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Old 04-18-2011, 10:17 PM
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2010 Sportsman 400 Electrical problem

OK guys, I just signed up for this forum because I need your help! I have been searching the threads for something similiar to my problem. I found a few of the same symptoms, but no solid solutions. Here is what is going on.

I have a 2010 Sportsman 400 with about 150 miles on it. When riding, it will quit all of a sudden, the cluster gauge will go out, and it will not re start right away. With alot of fidleing and time passing the power will come back to the guage cluster and it will start and run fine. There is no ryme or reason on when or where it does it. It has done it 5 times now and seems to be happening more often. The electrical problem is the equivalant of hitting the kill switch. It kills everything and the thing dies. I have gone as far as pulling the entire front end plastic off and checking all connections, battery, etc. Anyone have any ideas or the same problem? Any relays, breakers, etc. that I should look at?

Please help! Thanks
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:25 AM
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:59 AM
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The '08-'10 Sportsman 400 HO models use circuit breakers. There's a main 15A breaker that cuts off the whole machine, and two 10A breakers, one for accessories and one for the fan. Sounds like you're tripping the main breaker. They are snap type (according to my service manual) and reset themselves once they cool off. You either have a bad one or there's something causing it to trip through some high current drain (other than the fan or accessories as they have their own breaker). The circuit breaker holder is located near the right front strut tower. I've not seen these breakers cause problems, but if you have a bad one, that's easy. If there's something causing a drain, that's harder to isolate. According to this parts pic ( Polaris Parts, Polaris Snowmobile Parts, Polaris ATV Parts, Polaris Ranger Parts, Polaris Accessories at wholesale prices ) the main breaker is a roughly $28US part and I don't know if you want to just try a new one. If it's not the breaker, you'll need to spend some serious time looking at other components for shorts. Good luck. - MarkC
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Last edited by 1of7627; 04-19-2011 at 09:00 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:15 PM
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Thanks for the help 1Of7627. That sounds right, it kills the whole machine, then all of a sudden the power is back and everything is fine. I would sooner think there is something else going on that is tripping the breaker? The last two times it did it was when I hit a deep puddle. Maybe the water got to something and shorted it out? The first few times it did it was in the winter, so no water, but it seemed to do it during a hard turn. I will check all the major connections, battery cables, etc. Might have a bare wire somewhere that is shorting against the frame or grounding somewhere. While I have the front plastic off it, I am just going to go through and dielectric grease all the connectors and check all wires.

On another note, what a messed up place to put the battery!
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:02 AM
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Ah yes, the battery. Obviously, the engineering team tasked with shoehorning the 455cc engine into the Hawkeye chassis wasn't given enough money to redesign the bodywork needed to provide a proper place for the battery. The air cooled 300 has the battery high and up front between the storage compartments. Due to the cooling system of the 455, this space was taken by the radiator and plumbing and the only reasonable place left for the battery would be under the seat in the airbox area. But, that meant they couldn't carry over the rear body and airbox from the 300 and Polaris sadly didn't go that route.

Realistically, with the battery on the 08-10 400HO where it is, any water only a few inches above the footwells puts the battery under water and that's probably at the root of your issues. These models come with an AGM (sealed) battery from the factory and it's obvious why. If I anticipated encountering water of any significant depth, I'd make an effort to seal the battery cover on to keep water away from the terminal ends as submerging it unprotected no doubt raises Hell with the electrics. This shouldn't be too hard as the battery doesn't need to be vented. And definitely, replace the battery when needed with the same type. I've had the ones on my machines in and out several times and have the methodology down now, though it's still a very unpleasant experience. The '08 model came with a charging harness that's reachable from the front storage compartment and is very handy. Unfortunately, the harness was dropped from the '09 and '10 although you can order one and install it yourself. (I got a battery charger that came with one and mounted it in more or less the same place.)

Good luck with your quest. - MarkC
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:20 PM
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I agree. I was amazed as I started pulling off the plastic and finding the lack of extra space anywhere! That engine it that frame is tight! I just wish they would have found a new place for the battery. Somewhere higher and out of harms way. I recently went to start it and the battery had drained down requiring me to have to jump start it. I was scratching my head for a few minutes trying to even locating the battery. I had to open the front storage area and jump it via the solenoid and grounding to the frame.

Anyway thanks for the input, I will report what I find.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:39 PM
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Doc, this is a little off topic, but you mentioned you had to jump your machine it to start it when the battery was low. These 400HO models on the Hawkeye chassis were made from '08-'10. In '09, the recoil starter was eliminated. I have an '08 that came with one and an '09 that didn't. I wanted one on my '09 but my local dealer couldn't tell me if the earlier ones would fit. I finally did the legwork myself and found that all the big liquid cooled singles from the early 00's up use the same recoil starter. I found one from an '05 500 on eBay and put it on my '09. (I got another from an earlier 425 for a friend and it fit too.) Now I can start my '09 if the battery is low with the recoil starter and I highly recommend it as a worthwhile addition.

EDIT: Since the batteries on these are such a PITA, I recommend you make every effort to extend it's life. The best way I know for an AGM battery is to keep it charged. I got a schumacher 1.5 amp automatic charger/maintainer at Wal-Mart for $20, wired the connector into the harness with the plug accessible under the lid of the front storage compartment by the radiator cap, and leave it plugged in all the time when it's in my garage.
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Last edited by 1of7627; 04-20-2011 at 12:49 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:13 PM
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That's good to know. In my mind Polaris should have a recoil starter on all their machines. Not an option to buy later, or not even offer them at all! But that seems to be they way the wind is blowing on all the manufactures? Saving money I guess? If you don't mind me asking, what is the going rate for a recoil starter? I will probably put one on as well.

My 2006 500 efi came with one already on it, so I was surprised to not see one on my 2010, 400.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drblizzard View Post
If you don't mind me asking, what is the going rate for a recoil starter?
I got two off eBay in the last year and they were under $100 each. This link is to a parts vendor that shows a new one lists for $228, so take your time and look around.

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Old 04-20-2011, 06:27 PM
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so would that recoil fit a 2010 as well then whats years would fit anything from 2000 up
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