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 Post subject: Differential lube
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:54 pm 
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Trail Riding Member

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 6:15 pm
Posts: 64
Location: North Carolina
I have a 06 680 and the wife has a 06 350 Rancher. I have never changed the differential lube in either. The 680 has only about 1000 miles and 200 hrs, the 350 has less then that. I know we drive our cars and trucks and very seldom do you ever hear of anyone changing the differential oils.

How important is it to change it in the 4 wheelers? The guy at the Honda dealership tells me every 100 hours which seems pretty extreme.I went ahead and bought the differential lube. He gave me Yamaha lube and I questioned that. He says it's the same thing. He had someone else ring me out and I questioned the Yamaha lube again. He tells me that's all they use. I find that odd a Honda dealership pushes Yamaha lube. They are a Yamaha dealer also so that could be part of it. I like using what was formulated for the Honda's .Anyone ever use the Yamaha differential lube before?

I bought Honda's antifreeze. I contacted Prestone and was told the Prestone 50/50 mix is suitable in the Honda's.It has no silicate inhibitors. Prestone does make a formulated AF for M/C's but there's no dealers in my area that carry it. I can get a gallon of Prestone for a few dollars more then what Honda charges for a qt of theirs. It was either 6.99 or 7.99 a qt. I think it was 6.99 which to me is way overpriced.
Thanks for any help.


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 Post subject: Re: Differential lube
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:46 pm 
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ATVing To The End
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Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2003 4:56 pm
Posts: 3812
Location: Ohio
I change mine annually. It is more important in the Rincon than the Rancher, since the drive shaft mounted brake causes tiny metal flakes from the gears to collect in the oil (as it does with any shaft mounted brake system). Every brand of ATV I have worked on with a shaft mounted disc brake has had metal flakes in the diff oil. The worse I have seen was a 2002 Grizzly. It looked like metal flake paint, as it had never been changed in 8 years. I doubt if it is enough to do any harm, but getting it out is a cheap insurance policy.

Any good quality HYPLOID gear oil of the proper weight will work. Walmart, Auto Zone, ect. can supply it. It does not have to be ATV specific. A diff is a diff.

Hint: use the front brakes more than the rear.


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 Post subject: Re: Differential lube
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:31 pm 
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Trail Riding Member

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 6:15 pm
Posts: 64
Location: North Carolina
Thanks again WoodsRuner as usual you're always here to get advice.

I'll be changing the differential lube shortly. Hunting season is right around the corner. I already bought the lube and antifreeze so I'll use it this time. I'll remember for the next time.He sold me 2 qts of the Differential Lube and he said that should be more then enough to do both the 680 and 350 Rancher. He asked the mechanic in back. I thought it would take more then that. I have Honda shop manuals I forgot at the camp. I assume I just drain them and fill them until it starts to run out the fill hole. Really doesn't look like it's a hard job.

As for flushing the radiator. Should I buy a radiator flush additive or just rinse it out with plain water. The cap has never been off of it.

I should have asked before and didn't think about it.My front brake lever is loose. As I'm driving the brake light comes on and off. Is there anywhere I can take the slack out of it? I think the brake switch is underneath by the rear brakes. I guess you can tell I'm not a mechanic by any stretch of imigination especially on these 4 wheelers.

Thanks again for your help.


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 Post subject: Re: Differential lube
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:44 am 
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ATVing To The End
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Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2003 4:56 pm
Posts: 3812
Location: Ohio
I have the same problem with the rear brake lever, and as far as I can see there is no way to stop it. I suppose it might be possible to back the switch off a bit, but I have not looked into it.

I would use plain water for the flush, but don't forget to remove the thermostat and flush the engine as well.

2 quarts will last the rest of your life, since the diffs only take 3-6 ounces. Fill to the level hole (small bolt plugs it) on the side of the diffs, not to the fill hole. it is down low on the case.


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 Post subject: Re: Differential lube
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:18 pm 
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Trail Riding Member

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 6:15 pm
Posts: 64
Location: North Carolina
Okay thanks Woodsruner I appreciate the info.I wasn't sure about the radiator flush additive. That's one less thing to contend with. I'm sure glad I asked about filling the differential. I would have over filled it. Never touching the thermostat before. Is it sealed with an O-Ring or do I need to go get a new gasket?

As for the brake lever I can live with it. I just hate the lights blinking or having to hold pressure on the lever as I'm going to my stand . When I get under it I'll see if anything can be adjusted. I need to go to the camp real soon so I might wait until I bring the shop manuals home.

Once again thanks for all your help. Have a great weekend.


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