Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Northeast Indiana
For future reference in case anyone else runs into a similar problem:
The root cause of the issue with the front drive not locking in is that the switch circuit lost / loses ground under load. The orange wire to the front drive is +12 volts, and the other wire is the ground.
I used a 400 sportsman to trouble shoot, and my diff locked in and released just like new. Back to my quad, we had +12 volts, resistance on the coil was a little high (28 ohms), and when I hooked up the connector, voltage across the wires dropped to 2 - 3 volts. Use test leads to connect power and jump the other side to chassis ground and everything works great.
Long story short, I will tie a new short ground lead into the quad side of the connector, factory switch will actuate the drive, and I don't have to buy a new side cover for $300 to find out the coil isn't the problem.
Thanks for the suggestions, and hope my book reply helps someone in the future.