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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I hope there is someone out there who has had this same issue and has a cure, because it is frustrating. The bike has the ability to work properly but just won't. I have had it working and shifting several times but when I get back to the shop from my test drive and shut the key off, it gets all whacked out again. Have already replaced the shift angle sensor with a new one and made sure it was on properly. What happens is the bike whether on auto or esp will get stuck in a certain gear and won't go back into neutral but goes to the blank line state, so when I get back to the shop, I remove the shift motor and can hear the gear "drop into neutral, replace the motor, bolt it on and try reversing out, no reverse! Shut off the key, turn it on, suddenly I have reverse-back out of the shop, press the up button to go forward and nothing! So, I push the bike back into the shop, remove the shift motor again, and test its operation-its working fine. It seems when its on the blink it will go as far as 2nd gear and not any higher, then won't come back down to first and then neutral. Once in a while, i will reverse out of the shop, go into gear and shift up to 5th, down to first back into neutral and also work in ES mode until I shut the machine down at the shop. Then when I decide to test it one more time it doesn't go into gear again.

Thanks for any help. There are no DTC codes on the display to alert me to any solenoid valve problems or anything. Just hoping someone reads this and knows exactly whats happening.
 

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You may have already checked some of these but I'll list them anyway to save time.

First thing is, make sure there are no issues with the motor, particularly in the fuel injection system. The PCM controls part of the shifting duties.

You have probably ruled out a failing or dragging shift motor... thats gotta run free and easy.

With the key off, the display meter plug and the ECM plug should both be unplugged to look for bad connectors, then both plugged back in.

Both of the vehicle speed sensors has to be good, with good clean connections in the plugs for them, or the PCM won't allow it to shift. Check the service manual for their locations.

Check the gear position switch using the service manual as well.

Check the 2wd/4wd selector switch. Check the shift solenoid too.

I can't think of any others to check right now. Have you tried the troubleshooting steps in the service manual? Like the serial comm line test & power/ground check for the display...?

Hope it ends up to be simple...
 

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Well, I hope there is someone out there who has had this same issue and has a cure, because it is frustrating. The bike has the ability to work properly but just won't. I have had it working and shifting several times but when I get back to the shop from my test drive and shut the key off, it gets all whacked out again. Have already replaced the shift angle sensor with a new one and made sure it was on properly. What happens is the bike whether on auto or esp will get stuck in a certain gear and won't go back into neutral but goes to the blank line state, so when I get back to the shop, I remove the shift motor and can hear the gear "drop into neutral, replace the motor, bolt it on and try reversing out, no reverse! Shut off the key, turn it on, suddenly I have reverse-back out of the shop, press the up button to go forward and nothing! So, I push the bike back into the shop, remove the shift motor again, and test its operation-its working fine. It seems when its on the blink it will go as far as 2nd gear and not any higher, then won't come back down to first and then neutral. Once in a while, i will reverse out of the shop, go into gear and shift up to 5th, down to first back into neutral and also work in ES mode until I shut the machine down at the shop. Then when I decide to test it one more time it doesn't go into gear again.

Thanks for any help. There are no DTC codes on the display to alert me to any solenoid valve problems or anything. Just hoping someone reads this and knows exactly whats happening.
I am so sorry to see you are still having this problem. This is exactly the sort of thing that scares people away from Honda's ES or DCT transmissions. It makes me sad because I'm sure you're frustrated, and also because I don't see people having problems with this transmission. My 2016 DCT AUTO Rancher (TRX420FA2) has been flawless now in 2800 miles. I think there must be something simple that is wrong...but what, I don't know. Wish I could help.
 

