'01 - '04 Rubicon Tranny Failures... - Honda Foreman Forums : Rubicon, Rincon, Rancher and Recon Forum
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default '01 - '04 Rubicon Tranny Failures...

So, Im looking at an 02 Rubicon but Im concerned about the tranny issues (whats new?) I had some discussion of the issue over in the Foreman 450 forum, and then read the thread here about it, which was kindly bumped by SS. The thinking about buying a rubicon thread had a bunch of 2005 + owners testifying to the durability of their Rubicons. Unfortunately, that doesnt help those of us contemplating the purchase of an 01-04 Rubicon, which apparently, is where most of the problems arise. Granted there are a few 1st Gen Rubicon owners also vouching for their Rubicons, which only makes the issue more foggy.

Im hoping this thread might be fielded by 01 04 Rubicon owners, and would be particularly interested in those with some knowledge of the transmission failures and what causes them. With some people having no trouble at all, it makes you wonder whats causing the failures that have occurred.

Are the failures stemming from abuse, inadequate maintenance, overloading/stress, or was it a defect in design?

How does the problem present initially, or is it a sudden failure, without warning?

Anyone know what they updated in 05 to fix the problem?

Thanks,
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There are more 01-04 Rubicons out there without problems then with. I've owned an 01, 05 and 01. My last one had transmission problems (it was a wrecked machine, dropped out of the back of a pickup). My first one is still running to this day and it has to have over 20,000 miles on it by now.

There are a few things that can cause the failure. One is the bearings in the hydrostatic unit go bad. Oil pumps was the common problem in the earlier machines but when they messed up the transmission was also replaced because of scoring damage that was done to them (Honda goodwill warrantied these machines for quite a while). The relief valve would mess up in the oil pump causing the issue. Some of them was just because of abuse (run low on oil, not serviced regularly, etc).

As far as knowing if/when one is going bad some will make a ratcheting sound (will also do this if low on oil) when they are starting to get a little bad. Some will just go all at once with no warning. Mine did that, locked the machine up on the trail.

What was fixed. Well they tweaked the oil pump, transmission and the computer. The specifics I can't really tell you since I never sat down and compared the old and new but I know where the problems where.

I caught a little of the other thread the other day. What are they asking for the machine?
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toodeep View Post
Oil pumps was the common problem in the earlier machines but when they messed up the transmission was also replaced because of scoring damage that was done to them (Honda goodwill warrantied these machines for quite a while). The relief valve would mess up in the oil pump causing the issue.
So is it possible/feasible to preemptively replace the oil pump to prevent a transmission failure?


Quote:
As far as knowing if/when one is going bad some will make a ratcheting sound (will also do this if low on oil) when they are starting to get a little bad.?
When does it make the ratcheting sound? Idling when stopped, or only while moving?


Quote:
I caught a little of the other thread the other day. What are they asking for the machine?
I didn't mention the price because I was hoping to get some opinions on what you guys thought it might be worth.

'02 Rubicon / 700 miles / Tapered Snow Plow / Warn Winch / Very Good Condition
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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To replace the oil pump you have to completely disassemble the motor. It wouldn't be worth it to me I guess unless there was a problem. There is the chance that nothing is wrong there and never will be and there is the chance the the transmission unit itself might go bad.

Under a load most of the time, working the machine hard and after it's been warned up.

Not knowing the condition and seeing it it's hard to say but around that $3,000 with the accessories should be pretty close, and that would be kind of on the high side depending on how they are selling in your area.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Copied from the Foreman 450 section.

A 02 Honda rubicon with 700 miles, winch and plow will be worth between $2800 to $3500 if it is good shape. Where is it located? I might buy it. I have an 02 that I bought with 225 miles on it. It now has nearly 5000 miles. I thought the hondamatic was going to die at about 1500 miles, look up my old posts. I nursed it back to health and have not had a problem since. I believe the most important items are to let it warm up before getting on the throttle and to change oil constantly with a good synthetic oil. Just my opinion and I hope she lasts as long as Rubi's.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A 02 Honda rubicon with 700 miles, winch and plow will be worth between $2800 to $3500 if it is good shape. Where is it located? I might buy it....
I thought the hondamatic was going to die at about 1500 miles, look up my old posts. I nursed it back to health and have not had a problem since.
I searched your old posts and found a thread about a grinding noise you had when coasting. Is that what you're referring to?

Thanks for the info, but I'd prefer not to disclose it's location. Every quad I find gets sold before I get a shot at it.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yea mine would grind everytime I coated down between 12 to a couple of MPH. Thought I might have burnished the swash plate. It finally worked itself out and no more noise. Been good for years since that issue. Lasted about three months.

Just kidding about buying it. Mine is doing fine.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My cousin's 03 grinds every time you put it in gear. And grinds when riding it. So what is causing this?
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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first of all is it sub-tranny or hondamatic,i have had some sub tranny shifter cogs go round on the ends and when you put them in gear they would grind and slip i also have seen some oil pump chains slip causing a grinding noises, this looses oil pressure and takess pressure off the pressure valves but in canada we call them bullets.If your shift rod isn't adjusted properly it may not be in gear all the way it's in between two gears.

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Old 03-09-2012, 09:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had ( just sold ) an 02 rubi, Yep the tranny went out, It had over 12000 miles on it though. If I had the money Id buy another one.I believe a bearing went out in mine but not sure, as I never tore it down to see. Most of my riding was on logging roads hauling dogs
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