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Polaris Xplorer and Xpedition Discussions for the Polaris Xplorer and Xpedition

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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 05:26 AM Thread Starter
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New Polaris Xplorer 300 owner!

First time ATV owner here!

Got me a 199? Xplorer 300. I think it's a 97 but I'll have to check the VIN to make sure.

What attracted me to this particular ATV? I was looking for something around $1000. Owner didn't lie to me so I gave him his asking price of $950.

Fully automatic transmission.
Rear disc brake
Mechanically in good condition
Good tires
Fired right up within 1 second this morning. Most ATVs I've seen are really fussy when it comes to getting them started.

But the biggest thing was it's a 2 stroker. I love 2 strokes. I have a car (Trabant 601) with a 2 stroke engine.

Most people would say, AHHH 2 strokes don't last as long as 4 strokes, they are a grenade, have to add oil to the gas, sound funky, smoke, requires head de-coking, more frequent spark plug changes, etc.

But those same people would choose a 6 cyl turbo diesel truck over a gas V8 anyday just to putter around town in even if they didn't have anything heavy to tow and rev their engines at red lights just to blow black smoke at people behind them.

Yeah I guess there are pros and cons to everything.

Anyway. Got a few questions about this thing.

First the brakes. The front brakes work great but the rear doesn't. The guy said it needed a rear master cylinder that goes on the handlebar. Two weird things, the foot brake moves the mechanically linkage on the caliper but doesn't stop the bike from moving. There is no handle for the rear brakes on the handlebar. Is it missing or not supposed to be one? Can't tell at the moment there is actually supposed to be one.

Oil injector. Do you trust these? Would it be better to just mix the oil and gas together and disconnect the pump or just let it run dry? I heard the ratio mix is 40:1 which is what I run in my Trabant, Tomos mini-bike, and all my other lawn equipment. So I typically mix up 15 gallon batches at a time.

Transmission oil. What type and how much? I can probably find the drain plug but which side is the filler plug on?

Any other type of maintenance I need to do to this thing?

Chain seems to have a lot of slack in it compared to anything else chain driven. Is that normal? How do I adjust it?

I'm mechanically inclined so these things shouldn't be a big deal for me.

I read there is a cooling fan on this thing? Can't seem to find it or is it really small? I see something about 4" in diameter toward the front of the engine. Not sure what it is at the moment.

The bike is still in the back of my father's truck and it was raining really bad yesterday so after I get it out I'll take some photos of these things I mentioned.

Otherwise I'm happy with my purchase.

http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/?sort=2&page=0

James Seabolt
Kingsport, TN
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 11:20 AM
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I had a 96 300 Xplorer which is basically the same as the 97.

Front and rear brakes operate off the same brake master cylinder with a splitter down buried in front of the gas tank. There is a mechanical actuator as well and they are really finicky to adjust to get the foot pedal to work and not have the pads drag on the disk.

Never had a problem on my 300 and my 97 400 still uses oil injection. I removed the pump cover and filled it with low temperature grease to keep moisture out as it had frozen in the past during hunting season.

Transmission uses Polaris AGL. There is a "dipstick behind the cylinder with a slot in it to check. Drain is on the side by the output shaft.

Keep everything greased with a good quality grease. The pistons on these are know to be fragile with the skirt breaking off. If you plan on using this for a few years, I'd recommend getting a Wiseco piston, 1 size over. This is the reason I traded my 300 in on the 400 as the piston slap when it got hot was getting pretty bad.

The easiest way I've found to adjust the rear chain is put the shock on minimum preload and use a heavy duty rachet strap to crank the suspension down until the rear swing arm lines up with the output sprocket and front arm pivot. The use the rear axle eccentric to adjust the chain for about .5 inch movement. In later years they smartened up and put the output shaft and swing arm pivots all on the same shaft. You will also find two grease fittings up front there. One on the swing arm and one on the bushing support for the shaft going out to the rear brake. It's tricky to get at.

