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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I recently bought a 2004 Honda Rancher 4x4 for $1,000. It is the semi-auto, foot shift model, and was just wondering what you guys thought about them? Mine is going to need swing arm bearings, they are pretty bad to the point I can feel the whole rear end seeming loose, and can shake it back and forth quite a bit. It seems to start up and run fine, just a little clicky which I assume is the valves. I've ordered a bunch of parts for it, but just wondering what I should pay most attention to? The brakes suck, so I ordered new front and rear, I'll also change the oil. What am I missing??
 

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Honda breaks are trash so get highlifters disc break conversion for sure, I've owned 3 of these and two of them have been mud bikes, the carburetors never last around water and neither do top ends, but overall these bikes are tanks, great machines dispute what other haters say, good buy

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hahaha I hope the top end isn't bad, I'm pretty sure the clicking is just the valves needing to be re-tightened. Dealer wants $350 to do it so gonna have to figure something else out. Also, here's a pic:



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Now why would you use that sort of language?
Please edit your post and remove your needless adjective
 

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Thanks very much.
You will like this machine. I have 2 of the 04-06 year group in my herd. The carburetors caused me some problems -- the starter valves like to spring back open before the engine is warm. I especially like the 12v plug in the cowl very handy. Parts for this one much easier to find than your other rig!
 

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Ranchers 350 are great machines, I have two 2001's.

That looks like the machine I just saw this past week for sale on New Hampshire's Craigslist for $1,200. I thought it was a great deal, and thought about getting myself, but I already have three machines. I would have to convince my wife that it would be a winter project and I would sell it later. For $1,000 it's worth fixing the items you described, after you are done you will have a great machine.

I look on Mass, New Hampshire and Maine's Craigslist all the time. I also noticed you had the older 350 Foreman for sale on Craigslist, looked like the same pictures you posted on here, did you sell that machine? I Don't see it up for sale anymore?
 

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you will need a 17mm allen wrench to remove the swing arm bolts, and a cheater pipe or hammer ?, cheater pipe works best, as you won't beat the crap out of the end of the allen wrench. now is a good time to go through everything, oil, brakes,bearings,air filter, sprak plug, seals, top to bottom, front to back, check everything !.
 

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Ranchers 350 are great machines, I have two 2001's.

That looks like the machine I just saw this past week for sale on New Hampshire's Craigslist for $1,200. I thought it was a great deal, and thought about getting myself, but I already have three machines. I would have to convince my wife that it would be a winter project and I would sell it later. For $1,000 it's worth fixing the items you described, after you are done you will have a great machine.

I look on Mass, New Hampshire and Maine's Craigslist all the time. I also noticed you had the older 350 Foreman for sale on Craigslist, looked like the same pictures you posted on here, did you sell that machine? I Don't see it up for sale anymore?
haha, I have 3 atvs in my herd now, never can have to many Honda atvs !..lol. ( and no wife ! )..lmao.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ranchers 350 are great machines, I have two 2001's.



That looks like the machine I just saw this past week for sale on New Hampshire's Craigslist for $1,200. I thought it was a great deal, and thought about getting myself, but I already have three machines. I would have to convince my wife that it would be a winter project and I would sell it later. For $1,000 it's worth fixing the items you described, after you are done you will have a great machine.



I look on Mass, New Hampshire and Maine's Craigslist all the time. I also noticed you had the older 350 Foreman for sale on Craigslist, looked like the same pictures you posted on here, did you sell that machine? I Don't see it up for sale anymore?


Haha it is that one! I got in touch with the kid who said he was getting a ton of emails and drove down to pick it up that night. He bought it brand new and signed the title over to me, just a younger kid. It's definitely been used, but it starts right up and runs really well. I have ordered a ton of cosmetic parts on eBay for it, but the plastics are all in great shape. It needs those swing arm bearings, and the valves adjusted, I'll do all the oils and filters and it should be good to go.

I did sell my 87 - to a guy who was collecting the older machines. He fell in love with it almost immediately and couldn't wait to get home and ride it. It was a good machine, but not for trails. It made me nervous that no one would work on it, and I was just looking for something a little newer to ride with some of my friends. Once I get a few small things taken care of on the rancher I'm thinking it should be ok.


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Ranchers 350 are great machines, I have two 2001's.

