Epidemic-edge 550s Losing Engines - Snowmobile World : Your #1 Snowmobile Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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In my small area there have been hundreds of 500 edge tourings (air cooled) with engines destroyed from overheating. Polaris recognizes this problem but refuses to do a recall. They admit that there is an engineering flaw which allows the fan to draw hot air from the muffler/exhaust area unto the right side piston causing overheating and loss of the engine. They will even pay for the labour to repair your engine but you have to buy all the parts from them ($600 plus). They now even try to sell you a $400 kit to insulate the muffler/exhaust and so keep the heat away.
I have one of these machines and I think the people at Polaris are very stupid if they thing that myself and the other thousands off people who own and know about this problem and the companys response would ever consider buying another Polaris machine again.
I would welcome any and all response to this post.

EDIT: Sorry I meant to say 550 not 500.

Thank You
Wally Lockyer
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
In my small area there have been hundreds of 500 edge tourings (air cooled) with engines destroyed from overheating. Polaris recognizes this problem but refuses to do a recall. They admit that there is an engineering flaw which allows the fan to draw hot air from the muffler/exhaust area unto the right side piston causing overheating and loss of the engine. They will even pay for the labour to repair your engine but you have to buy all the parts from them ($600 plus). They now even try to sell you a $400 kit to insulate the muffler/exhaust and so keep the heat away.
I have one of these machines and I think the people at Polaris are very stupid if they thing that myself and the other thousands off people who own and know about this problem and the companys response would ever consider buying another Polaris machine again.
I would welcome any and all response to this post.

Thank You
Wally Lockyer[/b]
If its an "engineering flaw" and if this problem happened to the hundreds that your talking about and polaris happened to do a recall, you'd practically never get your engine back, because from what it sounds like, its a bad design in the motor, however i do think it is stupid that the don't just give you the exhaust insulation for no charge.

Sell the sled and get a liquid cooled one, you cant go wrong with that

110 Mph across Lake with my 2001 srx700
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnH9fpBzJpM
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 12:38 PM
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I didn't know Polaris was still making a "500" air cooled.

Assume you mean a "550"

What years are effected. We are riding a 2000 Sport with 6000 miles on it.

It's cheaper to replace the decals, then build up a little sled. Don't believe what you read on the hood.
The first time I rode a snowmobile was 7/4/72. It was a 71 488 Polaris Charger.
Previously owned sleds:
1970 433 Polaris.Mustang
1974 530 Custom II
1975 SS250
1975 TX 340
1976 TX 440
1978 TXL 340
1979 TXL 340
1979 Centurion 500
1980 TXL Indy
1981 Indy 500
1984 600 LE
1986 Trail Indy SP
1986 600 SE
1988 400 SKS
1989 Indy 650 (bought 3)
1990 Original RXL
1992 500 EFI SKS
1993 RXL SKS
1995 RXL
1997 Ultra Touring
1998 Indy 500
1998 500 Classic touring
2001 800 XC/SP (2 )
2002 550 Classic
2002 800 XC/SP
2002 800 Vertical Edge
2005 900 Fusion
2006 600 H.O Fusion
2006 900 Fusion
1974 440 Electra
2008 600 CFI LX
2008 FST LX
2008 D7 RMK 163
09 D6 Swbk
11 Pro R 6
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 03:13 PM
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Since Edge came after the 488s, sometimes called 500s, were dropped, I can only assume you mean the 550 engine. It is well known and documented that those engines tend to have problems. You might get 500 or you might get 5000 or even double those miles before they poop, but often they do. It is not an engine that can be counted on like it predecessor fan cousins. It is not an engine that has arrived in its final form - except perhaps in the last couple of years. Time will tell.

There are so many variations of the engine over the years they have built it. One can see it two ways; either you can appreciate the fact that Polaris has continued to refine what is a fan with nice power (for a fan) to try to make it a worthy engine, or you can wonder (as I do) why they took what seemed like some good steps in creating an improved engine, and then let the market do the test running for them. Personally, I prefer not to be test running a machine when I am alone in some remote part of Alaska, far from the nearest traveled trail or settlement. I could resurrect an old Mercury, Chapparal, or Evinrude snowmobile if that was what I wanted to do.

I have a 550 Edge Super Sport myself. It has about 7000 miles on it and has only been rebuilt 3 times. When I go out today, it will probably be on my old 488 trail. 21 some thousand miles and the untouched cylinders and new rings (w/ 8000 miles on them) still give me 100 psi or better. At least if she lets go, she'll do it with credit to spare. Not surprisingly, Polaris does not acknowledge that engine for its reliability.


