2002 Soortsman 700 - exhaust blowing thru rad - Polaris ATV Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-12-2019, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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2002 Soortsman 700 - exhaust blowing thru rad

Hello all, I am new to the Polaris world, but not ATVs or dirt bikes. So new to this site with my New to me Polaris.

So I just bought a 2002 Polaris Sportsman 700 Twin for cheap as it is in need of repair.
Has been blowing rad fluid out of holding tank. I figured it was a blow head gasket.

Bought it anyways, brought it home and tried to get the rad cap off but it was stuck which was strange. It would turn, but not pull out. I had to pry it out. It seemed to be baked into there. No fluid visible below rad cap. Wiped off the underside of the cap and it was black with what looked like exhaust residue. Wiped out the inside of the tube and was all black as well. So I can only assume it ran like this for a while.

With the cap off, I turned the key to start it to see if it would pump any rad fluid and all I could see was exhaust pumping through and out of the rad cap holder pipe.

So head gasket is blown.
(I HAD TO UPDATE THE LINK)

In hoping that the head is still ok, I am considering repairs. I cannot start taking it apart for 3-4 weeks, but just thinking about what needs to be done.

I do not know how long it was run like this, but had to be a while due to the black and baked rad cap. So damage could vary, but thinking
- new rad cap
- new thermostat
- gasket kit

Motor runs well, does not smoke oil and no water in oil, unless it was change after it failed, which I cannot verify. Guy said it smokes a bit of blue when first started but stops when warm. Now that could be a choke issue or warn rings.

I ran it for a very short period of time in my garage with the OH door closed and it did not smoke me out and it was a cold engine. So could not replicate the blue smoke when cold.

So I need to check the head and cylinder for warping.
Will check the jug and may do a light hone and new rings pending.

Check the valves, and replace the valve seals at a minimum.

Would the exhaust heat damage the impeller ? I can see it damaging seals, but does not appear to be leaking, but any exhaust heat damage might quickly show up once I start riding, so I will do those seals as well.

I cannot really think of anything else.

I have never worked on a twin cylinder, but have rebuilt dirt bike motors a carb motor for myself. I'm only a backyard mechanic... Haha

I will start going throught the service manual later this week.

Any thoughts ? Any thing else I am overlooking or that I should be paying attention to or replacing ?

Any comments are appreciated.

Last edited by kswison; 02-13-2019 at 08:15 AM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-13-2019, 05:06 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

Not having coolant in the oil only means the head gasket didn't lose it's seal between the water jacket and the push rod cavity. I've never seen an impeller damaged from a blown head gasket - let us know what you find, it could be a first.

Aluminum heads do not normally warp, but can be distorted by a previous repair where the recommended torque sequence and torque procedure was not adhered to.

If you remove the cylinders for any reason, install new rings. The cylinder has a plated bore and honing is not recommended. US Chrome (cylinder plate-er and repairer) instructed me to scuff the bore with a green Scotch Brite pad in lieu of honing, but that it was not necessary. I have rebuilt my 04 CRF250 once to twice a year with either new rings or piston & rings and have never honed the cylinder. Plated bores do not require honing when fitting new rings. Just follow the recommendation in the service manual. There is no mention of honing the cylinder in the service manual.

Check the cylinder and head for distortion and have resurfaced if in doubt.

The only thing out of the ordinary when assembling the engine; the factory manual instructs to install the pistons into the cylinder before installing the pistons onto the rods - I've never rebuilt one of these engines, so I can't comment on the procedure.

I did rebuild a Sportsman 500 single that had a blown head gasket - it melted the plastic tank on the radiator and damaged the cap on the coolant recovery tank - odd thing is it ran fine, just super heated the cooling system - on the 500 the fan switch is located in the top tank or the radiator - when the coolant level dropped below the sensor, the fan ceased coming on and the engine overheated.

Let us know your progression.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-13-2019, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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"Aluminum heads do not normally warp, but can be distorted by a previous repair where the recommended torque sequence and torque procedure was not adhered to."

Looking at this Atv closer, I can see a newer green gasket at the base of the jug on left side of motor, and can see wipe marks where the case has been wiped clean at the base of the jug, and is much cleaner than the case immediately adjacent, even shiny in some of the cleaned spots. The green gaskets is also very clean looking. So it appears someone recently had the head off. Don't know why, maybe rings or head was recently done. I can see what appears like leakage at the left side of the motor at the top of the cylinder jug, at the base of the head. Does not appear to be oil residue, appears to be dried rad fluid maybe. Or I guess could be baked off oil residue maybe, but it's not oily to touch, just a remaining dried stain. My suspicion is the motor had the head and jug off and was not put back together properly and blew out the gasket somewhere.

