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Discussion Starter #1
So the other day a friend of mine came into our garage that my mother made my dad have built for all of our extras. 4 wheelers, dirt bikes, and a 1972 VW Superbeetle. All of which do not run. He says," dude this thing still does not work?!" so needless to say later that night I drank a red bull and tore into it. Here is where it begins.

We own two ATV's one is a 1998 Polaris Xplorer 400 and the other is a 1997 Polaris Sportsman 400. Both have been down for e count since 2003. I know we just did not have the time or money back then. So I am going to do this myself but wanted to make sure that I am not doing anything too stupid. I have torn the Xplorer down as that one is mine and the other is my brothers. When it was put into the garage my uncle had tried to repair it by bypassing the starter relay. ( he is a dumb ass) So I have ordered a new starter solenoid/relay. Someone also said that it could be my starter. They also said that I should do a "bench test" to see if the starter works. I tried this with no luck. Should it turn over by doing the bench test? If the starter is out how do I know if I am able to rebuild it or if I should just bite down and buy a new one? Guy at Polaris said that it could be rebuilt if the armature is still good. How do I know if this armature is still good? Ok if you are still with me after all of these questions then if you could also let me know what I should do before riding this vehicle. Rebuild carb? Drain all fluids or just gas? Should the 2-stoke oil still be ok? I am just trying to break as little stuff as possible. We were idiots when we were young and all we wanted to do was try to drive through as much stuff as possible even if it broke something on the ATV. Dad is getting older now and he could use it around the farm. Thanks in advance for any help or advice that you might give.
 

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i would change all fluids. After the bench test and the starter didnt work a rebuild will prob do i am not sure how much a starter cost but if its cheap go new. Definately clean the carbs, that would be the first thing to do, and flush the gas tank out. Sounds like a fun project...The rubber boot in between jugs and carb are a common problem of cracking make sure to check them because i have gone around and around with that issue on a 350. Put new plug/plugs in just eliminating probs
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have never rebuilt a starter before but I do have knowledge of tinkering. Is this something that I would be able to take care of? Is there anything that I should know before diving into this? If I were to go with a new starter, are the aftermarket ones not wormy a crap? There are some out there for $60-$130. Polaris of Memphis is wanting $200 for a brand new aftermarket one. What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Here are some photos of the problems that i have gotten to so far. There is one of the solenoid that my uncle tried to bypass (we call him richard noggin.....aka dick head). Should the rod in the center be loose? If i were to solder a new wire onto it should it work? Also the plastic on the side has broken off a little bit will it keep it from working? It is not broken in the photo it broke on the side while is was trying to remove the bolts.
 

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I bought my starter off ebay for like $50 and although I don't have that motor anymore the starter is still working great to my knowledge. I did silicone the seems on the starter really good before i installed it. They are bad about letting water in and just ruining the guts. And yea that guy at polaris of memphis thinks his stuff is made of gold. I try not to buy anything from him. Plus he's a dick.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was planning on doing a starter swap from the Sportsman to the Xplorer maybe tonight. I was going to try the bench test first to see if it works either or if I am doing the test correctly. What site is a trustworthy place to order from? I dont want to order from a manufacturer and then have to "make it work". Thanks for all the help keep it coming. I will make sure to keep uploading photos. These that i posted were from a few days ago.
 

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Youtube has plenty of videos showing how to bench test a starter if you're not sure you're doing it correctly. If one is working I'd start there to see what else needs to be done to get her running before you go throwing $$$$ at it. Once it's running then buy a starter or leave the bad on on your bro's...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah I searched themout last night and tested it this morning. It was so depressing to see that it was not working. If worse comes to worse and I don't want to pay for a new starter I can always pull start it right? And yes I am way ahead of you on replacing my brothers starter with the one from my ride. I'm too honest though and do not know how to lie and when he decided to get it going I would probably jump right in and tell him the starter is probably out on it.
 

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Hey man glad to have you here on the forum. I live just across the river from memphis in east Arkansas. The starter solenoid can be purchased from a parts store Primeline part#7-01861-1 just snip off the small wire and put a terminal on it and attach it to the 1/4" blade terminal. That will fix that problem. You can buy it at Carquest or NAPA Auto parts. I would prefer Carquest( I work at a Carquest here). The starter and starter drive can be purchased online at dbelectricial.com for $80 or just the starter for about $50 or less. I guarantee that is where the Memphis store is getting them. I will be glad to help you with any orther info if you need it. Clean the carb real good. Inspect fuel lines and vacum lines for cracks. Also look at wiring for varmit vandelism. Thanks
 

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here is what I posted to your other thread...

nice, I love projects like that. Shouldn't be too hard the big things are....

1) change all fluids (drain all old gas, tranny oil, front hubs if 4x4, flush 2 stroke resevoir)
2) remove, clean, and adjust the carb
3) Grease all fittings
4) bleed brake system
5) Adjust and oil drive chains
6) put a small amount of 2 cycle oil down the spark plug hole, let sit for 10 min, and then slowly crank over with pull starter. the idea is to use enough to properly pre-lube the cylinder and rings. The last thing you want is to try to start an engine that has a rusty/sticky cylinder.
7) perform visual check on all rubber hoses, replace if needed. (if stored inside you probably dont need to replace them)
8) check/replace air filter
9) make sure mice didn't turn your engine into a home( it happens and can ruin an engine fast)
10) check compression to make sure you are not wasting time with an engine that needs a new top end
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To bench test a starter you just need to ground the body to the 12v negative battery lead and then connect the only terminal on the starter to the 12v positive battery terminal.

