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Discussion Starter #1
We have had our 01 Sportsman 500ho for a while but i saw the opportunity to snag a cheap quad to play around with for a little while and have a few questions.

1996 Xplorer 300 bone stock right down to what look like are the original tires from how weather cracked they are.



Barely squeezes on the trailer with the 500.



With the 22" front and 24" rear stagger can i go up to a 24/26 without throwing off the 4wd or at least a 23/25 set of tires? Would going with 24/25 be a problem? I'm not worried about how it runs flat out on the top end since it will be strictly used for us as a trail toy and never opened up very often for flat out speed. Tooling around in the woods in Low range with larger than stock tires shouldn't be a huge issue but i figure i'd ask around before throwing any money at it.

How reliable is the oil injection on these bikes? Its the first 2 stroke i've owned personally but more than that its the first i've ever mess with with injection instead of premix. It smokes a decent amount while riding and when i first picked it up this morning it smoked a fair amount at idle but after riding it around the house for a while today it settled down a lot on the amount of smoke at idle once it warmed up.

Any tips or ideas? Not sure how healthy it sounds with nothing to compare it to but i do know it runs pretty strong, it will slide around the yard drifting doughnuts with my big ass on it no problem.

 

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I had one of these and traded it in on a 97 Xplorer 400 (basically same quad with different engine) I still use the 400 and have torn it down to the frame 3 times and rebuilt the engine once so I've experienced quite a bit. On the 300 specifically, they were know to develop piston slap and break off the piston skirt. The sound becomes very noticeable when hot. Things that go wrong are usually the fan failing, starter faiing (its the lowest component to the ground/water!!!!!!) and the swing arms wearing bigger holes in the frame where the bolts go thru. I have never had a problem with my oil pump either on the 300 or 400. On both, i used a needle attachment on my grease gun and filled the entire cavity of the oil lever with low temperature grease. This way it limits the ability of water to get in there which typically caused the pump failure. You'll also find with a machine this age, parts are getting difficult to find.
As for changing tire sizes, the AWD requires the rear tire to spin 5% faster than the rears to engage the rollers in the hubs. As long as you adhere to the 22/24 ratio close enough you should be fine. When I traded mine in, the backs were nearly bald and the front had lots of tread so they weren't exactly 22/24 anymore.
Your machine looks in good shape for 20 years old.....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The plastics and all are in very good condition, everything functions as it should, shifter is butter smooth going into all postions. I consider it a steal for $800 since all it seems to need is a set of tires and i have my eye on some 23" front 25" rear dirt devils that will only run me around $260 for the set.

I'm still on the fence about keeping but we are going on a ride Saturday so i'll know more after i put a few miles on it in the woods. How hard is the top end to rebuild when the time comes? I am used to doing all my own work but on full size trucks (just dropped a new motor from a 91 chevy into my 85 K5 Blazer) which was a big project converting it to a carb and having to add an electric fuel pump to the ole truck.
 

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being air cooler it is WAY easier than the liquid cooled. If you plan on keeping it, I'd recommend a one size over Wiseco piston kit. They seem to be on the web for about $200. After you pop the springs for the exhaust, you MAY be able to undo the 4 cylinder base bolts and slide the cylinder off the piston. If not, it's not too bad to get the engine out, couple hours work and you'll need the special bolt to pop the drive clutch off the crank. Take the kit and cylinder to a reputable machine shop that does work with Wiseco piston and reassemble... Turns it into a machine for a lifetime. A friend has a 95 Xplorer 300 thats been to hell and back 500 times.. still running to this day.

there are service manuals online that you can download that gives you everything you need to know about the machine.

Good luck and enjoy
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well went out riding all day today and had a blast on this little wheeler. Right up until we were actually heading back to the trailer.... It started bogging out a bit like it was running out of fuel then ran normal for a few minutes. checked the tank and had plenty of gas. Then it died, fired right back up and ran about 100ft and began to fade again until it died and there it sat. Turns over fine, still has fuel in the tank, won't restart with the fuel on or in reserve. Also the people i got it from said they had only had it a week but in that time replaced the rear chain which needs readjusted now after a good hard days ride on it, new air filter, and new needle/seat in the carb.

