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Seth

Honda Rancher 350 ES Problems

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I was riding my rancher yesterday when it suddenly just shutoff. It’s in 2nd gear and won’t let me shift to neutral. I attempted to use the manual shift with no luck but didn’t have the proper tool. Also when I pressed the start button, the oil light would blink once with each start button press. Does this indicate an oil issue or do I just need to get it back to neutral to start? Why would it just shut off? I checked the oil and it looked like it was full but when I replaced the dipstick it did sound low just from the rattling. It was serviced within the last year and a half. I plan on starting with an oil change and go from there unless y’all can tell me the exact problem.

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first get the oil done, then check your battery ?, the es models MUST HAVE A FULLY CHARGED BATTERY TO RUN RIGHT !. BE SURE YOU DO NOT INSTALL THE OIL FILTER BACKWARDS !!!!!!. I can't stress this enough !.

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You'll have to get it back to neutral to get it to start. You'll probably have to rock it while shifting to get the gears to line up. 

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You can use a 12 mm wrench to shift it back into neutral. You may have to rock the bike back and forth as you downshift using the wrench. Check your battery voltage... it sounds like your battery might be going bad. Do not try to jump it with jumper cables. And do not try to run the motor if there is a junk battery in it. Let us know what you learn before buying anything.

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What you can also do to make the ES shift smooth is take the motor off take the gears out NOTING THE POSITION AND ORDER OF EVERYTHING and scrape out all the stiff gummy grease and use all temp white lithium grease. It'll shift much smoother. Just thought I'd add that tip. But yea fully charged battery. While your there it wouldn't hurt to dielectric grease all your connections.

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8 hours ago, F250 guy said:

scrape out all the stiff gummy grease and use all temp white lithium grease

 

Actually that type of grease is the number two cause for ES failures, while water is the number one cause. Honda uses the wrong kind of grease in them. NLGI #2 consistency synthetic grease is the proper grease for all ES systems.

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36 minutes ago, retro said:

 

Actually that type of grease is the number two cause for ES failures, while water is the number one cause. Honda uses the wrong kind of grease in them. NLGI #2 consistency synthetic grease is the proper grease for all ES systems.

So I was wrong huh? I didn't know anything but the white lithium. 

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You may have read about Lithium grease in ES because Honda recommends that type. But Honda is dead wrong and always have been wrong. The number two cause for ES systems failures is Honda's recommended  grease breaks down due to repeated heating/cooling cycles. Their grease is gummy junk in just a couple months. To solve that problem repack the support bearings and reduction gears with a synthetic bearing grease, such as Mobil 1 or similar. ES systems are not waterproofed from the factory either.... water inside the shift motor, angle sensor and electrical connectors is their number one cause for ES failures.

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I think honda uses a gel in there instead of a grease. Even working on the new ones its thicker than white lithium but yes, use the good stuff and be done. 

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13 minutes ago, retro said:

You may have read about Lithium grease in ES because Honda recommends that type. But Honda is dead wrong and always have been wrong. The number two cause for ES systems failures is Honda's recommended  grease breaks down due to repeated heating/cooling cycles. Their grease is gummy junk in just a couple months. To solve that problem repack the support bearings and reduction gears with a synthetic bearing grease, such as Mobil 1 or similar. ES systems are not waterproofed from the factory either.... water inside the shift motor, angle sensor and electrical connectors is their number one cause for ES failures.

On the old site Kentco mentioned it, and I remembered thinking it may help. 

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I'd like to see that, do you have a link to the thread ?? I don't go to that place any longer.

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That old thread link brought back some memories , I got to give it to Kentco , he was very well versus'ed in ES ,  he got hot under the collar if you were to rag him about ES , talked with him on the phone before for a long time , still  got his number , maybe should give him a call and see what's up and get him over here to join in the fun , cause there is never a dull moment with ES , LOL -------- Anyone can ride with me , even ES'ers , I might rag on them , but they are still part the pack and we love'em even when we have to pull them out the woods -----   I was LOL when I seen what I posted on that thread back then , but it still holds true in my "Book of WeLie"  

 

The best way to rid yourself of headaches now and in the future is a "For Sale " sign and a foot shifter

 

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All joking aside I love you guys : ES rules ^ 

 

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I prefer a manual footshift on my ATVs too. Manual shift is simpler and is not reliant on the owner to prep or maintain them.

 

But I own an ES bike, so I spent some time to evaluate the Honda ES system and discover its faults. I tested my solutions for one full year on my own bike, then I did a complete ES teardown to learn whether or not my solutions were effective long term. I am confident that I have answered all of my own questions. In my opinion, a one-time teardown for proper ES prep using more appropriate lubes and sealers is all that is required for each 20 year interval of service.

 

Those initial ES fault discoveries and solutions have provided another unexpected eye-opener though..... and that is the fact that many folks will continue to throw new parts at their ES, while continuing to neglect their ES system.... long after learning all of the reasons why they fail and how simple it is to properly prep them for long-term reliability. That problem cannot be fixed as far as I know.

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Got a link to the proper grease @retro?

 

My kid's 350ES was converted to footshift, but I have to put a new crank in there and as she was toodling around the yard on the Rubicon last weekend I put it in ESP and asked if she'd rather have ES or footshift, and she, of course, said ES.

 

So I'm going to leave the splined shift shaft on there, and put a 10mm wrench and the footshifter in the trunk, but I'll put the gears back under the ES motor so she can ride with ES.

 

Interestingly enough, on bookface the other day a guy posted a workaround for ES that uses relays and bypasses the angle sensor  Retro, what you think?  Credit to Jake Duncan on facebook.  I told him to stop by this place and sign up.

