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1995 Polaris XLT Touring
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Discussion Starter #1
So in my last two posts I've been dealing with trying to get my XLT running. 10 miles on it so far this winter between 3 runs, all of which ended in me limping back to the garage.

Carbs meticulously cleaned twice, fuel pump & filter replaced, lines inspected, oil pump adjusted electrical tested. All of those are good now, problem still not resolved. Seemed to start fine then lose power when hot. Now it doesn't want to start up and hold idle anymore. Starts but idle drops immediately unless feathering the throttle, then dies.

No signs of leaks from the engine - no coolant where it shouldn't be, couldn't get the engine to rev differently spraying carb cleaner around the crank seals or carb boots.

Compression seems to have dipped to 100 psi across the board now. I took some pictures of the piston heads with my cheap phone borescope and they look... Gross to be honest.

Mag side:
65986
65987
65988


Center:
65989
65990
65991


PTO side:
65992
65993
65994


Does the wash on these tell a story of my issues? It looks like at least two were running really rich, maybe all 3. I did have to back the oil pump off a little bit to set to spec, and the air screws were set to 1.5 turns rather than 1 when I bought it this summer.

IF I'm looking at a top end needed, I have a spare engine without a crank. Could I get away with swapping in those pistons to my crank, using the spare block and at least salvaging some of the winter before a full proper rebuild this summer? I know it's not ideal or recommended but I'd be looking at $500+ for a full rebuild, a bit more if I'm doing the crank over with a 4th oil line mod and new pump and I'd much rather wait until the summer since I've had a few other expenses come up that cash has already been spent on.
 

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You could swap over other pistons but there is the cost of gasket set!
Honestly I would spend another $150 and get 3 new pistons
 

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Well,since you have spare pistons and a cylinder block not getting used, I would invest in some gaskets a use them. It's only a little labor. That will give you a chance to get a closer look at everything and get some measurements. It would be nice to put new rings on those spare pistons but if you know the mileage isn't high I would stick with the stock polaris rings for now. Your pistons are pretty black and carbony. They must have been running rich and doggy for a while. It sucks because these sleds run fantastic when they run right. I used to hate my XLT, mostly because it has pink stripes, so I used it as my back up sled. That back up sled got a lot of miles on it over the years because ti always runs and runs and runs.
 

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1995 Polaris XLT Touring
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480 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
You could swap over other pistons but there is the cost of gasket set!
Honestly I would spend another $150 and get 3 new pistons
I can get a full top-end kit, but here in the great white north it's $320 for the 3-piston kit and full top end gaskets. and that's if they don't ding me for any additional duty at the border.

I'm honestly just thinking at the moment that I'll need to wait till the summer to bother with anything... I just had to replace an above range microwave, need a new windshield on the wife's car in a couple of months, and I've got a few thousand dollar income tax bill coming in the next few months... Shame because everything else on the sled has been thoroughly gone over. If it was in rough shape it would be getting parted out, but for $350 bucks, maybe $500 tops for the crank work, it's probably worth it to put in the $ and work, get the engine running like a top and ride for a few seasons until deciding to upgrade.
 

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Piston wash looks like its a little on the rich side. I usually like to see 1/4-1/2" of wash from transfer ports. If your compression tester is reading 100 accross the board, I'd be a little suspect of the gauge. Its rare for compression problems to be consistant on multiple cylinders, unless the engine is completely worn out.
 

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1995 Polaris XLT Touring
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Discussion Starter #6
So after troubleshooting fuel and electrical, and consulting with a few other guys I know and showing them the photos I've taken, they suggested taking the head off and inspecting the top of the pistons and the cylinders.

Might take that on this weekend. Is there anything I should be looking for specifically?

I grabbed my spare engine to check if it's any good and I see some corner wear on the piston skirts and there's surface rust on the cylinders that would be honed badly before even considering using it, so I'm going to steer clear of that idea.
66010
66011
66012
 

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I would home that with lotsa WD 40 like have someone keep spraying as you run the drill and go up and down as quick as you can for 30 seconds!
Rinse with you guessed it WD40!
Your pistons look fine very little blow by, and for piston wash as I remember it was a bit rich but your oil looked high?
 
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