XC SP 800 Buyers Guide Help. How not to get screwed? - HCS Snowmobile Forums

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Old 09-11-2019, 08:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default XC SP 800 Buyers Guide Help. How not to get screwed?

So my 2003 XC SP 600 with 2300 miles is for sale. Bad news from the shop, the tunnel was fine but needs a drive shaft, bearings and retainers. He also found my clutch side crank seal leaking so without a garage I need to bail and move on.

I found a super nice looking 2004 XC SP with 3k on it but it’s an 800 which worries everyone. It’s studded and apparently runs great but I don’t want to buy another time
Bomb. Can someone tell me how to look over or red flags of the 800 or should I steer clear? Here’s what the listing said after I asked him in a PM about it.

“I am the 3rd owner. The owner before me was a woman that did not beat on it. I’ve owned it for one year. I bought it for last winter and then I found myself in the hospital with leukemia. That is why I’m selling it, I still have not recovered financially from last winter. If I don’t get what I’m asking I will keep it. The last owner gave me all the maintenance records, it was well kept. I only took it for one ride last winter in between chemo treatments. She ran great!”

He gave me a start up video too. My concern is it has an aftermarket exhaust and a riser for a wife sled?
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Current Sled(s): 05 600 xcsp 50th
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18-19 Mileage not much
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Age: 6
Riding Since: 70 s
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My buddy has a 04 prox 800 with about that many miles, been a good sled. His motor is 100% stock. We had guys with older xc 800's in the group that have been a crap shoot. Imo, if your lucky enough to get a good one those sleds can run at least 8k miles. The bad ones had broken cranks with less than 5k miles. Your xc 600 has a far stouter motor when it come to a reliability record. With the 800 motor you could be asking for a more issues.
On another note, really surprised you gave up on the 600. The driveshaft/driveshaft bearings wouldn't be any issue to repair, but you mention the pto side crank seal is failing...that would be a lot more worrisome. If not for that it/d make someone an easy project for a good backup sled.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Is an 800 worth looking at or should I just stick to 700 or lower?
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Current Sled(s): 05 600 xcsp 50th
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The 700 imo is a wiser choice. You really need to have someone thats experienced with knowing what issues sleds can have to look at them with you.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well considering my recent experience with edge chassis sleds I think I should bring a compression tester but I honestly don’t even really know how to check bearings at a look over. other than that I usually ask a lot of questions and sometimes I get BS responses like “all maintenance done “or “just serviced “but no one can really tell me . I have some time before the season starts and I only want $1000 for my sled as is so I am also looking at cat and ski Doo as well. Just didn’t know whether or not I should give the 800 class a chance or not even bother
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Current Sled(s): 2015 /16AXYS 800 SB 19 Indy 850
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In my opinion--stick with the 600, they're lighter, and the most durable during that timeline.

The 700 is pretty good, mine went 13,000 before I had to crack the motor open, but I still like the 600 better.

Had the 800--didn't like it--sold the motor out of it and put a 600 in.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My 800 has a little over 7k on it and has been bullet proof. I ride it pretty easy. I bought it with under 2k on it. It broke an exhaust valve a few years ago. It now has the stainless valves. I do expect to have problems eventually. As far as not buying a time bomb, you'd be best served to buy a four stroke. Any 2 stroke will blow up/burn down eventually. Some sooner, some later.
IMO, the 600 is fixable.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastsleddr View Post
In my opinion--stick with the 600, their lighter, and the most durable during that timeline.

The 700 is pretty good, mine went 13,000 before I had to crack the motor open, but I still like the 600 better.

Had the 800--didn't like it--sold the motor out of it and put a 600 in.
I've ridden 800's felt heavy compared to the 600's handling. Imo, overall its hard to beat a 500 or 600 small block. All the 800's in our group that lasted over 5k miles were ridden easy, or detuned so much a 600 could run with them in a drag race. The ones that broke were drag raced a lot. I've got a spare 05 600 50th with close to 9k miles on it that i now use for a parts sled. I ran that sled very hard the whole time. It served me well. The motor still runs pretty good, but the chassis is tired.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Current Sled(s): 2005 polaris 700 xc sp f/o &1980 polaris tx-l
Previous Sled(s): 2002 polaris 500 xc sp - 1986 indy 400 - 1976 polaris tx 340
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The 800 is a good engine too,,,,, if you leave it stock, dont put anything over a 1.25" track on it if you plan on getting on the gas heavy at times. The exhaust valves need regular maintenance, because the cooling around them is poor. Best thing with them is to dont pound the crap out of them, and they will hold up fairly well. If polaris would have used the bigger pto crank pin on the crankshaft, as the 700 has. Then they would be very reliable. Now the question is how was it truly taken care of by the previous owners?

If i was you. I would fix your current sled if its in great shape. You would be ahead in the end.
The 600 is a world class engine. But as with anything, maintenance is key.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Current Sled(s): 2004 XC500SP, 2002 Polaris Classic 600
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First of all, "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

Second, for decades I worked on sleds sitting on top of a pallet in the backyard with nothing more than simple hand tools. Really. We also walked 5 miles up hill both ways to school in waste deep snow (year round). With bread bags for shoes. The drivetrain stuff you can do. I would say, hire the dealer to replace the crank seals and do the rest yourself. But, that's just me.

Third, as I understand it, the 700 and 800 share a block, as does the 500-600. There are some differences in the two blocks that would have implications for maintenance (such as the placement of the water pump impeller).
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