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Hey guys I'm new to the site and trying to learn more about my 06 rancher 400, I'm having an issue with the automatic, works fine in manual, I can shift go in reverse and all is good. In automatic though it started out I could ride in auto until I went to neutral or reverse, then the display would blink, I have to shut it off and switch it to manual and turn it back on, and now it's to the point that when you put it in auto the display just blinks, and I have to power off and restart in manual. Any help would be great, thanks.
 

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Melsman I just bought a 2006 Honda Rancher 400FA AT with 66 hours on it and loved reading your post. Great information for somebody new to the Hondamatic transmission!
 

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What road do i need to take?

I have 400fa at its slipping and has no engine brake. The clutches are good. I have changed the motor oil three times to try to clean it out (used honda oil). I have not checked oil pressure motor does smoke. Does this sound like the Hondamatic or oil pressure. Ihave no codes and it slips worst when the motor get warm.
 

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Thanks for the great writeup melsman. Big reason why i decided to join the forum.

I'll spare a lot of the details, but I have never been able to have auto work on my bike, have always had to use ESP, even after bringing it in right away for the service bulletin. Well I never trusted the work the dealers did on it, so this last spring I decided to purchase a new ECM from hondapartshouse.com The new ECM took the install fine, no codes afterwards, but auto still goes into too high of a ratio when starting out.

Which leads me to my question: by installing a new ECM, assuming all the sensors are good, do I at least have myself narrowed down to a clutch/oil issue? Or does the new ECM need to be flashed like the dealers had to do when the service bulletin came out? During this next winter I'm going to tear it down, put a new clutch in, and follow your exact oil guidelines.

And just an aside, I understand how that when the clutch slips, the ECM senses the RPM go up and then increases the gear ratio. But how I look at it, since the machine has front and rear wheel sensors, the ECM should also know the bike isn't going fast enough to be able to handle the higher gear ratio, whether the clutch is slipping or not. If a human brain can know that it is not appropriate to shift to a higher ratio, with the proper sensor inputs and programming, an ECM should be able to do the same. So it still seems to me like the programming that Honda did is lacking, if it can't handle any sort of clutch slipping.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Might be a good idea to approach this in its own thread. That way folks can find it better in a search. In the meantime, let me research the issue.

Melsman
 

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thanks melsman!
 

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Actually you can just fill the connectors up with it it will not effect conductivity.It will just take up the open air space that water gets into and causes corrosion.That is the main thing it does so don't be afraid of filling up the connectors it won't hurt anything.GM has a service bulletin out on some of their cars to fill the connectors up with grease to keep the terminals from corroding and stretching out.
i agree with this. yes dielectric grease is non-conductive, and most manufacturers worn against applying it to connecters, but that is mostly a liability issue since the product they sell is labeled "non-conductive" it takes away the chance of false advertising. i'm a MECP certified mobile electronics installer and i've used dielectric grease for years directly on the metal connecters of anything exposed to weather and have never had an issue. the only conductive issues that should come up are ones that behave the same as if there was a loose connection, which is a greater risk due to creating a fire hazard. lose of conductivity is lose of conductivity but as long as the connections are secure then the non-constructiveness of the grease is no longer an issue. as long as the connecters being plugged together are inspected and have a good tight connection, the grease has no chance of interfering. not only does a loose connecter create resistance as would grease, it also gives room for corrosion and more importantly, the risk of arcing which could lead to melted wires, damaged electrical components, or catching fire. i'm a firm believer in the use of dielectric grease on anything exposed to any type of moisture. it helps a lot more than it hurts! never the less, this was still one of the best write ups i've found!!! great job!!!
 

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as long as the connecters being plugged together are inspected and have a good tight connection, the grease has no chance of interfering. not only does a loose connecter create resistance as would grease, it also gives room for corrosion and more importantly, the risk of arcing which could lead to melted wires, damaged electrical components, or catching fire. i'm a firm believer in the use of dielectric grease on anything exposed to any type of moisture. it helps a lot more than it hurts! [/QUOTE]

I agree with that ^^ right there 100%,and is why I push dielectric grease in all connectors,especially to the submarine,and mud bogging crowds,and the ones with old connections that have never been apart...:r_c:
 

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Great write up and really enjoyed reading it. I just sold my 2005 Honda Ranchers AT(had 2 of them) last week. I use them in my land surveying business and never had any problems with either of them. I bought 2 new Honda Ranchers, one with AT and one with ES. I didn't realize the AT was different than the 2005. I think I like the Hondamatic better than the 5 speed auto. Since the Hondamatic is hydrostatic you could never feel it shift. It is like the old Buick Dynaflow if anyone remembers that one.
 

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for anyone else that has a Rancher 400FA AT that may have the shifting problem where it gets stuck into too high of a gear ratio when starting out, which is what mine was doing, i had a new clutch put in and just that one thing fixed it. so confirming what Melsman stated in the original post. sure is great having automatic working again!
 

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Can u help

I'm new here but have a question I have an04 honda rancher at I just bought I changed the centrifugal clutch and drum and one way bearing now when engine is cold it makes grinding sound and Boggs down and slips when it warms up everything works fine I did use the honda 20/50 oil appreciate some help thanks
 

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Rancher 400 Auto Transmission Problem

Great write up. Thank you Melsman.

After reading Melsman's post I had to join. I have two Honda Rancher 400's. One is a 05 and the other 06.

I have a problem with the 06 described by Melsman and could use some quick diagnostic help.

In auto, there is a delay in the transmission returning to first gear. Bike will bog down when I try to apply throttle until I release the throttle and wait a couple seconds for the transmission to rest. I can actually hear a slight whine inside the case as the tranny resets. After the whine its good to go.

Replaced oil with new Honda Oil 10W 30. No problem in ES mode. Melsman suggests this is sign clutches slipping in auto. Lowered the idle adjustment. Checked connections to angle sensor. All good.

Questions:

1. Is there a clutch adjustment?
2. Could the tranny reset delay be caused by the angle sensor or another sensor?

Thanks in advance.
 
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