That looks like the machine I just saw this past week for sale on New Hampshire's Craigslist for $1,200. I thought it was a great deal, and thought about getting myself, but I already have three machines. I would have to convince my wife that it would be a winter project and I would sell it later. For $1,000 it's worth fixing the items you described, after you are done you will have a great machine.

I look on Mass, New Hampshire and Maine's Craigslist all the time. I also noticed you had the older 350 Foreman for sale on Craigslist, looked like the same pictures you posted on here, did you sell that machine? I Don't see it up for sale anymore?
haha, I have 3 atvs in my herd now, never can have to many Honda atvs !..lol. ( and no wife ! )..lmao.
I agree that one can never have too Honda many atvs, or wives for that matter! But atvs are less expensive, last longer, and take more abuse, lol. I'm just kidding in case she reads this.
 

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Ranchers 350 are great machines, I have two 2001's.



That looks like the machine I just saw this past week for sale on New Hampshire's Craigslist for $1,200. I thought it was a great deal, and thought about getting myself, but I already have three machines. I would have to convince my wife that it would be a winter project and I would sell it later. For $1,000 it's worth fixing the items you described, after you are done you will have a great machine.



I look on Mass, New Hampshire and Maine's Craigslist all the time. I also noticed you had the older 350 Foreman for sale on Craigslist, looked like the same pictures you posted on here, did you sell that machine? I Don't see it up for sale anymore?


Haha it is that one! I got in touch with the kid who said he was getting a ton of emails and drove down to pick it up that night. He bought it brand new and signed the title over to me, just a younger kid. It's definitely been used, but it starts right up and runs really well. I have ordered a ton of cosmetic parts on eBay for it, but the plastics are all in great shape. It needs those swing arm bearings, and the valves adjusted, I'll do all the oils and filters and it should be good to go.

I did sell my 87 - to a guy who was collecting the older machines. He fell in love with it almost immediately and couldn't wait to get home and ride it. It was a good machine, but not for trails. It made me nervous that no one would work on it, and I was just looking for something a little newer to ride with some of my friends. Once I get a few small things taken care of on the rancher I'm thinking it should be ok.


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Even if it's been used you can bring it back, these Honda machines are tough, you know that. It's also fun to work on them and very rewarding to bring them back and enjoy them on the trails. I bought a non running 2005 Recon Es for $500 and brought it back and it's now being enjoyed.

I've found that in our area, if you find a great deal on Craigslist, you have to have read the post in the first two hours and have to call right away. Also, have the money at home and trailer ready to go pick it up. I've been beaten to a good deal in one hour of the post.

Good for the guy who bought your 87 Forman. It would be great to collect older Honda atv, wish I had a big barn to keep them in, like poeple do with antique cars. interesting how you think it was not a good machine for trails. I've never ridden one and have always wondered what it would be like to ride one. I see a lot of older 350 and 300 for sale on Craigslist and are always intrigued by them especially the 300's but I think that the Rancher 350 would be a better machine to ride on the trails and I have two, so I don't look to buy one. Would a 95 300 be a better ride than a 2001 Rancher? Probably not, but don't know.

I've done it once, replaced the swing arm bearings on my friends 2000 Recon, not sure if it's the same as a Rancher. I ended up buying a tool to take out the left side nut with all the slots. If you decide to do it yourself I have the tool. I go up to Sunapee area often to ski or to take a ride in my car. Beautiful area you live in.
 

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Ranchers 350 are great machines, I have two 2001's.



That looks like the machine I just saw this past week for sale on New Hampshire's Craigslist for $1,200. I thought it was a great deal, and thought about getting myself, but I already have three machines. I would have to convince my wife that it would be a winter project and I would sell it later. For $1,000 it's worth fixing the items you described, after you are done you will have a great machine.



I look on Mass, New Hampshire and Maine's Craigslist all the time. I also noticed you had the older 350 Foreman for sale on Craigslist, looked like the same pictures you posted on here, did you sell that machine? I Don't see it up for sale anymore?


Haha it is that one! I got in touch with the kid who said he was getting a ton of emails and drove down to pick it up that night. He bought it brand new and signed the title over to me, just a younger kid. It's definitely been used, but it starts right up and runs really well. I have ordered a ton of cosmetic parts on eBay for it, but the plastics are all in great shape. It needs those swing arm bearings, and the valves adjusted, I'll do all the oils and filters and it should be good to go.

