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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
EDIT* this is a work in progress...i will add to as i think of/remember more points to hit

im sure most of you prefer to do as much work on your own quad as possible, cant say i blame you. i thought i would share some things i have learned for working at a dealership. now, im not mechanic, im a parts guy, but luckly out main mechanic was one cool guy and took his time (commission paid) to slow down and show me some of the ropes. so lets look at what is needed to service your machine.

ENGINE OIL: We are talking 4-strokes here. if your machine is brand new, polaris recommends changing the oil after the first 25 hours. it is just to get the metal shavings out of the motor, as the parts will wear into a specific grove as the motor "breaks in". after the first oil change, and from there after, intervals get pushed back to 50-100 hours, or seasonally. depending on your workload, RPM's, terrain, ect can vary the intervals. i would error on the side of too often, and would tend to stay between 50-75 hours personally. Also wise to change your oil filter with each oil change. They dont hold as much oil as a car, so the filter is worked harder. And at about $10 a filter, its just cheap insurance. With a lot of different things floating around there, my most knowledgeable source (polaris regional manager)told me the weight of the polaris PS-4+ is that it is a 0w-40 full synthetic.

BATTERIES Read This

CHASSIS LUBE On every machine, there are various grease zerks hidden around each machine. Where and how many can vary a lot by model and year, but look around all parts that move or have bushings. An all season all purpose grease will be fine. On each zerk, you want to push enough fresh grease in that it starts to push the old grease out of the bushing. Then you know it is full, and it constantly cycles the old grease out. Polaris for a while went to sealed bushings because of consumer complaint that other manufactures were doing it, and it was more convient. The problem, the bushings would eventually wear and need to be replaced. Polaris is back to mostly unsealed bushings. Places to check include the steering neck, up near the handle bars, usually between the body and headlight pod. All a-arms, both where they are bolted to the frame, and also out near the wheels where the a-arms attach to the strut. Also, on machines that have a prop shaft going to the rear gearbox, there is actually grease zerk on that shaft. You may need to put the machine in neutral and roll it front or back until the shaft spins around and the zerk comes up on top so you can get to it. This should be done every time you change your oil

AIR FILTER If you still have the OEM paper filter, you will want to check it with each oil change. Depending on terrain and conditions, it may or may not need to be replaced. The cloth pre-sleeve around the airfilter can be taken off and washed in a sink with hot soapy water. Let airdry, and do not put back on to the airfilter until completely dry. The older foam pre-sleeves will need to be replaced as you see fit. Dirty airfilters can cause running problems, so dont let it get to that stage. Expect to need a new air filter every 1-3 oil changes. DO NOT take the filter off and shake it, pound it on the table, or used compressed air to blow it off. Compressed air will just push the dirt further into the air filter, and shaking or hitting it can loosen enough dirt to fall to the inside of the airfilter that once replaced can suck the dirt into the machine, and possibly take your piston rings out! If you have an aftermarket clean-able filter like K&N, i would recommend you clean it each oil change, as per instructions that came with the filter. Also while you are doing this, shove a clean rag into the intake and then clean any dirt or debris resting inside the airbox. Again, dont use compressed air, just a second towel to wipe it out.

TIRE PRESSURE Check and inflate or deflate to proper PSI. there should be a stick still on your quad that shows the PSI. usually between 5-9 PSI for both front and rear. Also check tires for bent rims, and any deep scrapes or punctures to the tire itself. Also check lug nut torque as per owners manual. Check with every oil change as a minimum

CV BOOTS You will want to inspect all CV boots before and after each ride. I know, sounds like a pain, but they are easy to inspect, will take less then a minute to check them all, and could save you hundreds of dollars. Inside the sealed CV boot is your CV joint. The boot holds a certain amount of all season grease (same as the chassis lube) for the CV joint. The boots can fail, here is how. Think of what they do as a piece of paper you fold in half, and crease, and then fold the crease the other way, and then back again, ect. The paper will tear really easy after a few folds. The boots do the same thing. Every time the wheel goes around once, the boot as expanded and contracted once. This can eventually wear down the boot until it becomes brittle and cracks in on of the seams. If you quad sits outside a lot in the sun, this can accelerate it, as sunlight on rubber will cause it to harden and lose it elasticity. Also, rocks, sticks, ect can puncture the boot. If the boot gets ripped or torn in any way, the grease will come out, the CV joint will dry up and fail, and its expensive to replace. If you catch it early enough you can get a new boot for about $30 and be back on the trails in no time.

COOLANT Check with every oil change. With engine cool, check resevoir and fill to the cold line. Check for any leaks or signs of coolant anywhere else.

OTHER FLUIDS Most are changed yearly, follow your owners manual to figure out exactly what to change when, or just ask around here when it comes time.

