Tom Keifer of the band Cinderella once belted out a great 1980’s power ballad with what are probably some of the most truthful lyrics ever. “Don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone”. Whether you’re a farmer, a hunter, or just a plain old off-road enthusiast, it’s easy to become very reliant on your ATV. Over time your regular routine even becomes dependent on having a trusty ATV to haul you from place to place, carry supplies, or pull a load. It becomes easy to take the relationship for granted. Eventually, even the best maintained ATV will suffer some kind of failure, and THAT is the day you’ll figure out how much your ATV really means to you.
EVERY ROSE HAS ITS THORN
For our workhorse 1999 Polaris Sportsman 500, that day came recently. After 18 years of faithful service, the mighty Sportsman had literally “lost the spark” and fell into silent uselessness. After years of running a winch and hand warmers, and quite honestly being jump started and ran on a crappy battery too many times, we finally suffered a catastrophic ignition failure. The epoxy that holds the magnets to the inside of the flywheel released, allowing the magnets to do all sorts of vile things to our stator. In case you’re curious to know what that sounds like when it happens… it sounds a lot like a cash register. CHA-CHING!
After a sobering visit to our favorite Polaris parts website, we found that the OEM stator and flywheel would cost us close to $800 in parts alone. That little slap of reality convinced us to seek a source for aftermarket parts, so we surfed on over to www.rmstator.com to see what they offered for our disabled Sportsman. As it turns out, the folks at RMStator are well acquainted with the electrical woes of these aging ATVs and offered all of the parts we needed and more. As an added incentive, the RMStator replacement flywheel is an updated design which encases the magnets in a thin metal liner to keep our failure from recurring.
A short time later, our virtual cart was full with all of the parts we’d need to have our Sportsman breathing fire again. Not only did we procure a new, updated flywheel ($199) and stator ($159), but we also splurged on a new, high-performance CDI box ($59). Because our Sportsman typically uses a lot of electrical accessory power, we also thought it would be a good idea to replace our aging and somewhat crusty-looking voltage regulator/rectifier. Since the RMStator replacement part was a modest $49, it seemed like money well spent. We also discovered that in addition to all of the ignition parts we’d need, RMStator offered a universal flywheel puller ($49) that would come in very handy since ours suffered a catastrophic failure after being used as an emergency gear puller on a past endeavor. All totaled, for $515 with free US shipping, our cart contained all of the parts to completely replace our Sportsman’s destroyed and aged primary ignition and charging system. That’s almost $300 less than just the OEM stator and flywheel. And with RMStator we got better than OEM quality parts! Bonus!
DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’
A few days later our package showed up and we began the process of bringing life back to our Polaris. All things considered, this was a fairly simple job. The toughest part is removal and replacement of the regulator/rectifier which is mounted to the frame rail in a nice tight area under the hood in front of the radiator. It helps to have small, but strong hands for this part of the job, and we’d recommend doing it on a flat, clean surface as you’re likely to drop the screws somewhere between two and one hundred times. All of our new parts installed perfectly. Every part is a direct OEM replacement and is completely plug-and-play. RMStator also supplies a packet of dielectric silicone grease with their parts which helps your connections slip together easily and completely, and also protects them from the elements. They think of everything! After a quick look to double check our connections and bolts, we turned the key on and pushed the start switch. The mighty Sportsman fired right up and ran like it hadn’t run in years, which made us realize that our problems had probably been lurching for most of a decade.
NOTE: RM Stator offers a VERY handy diagnostic chart on their web site with the proper specs for your electrical parts. It helps you determine which parts need replacing by listing the correct voltage output. It’s like they sent a technician out to help. You can find it under TESTS & DIAGNOSTICS by following this link..
They also offer handy instructional videos to walk you through most installations as well . You can find those here::
KICKSTART MY HEART
There’s something satisfying about an older machine that runs like new, and that’s exactly what we have in our ’99 Sportsman, but with the price of OEM parts, you can’t help but wonder if it’s money well spent to revive an older machine. That’s where we really appreciate a company like RMStator that offers such a complete range of parts to not only replace what’s defective, but update your system to a more modern design… and all at a very reasonable price. Thanks to them, our trusty old Polaris Sportsman 500 will be scouting, hunting, and plowing for years to come. As Bon Jovi once belted out in his mega hit, you and your machine will Never Say Goodbye..