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Discussion Starter #62
Well, I really didn't want to put much into this one. Thinking about the bike, its nothing special to me... so I have resisted going frame-up on this common ES Rancher! I was thinking about swapping a selectable 400AT front diff into it like Jeepwm69 did on his Rancher and possibly swap 420 discs up front.

But if you guys insist I'll sleep on that idea some more. If you see a bare frame photo in here soon, you'll know I've gone off in full retro-tard mode. :) Talk me down fellahs...
 

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You need a winch on that thing and I might know someone with a mounting kit🤔
 

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Discussion Starter #65
Its been a while since I updated here and this first pic is off-topic. My grand-daughter just had her 5th birthday, so my daughter sent me some pics & vids of her party. Turns out she got my grand-daughter a new pink chinies Tao Tao despite all my moaning about china junk and last minute notice that she was ready to buy one. Anyway, its a done deal and my lil' sweety loves it! I'm a proud and happy grandpa, of course!

 

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Discussion Starter #66
I have been working on some things from time to time and have most of the parts either ready to reassemble, or reassembled and ready to be put back on the bike. The weather just broke this week for the better, so I shoveled out the snow drift around the bike a few days ago and began to play in the meltdown runoff. Aye, T-shirt weather has come at last...

First pics I got are a few rattle can paints, an old 104 qt cooler repurposed for use as a vinegar bath, lubes & supplies etc., that I am using on this project. The paints & parts loading into 5 gallons of vinegar I've posted in another thread already, but I'll drop them here as well for continuity. The gallon jug of rusty vinegar in one of these pics shows just how rusty some of the parts on this Rancher were already... they don't make old Hondas like they used to.
 

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Discussion Starter #67
A coupla' hun'dert in OEM parts arrived, most of them via big savings in a [email protected] order. Thanks again Paulie! And thanks again Jeepwm69 for hooking me up!

Most of those parts in that pile are new oil/grease seals I needed for all of the bearings cleaning and repacking. One bearing was bad on the bike (lower steering stem, a common 6004-2RSH ball bearing) so I replaced it with an SKF bearing and saved about $7 over the price of OEM. Buried in there somewhere among a gazillion seals are some new OEM handlebar grips, all new OEM ball joints & tie-rod ends and a few new OEM bits needed for the 400AT selectable front diff swap.
 

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Discussion Starter #68 (Edited)
Some of the refinished parts... Those ball joints are new and drilled & pumped full of Mobil 1 syn and capped with 3M adhesive. The new tie-rod ends (not pictured) got the same treatment, so they can all be easily greased with syn a coupla' times per year.

In case you're wondering..? No, I did not strip & refinish the frame on this Rancher. I did wash it down one more time with the power washer, but that didn't turn out very well. My power washer quit pumping just as I switched it over from soap to rinse water... and while I was messing with the pump the soapy water dried on the frame. I'll have to rewash it again when I get the pump fixed, but until that day comes its game on! Some of these next few pics might be soap stained, so just ye nevermind... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #69
The rusty looking exhaust system turned out pretty good! The pipe & heat shield assembly was taken apart and everything soaked in vinegar for a few days to remove all rust. Then I shot everything with a couple coats of black high-temp ultra and followed up with a couple wet 2000 degrees clear coats and let them cure for a week. Then I put the pipe back together.

The muffler & heat shield wasn't nearly as rusty (muffler was rust stained though) as the pipe assembly was, because it is made of low-chromium stainless steel (except for the end cap which has a higher chromium content and remains shiny) so I easily wire wheeled the muffler body clean & shiny and sanded it smooth and bright with some 320 grit and scotchbrite pads. Then I painted the muffler (except for the shiny end cap, which I masked off) with 900 degree silver/grey caliper paint,

The muffler heat shield is galvanized tin and was rusting around the bolt holes, so that went into the vinegar for a couple days then got painted with Duplicolor silver caliper paint. The exhaust system is fully cured now and ready to be put back on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
A 2005 400AT Rancher selectable diff swap is goin' on! Jeepwm69 just did this mod on his 350 Rancher and I'm doin' the same. I looked back through old threads and found where someone had verified this swap works, so thanks to both of you.

I got this diff assembly off from a seller on the fLeebay after PSN inadvertently shipped me out a diff that had been parted out... then didn't have the one I ordered anymore by the time I got the shipment. Jeepwm69 (thanks again Jeep!) saw this one for sale on the auction site and gimme a heads up... so after I hem-hawed around for an hour or so I decided it was probably a better deal than PSN had offered because it was 100% complete.

So I broke from my normal habit of sleeping on it until I'd make up my mind and I bought it. And I'm glad I did because this diff looks like new inside. The ring gear wear patterns are almost non-existent on either side of the gear teeth, the slip torque test went smooth and is at the top of the spec, the clutch applies & releases crisply, all bearings are tight, backlash is good, oil was clean etc., like it had barely ever been run at all. I washed this new to me '05 selectable diff down with Eagle 1 etching mag cleaner and put new OEM axle seals in it, just because I can...

