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  1. #1

    Default 2012 Polaris 800 engine burn down, any ideas?

    Anyone have any ideas why this may have happened or if itís going to happen again? Here is the story. I bought a new 2012 Pro RMK 800 last October and took it out to the Big Horns in Late January. The first tank of gas I broke it in as Polaris wanted. I ran 2 pints of oil in the first tank of gas as well as using only None Oxygenated fuel in the sled. The first tank I was nice to it and kept the speed under 50 and the RPMs down. In all I put 170 miles on out west and returned home with no problems, it ran great.

    Two weeks ago I made a run to Houghton in the UP. Pulled the sled out of the trailer warmed it up for 5-10 min while I filled the oil and put on my helmet. Still using only none oxygenated fuel in the sled I ran down the trail to the power lines and 6 or 7 miles later my engine burned down.

    I took the sled into the shop and they pulled it apart. Inside they found the pistons, jugs and heads all scored, typical lean burn down. When asked why this happened they said they have no idea. My worry is Iím going to get a rebuilt engine with only 175 miles on the sled and it is going to burn down again. Without reason why the first one burned down Iím a little worried it will happen again. It is one thing to be in MI and burn a motor down, but 30 miles out in the mountains is a totally different problem.

    Has this been a common problem with the new 11's and 12's?

    Any ideas as to what is going on with this engine?

  2. #2
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    How fast were you going? How were you holding the throttle? Wer you "feathering" the flipper, or holding it in a consisntant place?

    I'm not sure how the RMK's are mapped and how well the FI system calibrates for alititude, but you need less fuel in elevation than on flat land. So if the ECU didn't do its job of fattening up fuel for low elevation, it wouldn't take long for it to burn down. I know a guy that bought a Carbbed CAT set up for mountains a few yrs ago. He thought a quick spin around the yard in Michigan wouldn't hurt. It burned down almost instantly.

  3. #3
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    It sucks when you don't know why a 2s burned down. I would insist that dealer makes best guess otherwise you will never have confidence in the engine. This why I bought a 4s as 2s & me did not do well. 9000 miles on Yam 4s & nothing but donut replacement in off season never let me down. I feel your pain & hope the repair works. Consider a 4s next time worth the weight to ride out of remote areas. Cats has some nice M 4s to consider. Good luck

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    Have the dealer check the TPS to see if it is set right or if it is defective.

  5. #5
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    What are the fuel reccomendations for the sled? Are you supposed to be running non-oxy? There is a difference between non oxy and 91 octain and 87 octain.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by grub View Post
    What are the fuel reccomendations for the sled? Are you supposed to be running non-oxy? There is a difference between non oxy and 91 octain and 87 octain.
    Good point & I hear you grub but what the heck these gas stations don't know what they are selling when you inquire. I won't even buy the new Apex Yam 4s because it requires 91 & who knows what you are really getting in the UP boonies. The gas thing with snowmobiles has gone over the top they should design them to run on dog piss & 140 to 150 HP plenty for trail sleds. The subject was an RMK so understand the need for the 2s hp but gas sold at elevation is ususally hot stuff in the UP booines good luck never know what you are getting. There is only 1 premium pump in the town of Phelps & sometimes in winter I have seen the cover off the tank so melting snow can drip in what can a person do? You need gas you do your best & hope for the best. As snowmobilers I think we should let dealers know we don't want premium gas snowmobile engines too much risk to us the riders for an entra 10-15 HP. IMO

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitedust View Post
    Good point & I hear you grub but what the heck these gas stations don't know what they are selling when you inquire. I won't even buy the new Apex Yam 4s because it requires 91 & who knows what you are really getting in the UP boonies. The gas thing with snowmobiles has gone over the top they should design them to run on dog piss & 140 to 150 HP plenty for trail sleds. The subject was an RMK so understand the need for the 2s hp but gas sold at elevation is ususally hot stuff in the UP booines good luck never know what you are getting. There is only 1 premium pump in the town of Phelps & sometimes in winter I have seen the cover off the tank so melting snow can drip in what can a person do? You need gas you do your best & hope for the best. As snowmobilers I think we should let dealers know we don't want premium gas snowmobile engines too much risk to us the riders for an entra 10-15 HP. IMO
    Heck when we go out west, not to ride but to camp, I mostly see 87 as about the highest. They have 85 out there which I think is nuts. I may have seen 89, I'm not quite sure....I just know it's low. This is in CO near Loveland and most of the stations in CO that I've seen.

