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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2001 Honda Rubicon TRX500FA. Recently discovered that it is leaving some oily looking deposits on the ground after a ride (and most likely during the ride too, cause I wiped it off the skid plate and bottom chassis the other day). I don't know where it's coming from though, or what it is? I suspected front drive shaft/seal, but after wiping it clean after inspection and re-riding it again, it was still dry there. The substance leaves drops about the size of a dime, in several different spots, near the oil drain plug and forward from that area, and not in the same spot - ie. the cardboard I leave under the atv after the ride has a few drops in different areas. The substance is an oily texture, kinda has a strong smell, and in this case has a greyish/blackish color to it...

Coolant reservoir appears to be normal at both cold and hot engine temps. Oil dipstick comes out looking clean, and not smelly. Oil drain plug and oil filter area is dry and too far from the oil droppings. A mechanic I asked thinks it might be radiator overflow tube dripping when engine is hot. I have heard cooling fan turn on before, but never received any warning lights on dash either. Could it be brake fluid?

Anyone got any ideas for me to check out?
 

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could be many things
I would suggest washing atv good, then checking all fluid levels, and make sure there all correct
then take atv for a good ride in a CLEAN area, and check for what is leaking!
if your motor oil is over full, it will push out crank vents,
if rad is over full., it can leak out as well
if seals some where are bad they too can leak
so, till you pin point what is leaking, all we can do is guess, as where not there to see things!

if you have skid plates on , maybe remove them and then help find where things are leaking form, so oil or what ever leaking isn't just traveling across them,
how many miles hours on motor, and how many since last oil change?!

more info you give better help you get!
 

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Could be the weep hose for the water pump seal, engine oil, or gear oil. Have you checked the oil in the front and rear final drives? Gear oil tends to have a distinct smell, kinda skunky. Coolant can have an almost sweet smell.

Pulling skid plates, cleaning it thoroughly, riding it a bit, and looking carefully may be your best bet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I believe I found the source of the leak - Front Differential, appears from the seal where shaft enters. It's currently at the shop, waiting on a seal kit to be delivered. I searched online, saw that seal kits cost approx $30-60, which is easy to swallow. I also caught a YouTube video of the procedure - seems pretty intensive. Can anyone provide a rough estimate on what the labour for this job might cost me? (ie. # of hours?) TIA.
 
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