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Daemonw 12-12-2009 05:47 AM

'04 TRX400FA Limp Mode

First off - found some great reference material here, looks to be some helpful folks here. I'm located in southwestern Ontario, Canada.

Bought a 2004 Honda Fourtrax TRX400FA a couple months ago. Great price, low km's, but alas there were issues. It kept going into limp mode, flashing the D1 D2 ESP 6 times. I had it into the shop where a friend works, they replaced the angle sensor. From what I can tell, it's a common problem reading some online info.

Now I've got it home, and it's flashing 12 times. They've followed the troubleshooting schematic and cannot figure it out. All leads end with replace the master control box (not technically the right name...sorry). Every schematic ends with the same direction.

My gut feel is I have an electrical issue somewhere. When I start it now, when I turn the key on when the screen flashes after 2-3 seconds I can press the starter button and most times it will start and the constant "N" will appear and all is good. If I don't start it in that split second, it will just start flashing the error code (12 blinks) and run. Right away it goes into limp mode.

I noticed the green "N" light flickers, which makes me think there is a weak signal or electrical issue somewhere. I'd LOVE to put di-grease in all contacts, but most of them have 3 hooks which makes it very difficult to remove them without damaging them.

Thoughts, comments, direction, etc.?

Very much appreciated.


mud99 12-12-2009 07:21 AM

Welcome to the forums. There are some guys on hear that really know there stuff on Ut fourwheelers.

Saber6 12-12-2009 07:22 AM

When they replaced the angle sensor did they preload it or just install it?

Daemonw 12-12-2009 06:31 PM

I have to assume they preloaded it, as we had a discussion about it when I took the machine in. I had removed the angle sensor and cleaned it, applied di-grease, and reinstalled with the preload. Tried the reinitiallization process, and still had the same problem.

My machine used to flash 6 times (angle sensor) and after that it started with the 12 flashes. Funny thing is they had it running without any error codes a few times, but then code 12 started. It's like chasing a gremlin!

Daemonw 12-13-2009 02:25 PM

New finding....
I noticed today that the 30amp fuse keeps blowing as well, I've replaced it several times in the last couple months. I assume something is drawing too much energy causing it to blow.

Another thing - it's always going into limp mode now, but if I hold the starter down when it's running, the "N" light will come up on the dash indicating all is well. When I move to reverse or drive, it jumps back into limp mode.


Daemonw 12-14-2009 08:33 PM

More work, more findings....
:icon_ cry:I'm going to figure this out, one way or another.

Today's work:
I took apart as many electrical contacts as I could get at without removing body panels and filled them with di-grease.

I tried to reinitialize the machine with the initialization procedure, but for some reason at step 8, the control motor does not initialize/sequence.

The shop did take it off, inspect it for moisture, and had it running. Now it won't do anything. That's the current dilemma, the control motor will not actuate when reinitializing.

Any comments or otherwise would be greatly apprecriated.


Saber6 12-14-2009 09:19 PM

Are you getting power into it?

Daemonw 12-14-2009 09:34 PM

Hi Saber - thanks for the reply. Not sure how I check for power to it, as the power cord seems to run into the block beside the control motor. Do I need to trace it backwards to the connector up inside the front body and check if connectivity is present there?

Saber6 12-15-2009 04:48 AM

The plug that gos to the shift motor is known to have issues. Start there and make sure all the connections are good then try to get a test like in there. somewhere.

Daemonw 12-15-2009 07:07 PM

Money pit Honda....
I took apart the shift motor this evening, and found that it would not spin freely. The spline gear going into the motor spins freely. The one on the shift motor was locked up.

I took the motor apart and found that the magnet surrounding the drive was shattered. Ie. the shift motor is seized. I guess I need a new shift motor, with no inclination that will actually fix the machine so I can use it.

Any recommendations on where to get one for a good price? From what I've read, they are expensive, and having looked at one inside out, I can understand why.


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