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Discussion Starter #1
The last day I rode my 2014 550 Indy LXT back in January (in Minnesota) the starter failed to engage all the way and made a terribly loud screeching/grinding noise when I hit the starter button. I let go then gave it another try, the second time it engaged normally and the engine started and ran fine. I put the sled away that night for the year then forgot about it when I flew back home to WA.

The battery was in good condition and fully charged as far as I know. When the starter engages properly the engine turns over rapidly. Might there be a loose connection on the starter that keeps it from fully engaging? Thanks.

Ranb
 

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Yeah just pull it and see whats up?
I beet a good cleaning and it will be fine!
If you feel better about it, take in to your local auto electric repair shop!
They can check out the bushings and brushes?
 

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Probably just needs a cleaning. The spring also can get mangled and is replaceable. 50 cents for that part.


Could also be that the gears were just in the wrong position and just grind that one time, may never happen again.

Or it could be that the bolts holding the starter on have come loose. Tighten it all up and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just pull it. This is reminding me of the time my VN-750 (bike) alternator shorted out. First step was to remove the engine as the frame blocked access to the alternator cover. In the case of the Indy 550 LXT I have to remove the primary drive to gain access to the bottom bolt holding the starter in place. No problem, I'll just spend $15 on a puller.

Problem; google likes to return search results for Sportsmen 500 ATV's even when I enter "polaris 550 indy lxt clutch puller". Do I have a Fuji or non-Fuji motor? Beats me. This was making my brain hurt. Plenty of tools out there for 2011 and earlier sleds also.

Then I saw the can of WD-40 on the workbench. If it is just a dirty shaft on the starter gear, then maybe I can spray it clean. But I recalled years ago when I was shooting my Browning Buckmark (a 22lr semi-auto pistol) in -10F weather. I cleaned off the gun oil with WD-40 so that it would function in the cold. But even WD-40 turned to gum in that weather.

Long story short I said the heck with it. Worst case scenario is that I still have to pull start the sled. I engaged the gear with my hands and sprayed it down good. It properly engages now when using the electric start. I repeated the engaging/spraying a 2nd time. Now I just have to see it is works properly in cold winter weather.


My thoughts on the Polaris 550 2-seat sled. I bought it because my wife and I are in MN for ten days over Christmas. Neither one of us rides enough to become anything more than novice riders, so we wanted the lightest 2-seat sled we could find. I wanted a a fuel injected 4-stroke, but they were 50 pounds heavier and $2000 more expensive, so 2-stroke Polaris it was. We are rarely off the trails and only put about 100-150 miles a year on it.

The battery/starter combo is a joke. Even fully charged it will not turn over the motor in -10F weather. In the coldest weather it starts, but I typically have another person help pull the starter cord; it is that hard to turn over the engine.

The mirrors appeared to have been installed for decoration only. Prior to breaking off, they vibrated too much to be of much use on the trail. I bought a steel mirror that mounts on the hand grip. The choke lever is another poorly designed part. It should be made from aluminum or steel, not the fragile plastic that breaks off if not treated very gently. The reverse button does not function in the manner stated in the manual, but it still works fine once I figured out how it actually works.

That said I have no regrets with this sled. It is fun.
 

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One thing to try when you are riding and expect to ride the next day in really cold weather... when it's time to shut down for the day, apply the choke lever before shutting down so that the cylinders get a bunch of extra fuel. The fuel will help wash off some of the oil on the pistons and cylinders and may make it a little easier to start the next day.



I would also make sure you are using a good synthetic oil. It's a bit better in the cold than regular oil.
 

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VES Gold is Synthetic, the Polaris Blue is a semi-synthetic and is stinky as all get out compared to VES Gold and Amsoil. Every Polaris sled from the ones from the 1980s to the late 1990s call for Blue and I run Amsoil for a reason.

It doesn't smell anywhere near as bad, you use much much less and the sled still gets the proper amount of oil needed.

A 2014 should be calling for at least VES Gold I would think which my dad has run in the past and works pretty good but still isn't as good as Amsoil.

Even in testing including cold test against many manufacturers of 2 Stroke Oil full synthetics Amsoil always comes out on top.
 

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Coolhand makes a good point. Some oils flow better at lower temperatures than others, even if they are both synthetic. Maybe Amsoil will help, or maybe another brand. It's up to you to determine if it's worth switching oils.



I ran Polaris Gold in my 800 until the warranty ran out, then switched to Amsoil. I've been using Amsoil for a few years in the 600 and 700 with no issues. The temps have not been really low for a few years, but even on those days where we were hitting single digits, the engines pulled over ok.
 

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Amsoil testing across the board vs known car oil manufactures comes in first as well. I can't afford to buy it but if I could I would use it in my vehicles in a heartbeat.


Amsoil across the board tends to win in testing. That only shows the cold testing pour but other sites have more as well with it #1

The difference between the Amsoil and VES in cold temps is very drastic imho.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The winter temperatures during xmas 2019 are 20-35 F, perfect for riding right now. With 18 inches of powder on the ground the trails are very nice.

Cleaning the starter gear with DW-40 worked; the starter engages nearly every time now. Of course with the mild weather pull starting the sled is easy.

I'll clean it each summer while at home now.

Ranb
 

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Good to hear.

Too warm for me to ride. Has to be at least 20 degrees or below anything warmer then that then I die from sweating constantly. Plus my sleds are liquid compared to your fan and they are setup for the 20 degrees and under. That is the one advantage to a fan you can ride in warmer weather then us.

We had our trails groomed and rideable but the past 4-5 days of 35-40 has killed them outright and we are going to have a few more days like this unfortunately so it looks like January sometime before any of us in Northeast Wisconsin will get out unless I travel which bleh no point at my age.
 
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