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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I have had alot of problems with the AWD system on my 89 Trail Boss 250.

I'm giving up on the oh-so-finicky electrical 4wd system. Far too many weak links in that "chain" for me. I have read all the diagnostic, theory, and debate threads. I'm not interested in troubleshooting it anymore.

I am looking for information on the best way to make it full time 4wd. It is used infrequently, and mostly for snowplowing. I just need it to work, I'm not concerned with the handling implications.

So, how do I modify the Hilliard clutch(es) to always be engaged. Simpler the better, but I'd like to use a little more finesse then just mig welding everything under the hubcap lol. Something I can do to make them permanently engaged.

Please be as specific as possible, I don't know the Polaris's well, but I do have a shop manual, and have done my research. I have the basics down, but I'm inexperienced with the proprietary Polaris jargon.

Thank you!

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Blueline. Yeah I'm sick of chasing down minor electrical issues, wondering if the red "4wd" light is just a light or I'm actually in 4wd... I just want a full-time 4wd bikE.

The clutches seem to work on such tight tolerances, I thought I could just put a shim, washer, or pin in somewhere to lock them in. If i were to weld them (shudder) what exactly should I tack to what?

Cheers, J
 

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Welcome to the board!:med:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
sorry for the bump, but this thing is sitting in my garage and I need it to get to work! Anymore advice on how to permanently engage the Hilliard? Could I reverse the cage, swap something from side to side, etc? I just need it to fail - ON as opposed to the default fail - OFF (disengaged). TY! - J
 

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I'm a parts guy, not a mechanic, but first you need to find a way to keep the armature plate against the cage. Maybe a regular full time magnet will do in place of the electromagnet.

Than you need to find a way to keep the rollers wedged in the cage. If you can figure out those two, you should be good.
 

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I think it would be tough to make it all go back together if the rollers are welded in place. Wouldn't it be really tight on the hub?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Any thoughts on putting a washer, spacer or pin somewhere, basically to "foul" the freewheeling effect of the Hilliard?
 

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Really primitive, but you could bolt the hub to the shaft. It would be tough to find a bolt to take that force though. It would have to be 1/4" or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK, you guys have convinced me, I'm going to try and fix it correctly. Going to re-read the info I have. If you can link any threads, that you think my help, pls link them here :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just had a bit of an epiphany while looking at the bub in my oil-change pan, and reading Mugzzy's AWESOME (***PLS STICKY***) AWD diagnosis thread; http://www.polarisatvforums.com/forums/polaris-atv-how-tos/32989-awd-hubstrut-hilliard-clutch-troubleshooting-diagnoses.html

Why cant I just put a shim behind the armature plate coupled (via the 3 tabs) to the cage? This would simulate the drag produced by the electromagnet, forcing the rollers to climb the ramps on the cam, and engage the 4wd? Basically replacing the electromagnetic drag, with mechanical drag?

I want to try this ASAP, so any thoughts/feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

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Just had a bit of an epiphany while looking at the bub in my oil-change pan, and reading Mugzzy's AWESOME (***PLS STICKY***) AWD diagnosis thread; http://www.polarisatvforums.com/forums/polaris-atv-how-tos/32989-awd-hubstrut-hilliard-clutch-troubleshooting-diagnoses.html

Why cant I just put a shim behind the armature plate coupled (via the 3 tabs) to the cage? This would simulate the drag produced by the electromagnet, forcing the rollers to climb the ramps on the cam, and engage the 4wd? Basically replacing the electromagnetic drag, with mechanical drag?

I want to try this ASAP, so any thoughts/feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!
I have no idea if that will work or not. Give it a shot. In the amount of time you have been looking for a way around it, I bet you could've fixed it correctly. If you search, there are tons of "4x4 doesn't work" threads in the last week. RussC has responded to most of them with a way to splice the wiring. If all of the items in your hubs look good, you either have a bad coil or bad wiring or no power to the coil.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just had a bit of an epiphany while looking at the bub in my oil-change pan, and reading Mugzzy's AWESOME (***PLS STICKY***) AWD diagnosis thread; http://www.polarisatvforums.com/forums/polaris-atv-how-tos/32989-awd-hubstrut-hilliard-clutch-troubleshooting-diagnoses.html

Why cant I just put a shim behind the armature plate coupled (via the 3 tabs) to the cage? This would simulate the drag produced by the electromagnet, forcing the rollers to climb the ramps on the cam, and engage the 4wd? Basically replacing the electromagnetic drag, with mechanical drag?

