Sportsman 4wheel drive engaging


Hey guys I've got a 2008 Sportsman 500 that I plow snow with. My problem is the 4wheel drive doesn't engage until the back wheels are spinning and that causes a lot of trouble for me when the snow builds up and I need more power. I have to come to a complete stop and slowly get on the throttle before the front wheels engage. Is there anyway to make it so that when I switch over to 4wheel, it's 4 wheels all the time?

Sounds like you may have a problem with your 4x4 system. My family has had 3 sportsmans and never once have I had to come to a complete stop and slowly give it throttle for the front tires to engage. Maybe I'm not understanding what you're trying to say, but the 4x4 system is designed to engage the front tires when the rear wheels slip 20%. This is information I heard back in 2002, so they may have designed it to engage quicker in the newer models. 20% may sound like a lot, but it's really not.

I don't necessarily have to come to a stop. It will engage when the tires begin to slip if I'm not on the throttle too much. I'm assuming because if you have the rpms way up there, stuff could get torn up. But if I'm pushing snow you can bet I'm on the throttle quite a bit. I just have to let off the throttle and when pushing a lot of snow that basically brings the quad to a halt. I don't really think anything is wrong with the 4wheel drive, I'm basically just wondering if there's anything I can switch on it so that's it's all wheel drive, all the time when in 4x4 mode.

What I don't understand is why you back off the gas to engage the four wheel drive. The front wheels should already be spinning nearly as fast as the rear tires and should engage when it senses the rear tires slipping, so I wouldn't worry about anything getting torn up. Have you tried giving it more throttle when you need the four wheel drive to engage? From my understanding, it compares the speeds of the front and rear tires and when the fronts aren't keeping up the hubs engage. And, as far as I know there's nothing you can do to keep the fronts engaged at all times.

I have to back off otherwise the front wheels will never engage. I can sit there all day with a big pile of snow and the rear wheels spinning but the fronts will not engage unless I back off the throttle. And yes I have tried more throttle but it didn't help. It's a real big inconvenience unless this is a specialized case and most Sportsmans engage just fine. Maybe it's a fluke.

I plow with an older Scrambler and have no problems. You have the switch in the on position? Have you checked the fluid levels in the hubs? The hubs are prone to leaking out and getting contaminated with water. If they have not been maintained they are probably full of rusty parts and stick. My Scrambler is a 98 that I've had since new it is a great machine and has held up very well. I have chains on the rear and you almost don't need with 4wd with them.

Yes the switch is in the on position. 4wheel drive works great once it engages. We have chains for ours but they tear up the asphalt drive so we just plow without them. But thanks I might have to check for water. I assumed since it's an '08 everything would still be in good shape but maybe not.

The hubs aren't as bad as they used to be. They moved the hubs from the wheels to the front differential in the 2004.5 models, I believe. It's still worth looking into. My 2002 Sportsman's hubs needed to be checked every 3rd ride or so.

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