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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I see that others on here have similar problems. I think mine may be a bit different. I have only owned the sled for a few weeks so I am still learning the quirks with it. I should probably go throught the carbs and give it a once over but the guy I bought it from (someone I know) said he had the carbs cleaned at the beggining of the season.
I hate to do it again, listen to the issues and let me know your ideas. There are two issues that I am having:

First: When I start the sled cold, it takes a few pulls at full choke but it seems to start. It idles and runs alright but when I go to take off for the first time it revs to like 6000 but doesnt seem to want to move. If I rock the sled side to side while feathering the throttle it starts to move and then goes ok. It only does this the first time I take off. Each time I stop after this it has great power to move, and even launch forward. I think that the sled is really rich as it leaves a huge black soot mark in the snow the first time I take off. It is like it is loaded with fuel and it just needs to burn it off before it will go. The previous owner said that he had the carbs cleaned and the needles were upgraded to a newer style. Am I right in thinking this is a rich fuel problem. If so I guess I need to take the carbs off and have a look myself.

Second: I am not sure if this is connected to my first problem but I also took it down my dirt road today (fresh four inches of snow) and I could not get it to go past 70mph. It seemed like it wouldn't rev past 7000 or so. Is this also a rich fuel problem or is it something else like the belt or clutches. I know nothing about clutches so I hope it isn't that. I guess I could try a new belt but I hate to spend the $$$ if this one is alright. It looks ok but maybe I don't know what I am looking for.

All in all the sled runs ok. It doesn't seem to have a ton of snap to it, but I think it is because something is not quite right. I checked and it is running on all three cylinders. I have not done a compression test yet, maybe I should be doing that first....

My plan is to take the whole thing down this summer, do a top end, fix the PTO bearing issue, and anything else I see at the time. I am hoping to just ride it this winter without having to do too much till then.

Any thoughts let me know.

Thanks
Mike
 

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I had a very similar problem on my 96 XLT. It would rev really high to get it going, and then after that it would engage fine for the rest of the day. My problem was the primary clutch was binding from sliding in and out. I had to take the clutch apart, and emery cloth the center shaft a bit, so that it would slide easier than it would before. It was very tight and snug, which would cause the clutch to basically stick and not go anywhere. I burnt two belts before i figured my issue out.

This may not be your problem, but if you have this trouble consistently, try spray WD-40 on the center of the inside of the primary clutch before you move it the next time(that was the only lube i had at the time..lol). If it smoothes out, and engages right away, that may be your problem. I rebuilt both clutches to ensure they were working properly, and i've had no troubles anymore. If you keep your clutches clean, and maintained, you'll have consistent power, with reliability. I never am stingy on the clutching, because it is the vital link between your engine, and getting you the power you want.

Your second problem may be clutch related as well, you never know. All in all, it sounds like your clutch is not performing right to me. It may be binding and not gettiing the rpm's because of that. I bet if the clutches were redone, you'd most likely either see these problems go away, or else it may be engine related.........gotta start somewhere i suppose..lol

Good luck.......keep us posted what you find. It may not be your problem, but i had the similar symptoms bud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the insight. I will have to look at the clutches sooner or later but I have been putting it off because I don't know much about them. I guess the best way to learn is to dive right in....I have been doing carbs and motors since I learned on my 2 stroke dirt bikes growing up. The clutches however are new to me!!!

Anyone know how high the XLT should rev under normal conditions?

What about a shop manual for this sled. It seems like there is no clymer manual availble for this year. Anyone have any idea of where to get a manual for this?

Thanks Mike
 

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I had a very similar problem on my 96 XLT. It would rev really high to get it going, and then after that it would engage fine for the rest of the day. My problem was the primary clutch was binding from sliding in and out. I had to take the clutch apart, and emery cloth the center shaft a bit, so that it would slide easier than it would before. It was very tight and snug, which would cause the clutch to basically stick and not go anywhere. I burnt two belts before i figured my issue out.

This may not be your problem, but if you have this trouble consistently, try spray WD-40 on the center of the inside of the primary clutch before you move it the next time(that was the only lube i had at the time..lol). If it smoothes out, and engages right away, that may be your problem. I rebuilt both clutches to ensure they were working properly, and i've had no troubles anymore. If you keep your clutches clean, and maintained, you'll have consistent power, with reliability. I never am stingy on the clutching, because it is the vital link between your engine, and getting you the power you want.

