I've been looking for a good used Polaris Sportsman 500 HO Touring AWD/4X4. I have one in mind I'm suppose to go look at Tuesday morning, it's a 2008 year model 500HO Touring. I guess my question is how to go about checking to make sure the AWD/4X4 is working like it should be?
If I'm understanding this AWD on the Polaris it does not engage fully until the back tires start to spin or do I have that all wrong IDK?
I'm thinking the place where I'm going to look at this 500 will have a vacant lot next to it to try out the ATV, but it's been raining a lot in my area. There again the owner/seller has this thing like show room condition right now (cleaned up nice).
I'm not to knowledgeable with the Polaris Sportsman because I've never owned one before. I'm getting there little by little though lol. Any thoughts would be helpful.
The only REAL way to check a machine out thoroughly is to get all four wheels off the ground Tony. Then you can wiggle the wheels to check bearings, bushings, tie rods etc. for play. Start it up while lifted so you can put it in gear and try the AWD functioning. While running and in gear, flip the AWD switch give it a little fuel and when the rears start to turn the fronts should catch smoothly and turn as well. Flip the switch off and it should disengage smoothly so the fronts stop turning. Try it in reverse too. AWD should only work in R when you press the yellow reverse override button on the left handlebar. That's a safety feature.
Ask the seller if he has an atv jack to get all 4's off the ground or should you bring one with you. You can use a floor jack and jack stands to accomplish the same thing but you MUST get all 4 wheels off the ground. If he wants to sell the machine and has nothing to hide he shouldn't care a bit. You can't really tell much about one just riding it around a parking lot other than if it starts and stops good, the lights work and it doesn't make any strange noises. You MUST wear old clothes, get dirty, put hands-on, use a bright flashlight and get down to look CLOSELY at everything.
In addition to the things above, look for leaks, axle boots torn, bent stuff, frame cracks, wires frayed or cobbled up, etc. Also pull the seat off and check the air filter first thing. A nasty air filter is a clear sign that other maintenance is probably lacking too no matter how clean the exterior is. Ask about maintenance/repair records if any. Most guys that REALLY take care of a machine will have records because that's the only way to keep track of what's been done. If service was done by a dealer you can take the VIN to any dealership and they can pull all the records on the computer. You might ask about that on the phone beforehand and get the VIN from the seller to check it out before you go.
After a thorough inspection I then take the seller's price and deduct the cost of correcting any problems I found and make an offer based on that. Bushings and bearings are around a couple hundred dollars for each end of the machine. Tie rods about $100. Brakes about the same. Ball joints about the same. Tires around $400-$500 according to what you buy. And of course those estimates are for ME doing the repairs. I think most shops now charge anywhere from $80-$100+ per hour for labor and a big markup on parts so you need to consider that in your calculations. You also need to consider any accessories he's added and allow some reasonable credit back for things like winch, storage, aftermarket tires/wheels, rack extenders, etc.
Check the estimated blue book value through Kelley Blue Book and NADA online so you know a ballpark value before you go. Print them out and take with you. He probably has and that gets both seller and buyer on the same page. Educate yourself before you go and you should both leave satisfied with the deal you've made.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.