WARNING: be sure to have the starter mounted in firmly in a vise they tend to generate a lot of starting torque which will make it spin off wildly if not held securely. This will probably cause murphy's law # 22342987 to become effective, which states that "two wires of opposite polarity will find a way to come in contact with each other causing your battery to short and explode"
 

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I forgot to mention don't try and start it without a battery hooked up because it can blow all the bulbs and possibly spike the electricial system.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Tt425 thanks for the info. I went to car quest this afternoon and purchased the solenoid. I just got done doing a starter bench test on my brothers '97 sportsman and it worked which tells me that mine is a goner. It also tells me that finders keepers I have a new starter and my brother is out of luck. I guess that is one of about 15 other major things that I need to do for this atv. I got a new battery fir it today as well. What do I need to do to remove the starter? Do I need to remove the pull start bc I just rebuilt that and it was a major bitch to do.
 

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If its the same as a 95 400 you will need to remove the recoil housing in order to remove the bolts holding the starter in place. I don't remember if the flywheel has to be removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So I started to attempt to remove the starter this afternoon and got to a point where I was stuck in what I was doing and having to be at a holiday party. Does anyone have step by step instructions or know where to find some so that I know that I am doing it right. I am pretty lost on this one. Maybe light will be shed as soon as my Chilton's gets here. Today I bought new plugs, carb rebuild kit, and a new pull start rope as mine had been shortened over the years and wa about 2' long fully extended. My next step is getting this starter off. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I have a 96 sport 400L. IDK if its the same but u have to pull all the bolts out of the recoil starter housing. There is one on the lower left side that is hard to get to because the rear brake control is in the way. I used a pry bar to rock the motor sideways to be able to pull the bolt out. After u remove the recoil houing there will be two bolts that hold the front of the starter on. They are behind the housing so thas why u have to remove them. Now pull the skid plate and remove the power line from the starter. There is also a bracket on the rear of the starter that u have to remove. The upper bolts are a pain to get off and on but u can do it without removing the clutch housing like some peple suggest. After that, the starter should come right out. Now if u wanna tear into the starter you can probably fix it for free. Most times the brushes on the back end of the shaft are just stuck in the slider housing and needs to be cleaned up so they will make contact with the aramater. If u wanna pull it apart, its easier once u put it all bck together if u draw a staright line on the starter housing sleeve so you know how each piece is lined up and it makes it easier to put in the bolts whe u done fixing it. So, Pull the two bolts out of the bacl cover and pull the cover off. You will see the brush assembly in the back of the housing. You should have two brushes in the starter. They are about 3/4" long and look like a smaill box with wire connected on the end. The brush houing will have a spring assembly on it that pushes the brush into the armater. You want to clean all these areas of grease and grime. U can take some fine sand paper or scotch brite and clean the area where the brushes ride on the aramater. U will need to take a small screwdriver and clean out all the buildup between the metal plates that the brushes ride on also. After that, put it all back together and it should work. Theonly thing that goes out on starters most of the time is the brushes and bearing. Most time the brushes just hang up in the housing and wont make contact anymore. If this dont work look on ebay. I bought one for my quad the other day for 42 dollars shipoped to the house from DB electric. Hope u get it going. Merry Christmas
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So I finally removed the starter and it was filled with rust. Don't know if that happened before or after the 8 year garage store but either way we are getting it rebuilt by a fellow that rebuilds our tractor staters. I am still waiting on my Chilton's guide so that I do not mess anything up while rebuilding this carb. If anyone has directions a good guide on how to rebuild the carb on my 1998 Xplorer 400 it would be much appreciated as I am antsy to see some positive action out of this machine. When I first dug into this thing I was not thinking of having to do everything I have done so far but I am glad that you guys have helped me out so that I do not make any major mistakes. Drained all of the gas today and changed the spark plug. Charged the new battery. I also went to car quest and bought the replacement starter solenoid that someone had mentioned earlier. Thanks. One I just have to alter it to fit. Hope that everyone had a fattening Christmas and I look forward to any insight than any current talkers or passerbys might give. Thanks!
 

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Carbs are easy. Take them apart and remove all the screws, needles, and valves. Becareful not to loose the spring on the needle and seat assembly. When you put the new needle ad seat back together make sure the float arms a level when you turn the carb upside down. You may have to tweak the arms just a tad. Get som carb cleaner and spary all the passages with the cleaner. You may have to run a small wire up the passages to dislodge any crud that is in the passages. check that the new jet is the same size as the old one u took out. I should have a number stamped on it. If its not just clean the old one and install it back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have yet to get to the carb to take care of that but I did figure out why the starter was so rusty inside. While looking for the gasket to put the newly rebuilt starter back into place I realized there was not one installed on it. Not something that you would normally think to look for but then I remembered that we bought this 4 wheeler with 60 miles on it newly rebuilt bc some rich kid took off in the winter and did not let her warm up. Hmm so I am stop and go stop and go. So the starter is back and working and now I have to wait for the gasket. I guess I might as well replace the one on the starter recoil housing as well. I am debating on ordering this offline but I don't know if I can wait. I might just have to bite the ole bullet and head to the stealership.

On a side note, that starter is a pain in the butt to get off and on. I looked at the '97 sportsman that we have and there is so much more room to work in under there than on the Xplorer. This is the first time I have been envious of that 4 wheeler. Oh well I guess it will take me a while to get it back on but once it's there I don't plan on having to pull it off again. At least I hope not. Thanks for all of the help.
 
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