 

I also have that 07ish 500ES that is next on the engine rebuild list, and then I'm going to flip that one. 

 

@shadetree, you interested in a yellow 500ES?  🤣

 

es.jpg

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14 minutes ago, jeepwm69 said:

Got a link to the proper grease @retro?

 

My kid's 350ES was converted to footshift, but I have to put a new crank in there and as she was toodling around the yard on the Rubicon last weekend I put it in ESP and asked if she'd rather have ES or footshift, and she, of course, said ES.

 

So I'm going to leave the splined shift shaft on there, and put a 10mm wrench and the footshifter in the trunk, but I'll put the gears back under the ES motor so she can ride with ES.

 

Interestingly enough, on bookface the other day a guy posted a workaround for ES that uses relays and bypasses the angle sensor  Retro, what you think?  Credit to Jake Duncan on facebook.  I told him to stop by this place and sign up.

 

I also have that 07ish 500ES that is next on the engine rebuild list, and then I'm going to flip that one. 

 

@shadetree, you interested in a yellow 500ES?  🤣

 

es.jpg

@jeepwm69, put something over that shaft to protect the splines and clamp it. 

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4 minutes ago, F250 guy said:

@jeepwm69, put something over that shaft to protect the splines and clamp it. 

 

Yeah, I thought about that.  Otherwise the splines will rust.

 

I think I have an old 500 shifter around here somewhere that had split on the shifter part.  I could cut the block off and put it on the splines

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That guy was on HATVF trying to sell those same ideas. But why would anyone spend a bunch of money and time hacking up the wiring harnesses to bypass the ES system with yet another more complicated and less reliable electrical system that can only cause more catastrophic transmission failure?

 

Its still an ES, still uses the same shift motor and rocker switches, just bypasses the angle sensor and ECM with hacked in relays. Thats not a solution for ES at all... its adding electro-mechanical parts and adding to the existing problems, all of which are caused by owner neglect.

 

It also creates an additional problem that does not exist on the stock Honda ES, and that is the fact that the shift motor is not de-powered once a shift completes, since the angle sensor is bypassed. The shift motor will destroy itself while the transmission and linkage is being abused by excessive force in each and every shift.

 

The facts speak for themselves and it ain't pretty.

 

 

 

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You can use any synthetic NLGI #2 consistency bearing grease that you want to. I use Mobil 1 because its less than $10 for a 1 lb tub and is sold everywhere.

 

Full disassembly of the shift motor and reduction gears cover is required for prepping them. Clean and repack each of the tiny reduction gear support bearings with syn grease. Grease the bearing, seal and bushing inside the shift motor with the same grease. Coat the rubber o-ring gaskets in the shift motor and the reduction gears cover with silicone gasket maker and smear a thin layer of gasket maker inside the shift motor housing diameter (where the sealing o-ring will mate with the housing) before you slide it over the armature and nose. You can use two alligator clips to hold the two brushes back while you put the armature back in. The reduction gears should be fully coated with syn grease, coat the splined drive holes and pack the gear teeth full too.

 

The angle sensor has an o-ring on it.... coat that o-ring with silicone gasket maker to waterproof it as well when you install it. Then pack every harness connector on the bike full of dielectric grease so there is no space for water to get inside them. I always disassemble the shift switches and pack those rocker switches full of dielectric grease too. That step is optional unless ya frequently pressure wash the bike though.

 

Someday when I get some free time I will outline the ES prep completely with photos. Not today though...

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2 hours ago, retro said:

That guy was on HATVF trying to sell those same ideas. But why would anyone spend a bunch of money and time hacking up the wiring harnesses to bypass the ES system with yet another more complicated and less reliable electrical system that can only cause more catastrophic transmission failure?

 

Its still an ES, still uses the same shift motor and rocker switches, just bypasses the angle sensor and ECM with hacked in relays. Thats not a solution for ES at all... its adding electro-mechanical parts and adding to the existing problems, all of which are caused by owner neglect.

 

It also creates an additional problem that does not exist on the stock Honda ES, and that is the fact that the shift motor is not de-powered once a shift completes, since the angle sensor is bypassed. The shift motor will destroy itself while the transmission and linkage is being abused by excessive force in each and every shift.

 

The facts speak for themselves and it ain't pretty.

 

 

 

I think I know who your talking about !, I seen that same post on the old site, wasn't he the guy that said put a small tach on the atv ?..lol. ok..yeah..i hope I don't see him over on our site !..lol. please don't let him in here !.

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Hahah... everyone is welcome here. I'm sure you'd recognize the guys user name if he shows up though. :-)

 

He was an amateur harness splicer/hacker over on the other site, made quite a mess of the stock wiring in his photos. I don't know why he cobbles on ES bikes so much when he could just convert to manual shift and eliminate ES altogether, like everyone else. He'd have the same difficult time selling his services here as he did on the other site I imagine. Expect no mercy I say.... :-)

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2 minutes ago, retro said:

Hahah... everyone is welcome here. I'm sure you'd recognize the guys user name if he shows up though. 🙂

 

He was an amateur harness splicer/hacker over on the other site, made quite a mess of the stock wiring in his photos. I don't know why he cobbles on ES bikes so much when he could just convert to manual shift and eliminate ES altogether, like everyone else. He'd have the same difficult time selling his services here as he did on the other site I imagine. Expect no mercy I say.... 🙂

oh i'd know him if I see him here ?, EXPECT NO HELP FROM ME !..LOL

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Posted (edited)

Ok so it’s not the oil and I’ve gotten back into neutral. Now it won’t start but it also won’t change gears with the ES. The battery is also fully charged. 

Edited by Seth

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