Worn reed petals can cause hard starting and poor throttle response. If your sled’s two-stroke, reed-inducted engine is irritable or has more than 2,000 miles, the reeds might need service. Polaris Pro-Ride reed cage replacement might seem daunting, but it’s actually pretty easy. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Remove Body Panels
Remove both side panels and set them aside, then remove the two screws that fasten the hood to the chassis near the handlebar riser block. While standing on the right side of the sled, slide the hood forward about one inch to disengage its tabs from the console and then lift up the hood so you can unplug the wire harness from the gauge. Remove the hood, and then pry out the plastic rivet that secures the left side of the console to the fuel tank; this allows access to the fuel pump for Step 6.
Step 2: Remove Secondary Clutch
Use the ‘L’ shaped belt removal tool from the tool kit to remove the belt from the machine. Squeeze the brake lever and use a wrench or socket to remove the bolt that holds the secondary clutch on the jackshaft. Remove the clutch and set it aside while being careful not to lose any alignment shims that are on the jackshaft; the shims tend to stick to the hub on the clutch.
Step 3: Disconnect Oil Level Sensor
The clutch guard and oil tank need to be removed to access the engine’s intake. Start by removing the hook-and-loop fabric wrap that covers the wires and connectors near the front of the oil tank. Now follow the wire that leads from the oil-level sensor in the oil tank to the male/female connector; disconnect the sensor.
Step 4: Reposition Oil Tank
Unhook the two rubber straps that hold the oil tank to the clutch guard and remove the two bolts that attach the oil tank to the engine control unit (ECU). Reposition the oil tank out of the way and secure it with a bungee cord or zip tie.
Step 5: Remove Clutch Guard
Unplug the wire harness from the ECU and voltage regulator, but leave the ECU and regulator bolted to the clutch guard. Twist off the four nuts that fasten the clutch guard to the chassis, remove the clutch guard and set it aside.
Step 6: Disconnect Fuel Lines
Remove the bolt that attaches the fuel filter bracket to the airbox, unhook the two fuel lines from the fuel pump and unplug the wire connection from the fuel pump. Be sure to note each fuel line’s attachment point – supply and return – before disconnecting.
Step 7: Disassemble Airbox
Tip the intake tube out of the airbox and carefully disconnect the wires from the temperature/air pressure sensor that’s attached to the intake tube. Remove the tube and set it aside.
Step 8: Remove Air Silencer
Four retainer clips secure the upper airbox to the main air silencer. Unhook the clips and remove the upper box from the chassis. Now use a long No. 2 Phillips screwdriver to loosen the clamps that secure the intake silencer to the throttle bodies. With the clamps loosened, remove the air silencer to reveal the throttle bodies.
Step 9: Remove Throttle Body Assembly
Use a screwdriver to loosen the hose clamps that secure the throttle bodies to the intake boots on the crankcase. With the clamps loose, carefully pull the throttle body assembly a short distance away from the engine and locate the oil pump arm – it’s connected to the assembly between the magneto and PTO throttle body. Carefully push the arm off of the assembly, tip the assembly up and out of the way and hang it with a bungee cord or zip tie for full access to the reed cage assembly. The fuel rail that is directly above the throttle body will not need to be removed from its mount on the engine.
Step 10: Access Reed Cages
Each reed cage assembly is secured to the crankcase with six bolts. Use an 8mm socket on a quarter-inch drive ratchet to loosen the bolts. With the bolts out, remove the intake boot assembly to access the reed cages.
Step 11: Inspect, Service Or Replace
With the cage in hand, inspect the petals for chips or cracks. Test tension by lifting the petals with a fingernail and releasing; they should make a firm “snap” noise when released. If the reed petals are worn out, you can replace them with new petals from Polaris. Otherwise, the aftermarket sells complete cage assemblies.
Polaris Reed Cage Service Tips
- On reinstallation of the reed cages, note that the intake boot assembly has ‘P’ (PTO) and ‘M’ (magneto) molded on it to ensure correct orientation on the crankcase.
- A shot of carburetor cleaner will help the throttle bodies slide back into the crankcase intake boots. WD-40 also works, but since that fluid is so slippery the boots could slip off when the clamp is tightened.
- Put the end of a roughly 12-inch long 2-by-2 wood block against the front side of the left footrest and strike the block with a hammer. This will bend the footrest so there’s more clearance to easily sneak the belt between the footrest and edge of the secondary clutch’s outer sheave.
- Reed cage mount bolts torque spec is 9 foot-pounds; tighten the bolts in a crisscross pattern.