I want to try this ASAP, so any thoughts/feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!
I have no idea if that will work or not. Give it a shot. In the amount of time you have been looking for a way around it, I bet you could've fixed it correctly. If you search, there are tons of "4x4 doesn't work" threads in the last week. RussC has responded to most of them with a way to splice the wiring. If all of the items in your hubs look good, you either have a bad coil or bad wiring or no power to the coil.
The fact there are a million threads on AWD not working is exactly the point! The early system has waaaay too many "weak links" in the chain, every small electrical glitch seems to cause it to fail.

I'm actually working on anothr mech. override system right now, I'll post pics/details soon...off to buy a drill press from Kijiji LOL

Cheers and thanks for your interest
 

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The front hubs on the older models are really not that hard to fix. The key things are cleanliness, good armature plates, the proper torque on the bearings and the correct amount of the proper oil.
I've fixed up a bunch of them and the only one I've ever had any real trouble with had been run so long with mud and water in it that the bearings had come apart and destroyed the strut housing.

1) The very first thing to check is that your getting voltage to the magnets. If not, nothing else you do will make it work.

2) Disassemble and wash everything thoroughly in diesel fuel or something similar.

3) Inspect all the parts. If the armature plates have anything other than 2 clear and continuous shiny rings on them (ie. broken or discontinuous rings) they are warped and need replaced. Also look at the little ears that set into the recesses on the back of the clutch cage for damage and the recesses on the cages themselves for wear or notches. If they are damaged they must be replaced.

**NOTE**Be especially careful of the garter spring that holds the rollers to the cage. If it is stretched or deformed even a little the Hilliards will not work properly.

4) Check all bearings and seals. You don't have to replace the bearings so long as they are smooth and tight and the races are smooth BUT I usually always replace the seals unless they have already recently been replaced. Seals are cheap and there's no way to keep the Hilliards working unless you can keep the oil in and the water out....PERIOD!

5) For reassembly, EVERYTHING MUST BE SPOTLESS CLEAN!! The axles and strut seal sleeves, the hubs and all parts must be clean and dry. I always put just a film of grease on the seal lips with a fingertip to help them slide on easily...but just a film...don't slather it on and DO NOT pack the bearings. They must be dry.

6) Put the inner strut bearing on the axle and fully seat the axle into the strut.

7) Put the outer strut bearing into the strut.

8) Slide the Hilliard assembly with armature plate onto the axle and seat to the bearing
**NOTE** Be very careful that the armature plate tabs are correctly oriented into the notches on the back of the cage before installing the hub. Hold the axle in place from behind the strut housing to make sure it doesn't push out of place when you slide the Hilliard and the hub on.

***IMPORTANT*** For some of the older machines (this applies to yours Blackgk) that have a key way in the axle and a key that holds the cage to the shaft. TURN THE KEY SO IT IS LOOSE IN THE KEY WAY AND WILL SLIDE BACK AND FORTH FREELY. It will fit turned the other way but is way too tight to easily slide the Hilliard on. If you look closely at the key it will have a slight line or notch running down two sides, these should be turned to the side when the key is inserted in the slot.

9) Place the inner wheel bearing against the Hilliard cage and install the hub until fully seated. REMEMBER TO HOLD THE AXLE IN PLACE TO PREVENT EVERYTHING FROM MOVING OUT OF ALIGNMENT!

10) Install the outer wheel bearing, washer and nut and finger tighten.

11) Tighten the axle nut while turning the hub continuously to seat the bearings. I think the service manual calls for something like an initial torque of 120 INCH POUNDS. Then back it off 1/2 turn and reseat to 110 INCH POUNDS.

**NOTE** If you don't have a small torque wrench or have an older machine that uses a self locking nut that is not easily torqued this way, simply turn the hub while tightening until it becomes hard to turn. Then back it off till it turns easily and tighten back till it just begins to get a little tight feeling. Make sure there is no slack or wiggle in the bearings and it should be fine.