  8. #8
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    We have had ethanol blends now for a decade plus. It is getting harder and harder to even find non-oxy 92. Even if you can find it who knows how long it has been there and how much water is in it. It is not a fast moving product. That being said I believe all the mfgs now have det sensors of some sort and are supposed to retard the ignition or throw the sled into limp home mode instead of letting it burn down. The new Yamis are supposed to be able to tolerate whatever you put into them. They just don't run as strong if you put 87 in them. In the past Pol used to put switches on the ignition to adjust for ethanol or non-ethanol. The problem here is that folks would turn the switch to wherever the sled runs stronger. Right up until it blows up. Letting the average joe think they are smart enough to fool with the timing on their sleds is not always a good idea. With the gas situation being as it is a person would think that they would all have a foolproof system in place by now.

  9. #9
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    Hard to find anything over 91 in Steamboat. Hayden has 93. which is where we fill up.

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    Personally, I am extremely doubtful that your dealer would warranty a burn down with no explanation as to what caused it. Maybe if you have a very good relationship with them, they would do it in good faith, but this is a rare exception anymore. My GUESS is they know exactly what caused it, its a known problem, and they're just not telling you.

    Pics of the scored piston may help with diagnosis.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoluver1 View Post
    Personally, I am extremely doubtful that your dealer would warranty a burn down with no explanation as to what caused it. Maybe if you have a very good relationship with them, they would do it in good faith, but this is a rare exception anymore. My GUESS is they know exactly what caused it, its a known problem, and they're just not telling you.

    Pics of the scored piston may help with diagnosis.
    Don't agree with that! If Poo dealers will not fix brand new 800 with very low miles why offer a warranty at all? The cause is Poos problem & better figure it out or will happen again at poos cost. Really sucks too have a brand new sled with a rebuilt engine been there done that.

  12. #12
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    Me thinks the lower octane fuel from out west did not work well with the denser air the lower UP elevations. Now if you drained out what you had in the tank from out west and refilled with fuel in the Midwest then scratch this idea off the list.

  13. #13
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    A lean low octane fuel condition will cause detonation and that can be seen on the top of the piston(looks like the piston top was sand blasted with coarse sand).That also can be picked up by the ECM and stored so the tech can see.

  14. #14
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    I burned a piston on my 2010 800 Assault on my first ride back from the Rockies last year. The last pump I was forced to get fuel from was 85 octane. Ran fine that last afternoon out west. Hindsight I should have drained the tank. First ride at home I was going to ride the trail 8mi to fill it up. Never made it. It detected the detonation but not in time. My sled wasn't under warranty but Poo said it should have detected it sooner and retarded the engine to prevent the burn down. They still covered it 100%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by salmonbum View Post
    Hard to find anything over 91 in Steamboat. Hayden has 93. which is where we fill up.
    I bring every can I own and borow a few from buds never know if the party in the lot at night is going to prevent a trip back to town for a few days.kremmling also has 93

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 900RMtanK View Post
    I burned a piston on my 2010 800 Assault on my first ride back from the Rockies last year. The last pump I was forced to get fuel from was 85 octane. Ran fine that last afternoon out west. Hindsight I should have drained the tank. First ride at home I was going to ride the trail 8mi to fill it up. Never made it. It detected the detonation but not in time. My sled wasn't under warranty but Poo said it should have detected it sooner and retarded the engine to prevent the burn down. They still covered it 100%.
    Sounds like Poo stepped up on this one! I've had them honor a warranty before when it was out of warranty the prior year. All I had to do was pay a $50 deductible. A year later my buddy had a Ski Doo that was one month out of warranty and the engine went down on a 600, and they said too bad. He had to pay 100% of the bill. The worst part of that story is the first ride in N MN after fixing the engine, he got the sled taken away by the DNR and they told him he could buy it back at their next auction. Ouch!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by whitedust View Post
    It sucks when you don't know why a 2s burned down. I would insist that dealer makes best guess otherwise you will never have confidence in the engine. This why I bought a 4s as 2s & me did not do well. 9000 miles on Yam 4s & nothing but donut replacement in off season never let me down. I feel your pain & hope the repair works. Consider a 4s next time worth the weight to ride out of remote areas. Cats has some nice M 4s to consider. Good luck
    yeah good if you dont like backing up and buying a belt every two hundred miles

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff View Post
    yeah good if you dont like backing up and buying a belt every two hundred miles
    only if you dont get out a socket and tighten 1 bolt on the clutch allinment bar.buy a belt or buy a top end hmm buy a belt or buy a top end decisions decisions

  19. #19

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    REALLY??????????????? where is that in the cat guide. As of last week none of the guys at the cat dealer in mercer knew of anything to fix the prob but to just keep riding and buying belts. JUNK!