There should be a fan in front of the cylinder. It will overheat real quick if its missing or not working.

Always liked my 300. Only had one problem of breaking a front axle but it was my fault. The other thing, as I mentioned before is the piston. With the switch to a Wiseco piston you'll get many years out of the machine.

Google searching should get you a service manual for it as well.

Last edited by thepepper; 03-18-2017 at 11:23 AM. Reason: more info
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Got the Xplorer off my truck and gave it a quicker look. There does appear to be something missing off the right handlebar which I assume would be a lever.

But what's weird is isn't the rear brake on ATVs usually on the left handle bar? The front brake is on the left on this Polaris but on the right on a Yamaha. So I'd so you are right.

There is what appears to be a brake fluid reservoir on the right handlebar and a cap with two screws however when I look for "Polaris Xplorer rear master cylinder" on Ebay this is what it pulls up:



The fan: Didn't notice the fan blade at first while on the truck. That 4" motor is the fan motor. I have yet to see it kick on. What triggers it? A temperature switch mounted on the head? Or is it suppose to run all the time?

Ignition switch: At first the ignition switch when turned left would kill the engine but now it won't. Someone has installed what I guess is a generic ignition switch and the wires going to it are held together with duct tape. ARRGGHH! I hate botched repairs. So I was fiddling with the wiring and must have disturbed the connection.

The red kill switch won't move but I might be able to free it up with something like WD-40. Otherwise I have to turn the choke on it kill the engine.

Question: Does the ignition switch provide power to the coil and starter button (right position) or does it ground the coil (left position) to kill the engine? I'm guessing it's the later. I can use a push button to kill the engine. I guess tomorrow I can get out my multi-meter and check for ground or power and tell from that. No power on either wire, means it must be a kill switch.

None of the warning lights work. I'm hoping it's as simple as a poor (no) ground or blown bulbs. But none of them work.

What does the yellow "over ride" button on the left handlebar do?

I wanted to get it into my garage out of the weather. I didn't get a chance to clean it up today. I hope to tomorrow and get some shots.

Here's some indoor shots. Sorry they are poor.







I have used this stuff on faded plastic and it does great.



So far I have done one fender but I need to remove the racks to do a better job and spray it down the frame and engine down with kerosene and then Blue Wolf cleaner and hit it with my pressure washer to get 20+ years of grease off it.


http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/?sort=2&page=0

James Seabolt
Kingsport, TN

Last edited by turbofiat124; 03-18-2017 at 04:52 PM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 12:31 PM
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The 300 came with a single brake lever on left hand handle bar. Anything different is a modification. The single brake lever provide 60% braking to the front and 40% to the rear.

The fan is activate by a temperature switch above the carb attached to the engine. It is normally open and closes when hot. I've attached the 1997 Xplorer 300 wiring diagram which you can use to sort out your electrical issues.

When operating normally, the yellow over ride is used when you need 4 wheel drive in reverse. If you are in reverse, the limiter will prevent 4 wheel drive and limit engine RPM. Pushing the yellow button will activate 4 wheel drive and prevent the limiter. You do not want to push the button with the wheels spinning or you will break parts in the front hubs.

Undoubtedly the the control pod on the left handle bar is full of corrosion. If you can get it apart, they can usually be cleaned up and salvaged.
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File Type: bmp Wiring diagram.bmp (1.40 MB, 310 views)
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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thepepper wrote:

The 300 came with a single brake lever on left hand handle bar. Anything different is a modification. The single brake lever provide 60% braking to the front and 40% to the rear.

Understood. Is it possible the handbrake is working the rear brake but the foot brake is not? When the foot brake is pressed, the actuator on the caliper moves but it won't slow the bike down.

The fan is activate by a temperature switch above the carb attached to the engine. It is normally open and closes when hot. I've attached the 1997 Xplorer 300 wiring diagram which you can use to sort out your electrical issues.

