03 Honda Rubicon Swim

Ebbtide

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Transmission/clutches/oil pump seems to be slipping on my Rubicon 500 auto. Any thoughts on the cause?. It was submerged for about 10 minutes in knik. The water was not quite over the seat. Now when you go up hill at a steep angle or hit about 30 mph the machine's power to the wheels surges. The engine seems to run fine after an oil change. Anybody been there? Done that?
 

johan

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Be sure to change the oil until ALL the milky white is out. Remove the cover on your belt housing and drain. Remove and junk in there. More than likely you got to deep for the stock snorkels whic are somewhere towards the front of your wheeler and sucked in water. I don't know if you plan on it but if you go for deep water again build yourself a bigger snorkel. Hope this helps
 

AkHunter45

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Ebbtide, correct me if i'm wrong but there is no belt on the Rubi is there? As far as I know, there is no belt on any Honda.
 

Ebbtide

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Swimming Rubicon

Swimming Rubicon

AKHunter45 you are correct. There is no belts. The transmission is (Hondamatic) or hydrolic? I guess. As fas as the intake, It is located under the seat. I'm not real sure how one would go about snorkeling from there.
 

AkHunter45

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I think one would have to go to the airbox and cut a hole in it, thats the only way I can see doing a snorkel on a Honda. The factory snorkel does run under the seat and gas tank and ends near the steering column. The whole beltless thing is another reason I like Honda's, for me simple is best.
 

johan

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Yeah, I weasn't sure if you had a belt or not. I'm not sure about your tranny then, maybe change fluid. As for a snorkel... anything is possible. The forum at highlifter.com will help you out immensely, good info there on anything you need.
 

Water_Gremlin

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You dont nescessarily have to cut a hole in the airbox to snorkel a Honda. Most of the time you can thread a 1.5" or 2" male/female threaded coupler on the stock airbox hole. All you have to do is remove the stock snorkeling. That is what I did on my wifes rancher. Then I ran the pipe along the engine and up the fender.

If your oil is milky I would drain it more than once. A mechanic told me one time, anything under a couple ounces of water will vaporize and exit the engine. I would rather be on the safe side and continue to drain the oil until theres no milkiness.

Did you drain the bowl on the carb? Check your spark plugs, oil, airfilter, airbox, and drain your exhaust.

If I remember right the Rubi uses the engine oil to drive the tranny. If so, I bet mucky oil is your problem, and possibly water in the float bowl.
 

Crumm

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Ebbtide said:
Check out this link. There seems to be quite a bit to waterproofing the Rubicon. I think I will just stay out of the deep stuff.
http://www.highlifter.com/forum/Rubicon_water_crossing_depth/m_1471739/tm.htm

I started that post over there but didn't really come up with much info. The intake is up under the back of the seat and the vent lines for the diffs are under the handle bars. I had mine sunk to the bottom of the seat the other day and no water got into anything. From what I can find out the crankcase vent is also in the air-box so other than getting water into the intake it is a sealed unit. If your oil is not milky I doubt that the slipping you are getting is related to the dunk it got. If your oil is milky change it two or three times or more.
 

Crumm

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By the way if there is water in your oil and it wasn't deep enough to get in the intake it might have got in through the fill plug or dipstick. Be sure to keep them good and tight as when the hot engine hits cold water it will try and pull in the water.


Just in-case you have never changed the oil yourself there is two drain plugs rather than one. The one plug drains the crankcase and the other drains the oil tank. You will also need to remove the skid plate to get to the oil filter. To refill it there is only the one plug and I believe it takes around 5 quarts to top it off. You have to put in about 3.5 quarts and start it for a few seconds then put in the other 1.5 quarts. If you already knew this stuff sorry for making you read it again ;)
 

Ebbtide

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Swimming Rubicon

Swimming Rubicon

I changed the oil and filter once. Then ran it-it slipped. Checked the oil and it was low. Put more oil in and it was better but still slipped at about 30 mph so having run out of time I took it to Alaska cycle center. Called them yesterday. They said they changed the oil and filter again and could not get it to slip. They also said they could not get it up to 30 mph in their parking lot. So I will pick it up tomorrow and take it for a test drive. I sure hope that is all it was. More to come...
 

Ebbtide

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swiming rubicon

swiming rubicon

Got the rubicon out of the shop and put it to the test. Seems to be fine and all it took was another oil change. Total of 2. The charge was about 55 dollars at Alaska Cycle Center for the second oil change.
 

Ebbtide

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Just back from Chicken. (unsuccessful) Transmission still slipping especially in d1 and esp third and fourth gears. Also tends to slip when starting off on a slope or in a tight turn. Guess its back to Honda.
 

Mike Echo

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Keep checking the oil

Keep checking the oil

for any milkiness. I don't know for sure with the tranny Honda has how many places you can check it but I would check every one I could find. I would still bet on water in the oil.
Mike
 

potbuilder

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I've got a 03 Rincon and was told by the fellow at ATV Salvage in eagle river if i ever sunk my rincon to not just change the oil & run it, something to do with the oil/hydraulic passages in the tranny being gunked up with silt or dirt and if you run it then you really screw up the tranny. I'd give him a call over at atv salvage and see what he has to say about your problem.
 

Crumm

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The Rincon and the Rubicon are two totally different systems. The Rincon has a three speed automotive type automatic transmission and the Rubicon has a swash plate hydraulic drive.
 

Ebbtide

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03 Rubicon Swim

03 Rubicon Swim

After the third complete oil change the transmission is probably back to about 90%. It still seem a little weak though but got me through a rigerous moose hunt. Maybe the 4th oil change will finally end the saga??
 

AndrewK

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I had a similar problem with my 2004 Rancher.....I was out playing in the water and sunk it up to the seat....The engine died while in the water...Ended up pulling it out, Pulled the plug, pumped out the water and she started right up..took it back home, changed all the fluids....riding for the next couple days it would hardly make it over 30 MPH..... Ended up draining a whole bunch of water and dirt out of the carb.... The only slippage from the tranny was my own fault of putting energy conserving oil in her.....
 
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