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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I just recently purchased a used 2004 Honda Rancher 350 ES.


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It is in good condition overall.
Just needs cleaned up a bit.


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I am experiencing three issues.
A battery drain.
No display on the digital dash.
Electric (handlebar mount) shifter not functioning.

It starts up fine.
It runs good and shifts (manually) good.
I purchased it from the original owner knowing about the battery drain issue.
He said the battery was brand new.
He also informed me that the electric handlebar shift control was finicky, sometimes working, sometimes not.
He did not say that anything was wrong with the digital display as it worked the day that I purchased it from him
but when I got it home and started it up to unload it off my trailer it did not work nor did the electric shifter.

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I am thinking that all three might very well be contributing to the same problem.
I have read quite a few posts about these issues on this forum specifically before making my first post here so that I
could try the most basic things first in order to troubleshoot this myself.
What I have done so far.
I charged the battery and then let it sit for a couple days not connected to the Rancher and checked with
a voltmeter to make sure that it was holding a charge, it was. No fluctuation.
I pulled all the fuses to make sure that none were blown, none were.
I connected the battery to the Rancher and used my voltmeter with the ignition in the off position to
determine if there was a drain and there was, albeit a slight one.
I cleaned up three ground connections that I could positively identify.

Are there any others that I am missing?

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I removed and examined the regulator/rectifier but could not determine if it was the original OEM
or an aftermarket replacement?
Would the OEM have some sort of Honda markings or parts number? This one did not.
The previous owner did not say that he replaced the reg/rec so I am assuming that he did not.
I cleaned up the connector and reg/rec port along with inspecting the wires for damage.


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The one thing I have not done yet is test to determine if the reg/rec is functioning properly.
I do not know how to do this and would greatly appreciate any help/advice from anyone who has had similar issues
or any knowledge that they would share in regards to what other things I could check or do in order to remedy these issues.
Thanks,

Rangerman
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Welcome
Looks like a 2WD (10 inch rears?)

yes that reg/rec is too clean to be original.

ES needs a great battery to shift. Do a load test to measure it’s age. if battery is good then adjust the clutch. If that doesn’t improve it then Possibly the shift motor has failed.

To find the battery drain. Remove all fuses and install them one by one til you find which circuit is bleeding the battery.

download the service manual from the link in my signature block below
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome
Looks like a 2WD (10 inch rears?)

yes that reg/rec is too clean to be original.

ES needs a great battery to shift. Do a load test to measure it’s age. if battery is good then adjust the clutch. If that doesn’t improve it then Possibly the shift motor has failed.

To find the battery drain. Remove all fuses and install them one by one til you find which circuit is bleeding the battery.

download the service manual from the link in my signature block below
Hi,
Thank you for the reply.
Yes, it is a 2wd.
I will do a load test on the battery.
I will connect a test light to the battery negative terminal and pull fuses to try and isolate drain.
I have already downloaded the manual, thanks for making that available.
I appreciate your help.

Rangerman
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, one of the three problems seems to be solved!
Fully charged battery does indeed affect the electric shifter, as I just tested it out and it works now.
Thanks for the info Goober!
I am going to check into buying a better battery for this Rancher.
I have had really good success with the battery that I use in both my 1st and 2nd gen Kawasaki KLR650's.
This Deka ETX glass mat, made in the good ol' USA!

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Next up,
Check the battery drain issue with continuity light and fuse pull.

Rangerman
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I would bet that an issue of a bad ground, or something grounding out on the frame is causing your battery to drain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would bet that an issue of a bad ground, or something grounding out on the frame is causing your battery to drain.
I appreciate your input.
I have located a total of three ground locations and have cleaned up the leads and surfaces.
Are you aware of any other grounding locations?
I am going to check the manual that Goober provided the link for to make sure that I have not missed any.
Thanks,

Rangerman
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I've never rode a rancher 350 before, I am a fourtrax 300 man. But I do like the rancher 350's too! But to answer your question, No I don't know of any other grounding points.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is the battery that came with the Rancher that I just recently purchased.
Fully charged and definitely holding a charge as I have confirmed that.

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Rangerman
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, interesting discovery.
Hooked up continuity test light.
Here it is with ignition on.
Test light is on as it should be.

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Here it is again with the ignition off.
Test light not on.

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So does that mean that there is no draw at all?
Or is it possible that there is such a thing as an intermittent draw?
Or that the draw is so minimal that the test light would not recognize it?

Rangerman
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Man, I just don't know, Have you looked up if this is a common problem for your model?
Yes, I have scoured this forum to glean as much information as I possibly could before I made my initial post because I wanted to find out if anyone else had this problem and perhaps found a solution to it.
I am determined to figure this out and appreciate your previous input.
I need to know exactly how to test the reg/rec as I am suspicious of it since it looks to be an aftermarket replacement.
I read on this forum from a person that tested the reg/rec integrity with a voltmeter but he was not specific as to how exactly to set the voltmeter up to perform that test?
I will do some more research.

Rangerman
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There is a way to test the regulator in the battery charging system section 18-10, 11 of the service manual

leakage test there too
 

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I am looking at the wiring diagram for what i think is your model USA TE (page 23-3).
Poor resolution. Consider buying printed Honda service manual.
Anyway check the diode in the fuze box. Neutral diode? You should only read current in one direction.

edit
Once you establish which circuit is leaking then you can disco subharnesses until you locate a short or switch sticking closed, bad diode.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for your continued assistance.
I am out in garage right now troubleshooting this.
One thing that I am questioning is that when I used the continuity tester with ignition in the off position, hooked up the clips to the (unconnected) negative battery lead and touched the probe to the negative battery terminal the tester did not light?
Shouldn't it have lit up if there were a drain somewhere?

Rangerman
 

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Depends on what your test light can measure. If you’re leaking above 1mA but your test light can’t detect it then you wont get a light
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Depends on what your test light can measure. If you’re leaking above 1mA but your test light can’t detect it then you wont get a light
This is good to know.
I am cleaning up all accessible connectors and checking wiring in the process.
I am going to purchase a better quality multimeter tomorrow and start with the reg/rec test.
Also a leakage test as described in the service manual.
I will also check the diode in the fuse box.
To be continued...


Rangerman
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Back to troubleshooting the Rancher.
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The system is charging so I can rule out the reg/rec as being the source of the drain.
Here is the reading with battery connected.
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Here is the reading after engine is started.
More than enough even at idle to charge the battery.
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Rangerman
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I am going to do a load test on the battery next.
Battery @ 12.51
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With ignition turned on for 10 seconds.
12.25
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It did not drop more than one volt in 10 seconds.
Although I am not particularly fond of this battery I do not believe it is causing any problems for now.

Rangerman
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