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Discussion Starter #1
First, I'm over 60, don't ride trails and don't tear the heck out of things. I maintain equipment to a "T" and without fail.

That said......... I'm really getting tired of my 2011 800efi Sportsman. What's the deal on those front gear boxes?????

I've had this thing repaired 3 times and its at the dealer AGAIN! I've already had the aluminum roller cage installed and here it goes again. They're telling me that they've only had one other problem, once, and the guy was tearing heck out of it doing donuts and such.

It IS NOT an electrical problem. Today I finished plowing snow and just as I finished, the front wheels quit engaging and it seemed like it was binding up. I change the fluid in that front end every 100 miles. I drained it before loading it up and it was full and fine. Actually I think there's only about 50 miles since last changed. Anyway.... its back at the dealer AGAIN.

Anyone know what the deal with these are? I'm about to sell that thing and buy a different model. No wonder so many people shy away.....
 

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I hardly ever see a problem with them that changing the fluid a couple times doesn't fix. I service many machines with plows on them each year and none of them have that kind of issue. Not sure what to tell you...
 

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Lets start simple. When you change the fluid, are you replacing it with the polaris demand drive fluid? these things can be finicky when it comes to the fluid. When the diff. was rebuilt, did you also have the armature plate replaced? If the old one is warped at all, you will have intermittent engagement. Any chance something was overlooked with the electrical? Cracked/broken wires, or lose wires? Have you cleaned and put dielectric grease on the electrical connections? Any amount of moisture in your connections can cause issues. When the sprague cage was replaced, did you get all the peices from the broken plastic one out? Also, is your speedo working properly? the speedo controls the 4x4 and if you are having any issues with it, it can cause 4x4 issues. Hope you get it can get it figured out. These diffs are pretty strong once the aluminum sprague cage is installed. I run 29.5 outlaws through thick mud and havn't had any issues since installing the aluminum sprague cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lets start simple. When you change the fluid, are you replacing it with the polaris demand drive fluid?..... . When the diff. was rebuilt, did you also have the armature plate replaced?..... . Any chance something was overlooked with the electrical? Cracked/broken wires, or lose wires? Have you cleaned and put dielectric grease on the electrical connections?...... When the sprague cage was replaced, did you get all the peices from the broken plastic one out? Also, is your speedo working properly?........
I always use Pure Polaris fluids and parts without fail.

The armature plate was replaced with a new plate when the differential was rebuilt.

The electrical was gone over with a fine tooth comb, all connections check and di. grease on each one.

The plastic cage DID NOT break. I replaced it with the aluminum cage kit because just changing the fluids didn't help it working. So after reading about the aluminum cage kits, that's when after having so much trouble, I replaced the plastic cage.

The speedo is working properly, no errors, no nothing.

So..... this is the primary reason for me asking, "What' up?" As the dealer states, they've only had one (1) problem and the guy was raising heck with the machine, doing donuts and such. When I had problems before, it just wouldn't engage the front wheels. This time, its acting like something's binding or hung up. I placed it in neutral with the front wheels raised and they would turn FREELY when moving them backwards. If I tried to rotate them forward, it was locked up and they wouldn't move. Not sure if this is normal.

Every year I've had this problem, bought and installed the aluminum cage kit, WITH a new armature and still having the problem.
 

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EDIT: oopsie
 

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Well, looks like you've done everything you can do besides purchase a new diff., which i would not want to do with how easy these things are to rebuild. Just doesn't make sense. All new parts, fluid, and properly put together by a mechanic. Sorry I cant be any more help, but I'm stumped. You say that you've had this problem every year, does this mean that you only have the problem in the winter? Please keep us updated on this and if you find the issue. i'm interested in this one.
 

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I'm surprised u r having so many issues with the front diff. Never really heard much about them having any real issues except for the plastic cage. I have a 2011 and no front diff issues. But a couple of months ago down at HMT I was on an incline facing down and had to reverse out of a technical situation and then when I proceeded forward the front end was binding up. I thought the bike had two front flats. Rode a couple hundred feet and still bound up. Reversed it about thirty forty feet and that freed it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I had to travel today for medical reasons and when finished with that, I stopped at another dealer and proceeded to the service desk. It just happened that there was a Polaris rep. there too.

BOTH.... told me that Polaris has used this transfer case since 2004 and if it was a major concern, they'd have already re-designed it. That said, even that dealer has only had one (1) broken cage and that guy was also doing donuts on the ice and while the rear wheels were spinning, flipped the AWD switch on.

Here's the exact words (best I can say) that I left with.....

