A bolt-on RXL conversion kit for 1983 to 1997 Polaris Indys
Polaris had 14 year string of success with its Indy Wedge from 1983 to 1997. The snowbelt is littered with thousands of used Indys priced from $200 to ones in primo shape. Since 1976, the year the RXL was introduced to the track, Polaris people have lusted after that hallmark sled for its design and performance.
The RXL/Indy hood/nose is made from fiberglass and is available in white, black or midnight blue. The rear opening of the hood will fit pre-1988 small tanks or later big tanks. Graphics will be tuned to the owner's hood color choice and will fit tunnels with and without rear bumpers. The kit will fit any Wedge with an extruded aluminum bumper.
Other options complement an RXL build: hood mount kit, RXL graphics kit for hood and tunnel, headlight, oval bars, lightweight aluminum IFS skis and a right side oval stirrup is coming. RXL seats can be obtained from Conrad Van Batavia at 218-639-1815.
Pricing (as of 10/8/19)
|Hood and nose, in midnight blue or black||$675.00|
|Hood and nose, in white (does not look good with my graphics)||$660.00|
|Duez ¼ turn hood latch kit||$60.00|
|Specify tank: Pre-1988 small tank or 1989-on big tank--I trim hood to match|
|Tunnel graphics with bumper cutout||$49.00|
|Tunnel graphics without bumper cutout||$49.00|
|RXL Halogen long-distance headlight - Mounts to roof in nose opening||$51.00|
|Light bracket for steering column||$27.00|
|Flat oval-style handlebars||$39.00|
|Custom hand-built carton & plastic protection bag (see photo)||$45.00|
|Grille in black or aluminum||$109.00|
|Tail light bar||$49.00|
|Aluminum IFS skis||$345.00|
|Shipping (ordinarily Speedee or Greyhound)|
|SpeeDee ND, SD, IL, WI, MN||$95.00 (approx.)|
|Ship to Norway||$340.00|
|Ship to Canada - I ship to Pembina ND. You drive across the border, pick up and pay a small fee to take back across. Formal shipping is wildly expensive with taxes.|
If you wonder why I charge 45 bucks for the carton, this is why. Firstly, the raw box is very expensive because one, it’s big, and two, its thick dual-wall cardboard. Then I layout all the cuts and folds then assemble it. Each carton takes about an hour and a half. The wedge-shaped design does not permit top loading--you don’t want a tractor tire on top of your hood.
The design is so good that I’ve never had a damage claim. That’s a good thing because unbundling a damaged shipment claim can gobble up a lot of time neither of us needs to waste.
Visa, Master, DiscoverCard. Minnesotans add 7.5% tax. Cards charged only on day of shipment. PayPal purchases will be subject to extra fee, particularly foreign sales. (They whack me hard!)
Acceptance is highly subject to condition. Restocking charge is 15%. Shipping charges not compensated.
Specs and prices may change without prior notification. Specs and prices will change without prior notification. Product designs by Phil Little Racing are copyrighted.
We can apply them for you (recommended--it's a bitch) or you can save the money and apply them yourself. It helps to have experience applying large-area graphics using the wet method. Tunnel graphics are not shown. I have two versions, one with cutout for rear bumper, the other for no bumper.
Halogen driving light
This light is not some cheapo tossed in to keep the DNR happy. It is a 55 watt Halogen light that tosses a narrow beam about twice a normal car light. That is needed for sledding at night where you have to spot open ice, ice chunks and lazy deer well in advance. A replacement bulb is easily found at an auto parts store--ask for a Peterson 55w Halogen bulb.
The case is chrome and the mount is adjustable for height. I have selected a slightly different light now so it can be mounted in the RXL nose scoop or up on the handle bars so it points where you are going which is a tad safer. I am working on a bent plate that mounts under the handlebar perches. Two wires--negative and ground. See price list for light and bar mount. [Guys-take it easy at night, it's the most dangerous snowmobiling time.]
The original RXLs had them and it’s cool to mount the new grille in front of the headlight. The headlight won’t be hanging inside the hood mouth like a bad tooth. The material is aluminum so I can ship it in natural aluminum or paint it semi-flat black for you.
I am surrounding the mesh with a rubber trim edge, otherwise the jagged mesh edges would eat away the nose fiberglass or for sure cut your fingers in handling. There’s blood on my shop floor.
I found some nifty little aluminum angle mounts to hold the grille in place.
Price is $89.00 (and includes my ER visits).
RXL LED Taillight
For those of you who are going to use a custom seat on your RXL or Retro, here is the perfect rear taillight. Whether you use a Conrad seat or make a custom back end for a big tank seat-the stock taillight can’t be used or shouldn’t be used because it screws up the sleek sloping rear. This light is 16 3/16” long, which is perfect because it goes completely across the seat.