**IMPORTANT** THE ABOVE TORQUE SEQUENCE IS CRITICAL TO GET THE CONE BEARINGS JUST TIGHT ENOUGH BUT STILL ALLOW FREE MOVEMENT OF THE HILLIARD....IT IS JUST A LITTLE PAST SNUG...NOT REAL TIGHT AT ALL!

12) Install the cap and turn the fill hole to the top. Use a small funnel to barely trickle DEMAND DRIVE FLUID into the hub till completely full. You will have to go slow and allow the air bubbles to work out of the hub. I usually go to the other side while the first side is draining down. Let it sit until no more air bubbles out and the oil level stays at the top of the hole.

13) Place a pan under the hub to catch excess oil and turn the hub to either side (3 o'clock or 9 o'clock) and let the excess oil run out then install the plug.

14) If you don't already have all 4 wheels off the ground, get them that way. Start the machine and let it settle down to a smooth idle. Put it in gear. The rear wheels will probably start turning. Flip the AWD switch and watch the magic happen. You may have to give it a little throttle to kick the Hilliards in.

15) Flip the switch off and see if the front stops turning. With all 4's off the ground you will sometimes have to put your boot against the tire to slow it down so it will disengage. It will get smoother to disengage with some use.

16) Shift to neutral to stop the rear wheels and then shift to reverse. The rears should start turning backwards. REMEMBER DURING ALL THIS DO NOT ENGAGE THE AWD WHILE GIVING ANY THROTTLE!! Now press the reverse override and watch the magic happen in reverse. Again, you may have to give it a little throttle to get the Hilliards to kick in but PRESS THE BUTTON FIRST AND THEN THROTTLE TO AVOID HAVING IT SLAM IN!

If you do everything I describe here I'm almost certain your AWD will work perfectly the first time and every time so long as you keep the hub oil changed and occasionally check and retorque the bearings. It's not really that complicated or finicky a mechanism, it just demands proper installation and maintenance.
There are some other things that can crop up occasionally such as improper clearance on the magnet and such but those are very rare in my experience.
If you do all this and still have sporadic engagement or disengagement problems just post it on here and we'll try to work you through to a fix.
Good luck and have a happy 2013.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Wow Polman, great info, ty for taking the time. MODS, pls merg this and Mugzzy's info on a sticky, its a very common issue, and this info is gold.

Ok, having said that, I'm sorry, but I'm going ahead with the FT 4WD mod. here is what I am doing.

I have removed the hub, clutches, bearing etc. The strut is still on the bike. I am drilling through the hub from the outside, into the race that the hilliard engages to. I am going to tap that hole, and thread a machine cap or grub bolt into it. This bolt will contact the roller cage, seizing it to the race. This will in turn be "sensed" as drag, forcing the rollers to climb the cam, and engage the race, locking the hub. Then I re-assemble the hub as normal, and replace the leak-prone polaris hub fluid with a high quality synthetic grease. the fluid is not needed anyway, since the new setup isnt sensitive to viscosity, and it also just needs occasional re-packing, no need to wory about common seal failures and fluid loss, and the resulting damage.

This is an advantageous way to do it for a couple reasons. It eliminates all electrical sources of 4wd failure, the 4wd is always on (on my bike the whole forward drive train is engaged anyway, so increased drive train wear etc. isnt an issue. You do not need to worry about the bolt you use to engage the hilliard as having to withstand high shear forces, as all it is doing is adding drag between the cage and hub race, the rollers are still doing the actual binding, as originally designed. Also, IN THEORY, you could back the added bolt off the cage, and the hub would spin freely (2wd). Im not counting on this as an option, as any wear/damage to the finished race or cage cause by the mod, would likely result in drag at the race/cage surface, and my infact engage the rollers on the cam without the bolt in place.

Also, there is no damage or modificaion to the original parts, save the race. the the hub can be assembled/serviced normally, and really, the whole thing could be undone, and the hole sealed by the bolt, should you ever want to play the "am i really in 4wd" game again!!!
 

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Hmm, that may just work Blackgk. It may be a bugger to steer though. Let us know how it works out when you get done and try it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
working on it now. taking pics as i go! The bike is 23 years old and has a 5 ft plow on it, it doesn't exactly handle like its on rails now ;) I figure ill just add some psi to the front tires, to help offset the increased steering effort (if any).
 
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