Polaris ATV cranks but won't start

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-11-18, 08:39 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Polaris ATV cranks but won't start

I have an older Polaris ATV, no real idea what the model is as the stickers are long gone, that I am having a hell of a time getting to start.

I put in a new battery and after many attempts got it started, but when I went to shut the choke off, it cut out and I can't get it to start again. It has an electric start, when pushing the button it cranks over and occasionally sputters like it's getting ready to start, but won't.

I realize without a model is difficult to give specific information, but are there obvious places I should check first? Will try to get a model, but am hopeful for some general troubleshooting to start with. I figure it can't be that much different to a riding lawnmower engine, just harder to get at any of it without first removing the bodywork.

Thanks.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-12-18, 06:08 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,031
Received 232 Votes on 213 Posts
It sounds like a carburetor problem. The engine will run but it needs the choke to stay on. That's a classic sign of a dirty or gummed up jet.
 
  #3  
Old 11-12-18, 08:24 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 4,470
Received 28 Votes on 24 Posts
As suggested 99% of the time it's a fuel issue.
SInce they started adding ethanal to the fuel this issue has skyrocketed.
 
  #4  
Old 11-12-18, 09:51 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hmm a dirty carb might well be it, I believe the gas had been sitting in it a while which I am sure will gum up the carburetor. I might drain all the gas out, put on a new fuel filter and rebuild the carb and go from there.

Are they fairly straight forward to rebuild? I attached a picture of the ATV in case it helps identify what it is in order for me to get any parts I might need.
 
Attached Images  
  #5  
Old 11-12-18, 10:03 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,031
Received 232 Votes on 213 Posts
I usually don't rebuild them. Just carefully disassemble and clean. But you should identify the machine in case you need to order a gasket or rebuild kit for the carb.
 
  #6  
Old 11-12-18, 01:52 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So I think it is a 2001 Polaris Trail Blazer, I grabbed the VIN off the frame rail near the front left wheel. It's not coming up with any results, but some of the letters are tough to read it is a 17 digit VIN though and the 10th digit is a 1, so it looks to be a 2001 model. A quick search for Polaris ATV with a yellow seat turns up the below link.

This one looks pretty much like what I believe mine to have looked like when new:
https://www.atvtrader.com/listing/20...250-5003366402
 
  #7  
Old 11-13-18, 09:07 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,625
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
... I believe the gas had been sitting in it a while which I am sure will gum up the carburetor.

Get all the old gas out you can, add new gas with a good dose of SeaFoam, it might be that easy.

Easy on the starter, you don't want to crank it too long at a time, they can burn out.
 
  #8  
Old 11-13-18, 09:21 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,898
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I agree with all the above advice. My guess is that it is a fouled carb/jets. I would drain all the old gas out, pull the carb, clean it (spray carb cleaner through jets, passages, etc, replace any damaged/worn o-rings or seals (might as well buy a "rebuild" kit with all new gaskets and o-rings), make sure the float is set properly, re-assemble, and I bet it starts right up. I'd slap a new spark plug in it while you're at it. Checking the valve clearance would also be a good idea (if it's a 4-stroke obviously).
 
  #9  
Old 11-13-18, 01:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Got it to start with spraying some starter fluid into it, but it cuts out shortly thereafter. I did find a 2 part video (about 15 minutes) of someone tearing apart the carb and cleaning it, as well as found I have a can of carb cleaner already here.

So, that's going to be the plan. Get the crappy gas out, clean the carb, new spark plug and go from there. Looks like it should not take too much time either really, the carb is easy to get at to remove. Just need to be careful removing it that I put it back in correctly (will take pictures as I remove the choke cable etc). And all I need to do is buy a spark plug and new fuel filter, so ideally a pretty cheap fix as well.
 
  #10  
Old 11-13-18, 02:50 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,968
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Do the Sea Foam first. It may take care of everything.
 
  #11  
Old 11-13-18, 03:14 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Will do, might even have a can of Seafoam in the garage, not sure though. Assuming I just add some to the fresh gas and try to start it, let it run if it starts up?
 
  #12  
Old 11-13-18, 03:37 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,898
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Seafoam isn't going to fix a worn o-ring or leaking seal, but if you're in a pinch and need to get it running, then it's worth a shot. I personally would pull the carb and clean it.
 
  #13  
Old 11-13-18, 03:46 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Funny thing is, part of me wants to take the carb apart and clean it just so I can have the knowledge of how to do it in future. I believe it was taken apart and cleaned a year or so ago, so would hope any O-rings or gaskets are still good, but who knows.

Might be a multi part exercise, just have to hope it does not really dump a bunch of snow on Thursday and I might be able to make a start on things.
 
  #14  
Old 11-14-18, 02:53 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How quickly should fuel flow out from the tank when draining it? Started trying to drain it just now, disconnected the fuel line at the side before the fuel filter and draining into an old milk jug.

About 10 minutes of draining, the bottle is barely a quarter full, might even be less than that. Something tells me it should be flowing a little faster than that. I gave up for now and reconnected the fuel line, don't want to leave it unsupervised and don't want to stand out there that long waiting either.