If you are using a Conrad seat, I’ll send this light to him so he can include a stripe of wood in your seat to mount this light. If you use the big tank seat base, you mount this light in the rear plastic edge of that seat base. Before you upholster the seat, drill the two mount holes (8 ½” on center) and the wiring hole (5/16”, if I remember correctly) in the seat base plastic. After upholstery, you just probe for the holes.
The light uses six-diode LEDs. It will operate from 9 to 16 volts. It has two wires and the ground wire is marked. The entire housing is one-piece and sealed with epoxy to eliminate moisture. It sits on a rubber mounting gasket. I searched high and low for a suitable light but they were all too short-then I found this perfect one and it was cheaper than the shorter SLP light.
Flat Race Bars
How to make an RXL seat out of a big tank indy
Mark Elgar from Hubbell, Michigan bought an RXL hood but wanted to use the big tank. He and I talked it over and he was willing to lose the trunk and the stock taillight. That made getting the RXL shape possible. Mark decided, and I agreed, to not cover the tank. Looks more like a race version that way. He will add an SLP or other type of taillight/stop light mounted to the bumper.
I had foam only 3” thick so I had to glue the pieces together. Hint: dense foam is easier to grind and sand with a bread knife, hand belt sander and rotary disc in drill. Use super upholstery spray glue.
Next step is the upholsterer. The foam took me a day and a half so don’t be a-comin’ to me to do this for you because I’d have to charge a bunch of money. Since the above photos were taken I flattened the back curve to more like the RXL shape.
Okay now you can see the longer slope on the tail back. Mark wanted an old time snap look for this seat. The cover is stapled to the base but the snap strip was just added as a visual. The snaps will work like the original seats. We added a race-style knee pad for the look but made it thin so it didn’t get in the way of his right boot.
The cost worked out to be $500... right where Conrad is with his small tank seats. There ya go--just one man’s way to get the race look with stock components.
Indy Fan-cooled Sleds Overheating
A special concern with RXL hoods
Most Trail Indys with stock hoods do not over heat because stock hoods have lots of fresh air scoops. Some owners do experience bogging in warm weather from overheating not caused by air box blockage (mice), improper jetting, bad plugs, plugged gas cap vents or other mechanical issues. If you have this experience, my solution can help you too.
The cause of overheating with fan engines
The factory ran the exhaust pipe right next to the engine intake fan. The air flowing over the engine was warmed. The temperature in the engine compartment further increases if it is not expelled from the fan exhaust port. The probability of overheating with a fan engine under my RXL hood is increased because fresh air intake is reduced by the non-vented RXL hood. The single source of fresh air are the four 2” holes in the bulkhead.
There are two solutions
One. Deflect the exhaust heat so it is not sucked into the engine Two. Drill holes in the back of the air box so cooler air is sucked in from the left engine compartment side. This trick can be used for liquid cooled engines as well if bogging occurs.
A eureka moment
I have no idea why I didn’t come to this solution two years ago. For over ten years, I have been doing advertising (my other business) for Swain Tech. They are the only company on the planet who coats exhaust systems with ceramic. Ceramic (a stone-like material) contains heat inside the pipe. You can grab the pipe with bare hands when the engine running full blast.
Let me tell you about this stuff. It’s called White Lightning TM . It’s a .015” (about 1/16”) thick ceramic coating that fuses with the pipe steel at extremely high temperature. This cures the engine compartment heat problem so even a fan engine can be properly cooled. Heat radiation is reduces by up to 50%. Under car hoods from 800 o F to below 400º F.
However, there’s more.
This thick insulating layer contains heat inside the pipe but also increases gas velocity and improves scavenging. This combustion effect increases horsepower by about 3%. Against a similar stock sled, you’ll pass them every time because ceramic is “bolt-on” horsepower.
I can hear you thinking “Why not just wrap the pipe with bands of fiberglass heat wrap or Kevlar?” you say. Well I’m here to tell you, that will work until your exhaust system crumbles into rust pile. The problem is snow (water) gets between the wraps and rust immediately attacks the pipe-not a slick idea!
Do what I am going to do with both my RXLs
White Lightning is white and gets ugly with use. The uglier it get the better it works This summer I’m going to have my pipes and headers sand blasted, then send to
Swain for White Lightning coating. The cost is cheaper than anything I could develop.
- Single pipes are $90-135
- Twins are $150-175
- Triples are $225-275
- Y-headers, about $35
Prices may vary a bit.
RXL Builder Gallery
Greg Allen is one of my early RXL customers--he’s from up Glen, New Hampshire way. He built his sled as a drag racer because that’s what he does. He’s an old guy like me but keeps in shape (i.e. light) so he doesn’t have haul extra weight off the line. Greg is a good guy who wears crazy hats and always responds when I send out questions to my RXL mailing list.
