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joedirt

2001 polaris explorer 400 coolant problems

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, hope someone can help me out here.. i went on a 240 km ride saturday , on the way home my overheat light came on , i checked the coolant and it was very low, i filled it up and the bike smoked very bad but went away after 5 min or so .. but i noticed my pull cord is soaking wet with coolant .. is there a gasket or o-ring gone bad?? what happen ???? thanks for the help guys

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I would check all the hoses and radiator for signs of leaks, antifreeze will leave a whitish residue where it has been. Unfortunately though, it sounds to me like the most likely cause is a blown head gasket, or a cracked cylinder. If you don't find any evidence of a leak on the outside, I would pop the head off and take a look, even if you find no problem there, it is something you want to rule out, and a head gasket is not that expensive. It is kind of a pain in the ass to do though. Good luck.

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thanks DIRTDEMON , i have all the plastic's off the bike so it is easy to get at the head right now ...i guess i will check there first .. you dont think its the seals or gaskets around the water pump ????? just a guess anyways ?? the quad still runs great just for the first 10 min it smokes bad but speed is still there , just loseing coolant which im finding in the pull start area

Edited by joedirt

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It's the smoking that makes me think it is the head gasket. I think the reason you are finding the water in the pullstarter is because it is settling in the crankcase and leaking past the crank seal. That leads me to believe that you should check the other side of the crank to see if water has been leaking past that seal. I believe there is oil on that side of the crank, so you should be able to tell by if there is water in the oil. Water in the crank case will comprimise the lubricating ability of the mixed fuel. It wouldn't be a bad idea to pull the cylinder off too and check the crank bearings. Unfortunately if they appear bad, you will need to split the engine case to get in there. You may need to split the cases anyway, since the starter side crank seal is on the inside of the motor. If that is where the water is coming from, that seal is likely worn.

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i pulled the head off today and the gasket is a metal gasket, it had coolant all over it top and bottom so im sure its shot .. i pulled the recoil side off the bike too and the coolant is in there .. i recently rebuilt engine like 6 months ago and changed all seals , bearing, and gaskets... im hopeing to just change the head gasket and sell the bike ,, time to move up a few years !!!!!!!!!

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If you replaced all that stuff recently, it should be ok as long as it hasn't been running like this for very long. I would still definately check the other side of the crank and make sure there isn't any water in the oil over there. If there is, just change the oil. Water gets past the seals much easier than oil, so hopefully they will still hold oil. Also, if you are having head gasket problems 6 months after a rebuild, you may want to check your head and cylinder deck for warpage. If there is no warpage, perhaps the head bolts were not torqued down properly, make sure you are torquing the bolts in the right sequence and using the proper tightening steps. Or perhaps you did not re-torque the bolts after the first few hours of riding as you should. Point being, the head gasket should not have failed after 6 months, your problem may have just been that the bolts were a bit loose. At any rate good luck, and happy atv hunting.

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