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Old 01-19-2011, 06:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2001 Fourtrax 350 neutral/ reverse light out.

Been away a spell but am back now with some questions.

This belongs to a neighbor who came to me with this problem. No neutral or reverse light-will not crank or start. He suspected it was the gear position switch but does not have the skills or time to make the repair.
I tested the switch and both switch leads produced no continuity in any gear or neutral.When I ground either the neutral or reverse leads of the harness, the lights come on and I was able to pull start the engine--battery was too low to try the starter(charging it now).
I think the only way to replace that sw is to remove the engine, something I am loath to do(unless someone can tell me it can be done without engine removal.) So, do you think that it will be OK to just ground those two leads and let him get the winter out of it? Probably not necessary to gnd the reverse light, as that should not be what prevents the thing from starting.
Just do the neutral light.
Then, the light would be on at all times and the thing would start while in gear, and he would have to be careful. He would also have to always search for neutral by means other than the light.
A lot cheaper for him, especially if I have to remove the engine. He could then wait until a time when the engine has to come out for something else.
Any problems with simply grounding that neutral lead? Is that not what the switch does anyway?

Thanks for any help
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't see how it could hurt to ground the wires because the switch just grounds the circuit anyway. Like you said, the neutral light will stay on all the time and it will start in any gear, but as long as you're careful, I don't see a problem.
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I grounded the light green/red lead thru a manual on/off switch and put it directly to the neg term of the battery(it was nearby). The green light is now on when the ignition switch is on, and the machine will now start. Once started, the manual switch will enable the operator to douse the green light while running the machine--no longer any indication of being in neutral--
However, I did not ground the reverse(red light) lead. Surprisingly, after I had started the engine and reved it up a few times, the reverse light suddenly came on(even though it was still in neutral). I tapped into the neutral lead just aft of the plug(harness side) and did not ground the reverse lead. I DID, however, plug the gear position switch lead back into the socket.
So, It looks like there is something funny going on inside the case--causing the reverse light to come on while in neutral. Broken end to the drum, loose parts floating around in there?? Any ideas??
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
So, It looks like there is something funny going on inside the case--causing the reverse light to come on while in neutral. Broken end to the drum, loose parts floating around in there?? Any ideas??
Might just be a bad gear position switch causing it to do that.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i am currently having the same problem with my 2001 fourtrax. something seems to have messed up in the gearbox and the green neutral light is not where it should be: this morning i managed to start it on 4th gear when the green light came on and after going back and forth, the reverse and neutral lights started to be at their respective spots. by the time i put it away, the reverse light was stuck on all the time and now i cant get the neutral light back on.
if someone managed to find an answer to this problem, please come forth :-)
we are going to try to mayby adjust the clutch plate and we'll see from there
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This vintage rancher had a problem with the tip of the shift drum breaking. They eliminated the bearing and made the tip diameter larger. It was a warranty fix but if you picked up an older unit (like me) the neutral switch was often bypassed in some fashion. It worked fine for a long time, unfortunately, my gearbox is locked up now, I'm guessing the shift drum finally failed completely. Just trying to work up the courage to bust it open and find out.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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X2 on the above. You can bypass the need for a gear position switch by doing a "start in gear" mod. I can't remember how I did it, but if you google it I'm sure you'd come up with something. My '01 had the shift drum replaced waaay back when under warranty, but a couple years ago the gear position sensor failed. It wasn't a big deal, the mod works fine if you don't mind looking at the N light all the time.
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