SPARK PLUGS Wont give any sign of failing. They just do. Best to carry an extra set with you, and a spark plug wrench, so they can be changed on the trail if needed. Before removing spark plug boot, used compressed air, or at least your mouth to blow away as much dirt and dust as possible. I would change every 2-3 years as cheap insurance you wont have to do it on the trail when the sun is going down.

BELT Will give signs of failing. The power deliverly will not be smooth. Might smell it burning. I would take the clutch covers off to inspect the belt yearly, preferably right before you begin to start the main part of your riding season. Belt life is entirely up to you and how well you take care of it. Belts can be destroyed in 10 minutes, or can last thousands of miles. One thing not to do, is let your machine idle in gear for any longer then a couple seconds. The reason being is in gear and not moving, the primary is spinning, but the belt is not. This creates friction and heat fast, and can "hour glass" your belt. (skinny in one section) When you put it in neutral, it just freewheels and spins with primary, so no friction, no heat, no wear. Also, towing large heavy loads in high, or riding constantly under 10 MPH in high can create friction on the belt and wear patters on clutches as the belt is slipping a lot, and never gets to the lower part of the clutch. Putting the machine in low while in these conditions will drop the belt further into the cluch and prevent both wear to belt and clutch. If you dont have a low gear, only high, it means you are clutched a little differently, and the first 10 MPH you will basically be in low gear, and the clutch will automatically gear itself into "high" when your speed increases.

FLUIDS Generic fluids are almost impossible to match up. Polaris is very hush hush on most of their fluids. For engine oil, you can run a 0w-40 or 2w-40 full synthetic engine oil. Any good brand will do. For your brake fluid, you can use any good quality DOT4 brake fluid. A good quality ethylene glycol based coolant can be used in your machine. Polaris mixes it at 60/40, but a 50/50 should be fine too. Just check your coolants freezing temperature before going into each winther to make sure you will not end up with a cracked block. For the transmission, gearcases, and ADC, and all other fluid types and locations, I highly recommend you use the polaris fluids. I have personally seen machines get their internals messed up from using "substitute" fluids. There is no information released from polaris that says what these fluids are. Its not that expensive to use the OEM fluids here, when you break it down to cost per ounce and how many ounces it takes to change. Just be safe and stick with the OEM fluids for anything not listed above. It is cheap insurance for a machine costing thousands.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
^^best option. tolerances are super tight and aftermarket belts might not meet the needed dimensions to work correctly with the clutches
 

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Nice write-up!!
 

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You need to put one of the most critical points the Hillard clutch. I wouldn't wait A year to change that fluid, especially the newer centralized Hillards.
 

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This is great. How about some info what generic fluids will meet the OEM fluid recommendations? Like Brake, ADC, Differentials, etc.
 

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Service Manual(s)

So, in your guys opinions, what/which service manual should I get for my new '10 Sportsman 550 efi?
 

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here's the one i purchased for my 07 800 when i had it and i loved it as it was well organized and very detailed. You can save it to a disc, print out specific pages, etc.. When i need it for my 850, i will purchase it
Documents / eBooks: DOWNLOAD: Polaris Sportsman 550
 

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thanks fr the link. i saved it as a favorite. im sure someday when need be i will grab it. thx again!!
 

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Hello All. I have a 1996 Polaris Xpress 400 and it will turn over but won't start at all. We have changed the spark plug out and put a brand new throttle cable on. My question is, it will turn over but will not start, do I need to adjust the throttle cable on the handle bars or by the oil pump at all??? Please help, Thank you, Becky
 

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Thanks for the upkeep info. Can you tell me where the #@%^*@# is the oil drain plug on a 2000 xpedition? the service manual that I got with it doesn't say and I've looked in all the obvious places.
 

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I went with the Polaris Shop manual. I have found their manuals to be very complete in the past. This one is no different. I do not like the high cost of it, but like everything else it pays for itself in the long run.
 

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There is an electrical connection on the top end of the radiator. Just use something to connect two together (I used a big screwdriver) and as long as the key is on the fan should turn on. If you need to test the switch that is in the radiator, remove it, attach wires and use a ohm meter while it is in a pot of water coming to a boil on the stove. It should go from no connection to a full connection.
Newbie
How do I check that the cooling fan is working ?
John 98 Xplorer 400 Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I really cant do generic fluids very well, cause nobody know what the polaris fluids are. Ill update what i can
 

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angle drive,, demand drive,,arcane polaris names for common mechanical components why? why not front drive gearbox,,, rear drive gearbox etc ,,, new GF has 4x4 ranger series 11 and trying to match owner manual maintainance recomendations to whats in polaris dealer ???? mannnnnn y'kno
the # on the fluids do not match # in manual or component descriptions in
 

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This is great. How about some info what generic fluids will meet the OEM fluid recommendations? Like Brake, ADC, Differentials, etc.
I agree.

:)
I agree too. This would be very helpful...
more agreement ; is polaris the only one who makes these fluids ?not

do they deliberately make non API formulation fluids to maximize profits at the consumers expense ? SO
 
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