Any opinions on Hondamatic problems? - Honda Foreman Forums : Rubicon, Rincon, Rancher and Recon Forum
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Any opinions on Hondamatic problems?

SO, I bought a 400 Foreman a few months back and it's been a GREAT fourwheeler so far, but now I'm wanting more.

I've found what seems to be a pretty good deal on an '03 Rubicon with the Hondamatic which I think I'll like really well, but now people are telling me horror stories about the Hondamatic transmissions and how unreliable they can be.

Can anyone give me some input to as if this particular model falls into the category they're talking about? I definitely don't want to end up buying something that's gonna constantly give me problems and cost an arm and leg to fix.

Thanks for any/all input!
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a Honda Rancher 400 AT Gpscape that has the Hondamatic tranny. It is an 04 and has not given me any problems in 7 years and I use the **** out of it. I really like the AUTO over the EX or footshift. It allows me to hold my beer! Also if I want I can shift to ES to keep in lower gear! If you like it and it is a good deal I would say get it and don't look back.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i love it and would hate to see it goo mad,, looking at 2k
but the d2 is useless
d1 equal automatic good for crusing
es i like when i need more thump, sometimes tricky to shift out of low and reverse but otherwise the best tranny i believe
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coltrane View Post
i love it and would hate to see it goo mad,, looking at 2k
but the d2 is useless
d1 equal automatic good for crusing
es i like when i need more thump, sometimes tricky to shift out of low and reverse but otherwise the best tranny i believe
Really Ive always thought D1 was useless, Im in D2 100% of the time.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Can you guys elaborate on why you think D1 or D2 is useless, because I've yet to even see a difference and I want to make sure to be in the appropriate gear when I ride. The explanation in the Honda manual is kind of vague too.

I got my 02 Rubicon this last September and took it on two big rides up a couple different mining roads. One of the roads was rutty and technically challenging in a few spots- like going up rocks that seem almost convex. It gained about 1500' in elevation over 6 or 7 miles. The other road was a big climb- up to about 2500' over 4 to 5 miles with lots of switchbacks but generally a straightforward ride. I experimented with D1 and D2 and could not tell a difference.
Since those rides I have just used my machine for plowing.
By the way, the machine kicked ass on both of those roads and the ride up the mountain made bagging the peak by foot alot easier and gave some awesome views!!!
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfish6025 View Post
Can you guys elaborate on why you think D1 or D2 is useless, because I've yet to even see a difference and I want to make sure to be in the appropriate gear when I ride. The explanation in the Honda manual is kind of vague too....

I think it was toodeep that originally posted this jpeg. it may help to visualize the difference between d1 and d2.
Attached Thumbnails
Any opinions on Hondamatic problems?-d1d2.jpg  
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by happyeaglesfan View Post
I have a Honda Rancher 400 AT Gpscape that has the Hondamatic tranny. It is an 04 and has not given me any problems in 7 years and I use the **** out of it. I really like the AUTO over the EX or footshift. It allows me to hold my beer! Also if I want I can shift to ES to keep in lower gear! If you like it and it is a good deal I would say get it and don't look back.
I can't say that I've heard anything bad about the Ranchers, but a few people now have told me that the "earlier" Rubicons with the Hondamatic go bad often, and if it's 2k to fix well.....I'd be better off just gettin a newer one.

I've owned several Honda dirtbikes and this is my second fourwheelers. It never fails that when a bunch of us go riding somebody breaks down, and its the guy on the Honda that ends up towin them home
I don't want to believe the Hondamatic problems are true, but my wallets stopping me to investigate this one lol.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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overall from my research, rubicon hondamatics issues are rare, especially compared to other automatic transmission issues. when they do go bad, then yes, they cost alot to fix. personally, i wanted an auto for plowing snow, and the rubicon is so smooth and seamless, i don't know how i survived before it!
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i dont believe there is no difference between d1 or d2 but but from past convo with peolple the recommended not to use d2, but im not sure, just dont switch modes while moving,, bad, bad, bad
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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buy an 09 or later rubicon. there is no D2 anymore. never used it on my 05
anyway. i had always read that the 05 and newer were improved.
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