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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to forum and definitely not a wrench turner, especially on ATVs. Probably an idiot though!!

Got this ATV for my kids in '17 and it has been flawless.

It had been a couple months since it was ridden and would not start, so I hooked it up to my trickle charger.
When I tried to start it while the charger was running, my problems began. No pops or smoke, but not right since.

I thought the battery may have just been dead, but a new battery hasn't helped.
The starter button doesn't do anything. No attempt to turn over or even click.
The only way to crank is by kickstart. But even then, the dash lights(neutral) are dim and you can barely hear the horn. The headlights are dim as well and all lights flicker with the throttle.
I really don't think it's running quite the same either, but that may be my imagination.

I am quite sure I fried something electrical, but I don't know what.
I can't get to hardly anything without taking plastics off.
Except there are several electric boxes I can access(one at rear and 2 under front left fender). Not sure what they are, but I have a gut feeling Polaris made those accessible for idiots like me.

So, what does it sound like I have done to screw it up. Where should I begin? Potential parts needed?

And, of course, all this happens right when my girls are about ready to upgrade to a larger ATV and I need to look at selling this. Not that you can find an ATV to buy anywhere right now anyways!!

Sorry to bring my problem to you, but I need help.
 

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Font Line Window Pattern Automotive exterior
to the forum
Ball Automotive lighting Vehicle registration plate Font Gas
 

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Maybe some mice chewed up some wires when it was sitting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No sign of mice.

Let me qualify that I am not a mechanic, but I manage to keep a travel trailer operational, my '85 John deere 850 running, and every other small engine equipment on my property including a couple of mowers, Mule, generators, and holy crap, I have a lot of stuff. However, I don't do the maintenance on any car I have under factory warranty, and even then, it's general maintenance stuff.
So, I am not completely inept and stupid, but am still an idiot. Just ask my wife!!
 

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Do you have a digtal volt meter?
 

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Start at the battery, then the keyswitch, see what you get
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Start at the battery, then the keyswitch, see what you get
So, I do have to take the plastic off. UUUggghhhh!! LOL (unless the switch comes out without doing that)

It'll have to be tomorrow. The bed is singing its siren song and the alarm is set for 5

Thanks for your help and I will be back
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, I got a chance to look at it some more this evening, and I think I have found that I do not know what I am doing with a multi-tester.

Battery was showing just over 12 volts. Then I started it and the battery was only showing 3+/- volts.
Turned it back off and battery was below 12 volts.

Took the "dash" off to access the key's wiring. I couldn't figure out how to make it read anything. Much less actually get a reading.

I can wire a house top to bottom, but 12v leaves me scratching my head.
I do have a buddy that has torn several atv's down coming over to look at it in the morning.
 

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Don't feel too helpless - the Chinese wire the little ATV's in an unconventional manner compared to the larger machines.

The key switch only has two wires - it's either on (closed) or off (open) - the red wire is 12v, when the switch is on, the brn/wht wire becomes 12v - it goes to the tether switch and turns into a blk/yel wire - the blk/yel wire goes to the handlebar switch and becomes a brown wire - the brown wire goes to a splice and splits into 6 other feeds - 1 to the neutral light, 1 to the reverse light, 1 to the horn, 1 to the CDI unit and one eact to the brake light switches on the left and right brake levers.

Now to get to the problem - you have a bad connection somewhere or a bad battery and possibly a charging system problem. The battery voltage should not fall below 12v with just the key on and at 2500 rpm the voltage should rise across the battery terminals as the battery charges. If the voltage is not rising with an increase in RPM, it could be a bad stator or a bad rectifier or both. Two of the boxes near the front of the machine are typically the CDI unit and the rectifier. The CDI unit is plastic, supported by a rubber suspension, has two plugs one with 2 wires and one with 4 wires - the rectifier/regulator is metal, has fins, is normally bolted to the frame and has 4 wires - a red to the battery, black to ground and two stator wires (yel and yel/red) - when the rectifier is working, it will get warm as it converts AC from the generator to DC to charge the battery and power the accessories. The rec/reg is susceptible to failure ahead of the stator. The rec/reg part number is 0454003 @ $82 from Polaris - DON'T BE TEMPTED TO GET AN AMAZON UNIT - BUY POLARIS - I have a box full of Chinese rec/reg for various machines and none of them work on the Polaris even though the seller claims they will - there is only 4 connections, but Polaris uses a proprietary combination (pin outs) and none of the various aftermarket units work on the Pol.