Assuming it should be flowing somewhat faster than that, then either there is something blocking that short section of fuel line or the shut off valve on the bottom of the tank is not opening fully (or also partially blocked).

Frustratingly I don't think I can look at it any more until Sunday, but the fuel flowing as slowly as it is makes me think everything further downstream is fine it's just not getting enough fuel into the carb in the first place. I am going to try disconnecting the fuel hose right at the shut off valve next, if it flows faster out of the valve only, then the section of line has a block and is easy enough to replace. If it still flows slowly, then will look at removing and cleaning, or replacing the valve.
 
  #15  
Old 11-14-18, 04:14 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,031
Received 232 Votes on 213 Posts
There is no pump so it's not a strong stream but you should get a steady stream a bit smaller than a pencil. If it's a really thin stream or drips and dribbles then the fuel line might need cleaning out or replaced. Also check for dirt and crud inside the tank.

Years ago I bought a used track hoe (excavator) for a good price. It would run but occasionally would bog down and just not run right (diesel). I figured it was a fuel issue so I replaced the fuel filter and the problem didn't go away. I drained the fuel tank and was shocked at the thick layer of mud in the bottom. I replaced all the filters, installed new fuel line, removed the fuel tank and pressure washed the inside. Put it all back together and it's run great ever since. Your machine lives on it's fuel. Crappy, dirty old fuel is almost guaranteed to cause problems.
 
  #16  
Old 11-14-18, 04:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
This is just trickling out, not even close to what i would expect. I actually have a small piece of fuel line during around, filled it with water and watched it drain, that's coming out steadily a little smaller than a pencil.

Looking into how to remove the fuel tank, for one thing so I can get the old gas out faster, but also so I can clean it. With the tank removed, I think I will go ahead and also clean the carb, but also run a bit of seafoam through once I put it back together. Wish the weather is not forecast to be so crappy tomorrow, world have some time to work on it.
 
  #17  
Old 11-15-18, 12:33 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,625
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Probably a stupid question but did you have the gas cap loosened/removed when draining?
 
  #18  
Old 11-15-18, 01:04 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yep, removed the cap completely.
 
  #19  
Old 11-15-18, 01:09 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,898
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Some tanks have a strainer inside, but it doesn't look like a 2001 Trail Blazer does. It appears to only have a valve, which could be gummed up. You could remove it from the tank so it drains faster, and would also allow you to clean the valve (#20 in diagram). I wouldn't worry about getting every last drop of fuel out of the tank. I would concentrate on the carb, then once that is square away, pour some fresh gas into the tank and that will dilute any old fuel.
 
Attached Images  
  #20  
Old 11-18-18, 04:29 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Went ahead and removed the valve today in order to get the old fuel out, a little messy, but thankfully I did not spill much fuel. Just have to figure out what to do with 1.5 gallons of old gas.

Anyway, after removing the valve, it's pretty clear why the fuel was flowing so poorly...



I had a pick that I poked into the hole on the valve and the bottom feels like it has a bunch of gunk in there. A new valve should be delivered Tuesday, so will just replace it. Looking inside the gas tank with it drained it looks pretty clean on the inside.

I also went ahead and removed, then cleaned the carb. Fairly simple following a video, but I'm still a little nervous that I screwed something up with it that will rear it's head once I get fuel back into it. Fingers crossed in a few days I am posting about how well it's running, not that it's running terribly! Going to swap out the spark plug as well, just so I know that's good.
 
  #21  
Old 11-19-18, 08:22 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,898
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Not just a little, that's a lot!!! I would just order a new one.
 
  #22  
Old 11-19-18, 08:37 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Funnily enough I actually had ordered a new one last week, was thinking it might just be simpler to replace it than try to clean / repair it.

After I pulled that gunked up one out, I was glad I had ordered the new one which should be delivered today. Now if only I can sneak out of work to install it, put some gas in and see if it fires up.
 
  #23  
Old 11-19-18, 12:09 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Booo!!!

New petcock arrived, but the holes don't quote match the old one so I can't get it to fit. Had really hoped to get this finished up today. Frustratingly the one I ordered said it fits a Trailblazer 250, sounds like either mine is not original, or I am going to have some trial and error in getting a new one.
 
  #24  
Old 11-19-18, 01:59 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,898
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Oh man, that blows! Are you sure you have the model and year correct? Does it look like you can harvest the parts off the new one and make it work, or it's too different? The guys at Partzilla.com are pretty helpful. They have a chat service.
 
  #25  
Old 11-19-18, 02:33 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
99% sure I have the year and model correct, I actually looked at the petcock that came off and someone had drilled out the holes slightly larger in order to install it. Going to give that a shot (drilling the holes a little larger) on the new petcock to see if that will allow it to fit. The difference is maybe 1/8" at most 2/8" so it's not far off from fitting.

I actually looked to see if I could harvest parts from the old one, I am not sure how they come apart though but all I would need is the mounting plate. The rest of it is all gunked up and useless anyhow, just need the one piece!
 
  #26  
Old 11-21-18, 07:24 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
This petcock is causing me headaches!! So, the one that was on there is an aftermarket unit, looked up the OEM Polaris one and it is plastic, where as this one (and my new one) are both metal.