Your second problem may be clutch related as well, you never know. All in all, it sounds like your clutch is not performing right to me. It may be binding and not gettiing the rpm's because of that. I bet if the clutches were redone, you'd most likely either see these problems go away, or else it may be engine related.........gotta start somewhere i suppose..lol

Good luck.......keep us posted what you find. It may not be your problem, but i had the similar symptoms bud.[/b]
X2 i would say that stuff sounds good i also have same sled and i am gettign about 8500RPMS+ when at full throttle seems kinda high but i like the power
 

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Here's a link to an online microfiche. It shows most of the parts on all the sleds. This link has been very handy for me because it has specs for alot of different sleds.

http://216.37.204.206/wps/Polaris_OEM/Pola...p;A=192&B=8


And don't be scared to do clutches. There is nothing really much to them other than some pressure holding them together. Once tension is released, it is pretty straight forward. If you have someone who knows clutches, and has a couple tools, you could buy a rebuild kit, and do it fairly easy. Check your weights as well, they need to be smooth, with no burrs or wear spots in them. That could cause the low rpm's as well....again the binding factor..lol.


A stock xlt should be running at 8,200 rpm when you have the power on bud. I have mine set a bit high with the set up i'm running (spikes at 9,000 when mashed, and holds at 8,600 - 8,700 through the powerband).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How is it that you have it "set" to a certain RPM. Is it done by the spring that you choose? Is there an advantage to your setup or is it personal preference. Is there a Max rpm that you should not exceed for a stock setup?

Personally, I would rather have more power on the low end and less on the top. I assume that this is done with gearing (chaincase) and not clutches but I am still learning. I ride mostly on tight trails and in small fields bangin around.

Any suggestions on "goodies" that I should add. I want to keep the stock pipes for trail riding but have been thinking of bar risers (not sure the height I can go without longer cables). Any other suggestions?

Has anyone ever added electric start. I was hoping to add it to either the XLT or my arctic cat cougar that I have so the wife can start and ride it on her own. Is it hard to add. I have checked ebay and no luck finding any kits. I assume you can get the kit from a dealer for a hefty $$$$.

Mike
 

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You didnt say if you had the sled out side or not for your first ride. if so one thing is ice builds up on the track when it sits for a day or so i usually fire mine up with the back raised track off the ground (i park it this way aswell)... you can use a 2x6 or whatever about 1.5-2 feet long and just prop it under the back bumper... then after that i let my sled warm up (put on gear ETC...) after it runs for 3-5 mins i will give it some gas and get the track spinning 5-6000 rpm... basically to clean out the plugs from sitting there idling(loading up) after that i push it off the stand and rip....
Cant say if thats your prob or notbut its good practice. =]

oh ya i do believe you can get a 2 inch riser without cable extensions...
 

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Your best bet is to get a clutch kit, which i have. It comes with different springs, and weights. It's best to go with a clutch kit, because it's kind of easier than trying a bunch of things. The springs make a difference in the rev range, as well, the weights in the primary clutch alter your rpm's as well. I had a hot seat clutch kit in mine, but then i got to tinkering with all kinds of combinations. I ended up using a spring from the hot seat kit, and different weights completely to get the rev's higher. It's geared now for alot of bottom end, but i'm still trying to find a way to lower the gearing on the top end......it doesn't settle down as much as i want it to around the 70 mph mark. It seems to be revving higher, but that is my doing, and will be tuned soon.

You can get a higher gear for the chaincase to get different power as well, but clutching is what makes your rpm's. It is pretty easy to change a gear though.

Your electric start shouldn't be that much i wouldn't think. It's a pretty easy mod to do. I wouldn't say it is a hefty priced option, but i haven't actually looked so don't quote me...lol


One thing that made a difference for me was upgrading to a 1.25" track. It has much greater hookup and you can feel it grabbing when you mash it, instead of just spinning away, making the bottom end feel like nothing anyway. Other than that, i'd stay stock with the xlt for reliability. You can down size your jetting on the carbs, which does make a difference, but you have to get it right on that edge of running rich enough that you don't blow it up, but keeping it lean enuff to get max power. Alot of guys do the jetting game, but i learned the hard way. Bought mine with jetting way under stock dettings, and ended up losing a cylinder on a real cold day. From that day on, i don't mess with jetting.

Is yours a monoblock engine??? Or is it 3 seperate jugs?
 

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I had a similar problem with an XLT I just bought for the wife a month ago. First time out didn't seem to run right, only hit around 7000 RPM's. It also didn't have that familiar triple sound to it. Turns out one of the slides was disconnected from the throttle cable. Huge difference, got good snap to it now, and hits 8500. Could be something that simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Roadkill:

I don't prop the back end up but I do left it to break it from any ice that may have formed. I also lift each ski to break them free. I like your idea though. I think I am gonna try it so that I can spin the track a bit to clean it out like you said.