Here's how the Polaris rec/reg is wired if you want to try to find a cheap replacement and you will need this diagram if you want to test the unit.
Rectangle Line Font Parallel Plan

Black is ground, red is battery - yel and yel/red are the alternator leads - to test the alternator, measure the AC volts on the yel wires - should be above about 45 volts at 2500 rpm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, just got back in to report and saw the above thread. I will have to go back and check a few things.

Buddy came over and brought a better volt meter.
Battery still tested about 12 with ignition switch off.
With ignition switch on, it was at @0.2+/- volt
With ignition on and engine running by kick start, it was at 3+/- volts.

Not really knowing where to check between what wire on the ignition switch is helping me.

Took some plastic off to check the ground and it appeared good. Battery is now out and disconnected.

Pulled the CDI off.
With ignition switch off, checked continuity on the CDI's plugs.
The double plug had cont. Two of the diagonal plugs on the 4-plug had cont.
With ignition on, no cont anywhere.

Checked cont on the CDI unit and no continuity anywhere again.

I have no idea if it is even supposed to show any, so this may have been a flawed test.

My guess is likely the CDI was fried, but what do I know. I am the idiot that fried it.
 

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If the CDI was fried, the engine would not run - it's a DC ignition and needs battery voltage to run - there is no test for the CDI unit other than replacing with a known good unit - your unit is good because the engine runs, so you are back to the battery, rec/reg and stator. Get a known good battery. A new, but faulty battery can measure 12v with no load, but just connecting a headlight to it could cause the voltage to drop to near zero. Voltage is potential, amperage is flow (or work) - as amperage flows voltage drops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good to know about the CDI.
I have taken the rec/reg off, but don't know how to check it. All the utube videos show a rec/reg with a 2 pin and a 4 pin plug. This thing is only a 4 pin plug.
Plus, my el-cheapo volt meter apparently is not measuring ohms correctly as it is evidently damaged for this function, so I will need to get another meter to test with.
I have not even started looking into being able to check the stator.

Thanks for the input and help
 

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Good to know about the CDI.
I have taken the rec/reg off, but don't know how to check it. All the utube videos show a rec/reg with a 2 pin and a 4 pin plug. This thing is only a 4 pin plug.
That's the great thing about youtube - there are more idiots who do not know what they are doing putting up videos than there are knowledgeable professionals putting up vids. You have to be knowledgeable enough to determine which videos are correct and which ones are BS.

The CDI box has two connectors - one 2 pin and one 4 pin, it's a plastic box usually suspended in rubber - the rec/reg is metal, bolted to the frame and has 4 pins - I have 3 meters and have never successfully tested the rec/reg. In my experience, I test the stator and the battery - if both test good and it's not charging, then I replace the rec/reg and retest the system. Normally, if the stator and battery test good, then replacing the rec/reg fixes the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
While I still haven't found a new volt meter to test with, is there a suggested method of testing the stator?

I need to figure this thing out soon because I have the skeleton of this atv taking up space with bits and pieces of plastic and other parts scattered on the floor in my shop.

I know it was stated that the atv would not run at all if the CDI was bad, but obviously that is not the case with the rec/reg and/or stator. Apparently they handle current and charging, but not necessarily(or directly) the spark needed for the atv to run.
To be honest, I am still trying to wrap my head around how 12v systems work. In my years on this earth, I have been fortunate that they have worked like magic for me! Until they didn't.
 

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Testing the stator is basic - check continuity leg to leg (yel to yel/red) and leg to ground - continuity leg to leg should be low and to ground infinite. If that part is good, then check the AC output of the stator - leg to leg, engine running could be as low as 5vac at idle to as much as 100vac near full throttle - no need to rev it wide open around 5000 RPM (half throttle is adequate) - if the stator passes, all that is left is the rec/reg, battery and wiring.
 
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