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Many of us have Electric Shift (ES) models. In fact, Honda sells approximately EIGHT times as many ES models for every foot-shift model sold. The ES models are very reliable. But, because of the number of ES machines that are sold and owned, it sometimes seems that there are more difficulties with ES shifting than with manual shifting. Unfortunately, there has been one problem with ES shifting that has affected many ES owners at one time or another: The problem is that, at times, when you make a shift (up or down) on an ES machine, the shift is not complete. You can hear the shift motor trying to make the shift when you press a shift button <->, but no shift occurs and, at times, you receive a - - - display. The problem occurs even more often when it is cold outside.
Fortunately, the answer/fix to the problem is really very easy! The problem is caused by very heavy, stiff, gummy grease that was installed in the shift motor gears at the factory. Once that grease is removed and replaced with a different grease, you'll be back to shifting normally! So, here's how you replace that grease: Remove the shift motor and gears (all one piece) from the lower front of your engine. There are normally four 10mm bolts that hold it on. Once you have it loose and off, you will see that in the gears, there is some very thick, gummy, stiff grease. Clean out all of that grease. (You can use a solvent such as paint thinner to get it all out). When cleaning the grease out, do be careful not to disturb the position that the gears are in. Once all the old grease is out, replace that grease with a generous amount of ALL-TEMPERATURE, WHITE LITHIUM GREASE. (That grease is available from any auto parts store.) After you've put the new grease in the gears, reassemble the shift motor/gears back onto the engine/transmission. Snug up the 10mm bolts, but don't over-tighten them. You should now be good to go!
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Note.... I have brought both this problem, and this fix, to the attention of Honda Powersports. They have been very responsive to me and have assured me that they will not only let their dealers know of this fix, but that they will revise the grease that they put into future models.
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I hope this helps you! ..........Ride Safely...........Have Fun!
 

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Wow Honda actually got back to you.. And they're willing to change. Kent you are the best.
 

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I am thoroughly impressed. From everything I've ever heard Honda is awful when it comes to customer service and doesn't listen to anything from anybody. Although these are all just what I've gathered from what I have heard.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Honda places their customer service address and phone number in every Owners' Manual.
I can only guess that many people who don't receive positive attention from Honda, or anyone else, are people who complain and threaten those who they call, rather than calling, explaining their situation and politely asking for help. Politeness goes a long way, when it comes to getting help.
 

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Does this work for the DCT models that have the selectable ES such as my 2014 TRX420 Rancher does? If so, does it help with shifting when in automatic shifting mode?

Wayne
 

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To Kentco, the OP - thanks for the instructions! My 2014 ES Rancher performs better than any other ES machine I have ridden and I am positive it is because of this fix. I did it right of the bat when I bought mine brand new and she has worked like a champ!

The synthetic oil does great for me and the shifts, too!
 

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You're Welcom

Jwall, Welcome again to the forum. You're welcome. The problem actually occurs very rarely on Electric Shift machines. However, considering the number of ES machines that are out there, it is good information for someone who might experience the problems.

To Kentco, the OP - thanks for the instructions! My 2014 ES Rancher performs better than any other ES machine I have ridden and I am positive it is because of this fix. I did it right of the bat when I bought mine brand new and she has worked like a champ!

The synthetic oil does great for me and the shifts, too!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Guys!.... You don't even need a service manual to take the shift motor & gears off. They are held onto the outside of the engine by four 10mm bolts. Remove those bolts, unplug the electrical connector, and it will be in your hands. From there, clean out all the old, original gummy, stiff grease, and replace that grease with a liberal amount of new All-temp White Lithium grease.

I have closed this thread to new replies. Therefore, if you are having shifting problems, please start a new thread.
 

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my shift motor did not have any grease. when i loosened motor to look at armature, drive gear from motor was easier to turn, when i tightened it was binding. i got new motor, worked after that. leave it to me to find the odd problem. i spent hours going through wiring. least they got dielectric grease on connectors now. //Ed
 

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my shift motor did not have any grease. when i loosened motor to look at armature drive gear was easier to turn, when i tightened was binding. i got new motor, worked after that. leave it to me to find the odd problem. i spent hours going through wiring. least they got dielectric grease on connectors now. //Ed
That's interesting. I had what I think is the same issue yesterday working on this 420AT. It was kinda shifting, but would throw error code 22 more often than not between every gear. I took the motor off and inspected it, and when I put it back together it wouldn't shift at all. I figured it was bound up, took it back off, turned the gears a little, and put it back on and it's doing a little better, but still throws the 22 code about every other shift.