I would add that, while the problem is obvious: the engines fail, the cause(s) is/are not so obvious. I think we would have seen them fixed almost right away if the cause had been easy to diagnose and correct. (That would be another good argument for doing the testing in-house; it's really hard to know exactly what happened when customers bring the product in after a failure.) And overheating itself is not often a cause, but rather, a sympton of another problem. I do think there is too much heat due to the size of the cylinders and not enough of a margin to safely get rid of that which is why the engines fail in some circumstances. I think that is why the last two years have the engine being built with the more efficiently cooling plated Nicasil cylinders instead of the long lasting, but less effective in cooling, iron sleeved cylinders. It's and undesirable, if neccessary, move, but it may work to solve the sometimes0heat problem.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 10:48 AM
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[quote]
In my small area there have been hundreds of 500 edge tourings (air cooled) with engines destroyed from overheating. Polaris recognizes this problem but refuses to do a recall. They admit that there is an engineering flaw which allows the fan to draw hot air from the muffler/exhaust area unto the right side piston causing overheating and loss of the engine. They will even pay for the labour to repair your engine but you have to buy all the parts from them ($600 plus). They now even try to sell you a $400 kit to insulate the muffler/exhaust and so keep the heat away.
I have one of these machines and I think the people at Polaris are very stupid if they thing that myself and the other thousands off people who own and know about this problem and the companys response would ever consider buying another Polaris machine again.
I would welcome any and all response to this post.

EDIT: Sorry I meant to say 550 not 500.

Thank You
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 10:52 AM
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Since Edge came after the 488s, sometimes called 500s, were dropped, I can only assume you mean the 550 engine. It is well known and documented that those engines tend to have problems. You might get 500 or you might get 5000 or even double those miles before they poop, but often they do. It is not an engine that can be counted on like it predecessor fan cousins. It is not an engine that has arrived in its final form - except perhaps in the last couple of years. Time will tell.

There are so many variations of the engine over the years they have built it. One can see it two ways; either you can appreciate the fact that Polaris has continued to refine what is a fan with nice power (for a fan) to try to make it a worthy engine, or you can wonder (as I do) why they took what seemed like some good steps in creating an improved engine, and then let the market do the test running for them. Personally, I prefer not to be test running a machine when I am alone in some remote part of Alaska, far from the nearest traveled trail or settlement. I could resurrect an old Mercury, Chapparal, or Evinrude snowmobile if that was what I wanted to do.

I have a 550 Edge Super Sport myself. It has about 7000 miles on it and has only been rebuilt 3 times. When I go out today, it will probably be on my old 488 trail. 21 some thousand miles and the untouched cylinders and new rings (w/ 8000 miles on them) still give me 100 psi or better. At least if she lets go, she'll do it with credit to spare. Not surprisingly, Polaris does not acknowledge that engine for its reliability.
I would add that, while the problem is obvious: the engines fail, the cause(s) is/are not so obvious. I think we would have seen them fixed almost right away if the cause had been easy to diagnose and correct. (That would be another good argument for doing the testing in-house; it's really hard to know exactly what happened when customers bring the product in after a failure.) And overheating itself is not often a cause, but rather, a sympton of another problem. I do think there is too much heat due to the size of the cylinders and not enough of a margin to safely get rid of that which is why the engines fail in some circumstances. I think that is why the last two years have the engine being built with the more efficiently cooling plated Nicasil cylinders instead of the long lasting, but less effective in cooling, iron sleeved cylinders. It's and undesirable, if neccessary, move, but it may work to solve the sometimes0heat problem.[/b]

I have a 2005 550 Fan and blew its first engine at 400 miles due to a ring catching in the mag side cylinder. Now at 1500 miles it blew again. This time they say I did not service my machine at the start of the year and the jets are dirty. Pretty coincidental that the same side blew again. With so many people reporting these problems it is very disapointing that there seems to be no help from Polaris.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 11:56 AM
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Actually, Polaris fixed an awful lot of the early ones - so many, both parts and labor- that I would imagine it was costing them a pretty sum. That may be why we don't see it happening anymore. At the time, reporting the problems from Alaska, the news was received with some disbelief by many folks farther south who were not having the same issues - yet. Now that it is no longer an unknown thing and the company has taken corrective actions to improve the later models, they seem reluctant to help folks who own the older versions. It's unfortunate. At first I assumed that people were driving them hard in some way - until many friends, whose riding habits I know, started having issues.

I take a two pronged approach to the problem. First, I am hopeful that Polaris will bring back a mid-sized, reliable fan engine. Secondly, I have begun riding AC until Polaris gets things figured out. (At least they have been willing to build their 440 fans some years since Polaris quit.) Well, that and I'm going to keep the old 488 running as long as I can.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 01:28 PM
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Oh dear.

We have not 1 - but 2 550 tourings

came across this forum and this thread searching to see what others had to say about our recent engine trouble

this is what has happened to one of our sleds this year - we sound lucky - or rather, it's probably UNLUCKY to have got 2000 miles out of it so far....just would have been nice to have this trouble last season when the warranty was still valid *sigh*

any advice for how to deal with Polaris?

obviously this is an issue

dealer suggested the upgraded fan kit - $200 plus install x 2 sleds - I'M NOT IMPRESSED

this is AFTER the $1500 ish to rebuild the one that blew

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 05:50 PM
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I hate hearing all these stories about the 550's since I bought the wife an '08 Supersport this winter. She's only put 600 miles on it so far, but she loves it. I took it for a little spin one night and found I like it too! What a nimble little sled! Guess all I can do is hope for the best. Luckily we have a really good dealer who has looked after us well, and that was big part of the decision to go with the Supersport.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 08:33 PM
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Yes, I hate hearing these stories as well as I bought two used 2007 polaris snowmobiles with these 550 engines. I'm hoping the Nicasil cylinders will do the trick. I really like the RMK trail and my wife loves her Edge LX. We sometimes ride in some remote areas and I would hate to get stranded. I just keep my fingers crossed.






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