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A weird, weird problem that has me pulling my hair out

This is a discussion on A weird, weird problem that has me pulling my hair out within the Full Size Ranger Discussion forums, part of the Polaris Ranger Forum category; Anyone have a suggestion on this one? Have a 2005 Polaris Ranger 4x4 with the 500 engine. Had a problem with the starter solenoid that ...

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Old 04-17-2009, 05:15 PM   #1
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A weird, weird problem that has me pulling my hair out

Anyone have a suggestion on this one? Have a 2005 Polaris Ranger 4x4 with the 500 engine. Had a problem with the starter solenoid that some of you might remember. I replaced the solenoid with a universal solenoid. That was fine except for one problem. It would start without pressing on the brake. Figured I could live with that although I don't know how the solenoid or starter switch as Polaris calls it, would have to do with anythiing. Ran fine for several weeks and then started to stall. It was just like turning off the key. You could see the gear selector lights going off so I think that indicates an ignition problem. You can start the engine and let it sit there and idle and it will run fine. Put it in any gear, with rear end locked or unlocked, 4 wheel drive on or off, none of that matters. It will go for about 30 feet and shut down. If you can cycle the ignition switch on and off while still moving the engine will restart okay. If you come to a stop. you have to cycle the switch off and then restart. I have checked all the connectors I can find, put the old starter switch back on it, etc. etc. Took the ignition switch out of the dash and let it hang down so I could giggle it and that didn't make any difference. I'm at wits end. Anyone have a suggestion? It's almost like there is a kill switch somewhere in the system that kills the ignition. When you turn on the ignition you can hear relays click and that is normal. Can one of those relays be the problem?
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:49 PM   #2
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Re: A weird, weird problem that has me pulling my hair out

If there are self resetting fuse on it, I would start with those.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:52 AM   #3
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Re: A weird, weird problem that has me pulling my hair out

I'm starting to fear that somehow I fried the Control Box. There are all sorts of circuits in there that could cause this problem. I don't know how to start testing it. Is there some special tool the Polaris shops have or do they just swap parts till they fix the problem?
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:59 AM   #4
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Re: A weird, weird problem that has me pulling my hair out

There is no way to repair the ECM It has to be replaced. I don't think there is a way to test it either, but if there is its with Polaris digital wrench, which we cannot get.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:41 PM   #5
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Re: A weird, weird problem that has me pulling my hair out

I realize it's a sealed unit and can't be repaired. But what the heck do the Polaris techs do, just swap an a new part and see if it fixes the problem? You might be correct, it needs a Polaris wrench made of unoptainium.
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:37 PM   #6
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Re: A weird, weird problem that has me pulling my hair out

Polaris' software they use to diagnose the Ranger system is called Digital Wrench. It connects with a system at Polaris to work. Its their way of making sure we can't use it. If they can diagnose it then it will be with that.
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:54 PM   #7
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Re: A weird, weird problem that has me pulling my hair out

Thanks Carnivore,
I have the Polaris repair manual and it is really poor. I use to write tech orders for jet engines so I know something about putting these things together. It's pretty obvious that they took a Polaris ATV manual and tried to make changes for the Ranger. For example, they talk about an engine kill switch which I don't think the Ranger has. Scores of typos and in some places they use acronyms that they don't define anywhere. The manual doesn't say anything about a diagnostic tool. They list tools you need and recommend a Fluke VOM. But the electrical drawing does show a connector labeled "diagnostic" so I suspect you are correct that they use something.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:52 PM   #8
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Re: A weird, weird problem that has me pulling my hair out...follow up

Ok, done pulling my hair out. Finally threw in the towel and sent it to the Polaris dealer. I figured the problem was in the contol box but didn't have another to put in to try and my troubleshooting didn't work. If you remember, the Ranger would start and idle okay, put it in any gear or drive combination and it would go a few feet and shut down. You had to cycle the ignition switch to restart. I had figured out that if you rode the brake it would keep going. As I figured, the dealer put his equipment on it and fixed it with a new contol box. Tech said that it was the Batt Protect function in the voltage regulator section of the control box that was causing the problem. Regulator was putting out too high a voltage. This would cause the circuit breaker to trip to protect the battery. He said that by riding the brake, I was putting just enough load on the electrical system with the brake light to keep it from tripping. I never thought to try it, but he said if I had turned on the headlights it would have done the same thing, preventing a circuit breaker trip and shutting down the ignition.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:57 PM   #9
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Re: A weird, weird problem that has me pulling my hair out

wow, what a pain. Glad you got it figured out. Now enjoy it a little. Thanks for posting back up.
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