Thank you very much for the diagram! I had not had time to look for one yet. That would have come in handy today. I got the fan working. I traced the wiring harness to three wires. There is power on the red/white wire coming off the buss and I have a good ground. I ended up cutting the wire going to the fan and running it directly to the buss. My guess is power goes through the fan switch through the red/white wire then to the other red/white wire and to the fan which is grounded through the brown wire. So the switch must be bad.


When operating normally, the yellow over ride is used when you need 4 wheel drive in reverse. If you are in reverse, the limiter will prevent 4 wheel drive and limit engine RPM. Pushing the yellow button will activate 4 wheel drive and prevent the limiter. You do not want to push the button with the wheels spinning or you will break parts in the front hubs.
Undoubtedly the the control pod on the left handle bar is full of corrosion. If you can get it apart, they can usually be cleaned up and salvaged.


I don't think the 4 wheel drive is working on this thing. First of all the chain came off (I need to tighten it) so now is a good time to see if the 4 wheel drive it working. With with the chain off, it wouldn't pull.

I found a log to stop against. Still does not appear that the front wheels are turning when the AWD button is pressed in.

Am I suppose to pull into neutral before pressing the AWD button? Like on my old 1994 Jeep Wrangler? Can you explain how the 4 wheel drive engages?

Fixed this mess:



AT one point I saw smoke from the wires so I needed this fix this half-A repair. Removed all the duct tape and used butt connectors and 12 AWG wire and a pull switch for the ignition switch.

Freed up the kill switch which works somewhat (as you said corroded up). Now other than closing the choke, the only way to kill the engine is to turn the lights on! The lights work fine but for some reason act as a kill switch when the ignition is turned off.

Found this when removing the racks:



Got the bike mostly degreased and coated the plastic with the floor wax stuff:



I assume this is a 97 model? What is the chrome like dipstick? Gear oil level check? I can't seem to pull it out.



Painted the racks:





http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/?sort=2&page=0

James Seabolt
Kingsport, TN

Last edited by turbofiat124; 03-19-2017 at 03:54 PM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:43 PM
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The fan switch on the engine by the carb is normally open. It only closes when hot. If you have a heat gun you can carefully heat it up to test if it closes. If you wire your fan on permanently it wont last too long. If you're doing any speed over a jogging rate, I found natural air flow cooled the engine fine. Keep the fins clean as well to have good cooling.

The rear brake foot actuator is very tricky to adjust. I added a 2 inch large bolt to the pedal of mine to give more "throw" to the pedal to get the cam to push in on the pads. You'll have to check the brake splitter block in front of the gas tank to see what lines may have been disconnected. the block has input from the master cylinder, two outputs to the front and one to the back. This is also where the brake like switch is.

I would be surprised if the AWD works right off the bat. The system polaris uses works well when it works. Basically you have actuators in the front hubs. When AWD is engaged, the magnetic coils in the hubs attact a plate with a tang on it. This creates friction on the roller hub inside causing the rollers to ride up a "ramp" and lock in the hub. The creative thing about this is they only lock if the back wheels are turning about 5% faster than the fronts. The AWD button can be pushed any time the back wheels aren't spinning. I have driven out of the bush in front wheel drive using the system when I broke my back chain......

Use the wiring diagram to sort out your electrical and check all the grounds. They are probably suffering corrosion as well.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thepepper View Post
The fan switch on the engine by the carb is normally open. It only closes when hot. If you have a heat gun you can carefully heat it up to test if it closes. If you wire your fan on permanently it wont last too long. If you're doing any speed over a jogging rate, I found natural air flow cooled the engine fine. Keep the fins clean as well to have good cooling.

The rear brake foot actuator is very tricky to adjust. I added a 2 inch large bolt to the pedal of mine to give more "throw" to the pedal to get the cam to push in on the pads. You'll have to check the brake splitter block in front of the gas tank to see what lines may have been disconnected. the block has input from the master cylinder, two outputs to the front and one to the back. This is also where the brake like switch is.

