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Discussion Starter #1
2011 400 ho. Started feeling this problem last fall during towards the end of hunting season. I first noticed it, after going through a waterhole that was maybe up to the floor boards. Finished hunting and put it away for the season.
Took it out this summer and didn’t have any problems (don’t remember going through any waterholes)
First waterhole last week during moose season it started to do the same problem.
Problem: occasionally pulls hard to left for a split second, sometimes a bit longer then kicks back straight
• Does this in 4x4 or 2x4
• Have tried backing up then going forward
• Took a look at the boots no noticeable tears or issues.
• Going down a trail at 15km hr quite noticeable, going 50 km no jerking at all. This was a little scary, hoping it wasn't going to pull hard left while going 50 km.
• Mod I have installed
o Reverse mod
o Head light mod
o all the rest is stock
A buddy of mine was taking his Polaris for an oil change and asked the dealer what they thought about my problem, they said the belt guaranteed??? Bought a belt, figured no harm in having a spare and if it fixes my problem for 80$ I will be happy. I can figure out the correlation between the belt and the steering but what the heck. Will not be able to try it with the new belt until Monday.
Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated:gruebel:
 

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Sounds like an AWD issue or front hub bearing? :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks MustBeNice;
Do you know of any quick diagnostic tips for either option? Assuming the wheel hub(s) bearings are typically for any wheel and should be fairly straight forward to change if necessary. In fact maybe I should change them anyway, parts shouldn't be that expensive?. As far as checking the AWD not sure, (OK you caught me.... I have no idea) what to do there.
 

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Its an AWD issue. The fact it goes away right way tells me that. Sometimes the front diff locks up a bit. It will pull the one wheel until the rollers disengage. I would change out your fluid and that will almost for sure get rid of the issue. Dirt can make this happen.

If that doesn't change then you need to pull apart the diff and inspect the Sprague cage. The system is very simple once you understand it. It used to be very common on the older ones when the Hilliard's were in the individual axles that they would stay locked and you would have to put it in reverse to get it to unlock.

No way on earth could the belt have anything to do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank InRBigness,

I changed the fluid last year just before hunting season. It's possible I maybe put in too much or little? Other than having to pull off the winch to get at it,it is not that big of a deal to change it over. Off the top of my head I remember it doesn't take much to fill it.

With that said would the problem still be evident even if I am in 2 wheel drive (AWD off)?
 

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Agreed with InRBigness. I would change it, ride it a little switching in and out of AWD for a couple miles, and change it again. Maybe even a 3rd time just to be sure. You're right it doesn't hold much and only takes a couple minutes to change with the winch off. And dirty fluid will make it engage in 2WD without the switch on 4WD.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys I do appreciate your quick responses and suggestions. Since I would like to try all I can before I head back up north and I am not able to ride it around the neighborhood.

To do what you suggesting Ridinagain i.e. flushing out the system could I simply put it up on my stand let it run for a while, drain and refill?

My little mind tells me if all wheels are off the ground rear should be turning faster than the front hence AWD kicks in? Along with that while in 2wd I should see the fronts kick in reiterating this is the problem?

Thanks again.
 

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That's exactly what I would do. Drain it out, and refill. If you have some dirt or a piece of something in there it could be getting caught in the Hilliard forcing it to seem like 4x4 is on for a second.

Also make sure that your grounds are tight. The system works by connecting the ground to complete the circuit so if you have an intermittent ground that can be an issue as well but my money is still on the fluid.
 
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I'm somewhat of novice to these awd systems. But it seems to me that water has something to do with it. So I would lean more electrical,as stated above. My .02
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update: Drained the oil, is was fairly dirty considering how long and miles it has on it. The color was a grey/black (assuming the oil would be milky if water was present) found some particles but nothing I would think would cause problems (binding). Let it drain well, then filled it up took around 8 to 9 oz. Since I can not drive it around the neighborhood, can I put it on my stand and let it run having 2 or all wheels turning? Thought if I could do this for 5 min or so I would drain it again. One last question, it does not seem to be leaking, but should I change the O ring on the drain plug each time I do this?

Thanks again guys for all your help. Even if the flushed out system does not fix it I know I will be able to figure it out your help.
 

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http://www.polarisatvforums.com/forums/atv-repair-maintenance/48343-polaris-front-differential-demand-maker.html

The first link in the first post is a PDF from Hilliard with an exploded view showing how the AWD system works in Polaris machines with this brand of drive system.

As others posted draining the fluid (5 oz) even several times is the first logical step.

Yes the rear tires will be turning faster than the front per one Youtube video. The rear will turn about 20% faster than the front tires when on a stand per the video.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update

Spent the week hunting with the same problem. Just prior to going I did as suggested drained and refilled the front diff. Did this 3 times hoping to flush any dirt out. Even went as far as tapping the casing lightly while the ATV was running on a stand.

Trying to pay attention to when and how the sporadic problem sparks.

* I can say water does have a definite affect. crawling through a waterhole that was up to the floor boards, seemed to immediately have a affect. This is the case in 2 or AWD.

* Seems to be, if I have good tork on the throttle or going a decent speed 20/30km (15mph) and above, it is less noticeable if at all.

* What I did notice (and have had it since new), is a clunking noise when backing up. may be relevant? Another problem or normal.

Earlier suggestion was to check grounding? Can work a meter not sure where to check.

Hunting done for the year, have time to get this right prior to next year of playing. Would like to be sure I have done all I can do prior to to taking it to the dealership.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update 2014;Putting this back on the table, hoping someone has new information.

Rode the ATV for a full day doing all I could do to stay out of the larger puddles. No issues at all with my steering.
Went through a couple of deeper puddles (floor board height) and my nemesis came back. steering started to jerk left. If there is anyone out there that tell me how to check for a wiring issue. A earlier reply stated to check for a loose ground?? I took a quick look and can only see what appears to be one or a couple of wires that go to the front diff. They or it is encased and don't seem to be in bad shape. Is there anyway to fool the system per say?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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This thread caught my attention because we went to look at a 2010 sportsman 400 yesterday for my wife and she came back after about 2 miinutes of test riding complaining that it pulled hard to the left on throttle. I took it out and sure enough the harder you got on the throttle the worse it was and letting off resulted in a hard pull to the right. Come to find out the left rear cv shaft was broke inside the cup where the cv cup meets the diff case and not transferring power from the rear differential. I know it's not identical to your symptom but might be something to check. Get on loose gravel in 2wd and nail the throttle and check if both rear wheels spin.
 

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I got to looking things over and I blew the front left outer CV joint. Got a whole new axle assembly on the way and will probably rebuild the old one to have just in case.
 
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