How to Remove Polaris 550 Sportsman Wheels (2012-2013)

  • This how-to wheel and hub removal and installation guide is specific to 2012-2013 Polaris Sportsman 550, Sportsman 550 EPS / INT’L, Sportsman X2 550 / INT’L, Sportsman Touring 550 / INT’L and Sportsman X2 550 / Tour 550 / INT’L models.

We all know a wheel is a circular frame of hard metal that revolves around an axle and is situated below an all-terrain vehicle to enable it to move easily over rough landscape. But do you know how to service the wheels if the need arises? At some point you might need to take off and re-install the wheels on your four-wheeler when performing repair work, routine maintenance or when replacing tires. If you need to detach a wheel and then put it back on you must follow the manufacturer recommendations that list the proper way to remove and install a wheel. The factory instructions provide step-by-step removal and installation directions, wheel and hub torque specifications, and important safety cautions. Use this guide the next time you need to remove and install wheels on a Polaris Sportsman 550.

Wheel and Hub Torque Specifications

Wheel nut, lug nut specifications Polaris 550 Sportsman 2012-2013
Wheel and Hub Torque Specifications
Polaris Sportsman Steel and Aluminum Wheel Identification
Steel Wheel & Aluminum Wheel Comparison

Wheel Removal

  1. Place the all-terrain vehicle on a flat and even surface.

  2. Turn the engine OFF, shift transmission into PARK, then make sure to lock the parking brake.

  3. Slightly loosen the wheel lug nuts but do not unbolt them. If repair work requires removing the wheel hub, take out the cotter key and slightly loosen the hub nut.

  4. Use a jack to raise the appropriate side of the 4-wheeler and position a stand underneath the footrest frame to support the vehicle.

  5. Remove the wheel nuts and take off the wheel.

  6. Take off the hub nut and washers if the repair job requires it.

Wheel Installation

  1. Make sure that the transmission is in PARK and the vehicle’s parking brake is engaged and locked.

  2. Put the hub nut, washers and wheel hub back on the vehicle if previously removed.

  3. Place the wheel on the wheel hub and make sure it is in the correct position. Make sure the valve stem is pointing outward. On directional tires there is an arrow on the side wall, make sure the arrow is pointing toward forward rotation.

  4. Put the wheel lug nuts back on and hand tighten them so as to align the center of the wheel holes with the center of the tapered nuts. On steel wheels it is possible to torque the lug nuts without them being centered. If this occurs the nuts could loosen when driving the vehicle and make it unsafe to operate, so make sure the nuts are centered in the hole when fully torqued.

    Take care to avoid off-centered lug nuts on steel wheels, this doesn’t apply to aluminum wheels.

  5. Lower the vehicle back to the ground.

  6. Torque wheel nuts and/or hub nut to the factory specifications listed on this page.

  7. Install a new cotter pin if the hub nut was removed. The hub nut must be fully torqued before installing the cotter pin. Refer to torque specifications.
    Illustration of hub nut, wheel nuts and cotter pin Polaris Sportsman 550 2012 2013

Tire Pressure

Tire inflation specs

If the wheels were removed to install new tires refer to tire pressure inspection chart. The  front and back tire PSI listed is based on original equipment size and tire type. Keep in mind that worn tires can cause an accident. Replace any tire when the tread depth measures below 1/8” (.3 cm).

Richard Potter

Hi, I'm Richard, small engine mechanic with a combined 20 years experience in small engine service and repair. I fix everything from all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, scooters, and, generators, both gas, and diesel. Have a mechanical issue? Submit a detailed description of the problem in the comment box below. I will answer it ASAP.

One thought on “How to Remove Polaris 550 Sportsman Wheels (2012-2013)

  • Michael McIntosh

    Richard, I own a 2020 Polaris Sportman 450 and my nephew flipped it over. I went to remove the tire and can’t get it off. It only has the center wheel nut with cutter pin in it. How do I get it off?


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