I did sell my 87 - to a guy who was collecting the older machines. He fell in love with it almost immediately and couldn't wait to get home and ride it. It was a good machine, but not for trails. It made me nervous that no one would work on it, and I was just looking for something a little newer to ride with some of my friends. Once I get a few small things taken care of on the rancher I'm thinking it should be ok.


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Even if it's been used you can bring it back, these Honda machines are tough, you know that. It's also fun to work on them and very rewarding to bring them back and enjoy them on the trails. I bought a non running 2005 Recon Es for $500 and brought it back and it's now being enjoyed.

I've found that in our area, if you find a great deal on Craigslist, you have to have read the post in the first two hours and have to call right away. Also, have the money at home and trailer ready to go pick it up. I've been beaten to a good deal in one hour of the post.

Good for the guy who bought your 87 Forman. It would be great to collect older Honda atv, wish I had a big barn to keep them in, like poeple do with antique cars. interesting how you think it was not a good machine for trails. I've never ridden one and have always wondered what it would be like to ride one. I see a lot of older 350 and 300 for sale on Craigslist and are always intrigued by them especially the 300's but I think that the Rancher 350 would be a better machine to ride on the trails and I have two, so I don't look to buy one. Would a 95 300 be a better ride than a 2001 Rancher? Probably not, but don't know.

I've done it once, replaced the swing arm bearings on my friends 2000 Recon, not sure if it's the same as a Rancher. I ended up buying a tool to take out the left side nut with all the slots. If you decide to do it yourself I have the tool. I go up to Sunapee area often to ski or to take a ride in my car. Beautiful area you live in.
Thanks man! It is nice up here, if you're ever going to be around let me know and we can hit some trails together. I like exploring, and riding to enjoy the ride, not much into hammering the * out of my machine in mud holes or on rocks. The 87 was a great four wheeler, I got it for a steal thinking it would be good for what I wanted. It was a work horse, that, in low gear, would climb the side of my house if it could get traction, but on the trails, my knees were in my chest, the suspension was similar to that of a tank, and it's turning radius was way too wide. Also, I couldn't find a winch mount for it, I can't weld, and I don't know anyone who can. The winch was on the rack which I wouldn't have used to pull anything but a plow with.

I've had a Can Am 800, Can Am 650, 2 arctic cat 650s, and a Honda 400ex. I like these ranchers the best out of any other ones I've had. My buddy has an 07 400 and he's put that thing through more than anyone could think of and it's still lugging along with no problem. They aren't speed demons, but I'm not into that anyways. Like I said, I think mine will be a nice machine with some attention, I'd like to find some bigger tires and nicer looking wheels for it, but I can live with what it has for now. I called freedom cycle in concord and set an appointment to have them fix the swing arm bearings, but I'd be all for some help and direction from a forum member who knows what they're doing if you'd ever want to. I can pay you, I can bring beer, and I can at least hold a mean flashlight....
 

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Haha it is that one! I got in touch with the kid who said he was getting a ton of emails and drove down to pick it up that night. He bought it brand new and signed the title over to me, just a younger kid. It's definitely been used, but it starts right up and runs really well. I have ordered a ton of cosmetic parts on eBay for it, but the plastics are all in great shape. It needs those swing arm bearings, and the valves adjusted, I'll do all the oils and filters and it should be good to go.

I did sell my 87 - to a guy who was collecting the older machines. He fell in love with it almost immediately and couldn't wait to get home and ride it. It was a good machine, but not for trails. It made me nervous that no one would work on it, and I was just looking for something a little newer to ride with some of my friends. Once I get a few small things taken care of on the rancher I'm thinking it should be ok.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Even if it's been used you can bring it back, these Honda machines are tough, you know that. It's also fun to work on them and very rewarding to bring them back and enjoy them on the trails. I bought a non running 2005 Recon Es for $500 and brought it back and it's now being enjoyed.

I've found that in our area, if you find a great deal on Craigslist, you have to have read the post in the first two hours and have to call right away. Also, have the money at home and trailer ready to go pick it up. I've been beaten to a good deal in one hour of the post.

