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4275 Views 38 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Melatv
I have a 2008 rancher 420 4x4 ES. I can not get it to shift. I replaced the angle sensor, checked all the connections, and still nothing. It's throwing a code on the dash. One long blink, and 3 quick ones. I was told it was the angle sensor, but I don't know. What do I need to do to fix my problem?
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Read chapter 23 of the service manual and troubleshoot it with a multimeter.

Most times a ES shift problem can be solved by simply unplugging every harness plug on the bike one at a time... clean and inspect the pins and sockets, then coat with dielectric grease and carefully... carefully plug each connector back in. Don't skip a plug just because you think you don't need to clean it.... put eyeballs on everyone of them. Clean and tighten the battery cables and ground cables on the frame and motor too.

If the bike has ever been in water & mud its probably bad connections somewhere. Rarely do they ever need any new parts... so save your money until you find out what the problem is.

Welcome to the forums! Keep us posted on what you find.
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I gotcha. thanks. I just did all that an checked everything again all the way back to the cdi box. Cleaned and put that grease on them and still nothing. I'm still not sure whats going on
First, make sure you have a good strong battery in it... fully charged. Make sure the battery terminals and ground cables on the motor and frame are clean and tight. All electric shift bikes require a good battery with clean connections.

Then follow the troubleshooting steps in the service manual... its a very time consuming process sometimes. Honda wants to discourage owners from repairing their own property, so they designed and implemented an electronic nightmare to cause as many people as possible to waste time and money (lots of $$$) chasing ghosts and buying parts they don't need... until they throw up their hands in disgust and pay the dealer... All corps victimize... but you knew that already.

Was this bike run in water and mud? Most ES problems are caused by water and mud like I said... you can't be too thorough in your work... Wish you luck!
I checked all the way from the handle bars to the back of the fourwheeler. Everything is cleaned and greased. still no response its still showing the same code on the dash
yeah i'm pretty sure it was ran in the mud
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The battery seems to be strong so far. It hasn't went dead with me messing with it. I can clean the terminals and see
Well, you'll have to use the service manual to trouble shoot your DTC code, but you can check the Up/Down switches, whether the shift motor runs in both directions or not, the gear position switch, the power/ground lines for the display etc, before getting real serious with the multimeter. Those are basics... that must be functional. Also check the vehicle speed sensors, in particular their harness plugs. Leave nothing to chance... put eyeballs on everything.

The FSM shows you how to test the switches and other basics. Warning: turn the ignition OFF before disconnecting/connecting all wiring harness plugs! The CDI/ECM can get spiked if you make a mistake...
The FSM shows you how to clear the codes too I think... but I don't work on newer ES bikes, so I'm not certain about that. Begin with the bike in neutral... use the manual shift tool to put the bike in neutral if it is in gear. Then read about the reset procedure which involves turning the key on while holding shift buttons down or something like that...?
is there a website i can download it off of?
Yes, I thought you had one, sorry. You can download a copy of the FSM HERE.
First step! Manually shift thru gear with the emergency shift tool or 8mm socket. If your display is showing a --, turn ignition off and on. There are many reason to throw a code manual says buy an angle sensor, I would not rush to do that as I have replaced my angle sensor without fixing the issue, this system can require maintenance to fix the issue

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We manually shifted through all 5 gears. All of them show up on the dash. We got it to up shift but no down shift. Turned out the shift motor winding's were shorting out. We temporarily fixed the shift motor to test it. Well it up shifted through all 5 gears. No down shift. We are getting power to and from the down shift button. It cleared all the codes on the dash when we fixed the motor. (I ordered a new shift motor) don't know what's going on? We tested power to the shift motor while we pressed the down shift button. We got no power. All fusses, and connections have been checked. I have ALREADY replaced my angle sensor. We've tried everything we know. What's going on?
Is the bad shift motor still mounted on the motor? If so remove it, then you can use the manual shift tool to downshift back to neutral. Wait for the NEW OEM shift motor to arrive and install it (with the trans in neutral) and test again.
We have it token off, and back in neutral. We are waiting on the new one should be in this week. Could the CDI box be causing this?
The CDI cannot harm a shift motor, no. Was it a wiring harness problem that wrecked the shift motor? I'm trying to figure out what happened to it..?
The shift motor shorted out on the inside of it
The shift motor it self was messed up. We fixed the shift motor temporarily to run a test. It would up shift but would not down shift electrically not manually. We had to manually down shift it to get it back in neutral
Ok, hopefully the new shift motor will arrive soon. Look in the service manual... it shows you how the reduction gears must be installed in time with each other. If those are installed just one tooth out of time it will shift in one direction, but not the other, even with a new shift motor. So while you are waiting on that new motor may as well clean and apply new grease on those reduction gears and reinstall them as the manual shows. ES shift bikes are very fussy... everything has to be perfectly right (and clean, no water/mud & properly lubed) or they fail. Pay particular attention to those gears being in time and make sure you lube the seals as you put it together like the manual recommends. See the attachment.


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Thanks! that's the closest answer we have gotten. I will try that. They are definitely a pain, but nice when working correctly. Could it being out of time cause it to throw the angle sensor all out of wack?
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