2002 Sportsman 500 6x6 - idles fine but stalls on throttle - Polaris ATV Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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2002 Sportsman 500 6x6 - idles fine but stalls on throttle

Hello all, new member here and hoping to get some advice.

2002 Sportsman 500 6x6 [used] purchased from the original owner just a few months ago. He seemed to have taken pretty good care of it, it idled and ran just fine, no smoke, body and bed were in pretty great shape for a 17 year old work vehicle and it had a fresh [or nearly fresh] set of tires on it. The emergency brake system [right hand handlebar lever] doesn't work [no biggie] and the other noticeable issue was the speedometer appeared to be broken [needle was off, full of moisture, fogged lens, etc].

Got it back to my farm and for the first few days it was issue free, until I tried using the AWD button at which point things went a bit sour; engine would stall at anything above idle but would work fine in reverse.

I did some internet searching and found that these model/year Sportsman 500's have all sorts of issues with their analog speedometer and AWD. Also learned about the throttle cable "safety gap" to prevent the throttle run on if the cable were to break in an accident. I checked the throttle safety gap ad all seemed fine there, so I popped off the speedometer/headlamp cover, disconnected the speedometer, popped off the lens and tried as best I could to dry it out. When I put it all back together again all was well again - stalling problem was gone in forward. the very next day the speedometer had moisture in it again, despite it being a dry day/night but otherwise no problems. I dont really need AWD anyway for the work I ask it to do so I just figured on not using it again.

Yesterday we had a visitor at the farm who was volunteering to help with some chores [young kids and Quads, gotta love it] but I forgot to mention anything about the AWD switch. Sure enough, as kids are, he tried it out [or perhaps inadvertently did so] but needless to say, the engine died on him. When I had a chance to look, sure enough the AWD switch was on and the machine was idling perfectly, but anything 200-300 RPM above idle and it wants to stall. It does this in forward [High or Low], in Reverse and even in Neutral which suggests to me that it's probably not a carburetor issue but instead an electrical issue.

Checked the throttle "safety gap" again and all looked fine, so I pulled the speedometer back out, tried the same thing as before but this time with no luck. Same issue - wants to stall at anything above idle. FWIW it starts and idles perfectly. I pulled the speedometer back one more time to check that I hadn't missed anything and this time did happen to catch that one of the pins on the 6 pin connector had pulled out with the cable [cant recall exactly which one it was but it was one of the two "center" pins]. Knowing that the AWD and Reverse override switch, anyone have any thoughts that this busted pin might be the problem? Haven't had time to pour through the wiring diagram yet [found a Haynes manual for it online] but an internet search suggests that the two middle pins on the speedometer are for either the "CDI" [which I'm not sure what that is] or "STATOR" [also not sure what that is].

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. From what I'm seeing, replacement speedometers for this model are expensive, to say the least, and thats even if you can find one. With no fuel gauge to speak of in the speedometer itself, and given the age of the machine I already know it's got lots of hours/miles on it, I cant think of any reason I need the speedometer anyway so I'm not averse to bypassing it if it will solve the problem.

Thoughts? [I apologize in advance if this subject has been covered already but I couldnt find anything quite the same in a Forum search]
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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FWIW, I did find a replacement speedo on a site called "cheapcycleparts.com". The name alone is scary enough, the price is even scarier [$375 ! ]
Anyone ever deal with this company before?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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<eek!> From the Polaris website [https://atv.polaris.com/en-us/parts] the price was even worse [~$450]
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricklandia View Post
FWIW, I did find a replacement speedo on a site called "cheapcycleparts.com". The name alone is scary enough, the price is even scarier [$375 ! ]
Anyone ever deal with this company before?
I've bought something from cheapcycleparts.com some years back and for the life of me I can't remember what it was. Anyway for reasons's I can't explain something I was not satisfied with at the time and never ordered from them since. I remember them because they sent a company sticker with my order and it's stuck to my tool box in the shop. There may be other people that's perfectly satisfied with their prices and service though.

Maybe consider a salvage part like from Ebay or there is a guy on here (latebird) that might could recommend a good salvage parts website that he's dealt with for a even cheaper price, IDK.