Now for the really annoying piece, so I drilled the holes out a little larger which looks to allow me to bolt this new petcock onto the fuel tank. But, despite the screws coming out with no issues whatsoever, one of them is refusing to go in and trying to cross thread itself as it goes in. I have tried cleaning the insert with a brush, tried to also just put the screw into the little nut (without the petcock) and it still tries to cross thread itself. I can't see into the hole as the fuel tank is still mounted to the ATV, removing it looks like i would have to remove all the plastic first but may be something I have to do in order to try and repair this nut insert.

Planning to order the OEM plastic one, but at this point I will run into the exact same issue as the screw won't go into the nut regardless of trying to tighten down the petcock or just thread the screw on. What a pain. I am pretty confident that if I can get this valve on it will run. But, am now somewhat stuck and trying to avoid damaging a $300+ fuel tank over a $10 petcock.
 
  #27  
Old 11-21-18, 08:44 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,031
Received 232 Votes on 213 Posts
Try running the screws into the petcock when holding it in your hand. If it works then you know it can work. If it won't thread when you have it in the tank then there still may be a slight interference or misalignment with the holes.
 
  #28  
Old 11-21-18, 09:22 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
This petcock has no threads on the holes, it's a pass through hole that then screws down into a brass threaded insert on the bottom of the fuel tank. The problem is that while one of them screws into the insert fine, the second insert either has debris in there or something else preventing me from driving the second screw into the insert without it feeling as though it is starting to cross thread. I could try to just crank it down, but that then leaves me with the problem of A) ever getting it back out B) potentially causing a crack in the tank

The way the screws came out without any problems, I have to assume it is something on the threads in the brass insert. I did not put the screws back in until getting the new petcock, and it immediately started to feel like it was binding up. Might wheel the thing into the garage later and see if I can do anything, might just try to gently drive the problematic screw in to clean the threads, maybe get a q-tip with some grease on it and wipe around the hole in case a bit of grit or something is in there.
 
  #29  
Old 11-21-18, 10:31 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,031
Received 232 Votes on 213 Posts
Do you have taps? If so you could run a tap through the problem hole to clean up the threads. If you don't have taps but have an extra screw you can file a notch in the end and up the side of the screw. Then run that modified screw into the hole and it will help clean up the threads.
 
  #30  
Old 11-21-18, 12:25 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I do have a tap set and had considered that as an option, I just need to see what sizes I have and if they will work.
 
  #31  
Old 11-25-18, 11:39 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well dang, for the fuel tank sorted, put everything back together, try to start it and notice gas is pouring out the bottom of the carb bowl. There is a little brass fitting there, but not sure if one of the rubber vent lines should be on it or if I'm missing something.


​​​​​​The float was moving freely in the bowl, going to take it off and check it, but do any of you know if a vent line should be attached there? They were all rotted and popped off when I removed the carb, thought I had them all back on correctly, but something's not right.
 
  #32  
Old 11-25-18, 04:32 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Can't edit my post (likely just a time issue, no big deal....) So looked some more and there should be a vent on the bottom, mine is missing. However, there are none laying loose anywhere, so I think it was missing initially.

I took the carb back off, removed the bowl and everything looked good. I filled the bowl with gas to make sure the floats were moving as expected, which they were. Reassembled it and mounted back on the ATV, turned the fuel valve on and within 30 seconds it's leaking out the bottom (I assume the overflow) vent again. I noticed the needle and hinge piece did not seem to move that freely though. If I am understanding how a carb works, the float should rise as the bowl fills with fuel, which then causes the needle with the rubber tip to rise into the fuel inlet and stop more fuel flowing into the carb. If that's not closing properly, fuel will continue flowing into the carb bowl and eventually into the overflow pipe and out that bottom vent? I'm somewhat guessing, but if that hinge is not seating the needle fully, then that would explain why the fuel continually fills, and overflows, the bowl. Does that make sense?

If that sounds right, then I think the best option will be to find a carb rebuild kit. Partzilla do not have a rebuild kit, that I could find, are there any recommended kits or there that will work with the Polaris carb? The part number appears to be either 3131301 or 3131323.
 
  #33  
Old 11-25-18, 08:08 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,898
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
You are correct about the functionality of the float and needle. Needles are known to go bad, so I would go ahead and replace it.
 
  #34  
Old 11-26-18, 08:17 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Typical!! Will pick up a kit and likely a new float arm as well.
 
  #35  
Old 11-26-18, 08:30 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,625
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Have you looked for a new carb? I don't know about Polaris but a new one for the tecumseh on my push mower was $16.59.
 
  #36  
Old 11-26-18, 01:56 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NoVA
Posts: 178
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I did briefly look, so far all I could find was a carb for $400+ which on a 17 year old ATV is not worth it to me. I may look into it some more to see if there are aftermarket options though as that is typically cheaper.
 
  #37  
Old 11-28-18, 02:49 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,898
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
You can get a rebuild kit for $15 to $20, which will include a new float valve needle.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Carburetor-...a333:rk:1:pf:0
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question