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Discussion Starter #81
Its out there at one of the chain stores (autonapariellys?) most likely. I found this bottle on sale at Autozone for 6 bucks, after stopping at two other stores on the same street looking for it. My bottle had a junk spray head on it so I scrounged one from a Formula 409 bottle that works.
 

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I know your build is going to pristine no doubt , will be watching and still like Can'taloupe better than CreameSickle lol
 

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I got a great song for your bikes theme song , Canteloop , kind of jazzy and soul mix , a New Orleans night club feel , I can see you now on your refurbed Orange Kiss , in a second line parade going down Bourbon St , decorated umbrella and a sound tube pumping out this tune

 

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Discussion Starter #86
Progress is slow-to-none on this project right now, due to being too busy with other spring maintenance/repairs & projects I got going on. I have been able to sneak a few hours in here and there though and this is what I got going.

The frontend is all back together with fresh syn grease and new seals, the carb is finished (new OEM main jet) and back on the motor along with the refinished exhaust. The electrical system connectors have all been cleaned and dielectric greased and the '05 400AT master cylinder w/switches and sub-harness and the revamped Rincon throttle housing w/selectable switch are installed on the bars.

The brake shoes & drums are original and appear to have never been used before (the adjusters hadn't ever been turned, no brake dust inside, drums were smooth & shiny and no water had ever leaked past the greased drum seals), so I'm going to run them until they wear out before swapping in 420 discs.

The brakes are bled and adjusted and the front wheels are aligned as well. The 400AT master cylinder has a larger bore/piston (20mm) and reservoir capacity than the stock 350 MC, so thats a welcome plus. I actually backed off the brake adjusters one more click than usual, because the larger bore 400AT MC grabs full and hard quite early in the stroke when the lever is pulled. Honda should'a made the stock MC bigger, it now feels like the front brakes aren't as wimpy.
 

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Discussion Starter #87 (Edited)
Jeepwm69 sent me a new KFI winch mount (Thanks again Jeep!) so I went to work modding the new mount a bit before bolting it in place. I wanted the mounting plate to lay flatter against the frame tubing and I wanted the winch a bit higher and further back (the plate is made longer than it needs to be IMO, I can't leave well-enough alone can I...?), so I notched out the plate about 1/2" to clear all of the harness plugs near the top edge, then bent the remaining two u-bolt tabs down so they would match up with the frame tubing bends under the top of the plate. Then I cut the two original lower mounting bolt tabs off from the plate and welded longer tabs in place so that the tabs tie in and support the plate better where the plate is bent at the factory. I also had some good, strong 5/16" U-bolts saved for this install, so I used those larger u-bolts through the mounting plate in place of the smaller u-bolts. By moving the plate up and back, the roller fairlead, snubber and hook doesn't stick out as far in front of the bumper.

I have an old Warn 2.5ci 2500 lbs winch that someone was going to toss out (free to me) that I refurbed last year, so its now mounted on the bike. The winch mounting bolts had loosened up on the previous owner and eventually broke off, which destroyed the clutch end housing during a pull, so thats why I got it for nothing. I took it apart and cleaned all the parts up in mineral spirits and looked them over... everything looked new inside, except for the bad housing and drum bushings which got ripped when the drum cocked. So I bought a new OEM Warn clutch housing and a set of OEM drum bushings for it and put it back together with lots of fresh synthetic & MOS2 grease. It looks and runs great again, good as a new one IMO! My total cost: $35 in new winch parts and a few hours of my time. The fairlead, snubber and hook cost another $20 so I'm in pretty cheaply so far... just gotta get some welding cable, contactor and handlebar switch shipped in to finish this winch install up!
 

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Discussion Starter #89
Thanks, I hope so Jeep! You set the bar pretty high on your builds, so I'm just scurrying to keep up with y'all! :)

You might be interested in this next idea... this next post I'm about to drop in here? If I can pull this mod off as planned, you'll be getting one of them in the mail for your daughter's '05... and maybe a spare as well. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #90 (Edited)
Projects tend to grow and expand sometimes don't they...? It seems like with every mod or alteration we do, they only lead to more mods and alterations ideas! I've been scheming on this particular idea for a while now... and today I finally found some time to test it out.

I'm gonna build some adjustable voltage regulators to handle the 400AT diff clutch engagement and disengagement along with a 5 volt/40ma load relay control circuit to help the selectable switch last longer.

