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Hey guys. Florence washed the 2001 Honda Rancher 4X4. I’m not exactly sure how deep it got on it. I’m thinking seat level maybe a hair lower. So I’m trying to be thorough in checking it out. There was water in the block, so I’ve drained the oil. I was thinking about filling it with diesel fuel a couple of times and draining it back out to try and clean it up. Thoughts? The electronics seem ok so far. I’ve got lights, and a working starter. I was planning to replace the carburetor anyhow so I’m not going to stress on it. Probably replace the coil. Wondering about the front and rear end? What should I do there? I figured the mud rider crowd would best to ask, as I’m sure you guys have been through it at some point. Other than having a crack in the intake manifold flange it was running really well before. Anyhow, thanks in advance. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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if is an es, i wouldnt do it.. if not, i wont say not to do it. my 55 chevy sitting in the field, got water in the block. happened over years. rain. the oil was, gray, white/yellowish, stuff. i flushed the block out several times with diesel fuel. block was locked up from sitting, with water in it.
on the side, me and a friend pulled it from the field, got the engine to turn over.
long story short, i use diesel fuel, when necessary.
i think it will work, others with more experience, atv, wise, will be here shortly.. i forgot to say wellcome
 

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You have a lot of work to do for sure. I have no idea what condition (the quality of maintenance that it had received its entire service life) your bike was in before the flood, so its difficult to advise you. If we're talking about the average 17 year old (poorly maintained) bike, then I'd tear the entire bike apart and repack all bearings and replace all oil/grease seals on everything that moves. Drain & flush front & rear diffs and the motor immediately. Get the brake drums off of it and start making your lists. The longer you wait, the more damage is being done by trapped water.

Whatever you decide on doing... there are no shortcuts, it'll require a very thorough effort to succeed in restoring it. Grab a free copy of the service manual from the manuals section here and read up. Welcome to the forums!
 

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Hi sorry to hear about the flooding you got. Do you plan to do any of the work yourself?

The OEM carb rebuild is pretty easy; plus you can buy a new manifold for it.

Otherwise, it would be best to rebuild the motor because of silt and debris that could have gotten in there. It’s really humid in NC so corrosion will start to form on all metal surfaces. First thing is to get all the drainable water out of the cylinder, crankcase, side cases, oil cooler and nooks crannies. I wouldn’t run it, but would start prepping the motor for tear down and talk to the Honda shop about getting it in
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info fellas. Luckily it was fresh water flooding. I’m inland about 40 miles from the coast, so all of this was rain water.
Just to update.
Drained All fluids. The block did have some water in it. I pulled the valve cover off and starting pouring diesel fuel through the top to drain. Then I decided I’d go ahead and rebuild the top end. Mostly because I wanted to be sure the piston hadn’t made a ring of rust inside the cylinder wall. So I’ve got the head pulled. It looks pretty good. Cylinder wall shows no signs of unusual wear, and was pretty clean. Pulled the wrist pin, and have the piston, and entire head soaking in diesel fuel. I’ve also filled up and drained the case through the cylinder hole a couple of times and have it sitting, full for the night.
 

