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Thread: Polaris Sportsman won't stay running

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Question Polaris Sportsman won't stay running

    I have a mid-2000s Polaris Sportsman 500 6x6 that only gets used a few times a year for hunting. I went to pull it out of the shed this morning to start working on it, but I can't keep it running. It will start and idle just fine, but as soon as I press on the gas it immediately dies regardless of whether it is in gear or neutral. I let it idle for 20 minutes after the first few times, but even then it died as soon as I pressed the throttle even a little.

    While I'm sure there are a number of possibilities, are there any common reasons why this might be occurring? First place to check for someone who is pretty illiterate when it comes to engines?

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Start with the basics. I hate to ask, but there is plenty of fuel in the tank right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by theultrarider View Post
    Start with the basics. I hate to ask, but there is plenty of fuel in the tank right?
    Plus, make sure it's good clean fuel especially if the rig isn't used much....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Yep, there's fuel in the tank - totally fair question.

    It was suggested to me by someone else to change the fuel filter and to check for water in the bottom of the carburetor.

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    There is a switch on the throttle that shuts it down when you apply throttle if there is a problem. (stuck throttle) Could be as simple as adjusting it.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Sounds like a fuel snafu for sure...you could try freshening up the gas, maybe add a little Seafoam, and see what happens. I would just order up a carb rebuild kit...maybe fuel pump too....pretty inexpensive fix. If you have a mechanic buddy, you might get it done for a case of beer....
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Sounds like a fuel snafu for sure...you could try freshening up the gas, maybe add a little Seafoam, and see what happens. I would just order up a carb rebuild kit...maybe fuel pump too....pretty inexpensive fix. If you have a mechanic buddy, you might get it done for a case of beer....
    Personally I'm pretty mcuh of a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" kinda guy. New gas, filter, check for water and such first, then go from there.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Remove the air cleaner.....start the engine.......rev it up to 1500 and holed it there ........put the air cleaner back on..........if it was sucked on..........clean the out side filter with gas and the paper one with soap and hot water. Also Replace the fuel filter.

    That fixed a intermitted problem I was having.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Personally I'm pretty mcuh of a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" kinda guy. New gas, filter, check for water and such first, then go from there.....
    Agreed....however speaking from personal experience, it probably is broke or close to it. And the place to fix it aint ten miles or more from the road...been there done that....
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Agreed....however speaking from personal experience, it probably is broke or close to it. And the place to fix it aint ten miles or more from the road...been there done that....
    Of course. But so many times when you try to fix something you end up messing up something else that wasn't broke in the first place.... Well, you know what I mean....if Murphy is anywhere in the close vicinity and has anything to say about it......lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Alright, so far I have successfully reconfirmed that I am not a mechanic.

    In trying to follow fuel lines and just get my bearings, I saw a small hole in this clear line. It was close enough to the end that I was able to remove it, cut the line a bit shorter, and re-attach. No idea what it is, but there's no hole any longer. That said, ever since that little "fix" I have been unable to start the machine at all.





    I've been largely unable to find decent YouTube videos or even helpful images online. What I have found led me to following the lines from the fuel pump, but that doesn't seem to lead to what looks like a fuel filter to my untrained eye. The image I see on various parts stores for a fuel filter looks like this:






    So looking around, I find what looks to be the same thing, but it's not on the hose coming out of the fuel pump like pictured above - the hose coming out of the top end goes to the same air chamber which holds the air filter.





    (hose enters on the left of picture)



    Hole obviously needs to be cleaned a bit.





    Am I completely wrong on this? I figured the fuel filter would run between the fuel tank to the engine (or from the pump to the engine) and not to an air source. Is this what I should be replacing, or am I way off base? Doesn't seem to me that this is where the fuel filter should be located, but it sure looks the same as what I'm seeing on parts stores. In reading another Polaris forum, maybe I just haven't found the filter yet...but it sure isn't obvious on first glance.

    Going to go talk to the ATV Salvage guy here in Eagle River tomorrow. If he can fit me in this week, maybe I'll go the easy (though more expensive) route. Unfortunately, with school in full swing my time to tinker blindly is in short supply.

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Brian if all else fails, ask one of your students. Lol

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    picture #3 is a picture of the fuel filter. LOL

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    Brian if all else fails, ask one of your students. Lol
    Ha! That's actually not a bad idea. I'm sure some of them take the small engines class at the vocational school.

