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2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 RSE - Need new camshaft


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Where is the best place for a new camshaft for a 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 RSE?

I figured some of the quad owners on this forum have probably bought them before as this is a common problem on the Polaris 500. My exhaust cam lobe is almost completely wore down and the thing hardly will even get up an go.

I like other's opinions rather than just "buying on the fly". If any of you guys have a good suggestion I'd be interested in getting a good one at a fair price.

2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 Remington Steele Edition

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On 10/3/2016 at 0:41 PM, joehelf said:

I found the link and ordered the parts.

I was able to save a bundle. I will post results after the parts come in and I get them installed. I'm excited to see this machine really run!

Where did you end up buying from? I usually try rocky mountain or cheapatvparts.

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Partsdiscounter. I did not know after I bought them but it came from Vancouver Canada. I thought it was here in the states. No big deal. Still the price was $209 on Amazon.com. I opened an Amazon credit card and saved an instant $50. Then I used a $100 Amazon gift card I had been carrying around in my wallet for some time and saved the $100 out of pocket. Plus FREE shipping. Total price with tax $59.

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I failed to mention a few things. I went to my local Polaris shop and asked the price for a new camshaft. They told me $275 and they could get it in a couple of days. I asked if it was an OEM or a second manufacturer? He said "you can only get OEM camshafts for a 2000 Sportsman 500... nobody makes them but OEM". I then asked the price for rocker arms and he said they were about $300. By now I'm scared to death to stick around this guy's shop.

That's when I decided to search online. I found the site after you sent me the link and realized it was tied to Amazon.

So I went from $275 to $59. Oh... and the best bet.... I got the camshaft, both intake rocker arms, the exhaust rocker arm, the camshaft sprocket, and the cover gasket. Woohoo!

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Hold Your Horses. I got the parts in the mail and started to do a check of sizes. The sprocket was not the right sprocket and the camshaft was milled just a tab shorter than the one I took out.

I started to put things together last night. It didn't go so well. Here's what I found. The new sprocket is smaller in circumference than the original and it's wider. My original sprocket is only about 3/16" wide and this new sprocket is at least 1/4" wide maybe more. Plus the teeth are not the same cut. Because the new sprocket is so much more wider than the old it looks like they machined the end of the shaft shorter to make up the difference. The locating pin and the center shoulder and bolt pattern is correct but it is definitely at least 1/16" shorter. It is causing the old sprocket to ride against the inside of the timing chain links. I will try and make a full spacer to make up the difference. The exhaust and intake rocker arms fit nice. I have no issues with them.

Interesting I went to the website and looked up the parts again to see if I had made a mistake on ordering. I noticed the part numbers were all the same as OEM part numbers for everything. Gasket, rocker arms, shaft, and sprocket but at the top of the page and just under the "1999-2005 Polaris 500" is a statement that says "This will NOT fit your ATV". Mine is a 2000 Sportsman 500 RSE.

I missed it. I don't know how I did. I must have been more tuned to the OEM numbers and did not look hard enough. I thought about sending it all back but everything else was correct except the sprocket.

It behooves me to understand if the OEM numbers were the same why would the parts be different than OEM?

Here's a couple of pics. Hopefully you can zoom in and see the differences.

Cams with Sprockets.jpg

Camshafts with Sprockets.jpg


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Don't know what they will want to do. I will let you know the outcome. As it is, I can use the new cam and the old sprocket if I shim it out 2 mm. This way the chain rides in the middle of the teeth and not to the inside edge.

I measured the over all length of both shafts. The old shaft is 140 mm long and the new shaft is 138 mm long. That's the difference of the shim I will need to put behind the old sprocket if I have to use it.

I did not want to tear into the crankcase end and change the crankcase sprocket and chain. It looks like this might have been the reasoning. A bigger chain link and a beefier sprocket to match. Maybe in the past these were considered weak? Maybe.

In case I didn't tell it earlier the rocker arms are a perfect fit for the intake and exhaust. No problems there.


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