1996 Sportsman 400 2-Stroke Overheating - Polaris ATV Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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1996 Sportsman 400 2-Stroke Overheating

I have a 1996 sportsman 400 4x4 2 stroke and am having issues with it overheating in warmer weather. I am not the original owner and cannot find a reliable place to get an owners manual to look over the parts. I can ride for about an hour and the light come on. I have checked that the carb is getting air and fuel. The oil levels drop (the atv mixes itself) which to me indicate that it uses oil and it seems to use oil appropriately. I have owned it for about 9 months. Could it be an antifreeze issue or what else could it be? If so, what kind of antifreeze do I need to use in it and about how much if I do a complete flush? Thanks to all.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 04:47 PM
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start with the simple stuff first, is the radiator dirty or clogged up with mud?

it could be jetted lean. check the spark plug for signs of lean or rich jetting.

does the fan come on when the light comes on? if not your system may be air locked.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 07:49 PM
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 01:26 AM
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My 94 sportsmans radiator fins plug up with mud and the quad will over heat. Some times it looks clean from the front of the radiator but I pulled it and from the back the lower half was packed with mud. If this is the case the radiator was a bitch to pull but that is the best way to clean it. DO NOT USE A PRESSURE WASHER ON IT it will mess up the fins in the radiator I have seen it done. Let it soak for a bit and then spray it out with a hose with your thumb over the end. After you get the packed in stuff you should be able to clean it still in the quad if you spray it out after every muddy ride. Hope this helps.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 01:44 PM
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Overheating issue

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Originally Posted by Jacob2k8 View Post
I have a 1996 sportsman 400 4x4 2 stroke and am having issues with it overheating in warmer weather. I am not the original owner and cannot find a reliable place to get an owners manual to look over the parts. I can ride for about an hour and the light come on. I have checked that the carb is getting air and fuel. The oil levels drop (the atv mixes itself) which to me indicate that it uses oil and it seems to use oil appropriately. I have owned it for about 9 months. Could it be an antifreeze issue or what else could it be? If so, what kind of antifreeze do I need to use in it and about how much if I do a complete flush? Thanks to all.
I had the same issues with my Xplorer 400 2 stroke. Temp light kept coming on after 15-20 minutes of plowing snow. I pulled the radiator and let it soak in the bathtub for 1/2 hr. Then took the jet spray of the hand held shower head to it for another 1/2 hr. I could not believe the dirt I flushed out. I could see through the radioator before I started. Once I put the radiator back in (tougher than getting it out), I filled it with a 20 oz. pop bottle full of water and the rest with antifreeze(green). That's just over a 50/50 mix. Then I drove it up some car ramps and let it run for 20 minutes to make sure I didn't have an air lock. Replaced the cap installed the front grill, rack and plastic and I fixed the problem. I plowed deep snow for over 1/2 hr. and the light didn't come on. Hope this helps.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Well the fan won't turn on. I'm new to atv maintenance and trying to learn. Can you describe what air lock is and how it stops the fan? And if you think cleaning out the radiator would help or at least explore the issue, does anyone know of the best manual to use to know a stepwise process in doing this? Like I said the fan won't turn on but I assumed it was a wiring issue. It doesn't over heat too quickly just if I ride for a while then stop in this Georgia heat. I also have a new issue, does anyone know of a rear drive chain tensioner? Chain broke and I'm trying to replace it and can't seem to get enough slack to get the master link locked. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. I'm new and I'm sure irritating but I'm trying to learn and learn the right way.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 06:34 PM
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Vpor lock is when there is a bubble in the ine. Typicly on the intake side of the pump. It prevents the coolant from flowing not the fan from spinning. If the fan aint comong on then thats likely the issue. You can cut the two wires at the temp switch at the rad. Plug the two wires together. If the fan comes on then you know you have a bad switch. If it dont come on then either no power to the fan or the fan is bad. If your worried about vapor lock then open the phillips head/10mm nut on the head while you fill it with rad fluid. It should(in theory) push the air out. I've had to force a bubble with a water hose though. But if it takes an hour, it's likely the fan or clogged radiator. Vapor lock takes about 10min to over heat pretty bad
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