How to Fix a Polaris Pull Startby Chris Stevenson
Many Polaris recreational vehicles use electric starters, but sometimes batteries die or starters fail. Fortunately, many Polaris recreational vehicles, like the snowmobile, have backup pull rope starters for emergencies. Polaris pull rope starters have simple springs, centrifugal levers and strong nylon lines to act as a starting mechanism. Most problems with rope starters, as in the case of the Polaris pull starter, involve a broken rewind springs and pull ropes. You can repair your Polaris pull starter using common household tools.
Use a socket and wrench to remove any fairing panels to gain access to the recoil side case. The recoil side case will be the large oval-shaped housing with a pull-rope service hole in it. Remove the recoil side case from your ATV or recreational vehicle. There should be four to six bolts that hold the case to the engine block.
Pull off the recoil case and turn it upside down. Use a metric or standard socket to remove the center bolt holding the small circular flange on the shaft. Pull the plastic flange off and set it down, face up.
Look at the small centrifigal lever sitting on top of the recoil pulley. It has a spring attached to it. Unhook the spring and pull the lever straight up, keeping the spring with it. Set it aside, face up. Pull out the recoil pulley. Find any broken pieces of rope in the case and take them out.
Unwind any length of damaged rope from the recoil pulley, but notice which direction the wind goes. Stretch the large piece of broken rope out on the floor. Place the broken pieces at the end of the rope. Use scissors to cut a new piece of 3/16-inch diameter general purpose nylon rope, or Polaris dealership nylon pull rope, to the length of the old rope pieces. Melt both ends of the new rope with a lighter to seal the ends.
Stick one end of the new rope through the recoil side case hole. Hold the coil pulley inside the case and run the end of the new rope through the coil pulley rope stop hole. Knot the rope. Run the other end of the new rope through the hole in the T-pull handle. Knot the rope.
Wind the rope around the coil pulley clockwise until all the slack has been taken up. Slide the pulley coil down over the shaft, then turn the coil pulley counterclockwise until it snaps into the spring guide slot. Pull gently on the pull rope to see if the spring retracts, and if you have recoil resistance.
Set the centrifugal lever arm and spring back on to the top coil pulley in the same position you removed it. The lever arm will sit on a swivel guide, while the spring connects to the bottom of it. Place the circular flange over the center shaft, face-up like you removed it.
Turn the flange and push it down so it seats. Replace the bolt in the center of the flange and tighten it down with a standard or metric socket. Pull the rope again to check the recoil action.
Place the recoil side case back on the engine and insert the bolts by hand. Tighten all the bolts with a socket and wrench, using a crisscross pattern. Start the engine with the pull rope.
- Purchase the correct diameter size pull rope from your Polaris dealer. There are several makes, models and ATV applications that stipulate different lengths and diameter sizes. Six-foot pull ropes are standard lengths for ATVs. Do not buy the smaller 1/8-inch diameter pull rope that is commonly used on string trimmers and chain saws.
Things You'll Need
- Socket set (metric and standard)
- Nylon rope (Polaris dealership replacement)
Chris Stevenson has been writing since 1988. His automotive vocation has spanned more than 35 years and he authored the auto repair manual "Auto Repair Shams and Scams" in 1990. Stevenson holds a P.D.S Toyota certificate, ASE brake certification, Clean Air Act certification and a California smog license.