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1997 500 Polaris Sportsman 4 wheel drive wont work


jamison1969

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I have a 97" polaris sportsman 500 and the 4 wheel drive wont work, it just didnt work one day. I dont know when or why it went out. It has a 4 wheel drive button on the handle bars and it is on and i have turned it on and off but no go............ any thoughts or ideas, please help. I need it for sat. i will never get out on this small lake for ice fishing with out my wheeler, thanks in advance jamie.

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The first thing I would check is the 4wd button, you need to make sure that the switch is sending the signal to whatever actuator engages the 4wd. If you have a multimeter, you can test for continuity across the switch. The next step would be to trace the wires from the switch to whatever mechanism it activates. Look for damage to the wires or loose connections, maybe there is a fuse for the 4wd system, if so, check that. If you can determine that power is being sent to the 4wd actuator when you hit the 4wd button, then you need to check and see if the actuator itself is working. This will probably mean removing it and visually inspecting to see if it seems to be functioning properly. If all these things are working, you problem is something mechanical, could be anywhere. Put the quad on jack stands so that all 4 tires are off the ground. Put the machine in gear, and engage the 4wd button. Then see if you can hear any strange sounds when you try to engage the 4wd. This may help you determine where the problem is. I believe the entire front drive system is enclosed, so you can't really see any of the moving parts without taking the gearcase or the front diff apart. If you can't find any problems, you may just need to start tearing into the thing. A repair manual would be a worthwhile purchase, not only will it have instructions for tearing down and re-assembling your quad, it will have some troubleshooting tips as well. Good luck.

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  • 2 months later...

If you shoot power to the grey wires on the panel it will engage the 4x4 bypassing the switch. easy way to check it out. id give the switch a wd40 bath sometimes that works.

If power to the wires doesn't work the hubs may be grimed up and need to be pulled apart and cleaned but seldom do I get both to fail at the same time usually its only when its in 3 wheel drive!

Good luck Todd Polarisatvrepair.com

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  • 4 years later...
If you shoot power to the grey wires on the panel it will engage the 4x4 bypassing the switch. easy way to check it out. id give the switch a wd40 bath sometimes that works.

If power to the wires doesn't work the hubs may be grimed up and need to be pulled apart and cleaned but seldom do I get both to fail at the same time usually its only when its in 3 wheel drive!

Good luck Todd Polarisatvrepair.com

Did you send power to the gray wire? And did that work for you? Iam having the same proablem with my 96 sportman 400.

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  • 1 month later...
  • Admin changed the title to 1997 500 Polaris Sportsman 4 wheel drive wont work
  • 4 years later...

It seemd the other day when i got stuck i turned the fourwheel drive on and it did absolutely nothing. The back spun and the front were just dead. Its a 99 Sportsman 4x4 EBS. It keeps breking axels because the 4x4 keeps engaing and disengaging. When the fourwheel drive decides to work it jerks the sterring and snaps the axel. The 4x4 sucks and it will sometimes work and sometimes wont. 

20221114_181809.jpg

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Some of those things are a bit hard to test if the four wheels working. You should read the service manual. They only actually engage the front wheels if there is slippage, as soon as the traction is regained they disengage themselves automatically. Just pushing the button doesn't mean they are necessarily going to engage four wheel drive.

In the case of the breaking axles, and the grabbing of the steering, I'd suspect a faulty cv or universal.

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