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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Got a 1999 Sportsman 335 with AWD issues. When I first got it the front wheels wouldn't engage. Drained the hub fluid and it was beyond dirty. Been riding it awhile, then changing the hub fluid again and again. After the 3rd round the left front began working. Changed the hub fluid a few more times but still can't get the right front to work so I took the hub apart and inspected everything. Tabs on the armature plate were straight, the plate wasn't bent or warped. How magnetized should it be? It was easy to pry it off but it was definitely magnetized.

Then I checked the ohms of the coil. With a multimeter I put the red lead on the gray wire, black lead on the brown wire and got 23.1 ohms on both sides. I've read it should be near 25 but I'm assuming this is close enough that it should be working. Especially since the left front works correctly. I read that to check the ohms the key needs to be on and the AWD switch on. But I get the same reading (23.1 ohms) even if the AWD switch is off or the key is off. Is this normal?

Yes the speedometer works. What should I check for next?
 

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It should be hard to pry off the armature plate when its energized. Do a comparison between the two struts and see if there is a difference. I had a magnet go bad and although it held the plate, just not enough to lock the hillard in place. It just spun on the magnet. It was cheaper to replace the bottom of the strut than to try and replace the magnet.
 

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Straight edge the outer sleeve to the inner magnet. Tap outer sleeve flush to inner ring magnet.

Sent from my N9510 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It should be hard to pry off the armature plate when its energized. Do a comparison between the two struts and see if there is a difference. I had a magnet go bad and although it held the plate, just not enough to lock the hillard in place. It just spun on the magnet. It was cheaper to replace the bottom of the strut than to try and replace the magnet.
I took the good hub apart to compare armature plates but neither were magnetized all that well. What do I need to do to magnetize them? I had the key on and AWD switch on. Even started it up and put it in gear and neither armature plate energized very much.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Straight edge the outer sleeve to the inner magnet. Tap outer sleeve flush to inner ring magnet.

Sent from my N9510 using Tapatalk
Is it supposed to be flush or is there supposed to be a small clearance? I've seen guys using feeler gauges. .002 comes to mind
 

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Checked the service manual yet?

If you can find one that probably has the specs & trouble shooting steps to take. Hopefully someone here has this down. If not, try "OPT" (old polaris tech) on atvconnection. Call him out in your title, he'll help if the manual does not. also check youtube vids, ive seen a couple guys take theirs apart so others can see how they work. the one i say, they guy could not pry the magnetized parts, pretty easy when not. Good luck!
 

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Armature plate should be flush with the edge of the magnet that is inset in the bottom of the strut housing. You can look at the armature plate and make sure it has even wear marks. Put the plate on a piece of glass and make sure its flat. The plate itself is not magnetized. You can test by unplugging and attaching 12v to the connector. If the magnet is working it should be really hard to pry off with your fingers while energized.

The magnet gets energized by turning on the AWD switch. When it gets locked to the hub the three little teeth cause the hilliard to twist a bit which forces the rollers to push out due to the hex nut inside the hilliard. These rollers jam against the outside of the hub and make the front wheels lock in. If the armature plate does not lock into the hillard with enough force it just spins on the magnet and you wont get AWD.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lots of good ideas. I will look things over again and report back. By the way can I put the quad on blocks to test out the AWD system? Do the rears have to be slipping for the fronts to engage? It's 10 degrees outside right now and would be much easier to stay in the shop if I could put it up on blocks but I don't know if that would let the fronts engage or not.
 

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Lots of good ideas. I will look things over again and report back. By the way can I put the quad on blocks to test out the AWD system? Do the rears have to be slipping for the fronts to engage? It's 10 degrees outside right now and would be much easier to stay in the shop if I could put it up on blocks but I don't know if that would let the fronts engage or not.
Yes you can test it that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Lots of good ideas. I will look things over again and report back. By the way can I put the quad on blocks to test out the AWD system? Do the rears have to be slipping for the fronts to engage? It's 10 degrees outside right now and would be much easier to stay in the shop if I could put it up on blocks but I don't know if that would let the fronts engage or not.
Yes you can test it that way.
That's good to know. So I just took the non working hub apart again and inspected everything. Armature plate is not warped and tabs are straight. I loosely left the plate about a quarter inch away from the magnet. I unhooked the brown wire and gray wire from the circuit block (whatever it's called) and hooked it directly to a 12v battery. I could hear the armature plate get sucked up tight to the magnet and it was hard to pry off. It was never this "energized" before I hooked a battery to it.