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My 16 rancher is a manual shift model. I'm a firm believer in the KISS method(KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID). Not trying to be an jerk but thats why I steered away from that option when I got mine. I did read somewhere on the web about the ES models did come with a bolt on shifter in the tool kit in case something happened you could install it on the motor and shift with your foot. If that is the case I'm curious to see if your machine would operate correctly using the manual shifter. Not sure this is accurate on the 16 models but I did read it somewhere a very short time ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's almost a year later, the bike has been sitting in the shop since my last post, no time to work on it until this weekend. Sooooo, I've taken the shift angle sensor off to see if I somehow installed it incorrectly but it's pretty dummy proof, has a half moon shaped slot in the sensor that fits over a half moon shaped stub on the end of the shift shaft. Checked the battery voltage and all that, the battery is fully charged, etc. Removed the shift motor to inspect it's operation, when I turn on the key with the motor removed and press the upshift button the motor spins nice and quietly, no worn or damaged teeth on the gear. Removed the reduction gear cover and reduction gears, inspected the teeth they're all good. Put everything back together and reversed the bike out of the shop, tried it in ESP mode first and went up and down the road shifting from first to 5th then back down again, then I switched over to AUTO and it smoothly switched gears speeding up and slowing down then when I got back to the shop and stopped, tried to switch to neutral and it wouldn't work. was stuck in D, tried switching back to ESP mode and it wouldn't go to neutral either and also wouldn't upshift anymore, had to use the "tool" to get it into neutral again. Wondering if there is some alignment with the reduction gears that I'm not getting right. The manual doesn't mention anything about aligning the gears in any specific way other than the one shaft gear that fits over a spline with one wide tooth at the back which means the gear cannot be installed incorrectly it only goes on one way! If there is anyone out there this year that sees this post and has any other suggestions I would be extremely grateful!
 

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Try taking the shift gears out and clean them in solvent and allow them to dry completely. Clean the case and cover housing up good too.

Push some light grease (I use synthetic grease because of severe winter temps, but the FSM states differently) into the shift gears bearings using your finger as you rotate each... they are usually pretty dry (factory uses crappy grease too, it hardens up) from the factory. Get some grease in each of them and make sure they each turn freely and smoothly. If any feel rough or gritty, replace them with new OEM Honda bearings and push grease into them before installing.

Inspect those bearings to make sure each are installed straight in their bores and are installed all of the way down where they belong. Sometimes a bearing will be cocked (from the factory) and will cause a gear to bind up and/or rub a deep groove in the case or housing cover, or both. If you see something wrong in there fix it. Its gotta be absolutely perfect.

The shift motor is very wimpy on ES bikes... all of them are, so you have to make sure everything is turning very freely with no binding. Use a good quality light lithium grease or a light synthetic (best in my opinion) and coat every gear (and all gear teeth) lightly on all surfaces. Coat the case and the housing very lightly with the same grease as well. Then reinstall everything carefully. Those gears must be installed a certain way, as the service manual shows. Before you put the cover back on look at the gears and make sure they can swing both directions, (left and right) an equal amount. In other words, the lower gear will be installed on its' center-most tooth.

Put the housing cover back on carefully using a light coating of grease on the sealing areas and snug the bolts up in a criss-cross alternating pattern. DO NOT overtighten them or the shift gears will bind between the case and cover and the wimpy shift motor will not be able to overcome any binding. Just snug them up... gently in a criss-cross pattern alternating around until all of the bolts are equally snug, then stop and don't ever touch them again.

Put the angle sensor back on carefully using a light coating of grease on the sealing area. Gently snug it up and plug everything back in.

Let us know how it goes for ya...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Retro, I will try your suggestions this weekend, I did notice the crappy hard grease on the gears that you mentioned and it was just in lumps and not distributed evenly over the gears. I did put a small amount of EP102 synthetic grease on the gear teeth but will take everything apart again, clean it and re-distribute the grease everywhere, we also have very cold temperatures here at times, lol. I will let you know if this solves the problem.
 

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Thanks Retro, I will try your suggestions this weekend, I did notice the crappy hard grease on the gears that you mentioned and it was just in lumps and not distributed evenly over the gears. I did put a small amount of EP102 synthetic grease on the gear teeth but will take everything apart again, clean it and re-distribute the grease everywhere, we also have very cold temperatures here at times, lol. I will let you know if this solves the problem.
Did this fix the problem?
 

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I got a 2016 foreman rubicon deluxe. Dealing with the same thing. All I've replaced so far is the angle sensor.
 
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