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Old 03-19-2011, 11:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Need advice on engine rebuild

My son recently bought his first sled--a used 2008 Polaris Dragon. After a few uses, it freezes up--it is a Dragon. Dealer says it needs cylinder, et al. Says he will repair it to "the latest and greatest". After $2000 of rebuild he says it's "good to go" and my son is off for a vacation ride. I used to race motorcycles and know the 2-stroke ritual and advised him to follow the book on break-in (even though the dealer said he already broke it in). He carefully spent 5 hours following the book. On first day of real riding engine light comes on, he stops, cools it off, light goes away. Light comes on again later, he stops, light then goes away for 1-1/2 days of riding. He thought light came on because it had a rich mixture from oil manually poured into gas tank by dealer. On next day engine bogs badly (no light ever appears). Vacation is over for him. Takes sled back to dealer. Dealer says it needs total new engine. Says the fuel filter was clogged. Son asks why they didn't check it/change it on engine rebuild, they say he didn't ask for a service. (He asked them to fix his sled, didn't tell them what to do or how to do it). Dealer says he must have bought bad gas even though 30 other riders in his riding group had no issues with gas.

Dealer refuses to rebuild, repair or refund.

My question: is this bad gas thing for real or just a dealer excuse? What should he have done differently? Does he have any recourse? I think the bad fuel filter may have caused the original engine breakdown and was never found/fixed by the dealer. Note: 300 miles from rebuild to breakdown.

Your expertise and thoughts are welcome.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Somethin seems fishy there. Sounds like a dealer cover-up. We took my dad's 93 Cougar in last year, they got it back to us 3 weeks later, we went and put gas in it, and the next morning it wouldn't start. Took it back and they tried to tell us we put diesel in it. Gas station we went to doesn't even sell diesel. Seems to be a common thing for dealers to blame issues on fuel. If possible, I would try find a different dealer and explain to them your situation and maybe they can help you out.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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ANGRY I would be!!!
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds like they are avoiding responsibility to me too. You may have to go higher up the food chain to Polaris, but good luck with that too. The 08 800 has had a LOT of problems with burndowns, Polaris had a major recall on all of them.

Hope you can find some relief, that really sucks.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Stealers are just that! Thry likely did less than what you could have done yourself at home! One more reason I tell people to do it them self!
A 2 stoke engine is one of the simpleist to work on! If you were haveing an over heating issue, there could have been an air bubble in the coolant? If there is a bog either the clutches are dirty or belt worn??? But could be loosing a cyl?
I would call Polaris directly!
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i believe that if it was bad fuel, more than 1 rider out
of 20 would of had problems. i have been a tech for 25yrs,
and only have seen contaminated gas about 10 times.
that being said, i also have polaris buddies, and the
stealership will not help you. so lesson learned?

look for a GOOD service manual and study,study.
like kc says, the 2stroke is a very simple engine to work on.
save your money for upgrades and fix yourself.
were all here, and will help u in the future!!
we all wana ride!!!
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Kat View Post
He thought light came on because it had a rich mixture from oil manually poured into gas tank by dealer.

This may have been part of the problem there... Adding oil to the gas makes it LEANER, not richer. Your engine is still putting in the same amount of liquid and air, but the liquid it is putting in is less fuel than before. Less fuel = leaner. In that same regard, less fuel = hotter temps.

Do you know how much oil was dumped in?
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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They put a quart of oil in the tank when I picked it up. By the end the sled would barely go, spitting fire, backfiring like a mad man. I had to get it back to town and was able to limp it the remaining 10-15 miles. Dealer says they stand behind any work they do and that the top end was not the issue, rather it was the fuel filter. Engine is completely toast, cracked the cylinder, piston missing a very large chunk.

I had my eye on the temp the entire time, never got above 130 and the scratchers were always down. And like my father said I gave them the ok to fix it. I said "do whatever it takes." Not " fix the first thing you find wrong." Owner of the shop was smooth talking me and would not take me seriously (I'm only 24). But I can see through his BS. And as for fixing it myself I would love to, but I work seven days a week, and the trip was just over a week out. Hopefully we can get a hold of somebody at Polaris and let them know how their dealer operates.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Not taking you seriously at 24? Heck, I'm 17 and they know dang well to take me seriously. Sounds a lot to me like a dealer trying to take advantage of a poor situation and not have to take it out of his pockets. Call polaris or lawyer up.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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a quart of oil to a tank is waaay too much!!
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Renagade View Post
a quart of oil to a tank is waaay too much!!
I'll second that. You'd be running like 15:1.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Push harder, ask for some type of evidential proof that bad fuel or a clogged filter would cause engine failure, not their opinion on the matter.

It is virtually impossible for "bad fuel to cause an internal engine failure.
A plugged filter can cause some issues but it will run poorly as well.

They are trying to pass the buck. Small claims and or picketing will get the repairs needed.
Get 20 friends to stand on the sidewalk with signs and another 10 or so to stop by every so often and take pictures, you will get listened to much more closely.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thank you guys, amazing response! I thought the bad gas excuse was pretty lame. About the rich/lean mixture. We were thinking the same thing, I had always thought a rich mixture was rich in oil--I guess from my old mixing oil in a can of gas. But wouldn't more oil make it run cooler? Or does oil burn hotter? Can anyone elaborate on that?

The dealer said he didn't check the oil filter (sounds as though that would not have caused a total engine blowup anyway) because my son did not ask for a "service". (He asked him to fix his sled). Wouldn't a dealer doing a total engine rebuild check those things?

This dealership obviously doesn't want to give up their profits on the rebuild. And they sure don't want to incur costs for another. Satisfied customer and business integrity be damned.

We'll talk to them again, if no action, then to Polaris, if Polaris doesn't care, then on to small claims court. And if that doesn't fly we'll let the lawyers battle it out. 7bicks--I like that picketing idea too.

Again, thanks for your input. We'll keep you posted.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Oil doesn't burn well at all, so it doesn't add to the fuel ratio. As smokingcrater stated, the oil in the fuel displaces that much fuel and leans out the mix. Pretty much every new sled comes with oil in the fuel for break in. One quart in 12 gallons of fuel is 48:1, add the 50:1 injected by the oil pump, you are at about 26:1. That should make the sled smoke like crazy, but burn up? I have double oiled and have had no issues, but those were carb engines and weren't jetted on the edge. CFI engines are a lot closer to burndown to make power and keep emissions in check.

I'm betting you will be calling Polaris on this one. Good luck.
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