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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Changed the oil before the ride today, and I think it lets the clutches slip too much. First time it's ever had trouble on hills and pulling up rocks. Going back to Honda oil.

EDIT: I have an 04 Rancher 400AT TRX400FA with the Hondamatic. I wanted to point that out because it's probably that the Hondamatic is picky about oil.
 

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What year and model ATV do you have? Just curious
 

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Changed the oil before the ride today, and I think it lets the clutches slip too much. First time it's ever had trouble on hills and pulling up rocks. Going back to Honda oil.
Thanks for the info. I CAN recommend Honda HP4S motor oil. I've used it now for two oil changes in my 2016 Honda Rancher and I'm very impressed. I now have 73 hours and 680 miles on this oil change and the oil still looks as clean as the day I put it in, and I haven't had to add any either. I will change it soon, but I've noticed with HP4S the DCT transmission feels slicker and the engine sounds less labored in below-freezing start ups.
 

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Interesting- thanks for sharing. I had thought about switching to the Valvoline, because it is easier to get (at Walmart), than going to the nearest Honda dealership. I know that I can order it online, but I hadn't gotten that far, yet. I've always used the Honda oil, so I'll stick with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What year and model ATV do you have? Just curious
It's a 2004 TRX400FA (Rancher 400 AT). Having the Hondamatic probably makes it more sensitive than others.

This thing has always been like having cheat mode on hills. Climbs anything. But not yesterday. I got stuck on a rocks going up a hill a few times. It wasn't fun.

I'm assuming it's the oil because I changed it Saturday and it was fine before that.
 

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Rustler I along with many members can truly tell you that synthetic atv oil is a GREAT CHOICE I run Mobil 1 $T in my 300 and it extended my drain intervals further than 600 miles, if you look around you'll find some good oils out there. Plus a synthetic will flow better when cold and lubricate better so you dont have to worry about anything.
 

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I run Valvoline ATV 10W-40 and it works just fine. My clutches absolutely don't slip. Not recommending it, and not not-recommending it, or whatever, just sayin' that it works fine in the 2016 Rancher AT.
 

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I've used it in several manual clutch sport quads over the years, and my ATC 110 and it works fine. Like you say must just be something with the Hondamatic. With it's reputation of being finicky it's probably best to stick with Honda oil.

Rob
 

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A buddy of mine ran it for a couple of years in his Rubicon with no issues.

We all use Rotella now because it's cheaper, but I used Valvoline for awhile with no issues.

The 400AT's are junk. I think it's much more likely to be an issue with that particular model of machine that an entire line of oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've used it in several manual clutch sport quads over the years, and my ATC 110 and it works fine. Like you say must just be something with the Hondamatic. With it's reputation of being finicky it's probably best to stick with Honda oil.

Rob
I agree. It's probably the combination of oil and Hondamatic transmission. I'll revise my initial post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Changed the oil before the ride today, and I think it lets the clutches slip too much. First time it's ever had trouble on hills and pulling up rocks. Going back to Honda oil.
Hopefully when you switch back it returns to normal. Do let us know how it turns out....
I have some coming. Be here tomorrow. I'll update the thread after I change it out and go play on it a while.
 

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Interesting, I use this exclusively in my shop, affordable and does the job with wet clutches.

be prepared, your probably gonna need to replace some friction discs soon. I suspect this is completely un-oil related.

clutch discs are a wearable item.
 

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What year and model ATV do you have? Just curious
It's a 2004 TRX400FA (Rancher 400 AT). Having the Hondamatic probably makes it more sensitive than others.

This thing has always been like having cheat mode on hills. Climbs anything. But not yesterday. I got stuck on a rocks going up a hill a few times. It wasn't fun.

