4-Wheelers and Water
I'm brand new to this forum and I'm looking for some help/guidance/advice. I own two Honda 4-wheelers: A 2000 Foreman 400 and a 2001 Rubicon. I use them both primarily for deer and duck hunting down here in Louisiana. After several years of trouble-free service, last year, I took both of them in at the end of duck hunting season for annual maintenance, and the Honda dealer called to say the transmissions of both ATVs were full of water and had to be repaired - to the tune of around $600 each. A friend of mine told me that could have happened because I used to leave both of them parked in the flooded rice fields near my duck blinds, so they would sit in cold water -- at or above the level of the wheel hubs -- for a couple of hours. Well, I stopped doing that, but still run them both through water that runs between 8 - 18 inches every time I go out to the duck blind. Now, when I brought them to a different dealer for end-of-the-season maintenance, I just got a call from the shop saying the 400 has water in the differential, and they need to tear it down to see what damage has been done.
Is this common? Am I not supposed to be able to run these machines in water? (If so, they're absolutely useless to me, down here in the swamps, basically). Any thoughts, advice, ideas, similar experiences, etc., would be much appreciated.