Polaris 800 Exhaust Valves Issue

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I have a 2002 Polaris 800 and during my last trip of last season to Canada, my exhaust valves melted to the point that they would not slide out of the cylinder. My friend’s 2002 800 also had the same problem during this trip.

I was able to remove the exhaust Y pipe and bend the valve up enough to remove my valve however my friend’s engine had to be torn down to allow better access to the melted valves.

I just received the replacement valves, springs, diaphragm and gaskets from my local Polaris dealer and I noticed that the valves are notched out on one side.

Can you answer why the exhaust valves melted? Also, why is the replacement valves notched on one side? I would have to guess it is to help dissipate heat!


Ingleside, IL


Thanks for your email!

The power valves are not only notched but are now made from stainless steel. The original units were made of aluminum and you are correct – could not withstand heat in the 800 Liberty.

It is imperative you follow the replacement instructions for the installation of the new guillotine slides and in particular the fastening nuts on their stems.

Read and follow the instructions which come with the new valves paying particular attention to the torque spec and proper thread cement use on the stem nuts.

One more thing – and you’ve likely heard this one too many times but repetition is the law of emphasis so here goes – use good oil and clean your exhaust valves regularly. If when you clean the valves at regular intervals (max 2000 miles) you find them heavily gummed up and sluggish or stuck, CHANGE OIL BRANDS!

There are a thousand companies peddling oil promising to deliver clean valves. Some do, some don’t. Be careful.

Motorhead Mark

Supertrax Online
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