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1994 sportsman 400 4 x 4 won't engage


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I have a 1994 sportsman 400. I got it stuck this weekend and found out the 4 x 4 is not engaing. Thru further investigation I found out the basic way the front hubs lock is by magnetizing the hubs and locking them. I am not getting power to the hubs, but it seems that I should be able to tap into any electrical source and run it thru the 4 x 4 push button switch and it should work. What is you guys opinion. I am a good mechanic, but this is the first atv I have owned.



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That is as good of an idea is any IMO. Although if there is an opening in the circuit after the switch, then you may just need to find the short or break in the wire and fix it. I would start by tracing power from the battery down the circuit until you find where the power is lost. It could be the switch itself. If you can't find any problems anywhere, then I would just try applying power directly to the mechanism. If it still doesn't work, then it stands to reasont that the actuator itself is the problem.

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I am getting approx. 3 volts out of what I would call the distribution panel to the switch and that is as far a s I got. How do I determine how many volts should be going to the front hubs? 3 volts seems reasonable because the wires going down to the hubs are tiny. I would say maybe 20 or 22 gauge.

Thanks, Mike

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in my experiance with quads, (bout 25 years) i can tell u a cuple of quick fixin' basics

were u stuck in mud? Rainy? Or silty like hell? Or stuck in branches and shrubs?

1 there are 2 fine cables running up the atv from the hubs, check for damage, also take off the center front plastic cover, no tools needed, and check if they got disconected, 2 hubs at the time not working feels easy to trace, if yor bike has the big panel with all conections visible (center front plastic) check for bad conections on grounds, brown cables me thinks

2 conector to your 4x4 right handle, they get dirty very easy, pull the conector, 2 lil' locks easy to press, and clean the conectors, also you can pull each wire out of the conector and giv'it a lil' tight up, hard to explain and my english not so good, but i bet u can figure it out, one thing, dont pry hard or start bangin with hammer, usually people tend to do that and make more damege than good, and end up been my clients


3 check for continuity between the cables that go to hubs (disconect first) also check for power between cables (conected)

that will help u at least to narrow down the problem

happy trails

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I went by and got a wiring diagram from the local dealer and figured out a few things.

1. My neutral switch is bad which is the root of my problem. Because of this voltage is never sent to the four wheel drive on demand switch.

2. I took the "hot" wire off the 12v auxillery socket and hot wired the swith and still nothing.

3. I tested the wires going down to the front struts and appairently have a problem in the hub somewhere so I am going to tear into this later.

I guess I am going to be quad crazy 1994 sportsman 4 x 4 experty by the time I am done. I plan to write a full post over all the checks and procedures when I am finishe. If it all works... Ha Ha.

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I tore the front strut housing down and the coil that makes the electro magnets were frayed. That was the root of the problem. The new magnets were suprisingly cheap. 27 bucks each. I am going to try to take out the neutral switch and fix it or replace so I don't have to hot wire it. If the swith works properly it should send power to the hubs.

thanks and I will let you know how it comes out.


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  • 12 years later...

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