Interesting, I am going to have to read up on the piston thing. I guess they mean to only slip the pistons in partially, leaving the bottom out to slip in the wrist pins and retainer clips. That might work. Seems awfully fiddly that way.

Thanks for the heads up...

I will post what I find when I take it apart and complete repairs.

Last edited by kswison; 02-13-2019 at 08:25 AM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-13-2019, 08:32 AM
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Pay particular attention to the installation of the oil ring - service manual indicates the top rail of the 3 piece ring is located by a 'notch' in the ring land
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2006 Trailboss 330
2002 Sportsman 90
2005 TRX400EX (FOR SALE)
2003 LT-Z400 (needs engine work & is for sale)
2004 CRF250X
1971 Triumph 650 Bonneville (has 5 original miles)
1972 Triumph 650 Bonneville (undergoing restoration)
1979 Honda CBX (6 cylinder)
1970 Kawasaki G3SS 90cc Bushmaster
1976 Suzuki RE5 Rotary (not running & FOR SALE)
1981 Kawasaki KZ305-A
1981 Suzuki GS450T (undergoing repair & will be for sale when done)
1982 Kawasaki KZ750-H (FOR SALE)
1989 Honda VT1100C
2007 Vectrix VCTX Electric Scooter
1965 Montgomery Ward 3 1/2 HP Tecumseh Mini Bike
1970 Triumph T25 250cc Trailblazer
1968 Triumph 250cc Flat Tracker

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Unread Yesterday, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well finally took the head off. Head gasket was toast, see lower gasket in photo.

Noted the head was pitted and dished out a bit along the wall area between the cylinder and the water jacket. You cam see the lines in the head in the pitted area.

So am in the process of shaving the head to remove the dished out area. Looks like they did not fix this last time the head was off and head gasket was not tight at the dished area and it blew the gasket out at that location.

So fixing that.

Everything else looks good.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Unread Yesterday, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Due to that fact that the rad cap was baked with carbon and stuck in, i figured I would replace the rad cap and thermostat. Also replacing valve stem seals.

Will start putting it back together tomorrow once i get the head fixed.

Cannot wait to ride this beast.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Unread Today, 05:20 AM
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How tight were the head bolts? Did it seem to take the same amount of force to break each one loose or did some feel looser than others?

Having the head planed is a no brain'er, valve seals? Required whenever the valves are removed unless the seals were just recently replaced - valves should be removed in preparation for having the head planed - do not mix the valves, springs, and spring seats - you will want to install them in the same locations as removed. Mark the springs so they are installed with the same ends up as when removed.

If the engine was taken apart previously, I suspect the head gasket was reused.

Good luck

2006 Trailboss 330
2002 Sportsman 90
2005 TRX400EX (FOR SALE)
2003 LT-Z400 (needs engine work & is for sale)
2004 CRF250X
1971 Triumph 650 Bonneville (has 5 original miles)
1972 Triumph 650 Bonneville (undergoing restoration)
1979 Honda CBX (6 cylinder)
1970 Kawasaki G3SS 90cc Bushmaster
1976 Suzuki RE5 Rotary (not running & FOR SALE)
1981 Kawasaki KZ305-A
1981 Suzuki GS450T (undergoing repair & will be for sale when done)
1982 Kawasaki KZ750-H (FOR SALE)
1989 Honda VT1100C
2007 Vectrix VCTX Electric Scooter
1965 Montgomery Ward 3 1/2 HP Tecumseh Mini Bike
1970 Triumph T25 250cc Trailblazer
1968 Triumph 250cc Flat Tracker

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Unread Today, 06:26 AM
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QUOTE: "Interesting, I am going to have to read up on the piston thing. I guess they mean to only slip the pistons in partially, leaving the bottom out to slip in the wrist pins and retainer clips. That might work. Seems awfully fiddly that way."

Yep, that's how you do it on the twins. The cylinders/pistons are too close together to get in there to compress the rings on BOTH pistons at the same time trying to do it the normal way.
If I remember the sequence correctly, on the bench you install the inner-most wrist pin retaining rings, install and orient the rings and insert the pistons into their respective holes. You can do it with your fingers easily on the bench looking down at them. The pistons can go either way. There is no "IN" or "EX". Stuff rags around the rods to catch any dropped retaining rings and to hold the rods upright. Then you'll need an assistant to hold the cylinders/pistons while you insert the wrist pins and outer retaining rings. You'll need a wooden or plastic dowel of the appropriate size to align the wrist pin holes.
Sounds complicated but its really pretty easy in practice.