Good for the guy who bought your 87 Forman. It would be great to collect older Honda atv, wish I had a big barn to keep them in, like poeple do with antique cars. interesting how you think it was not a good machine for trails. I've never ridden one and have always wondered what it would be like to ride one. I see a lot of older 350 and 300 for sale on Craigslist and are always intrigued by them especially the 300's but I think that the Rancher 350 would be a better machine to ride on the trails and I have two, so I don't look to buy one. Would a 95 300 be a better ride than a 2001 Rancher? Probably not, but don't know.

I've done it once, replaced the swing arm bearings on my friends 2000 Recon, not sure if it's the same as a Rancher. I ended up buying a tool to take out the left side nut with all the slots. If you decide to do it yourself I have the tool. I go up to Sunapee area often to ski or to take a ride in my car. Beautiful area you live in.
Thanks man! It is nice up here, if you're ever going to be around let me know and we can hit some trails together. I like exploring, and riding to enjoy the ride, not much into hammering the * out of my machine in mud holes or on rocks. The 87 was a great four wheeler, I got it for a steal thinking it would be good for what I wanted. It was a work horse, that, in low gear, would climb the side of my house if it could get traction, but on the trails, my knees were in my chest, the suspension was similar to that of a tank, and it's turning radius was way too wide. Also, I couldn't find a winch mount for it, I can't weld, and I don't know anyone who can. The winch was on the rack which I wouldn't have used to pull anything but a plow with.

I've had a Can Am 800, Can Am 650, 2 arctic cat 650s, and a Honda 400ex. I like these ranchers the best out of any other ones I've had. My buddy has an 07 400 and he's put that thing through more than anyone could think of and it's still lugging along with no problem. They aren't speed demons, but I'm not into that anyways. Like I said, I think mine will be a nice machine with some attention, I'd like to find some bigger tires and nicer looking wheels for it, but I can live with what it has for now. I called freedom cycle in concord and set an appointment to have them fix the swing arm bearings, but I'd be all for some help and direction from a forum member who knows what they're doing if you'd ever want to. I can pay you, I can bring beer, and I can at least hold a mean flashlight....
I just don't have the experience doing it on a Rancher. I had my friend's Recon for a few months, did research, took my time, and it was a good machine to learn on, he wasn't going to fix it so if I screwed it up it didn't matter. But I've must of done a good job, because a year later it's still going good at his camp in Maine. I ended up rebuilding the differential, replacing all the axle bearings and brakes too, everything was shot. Had fun doing it, but took a long time. Removing the old bearings is a pain in the you know what and it takes time. Most outer races had to be cut with with a dremel.

I can offer the tool to take out the special nut, but it sounds like you are going to have someone do it anyway.

Keep us posted on the progress. Good project.
 

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swing arm bearings on most, if not all ?..Hondas..are all the same. 17mm allen wrench to remove, ya don't need a special tool to remove the right side that has the lock nut :).
 

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If you can find a 4x4 420 Rancher being parted out the disc brakes will swap right onto that 350. Pop the upper and lower ball joints loose from the a-arms, and the 420 knuckle and hub/rotor go right in place. You'll have to trim the factory boot guard on the 350 aarm to clear the brakes, but other than that it's bolt on.

Or get the SSATV or highlifter disc brake conversion. Spending money on rebuilding drum brakes is akin to setting that money on fire.

You can also supposedly put a 400AT selectable front diff in these with a little grinding on the frame crossmember up front. You'd have to wire in a switch to actuate the 400AT front diff, and make sure that you didn't shift into 4wd with front and rear wheels spinning at different speeds (either stop or make sure you're rolling in a straight line and rear wheels aren't spinning), but it would make it a lot easier to steer when you don't need 4wd.
 

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I've got an 02 (bought new) that has been rolled several times, sunk once, and pushed a million miles of snow. I've used it for trail riding and had 2 kids learn to ride on it. Other than stuck brushes in the starter once, and the fact that due to it having been rolled one time too many and now it needs (I believe) upper and lower swing arms (probably bent) because it's difficult to steer. I've never had a problem with it. It still starts and runs just fine, although it's getting a little long in the tooth and needs a maintenance rebuild because it's getting a little low on power. Great machine - It's actually too bad a lot of folks are trying to make them into 750's and destroying them in the swamps.
 
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