Those wires are reading 23.1 ohms when I test them. I'm an electrical rookie. I don't know what an ohms test proves or disproves. Or could I still have a problem down at the hub?

Keep in mind I have 3wd. The front left engages but the front right does not so I believe that cancels out the possibility of it being a faulty AWD switch or gear selector switch.
 

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It would lead me to believe that there may be a break in the wire. Reverse the two plugs and see what happens. If it works it's above the plug if it doesn't check the wire on way to hub.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It would lead me to believe that there may be a break in the wire. Reverse the two plugs and see what happens. If it works it's above the plug if it doesn't check the wire on way to hub.
When you say above the plug you must mean the plug at the circuit board? What wire should I be tracing then?

So you're saying swap the brown wire plug and put it where the gray wire plug goes and vice versa to see if it works?

I know the brown and the gray wires are good from the hub up to the circuit board.
 

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On mine I had a plastic connector for each hub. I unplugged them and confirmed I had 12v coming out of them when awd switch is on. If not work back from there.

You can check the strength of the magnet by applying 12v to the hub directly. If magnet does not pull hard that is your issue.

You have to do it by process of elimination
 

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Discussion Starter #14
On mine I had a plastic connector for each hub. I unplugged them and confirmed I had 12v coming out of them when awd switch is on. If not work back from there.

You can check the strength of the magnet by applying 12v to the hub directly. If magnet does not pull hard that is your issue.

You have to do it by process of elimination
This model must be too old for the plastic plugs. I did apply 12v directly to the brown and gray wires heading down to the hub and I could not spin or remove the armature plate. I am sure the magnet is working correctly.
 

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Ill bet the shifter switch is bad, find a terminal on the circuit board that gets hot with key on and goes off with key, get the right size spade terminals, hook a wire to the terminal , then make a Y connection so you can run a wire to both Grey wires on the hubs, the brown is ground on Polaris, this will bypass shifter switc and awd button will still turn it on and off, my 425 has been like this for a long time , haven't had any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Ill bet the shifter switch is bad, find a terminal on the circuit board that gets hot with key on and goes off with key, get the right size spade terminals, hook a wire to the terminal , then make a Y connection so you can run a wire to both Grey wires on the hubs, the brown is ground on Polaris, this will bypass shifter switc and awd button will still turn it on and off, my 425 has been like this for a long time , haven't had any problems.
I took a look at the gear selector switch and found a couple wires unhooked. A purple wire and a gray wire. But I don't know where they hook into. Anyone know? I'm looking in the manual now....

Also when I took the left hub nut off it was on way too tight. Way more than 10-12ft lbs. I'm thinking the AWD wasn't working but the left front was spontaneously engaging because the hub nut was too tight. I've read on here without the correct torque specs on that hub nut that the AWD can do weird things. After inspected the left hub (working hub) I put it back together and torqued it correctly and now it doesn't work. Which is why I'm assuming the hub nut being too tight was the only reason it seemed to be engaging before.

EDIT: If anyone could take a picture of their circuit board with where those wires hook into that'd be great. I can find wiring diagrams in the manual but nothing showing the circuit board and where everything hooks into.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Did some more checking and tracing wires tonight. Found a bulb above the AWD switch. Then realized that is supposed to light up and it does not. Got power going to the bulb but not out of it, therefore not completing the circuit. Had no idea this 4wheeler had an AWD light. That could have saved a lot of time!

Hooked 12v battery to the wires running to each hub and they both engage. Looks like the new bulb should fix everything assuming I can figure out where to put the purple and gray wires coming from the gear selector switch. Is there anywhere to get the bulb other than the dealer? It looks like it's not available when looking it up on online parts fiches.
 

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I believe the early years used the bulb to complete the AWD circuit....and some had the bulb sealed in the switch..some you could replace...
 
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