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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I recently got a 2001 Sportsman 500 HO and quickly realized that the front left wheel does not engage in AWD.

I've scoured the forum and have tested all electrical, replaced the fluid, inspected the hilliard clutch, and replaced a bent armature plate.

At this point, I suspect the problem is with either the coil or the clutch.

With the new armature plate, the coil's magnatism is much stronger than it was with the bent one, but I'm still able to pry it off with my fingers. It's not easy, but the fact that I can at all has me concerned. Should I be able to do this with a good coil?

Regarding the clutch, I did clean and inspect it per the service manual and the rollers definitely move more freely now, but I'm wondering if the splined nut in the center may be worn on the outer faces just enough to the point that it's not engaging the clutch rollers enough or at all.

So to sum it up:
1. Should I be able to pull a properly magnetized armature plate off the coil with my hands?
2. Assuming yes to the above, does my theory about the clutch hold water?

Thanks!
 

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Short answer - yes

The armature plate has to slip when the Hilliard locks to drive the front wheel - if the armature plate was held too tightly, it would wear out quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Short answer - yes

The armature plate has to slip when the Hilliard locks to drive the front wheel - if the armature plate did was held too tightly, it would wear out quickly.
Wow. So obvious and yet that never occurred to me. I feared my coil was working, but just not well enough to actually work.

I'll turn my attention now to the clutch, i.e., replace it. It definitely is showing some signs of wear, but I conveniently cast them aside thinking I had a weak magnet.

Thank you for the feedback, Latebird!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update -

I replaced the hilliard clutch, rechecked magnetism, and reassembled following the service manual to the letter. Still no engagement in 4x4 to the left wheel.

Now I'm wondering if my coil is going out or if it's possible that the inner hub itself is worn out (no visible or obvious signs just looking at it).

Thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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Did you make sure the magnet pole gap is flush? If its not perfectly flush all the way around the circumference it won't work or will only work sporadically. In my experience with the old hub Hilliards, that's most often what's wrong when all else appears to be good but that wheel still won't function.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Did you make sure the magnet pole gap is flush? If its not perfectly flush all the way around the circumference it won't work or will only work sporadically. In my experience with the old hub Hilliards, that's most often what's wrong when all else appears to be good but that wheel still won't function.
I did check, and in retrospect, I'm not 100% confident in my measurements. Also, the fact that I have a strong magnet when testing the coil and armature plate with the hub torn apart probably blinded me to the possibly that the alignment is not what it needs to be.

Prior to replacing the clutch, I did try pounding the sleeve on more using a rubber mallet and a wood block, but I think it just sprang back on the silicone.

From all accounts I've read, pulling the outer sleeve usually destroys the delicate coil, but I do have a replacement on hand should that happen when I muster up the time and patience to dig into this again.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Well OP, I can't say for sure that's the problem but it often is.
I've had some luck using a little heat on the sleeve to warm/soften the silicone and then a hardwood block and heavy hammer to seat the sleeve flush.
Need a good steel straight edge to check it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. This is definitely worth a try before going whole hog and trying to remove and reseat the sleeve (and likely replace the coil).
 
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