My 2004 Ranger TM had stood the years quite well, except for the “roll bar” and attached screen. An overhanging limb had wracked the bar and the screen’s wind resistance cost me a gear on my 4 cylinder pickup while towing.

There was nowhere to install a mirror, or a windshield, for that matter. My dealer offered me a new 2004 cabin frame for half price, $250. It seems Rangers sold for commercial use have to have a ROPS certified roll bar, not the thinner cabin frame, so dealerships soon accumulate the things, still in their shipping cartons.

The TM shares a frame with the 500 of the same year, so it was just a matter of removing the old bar and screen, then sawing semi-circular cutouts in the front fenders to allow the bars to join the frame. I worried unreasonably about this surgery. Turned out my sabre saw was perfect for the job, and the shape of the cutout wasn’t at all critical. The promised base plates lay below the new holes, and the components of the frame bolted together very well.

A roof wasn’t far behind. I found an original black steel model on eBay.ca at a Polaris dealership in North Bay for $150. On it went. The Ranger felt stiffer with the new cab assembly. eBay provided a great, honking cabin mirror to mount on the new frame and crash my head into occasionally, as well.

Now passengers had a grab bar, there was much less chance of a clotheslining incident or injury from an overhanging branch, and the roof even offered some protection from sun and rain. All of the commentary on the new feature was positive.

Suddenly the Ranger had become more attractive to my wife. With a 20 gallon tank in the back and a length of garden hose, the Ranger proved the watering can of choice. The end of the hose tucked out of the way among the roof supports until someone lowered it below the level of the tank to water flowers or tree seedlings.

Should you add a cabin frame and roof to your Ranger TM? Absolutely. There’s no downside beyond the original cost, and it’s great to have a mirror during occasional jaunts down back roads.

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