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2003 Honda foreman 500 slippage???

3195 Views 25 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Twistedwrist
Hey guys and gals,
Just a question about my 2003 Honda foreman 500
Yesterday I had the trailer hooked up and loaded a bunch of firewood into it( nothing more than I normally do)
And started to drive in low gear , the rear tire of the trailer was up against a rock, I tried to give it more has to see if it wouldn't roll over the rock like I normally do...all of a sudden as I'm accelerating, I hear what sounds like a winch being pulled on free something was slipping....never heard anything like this before and have no clue what it is...I unhooked the trailer and went to get my other bike and as soon as I took the trailer off the bike road first thought was the gears in the front diff were screwed...any ideas?
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Thanks for the reply.
Haven't changed the oil recently, and the level is good.
I'm actually thinking now that it is the Hondamatic going. When I was collecting sap to make maple syrup this spring. I put it on Manual mode and the shifting wasn't always working...sometimes I would have to hit the gear up or down multiple times.
So I stopped using that mode and went to the d2 mode it worked fine all spring until around June when I was doing wood. It only happened a cope times, but as I would start to accelerate from a stop the bike would start to move then it wouldn't suddenly feel like the brakes were on...I just let off the gas then hit the gas again and it would move fine...that happened a few times, so I started just using the d1 mode, everything was good until the other day when I heard this " slippage" sound.
Took the trailer off and went for a ride and it seemed ok...but as soon as I was in any mud or came into any resistance ( wheels up against log or rock etc) I'd give it a little more has to get over it and the slippage would happen again.
So I'm thinking it is the Honda matic
I take it this is an expensive fix too eh....
Should I even bother fixing it? Or is it screwed ?
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Thanks, but that's not my style.
I'll keep it as a parts bike for my other one
Thanks for the info.
I've actually read that before..totally forgot about it.
I remember reading it and thinking,"wow, hope I don't have to split my motor just for a bearing " lol
Just my luck lol,
Do you know if anyone on here has done this job themselves, but had the shaft turned down to 45mm on a lathe somewhere? Wondering if any machine shop could do it
Should I be using Honda oil in it? What type do you prefer?
I always check the level and I always change the oil way before I'm supposed to.
I think I'll do the test then drain it and have a good look
Ya I've always taken care of everything I own. It's proabbaly why I'm not the guy in our riding group that keeps breaking down lol
Problem with this bike though is it was beaten pretty bad by the guy I got it from. I only paid $600 for it. Got it to be a parts bike for my other rubicon. After I stripped it I figured I'd put a few bucks in it over the winter for fun.
So put cam chain, oil pump chain, bearings, rear pads, seat, cam chain tensioner.
So figured I'd use it for work on my 40acres. Collecting maple sap for syrup, firwood etc . Been doing that and it's been running great except burning oil. Wish I knew that when I had it open I would have put new rings in. But now with this problem, not sure I will.
Blows me away that some ppl treat their bikes like that.
Didn't know about the Honda matic bearing Problems before I picked up my 2002 or I would have stayed with foot shift
Can't believe they would put that bearing in there with plastic on it,
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Ok so I drained the oil. Looked ok except for the bottom of the oil filter cap.
Had a little bit of grey metal, not bright big silver chunks, just grey..


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Take the oil filter apart?
You mean rip the material open?
Didn't know they came apart, always just replaced with new one and got rid of the old one
Great info Retro!
Thanks, I really appreciate it.
I've always just looked over the oil and spark plug, never thought of looking inside the filter.
I've had some bikes that have magnets on the drain plug, that always helps to see if any metal in there.
Will go tear that one apart and have a look.
Thanks again.
Tried to get help on a Facebook group and this " Honda tech" guy said there is nothing wrong with the bike and that I'm just paranoid...ya right...I know when something is not normal.
Ended up just blocking the guy
No * eh...the things these Corps will do for money...
It was comical really...all I was looking for was the adapter to fit my bike to do the oil pressure test...didn't ask any advice at all..and he just went on and on..said he was a Honda tech at two shops...lmao
I was using my other bike to do wood this morning. So headig out soon to take a look at the oil filter.
Will post my findings this aft.
Thanks again for your help
So I pulled the oil filter and tore it open.
Didn't have a lot of metal, but had some, so tells me it's probably the bearing in the Hondamatic
Here is a pic


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I still have to learn how to use this forum...I kept checking in all day and didn't see your reply until now.
You are exactly right though, that's a lot of metal in the filter. I didn't see anything like you described regarding plastic.
At this point I don't think I want to waste a new oil filter and 5 litres of fresh oil in it if it's just going to blow in the near future.
I've messaged harig, but no response as of yet.
I don't know any machinists, and I'd feel a lot more confident if a guy like harig or someone else that has experience with these Hondamatics
So unless I get a response from him it seems like I'm just going to park it and throw a tarp over it.
I know I only got it for a parts bike for my good one, but I've spent about $500 on parts to get it usable as my work bike and was hoping to keep my mint one for hunting and trail riding.
What would you do if you were in my situation?
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That's not a bad deal for $450, I'm in Canada so it will be about $585-600 in Canadian
Everything I've read says to replace oil pump too, cost up here is $360
So I'd be looking at over a grand with gaskets, oil, and I'd want to put a new piston and rings in too, so not sure I will do this.
I had cancer and been off work for a long time and doubt I'll ever be able to go money is tight and I've got two dogs that are going to cost money very soon at the vet.
So may just eat the $1200 I have into this bike and keep it as a parts bike. Or with all the reading I'm doing sell it And my mint Hondamatic as a package and get a foot shift
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