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    Really thats funny cuz the recall has been out for well over 2 mo the rags like sno tech have talked about the nut that did not get torqued correct buy the robot so the dealler in mercer is living under a rock or some other explanation lets see what could be the other explanation for the last statment.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezra View Post
    Really thats funny cuz the recall has been out for well over 2 mo the rags like sno tech have talked about the nut that did not get torqued correct buy the robot so the dealler in mercer is living under a rock or some other explanation lets see what could be the other explanation for the last statment.
    Yep I also read the cure in Snowtech so dealer must be asleep at the wheel. Just a loose nut tighten it & fixed very easily.

  22. #22
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    TPS, stator, and stator harness. Oh, and a complete rebuild, ofcourse..........

  23. #23

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    Well to clear up a few questions, the only fuel I ran in this sled was Non Oxy from MN. I bought it at Fleet farm in Blaine. It was a 91 octane pump and from person observations this pump is under very heavy use by people daily. I'm very confident that it was not a bad fuel issue. Secondly the fuel I used out west was from this station. I took 37.5 gallons with me on the trip and did not buy fuel in the mountains, so it wasn't a low octane problem. Third, the same fuel was in my sled in the UP when it failed.

    As far as how I was running it, I was traveling approx 50-55 mph and holding a steady half throttle. I had the scratchers down and the engine was at a steady 127 degrees F. Air temp was about 15-18 degrees F.

    The latest parts list from the shop said it needs a head, 2 pistons, 2 jugs, rods and a crank. Pretty much everything but the lower case halves. After hearing this it sounded like a lack of oil getting to the engine. Bad oild pump? Not set correctly? Anyway I again questioned them and they are "looking into " why it burned down. They still have no idea. By the way this is a very large shop, probably the biggest in the state so hearing that concerns me.

    I'm really leaning away from a fuel burn down and more towards a lack of oil issue causing the engine to lock up. This is now going on three weeks in the shop with little or no answers. And even worse than That i get a call every week asking question that polaris wants to know. Last week was what altitude I was at and the air temp. All valid, however they already knew the answer. I sit here wondering what news I will get tomorrow when they open...

  24. #24
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    Sounds like Polaris knows they have a problem and they don't know the root cause. Rods and crank? Definitely sounds oil related. Wow.

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    If rods and crank......probably not fuel related. or TPS related. or stator related. I think you are on to a new issue here. Hence, all the Polaris questions. Keep us updated, please.

  26. #26
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    I am not to excited about the 55:1 ratio mine is set at. I have added extra oil to most all of the tanks of gas from the start. I also leave in the yellow plug that is for lower octane gas. I run the 91 or 93 anyways. So far no issues at 1100miles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polarisrider1 View Post
    I am not to excited about the 55:1 ratio mine is set at. I have added extra oil to most all of the tanks of gas from the start. I also leave in the yellow plug that is for lower octane gas. I run the 91 or 93 anyways. So far no issues at 1100miles.
    I think most old school riders are adding a bit of oil per tank on the doo's and poos .logic tells you a qt of oil per 3 tanks of fuel cant be good for the internals it just cant.The oem know it but are pushed in to a corner buy the epa and cant come out and say well you should turn up your oil pump 1 turn just to be safe

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezra View Post
    I think most old school riders are adding a bit of oil per tank on the doo's and poos .logic tells you a qt of oil per 3 tanks of fuel cant be good for the internals it just cant.The oem know it but are pushed in to a corner buy the epa and cant come out and say well you should turn up your oil pump 1 turn just to be safe
    I believe that these issues I hear about has to do with lean oil settings. Heck Smurfrider burns about 2 quarts of oil to a tank of gas in his 09 Doo 800R and no issues. doesn't go through plugs either. He rides it hard and will NOT get it adjusted leaner. Oil is cheaper than a rebuild is his thoughts. A two stroke is not a clean efficient motor by design, but it can wind up like no other!!!

  29. #29
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    Last year snowtech listed some performance tips for the Poo 800's, from a speed shop. One of the tips was to add some oil to the tank. An issue or so later, snowtech followed up by stating that Polaris contacted them to tell them that adding oil is not necessary or recommended. Seemed strange to me that Polaris would jump on that, but I thought it must be something to do with the EPA and the new requirements...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrgehrman View Post
    And even worse than That i get a call every week asking question that polaris wants to know. Last week was what altitude I was at and the air temp. All valid, however they already knew the answer. I sit here wondering what news I will get tomorrow when they open...
    I know this does not help much but I would agree Polaris know something is up. Weather they know what it is or not they won't tell you untill they are done so they can give you the bad news about this expensive paper weight you bought from them and good news its fixed at the same time.

    GM did this to me when my 07 Acadia broke a piston skirt at 35,000 miles.(Really, a piston skirt! When was the last time you heard of a problem like that on a new car?) The dealer, which I like, would call and give me enough info to show me they were working on it. In the end GM want to rebuild my engine, I told the dealer no way, I would not except anything but a new engine, and that is what I got. Also got a letter last week that some parts are still failing and they are adding a 1yr to my Warranty. big deal I want it fixed, correctly!

