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Thread: Honda Electronic Shift problems

  1. #1

    Default Honda Electronic Shift problems

    I have a 05 Rancher 350 and earlier this winter the darn thing wouldn't shift into gear with the elec shifter button. The neutral (N) light would flash and it wouldnt go into any gear. I cycled the key a few times and it suddenly worked. Tonight I plowed some snow and the same thing happened but it never would go into gear after cycling the key so I had to get out the manual shift lever. It went into gear just fine mechanically, worked a few times, got stuck in 2nd gear, (2) flashing on the dislplay panel, used the mech shifter again. Kind of hit and miss. Soooo, what is wrong, or what is the fix for these ES machines when the shift indicator flashes and it will NOT change gears????

    I was wondering if anyone with ES problems has fabricated or bought a mechanical shifter for these machines and just don't use the electric shift??? It doesn't seem like it would be too hard to fabricate a shifter and attach it to the same shaft as the "energency" shifter slides on. Thoughts????

    Thanks,
    Jason

  2. #2
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Default

    jpost, apparently a five flash code means your ECU box might be bad. Do a quick check in your manual and under the troubleshooting section, it'll probably give you a start. Here's a thread that might answer your question. Someone in there mentions a Clymers service manual and I also posted a link to one. Shop around and you may find one cheaper. Hope this helps...

    Thread:
    http://forums.atvconnection.com/mess...did/472532.cfm

    Manual:
    http://www.clymer.com/Book.aspx?bid=...cher+2000-2006

  3. #3
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    Could be the gear position sensor, hard to shift gears if it thinks you are in neutral. There's a lot of maybes here, sometimes the speed sensor will start to go and give you fits also. Get a manual, go to the back and check out the trouble codes for your machine. The manual will tell you the sequence of buttons to push to retreive the trouble codes and what they mean.

  4. #4
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    Default Honda ES Rancher

    You may want to call Honda America and see if your 05 is covered under the Angle Sensor Update compaign. My 04 Rancher did the same thing in September. Honda has an updated Shift Angle Sensor and the repair was covered by Honda. Hartley Motors did the work.

    There is countless pages of info available on this issue and in most cases, sensor failure is cause by moisture infiltration. Of course, it could be something else, but the Shift Angle Sensor is the most common component failure. Additionaly, poor electrical connections are likely. It's a good idea to clean all the electrical terminations and apply dielectric grease.

    Good luck,

  5. #5
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    Another case of sticking to the "old manual transmission", foot shift lever included.

  6. #6
    Member Terry's Avatar
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    Default Battery low

    Normally if your battery is low from plowing they dont like to shift. They are hard on batterys I bought 3 in 7 years.

    Terry

  7. #7
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    Default Battery

    I second the low battery issue. I have an 04 Foreman ES, with a dead battery it didn't matter if I used the foot peg or not. With a very low batt it worked until I tried to use the winch, then the display started flashing & I had to pull out the peg.
    Once I put in a good batt, it worked great. My 87 honda hasn't had a battery in it in 10+ years, pulls starts the first pull & shifts great. The light even works without a battery installed. It does make a great case for staying manual shift.

  8. #8

    Default going manual

    Thanks guys. To cold (40 below) to screw with it now!

    I didn't want a ES machine but it's what was available at the time.

    So, nobody has fabricated a manual foot shifter for ES machines and just not used the ES???????

  9. #9
    Member Terry's Avatar
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    Default External Battery

    I know a couple of guys that mounted a car battery to their rack for the plowing season. It's easy and provides alot more juice and traction. Just an Idea.

    Terry

  10. #10

    Default jpost

    If your machine is not shifting correctly, you should find out why. What I mean is, fix the problem and then move to a backup plan. The battery may be the problem as others have stated. Do you use a winch for your plow? Maybe your charging system can't keep up with the winch power demand? There are ways of testing this issue and normally the ES system is not the problem. Myself, my wife, my friends, (about 10 of us) all have ES machines and none of us have had issues with shifting. The ES could be the problem but until you know for sure, don't assume that it is. After you find the problem and fix it, maybe you will not have shifting issues again. As for the permanent foot shift lever, I am not sure if it can be done or not. Hope this helps. P.S. I use a mechanical plow on my machines, it just works better for my application and even my wife will push snow when I'm not here. Not nearly as difficult as people make it out to be.

  11. #11
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    I had the exact same problem with my Honda 450 ES, and at least in my case it was NOT due to voltage issues so far as I could tell. It was instead related to engine RPM. So long as you kept the RPM at moderate speeds between shifts there would be no problem, but if you had to rev it up or drop down a gear for steep hills or what ever, the display would go to - - - and that would be it for the electric shift until you stopped, shut the machine off, manually shifted back to neutral and started it up again. Unfortunatly I never had an oportunaty to dive into it, trouble shoot and fix the problem myself, before "old Red" was called back to Bethel for fish camp duty. And in Bethel (no hills) it is ridden by my father in-law, who never seems to have any problems with it, but his riding technique is rather liesurely if you know what I mean. I did make a "manual" shifter bar for it out of a piece of rebar bent into an "S" shape with a socket of the correct size welded onto each end. In a pinch I could grab the home made "jocky shifter" and work her thru the gears, but as it was not connected to the shift shaft I had to keep ahold of it all the time............not exactly an easy way to ride. I wish I could tell you with even the tiniest bit of confidence that Anchorage Honda could troubleshoot and fix it for you, but in my case at least, that was NOT the case. I took it into them twice with no luck............
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  12. #12
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    I had an 01 rancher for four years, I plowed snow in valdez with it for two years, I never had a battery problem with it. I also used the manual system with the plow. I thought it was more efficent than using the winch.
    I did one time have problems with the ES shifting, it would not shift down. I took it to Alaska Cycle Center and they said it was the speedo cable. They replaced the cable and did not have another problem since. They did say that letting it sit outside was the most likely cause for the speedo cable going bad.. Total problem cost me $125.00.
    Find the problem, get it fixed, and you will be back in business.

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