This idea stems from the fact that the selectable switch does not look like it would last very long (I had mine apart for cleaning/lube, contacts look way too weak) switching a 14.5 volt (5.1 ohms clutch coil) inductive load on and off. The selectable switch contacts will probably arc and burn severely under this kind of high current/voltage load when turned on, and the inductive clutch coil load will release even greater flyback voltages and currents (magnitudes higher than battery voltage) back through that selectable switch as the contacts open.

First thing I did was scrounge through my cabinets to see if I have enough junk on hand... looking for cheap linear regulators and parts to make this idea happen? I found a few old low-drop-out Texas Instruments LM1084 5 volt fixed regulators and a handful of old low-drop-out ST Micro LD1585CV adjustable regulators, each rated to handle 5 amps continuous current. Some solid tantalum bypass capacitors, some decent filter caps and some fairly new Littlefuse AUMOV varistors, a few 1N4002 diodes and some perf boards to mount everything on. I also found a big aluminum heatsink that I've cut up previously, that I can use to cut a few heatsinks out of, to mount the clutch coil voltage regulator on to keep it cooled. It looks like I have everything I'll need for this project except for enclosures, but I think I can get some of those cheap on the fLeebay or Amazon.

Then I found an old adjustable voltage regulator setup that I had built many years ago and was no longer using for anything, in all my electronics junk...! :)

So, today I hooked that old bugger up and tested the 400AT clutch coil using various engagement voltages, beginning with 11 volts and testing lower until I was only driving that coil using only 4.5 volts! Well, guess what? That clutch engages the splines on the pinion just as crisply with 4.5 volts applied to it, as it does if driven by 12.8 volts! What benefit is that to me then...?

This spec for the clutch coil came from the 400AT FSM:
Clutch resistance: 5.1 - 5.8 ohms (68"FJ

This link can be used to predict gross clutch coil currents and power consumption at various coil voltages, using worst-case coil resistance of 5.1 ohms, for comparison purposes:
Watts/Volts/Amps/Ohms conversion calculator

Predicted results (rounded off):
At 14.5 volts unregulated battery voltage the coil power/energy consumption = 41.22 watts - 2.84 amps
At 12 volts = 28.23 watts - 2.35 amps
At 11 volts = 23.7 watts - 2.15 amps
At 10 volts = 19.6 watts - 1.96 amps
At 9 volts = 15.88 watts - 1.76 amps
At 8 volts = 12.54 watts - 1.56 amps
At 7 volts = 9.6 watts - 1.37 amps
At 6 volts = 7.05 watts - 1.17 amps
At 5 volts = 4.9 watts - 0.98 amps

Now, we don't care whether we are conserving any energy or not while the motor is running and we are riding the bike around in 4wd.... We do care about getting long clutch coil life though... we want to minimize heating of the coil, so we can simply lower the voltage and realize big improvements in heat waste production. Low heat = long coil life.

So my idea consists of two regulators:
1) Use a fixed 5 volts DC regulator to supply a low working voltage for the selectable switch. The selectable switch will trip a 5 volt relay (capable of switching high DC currents, 5-10 amps minimum) coil that draws only 40 milliamps while engaged. This will keep the switch on the handlebar alive for many, many years, perhaps several decades.

2) That 5 volt relay then energizes an adjustable voltage regulator circuit that supplies DC power for the clutch coil. The output of this regulator will be protected from high inductive load flyback voltages and currents (released by the coil at the moment of clutch disengagement) by a metal-oxide varistor (and possibly a bypass diode across the regulator input/output, gotta test this device yet) specially designed for this purpose.

I'm guessing here so far... but I think I can run that coil reliably using only 6 volts DC (as I'm testing in the photos below) to power it. If my 6 volts guess isn't enough, we can dial up the voltage quickly by turning a trimmer knob or screw, until we get a reliable clutch engagement while minimizing coil heating. The 5 volt DC switch control circuit will reap the biggest rewards though... So stay tuned...

Thats all I got for now... I'll keep y'all updated as any other progress is made. Keep a smile on and have a great week!
 

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Spent the last 25 minutes getting updated on this thread. Wow Retro. Your work is out of this world. I enjoy looking at all your pics and reading all the info you share. Keep up the good work!! Looks awesome!!
 