I'm assuming it's the oil because I changed it Saturday and it was fine before that.
Rustler, I'm one of the few remaining regulars with the 400AT. Been running Rotella T6 now since I put a new clutch in 3 years back. I also mix in at 5% Lucas Heavy Duty Synthetic oil stabilizer. I picked that idea up from Melsman a while back. The added zinc helps cushion the pistons on the swash plate. Last thing I did was make my fan controlled by manual switch, so I can run it as soon as engine gets warm. These 400AT's run the oil really hot and without the fan running they can get too hot way too easily, which is how I smoked my original clutch, fan didn't turn on cause the oil temp sensor stopped working.

EDIT: There were a couple years where I ran the Valvoline oil. I don't remember it ever being any different than any other kind, because I think for quite a few years my auto tranny wouldn't shift properly because of a slightly slipping clutch. But when the clutch really went out was when the oil temp sensor stopped turning the fan on. To be safe, I would just run Honda oil or Rotella T6. Ever since my new clutch and running good oil, I've had zero issues whatsoever with the autoshifting.
 
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What year and model ATV do you have? Just curious
It's a 2004 TRX400FA (Rancher 400 AT). Having the Hondamatic probably makes it more sensitive than others.

This thing has always been like having cheat mode on hills. Climbs anything. But not yesterday. I got stuck on a rocks going up a hill a few times. It wasn't fun.

I'm assuming it's the oil because I changed it Saturday and it was fine before that.
Rustler, I'm one of the few remaining regulars with the 400AT. Been running Rotella T6 now since I put a new clutch in 3 years back. I also mix in at 5% Lucas Heavy Duty Synthetic oil stabilizer. I picked that idea up from Melsman a while back. The added zinc helps cushion the pistons on the swash plate. Last thing I did was make my fan controlled by manual switch, so I can run it as soon as engine gets warm. These 400AT's run the oil really hot and without the fan running they can get too hot way too easily, which is how I smoked my original clutch, fan didn't turn on cause the oil temp sensor stopped working.

EDIT: There were a couple years where I ran the Valvoline oil. I don't remember it ever being any different than any other kind, because I think for quite a few years my auto tranny wouldn't shift properly because of a slightly slipping clutch. But when the clutch really went out was when the oil temp sensor stopped turning the fan on. To be safe, I would just run Honda oil or Rotella T6. Ever since my new clutch and running good oil, I've had zero issues whatsoever with the autoshifting.
I run Castrol atv/motorcycle oil in all my atvs and motorcycles, and I like how well it does. not cheap ?..but it works very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What year and model ATV do you have? Just curious
It's a 2004 TRX400FA (Rancher 400 AT). Having the Hondamatic probably makes it more sensitive than others.

This thing has always been like having cheat mode on hills. Climbs anything. But not yesterday. I got stuck on a rocks going up a hill a few times. It wasn't fun.

I'm assuming it's the oil because I changed it Saturday and it was fine before that.
Rustler, I'm one of the few remaining regulars with the 400AT. Been running Rotella T6 now since I put a new clutch in 3 years back. I also mix in at 5% Lucas Heavy Duty Synthetic oil stabilizer. I picked that idea up from Melsman a while back. The added zinc helps cushion the pistons on the swash plate. Last thing I did was make my fan controlled by manual switch, so I can run it as soon as engine gets warm. These 400AT's run the oil really hot and without the fan running they can get too hot way too easily, which is how I smoked my original clutch, fan didn't turn on cause the oil temp sensor stopped working.

EDIT: There were a couple years where I ran the Valvoline oil. I don't remember it ever being any different than any other kind, because I think for quite a few years my auto tranny wouldn't shift properly because of a slightly slipping clutch. But when the clutch really went out was when the oil temp sensor stopped turning the fan on. To be safe, I would just run Honda oil or Rotella T6. Ever since my new clutch and running good oil, I've had zero issues whatsoever with the autoshifting.
I didn't realize these 400ATs had such a bad rap until reading this board the last few days. Makes me worried about mine.

How hard was the clutch swap?

Funny you mention the oil temp not working. Mine stopped working a couple years ago so I rigged up a switch to turn it on manually myself.

I did the diagnosis on it last weekend by jumpering a couple of the terminals on the 34P ECM plug. The light came on so according to the manual I have a bad ECM?
 
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