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Kevin_Leduc

How much $ should I put into repairing a dead ATV?

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I bought a 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 3 weeks ago for $2000 and the seller only gave a quick test drive to show everything worked. After 2 hours running it died on my son (he may have swamped it). It would not restart, so the local Polaris dealer picked it up and did not see usual signs of water intake. Back firing out the exhaust. They are pulling the head to look at piston/rings but they are not sure if there are gearcase issues. Roughly $1000 for them to bore out for new piston, more if gearcase issues. My question- how much $ should I throw at this? Just looking for an ATV to go with our 2003 Yamaha Kodiak 400 that my boys can run around the yard with (no long trail rides). I can (but don't want to) put another $1000-2000 into this, or should I just call it a loss and sell it for parts? I still need to get another ATV and don't want to risk getting someone else's problems. Thanks for all and any help!

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That's interesting that they want to pull the head off and suggest boring it out already. I'm assuming they took a look at timing, fuel, spark, etc. Unless it ran without oil or overheated, I wouldn't start opening the motor. Have they run a compression test?

As far as how much to put into an ATV, I would look at book value vs how much you have invested with the purchase of the ATV and then how much it would cost you to get another one. Looks liek that machine is valued around $2k and if you cant get another one for $1k, I would probably fix it. http://www.nadaguides.com/Motorcycles/2003/Polaris/SPORTSMAN-500-H-O-499cc/Values

If it's going to be around $2k, you may want to look for another machine for $2k and sell this one as is for $500 to $1000 or so to make up some money.

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I'm  with   Ajmboy.  From  your description,  I'd say  they seem to be looking  at padding their repair  bill. Not starting and backfiring  sounds  much more a timing problem  , either  valve timing  because of a  slipped  timing  chain   or an electrical  timing problem..  A  piston / rings  problem  would not  cause the backfiring.  $1000  for  a rebore /rebuild?.. Sounds a bit much to me;  but  I'd rebuild  the one  you  have  rather than risk  buying  another  used that  may also  have a hidden  problem.  At  least with a rebuild , you  know  you  have  a  good  machine..  I'd  check around with  other  quad / bike shops before  authorizing  that  outfit to  rebuild  your  machine though.

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Some more info... they drained the oil from the upper plug and it was bad/murky.  There was NO oil from the lower plug, so they are thinking maybe bad oil pump as well.  Compression test resulted in 40% loss.  I trust the dealer, just don't want to throw a bunch of money into something where reliability is unknown.  They will open up the engine later this week, and see if they can tell what's wrong.  Think I might be able to recoup $1000 by parting it out, or selling it as a whole as non-running?

 

Thanks again for the info!

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Dealer believes the oil pump is bad.  Labor to get to the lower engine for new oil pump, bore out/new piston, rebuild, and other parts could be around $2000.  Looks like I have a new lawn ornament!  Going to list it as a "project/non-running" machine and hope to get $1000 for it.  Will sell off the plow and rear seat separately.  Lesson learned- looking to pay more for a used ATV from a dealer.

Thanks for all of the help and information.

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You have to know when to hold them and when to fold them.  If the repairs are approaching 75% of replacement value, I would say its time to part it out or sell as a project 

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on that same note, I got a Honda trx250 for free, said it had run out of oil. I have bored the head and replaced the piston pin, piston and rings, cleaned the carb and got it running, also verified that the oil pump is working. But now there is no movement when I put it in gear, forward or reverse. So getting read to go in and look at the clutch, I am proceeding in the correct direction?

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I'm afraid I'm in the same boat, bought my son 2006 Kodiak and knew it was a little rough but it started and ran. Needless to say, it didn't last long. Found a deal on two 500 sportsman's and I have a new project with the Kodiak.

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just bought a dead 93 kawasaki bayou 400 and starting to look at parts out of curiosity as to weather or not replacement parts are cheap enough to make it worth my while. so far not looking too bad.

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Hey just got a free 2003 Kodiak 450 that caught on fire, having fun getting it to run but expensive. Reading up to see if I rebuild carb that caught on fire or non-oem. Harness done but speed sensor and magnetic wire next. 

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Reading this thread, I am not sure if I am lucky or not... I have just acquired a free 1987 Kawasaki KSF250A Mojave, not near nice as what other people here have found... There are parts missing and broken, is it worth less than I paid for it ($0), would I be dumb to try to make this thing work?

 

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