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Discussion Starter #93
Thanks XR6! I particularly enjoy following your threads too! These forums wouldn't be worth reading if it weren't for all the great folks that share their works/ideas/mods/bikes with us every day here! Don't ever stop sharing...! :)

Me too fishfiles, so I guess I like Bobcats now too. :) How did the Mothers day rides go this weekend? You guys tear anything up...?
 

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My threads are usually me learning the hard way on how not to fix your bike haha. But I'm glad you like following along with me on my journeys :)
 

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Projects tend to grow and expand sometimes don't they...? It seems like with every mod or alteration we do, they only lead to more mods and alterations ideas! I've been scheming on this particular idea for a while now... and today I finally found some time to test it out.

I'm gonna build some adjustable voltage regulators to handle the 400AT diff clutch engagement and disengagement along with a 5 volt/40ma load relay control circuit to help the selectable switch last longer.

This idea stems from the fact that the selectable switch does not look like it would last very long (I had mine apart for cleaning/lube, contacts look way too weak) switching a 14.5 volt (5.1 ohms clutch coil) inductive load on and off. The selectable switch contacts will probably arc and burn severely under this kind of high current/voltage load when turned on, and the inductive clutch coil load will release even greater flyback voltages and currents (magnitudes higher than battery voltage) back through that selectable switch as the contacts open.

First thing I did was scrounge through my cabinets to see if I have enough junk on hand... looking for cheap linear regulators and parts to make this idea happen? I found a few old low-drop-out Texas Instruments LM1084 5 volt fixed regulators and a handful of old low-drop-out ST Micro LD1585CV adjustable regulators, each rated to handle 5 amps continuous current. Some solid tantalum bypass capacitors, some decent filter caps and some fairly new Littlefuse AUMOV varistors, a few 1N4002 diodes and some perf boards to mount everything on. I also found a big aluminum heatsink that I've cut up previously, that I can use to cut a few heatsinks out of, to mount the clutch coil voltage regulator on to keep it cooled. It looks like I have everything I'll need for this project except for enclosures, but I think I can get some of those cheap on the fLeebay or Amazon.

Then I found an old adjustable voltage regulator setup that I had built many years ago and was no longer using for anything, in all my electronics junk...! :)

So, today I hooked that old bugger up and tested the 400AT clutch coil using various engagement voltages, beginning with 11 volts and testing lower until I was only driving that coil using only 4.5 volts! Well, guess what? That clutch engages the splines on the pinion just as crisply with 4.5 volts applied to it, as it does if driven by 12.8 volts! What benefit is that to me then...?

This spec for the clutch coil came from the 400AT FSM:
Clutch resistance: 5.1 - 5.8 ohms (68"FJ

This link can be used to predict gross clutch coil currents and power consumption at various coil voltages, using worst-case coil resistance of 5.1 ohms, for comparison purposes:
Watts/Volts/Amps/Ohms conversion calculator

Predicted results (rounded off):
At 14.5 volts unregulated battery voltage the coil power/energy consumption = 41.22 watts - 2.84 amps
At 12 volts = 28.23 watts - 2.35 amps
At 11 volts = 23.7 watts - 2.15 amps
At 10 volts = 19.6 watts - 1.96 amps
At 9 volts = 15.88 watts - 1.76 amps
At 8 volts = 12.54 watts - 1.56 amps
At 7 volts = 9.6 watts - 1.37 amps
At 6 volts = 7.05 watts - 1.17 amps
At 5 volts = 4.9 watts - 0.98 amps

Now, we don't care whether we are conserving any energy or not while the motor is running and we are riding the bike around in 4wd.... We do care about getting long clutch coil life though... we want to minimize heating of the coil, so we can simply lower the voltage and realize big improvements in heat waste production. Low heat = long coil life.

So my idea consists of two regulators:
1) Use a fixed 5 volts DC regulator to supply a low working voltage for the selectable switch. The selectable switch will trip a 5 volt relay (capable of switching high DC currents, 5-10 amps minimum) coil that draws only 40 milliamps while engaged. This will keep the switch on the handlebar alive for many, many years, perhaps several decades.

