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Old 08-30-2013, 04:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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02 honda rancher es shifting problems

Hi, first time posting on here. I recently purchased a really low mileage 02 rancher 350 es for my wife. When I bought it the shifter felt and sounded slow but it did shift through all gears including reverse. Now two months later after only riding it around the yard it started something weird. it will shift all the way to fifth but wont downshift without killing the bike....turning the key off....and then downshifting while rocking the bike. I took apart the shifter switch and cleaned it all out, reassembled, and ran it through the bears up an down while not running. crank it up and run it...same problem as original. I have replaced the battery because the voltage was a little low, now its right on the money. no better. I replaced the angle sensor....no better....getting frustrated. what should I check now? I appreciate any help I can find.

James Stuart
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02 Honda rancher 350 es 4x4
08 Honda rancher 420 4x4
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am going through kinda the same thing . My 06 rancher just quit shifting I also thought it was the angle sensor .Not so. I am thinking you have the esp on your wheeler too . You may want to research this part .

Save 20% on 2006 Honda RANCHER 350 4X4 ES OEM Switch Assy., Change | MotoSport

Save 20% on 2006 Honda RANCHER 350 4X4 ES OEM Rear Crankcase Cover Parts | MotoSport

It is #14 on the parts list . I am going through this repair right now and had to spend $40 on a pivot bolt removal socket .When I get done I will let you know if it worked or not . Mine just quit shifting all together and would not start.The reverse light is on and will not go off letting the wheeler start.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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James, One thing you should have done when you had the shift motor removed is that you should have replaced the very thick, gummy, Honda grease with some new White Lithium grease. The old Honda grease makes it very difficult for the gears in the shift motor to move freely.
Note: Not all new batteries are good batteries, and the condition of a battery can not be determined by just measuring the battery voltage. It can have voltage without being able to deliver current (AMPS). Do not put a battery charger on your new battery for very long or it can damage your battery. Instead, charge your battery (slowly and carefully) with a battery maintainer such as a Battery Tender.

Last, are you trying to shift through gears while moving or when you are stopped. (The White Lithium grease will allow your shift motor and gears to work much more easily!).
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Remove the shift motor from the ATV, disassemble it, clean the armature really good. while thats off the engine remove the front cover that exposes the little gears that attach to the shifter motor.

Sometimes really thick grease can cause those gears not want to shift correctly. clean and re-intall with fresh grease.

talk with kentco on here. he can tell you how to do it in great detail.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Kent beat me to it!

I strongly suggest before you go any further----adjust the clutch.

Improper clutch adjustment can emitate all kinds of electrical problems with ES machines.
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Last edited by Manny; 08-30-2013 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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it is almost like the handlebar shifter switch is loosing power.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Check all of your grounds, as well as all of your connections located underneath your front fender as well as under your rear right fender.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Where would this shift motor be on a 2006 honda rancher 4x4 ? I would like to replace the grease .Not trying to hijack your thread .
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree with Manny.... adjust the clutch.

Graco, the shift motor and gear box is located on the lower front of the engine. It is very easy to take it off. Once you get it off, you'll see the small shift motor gears. Remove and clean out all the old stiff grease that is in there. Then, replace it with a generous amount of all-temperature, White Lithium grease.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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wow one of my posts disappeared.
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08 Honda Rancher 420 4x4
09 Honda Foreman 500 es 4x4
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