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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone I just purchased a 1996 Polaris Sportsman 500. The owner told me ahead of time about a knocking/ticking noise at idle. He said it has been doing that for over 6 years and it didn't seem to worsen. I rode the atv prior to purchase and anything above idle the noise goes away. The atv operates with no problems otherwise but I am interested in getting rid of the noise if I can. The previous owner is a former Polaris mechanic and said that he rebuilt the engine several years ago. He said the engine noise started a few years after the rebuild. He did tell me he replaced the cam since they were an issue as well as all internals. It runs great, no smoke, no backfire, just perfect. Just wondered if anyone heard of this noise in the early sportsman 500. I will also add the previous owner said he had the top end apart several times to try and determine what was causing it. He said he could not find anything, but was suspicious of the decompression. Thank you in advance for any help.
 

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I had a similar sound. But after I took the clutch cover off it got louder. I found the buttons on the primary clutch were worn out and needed replaced. This made the towers uneven and they were knocking....same type of sound your explaining, Now she is nice a quite again......Just a thought,
 

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I wondered about something with the clutch? The previous owner said it just didn't seem like it was coming from that area but he wasn't sure? Thanks for the advice I'll check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Where are the buttons on the primary? I watched several youtube video's and people would mention the buttons but not show where they were or how to replace them.
 

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Yes on the primary...... They are black and dime size buttons that ride up and down on the outside of each tower. If one or two wear down the the clutch will not spine true and it creates a knocking sound. If you have a spider tool this will be a job you can do. If not, like I did...just took it off and had the dealer replace them. But you will need a clutch puller to get the primary off the drive shaft. Buttons are 6-7 bucks.....so its going run around $40.00 plus dealer to replace... Hope this helps......
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks again Timberdoodle. One other question does anyone know if the 96 sportsman 500's have EBS? It's doesn't have the decal indicating EBS like on my 2000 sportsman 500. Just curious? Thanks.
 

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Just wanted to let everyone know that I had the local polaris shop put in the new buttons and I installed the clutch today. No more knocking noise. Thanks again Timberdoodle! I appreciate the advice. On to the next project. Replacing the front a-arm bushings.
 

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On the subject of Sportsman vs. Magnum, now that my wife has a new Magnum 500 I plan to post the differences from an experienced perspective when I have the time and some more miles with it between me and the trail. Initially there are a few things that surprised me. I guess I’d always thought of the Mag 500 as a Sportsman 500 without IRS. Wrong! Since this is our second “shaft ride” Mag (first was a 325) I’m very familiar and impressed with the drive/suspension system for its quality and durability. There’s also less maintenance than the IRS in both the lubrication and ease of cleaning departments. But I must say, the Sportsman leaves the Mag behind in several areas. The clutch housing intake is about 7” lower on the Mag and in a position that appears to make it more vulnerable to sucking in things it shouldn’t (although it hasn’t yet). It has a smaller fuel capacity by 1.5 gallons. The front CVs aren’t as well protected. The motor is positioned MUCH further forward, giving the machine completely different balance than the Sportsman.

Now don’t think I’m getting down on this machine. The little I’ve ridden it it handles beautifully, far more nimble than my heavy Sportsman. That 500 motor in the lighter chassis makes it feel like a 2-stroke compared to what I’m used to. After trying some log-hopping with it last weekend I will say that the IRS on the Sportsman gives a far superior ride in very uneven terrain, as one would expect. The longer travel rear suspension doesn’t hurt it any in this area either. Others have told me they prefer the solid axle because it gives them a better “feel” of the trail. I guess my hiney is spoiled by the IRS and “feeling” the trail a little less.

Post I found on them..........
 
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