Tony

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 07:12 AM
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You mean a Big Boss 6x6 - not a Sportsman - what's the VIN for verification

Try powersportsnation.com or Ebay for best results - with Ebay, check the sellers feedback and return policy - cheapcycleparts.com is probably listing parts on there also

Part number 3280363 is $455 from Polaris, can be gotten for new for $350 plus shipping from me.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latebird View Post
You mean a Big Boss 6x6 - not a Sportsman - what's the VIN for verification
I'll grab the VIN later today. It's interesting as I've seen reference to the Big Boss 6x6 in the Haynes manual but they only show that as being 1998-2000. The sticker on mine actually says "Sportsman 500" and there is a second sticker which has AWD 6X6. Attached is a picture of it when I first bought it, you can see the stickers on it.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latebird View Post
You mean a Big Boss 6x6 - not a Sportsman - what's the VIN for verification

Try powersportsnation.com or Ebay for best results - with Ebay, check the sellers feedback and return policy - cheapcycleparts.com is probably listing parts on there also

Part number 3280363 is $455 from Polaris, can be gotten for new for $350 plus shipping from me.
Latebird,
Thank you for the tip. I took a gamble that the issue was still Speedometer related and found a used one on Powersportsnation.com [through ebay actually] for $200. I spoke to them in person, very nice folks there, quite an operation. I figured if it wasnt the speedometer causing the problem, I'd still be solving my issues with AWD in the long right, so...
Speedo arrived yesterday, much better condition than I expected no less. fully expected to see the same clouded lens and condensation that almost everyone remarks about for this year vehicle but other than some very minor paint scrathes on the bezel it looks great.
Unfortunately this didnt fix the problem. Slapped in the new unit but same stalling at anything above idle.

Back to the basics; Suck Bang Blow. Since it's idling just fine it's got all three. Took the airbox off, no change. Nothing wrong with the exhaust so I figured it has to be fuel. After a little googling around I found a thread [cant remember where] of someone with an ATV [non-Polaris] that was having the same exact issue as I'm having. The postee suggested a neat little trick I'd not thought of [and in hindsight should have!] - grab a can of starter fluid, give it some throttle until it starts stalling again and squirt a little fluid in the crab venturi. Sure enough, it bogged just a second but then BINGO, lots of revs!. So I'm not on the tract that it's the carb. Got access to it [it's buried a little deeper on the 6x6 than the regular Sportsman, larger gas tank I think] but I was able to get it out far enough without taking off the throttle or choke cables to give it an inspection. I pulled the top cover off and pulled the main jet needle assembly out. Diaphram looks okay, needle looked clean and straight and the clip was still in place so I'm thinking it's okay. Flipped it over to pull the float bowl cover off and ran into issues. Two of the cover screws are on insanely tight. tried vice grips, PB Blaster, all I can think of but they're just starting to strip getting them out.
Last effort was going to be pulling the carb completely out to get it on the bench where I could go at it properly until I ran into the [infamous] choke cable nut. I can get a 12mm wrench on it but then it's so tight for space I cant turn the damned thing. Overnight I was thinking that I might need to grind down a wrench to get at it, I was thinking of cutting a notch on the box end large enough to let it slip past the cable. This morning I searched the forum here and see that this is a common gripe and others have done similar, only they ground down the open end to have thinner "tongs". Got to find time to run to the hardware/autoparts store to pick up a new wrench [maybe two!] and get to grinding.

In the interim, I found a Chinese knockoff carb on Amazon for $40 [Caltric I think is the name] that had 83 reviews and a 4 star rating. I figure, what the hell and bought one in case I destroy those float cover screws completely. I'll update this post for future reference to anyone having similar issues. thanks again to all for your suggestions.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 05:59 AM
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Ricklandia,
If you worked on these things everyday, you would be prepared.

Taking the top off the carb does not give you access to the main jet. The slide holds a needle that is inserted into the slide needle jet. The needle and needle jet control the mid-range of the rpm of engine speed. If the vehicle surges (too lean) or blubbers (too rich) when trying to run at a stead throttle setting from appx 1/4 to 3/4 throttle, you adjust the needle position to correct the mixture for smooth operation. The needle jet can be an integral part of the main jet holder (emulsion tube) or the main jet holder can hold a separate needle jet in the carb body. Polaris generally has the needle jet as an integral part of the main jet holder.