I would be surprised if the AWD works right off the bat. The system polaris uses works well when it works. Basically you have actuators in the front hubs. When AWD is engaged, the magnetic coils in the hubs attact a plate with a tang on it. This creates friction on the roller hub inside causing the rollers to ride up a "ramp" and lock in the hub. The creative thing about this is they only lock if the back wheels are turning about 5% faster than the fronts. The AWD button can be pushed any time the back wheels aren't spinning. I have driven out of the bush in front wheel drive using the system when I broke my back chain......

Use the wiring diagram to sort out your electrical and check all the grounds. They are probably suffering corrosion as well.
I'll look for a new fan switch. I can always wire it back up from the factory. Now that I know where it's located. I tried de-greasing my ATV so I could at least trace down the wiring and see what I'm working on.

The AWD system may actually be working based on what you said. When I got it off the truck, it had been raining heavy the night before so we backed the truck up against a hill (because the truck is a 4X4 lifted) and the rear wheels on the ATV were spinning trying to go backwards up a hill. I engaged the AWD button and traction seemed to improve.

Maybe the reason the AWD system did not engage yesterday was because the terrain was not bad enough for the rear wheels to actually spin?

However, after I drove over the log, the log was between the front and rears and the rear wheels were spinning trying to make it over the log but never saw the fronts pull so I had to go into reverse.

I figured the fronts would spin but they didn't. That's why I thought they were not working. Also when the chain came off the rear the fronts would not pull.

From what you describe is this AWD system like on my Subaru where it's basically in AWD all the time but the fronts only engage if the rears spin? But if I wanted all four wheels to pull no matter what, I press the AWD button in?

If there is something really messed up with the wiring or switches, could I just put a toggle switch and send power to the solenoids at the front hubs? I know this over rides any safety features at all....

http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/?sort=2&page=0

James Seabolt
Kingsport, TN

Last edited by turbofiat124; 03-20-2017 at 06:20 AM.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:11 PM
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when you went over the log in AWD and the fronts did not spin is showing they aren't working. There is a filler plug on each hub that requires an allen key to remove. Use a high quality allen key to remove the plug and check for fluid. When properly filled, the Demand Drive fluid should start coming out when the hole is in the 4 oclock position. If you look at the wiring diagram, you can see that getting power to the hubs takes quite a route that requires everything in the circuit to be working. Use a multimeter to track it thru to confirm you have power to the tiny grey wiring leading down the strut.
You can run in AWD all the time but unless the back wheels are spinning 5% faster than the fronts, the rollers in the hubs don't climb the ramps to engage the front hubs. You don't want permanently engaged 4 wheel drive as it become very, very hard to steer.

There are some very good youtube videos showing how the hubs work and how to trouble shoot/repair them.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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I will check for fluid in the hubs.

Question: when I press the AWD button (engine not running of course), should I hear the solenoids click at the wheels? I'm not hearing this.

I realize bypassing all of these switches are probably not the best way to fix the 4 wheel drive system and all. I know they are there for a reason.

Manual lockout hubs would be more ideal.

I have watched some YouTube videos and it seems the #1 reason the 4 wheel drive system doesn't work on a Polaris is electrical.

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James Seabolt
Kingsport, TN
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 09:48 AM
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there is no sound you will hear when engaging AWD. The coil in the hub pulls in/attracts a plate against roller assembly creating enough friction to cause the roller to climb up the "cage" and wedge against the hub. This wedging action is what locks the hubs either in forward or reverse. If the back are not spinning abit faster, the internal axle in the hub and the hub itself travel at the same speed so the rollers can't "climb" the cage. It's that speed differential that causes the engagement. You can bypass all the variables and follow the two wires out of the hubs. One goes to ground on the front distribution panel and the other thru all the switches. You can test by taking the power lead and moving it to an energized circuit. have the quad with all for wheel off the ground and start it. If only the back tires turn, then you have issues inside the hubs.
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