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    Go post here. http://atvconnection.com/forums/polaris/

    OPT (Old Polaris Tech) is a retired polaris tech that knows more about these things than I think anyone should know about anything. Much cheaper than going into the shop and he will write back on that forum all day long with any answer you need. I have had just about every issue you can have with mine and gotten them all cleared up on this site.

    Pulling the carb isn't very difficult on these. It sounds like the main jet might be gummed up since you are obviously getting fuel since it will idle for 20 minutes.

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    Ok,

    I'm a Honda guy, but the problems here can and are often the same. First off, that clear line is your fuel line, that little plastic disc thing is a fuel filter. The larger white 'filter' that is on the hose leading to your air box is part of the 'oil blow back' system, ignore that in this case.

    Your machine was idling fine, which means it had spark and air and enough fuel to do that. When you press the throttle, you are calling for more fuel, but that isn't happening - which is causing your engine to die. So this sounds like a restricted fuel problem to me.

    I would disconnect that clear line from the top part of the disc and see if fuel flows freely out of the line (hold a cup under it), if it does, reconnect line. Pull line off of the bottom part of the disc filter and see if gas flows out of the filter freely. If it does not then you have a filter issue, get a new one and put it on. (doesn't have to be the same kind, that one looks pretty small)

    If fuel seems to flow freely out of the filter, then we are most likely talking a carb problem here. There are different jets inside your carb and float needle setting that allow more fuel to flow the more you increase your throttle, the smallest piece of crap in there can clog it up and restrict flow. Your fuel filter will do nothing to prevent the eventual corrosion you will get from INSIDE the carb when fuel sits in there for long periods of time. The fuel being sold these days doesn't help. You will need to order a carb kit for you year-type of machine. They are cheap online, less than 20 bucks most of the time. Also buy a can of carb cleaner. The kit will have you replace the jets, rings, seals, after you blow out all the little holes and openings with carb cleaner. A maintenance manual will help with this, I got mine for my Honda online and its worth its weight in gold compared to having the dealer do a carb job for 300-500 bucks. You will need a manual to pay attention to ring settings and a jet setting. It sounds a lot harder than it is, trust me on that. After your first carb job you will ask yourself what you were so scared of! lol
    The Second Amendment.......Know it, love it, support it.

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    Brian,

    looking at the pic again, it looks like that clear line is coming off of the bottom of your carb, which would mean that is not coming from fuel pump or tank. Is that correct? Does the other end of the line just dangle? if so this is probably your overflow line for your carb, in which case do not worry about disconnecting lines from it like my instructions above stated. once you figure out which is the fuel filter, follow said instructions.
    The Second Amendment.......Know it, love it, support it.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGAKSTUFF View Post
    Brian,

    looking at the pic again, it looks like that clear line is coming off of the bottom of your carb, which would mean that is not coming from fuel pump or tank. Is that correct? Does the other end of the line just dangle? if so this is probably your overflow line for your carb, in which case do not worry about disconnecting lines from it like my instructions above stated. once you figure out which is the fuel filter, follow said instructions.
    Right, I think you're correct on that - it comes out of the bottom of the carb. I got another set of eyes to help me yesterday, and we can't find the fuel filter for the life of us - starting to think that it doesn't have one. We followed each fuel line to its end, and none of them have an in-line filter.

    I got a new battery so that each attempt at starting it is a bit more effective (I can't get it to start at all right now), and tonight we're going to play with it a bit more. After that I guess it's time to take the carb out and fix/clean it. Simply taking the thing out looks intimidating, but I suppose it must be more doable than it seems. Wanted the machine for this coming weekend, but...well, we'll see.

    Thanks for the advice!

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    I have a 2005 sportsman 6x6 the fuel filter on my machine is the same place as in the picture. At first I did not see it because of all the mud. Could it be that your filter is under the mud?

  20. #20
    Member BIGAKSTUFF's Avatar
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    Not having a inline filter would not surprise me, I had to install one on both of my machines myself. Both of the filters I purchased look like that disc filter in first pic, just a little fatter. Your carb generally is attached to only 2 points, the hole coming out of the airbox via giant rubber lip, and hole to the engine, which also meets the carb by giant rubber lip. There is a compression band on both sides of the rubber lips holding onto your carb by a Phillips head screw. You may have to remove airbox first. Its just a lot of little things to unhook and move out of the way, again, a maint manual will break this all down for you step by step.
    The Second Amendment.......Know it, love it, support it.

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