All day long it ran like a top well beyond my expectations for a little 300. Had no trouble keeping up with my wife on her 01 500ho on 25s, i just had to use a little more thumb than her to follow along at times. Its going to storm tomorrow so it should be a good time to hold up in the carport and see if i can figure out if some trash ended up shaking lose and making it into the carb or what.



My wife and son on her Sportsman



 

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First thing I'd do is check how much compression you have. Needs to be at least 120 PSI. Second I'd check the in line fuel filter (if there still is one) and replace/add if missing. Also check the condition of the spark plug for fouling.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Looks like i need to pick up a compression tester. Just pulled the air filter out and fuel line off to poke around. Has a new clear inline filter on it that is full of good clean gas. haven't pulled the spark plug yet but pulled the wire off and plug looks new aswell, can't confirm that yet though. Pulled the front hood off and the wiring has a few rough spots that need cleaned up from years of rubbing here and there but nothing screams problem.

As of right now it seems i got fuel but no fire. Yay.

Edit... Just pulled the spark plug and it is black as coal. Cleaned it up to test it out and with it plugged in but not installed it was tossing around very weak spark, installed it and the bike fired for 30 seconds or so then shut back off. Is it really that simple? A fouled plug is the cause of my current woes?
 

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put in a new plug, a cleaned plug never works as well as a new one, and yes, it can be as simple as that. Stock plug is BR8ES. I would still recommend a compression test as that will give you a good indication of the future life left in the engine. Black plug can be running rich (choke partially on, check for slight slack) or too much oil injection. Are you running premix and oil injection?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That is the plug that is in it, and using the oil injection. Haven't adjusted any on the carb yet.
 

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I would just pop in a new plug and check that the choke cable has a tiny bit of slack in it to ensure the plunger is seated when off. Just grab the choke handle in the off position and confirm it will move out a mm or 2 easily. It's also wise to carry a few extra plugs just in case. It's easy go thru a couple/few plugs a year on a normal running air cooled 2 stroke 20 years old. If you find you're fouling plugs really regularly, you'll have to find the source of the excess fuel or oil. Standard main jet was a 155
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks for the info. Popped a new plug in it and it fired right up, but still doesn't want to very well. Idle is very low and will die after a short time. Its storming pretty bad so it will be a while before i can get out there and mess with it again but its good to know its running again at least. Next payday i'll pick up a compression tester and go from there and this downtime will give me a chance to locate a manual and figure out how/where the carb adjustments are and read up more on the chain system because i feel the center chain needs some tightening.

can i get to the main jet without removing the carb completely?
 

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you need to remove the carb to get at the main jet. You remove the float bowl and it right there. As it was running fine, I doubt you have a problem with the main jet. To run "fine" you need proper compression with the right fuel mixture ignited at the right time. One of these variable has changed for you. With a 20 year old machine, it can be alot of different things. Stator problems(timing), compression, seals(crankcase, carb boot, etc), carb issues(dirt, saturated float, etc). There is a manual thread on this site, I have a 1996-1998 Polaris Service Manual that covers all model in those years. I use if for my 97 400.
As for the chains, the tension is controlled by eccentrics. You loosen the pinch bolts, turn the cam for the proper tension and then tighten the bolts. I find that tightening the pinch bolts adds extra tension to the chain so it take a couple of tries to get it just right. If you do the middle chain, you'll then have to do the front chain as it will be impacted. I find the easiest way to do the rear chain is to put the shock preload to minimum and use a ratchet strap to crank down the suspension so the rear axle, swing arm, swing arm pivot and transmission output shaft all line up in a straight line, then adjust the eccentric so there is about .5 - .75 inch of play in the chain. Also, check the sprockets to see if they are wearing out. If you see the tips leaning over slightly instead of a clean triangle, you'll need to replace sprockets and chains. Never put new chains on old sprockets or new sprockets with old chains. They tend to wear together over time until the chain stretches enough that it starts jumping.
 

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Hello feller Xplorer 300 owner!

If you need a PDF file for the shop manual and parts breakdown I'll make it public on my Google Drive so you can download it.