I am NOT liking the ES stuff. My footshifts don't have these problems. The ONLY reason I'm messing with an ES machine is because the wife wanted an automatic and I found this 420AT close by.
 

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So did you get it lubed and working?
Kentco, you're the man! I'm going to try this either this afternoon or the next. Located on the front of the engine? the side? Doesn't sound too difficult, think I'll just have to google the location and what it looks like. Hopefully not too much plastic has to come off for the 2016 Ranchers.
 

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Avery, Please don't use google. Otherwise, you'll be burdened by future 'pfishing' (from google) as well as malware from their advertisers.

The shift motor is located on the lower front of your engine. No plastic (or anything else) has to come off. The easiest way to get to it is if you have a winch. :) If you do, pull your atv into the garage. Connect your winch cable to an overhead rafter, and pull the front end of your Rancher up so that the atv is standing on it's rear wheels. Good luck, it's an easy (yet, very effective) project.
Best Regards,
Kent
 

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Avery, Please don't use google. Otherwise, you'll be burdened by future 'pfishing' (from google) as well as malware from their advertisers.

The shift motor is located on the lower front of your engine. No plastic (or anything else) has to come off. The easiest way to get to it is if you have a winch. :) If you do, pull your atv into the garage. Connect your winch cable to an overhead rafter, and pull the front end of your Rancher up so that the atv is standing on it's rear wheels. Good luck, it's an easy (yet, very effective) project.
Best Regards,
Kent
I appreciate the help! One last question I swear. I'm searching for this magical "all temperature white lithium grease" and am getting a very wide range of results. Between aerosols (I don't see how that'll help) and bottles and tubs. Which brand, size tube, did you use and where did you buy it. I was going to run by AutoZone on the way back to the house this afternoon, but you can't usually trust them to be much help.

Thanks again!
 

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This way to find it.

That is a good diagram ATC, thanks!

On a sunnier not, I just got inside from ruining my shift motor. I obviously have no idea what I was doing and had no business trying this myself I guess. I don't consider myself a mechanic, but I am fairly mechanically inclined. I really hope that they aren't too expensive.

BTW, the 2016 has SO MUCH stuff in the way. I took off the main bottom skidplate to gain better access to the shift motor and it was still a pain to get too. When I replace it, I may have to take more plastic off. I have no idea how you guys are getting to it without doing it.

**Here's what smart me did!**

1) Don't have a winch currently installed so lift it by myself and set it on it's hind end. A lot heavier than it looks.
2) Realized my fat forearms weren't going to fit where the motor was (easy to find by sight by the way, you were right) I started taking the (7 I think, some had already fallen out on the trails I guess) bolts holding on the main skidplate.
3) I started to fight with the inner fender guards using a small socket wrench and 10mm socket (I found 3 bolts holding it on)
4) Proceeded to fight with the electrical connection (this is my life, I'm almost certain you all didn't have this much trouble).
5) I got it off, and started looking at it and where it came from. In my mind, surely you guys weren't going deeper into the trans, so I proceeded to take out the two allen bolts holding the motor together.
6) Got the motor open, and I was just too excited I guess to think, wondered "hmmmm where is all the gummy grease?" Applied white lithium grease. Lots of white lithium grease. Lots.
7) Realized after I put the two allen bolts back in to close up the motor that I had just cuffed up, big time. Don't know why that was the first time this whole time that I thought....about anything. Put it all back together anyway.
8) Didn't put the skid plate back on, and didn't put it back on all 4s knowing that if it didn't do what I wanted that I would just have to pick it back up again.
9) Turned key on, and no 'N'. All I got was a morse code type error.
2 long -, followed by 4 quick flashing
--- --- - - - -
:icon_ owned:

So questions are as follows (please don't beat me up too much, I've beat myself up enough I think):
- Does anyone know that error code off hand?
- What the heck else was I supposed to take off of the engine to do this? I don't see a way that i can even get back any further than I did.

You all made it sound so easy.......:hail:

Thank you all in advance, you've been a great help thus far.
 
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