The 400AT driveshaft came from PSN and is in excellent, like new condition. I took it apart for cleaning and reassembled the shaft using moly-disulphide (hereafter referred as MOS2) grease and new 0-rings. Thats why it is sealed up in a bag in the pics... its ready to be put on the bike.

The selectable switch and throttle housing came from an '04 Rincon for $14.99 shipped. I took it apart and refinished the housing (along with my original top cover, which replaced the Rincon Auto-ESP top switch cover) with black caliper paint, then lubed it & assembled it with my 350 throttle cable. The switch itself was taken apart as well, for cleaning and to get eyeballs on it... along with fresh lube. And lastly, it got a new OEM sticker put on it.

This is a very cheap & 100% OEM Honda upgrade for all of the FM/FE 350 Ranchers.

I have an idea I might try for controlling it, we'll see how that goes later on...
 

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that trx400at differential looks just like the same front differential that is in my '03 trx450fm !.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
Only thing ya gotta do to a FM/FE 350 Rancher to swap in a 400AT selectable diff, is notch the frame crossmember a bit further than it already is. On mine, I kept cutting away a lil' bit at a time with my side grinder until I had about 3/8" clearance all around the diff case once installed. You don't need to notch your frame member quite as much as I did though. I was thinking about globs of red clay being stuck in there, so I made a big gap for the power washer. Its plenty strong, no worries... :)

I gotta order a kit for my power washer, so nevermind my soapy frame ok... :-(

The last two pics show the 400AT diff has been installed. Took about 5 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #73
Many Honda parts interchange shadetree... I imagine some (if not all) of those early selectable diffs interchange in that era. I know the Rincon uses the same clutch... your Foreman might too. I'd probably have to look up your final gear ratio to be sure..?
 

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Discussion Starter #74 (Edited)
I just looked them up. Your TRX450 has a 3.231 (42/13) front diff ratio, while the 350 and 400 Ranchers have a 3.769 (49/13) ratio. So the ring gear is different, but every thing else might be interchangeable with Ranchers, Rincons & Foremans up front.

EDIT: I just looked up the Rincon 650 front diff ratio and its the same as the 450 Foreman. I know folks are buying clutches from used 400AT diffs to fix their Rincon diffs so the housings are probably identical for all three. The limited slip assemblies are identical as well, so that leaves only the ring gear and possibly the carriers as the only likely differences between them all.. ?
 

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Discussion Starter #76
Nice ! That diff is very clean .
Eagle 1 etching mag cleaner removes the loose aluminum corrosion and cleans them up good. Hard corrosion buildup can be removed with a stiff plastic brush after it soaks in for a few minutes. Once the corrosion is gone, each time you spray the aluminum down & rinse it gets smoother & brighter. I like the stuff, one bottle goes a long way... though its quite a bit weaker than the commercial grade stuff I used to get in 5 gallon pails at a truck stop. But for only 6 bucks a bottle ya can't beat the Eagle 1.
 

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03-up 650/680 Rincon
05-11 500 Foreman FM and ES
05-14 500 Rubicon
02-04 450 S and ES

Those front diffs are all the same. Not sure if the speed sensors are the same, but the cases, ring pinion, etc are all the same so they should interchange.
 

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Retro, you make my projects look sloppy and half azzed. LOL

Everything is so clean and shiny!

Your pics and write-up are better too. Thanks for taking the time to take such detailed pics during the process. My pics were kind of an afterthought and didn't show the necessary details like yours do.
 

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Discussion Starter #79
I'm retired and single though remember... I got nothing left but passing time to contend with, and thats about all I got! I like your builds a lot Jeepwm69... you bring a lot of knowledge and know-how and practical experience to these forums. So you can't pretend your stuff isn't top-drawer! LOL

Most of these parts you see in my pics were going to be opened up for cleaning, eyeballing and relubing anyway, so once I get that far with 'em I figure I may as well waste some time (& a few bucks) on derusting and painting them with the cheapest materials I can get my hands on. Whether they'll hold up in the long run remains to be seen...

My next bikes will be 300FWs I'll keep for myself (well, one of them will be built for my daughter), so I'll media blast and use high quality ($$$) finishes on those bikes.

Thanks for the front diff interchange list!
 

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Nice ! That diff is very clean .
Eagle 1 etching mag cleaner removes the loose aluminum corrosion and cleans them up good. Hard corrosion buildup can be removed with a stiff plastic brush after it soaks in for a few minutes. Once the corrosion is gone, each time you spray the aluminum down & rinse it gets smoother & brighter. I like the stuff, one bottle goes a long way... though its quite a bit weaker than the commercial grade stuff I used to get in 5 gallon pails at a truck stop. But for only 6 bucks a bottle ya can't beat the Eagle 1.
I been looking for the Eagle 1 and have not found it yet
 
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