2) That 5 volt relay then energizes an adjustable voltage regulator circuit that supplies DC power for the clutch coil. The output of this regulator will be protected from high inductive load flyback voltages and currents (released by the coil at the moment of clutch disengagement) by a metal-oxide varistor (and possibly a bypass diode across the regulator input/output, gotta test this device yet) specially designed for this purpose.

I'm guessing here so far... but I think I can run that coil reliably using only 6 volts DC (as I'm testing in the photos below) to power it. If my 6 volts guess isn't enough, we can dial up the voltage quickly by turning a trimmer knob or screw, until we get a reliable clutch engagement while minimizing coil heating. The 5 volt DC switch control circuit will reap the biggest rewards though... So stay tuned...

Thats all I got for now... I'll keep y'all updated as any other progress is made. Keep a smile on and have a great week!
Most of the components you named were way over my head, but I do get the low voltage>high voltage in the interest of making the components last longer. I never even considered that the 400AT clutch and switch weren't simply 12V components.

Let us know what you come up with!
 

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Discussion Starter #97
I'm still unsure about the voltages through the switch and clutch coil the stock 400AT selectable has on them too. My copy of the 400AT service manual PDF is very poor... the wiring diagrams are so blurry I can't see some of the wire runs and can't see any of the wire color labels. I see two extra diodes (the 350 Ranchers only have one diode) on the diagram but can't tell which circuits those diodes protect. So I must assume that at least one of those diodes might be there to protect the PCM from clutch coil flyback transients..? Dunno, but I feel like I'd better look into it...The FSM doesn't mention voltages to test for anywhere in the troubleshooting steps either, so I'm on my own here.

I am sure the selectable switch was designed to be used in a low voltage/low load signaling circuit though. I am 100% positive I got that fact figured out. So I am assuming that the PCM provides a low voltage through the switch... and its most likely only 5 volts on the stock 400AT... I'm assuming 5 volts because during that era Honda was using 5 volt signal lines thru all of the ES shift switches... The PCM then provides all of the voltage and (high) current required to engage and hold the clutch coil. If the above is all true (?), then there must be some flyback voltage protection(s) built into the stock 400AT. I'm on my own here...

So, I'm going to run 5 volts thru the switch to trip and hold a 40 milliamp relay coil load. I'll probably put a diode across that relay coil to provide minimal flyback protection for the switch. Basic and simple...

The required relay contacts might be rated for up to 5-10 amps @30VDC or so... I think I have three of those on hand, so I should be able to build three complete units.

I think I have enough parts on hand to build three adjustable voltage clutch coil units as well. So it makes sense to me to just put everything together for each unit in single enclosures... three units = three enclosures & three heatsinks required, in other words. Gimme a coupla' weeks time and I might have some clear answers.

If this works as well as I think it might work you'll be getting one or two of them in the mail Jeep. You've been an awesome help to me and you have contributed not just a few spare parts... but your ideas, experience and inspiration cannot be measured or valued... and I'll never forget any of these contributions.

Huge thanks my friends..! You guys are all awesome!
 

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I applaud both Jeep and Retro on you'll quest for electrical supremacy , but the less electrical parts and most simplest circuits on the bike the better for submarines
 

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vinegar

hey retro;
rusty,, soaked in vinegar for a few days to remove all rust.
i havent heard or using vinegar for rust removal. the white vinegar, in the photo, later in the thread, looks like apple cider vinegar. must ta been sitting for a while. i use both white and apple, vinegar for different things. never thought of rust.. thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #100
I applaud both Jeep and Retro on you'll quest for electrical supremacy , but the less electrical parts and most simplest circuits on the bike the better for submarines
I couldn't agree with you more fishfiles, even though I don't ever ride in deep water! I'm about to jump in neck deep in 300s from now on, because they are simple, reliable and almost 100% mechanical bikes, but are not electrically controlled. Honda peaked on the 300s and have been fading ever since, IMO.

I'm messing with stuff I don't need and don't like and feel like I'm wasting some of my energy on this one... but I'm still having fun and being challenged with this Rancher, so I'll surely learn a few more useful lessons along the way?

My mother will love riding this electrical gadget around, so most all I got left ta worry about is providing good electrical systems reliability, since Honda took care of most of the mechanical reliability aspects for us...

I simply hate to fix my stuff more than once! Or fix anyone elses' stuff more than once! So, my soldering station is playing a major role on this go 'round! Then I'm off to chase down some 300s to build... :)
 
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