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Old 06-28-2012, 05:17 AM
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buying a sportsman 4x4 . things to look for? .... see pics!

hey guys . first time poster.
while i am familiar with honda atv's , i am lost when it comes to polaris quads .

i am looking for a nice utility quad to use around the house . its main use will be to haul my trailers full of wood from the driveway to the back of the house where the wood is stacked . not too heavy of loads , but i know that quads are way underrated for their hauling capabilities .

in fact , i have a 1985 honda big red which pulls about 2500 lbs of firewood in a trailer to my back yard at least 5-6 times a year . granted its flat and only a 200 yard journey , but it works.

anyways , i would be using it to haul firewood and then to plow the driveway .
i know a solid rear axle is ideal , but not really necessary for towing .

i found 2 quads for sale by me ...

i found a RED 2001 sportsman 500ho that he said in an email ,
"Clutch is bad, needs belt and speedometer is getting condensation in it.. wont switch into 4x4. Had it in to dealer, they said the 4 wheel drive is fine, but the other issues is not allowing to to switch in to 4x4 and the needs a new battery."
he selling it for 1500$ , but im sure i could get it for less .

the next one is nice , its a BLUE 2003 600 twin. heres what he said :
2003 Polaris Sportsman 600 twin cylinder with a clean title.
It has 1281 miles and 245.2 hours on it.
It switches from 2 wheel drive to True 4 wheel drive and it has a K&N air filter on it.
It also comes with a plow. It has a aftermarket exhaust on it also have the stock one too. It also comes with miscellaneous stuff for the four wheeler too. It was just serviced and the Drive Belt was replaced Memorial Day Weekend. The whole ignition system was updated in 2011 and the tires are 80%. It has a warn winch. Its a very nice four wheeler buts its just too big and bulky for my kids.
he said $2500 will work .

will these fit my bill ? i can work on the red 2001 500 and do the work myself , but wouldnt want to get into a money pit .

any opinions on these specific quads or what to look out for on sportsman models would be great .( model changed, recalls, pitfall years, etc)
im on the hunt for a new beast!
thanks!!!
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:26 AM
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Welcome to the board!
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:02 AM
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I would go with the 600. By the time you buy a new speedometer and spend the time to fix it you will have the same amount of money involved. I don't know much about the reliability of a 600 thou. It should be a good atv. A 500 is a good all around atv. The 600 has the brushguard and a winch. Just take a good look at both of them.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:04 AM
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The 600 is the one I would go with between the two. For what you want to use it for the twin would be a better option. It also has the plow and winch already, so by the time you fix the red one and get it set up similar to how the blue atv currently is, you probably will have spent about the same amount of money. I would see if he would come down from $2500, but if not, that is already a good price.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:31 AM
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I can't comment on the 600, you'll have to do plenty of research on that one. The 500 is the most popular rig ever sold. Tons and tons of help on that machine for help. However I would be concerned about the clutch, a new p85 primary is 3 bones and a 2ndary is almost 4 for OEM new. They can when not taken care of. A new belt in my opinion is not part of the bad clutch he is refering to. You'll have to drive that one. As far as the speedo, and 4x4 check the new threads on this, there is a fix for the 4x4 by just jumping some wires, very easy. Or the actual fix is replacing a transistor in the speedo to fix that. A test drive is very necessary, up to full speed, running for atleast 30 minutes, because somethings only show up after the machine is fully up to temp with electronics. Go thru the 4x4 engagement and all gears, make sure its not a trans switch thats bad. If it doesn't get up to 50-55mph nicely then there might be some worn clutch parts.

I would do some reading here in sportsman - repair & maintenance - general sections for all 500 issues. It might seem like alot but no body comes on here to tell you they had 12k trouble free miles too often. Good luck, get a list of parts to repair and see if you can steal it for 850. Don't forget to check compression, they do have cam leak and wear issues. 85-90 psi if I remember right. Somebody correct me if Im wrong thanks
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:08 AM
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While both are good powered machines, 500 single and 600 twin. For the price difference I would vote for the 600 based on the lack of care on the 500. The speedometer is the reason the 4x4 isn't working. You will surpass the price difference just repairing the 500.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:52 PM
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thanks for the help guys .
that 600 is a beast . i didnt know polaris made a quad that was so good for towing .
i guess i have been brainwashed by my honda mentality .

anyways , i offered him 2500$ for the 600 , and he said he has a buyer coming today and if he doesnt show up or doesnt like it hell call me .

i do like the 500 HO if i knew it was a quick fix, but your right ... once you get into clutched it aint cheap . i looked at a primary oem on ebay and it was about 300$ .

it just astounds me that a belt driven machine has that much torque ... always thought shaft driven solid axle was the way to go .

ill keep ya posted, but i cant believe how many sportsmans are out there... now that my eyes are looking ! thats a good thing(re: parts).
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:24 PM
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i forgot to mention .i found a 2009 polaris sportsman 400ho AWD , the one with the 455cc motor in it . 59 hours on it , 1500lb winch , plow plate and a pack for the back . for 2600$ .
no title though, but for my use it doesnt matter . in his state it does matter for trail riding which is why hes selling it so low .


tires look like crap though ...

another thing , is there a different between this AWD and the TRUE 4 wheel drive that the 600 twin states? i wouldnt want that AWD crap thats on your small SUVs nowadays . would rather have full time 4wd
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buying a sportsman 4x4 . things to look for? ....   see pics!-ss.jpg   buying a sportsman 4x4 . things to look for? ....   see pics!-sss.jpg   buying a sportsman 4x4 . things to look for? ....   see pics!-ssss.jpg  

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Old 06-28-2012, 03:36 PM
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The '09 400HO is built on the mid-size Hawkeye chassis. (I own two of these.) While I really like mine and hate to recommend someone not buy a particular model, in all fairness this model (built from '08 to '10) is not as robustly built as the larger framed models and lacks a separate low-range position in the transmission that's advantagous for towing. The 455cc engine is great and these machines are nimble and fun, but "heavy duty" is not their strongest characteristic. I'd recommend it for general use for mid-sized riders and have no problem with it. But if I had to do heavy duty work including towing or plowing I'd likely get the full-size machine.

FYI, the AWD system is full four wheel drive too. - MarkC
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:38 PM
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good to know , thanks !

so your suggesting stick with the 2002-2007 600cc+ ? or 500CC ho too ?
i am just trying to get a grasp on these polaris models.
i know about their sleds , but not quads .
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