J700:

I agree with you on the jetting thing. Stock is safe!!! As far as the rest. I think I will try a clutch kit, if it isn't the problem it is still a good thing to do. The track is brand new and it hooks up great!!! It is a monoblock cylinder.

warpspeed: Never thought of that. I was thinking it may be running on two cylinders but I checked at idle by pulling off the wires one by one and it was on all three. But if it was the cable that wouldn't have told me that. I guess I should pull all three carbs and do a complete clean, sync, idle adjust, and make sure all cables are operational. Thanks for the insight. I will check that for sure.

Mike
 

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don't go for the clutch kit just yet. you are not running right, it is way rich. the black ring in the snow is a tell tail sign. stock jetting may be safe, but it is two to three main jet sizes rich and not optimal for performance. Polaris set these motors up to be very rich in hopes of reducing crank failures. it did not help, only compounded the problem. the reason you can not get rolling easy when the motor is cold is simple, it is a classic trait of a piston port engine. piston port motors do not have good enough port velocity to clean out the crankcase at idle. you need to lift the rear off the ground and run the track to clear out the motor and warm up the track. the higher rpms (around 6000-7000) will get the airflow high enough to clear out the excess gas from the case that was added when using the choke. the reason you can't pull rpm is most likey jetting related as well. why did the needles get replaced?? the only reason to replace needles is for when you add triple pipes. what do your plugs look like?? how about piston wash?? get some new plugs and install AFTER the motor is warmed up and cleared out. this will tell you if you have a plug that mising under load. just for your info, the power band of a stock motor is 5500-8300 rpm. good luck with it, Brian.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think the needles were replaced because they were worn and leaking fuel into the bowl. I agree with what you say. It does seem really rich. I am planning on taking down the carbs this weekend to get a good look at them, clean them, check the sync, and set the idle.

Here is a question for everyone. What is the best method for a cold start? Full choke??? Half Choke??? It seems like it floods really easy. Hopefully once I get the carbs dialed in it will start easier and run cleaner.

Mike
 

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do a search on the needels & seats on theese. This is where the overly rich start-up's come from, when shut off the seat does not not make a good seal & leaks fuel into the crankcase thus overloading the case with fuel. This could also be the prob with you only seeing the 7,000 rpm's... too much fuel in there to burn /run properlly. Not also is the track stand a good idea, it helps a great deal to warm up belts, clutches, gearlube & chains. Cheap insurance on the belts, one "cold" start could leave a nice flat spot on the belt, & soon will shread.
 

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The XLT high port motor with the 38mm carbs runs best at 8500 rpm. With stock clutching you should be in the 8300-8500 range.
If you spin them higher you are pulling it out of it's power band and it will not be as fast. You will also shorten the crank life.
If it starts in 3-4 pulls I would not worry about the inlet needles, when they go bad it usually takes many more as the motor is flooded. Still a good idea to pull carbs and make sure all jetting is correct, cables intact and they are clean.
Clutching is probibly where your issues are. A basis clutch tare down and cleaning is not to hard and will go a long way.
I have seen primary clutchs get sticky and do just what yours is doing.

Box stock these XLT's are a little rich but it should run just fine. Black soot on the ground could just be your choice of oil used.
Start with stock verifacation in carbs and clutches and a good cleaning go from there.
 

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I think the needles were replaced because they were worn and leaking fuel into the bowl. I agree with what you say. It does seem really rich. I am planning on taking down the carbs this weekend to get a good look at them, clean them, check the sync, and set the idle.

Here is a question for everyone. What is the best method for a cold start? Full choke??? Half Choke??? It seems like it floods really easy. Hopefully once I get the carbs dialed in it will start easier and run cleaner.

Mike[/b]
does your sled have the 38mm or 34mm carbs?? as for starting, i full choke mine until it fires, then hold rpm at 4000 and drop choke off. when the motor starts to miss and die, blip the choke to 1/2 for a second and then back off. keep repeating until the engine does not want tot die anymore. then i get the track rolling and clean out the bottom end by rapping it out. after that, ride and be happy. you may also want to look to see if your MAG cylinder is loading up and dropping out. the plug will be very wet and the other two should be fine. if this is going on, you have a ripped diaphram in the fuel pump. do not buy a Polaris rebuild kit, just get a Mikuni kit. they are the same part for the same manufacturer, just the Mikuni kit is 25% the price of Polaris.
 
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