I have a 12 pt. box end wrench that I ground one side out of to slip over the cable to turn the enrichener cable nut with and had to 'thin' it on one side for clearance, but it was not "the" perfect solution. It turns out the 'perfect' solution was a 12 pt deep well socket with a groove milled into one side. I then welded a handle onto the socket. The socket can be slipped over the cable and the the nut is not supposed to be tight, so it loosens easily and the socket can be spun in a full circle making removal and installation a breeze. The only problem is the tendency to over tighten when installing.

The float bowl screws are a problem on most carbs unless you have a good screwdriver. I have a complete arsenal of tools to deal with tight screws. First is a set of 4 inch vice grips (with jaws in perfect condition) - get a grip on the head of the screw and turn it slightly to break it loose and remove it with a screwdriver. Next is the impact driver; I have a 3/8' drive hand held hammer driven impact tool (not many screws can resist the action of turning a driving force into a turning force) and 3/8 and 1/2 air operated impact tools. If the screw resists the impact treatment, then I have an assortment of left hand twist drill bits. If you select a drill bit just slightly larger than the shank of the screw and drill into it opposite of the direction of the screw's threads, one of two things happens; either just as the drill bit is about to remove the head of the screw from the shank, it will 'snag' and spin the screw out or the head will separate from the screw shank. Either way, the bowl can be removed from the body of the carb and the remainder of the screw can be dealt with using pliers, vice grips, hacksaw and straight blade screwdriver or whatever the mechanic has at his disposal. In dire cases, I have a vertical mill. I can chuck up the carb, center on the screw and drill directly through the center and try an easy out. I have milled the end of the screw, double nutted it and unscrewed them with a wrench, welded a nut to the screw and unscrewed it, milled it completely out and re-threaded the hole with a Heli-Coil thread insert. I have seen jackasses drill the screw out, grind a nut down on one side and put a screw through an unthreaded hole with the 'half nut' providing the anchor for the screw. I have seen torx screws, tamper proof torx screws, allen screws straight blade screws and hex head bolts securing the float bowl. I'm sure I have not seen it all yet. Someday, I expect someone will find a miniature c-clamp to replace a broken off float bowl screw. BTW - some Chinese carbs have their float bowls secured with security screws designed to prevent removal. The screws are recessed slightly into the float bowl casting and the driving part of the screw breaks off leaving a flat surface flush with the surface of the float bowl. With the vertical mill and LH drill bits, even these removal proof screws can be removed and replaced with conventional screws.

I think you will find your problem inside the float bowl. Either a partially clogged jet, water in the bottom of the bowl, a jet that has fallen out of the holder or something else. Perhaps it just needs to be re-jetted to better calibrate it for the fuel you are using.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latebird View Post
Ricklandia,
If you worked on these things everyday, you would be prepared.
Aint that the truth!
Problem has been resolved. Managed to get the Choke cable loose after grinding down a 12MM open end wrench. The new "tine" literally snapped off but in that same action loosened up the nut <whew>. Got the carb on the bench, got some proper leverage on the float bowl screws and got them off too. There was a fair amount of nasty in the bowl itself so I took it all apart, cleaned all the passageways really well and reassembled. Fired right up and ran smooth as silk. Things being what they are, I did manage to screw things up a little - throttle cable was not routed properly so I couldn't get it to idle correctly and then it completely died on me - no idle, no nothing. Pulled it all back apart to realize the float bowl bleed screw was completely missing! I must not have tightened it enough after cleaning and it apparently rattled itself loose in the field never to be found again. Failed to mention that the Caltric carb I bought was not the right one. Pulled it out of the box and it was larger than mine, 40 vs 34MM, with enough differences that it was clearly not going to work. Fortunately the float bowl bleed screw was the same size, so I now have a $40 screw on that Mikuni! I don't really care, I needed it back on the road, so to speak. Runs smoother now than when I bought it so happy about that.
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Last edited by Ricklandia; 07-29-2019 at 05:07 AM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 05:57 AM
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God deal - glad to hear you got it going

I would buy a new float bowl drain screw, put it in the new carb and return that carb to the seller

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