Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: northern Michigan, Pigeon River State Forest
I am a retired Tool and die maker with a small hobby machine shop in my barn. I own a Rubicon and Rincon.
I just rebuilt a hondamatic from 2001 ruby with 2800 miles and 400 hours. bearing in motor side swivel swash plate went out.
(Almost always the problem, if you catch it before too much damage it is fixable, Honda put a bearing with a plastic cage in the motor side swivel swash plate??? if it was a metal cage bearing the hondamatic would still be running strong) a 85 mm x 49 mm x 19 mm angular bearing made only for Honda, can not buy it... a 7209b angular bearing 85 x 45 x 19 does work, make sure it has a metal cage not a cheap one with a plastic cage. must turn down swash plate swivel insert from 49 mm to 45 mm id of bearing. cleaned unit good and check all bearings.( make sure to clean all crap out of the whole unit and the other bearings) saved over a $1000 on a new one. they can be fixed!!!
plastic cage breaks and bearing fails, clogs the screen in oil tank and bottom of engine, causing low oil pressure and hondamatic failure from low lube and excessive heat. If you change oil and it has lots of crap including metal in the oil the hondamatic motor side swivel swash plate bearing is toast. STOP DRIVING IT!!! You will most likely have to replace both oil screens, the tank and bottom of engine screens. Make sure to check oil pump for damage, best bet is to put a new one in engine.
The oil pumps in Rubicons have so much suction that if the screen in tank and bottom of motor get plugged the pump will rip screen out , make sure to check both screens. The one in tank and bottom of engine.
If you take hondamatic apart be careful with the two rows of small pins with c-clips, they tend to fall out, bearings are tight but they are not pressed in. The swivel swash plate bearing is tight with almost no lip to knock out, so be carful getting it out, i grind a couple of small grooves in old bearing race and use an air chisel to burp it out. It will also remove outside bearing. (make sure to remove the c-clip holding the bearing...) to bad it is so much work to get the hondamatic out. Wish they had designed it to come out by just pulling the front engine cover off and not having to split the case............
Willing to machine and fit bearing if anybody wants to fix their hondamatic.
Swivel swash plate center is hardened steel but turns down easy on a lathe using ceramic inserts, Honda's are good machines..
I just find it hard to believe they put a bearing with a plastic cage in the hondamatic.......7209b bearings with a metal cage are about $60. UPDATE just ordered some from Locate Ball Bearings, KOYO 7209b bearings with metal cage for $45 each. DO NOT USE ONE WITHOUT A METAL CAGE. The one i fixed was caught right away and had no other damage to hondamatic or the rest of the engine, oil pump looked okay but put a new updated one and new pump chain in anyway. When i took the swivel swash plate apart the ball bearings all fell out from the bad bearing, the bearing was waisted but did not do any damage to the hondamatic.
Also if front bearing on hondamatic seems a little sloppy, that is how they are. They all seem to be that way even the new units.
Just for information in my search for hondamatic info I did find a guy in Minnesota that rebuilds ruby hondamatics. he charges $450 exchange. he is the one who told me about the 7209b bearing.
hope this helps a few ruby people out there....
Last edited by harig; 07-24-2016 at 05:00 PM.