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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! New to the forum and seeking your expert advice. I have a sportsman 400 2004.5 model. I haven't run it in over 8 months and am working on getting it started. Replaced battery, replaced spark plug. It was sluggish to start up. Once it did, it died rather quickly. I noticed a puddle of gas underneath the atv. I've traced this puddle to the device that the air filter enters into. It was leaking out of the bottom tube that contains an in-line filter. Simultaneously, I realized I was pretty empty on gas. I filled the tank up about half way and watched fuel drip heavily from that inline tube. The fuel also began filling up the air filter container. (I had the filter cover and filter off so I could investigate closer.) when I turn the fuel valve off, the leak stops. So I'm lead to believe that something inside the gadget (don't know the name of it) is stuck open, causing fuel to leak out.
What is the name of the gadget? and what can I do to fix it? Is it something a novice can take apart and clean, or is this something I have to have a pro fix?


6,903 Posts
that gadget appears to be your caburetor in that pic, and what it looks like i am seeing is the bottom of the float bowl, and that screw there makes me think that is your float bowl drain.

my first instinct from working for 2 years at the parts counter of a polaris dealer is telling me you need a new needle valve, and probably a good carb clean. the reason the machine probably started slow and died right away is your jets that deliver the fuel have a small hole in them, and when gas ages it turns into a gel like substance. with that little fuel that is stored in your carb it only takes weeks before it plugs it all up. i am 99.99% sure you will need a full carb clean. should take a experience mechanic about an hour of labor to do it.

i feel 90% confident that the reason it is leaking fuel is because the o-ring and seat for the needle valve have hardened and cracked, no long holding fuel. the hose it leaked out of is probably a vent hose, and the in line valve is probably a one-way check valve so that when riding through puddles or water it would not allow the carb to suck water into it.

the needle valve, seat, and o-ring i am referring to is #26 and #27 in the diagram below the needle and seat is going to run you $28.25 for OEM polaris and the o-ring is going to run you $4.30 OEM polaris. you will have to get the OEM o-ring, no way around it, but there are some aftermarket needle and seat kits for about $20, you need size 1.5

is this something you can do? no offense but no way! this isnt even something i would tackle. take it to a professional, and let them do it. it will probably be $50 or less for all parts, including new main and pilot jets and 1-1.5 hrs of shop labor. there are lots of small parts in these things and they are really easy to screw up if you dont know exactly what you are doing

1 3130507 Ring 1 Usage
2 3130508 E-Ring 1 Usage
3 3130541 Screw 2 Usage
4 3130540 Washer, Spring 2 Usage
5 3130592 Screw 4 Usage
6 3130503 Cover 1 Usage
7 3130505 Spring 1 Usage
8 3085698 Screw and Washer 2 Usage
9 3131589 Asm., Carburetor [Incl. All less 8] 1 Usage
10 3130625 Jet, Air, #160 1 Usage
11 3131228 Asm., Plunger 1 Usage
12 3130538 Spring 1 Usage
13 3131396 Holder, Guide 1 Usage
14 3130511 Cover 1 Usage
15 3130535 Screw 4 Usage
16 3130543 Guide, Cable 1 Usage
17 3130513 Shaft, Throttle 1 Usage
18 3130501 Screw 2 Usage
19 3130514 Ring 1 Usage
20 3130589 Spring 1 Usage
21 3130515 Seal 2 Usage
21 3130515 Seal 2 Usage
22 3130502 Valve, Throttle, 100 1 Usage
23 3130836 Spring 1 Usage
24 3131423 Screw, Adjust 1 Usage
25 3131306 Jet, Pilot [#40] 1 Usage
26 3131360 Valve, Needle [1.5] 1 Usage
27 3130533 O-Ring 1 Usage
28 3130529 Float 1 Usage
29 3130521 Screw 1 Usage
30 3130590 Body, Float 1 Usage
31 3130520 Screw 4 Usage
32 3130532 O-Ring 1 Usage
33 3130591 Screw 2 Usage
34 3130594 Plate 1 Usage
35 3130361 Pin, Float 1 Usage
36 3130519 Cap 1 Usage
37 3130518 E-Ring 1 Usage
38 ------- Packing 1 Usage
39 3131570 Jet, Main [#172.5] 1 Usage
40 3130014 Washer 1 Usage
41 3130504 Block, Jet 1 Usage
42 3131311 Jet, Needle [Q-0] 1 Usage
43 3130732 Diaphragm 1 Usage
44 3130752 Ring 1 Usage
45 3131312 Needle, Jet [5F14]

8 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
excellent prognosis!

Pat yourself on the back! that sounds like exactly what has happened. So as long as I have the fuel turned off to the carburetor, I should have no problem disconnecting all hoses from the carburetor and taking just the carburetor to my polaris shop, right?
Thanks for the advice. this has been extremely helpful! And..because I live in Miami, you've probably saved my $100 in diagnosis fees from the mechanics!

6,903 Posts
first, you are very welcome
yes, if you turn your fuel valve off at the tank, you can disconnect the carb from the machine. you might get some residue fuel that is in the fuel line between the tank and the carb that leaks out, but it shouldnt be much. the fuel in your tank will stay in your tank. my suggestion is to somehow mark were everything is connected for easy installation. something like color tape on the tubes and lines and a quick hand sketch of everything or a few photographs, whatever might help you remember "this was here, and that went there"

your problem sounds like a textbook example of a bad needle and seat. and its a common problem too, especially for older machines. this is a part that will wear and need to be replace every so many years. you could learn to do this yourself, i am confident of that, but you will want an experience mechanic to help guide you the first few times....

thanks mark, i have always felt like to be a parts guy you pretty much have to be a service guy too! compliments are always nice to get!

8 Posts
Discussion Starter #7

Well, i wanted to close the loop on this thread...for now. With the help of a great friend (great friends are the best tool you can have in your garage) we started to disconnect the carburetor from the atv. On a whim, my great friend decided to just fully douse the carburetor with carb cleaner/spray while it was still connected. Always great to try the easy way out first...right? Anyways, we doused it and then used starter fluid to start it and keep it running for a minute or so while it worked the junk out of it. Once that was done, we turned the fuel back on and let it run its course for a minute or so. We put it all back together and it runs like new.
hopefully, its an "easy way out" that won't come back to haunt me. if anything, its something to store in your mind for a quick fix.
Thanks again to all for your help and suggestions.
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