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Old 07-17-2006, 02:54 AM
Weekend Warrior
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I own a 2005 Honda Forman 500 ES 4X4 and was wondering if any one out there has used oil that is not the regular petroleum based Honda GN4 brand @ $6.98+tx a litre. vs regular oils at $3.00 or so per litre.
The dealer said that I must use only the Honda brand for many and various reasons but as a technical person myself I did not believe that to be true.

The ownerís manual states to us API SG or higher SJ recommended. I could not find any regular motor oil rated SJ out there besides the Honda brand, which by the way does not have the API circular logo. I did however find lots SL & SM rated oils that are all higher than SG.
The Manuel does stress that the wrong grade of oil will affect clutch operation especially if it contains Graphite or Molybendium and all the oils I have seen do not list any additives but this may not mean that they are not present.

As for Synthetics the Honda HP 4 (also dealer recommended) goes for about $15.00+tx a litre. And that would amount to a $70.00 oil change with the filter which seems to be an outrageous price.

I was thinking of using some 10-40 Mobil 1 synthetic @ about $8,00 a litre and believe that for a buck more a liter it would be a darn sight better than the petroleum based Honda GN4 I am using now!
Itís not so much the viscosity question Iím troubled with but the effect on clutch performance!

Is there any one out there that has used or is aware of a suitable substitute for either the synthetic HP4 or the petroleum GN4 Honda oils or all we all stuck to buying what I believe to be the inflated cost of Honda oil when it may not be necessary.
Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-17-2006, 04:40 AM
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Honda used to sell a molly/synthetic blend oil, that apparently isn't appropriate for the clutch in the Foreman.

As I understand it, SL and SM have less of a friction modifier that contains zinc and other additives that reduce shear forces breaking down long chain oil molecules. Basically the additives poison catalytic converters in cars, so the reduction in these additives helps vehicles pass 100,000 mile emission standards. Those additives are helpful in motorcycles, though, as they resist searing in the gears of the transmission, and most motorcycles donít have a catalytic converter to worry about.

Anyhow, no, you do not have to use Hondaís oil exclusively. I ran some GTX when I couldnít find anything else, and it was fine. I prefer, however, to use a motorcycle specific synthetic, but Iíd bet the quad would live a long life with any oil that meets the standard listed in the manual.
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Old 07-17-2006, 12:00 PM
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Another good oil that you can buy locally would be either Shell Rotella T oils either in dino or synthetic. Both are Heavy Duty Engine Oils and are rated for use in Allison transmissions which have wet clutches.

As for a great synthetic if you want to pay the price, which is cheaper than Honda oils, is Amsoil 0W-40 which is MA rated for wet clutches and designed specificly for atv's and snowmobiles. I use it all my atvs and I can say that all the atv's run smoother and cooler by the fact that even in 90 degree plus temps, the oil cooling fans run less.
Also on the Bruin, it stopped the machine from smoking on start-up due to wear in the valve seals.

I paid roughly 9 dollars a quart but then again with this oil and no more than we ride, I can change it once a year.

For the record, I put the Moblil 1 synthetic oil in my mower which has a Kohler 20 hp overhead cam engine and it runs a heck of a lot smoother now and stopped that first puff of blue smoke during start-up also.

These are just my observations and opinions.
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Default Honda Oils

Valvoline makes an ATV oil designed for use with wet clutches. I'm using it now and have had no problems with it in my Rancher 350. It costs about $3 (U.S.) a quart at autozone, if you have autozones up there.

You can also try if you want to use Honda oil. They list Honda oil fairly cheaply as well as Honda oil filters for less than half of what the dealer charges.
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:46 PM
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I'm not sure where you are shopping at but most shops in the US charge from $2.75-3.50 US per quart for Honda GN4 oil. Honda's HP4 synthetic blend goes for about $7.50-8.50 US per quart. It that was my quad I would use GN4, I would think that three quarts would cover you, and the oil filter goes for about $6-8 US. That should put you less that $20 US for an oil change down here.
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Old 07-17-2006, 06:06 PM
Join Date: May 2006
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one place I pay $3.89, the other shop is $5.25 per quart.
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:52 PM
Weekend Warrior
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Default Honda Oils

Thanks for all the help guys, I'll put it to good use. By the way the prices I quoted are from the Honda dealers in the Montreal area. The only place one can purchase Honda oils is at the Dealer a real rip off if you ask me. That is why I am looking for alternatives.

Thanks again for all your help.
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