Your's appears to be in better condition than mine. The seat cover that replaced the original cover is already needs replacement.

Care if I ask what you gave for yours? I gave $950 for mine but so far have spent around $100 in parts to fix everything I did not know what was wrong with it. It seems $1000 is the cheapest I could find a running ATV for.

Polaris Xplorer 300 by James Seabolt | Photobucket

I've currently got mine sort of torn apart fixing a bunch of stuff.

Issues with mine:

1) Rear chain needs adjusting (no big deal)

2) Front wheels do not engage in AWD but I'm investigating this. The AWD light does not even light up so it may be electrical. My plan is to use a simple rocker switch to send power to hubs (if no power) and bypass all those other switches and RPM limiter. Yeah I know they are there for a reason but I'll just use common sense.

3) Fan does not work. I cannot find a new fan switch! The parts manual does not even show it in the breakdown under cooling in order to get a part number. It's a booger to locate. It's mounted on the frame above the carb but you have to take the gas tank off to get to it. And even then you have to look hard for it.

I did find a 1/8" NPT fan switch on Ebay for $20. So I'm going to remove the engine mount and drill and tap it out for 1/8" NPT and screw it into where the original switch went.

This switch operates at a lower temperature (165F/185F) instead of (210F/235F) but should be better than the fan running all the time like I have it wired up now.

4) Leaks fuel. Petock valve appears to be the source. But I'm going to replace the hoses while I'm at it.

5) Oil tank leaks. I have no idea on that one. I took the tank off and could not find any cracks so I'm going to apply Lock-Tite to the threads on the nipple and replace the hose. It may be either the end of the hose where it hooks to the tank or the threads on the nipple.

I considered just removing the tank, cap off the nipple on the injector and mix my own oil/fuel which I might end up doing. Looks like the carb is going to have to come off in order to install the oil hose on the injector.

6) New lights

7) It has good brakes . I think the rear brake is working when the hand brake is applied but the foot pedal does nothing. I test drove 2 other Yamaha ATVs and the foot brake did not work on those either.

Other than that, it does not smoke and runs great. I actually wanted an air cooled 2 stroke engine. That's why I went with this 300. I think mine runs just as good as if not better than my friend's Yamaha 350 Bruin as far as power is concerned.

People think 2 strokes are bombs but I personally like the simplicity of them. Yet that same individual would rather have a diesel pickup over a gas just because it makes more torque to pull with that they probably don't need anyway.

Here's my other 2 stroke baby:

Trabant by James Seabolt | Photobucket
 
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I picked up ours for $800. The ad went up on craigslist at 8:45pm and i sent them a text message by 8:50pm saying i can be there in the morning to look at it. It was an hour or so drive away and when i said i'll take it they said 4 other people had already called on it that morning. The cheap ones go quick and i got lucky in the right place at the right time.

It needs tires as the stock size (22" & 24") tires on it are dry rot cracked pretty bad but still hold air, i plan to move up to something more of a 24"/26" setup to gain a little bit of ground clearance so i can keep up with the wifes 500ho which sits on 25's right now but when it needs tires will probably be bumped up to 27's.

4wd works as it should, fan works, all buttons/switches function as they should, shifter moves smooth as butter, plastics are in i'd say 95% good condition, seat cover is ok but the plastic under side has a crack across the rear, right front wheel bearing has a little slop but the rest appear nice and solid. Chains need a little adjusting but don't seem to be to bad out of whack.

Hopefully i can line out the carb to take care of the low idle which it has had since we picked it up not to long ago *PO had only owned it a week but had the needle/seat replaced* so i'm not sure if any adjustments got screwed up by whoever did the work.

My high/low lights both work but i prefer the LED bars i have on the 500 and i know it only cost me $65 off ebay for the 22" bar on the front rack and 12" backup light and all the wiring so i will probably add the same setup, i'll slap an ammo can on the rack for easy to reach dry storage and maybe a seat on the rear like the one i built for my wifes so the kids can ride better.

I have some angle iron in the shed i plan to use for mounting the winch back onto my wifes factory tube bumper and the KFI winch mount on hers should bolt right up to mine so i can get a winch on both of them fairly easy without any trouble.

