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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys,
Just moved off pavement to 12.5 wooded acres and was just scoping out what was cheap in my area to run from my house to the chainsaw shop.

Found a 1994 Polaris Sportsman 400 4x4. It's said to run real well and looks about average for it's age. Known problems are broken motor mounts causing belt to be thrown??? Well I know the motor mounts are broke for sure since motor moves. Is this a common problem? I have a hobart mig and old stick welder so I have no fear of welding up some mounts.

Just looking for the overall upshot to these 4wheelers (reliable or not? what breaks? are they a huge turd?). Just need to go up and down to house from shed, carry me and deer from the woods when hunting. Probably pull a small cart with me, chainsaw, and firewood in it. I weigh 250lbs so extrapolate from there. Don't really need it for snow since I have a snow plow on truck.

Title was lost in a devorce. Wife took the quad in the settlement but the guy never handed over the title. Long story short she wants it gone and he won't be getting me a copy.

What is it worth now? Fixed?

My buddy had some negative feedback saying that the 90's sportsmans had cheap flimsy frames and they weren't beefed up till 2000's... any truth to that?

Also I'm a chainsaw mech so 2 cycle doesn't scare me at all. Not sure on miles or hrs. Just wanted cheap and reliable since I need to buy a tractor for the 1/2 mile driveway soon.
 

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I'm not sure about the frames but they do have a host of common problems. Starter, speedo cables, fan motor, water pump and balance shaft seals, front hub seals to name a few. $400 sounds like a good price to me. If you have to put $300 or $400 into it your still not that bad off. The 400 2 stroke does have plenty of power though, they move!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Are there quality aftermarket upgrades to the problems or can I rebuild the starter myself with better quality parts? I don't mind wrenching if I get a good unit in the end.
 

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I found all my stuff on E-bay for the Xplorer 400. Yes there are quality parts and cheap parts, and they do sell rebuild kits for the starter. The starter is a huge pain in the ass to change though!! You will most definitely have to do the balance and water pump seals, $15 for the set. I need to do mine in the spring so I have no idea what that entails. I got my new starter for $45 and the fan motor for $80.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I found all my stuff on E-bay for the Xplorer 400. Yes there are quality parts and cheap parts, and they do sell rebuild kits for the starter. The starter is a huge pain in the ass to change though!! You will most definitely have to do the balance and water pump seals, $15 for the set. I need to do mine in the spring so I have no idea what that entails. I got my new starter for $45 and the fan motor for $80.
The motor is said to run so I'm not sure what all I have to do. It wont kill me to spend $300-$400 more in parts and do it all at once. I'll probably pull the motor to weld in new motor mounts maybe add a gusset or two depending on what it has room for. I'll probably split some bigger/thicker steel tube to beef up the motor mounts so it doesn't happen again.

So what are the quality parts/brands I should be looking for to install? Especially cables and starter? Better to rebuild or just replace?

Also you said water pump... This is a 2stroke so I wouldn't think it has a water pump??? would have figured it was air cooled...
 

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Hey guys,


Just wanted cheap and reliable since I need to buy a tractor for the 1/2 mile driveway soon.

Its definitely cheap but reliable? Its a 20 year old machine , things will break, but then again you are paying less for a used atv than what a good chainsaw costs. Sounds like you are mechanically inclined. I would take a chance and if its not what you expected, the parts should be worth $400
 

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I had one and it was actually a tank. My kid did everything he could to break it and aside from wear items like chain, sprockets, fluids and gear shift lever I had no issues with almost 8000miles on it.

Starters are disposable as they sit under the quad and get water in them. I got so I could change it in an hour easily. Rebuild kits are only $20 or so. Starter for DB Electrical is only $75 or so.

Motor mounts are rubber mounted and not expensive and I would just get new ones and that will solve that problem. If they wobble the belt will wear out as the clutches are not aligned.

It is liquid cooled and has a rad in the front. I had no leaks of any type, my oil pump worked like a champ and when I sold it I got $2200 for it here in Canada. For $400 I would buy it, but that's just my 2cents.
 

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And by the way Blackdog, I would be suspicious of she got the mine he got the shaft divorce bs . If the ATV was titled in his name, I would want to see the property distribution order giving her the ATV. Otherwise, you may get a knock on your door in the spring
 

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The title is fairly easy to get , the woman just needs to go to the license bureau with a copy of the divorce settlement and apply for a new title .
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well guys I pulled the trigger. My old neighbor went to pick it up for me and it showed up last night. I got it for less than the $400 and took it to the car wash. I had a couple cell phone pics to look at but other than that, it was bought sight unseen. It missing some nuts and bolts, the racks need welded and a new coat of paint, and the grips were really manky so I cut them off. Also whatever mechanical work I need to do...

This is what was under the mud and barn dirt.



 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I had one and it was actually a tank. My kid did everything he could to break it and aside from wear items like chain, sprockets, fluids and gear shift lever I had no issues with almost 8000miles on it.

Starters are disposable as they sit under the quad and get water in them. I got so I could change it in an hour easily. Rebuild kits are only $20 or so. Starter for DB Electrical is only $75 or so.

Motor mounts are rubber mounted and not expensive and I would just get new ones and that will solve that problem. If they wobble the belt will wear out as the clutches are not aligned.

It is liquid cooled and has a rad in the front. I had no leaks of any type, my oil pump worked like a champ and when I sold it I got $2200 for it here in Canada. For $400 I would buy it, but that's just my 2cents.
So how many hours am I looking at for motor mount replacement? Do I have to pull the whole engine or what? Just kinda curious what all is involved so I have a good idea what to do. Never worked on a wheeler before but I am very mechanically inclined and run a saw shop. Just want to get from A to B in as short a time as possible without doing more than I need to.

Does anyone make urathane motor mounts? Seems like it would hold up longer and have a steadier hold to keep everything aligned...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Also I know when it comes to chainsaws most carb kits are equal with no advantage over the other... I do know there are motorcycle kits that re-jet a carb for more power or better throttle response. Anything like that for these old girls or should I just pay the $20 to an ebay seller for any of the carb kits I see?
 

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The motor mount I did I was able to loosen the other two and pry the motor up and pull it out. It is a piece of rubber with independent bolts coming out either side. Reverse procedure to get it back in.
 
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