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Discussion Starter #1
I am only 15 years old but I work on a farm a ways away. This sportsman 500 is my main way of getting there, but this last Saturday I was driving probably around 25 mph and took a small corner and the engine started to strain. I thought that the engine was just cold as it was 0 - 10 degrees out. But after about another hundred feet the engine was really bogged down and I left off the throttle a little and it stalled and hasn't started since. We have somewhat cleaned the carb and there is plenty of gas. I just don't know what to make of this as I am not an expert. Any help is appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the board!
 

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Was it making any noise, did it come to a quicker than usual stop, does it turn over and sound like it normally does when starting; check for spark.
 

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If the engine started to "strain" as in tightening up, I'd drain the oil in a clean container and check it for particles and/or fuel/coolant contamination.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It didn't make any noise other than running itself and when it stopped it wasn't quick it was as if the gas stopped flowing yet the pump is working fine. It also tries to turn over but again the gas just seems to not make it out of the carb and there is no "start". The spark plug is a little blackened but still supplies a consistent spark too. For the gas line antifreeze, my dad picked up some "polar" brand at a gas station. Is this good or should I use something better like sea foam? Thanks for all the replies.
 

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Can you get it inside to warm it up? If not try a bit of starter fluid into the intake to see if it farts, this may eliminate the gas delivery as a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We have it in a garage, no heat though. We've sprayed starter fluid in the carb but it really has no effect. Just keeps turning over. The first Time we sprayed it on Sunday, the day after it stopped, the starter fluid just burst into a small flame. spark plug seeming more of a possibility? Not quite sure if it is consistent as I thought
 

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Not the usual result of spraying starter fluid into a motor I think it's much more than this, a plug issue will not cause a flame. Timing?valves?exciter? More details are needed here mileage/hours, usual maintenance done, it might be a number of things.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As far as maintenance goes, until my dad gave it to me a few years ago, it didn't see much maintenance however just the other day, even the morning it stalled it started up like a beast (better than our 2003 honda). We just took a look at the valves but they seemed to work fine (hit the start button with the spark plug out and they moved good) we still have to look at the timing and honestly I have no idea what the exciter is. But there seems to be compression in the engine and we got a new spark plug and still nothing. Thanks for your replies
 

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A wire is shorting out against the steering shaft or the spark plug wire is pinched between the gas tank and the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry I forgot to get back to you guys. The spark plug wire is not pinched and the steering shaft has no wires that I can see shorting out against it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@pgjeepster - this atv has countless hours and miles. Every weekend I have to drive it atleast 2 miles a day at work (to get there and back). It hasn't seen much maintenance valves have never been adjusted (before it stalled it seemed to have full power) most maintenance done is an oil change every once in a while and grease in the joints . Could you give me more info on the exciter? Thanks
 

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The service manual has a list of things to check in order.

Yours is located here: Index of /ORV Manuals/Polaris

Follow the order of checking things, they start with ez and work their way up to complex/expensive. Best of luck. Let us know what ya' find!
 

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The exciter is part of the charge system mounted on the right hand side of the motor inside the magneto sends the pulse which causes the spark to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
The oil is about the 3/4 mark on the dipstick. It doesn't seem to smell like gas however when I pulled it out, we are in about 20-30 degree weather, the oil was dripping almost like water off the dipstick. Is this normal for this temp? I thought it should be thicker?
- I asked my father if he smelled oil when he checked it and he also said yes.
 

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If oil is thin ill bet it has gas in it causing it to be rich , that's why its not starting, is there any gas in the airbox? What usually happens is the needle and seat go bad in the carb, gas runs out the botttm of carb but also goes into airbox and into crank case, I would change the oil and filter , get a new needle and seat in carb.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Well we put in a carb kit about 2 weeks ago so I think that's working fine but there was no gas in the air box. Could this still be the problem? And if so, after I replace the oil will it take a while to circulate before the engine can start?
 
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