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Thanks for the info fellas. Luckily it was fresh water flooding. I’m inland about 40 miles from the coast, so all of this was rain water.
Just to update.
Drained All fluids. The block did have some water in it. I pulled the valve cover off and starting pouring diesel fuel through the top to drain. Then I decided I’d go ahead and rebuild the top end. Mostly because I wanted to be sure the piston hadn’t made a ring of rust inside the cylinder wall. So I’ve got the head pulled. It looks pretty good. Cylinder wall shows no signs of unusual wear, and was pretty clean. Pulled the wrist pin, and have the piston, and entire head soaking in diesel fuel. I’ve also filled up and drained the case through the cylinder hole a couple of times and have it sitting, full for the night.
be warned !!!..water....IS WATER !..it makes no difference if its salt water ?, or fresh water ?, ANY WATER IS NOT GOOD FOR AN ATV MOTOR !. I see it right now, your going to do this fill with diesel, flush, and be right back here in no time because its smoking ?!. should we take bets on this ?..anyone ??..lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Right, comments like that are what makes people not want to ask questions boss. Just to be clear, I’m pretty savvy on engine work, usually what I’m in has 6-8 cylinders though. Hence the abundance of diesel fuel. I’ll do my best with it whether it demands a full break down or not. However I’m not planning at this point to rebuild this 17-18 year old ATV. I use it around the shop to spray round up mostly.. stuff I could do on foot. Again let’s not discount the fact that, as I said I want to keep it running. I don’t see having an issue with smoking since I’m rebuilding the top end. What I’ll end up doing is rebuilding, them mixing 1/2 oil 1/2 diesel, letting it idle for about 5 minutes and drain, then, Repeating the process until I’m satisfied with what is coming out. I have a tendency once I start something to go all the way with it, and if I ever split the case I’ll end up spending more on it than it’s worth.
 

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Btw I’m not discounting anyone else’s opinion on what I should do to this thing. Thanks for your input on the topic. I am listening... Retro, you mentioned the service manuals. How does one go about locating them?
 

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Here ya go (scroll down the page for the downloads link):
https://www.hondaatvforums.net/forums/honda-atv-schematics-manual-help/50817-service-manual-downloads.html

Its none of my business, but if I were doing that work and I was willing to risk the shortcut you might take... I would flush the motor out like you already have. Flush the oil cooler and lines out and blow them out with compressed air using fresh oil to push out any remaining solvent.

Put the motor back together with all of the original topend parts. Put fresh motor oil and oil filter in it only (Do NOT dilute the oil with any solvent or diesel fuel), start the motor and allow it to reach full operating temperature. Ride it until the oil is hot. Then drain the motor oil into a clean container. Take the oil filter out and tear it open for inspection. Inspect the motor oil for particle contaminants. If its all clean and good, put fresh motor oil and filter in it and ride it for 200 miles. If the motor is not smoking/using oil after 200 miles then its safe to rebuild the topend if you wish.

Don't dilute the motor oil though, thats really dumb and completely unnecessary. Don't spend any money on topend parts that you don't need yet either... thats really dumb. Make the motor prove to you that it is worthy of your cash investment before replacing the topend.

In the meantime you still have all of those bearings to take out, clean and repack with fresh grease. Get poppin' on it... talking about it is a waste of time and money!
 

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Right, comments like that are what makes people not want to ask questions boss. Just to be clear, I’m pretty savvy on engine work, usually what I’m in has 6-8 cylinders though. Hence the abundance of diesel fuel. I’ll do my best with it whether it demands a full break down or not. However I’m not planning at this point to rebuild this 17-18 year old ATV. I use it around the shop to spray round up mostly.. stuff I could do on foot. Again let’s not discount the fact that, as I said I want to keep it running. I don’t see having an issue with smoking since I’m rebuilding the top end. What I’ll end up doing is rebuilding, them mixing 1/2 oil 1/2 diesel, letting it idle for about 5 minutes and drain, then, Repeating the process until I’m satisfied with what is coming out. I have a tendency once I start something to go all the way with it, and if I ever split the case I’ll end up spending more on it than it’s worth.
ask a solid question, get a solid..truthful answer. I really don't care what you do from here on out, i'll leave you to your troubles...good luck, your going to need it.
 

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You might get by with a flush IF the water that contaminated it was pretty clean.

I've seen sunk bikes in clay based mud get by with a flush. I've also seen sunk motors in the same area ruin a new top end in very few miles, and have had it happen to me personally.

Honestly, tearing down a bottom end to clean it out doesn't cost you anything but a set of gaskets and some time.

Your bike, your choice. I certainly would't put a top end on it right now. Run the one you have, see if it's going to smoke first. If you have grit in your bottom end it will ruin a new top end in no time. If you run your existing top end and it doesn't smoke you know you got lucky on a flush.
 
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