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Old 03-17-2015, 10:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Fixing Electronic Shift (ES) problems

Many of us have Electric Shift (ES) models. In fact, Honda sells approximately EIGHT times as many ES models for every foot-shift model sold. The ES models are very reliable. But, because of the number of ES machines that are sold and owned, it sometimes seems that there are more difficulties with ES shifting than with manual shifting. Unfortunately, there has been one problem with ES shifting that has affected many ES owners at one time or another: The problem is that, at times, when you make a shift (up or down) on an ES machine, the shift is not complete. You can hear the shift motor trying to make the shift when you press a shift button <->, but no shift occurs and, at times, you receive a - - - display. The problem occurs even more often when it is cold outside.
Fortunately, the answer/fix to the problem is really very easy! The problem is caused by very heavy, stiff, gummy grease that was installed in the shift motor gears at the factory. Once that grease is removed and replaced with a different grease, you'll be back to shifting normally! So, here's how you replace that grease: Remove the shift motor and gears (all one piece) from the lower front of your engine. There are normally four 10mm bolts that hold it on. Once you have it loose and off, you will see that in the gears, there is some very thick, gummy, stiff grease. Clean out all of that grease. (You can use a solvent such as paint thinner to get it all out). When cleaning the grease out, do be careful not to disturb the position that the gears are in. Once all the old grease is out, replace that grease with a generous amount of ALL-TEMPERATURE, WHITE LITHIUM GREASE. (That grease is available from any auto parts store.) After you've put the new grease in the gears, reassemble the shift motor/gears back onto the engine/transmission. Snug up the 10mm bolts, but don't over-tighten them. You should now be good to go!
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Note.... I have brought both this problem, and this fix, to the attention of Honda Powersports. They have been very responsive to me and have assured me that they will not only let their dealers know of this fix, but that they will revise the grease that they put into future models.
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I hope this helps you! ..........Ride Safely...........Have Fun!
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow Honda actually got back to you.. And they're willing to change. Kent you are the best.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am thoroughly impressed. From everything I've ever heard Honda is awful when it comes to customer service and doesn't listen to anything from anybody. Although these are all just what I've gathered from what I have heard.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Honda places their customer service address and phone number in every Owners' Manual.
I can only guess that many people who don't receive positive attention from Honda, or anyone else, are people who complain and threaten those who they call, rather than calling, explaining their situation and politely asking for help. Politeness goes a long way, when it comes to getting help.
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Old 03-24-2015, 10:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Does this work for the DCT models that have the selectable ES such as my 2014 TRX420 Rancher does? If so, does it help with shifting when in automatic shifting mode?

Wayne
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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To Kentco, the OP - thanks for the instructions! My 2014 ES Rancher performs better than any other ES machine I have ridden and I am positive it is because of this fix. I did it right of the bat when I bought mine brand new and she has worked like a champ!

The synthetic oil does great for me and the shifts, too!
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You're Welcom

Jwall, Welcome again to the forum. You're welcome. The problem actually occurs very rarely on Electric Shift machines. However, considering the number of ES machines that are out there, it is good information for someone who might experience the problems.

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Originally Posted by Jwall1980 View Post
To Kentco, the OP - thanks for the instructions! My 2014 ES Rancher performs better than any other ES machine I have ridden and I am positive it is because of this fix. I did it right of the bat when I bought mine brand new and she has worked like a champ!

The synthetic oil does great for me and the shifts, too!
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Guys!.... You don't even need a service manual to take the shift motor & gears off. They are held onto the outside of the engine by four 10mm bolts. Remove those bolts, unplug the electrical connector, and it will be in your hands. From there, clean out all the old, original gummy, stiff grease, and replace that grease with a liberal amount of new All-temp White Lithium grease.

I have closed this thread to new replies. Therefore, if you are having shifting problems, please start a new thread.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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my shift motor did not have any grease. when i loosened motor to look at armature drive gear was easier to turn, when i tightened was binding. i got new motor, worked after that. leave it to me to find the odd problem. i spent hours going through wiring. least they got dielectric grease on connectors now. //Ed
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So did you get it lubed and working?
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