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Tech Troubleshooter - Polaris Sportsman Ignition Fix

Restoring the Bang for Less Bucks!
Written By: 
Master Mechanic Pete Bengel

2013.poalris.sportsman.red.front-right.riding.through-mud.JPGThe Polaris Sportsman is quite possibly the most popular ATV line ever built.  Since its inception in 1993, Polaris has manufactured well over one MILLION units, making it the best-selling utility ATV platform in the industry.  But as with anything mechanical, there have been some issues that have come to the surface, and there was a run of Sportsman 600’s and 700’s from 2002 to mid-2004 that were plagued with electrical problems and failure of the ignition system was a matter of when, not if.

The AC powered ignition was the Achilles’ Heel of an otherwise stone reliable ATV.  Eventually, in mid-2004, Polaris updated the ignition to a DC powered ignition which pretty much eliminated ignition failures.  But that left a huge number of 2002 to early-2004 models that were doomed to fail, often at a very inopportune time.  Looking up a stator or a CDI/coil unit for those models will lead you to a replacement part number which includes an entire ignition… stator, flywheel, CDI/coil, and voltage regulator… that will update your Sportsman to the late 2004 and newer system and solve your problems altogether.  Unfortunately, the price for that kit is well over the $500 mark!  Until recently, the $500+ update was your only option.  But in doing a little research, we found an update from RM Stator that would convert our problematic 2003 Sportsman 600 to a much more reliable DC ignition at less than half of the price of the Polaris upgrade kit.  2013.poalris.sportsman.close-up.stator-coil.JPG

The RM Stator Polaris Sportsman upgrade consists of a new CDI and a remote coil, all required wiring, and installation instructions that allow pretty much anyone to get the job done without professional help.  This kit uses the heavier windings of the lighting coil to power the ignition.  The problematic section of the stator is no longer used, and the new secondary ignition coil is isolated from the CDI in contrast to the integral coil/CDI that comes from the factory.   The result is more reliability, better spark, and easier diagnosis should you have another problem in the future. 

Installation of the RM Stator kit is quick and easy.  There’s no need to remove any part of the engine or engine covers since this kit is installed under the front nose piece with the rest of the electronics.  To install the kit, remove the front racks, remove the front plastic bodywork, and you’re ready to go.  The hardest part is re-routing the spark plug wires though the chassis between the coil and the engine.  As with routing any wires, be sure they’re not in contact with any moving parts, a hot exhaust pipe, or sharp edges where they could become frayed, and use a few zip ties for a neat and secure job.  If you run into any problems, the people at RM Stator are very helpful and will be happy to answer your questions.  For a reasonable price of $250, compared to more than double that for the stock parts, you’ll have a sure fix and a lot of extra money and time to go riding!  2013.poalris.sportsman.close-up.replacement-rm-stator-system.JPG

Since we installed the RM Stator replacement kit on our trusty Polaris, Sean Yates at RM Stator informs us they’ve been working on replacement modules for other models as well.  We’ll be installing our next RM Stator kit soon.  If they’re all as easy, cost effective, and reliable as the one we just installed it will be a welcome part for many ATV and Side x Side owners and mechanics everywhere.  We’re actually looking forward to the job! 

RM Stator(877) 838-1399 

www.rmstator.com

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