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Discussion Starter #1
Put a battery on this 350 foot shift one of my in-laws dropped off for me to fix. He bought it cheap for his grandson.

Put 420 brakes on it with new bearings, ball joints, tie rod ends, and pads.

Put a battery on it today and when I turn the key on, The first thing I notice is the Neutra light is not on and the reverse light is on. I make sure that it is in neutral and then shift down into reverse to see if anything changes. Reverse light stays on all the time, nuetral light never comes on, but it will start in any gear.

Further investigation reveals that the headlights don't work, so I look and there is no fuse for the headlights.

Plug a fuse into the headlight spot in the fuse box, and not only do the lights still not work, but the fan comes on.

Looks like I'm gonna be pulling the front fender tomorrow and looking at some major wiring issues.

Also found this when I pulled the carb.
 

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Does your outlaw in law own a good toolbox? I'd be taking it back to him unless he is paying you for this work.

Rick

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I guess I'd start by cleaning up all the ground points. Then test out components like the gear position switch that you have doubts about. If that checks out, then maybe the wiring harness has been trifled with. In that case, it should be fairly easy to replace the wiring harness on that model.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I actually found this one for him. He told me to keep an eye out for a smaller Honda for his grandson, and this one popped up the next day. Has good 25" 589's on ITP wheels, and was all there and fired off on starter fluid.

He got this one and an 05 350ES that didn't need any work for $2K for both of them. The 05 is going to his wife.

I've got most of a parts bike left over from my neighbor's build, but the wiring harness on that one was jacked.

I'll pull the front fender and look at the fan and headlight wiring this afternoon. If it's all hacked up I'll probably just order a used wiring harness. I can get one for $40 shipped.

Of course, I could just slap the carb back on, wire the fan to a toggle, rig up the headlights, and tell him it works even if it's not quite factory, but that's not my way.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Does your outlaw in law own a good toolbox? I'd be taking it back to him unless he is paying you for this work.

Rick

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LOL. It's my wife's uncle. He's a good guy. Buys our dinner every time we go anywhere with him. I don't mind doing it.

I just love seeing what prior owners do to these things.

Old Jeeps are the same way. There's a "Epic Fails" thread on one of the Jeep boards that just has pics of the messed up ways people "fix" things.
 

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my money says the shift drums end has snapped off, this is why your not getting a neutral light, let me know if I am right ?..lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I know it shifts from neutral to reverse, because when I did that and gave it some gas I forgot that the rear was up on jackstands.....suddenly, the rear wasn't up on jackstands anymore. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #10
my money says the shift drums end has snapped off, this is why your not getting a neutral light, let me know if I am right ?..lol.
You mean the shift drum slot that moves the gear position switch, right?

I'll check the gear position switch and see what it says.

If the thing works, and just won't read the right gear, he'll have to live with it. I'm not going to tear into the motor unless I have to for him to be able to ride it.
 

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my money says the shift drums end has snapped off, this is why your not getting a neutral light, let me know if I am right ?..lol.
You mean the shift drum slot that moves the gear position switch, right?

I'll check the gear position switch and see what it says.

If the thing works, and just won't read the right gear, he'll have to live with it. I'm not going to tear into the motor unless I have to for him to be able to ride it.
yep, at the end of the shift drum is a straight groove, they snap off on the early ranchers, defective shift drums, Honda revised them.
 

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if you don't fix the shift drum ? ( if this is what is wrong ? ), he can't start it. it will never see neutral. but !, if you just want to bypass this ( I don't recommend this ! ), just ground the neutral wire to the engine, then it will start while in gear, because the c.d.i. thinks it's in neutral ?, even though its in gear, this is a safety feature Honda put in them, to keep people from starting them in gear ?, if they start in gear, and for some odd nightmare the throttle is stuck wide open ( I have seen this ! )..well..off they go into the sunset !..and lord knows a child won't think to use brakes, kill switch, whatever to stop !?!..lol. not a smart move in my book.
 