The Graber racing team has been racing eleven years. The team are Colton, his brother Austin and their father and crew chief John. As kids, Colton (#964) and Austin #(965) started on vintage single cylinders. In 2013 they moved up to IFS classes. They are Sponsored by; Woodys, HPE and famly & friends. This year’s schedule includes Beausejour, Strathcona and Minnesota Pond races. Their classes are F500, Pro Lite and 500 Fan.
This is Colton Graber, oval racer from Milaca, Minnesota.Read More
It’s not just the lovely use of red on this sled. Steve Heins of Sartell, MN, had to replace darn near everything on the sled, but he got it back to stock then kept going with positive cornering plastic skis that look like C&A.
Steve said, “This build was a big challenge. This sled was in a fire. Every single thing on this sled has been rebuilt to OEM Specs. The tunnel was polished, Phil’s RXL kit was bought and installed and a custom seat was ordered from Conrad. She’s now ready for Snow, Go and Show!”Read More
Not many words but I spotted a few things on his sled which may help your build. Notice skis and suspension--it’s all powder coated in silver. It looks good and will last a long time. He chose a black hood like I did because even though Midnight Blue is correct, how does one deal with a black belly pan? He’s polished his tunnel and used a Conrad seat with the pre-88 small tank. Look up on his bars--he polished the brake reservoir. That is detail attention. Nice job truck man.Read More
To my left is John Curtis who is from Homer, New York. I met him this August (2108) in Hammondsport, New York at the Glen Curtis Museum motorcycle swap meet. That is John’s RXL in front (he asked me to sign his hood--an honor), which he really likes because it gets so many comments.
John has the distinction of being the only customer (I think) to buy snowmobile and motorcycle parts from me. Its nice meeting customers who I consider as friends--who usually I never see.Read More
The back story on this sled is it was a 1994 440 fan-cooled Polaris with about three pounds of leaves in the belly pan when I bought it. I cleaned, sanded, and painted the tunnel and skis with etching primer and a top coat of Rustoleum High Performance black spray paint from Home Depot. I cut about 4 inches of stock foam off the back hump on seat and had seat re-covered. I ordered an 18" x 24" of stainless steel mesh (at 6 squares per inch) from Pegasus Racing and installed it at pull-cord/ignition opening, drive belt opening, side panels on belly pan, and in the nose cone of the sled by the front headlight.Read More
John said, “I purchased your kit this spring and love it. I've gone to three shows and won three trophies. I get a lot of people looking at it and I tell them how to get one. It looks great and I get a lot of complements. I used a '95 XLT triple with pipes, polished the tunnel, painted the suspension and new skis and ski skins.”
John Curtis is the Body Shop Manager of Royal Auto Group in Homer, NY.Read More
They are some tough cookies up there in Finland. Remember they kicked major Russian ass in the Winter War of 1939/40 and they were grossly mismatched against zillions of Russian soldiers with tanks and artillery. The Finns had almost no heavy weapons and still snuffed them. But we are talking about a different subject.
When Mika first wrote me he sent a photo of the most dilapidated early triple sled you ever saw and said he wanted an RXL clone. So I sent him a kit with which he did absolute wonders. I point out the seat. It was done in Finland by an artist...race style with taillights. Here you see my light in the grill.Read More
This sled is so fun to ride! I got 9 thumbs up today in just 60 miles. Understand I have a new 800 assault 144 and a XRS Doo 800 137" and never got a thumbs up on either sled. You have something here! Sunday, as I crossed a road, two sledders waited for me and from their truck they said "man that is too nice to trail ride"... they thought it was a real 78!Read More
I took my RXL out for a spin the other day and it was so fun, the looks I got were unbelievable! I would like to build another using a 1994 XCR special with triple pipes. I am hoping our dollar rebounds before this summer when I want to do this.
Tim from Conklin, MI purchased a kit from me then pulled his sled apart and detailed everything. Note the engine bay--it is superb. He did the same with the suspension system and and all other bits. The hood-off shot shows how good the RXL seat looks with a big tank.Read More
Greg Allen from Glen, NH, you might say is an ardent Polaris nut who likes the hotter Roseau vintage sleds. But more than that, he is one of those fellows who I would label as a "complete builder." You know one of those types who tears a sled to its essence and rebuilds a jewel. Greg has made an RXL/Indy of note.
The first thing I noticed about his sled is how low he dropped the front suspension. That one thing does more than any other to make his sled look like the RXL. Notice, too, Greg's attempt at a mesh grille. He hasn't figured out how to make one that installs easily. I haven't either. Maybe you can derive an answer. If you do, you can sell them on my site.Read More