that I am no longer involved with the mini project, Dan has lowered his prices:
- Mini RXL hoods in white gelcoat are $249 (they were $299)
- Mini RXL hoods in Midnight Blue are $399 (they were $499--blue gelcoat is a lot less money than a paint job)
- Mini RXL graphics are now $89 (they were $125)
Interested Dads, Uncles and Granddads should call or write:
Dan Buchanan “The Mini Man”
905 Riverwood Lane SW
Oronoco, MN 55960
Mounting the mini RXL hood
- Place the hood in position on the pan.
- Eyeball, if you can, the drill points inside the hood's nose opening with the metal OEM hinges. They should be pretty darn close. If not adjust when you drill the hinge holes in the hood. A right angle drill might help.
- Once the holes are drilled you have the challenge of overcoming the width of the OEM hinges with the narrower hood opening. No problemo.
- Get yourself two bolts of sufficient length. Get 4 large fender washers which go on either side of the fiberglass for strength. And get small washers to act as spacers (unless you have a lathe-then just cut dowels to fit). This diagram should explain it.
- That takes care of anchoring the nose of the sled. Now to finish just transfer the rear hold-down bungees from the stock hood to the new one.
Applying RXL graphics
You have two options to apply graphics. 1) Apply them yourself or 2) have a pro do it. If you don't have experience or the confidence with adhesive graphics, have a sign shop do it. It will be about 50 bucks. If you screw it up, we'd have to send a replacement vinyl part and you know that'll be at least a week to your door. If you have a professional apply them-you can scream at him/her if the job gets screwed up!
These are super quality 3M graphics. The type is called "air release" which is designed to stick without bubbles but you can create bubbles if don't apply them right. There are three parts to graphics. The top sheet is the pre-mask. Middle is the vinyl graphics. And the bottom is called the liner.
- See this YouTube video first (opens a new window)
- Wash your hands to rid your skin of oil, grease and dirt which can transfer to the sticker and screw up your job. Wear clean clothes too.
- Clean the body surface to be residue and oil free.
- With a sharp scissor cut closely around the vinyl shapes. Be careful because each has a hard-to-see white border. This allows you to eyeball the 'live' sticker for proper positioning.
- Find a hard, level surface. Place the sticker, pre-mask up and rub it semi-hard with a smooth edged plastic squeegee (a new Bondo spreader). As you rub, make sure to rub carefully around each edge--this minimizes bubbles and promotes full transfer of the vinyl to the pre-mask and weakens the vinyl contact with the liner. Rubbing allows you to peel away the liner without pulling the vinyl with it.
- Start with a clean towel on your lap and dry hands, the towel reduces crud build up on the side you will work on next.
- Tear off a bunch of 1" pieces of blue masking/painter's tape.
- Position the sticker exactly where you want it. Take as long as needed to get the exact position. With the bits of tape, anchor the sticker precisely.
- If you are right handed, remove blue tape from right side of sticker...oh maybe ¼ of the length of the piece you are applying. Pull up the right end of the sticker and peel away that ¼ of the liner and cut the liner off with a clean, sharp scissor. Let nothing touch the exposed adhesive.
- The remaining blue tape is positioning the rest of the sticker so slowly press down from the center of the exposed sticker out to the right edge. I go back and forth in little farmer rows to eliminate bubbles. This contacted area has automaticly positioned the rest of the sticker.
- Remove the rest of the blue tape. Reach under the sticker and begin pulling away the rest of the liner. Do this very slowly. As your hand removes a bit of the liner, your right hand is doing the little farmer rows behind it. When you start breathing again the sticker will applied.
- If you make a mistake in this process you have 5 minutes to reposition the sticker. Pick up an edge with a sharp, clean blade and reposition. 3M's adhesive becomes stronger in time. After 15 minutes it's on for good and can only be removed with a heat gun.
- Before you remove the pre-mask, rub it hard but evenly over the entire sticker--do with fingers. You are now transferring the greater holding power of the sticker's adhesive to the body part. The power of the sticker adhesive is greater than the pre-mask so the sticker will transfer to your part.
- Remove the pre-mask from each part you apply because other parts do overlap.
- If you find bubbles....no big deal. Use a new Xacto knife blade or pin. Prick the side of the bubble and press the air out. Or use a diabetic's syringe--they have tiny needles and with them you can suck air out of the bubbles
Clearcoating is not really necessary and requires more work and time than its worth. If you are anal and have to have the "paint look" do not use a clear which requires a reducer. Here's why. Reducer will dilute the adhesive during clearcoat curing. You'll come back after the clear has dried and it will look like someone sprayed Zip Strip over the stickers...and it's hard as a rock. You will start to cry, I guarantee it.
Munchkins have a tendency to run into things. Our hood is fiberglass which is repairable. If you buy a white hood paint matching is easier after body work. If you have a Midnight blue hood, you'll probably have repaint the entire hood because paint matching might be a bitch. Polaris Midnight Blue 1975-1980 is available from Vintage Sled Paint, 800-424-9300.
If you are going to patch the hood yourself do it on the inside. Sand blast the inside of the effected area for resin/glass adhesion. Gelcoat cracks can be masked by sanding and spraying with Duracoat primer. I want you to know that we reinforce the low nose crossover piece because that's the first thing that will contact branches, ice chunks and the lawn mower you forgot to put away last fall.
~ Phil and Dan