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Old 04-21-2011, 07:23 AM
biker250's Avatar
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'05 500 HO Front Diff major issues

I just recently picked up my first quad and first Polaris to use around our Farm and having some serious problems with it. It's a 2005 Sportsman 500 HO Hunters Edition. I first noticed the front driveshaft was really sloppy where the yoke slid onto the input shaft of the front diff. Took the front driveshaft out, problem solved. (New yoke on the way, hoping that's the problem)

Then I was trail riding one day and was hearing some noises, get home and jiggle both front axles and each one had a ton of play where it slides into the front diff.

Took front diff off quad and took it apart and here is what I found:














Now comes decision time.....do I quick fix the quad right or fix it a little bit and sell the dumb thing????

The following need replaced:
input shaft
both female hubs (where the axles slide into)
hillard clutch rollers
all bearings & seals
lower ball joints
lower radiator hose

MIGHT be able to re-use the axles
MIGHT be able to re-use the ring gear

I'm looking about at least $800 repair bill.

I'm thinking about replacing the bearings/seals and selling it because if the front diff is that bad, isn't the rest of the quad going to be just as bad? If it's been in water/mud that deep, that means the rear diff/tranny/motor/suspension/etc/etc/etc has ALSO been in that deep of mud/water. I can fix the front end for say $800, but how long before other things start to break?

Can anybody provide some insight/advice on this ordeal? Thanks!
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:45 AM
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Are you sure that all these parts need to be replaced? I am replacing the bearings and the claims I have gotten from most are that the play will be taken care of by replacing the bearings. You can also replace the cv joints and universal joints in all 3 shafts.

It is also much cheaper to get parts through john deere then polaris. Your cost might go down really fast if you get parts from someone other then polaris.

I would not assume that because you need to replace parts that it is a bad machine. Bearings and joints wear out. If there are a lot of hours on it and there has been a good deal of 4x4 use then things will wear out. Another reason for this might be a lack of maintenance from previous owner. I guess its a decision just up to you.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:55 AM
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I'm hoping that the bearings take the play out, but I'll believe it when I see it. Even the circlips were chewed down to paperclip thin. I was able to pull the axles out with hardly any pull. And yea, you're right about the maintenance and parts wearing out, but that's what I'm worried about.....if there's MUD inside the front diff and it's been neglected for so long, then probably other parts have been neglected and it might just turn out to be one problem after another until I've gone thru most everything on the whole four-wheeler, ya know??

Do you guys think there's a chance that the rest of the quad is in good shape despite what the front diff looked like??

And how do you get parts from John Deere? Just tell them the year & model of your polaris and they can find the parts, or do you need part numbers for them to cross-reference or what?
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:02 AM
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You will have to get part numbers and cross ref. I know what you mean about not wanting to continually replace things. If there was mud in the differential, it may mean there was a bad seal. I guess the only thing to do is drain fluids, see what comes out, and make the decision based on how you feel it was taken care of.

I am in the middle of replacing my bearings as well. I only have play in the outputs so well see how it goes. I will let you know when I'm done if the play is gone.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:46 PM
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Well, all new bearings in the front end and there is still a lot of play. The splines are just too worn (both male & female).....it needs new axles (at least the ends) and new female hubs in the front diff. Also needs a new input shaft.
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:30 AM
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go on e-bay see about a used diff , or tryhit the gas .com,if you decide you need the john deer parts Ill get you thenumbers
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:02 PM
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I got to tell ya ,the sportsmans are known for alot of play in the front drive line and components when they get high miles on them.The drive shafts are at an extreme angle and things tend to wear quick.My dealer told me this and ive seen it in all my sportsmans getting age on them.I replaced the whole drive line and yokes on my 05 at 4000 miles ,now with just over 5 000 things are loosening up again.One more season with it and its getting a trade job.
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:55 PM
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Well, I hope you're right. I got it all buttoned up and she's for sale!!!
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:58 PM
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Russ C, just for sh**s & giggles, can you get me John Deere part numbers for the input shaft and both female hubs on the front diff? Or can you get me a part number for the whole front diff better yet??? I'm gonna check the cost just to see what it would be....Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:54 AM
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all I koow is # s for roller cage and seals, supposedly their the same in a john deer gator, havent checked to see if complete diff is the same , have only done roller cages , they work fine, maybe you can check about the diff, let us know
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