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It was only the 2000-2001 Rancher's that had the shift drum issues, Honda updated it in 2002. I had my 2001 fixed back then under warranty, but the switch failed later on. I just bypassed it and it's been fine for the last 7 years or so. Neutral light is always on, but I can live with it. Our 2004 is rigged up the same.
 

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It was only the 2000-2001 Rancher's that had the shift drum issues, Honda updated it in 2002. I had my 2001 fixed back then under warranty, but the switch failed later on. I just bypassed it and it's been fine for the last 7 years or so. Neutral light is always on, but I can live with it. Our 2004 is rigged up the same.
yep, early ranchers had this prob.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It starts in every gear now, so guessing that's what happened.

That would also explain why it says it's in reverse all the time. The switch probably says it's in reverse and isn't spinning when I switch gears.

I definitely don't want to split cases on this thing.

What I might do is this.

Looks like the master cylinder is bad. I could rebuild it, but I think instead I might get a master cylinder from a 420 and put it on there. The 420 MC will have the microswitches that allow the start in gear feature to work.

Run that ground wire to the microswitch, so that the thing won't ground without the brake lever pulled back. That way it will always start, but it won't start without the brake lever held back.
 

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It starts in every gear now, so guessing that's what happened.

That would also explain why it says it's in reverse all the time. The switch probably says it's in reverse and isn't spinning when I switch gears.

I definitely don't want to split cases on this thing.

What I might do is this.

Looks like the master cylinder is bad. I could rebuild it, but I think instead I might get a master cylinder from a 420 and put it on there. The 420 MC will have the microswitches that allow the start in gear feature to work.

Run that ground wire to the microswitch, so that the thing won't ground without the brake lever pulled back. That way it will always start, but it won't start without the brake lever held back.
yep, if the shift drums end snapped off ?, then I would say that is what the problem is. you can wire it like your saying, as long as it applies the brakes ?, I just would not do this, my luck ?, damn thing would hang wide open, full throttle..OFF I GO..RIGHT INTO A TREE ?, CAR ?..LORD KNOWS WHAT ?..LMFAOOO. and yes, you would have to split the cases to change out the shift drum, which means, pull the motor..lol. I had a rancher here not long ago, same thing what your telling us, sure enough, the shift drum was snapped off at the back groove.
 

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Hi Jeep: If you don't want to go the 420 route -- you can use a Momentary toggle switch just to start the bike in gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah, I've got an 00 350 Rancher motor in the shop that came off of the neighbors parts bike. I used the 02 motor when I rebuilt his because people warned me of a flawed shift drum.

I just didn't realize it was the gear position switch. I thought the whole drum would break and seize up the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi Jeep: If you don't want to go the 420 route -- you can use a Momentary toggle switch just to start the bike in gear.
I thought about that too.

If I have to replace the master cylinder anyway I'll probably just go 420 master cylinder. Will look better anyhow.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Couldn't find any additional info on the Rincon I've been working on, so I worked on this one again this afternoon.

Had to pull the light switch apart, clean the contacts, and re-solder a wire, but the headlights now work.

The wire going from the temp sensor was unplugged, and the bullet connector where it was supposed to be plugged in had been cut off and that the wire grounded to the head. I pulled the wire off the head, attached new bullet connectors, and plugged the wires back together like they should be. Since the fan comes on when that wire is grounded, I'm guessing the temp sensor is bad (and thus the "mod") so I will replace that

It still starts in every gear. I modified my neighbors 350 rancher to start in gear by grounding a wire coming off of the CDI so I'm guessing this one is set up the same way.

All in all, not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.

The carb was after market, and the float was hanging up inside the bowl and not letting fuel in. I took the extra carb from the neighbors parts wheeler, and swapped a few parts off of the aftermarket carb onto it and used it.

Cranked up and idled fine.

Need to get the back brake freed up, bleed the front brakes, change the oil and I'm going to call it good enough.
 
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