Here is a big of a mash up of the 2 we're working with currently and what i've done to hers that alot of will carry over onto the 300 aswell to match.

Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet
 

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Welcome to the joys of air-cooled 2 stroke. I really like my 300 simple simple simple. And I found that the little 300 will run with 500s all day long. As long as you keep spare plugs and a wrench in the tool box.

Good luck buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well just went out and pulled the seat off and fiddled with the thumb screw on the right side of the carb, it was pretty far off from the looks of it, as soon as i moved it just a bit the idle came up and it purred like a kitten without trying to die, after warming up for 5-7 minutes the idle came up a little more so i backed it off just a hair and it leveled out to as good of an idle as i can expect for a 21 year old quad.
 

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This is one of the more recent Xplorer posts. Thank ya! So, I got a 98 400. Have some question about running the bypass and hoping you guys have experience on this. I'll either need to get a new lever & spring set or just bypass it, somehow. I've googled it and maybe I'm not looking hard enough but I'm having a tough time finding answers over personal opinions. Thanks in advance.
 

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Hello feller Xplorer 300 owner!

If you need a PDF file for the shop manual and parts breakdown I'll make it public on my Google Drive so you can download it.

Your's appears to be in better condition than mine. The seat cover that replaced the original cover is already needs replacement.

Care if I ask what you gave for yours? I gave $950 for mine but so far have spent around $100 in parts to fix everything I did not know what was wrong with it. It seems $1000 is the cheapest I could find a running ATV for.

Polaris Xplorer 300 by James Seabolt | Photobucket

I've currently got mine sort of torn apart fixing a bunch of stuff.

Issues with mine:

1) Rear chain needs adjusting (no big deal)

2) Front wheels do not engage in AWD but I'm investigating this. The AWD light does not even light up so it may be electrical. My plan is to use a simple rocker switch to send power to hubs (if no power) and bypass all those other switches and RPM limiter. Yeah I know they are there for a reason but I'll just use common sense.

3) Fan does not work. I cannot find a new fan switch! The parts manual does not even show it in the breakdown under cooling in order to get a part number. It's a booger to locate. It's mounted on the frame above the carb but you have to take the gas tank off to get to it. And even then you have to look hard for it.

I did find a 1/8" NPT fan switch on Ebay for $20. So I'm going to remove the engine mount and drill and tap it out for 1/8" NPT and screw it into where the original switch went.

This switch operates at a lower temperature (165F/185F) instead of (210F/235F) but should be better than the fan running all the time like I have it wired up now.

4) Leaks fuel. Petock valve appears to be the source. But I'm going to replace the hoses while I'm at it.

5) Oil tank leaks. I have no idea on that one. I took the tank off and could not find any cracks so I'm going to apply Lock-Tite to the threads on the nipple and replace the hose. It may be either the end of the hose where it hooks to the tank or the threads on the nipple.

I considered just removing the tank, cap off the nipple on the injector and mix my own oil/fuel which I might end up doing. Looks like the carb is going to have to come off in order to install the oil hose on the injector.

6) New lights

7) It has good brakes . I think the rear brake is working when the hand brake is applied but the foot pedal does nothing. I test drove 2 other Yamaha ATVs and the foot brake did not work on those either.

Other than that, it does not smoke and runs great. I actually wanted an air cooled 2 stroke engine. That's why I went with this 300. I think mine runs just as good as if not better than my friend's Yamaha 350 Bruin as far as power is concerned.

People think 2 strokes are bombs but I personally like the simplicity of them. Yet that same individual would rather have a diesel pickup over a gas just because it makes more torque to pull with that they probably don't need anyway.

Here's my other 2 stroke baby:

Trabant by James Seabolt | Photobucket
Hello im a new member and looking at this older post and wanted to know if i can get help with my 96 300 xplorer , and if that pdf file is still out there as i need to figure out my shifter issues and fan , please let me know and thanks for the help.
 

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I have a polaris Express 300 2wd at full throttle it bogs I clean the carb twice and put a new sparkplug in it and it still does it could I get some help
 
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