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Dear Ralph: Is there a problem with the cranks on the 00-01-02 800 Polaris? I know of five that have broken the P.T.O. side...

Dear Ralph:
Is there a problem with the cranks on the 00-01-02 800 Polaris? I know of five that have broken the P.T.O. side after 3000 – 5000 miles. Also, does Polaris know about this and did they fix it for 03-04? Would I be better off to put a single pipe and reeds on a 700 because my 800 was stock and it blew apart? Do the 700’s and 800’s have the same bottom end? Please help me make an informed decision. The magazine is great! Keep it up. It’s nice to get the straight goods not just brand bashing.
Ben Gibbons

First, I would have to say yes, there has been a number of PTO end failures on big block Polaris twins. Some of the earlier 600s and all of the 700 and 800 share the same basic bottom end, but we see most of the crank issues on the 800s. Presumably due to the higher output and stronger vibrations of the bigger pistons and more powerful engine. We had the PTO end break on our 2004 Switchback 800 and found availability of PTO ends and complete crankshafts to be questionable. Allsport Polaris (509-926-5044) has developed a good fix for this, and now has a good stock of parts (PTO ends and complete cranks) on hand.

Is this a huge problem? No, but there is room for improvement. Every brand does have a percentage of failures in every model they build, Polaris included. I tend to believe if you increase the output of a 700 that you’d pretty much be in the same boat as an 800 in terms of output and stress on the crank. For instance, we’ve had an 800 Polaris twin ever since they came out. Our first year 2000 RMK 800 136” lost the crank the following season in the first few weeks, then we had zero issues until the 2004 went down. The 2001 800 LE ran great, a 2002 RMK 800 continues to run strong, our 2003 RMK 800 is tricked out and running strong, and our 2004 Switchback, well, you already know about that one.

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