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I was in Alabama the first week of June with my family. We rode for 5 days in the Fort Payne area. I took 4 Polaris 500's with me. One was a brand new 2004 500 HO. On the second day of riding, we were at the bottom of the Sand Mountain along the Tennessee River. The 2004 simply died on the trail. I removed the plug to find the machine had no spark. Thinking that the coil must have failed, we were forced to tow it out.
We were also in "enemy territory." Of the 14 riders, 4 were my Polaris's, 1 was a Yamaha and the rest were Honda. Honda is very big in that region.
The trucks were about 8 miles away from our location and over the mountain. With a completely dead machine, we hooked two of the Hondas to the front. At certain points on the climb, they could not pull the 500 up the grade. It was necessary to push with a 3rd machine. During the extraction some of the plastic was damaged. The rear rack was broken as well as the left rear fender and fender skirt.
I took the 500 to the dealer in Fort Payne on Tuesday. It went down on Sunday and Monday was Memorial Day.
As soon as I told the dealer what it had done, he knew the problem. Seems that the factory has not been placing the primary wire to the coil in the inside retainer in the frame. They are instead placing the wire on top of the frame and placing the fuel tank on top of the wire. When the tank is bolted down it pinches the wire. After a brief period of riding (vibration) the insulation gets cut through and the coil goes to ground. Dead machine.
The dealer informed me that he has repaired a total of 14 machines for this problem. Six of them were found during dealer assembly and fixed prior to sale. As he was not the selling dealer he stated that he would tape the wire for a temporary repair and when we returned to Missouri we could go back to our local dealer for replacement.
They have had the 500 for 15 days now with no repair. I explained the damage and Polaris has denied any warranty.
If I hit a tree being stupid, that is abuse. If I failed to tie it in my truck and it fell out on the highway, that is negligence. This was a dead brick and we did what we had to do as carefully as possible given the conditions.
Has anyone else had a problem with their 2004 500 HO ?
I have an '04 500HO ATP that I purchased last October. I think it was in late November I received a recall notice about the fuel tank mounts. When I took it in for fixin, the mechanic also relocated that wire for me. I'm sure Polaris knows all about your problem and they are trying to be hard-nosed about it. Maybe if we get a couple thousand 500HO owners to write to them they will do something. But I doubt it.
Thank you everyone for the welcome.
To the best of my knowledge, this is only occuring on the Sportsman 500 HO's. The dealers that I have spoken to all refer to the 500's. I would guess as they do that this is an isolated incident involving one or more people on the same assembly line. I do not know how many machines are produced in a day but it may have been one person having a bad 8 hour shift, or 40 hour week or more.
I know a few things for sure.
1) My wife and grandson could have been in a very bad place to have a dead machine. Climbing the mountain or steep grade. They were not and no-one was hurt this time. For that I am grateful.
2) It died because of something that Polaris did. Not us.
3) The dealers are aware of the problem and I suspect Polaris is too.
4) All things break. It is how the manufacturer handles the service that really matters.
5) The only things damaged were the 500 and my ego.
I have been very loyal to Polaris since I bought my 500 and have sold many of my friends on them. Now I feel very let down and ashamed to tell my friends how I thought Polaris was such a great company. An American company preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their company.
6) I am sure that they will host one great party on my profits.
I do not know the difference between 04 and 04.5.
This machine died at 15.2 hours of use. The dealers I have spoken with tell me that is about right give or take. The one in the shop in Alabama when I was there had 15 hours exactly. It appears that it takes a certain amount of use and vibration and flex before the tank mount cuts the insulation. Trail riding would take longer than say hill climbing or rock crawling. It depends on how hard you run your machine.
This is not intended to alarm or scare anyone.
I do not want anyone to get hurt and feel that if I can help anyone prevent the problems that I am now dealing with, great.
I would suggest that if you have any doubt, call your dealer and ask them to check it out. There should be no charge under warranty and I would do it before the warranty period expires.
I would also ask that if your machine is found to have the problem, notify Polaris yourself. Do not count on the dealer to do it. I do not want anyone to make false claims but I would like them to step up and fix this 500. It takes numbers for any company to respond. All they see is $$$, but they see it both ways. When they make it and when they are losing it.
Thank you for any help.
I had the same problem with my 2004.5 500 h.o.. I was at the bottom the revine about 5 1/2 miles away from my parents ranch. I just got the atv the day before. I had less than a mile on it. I took a short ride to get used to it. When I went to turn around it died.
I was all alone. I had to leave it at the bottom of the revine, walk back 5 1/2 miles up hill back to the ranch. I got my new durango, scratched it all up. $6,000 to be re-painted. The closest I could get to the bike was about 150 yards away. I had about 8 ropes tied to eachother to get it back up the hill so I could shorten it up. 6 hours later I finally got it back to the ranch. As soon as I called my dealer, they knew exactly what the problem was. They took care of it under warranty, but I still had to pay $500 for my deductible to get my truck repainted.