The only part of the sequence I'm not sure about from memory without getting in the book and my notes is if I inserted and aligned the pistons in the cylinders with the dowel through BOTH pistons and THEN installed the inner retaining rings in or if I put the retaining rings in BEFORE inserting the pistons in the holes and just rough aligned by eye?? nixweiss:
You can use the dowel for final alignment when inserting the wrist pins in either case.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Unread Today, 07:15 AM
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Also note - if you remove the cylinders to replace the rings, mark the pistons so you get the same piston in the same cylinder in the same orientation as as it was when you took it apart

2006 Trailboss 330
2002 Sportsman 90
2005 TRX400EX (FOR SALE)
2003 LT-Z400 (needs engine work & is for sale)
2004 CRF250X
1971 Triumph 650 Bonneville (has 5 original miles)
1972 Triumph 650 Bonneville (undergoing restoration)
1979 Honda CBX (6 cylinder)
1970 Kawasaki G3SS 90cc Bushmaster
1976 Suzuki RE5 Rotary (not running & FOR SALE)
1981 Kawasaki KZ305-A
1981 Suzuki GS450T (undergoing repair & will be for sale when done)
1982 Kawasaki KZ750-H (FOR SALE)
1989 Honda VT1100C
2007 Vectrix VCTX Electric Scooter
1965 Montgomery Ward 3 1/2 HP Tecumseh Mini Bike
1970 Triumph T25 250cc Trailblazer
1968 Triumph 250cc Flat Tracker

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Unread Today, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Good tips. I am trying to do this head work without pulling the jug. So hopefully no taking out pistons and dealing with rings. So far I have not moved the jug or damaged the bottom gasket. Hoping I can get it back together without damaging that gasket.

My only concern going back together is the top head bolt on the right side ‘lets say passenger side’ cause it conflicts with the frame. i got it out. But might have to undo engine mounts to shift the engine to get it back it. It was really tight getting it out.

Yes, when unbolting the head i felt that some of the outer head bolts were looser than the ones in the middle. So there may have been some warpage in the head, or they did not torque it up evenly or possibly follow the incorrect tightening pattern when they reassembled it.

I see no pitting or deterioration of the top of the jug, only see the pitting on the head. So think the jug should be good.

So pretty sure the head work will get everything flat again and keep the gasket tight so it won’t blow out again.

Yes, took all the valves out in order, marked and stacked to go back in the same order, and have new valve seals.

I have to say, I have never worked on a Polaris before or a twin cylinder, but it was so nice taking this apart with the rockers and push rods as opposed to overhead cams and timing chains. Wasn’t expecting that.... nice though. Will go back together much easier.

I have worked on, heads completely apart on Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha and even some Chinese
Bikes. Again, i have to say there are some engineering things on this Polaris that simplify make a number of things easier and will make repair work quicker, etc.
I have been rather impressed with the design of the Polaris ATV and motor.

The one thing I do find very strange is that all frame bolts seem to be imperial while everything on the motor is metric. Plus there is a crazy number of different sizes of bolt heads and torq heads. Wish they stream lined to less types.

But over all, this ATV has been really easy to work on so far.

Cannot wait to ride it.

Bought it for $800 with the assumed blow head gasket and should have it all back together for less than $200.

I am not planning the heads, I am working it on an absolute flat surface ( a slab of polished flat granite) with a sheet of wet/dry sand paper starting with 120 grit,
220 grit and finish up with 300 grit.
With careful work you can evenly shave (sand) the head a small amount to remove the dishing/pitting.

I spray WD40 on the flat surface and set the full sheet of wet/dry on the surface into the WD40. The surface friction of the WD40 helps to hold the sand paper in place and flat and then spray WD40 on the top of the wet/dry sand paper. Then place the head on the sand paper and move it in different rotations, back and forth and in figure 8s to ensure you are taking material off evenly.

If the dishing/pitting is not too deep it works like a dam. I have done this a few times before and works great. Just need an absolute flat surface. Change paper a lot to avoid build up on paper that might score grooves and keep adding WD40.

Started last night, but ran out of sand paper so will finish it up tonight. Have already taken off enough material to remove 2/3rds of the dishing. Just need to clean up the last bit tonight.

Then clean the whole head from filings, and put the head back together.

If you don’t need to remove a bunch of material and can keep the head square to the flat slab this is a real inexpensive way of lightly planning a head.

But be very careful to keep things flat to the surface and check on what is going on lots. This process may not be for everybody. i have had good success with it. A buddy showed me this trick a while back. He has been doing this for years longer than I have.

Maybe that tip will help someone else out.

Thanks again.

Will
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Once I get this back together and running. Can’t wait.

Last edited by kswison; Today at 08:02 AM.
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