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Hello from the Hoosier National Forest

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I'm Micah I live in southern Indiana in the Hoosier national forest. Just picked up my first ATV for extra cheap and I've gotta get it up and running from sitting in a friend's shed for a few years. It's a '95 Polaris Xplorer 400. I've had a little bit of experience with simple ATV stuff from the cheap chinese atv my in-laws bought for our kids. I don't expect nearly as many headaches but would love suggestions on what things to go through before putting in a battery, gas, and oil and trying to fire it up.


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2 stroke I think... I think in 1995 there was only one xplorer and it was a 2 stroke Polaris 400 xplorer 4x4. I just ordered a battery looks like I'll need a full set of tires but I might be able to putt around they just all have slow leak dry rot so enough for making sure it moves but not seeing how well it GOES 😉 I'm going to change all the fluids and hit all the grease spots. After that I'm not sure what else I should check over before a fill up and trying to fire it up. I'd certainly be thrilled for a checklist of what to run through before I try and start it considering It's been in shed storage for a few years.


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Definitely, drain and flush the gas tank out and test for good fuel flow from the tank. if the tank is really bad then pull it off and fill it with hot water and a dish detergent like dawn, its a good grease/sludge cutter.  Put the cap on and shake the sh** out of the tank and dump it. Run clean water in the tank and drain it again and blow it out with some air.  

Definitely add an inline fuel filter as well.  
Second is to open the air box and check for rodents.  They love to nest in there and eat the air filter up.  

Hopefully the fuel was turned off and the carburetor is not full of dried up skunky gas which will look like varnish now. If so then your going to need to get the carburetor off and rebuild it. Not so hard and theres plenty of info here to help you along.  
You definitely want to change the oil straight away and put a cheap 10w-5 in there so oil pumps up quickly when the engine is started- (Its a thinner oil). Then after its been ran for a while change it again and go to a normal weight oil. 
If the engine is good and running properly then you can spend the money and replace the differential fluids and any other fluids.  I cant remember if that was water cooled but obviously all fluids.   
Spark plug is a must and make sure you check your wiring for any corrosion good grounds etc.   

Get a can of WD-40 and use the red tube it comes with and spray the levers, springs and cables good. Stick that tube where the inner brake cables go into the outer protective coating and spray. It will work its way down inside the cable. Same for the throttle and choke cables.  

Make sure you connect the battery the right way on the terminals 12+ (red)      12- (black) Easy mistake to make and a pain in the as* to correct! 
As far as tires before you buy anything take a look on eBay. You may find a good set of tires with rims for $100 bucks.  

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@Frank Angerano Thanks! I hadn't even thought of trying a thinner oil at first. The hand brake isn't a cable but has brake fluid and it looks like it's not budging at all right now. I'll have to crack that open; it's "resevoir" is right on the handlebar. It is water cooled so yeah I'm planning on changing that too.

Good tip on the tires they will likely be the very last thing bought after I know I've got everything else up and going but I'll keep my eye open for a good deal to show up.

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Thats is the "master cylinder" on the handlebars.  Def crack the lid but not all the way.  When you go to pry that caliper open the fluid will shoot out of that reservoir.  As far as coolant I'm guessing if it was sealed with the cap on hopefully the system is clean and the coolant is still somewhat green? If so then top it off for now and let the engine run to see if the thermostat and pump are working.   Also there is a sensor in the radiator that brings the fan on so you will have to keep an eye that to make sure the fan comes on when called for by the sensor.  

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Okay, yeah I'm going to have to take off the gas tank like you said @Frank Angerano It's got a dried pool of goo in one corner from what I can see. There's an in line fuel filter right before the Carb so easy to see when the seat is off. Not going to start that until maybe Thursday. Air filter is pretty bad so I'll probably replace that. He used some of the old foam type of material you'd use on your shop vac for the wet stuff around the air filter and sewed it up to stay on, any suggestions on whether I should put something like that back on?

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