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2000 Polaris Sportsman - Grinds Into Any Gear


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I recently bought a 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 4x4 with CVT. The bike runs great. Starts right up and motor sounds solid. My problem is sometimes when I shift into gear it grinds as I'm shifting. I always make sure the bike is at a complete stop, I press the foot brake on, and I shift the lever into HIGH or LOW or REVERSE and it grinds as it pops in gear. I'm guessing maybe the idle is too high or I may need a new clutch kit. It has the original stock CVT clutch (springs and weights) so it's probably due for some maintenance. I have adjusted the throttle screw on the carb and when I first turn on bike when cold it idles fine, but after I've been riding a while and she is good and warmed up she idles slightly higher which then creates this horrible grind noise when I shift into gear. My old '92 Polaris Trail Boss did the exact same thing but I found if I applied the foot brake it stopped it from grinding. Pressing the foot brake as I shift doesn't seem to help. I have not opened up the cvt cover to investigate the pulleys yet. Any advice before I start dismantling parts? I'm thinking I will adjust my idle down a little. If this doesn't help I'll take a look at the CVT. Previous owner claims he installed a NEW belt, but never messed the pulleys. And on a side note I plan on changing the stock 25" tires with some 26" or 27" mud tires. This would be a good reason to upgrade my bike with a clutch kit. It would help turn the bigger tires and I'm guessing it might help with this grinding problem.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I am handy with a wrench, but I am not a mechanic by trade. :huh:

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Hey thanks. I will adjust the idle down tonight when I can. Previously it was set so low the bike kept stalling, so I bumped up the throttle a tad. I'll lower it bk down and see if I can find the perfect setting between NOT stalling and NOT grinding when I shift gear. On a side note, I did notice one quirk about this bike and how she shifts gears. If I am towing something heavy with the bike and it's under tension I cannot shift gears. If I am in HIGH gear it will stay in HIGH gear. I discovered this when i was rescuing my buddy stuck in the mud. I went to tow him out of a hole and after moving a few feet forward, I stopped, and went to shift into reverse to back up and release the tension on tow rope. The hand gear shifter moved but the bike was not changing gears. It was stuck in HIGH forward gear. I manually pushed the bike back enough to release tension on tow rope and Voila! The bike could shift again. Now my Big Bear sometimes does the same thing, (shift from High forward to REVERSE) especially if bike in on an incline, but if I rock the quad back and forth the gear shifter shifts fine. My '98 Yamaha Big Bear 350 is a semi auto, I must shift with foot lever. I'm still discovering the good and bad about this Polaris. The bike rides really smooth. It just takes a lot of revs to make the CVT move the bike. That's another reason I want a clutch kit. I'd like her to engage the wheels sooner when throttle is squeezed. It's a work in progress. :cute:

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OK here's an update. I adjusted the throttle screw on my bike's carb and lowered my idle. The bike no longer grinds when I put it in gear, but still requires a bit of force to pop it in gear. I removed the cvt cover and discovered the pullyes were out of alignment. Previous owner had recently chgd the CVT belt and never adjusted the alignment or didn't notice. Any way the belt is slightly chewed on one side in one small spot. I fear it's going to wear prematurely due to this. It started to fray on same side it was rubbing. I was able to align the belt on pulleys. I did notice the belt is spinning while it's in neutral. Is belt supposed to spin in neutral? I thought it was supposed to not move or only move slowly. The bike still pops into gear but it's not grinding. I think this feeling of the shifter popping into gear might be because the belt is moving. My old Polaris Trail boss belt used to spin in neutral but when I pressed the rear foot brake pedal it'd stop. My newer 2000 Polaris sportsman 500 rear foot brake pedal doesn't seem to affect the belt spinning in neutral. I think this bike is due for a clutch kit. Replace the old cvt spring and weights that are probably worn out. BTW the bike has severe engine braking. When I let off the throttle the bike slows down very fast as if it's braking. Is this a sign of the CVT needing repair and/or maintenance? I like this bike and I'm trying to save money and repair it myself. My local ATV shop has high hourly rates for work. Any help is greatly appreciated! :wink:

Quadcrazy Pol CVT pic.jpg


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  • 1 month later...

Another update, well I finally finished putting my new heavy duty cvt belt on and EPI clutch kit. Now when I shift into gear the bike doesnt grind. WooHoo! I only road the ATV around my yard and up and down street to see how the cvt was engaging. This EPI kit works well. It came with 2 primary springs and one secondary spring and a new helix. The bike takes off like a rocket now! I bought the kit with the intention of changing my current stock 25" tires for taller mud tires. This EPI claims its designed for tires 27"-28" tall. Ill update again after I trail ride it. BTW if u want to tackle a CVT kit like the one I installed u will need this special Polaris CLutch spider removal tool. I had to make a jig to hold the clutch in place and I unscrewed the spider off. Its torqued down tight so youll need a breaker bar to crack her loose.

popo clutch spider removal tool.JPG




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