    Good Luck with the sled.

  31. #31

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    Well the parts have been ordered per the dealer (2 Jugs, 2 pistons, 2 rods, and a crank). If youíre asking me with 175 miles the least Polaris could have done is install a complete new mill. The best part of this rebuild is they still have no idea why it seized. I figured the least they would do is put a new oil pump in. This is going on 4 or 5 weeks in the shop, I have lost count at this point due to how long it has been. Funny thing is if this was a car they would be forced to buy it back with such a long repair stint. But being it is a recreational vehicle I'm at their mercy.

    I have come to realize they can't or "wont" tell me what caused this failure and have left me with only one choice. I refuse to ride a new sled that has proven to be unreliable and a compay that isn't willing to smooth things over with a dissatisfied customer. I'm left with one impression, the gremlins are not truly out of the Polaris 800's as they said they were.

    So after spending almost 12K for this sled last fall I ended up renting a sled for 2 of my 3 trips and spending another $1300 in renatls fees. You would think Polaris would do something to smooth over customer relations, nope just a sorry sir there isn't anything we can do. And to that I say, A new 13 Summit X is being ordered in the next week. Sorry Polaris I gave you guys a shot and you blew it, literally...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrgehrman View Post
    Well the parts have been ordered per the dealer (2 Jugs, 2 pistons, 2 rods, and a crank). If you’re asking me with 175 miles the least Polaris could have done is install a complete new mill. The best part of this rebuild is they still have no idea why it seized. I figured the least they would do is put a new oil pump in. This is going on 4 or 5 weeks in the shop, I have lost count at this point due to how long it has been. Funny thing is if this was a car they would be forced to buy it back with such a long repair stint. But being it is a recreational vehicle I'm at their mercy.

    I have come to realize they can't or "wont" tell me what caused this failure and have left me with only one choice. I refuse to ride a new sled that has proven to be unreliable and a compay that isn't willing to smooth things over with a dissatisfied customer. I'm left with one impression, the gremlins are not truly out of the Polaris 800's as they said they were.

    So after spending almost 12K for this sled last fall I ended up renting a sled for 2 of my 3 trips and spending another $1300 in renatls fees. You would think Polaris would do something to smooth over customer relations, nope just a sorry sir there isn't anything we can do. And to that I say, A new 13 Summit X is being ordered in the next week. Sorry Polaris I gave you guys a shot and you blew it, literally...
    Crazy. Can't buy anything anymore without an extended warranty, and that doesn't cover the fact you lost a season.

  33. #33
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    I guess customer relations don't mean a whole lot.

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    Bummer deal. The season was short enouph without any problems. It would be nice to know the reason for the burndown. Did anyone confirm that the oil pump was working? You would just been running out of the premix tank with those miles.

  35. #35
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    My 2012 800 had a service bulletin on relocating the oil line due to possible chaffing, wonder if it was that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrgehrman View Post
    Well the parts have been ordered per the dealer (2 Jugs, 2 pistons, 2 rods, and a crank). If you’re asking me with 175 miles the least Polaris could have done is install a complete new mill. The best part of this rebuild is they still have no idea why it seized. I figured the least they would do is put a new oil pump in. This is going on 4 or 5 weeks in the shop, I have lost count at this point due to how long it has been. Funny thing is if this was a car they would be forced to buy it back with such a long repair stint. But being it is a recreational vehicle I'm at their mercy.

    I have come to realize they can't or "wont" tell me what caused this failure and have left me with only one choice. I refuse to ride a new sled that has proven to be unreliable and a compay that isn't willing to smooth things over with a dissatisfied customer. I'm left with one impression, the gremlins are not truly out of the Polaris 800's as they said they were.

    So after spending almost 12K for this sled last fall I ended up renting a sled for 2 of my 3 trips and spending another $1300 in renatls fees. You would think Polaris would do something to smooth over customer relations, nope just a sorry sir there isn't anything we can do. And to that I say, A new 13 Summit X is being ordered in the next week. Sorry Polaris I gave you guys a shot and you blew it, literally...
    well they figure with the economy just roaring along people with endless supply of disposable income to spend on toys they don't need excellent customer service.
    just keep quit and be happy you got a rebuild.
    Hay before you leave did you hear we have a belt drive this yr? so if you want to spend 13k more on toys we will be happy to stick you with the same power plant.but it has belt drive trust us it was just a fluke what happened to you. we never had any thing like that happen before.did we tell you it has belt drive.

  37. #37
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    any new info on this?

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