I used to own a 1996 model as well. They are a great little machine that suprised the heck out of me with its capabilities.
BUT that being said, I had lots of problems with it. Actuallly, I have owned 3 polaris's in the past, and they were all trouble. The 300 was the best out of the 3 though. It broke the least amount.
- Keep an eye on the Tie-rod ends, as they are prone to fail. There was an update released by Polaris in 1999 that addressed this issue by using a rod-end bearing as the tie-end, rather than the "ball and stud" older design, and that is what you should receive if you have to replace them.
- Also keep an eye on the chains. That means all 3 of them, IF your model does not have the Concentric drive system (which only has one). Keep them within proper chain tension. If the front and side chains start going tight on Top and loose on bottom when backing up under strain, replacement is required. SOmetimes the machine will become "stuck", and you will need Low range just to move again.
- Starter drive was also another common component to fail on these.
- Front struts were horrible in cold weather. As soon as temps drops around freezing, the shocks would not work. The machine would just bounce like crazy, with no damping. The newer "Sachs" struts were supposed to have solved this problem.
I have never had a problem with belts. But you really have to use the Low range on these models. I cannot comment on never Polaris drive systems (even though they are still almost identical in design), but with the older polaris's, you really had to use it. If you learned to do so, then you will never have a problem.
Even after having all those problems, I gotta admit that I still liked that atv. It was comfortable, light, could climb anywhere and could really pull. Its capabilites just surprised me.
post edited by Dezz - 2009/08/13 05:41:15