Honda Big Red 3 wheeler won't shift - Honda ATV Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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Honda Big Red 3 wheeler won't shift

Honda 3 wheeler (think it's a 200 cc 1985) won't shift to Neutral or really any gear. I thought it was just the shift lever was stripped but after I got it off (which required drilling out the bolt that broke!) I can't get the shaft to shift gears with a pair of vise-grips even with wheels off the ground and I try to rock back and forth and get to Neurtral. I start the engine in what I think is second gear and hear some rattling inside the trans case and still no shifting with vise grips. Can I work on the transmission/auto clutch system without pulling the engine? It's not real clear to me where to start. Does the trans share oil with the engine? Also, do I pull the cover by the shift lever (if riding, by your left foot)? I see some forums about adjusting the clutch and others about broken parts inside the trans. It's got no manual clutch...get to speed an pull lever up. The splines are shot on the shift lever but I think are ok on the shaft as they are buggered up only in a small area. I got a feeling that something let loose inside and my kid tried to get it to N by stepping hard on the lever. Engine runs strong so I'd like to fix it if things are available. I'd like to see what I can fix without removing engine/trans and separating driveshaft. Any suggestions where to start? Thanks, moday
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 06:22 AM
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welcome to the forums. we don't work on many 3-wheelers here ?, but a few of us old timers ( mainly me..lol )..know a few things about them. soooo, your first project is to get your hands on a service manual. your biggest problem is going to be finding parts for it ?, most parts are discontinued today. ebay for used parts will become your second home...lol. yes, the tranny and engine shares the same engine oil. yes, it is a manual shift tranny, but !, we call them semi-auto shift, or semi-manual shift. depending on the clutch/tranny issue will decide if the motor has to be removed and split ?. yes, you can work on the clutches while motor is in frame, which by the way, is on the right side, not left :-). the stator is on your foot side. you will need gaskets for your side covers, good luck finding them !, DO NOT USE RTV SEALANT !!!!. I've slept a few, does this have the sub-transmission at left side with hi/lo range ?, if so ?, start there, no, you do not have to drain oil for this, yes, you will need a gasket once you pull the cover, be very careful when you pull the cover !!!!, there is a dow pin in one of the shafts,its tiny..and very important !!. pay very close attention as to how the gears all line up and install back in !!!, that sub-tranny hi/lo range is a '' you know what ''..if your not paying attention ?, and don't have a service manual ?, and even with a service manual..it still can make you pull your hair out !..lmfao. hopefully its the sub tranny ?, if not ?, then chances are, your shift drum inside the main lower part of the engine has to be looked at, and this requires the motor to come out, and be split. if it comes down to this ?, i highly recommend you look for parts BEFORE you do this !!!!, otherwise..your gonna waste time. yes, the clutch can be adjusted on it, right side case, 14mm or 12mm, don't remember ? lock nut, center bolt. case should be stamped on which way to adjust ?, but, it adjust like all Honda atvs today.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2018, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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I will look for a 1985 Honda big red manual.

Reading the reply above, it sounds like there is a good chance that something is broken in the sub-tranny? should I look there before trying to adjust the clutch? I can get vise-grips on the shift shaft and can't get back to N...seems like I struggled to get it in 2nd gear but I think I hear a noise somewhere in the trans rattling when I start the engine. I'm a bit concerned that something bigger broke. Maybe drain the oil and look for metal?

I'm just trying to figure out where to start. thanks!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2018, 06:58 AM
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try adjusting the auto clutch...


The little bolt sticking out of the case buy the dipstick...

Release the jam nut with a 14mm wrench...

Use a flat blade screw driver and wiggle the set screw back and fourth.... When its free, turn it counter clockwise until it snug.... Then back it off a quarter turn and jam it back in place with the 14mm..
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2018, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moday View Post
I will look for a 1985 Honda big red manual.

Reading the reply above, it sounds like there is a good chance that something is broken in the sub-tranny? should I look there before trying to adjust the clutch? I can get vise-grips on the shift shaft and can't get back to N...seems like I struggled to get it in 2nd gear but I think I hear a noise somewhere in the trans rattling when I start the engine. I'm a bit concerned that something bigger broke. Maybe drain the oil and look for metal?

I'm just trying to figure out where to start. thanks!
yep, as stated from above, start small, work your way to the complex stuff.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2018, 08:59 AM
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If it is hard to shift then it is not the sub transmission. The sub transmission is just a High /low option at the countershaft. I would take the right side cover off and hope the problem is there. As Shade suggested, be very careful and look for small parts falling out without your notice. Put a clean piece of cardboard down and work slowly. Study the manual well first. Keep us updated!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2018, 01:31 PM
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I would guess your problem is between #7-9 on this print and that is the rattle you are hearing , these parts are under the right side cover and they engage the shift clutch , did someone before you or you try to adjust the clutch and over done it

http://www.partzilla.com/catalog/hon...rankcase-cover
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Nobody has ever tried to adjust the clutch. It's been in my in-laws family for years. I was able to start the engine yesterday so I have a desire to try and figure this out. I have a Clymer's manual. Not real helpful but maybe if I start to take it apart then their exploded views will mean more.....

I think there is enough spline on the shift lever mating spline coming out of the engine/trans. The splines on the lever itself are shot. I think something broke and I bet my kid tried to get it back to N. Seems like I can't get it to N.

Should the trans be able to start in non-Neutral? It starts now for me in gear and I didn't think it should do that.....maybe I need a new post for that. It has not been driven for year and I don't recall exactly how it should work. The white with red stripe indicator is not pointing back to N and it still started as long as the key is on.

It's not in N as it doesn't roll. I think that I'll find something broken if I take the side cover off. I'll print this forum topic to have with me as I take it apart and the exploded view showing 7 and 9. thanks, moday
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 08:13 PM
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If its 200 its an 84. 85's were 250's. May make a difference in what manual your looking at.
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