Rancher AT - Won't Shift Out of First Gear - Page 2 - Honda ATV Forum
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-25-2010, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Saber6.
When you say ECU (Electronic Control Unit??) is that interchangeable with PCM (Power Control Module)? If they are the same unit; no I do not have moisture at the plug connections.

The Service Manual says "11 blinks - replace PCM"; my dealer will let me have a new PCM for only $195! Can my Honda dealer check my old PCM & verify that it has failed before I get stuck with an electronic part I might not need?

Any way I can test it myself?

Bear with me; grew up working on Jeeps, Chevy 4x4's & Mopars; this is the first time I've needed to tear in to an ATV!

Thanks
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-25-2010, 04:51 PM
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Yeah, the ECU and PCU are the same thing. ECU is Electronic Control Unit and PCU is Powertrain Control Unit which usually includes the transmission in the computer system.

Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-25-2010, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Any advice on the other stuff??
Back to your earlier post; the linkage does not seem to be an issue. The factory settings and spot welds are intact and I worked it pretty good to see if I could get the "- -" to change back to a "D". I didn't find any "slop" from a worn part/connection.

Very grateful that you (& others) have taken the time to help me out!
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-25-2010, 05:05 PM
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I don't know of any way to check the PCM and I doubt if the dealer has any way to check them, other than replacing them with a known good unit.

Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-25-2010, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Kinda what I figured.
Thanks to you guys I have a well informed diagnose of the problem.
The odds should be in my favor!
Here goes $200 & a prayer!
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-25-2010, 05:52 PM
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Good luck, I hope things work out good for you.

Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-25-2010, 06:29 PM
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I would be interested to see if the new ECM fixed your problem. I have a similar mis-behaving 2004 Honda Fourtrax 400FA, which started off with code6. That was the angle sensor. After that, I got code 12. All along, I only had limp mode 1 speed forward, and hesitant reverse. I verified continuity, replaced the shift control motor, ECM, battery, and I still had the problem. I then determined the voltage rectifier was pooched, and was providing excessive voltage. I replaced that with new, and got ANOTHER ECM. Still no dice.

I then started thinking along the lines you are. Why won't this POS find Neutral? There are 3 little plugs on the left lower side of the engine, just inside the plastic cover. They have the labels D/N/R indicating drive/neutral/reverse. I found that one plug (reverse) was severed. I fixed the connection, and now I have full reverse, and 1 speed forward. (Note - I have to start it in diagnostic mode: holding shift switches down when I turn on the key) If I start it with the (--) showing on the heads-up display, I at least have 1 forward and Reverse gear.

I'm thinking we might have a similar issue - why can the machine not identify Neutral? When I start the machine in the initialization sequence, and press UP,DOWN,UP, it then goes directly to (--). Whereas it should go to "N" and if you fully depress the throttle it should initialize the shift control motor. this is where I'm stuck.

Would like to hear if the new ECM helps you out.
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-26-2010, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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I'm in the north east corner of Maryland; you may have heard my profanity from where you are at!!

Replacing the PCM (That's the politically correct term my Honda service manual refers to it as so I'm going to stay with it so I don't get anymore confused than I already am) did not solve the problem.

I will gladly sell &/or rent you a brand new, out of the box PCM, that I paid $195 for, at a very discounted price hoping that you don't experience the same level of frustration!

Everything I'm reading in the SM & on line seems to start the troubleshooting process from a blinking "- -". My "- -" does not blink & it only occurs when I am in what should be "D".

I am now thinking that I have a "drive position switch" problem OR I have rodent damage that's causing a short. The ATV was parked for about a week in an open barn in an area that is frequented by rodents (Porcupines, Chipmunks, Mice & a neighbor that has a history of making things "look like an accident").

After installing the new PCM, I was going through the reset process & on one occasion; as I was moving the gear shift from "N " to "D"; the "- -" disappeared for about a split second & I got a true read out on my display.

I'm thinking I got a loose connection, something in the harness shorting out &/or a faulty swith/sensor/component. That really narrows it down.

I have a full inspection planned for this weekend.

Maybe we can open up a "used but not faulty & not returnable parts exchange?? Got a used drive position switch that you replaced & it didn't turn out to be the problem?

I seem to have the classic "dog chasing tail syndrome" which usually results in many false diagnosis's, a lot of time and money spent chasing false hopes & one badly damaged liver.

But that IS the life of the guy that's too freakin proud (or poor) to take it to "the shop" for repairs!

Ol'Roy
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-26-2010, 06:03 PM
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Sorry to hear that the PCM didn't fix it, I know how frustrating that can be, especially spending that kind of money for nothing. I wish I had an answer for you, but I just don't know much about the 400AT.

Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-26-2010, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Helmut. You've already been a huge help.

When you don't know- you don't know!

You can't beat this new electronic crap when it's doing what it's supposed too but troubleshooting is dam near impossible for the "do it yourselfer"!
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