IF...... I change the fluid properly and IF... it broke (it didn't)...... IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIXED THE FIRST TIME PROPERLY. And.... IF..... it has the aluminum roller cage and new armature and was fixed PROPERLY, I should never have another problem with it again.

Maybe this time it'll work properly, but if not, I'll take it all the way to the dealer I talked with today. That service manager told me that there is no way that they fix something there and charge a customer for repairing it over.
 

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Hopefully they do get it figured out this time. I would be definately be talking with that mechanic or dealership that you are having the repairs done at, and see what they can do about the charges. If they repaired it the first time, it should have been repaired. They shouldn't be charging you for something they told you was fixed, and wasn't. If they don't want to help you out, just take your business elsewhere. Make sure they know it too. Good luck! Hope it all works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The update...........

Dealer called this morning and the machine is done. I asked what may have been wrong to which he replied: "There was some gray sticky stuff that was hanging up the armature. My repairman took it apart, cleaned it and its working fine."

Now I'm buying my lubes from him and he knows how often I'm changing that front gear case lube. Then he proceeds to tell me that he's looked at the hours and the mileage and that I'm riding the machine really slow. No kidding..... I'm 62 years old and using it for a utility machine....

He just told me to work that front end and warm up the unit before I change lube again. Then he mentioned that on some Artic Cat's, that they have to use some kind of "flush" to clean a gear box. Well when I asked if mine should be flushed with something prior to adding new Demand Plus, he tells me he isn't aware of anything and to just warm it up.

Now in my old mind...... I'm still wondering why the heck this keeps going on??? There's nothing hard about changing that fluid, its easy. I do it frequently but........

What the heck is going on with this thing???? I'm about tired of it
 

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Gray sticky stuff.. Antisieze maybe from when it was fixed previously?
 

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I agree, but you never know. I found gobs of it on my quad from new, in places I have no idea why. Techs must've been having an antiseize fight when mine was built lol. I just can't imagine what the gray sticky stuff could be? Unless something is wearing quite quickly?
 

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You'll have more problems with it I'll bet. There's something wrong with it and they haven't yet found the real problem. If it happens again I wouldn't waste another cent on it. Either replace the diff or sell the wheeler and buy a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You'll have more problems with it I'll bet. There's something wrong with it and they haven't yet found the real problem. If it happens again I wouldn't waste another cent on it. Either replace the diff or sell the wheeler and buy a new one.
For sure I'll be taking it to another dealer and having them replace it if anything happens again. Just way to many problems so far and with all the repair and parts cost, I could have bought a couple new front differentials. I don't hear of other owners having these repeated problems. I like the machine and it actually has more power than I actually need but, I'd rather have the extra than not enough.
 

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similar issue

Hi after reading this post I was out riding my wheeler the other day and I buried the wheeler in some snow. As I proceeded to stop the wheels and then turn the AWD on my front wheels felt and looked like the second hand on a clock. The front wheels weren't spinning freely they were binding... I proceeded when I got home to change the fluid and it was really black. Took it out and it did it again? I am lost and read about the Sprague carrier but not sure where to go next.
 

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Since your fluid was that dirty, just start by flushing it a couple times untill it is clean. Put the proper polaris demand drive fluid in it, and see if that fixes your issue. The front diffs don't like dirty fluid or improper fluid. If that doesn't fix the issue you may need to take the diff apart and see if the plastic spargue cage is cracked or broken.
 

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Since your fluid was that dirty, just start by flushing it a couple times untill it is clean. Put the proper polaris demand drive fluid in it, and see if that fixes your issue. The front diffs don't like dirty fluid or improper fluid. If that doesn't fix the issue you may need to take the diff apart and see if the plastic spargue cage is cracked or broken.
Get it warm 1st and then change it right? I did use the Polaris oil but I plan on changing the fluid this weekend. Lets hope it fixes the problem!
 

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Hi after reading this post I was out riding my wheeler the other day and I buried the wheeler in some snow. As I proceeded to stop the wheels and then turn the AWD on my front wheels felt and looked like the second hand on a clock. The front wheels weren't spinning freely they were binding... I proceeded when I got home to change the fluid and it was really black. Took it out and it did it again? I am lost and read about the Sprague carrier but not sure where to go next.
I assume you mean starting and stopping when you say like a clock. If your rears are not at full spin the fronts will stop and start as the rears break free and then regain traction. I have notice the same in deep snow. Wat happens if you get the rears at full spin in the snow? Do the fronts keep going? I noticed the same on mine recently in deep snow. If I gave her hell the fronts also kept going. As soon as a let off a bit the fronts would stutter a bit

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