Foreman 450 ES Stuck in Gear using Manual Shifter - Honda Foreman Forums : Rubicon, Rincon, Rancher and Recon Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Foreman 450 ES Stuck in Gear using Manual Shifter

I acquired a 1999 Honda Foreman 450 ES that was my neighbors the other day. The four wheeler hadn't run in about a year but I was pretty sure it was just carburetor issues so I decided to try to get it going again. Cleaned the entire fuel system out, Carb was gunked up really badly so it got a soak and clean, flushed the lines, fuel petcock, and tank and put it back together. Added some new fuel and a new fuel filter and pulled the starter and it fired right up. Carb still leaks a little sometimes through the overflow, so I will get a rebuild kit for it. Valve cover seal was leaking so I put a new seal on it and checked the oil. All seemed good, so I decided to take it for its first ride. Did pretty good but Carb still needed a little adjusting. Electric Shift hasn't worked on this for a while now, so my neighbor rigged up a foot shifter on the emergency shifter and had been using it for a while. Everything seemed to be working good and shifting good so I took it up in the woods for its first real ride after a final carb adjustment. Got to the top of a big hill and had to stop and wait on my brother so I stopped and when I went to down shift the 2nd time, the foot shifter went down and stayed down. Won't move up or down now and is still stuck in the down position. I think I'm in 2nd or 3rd gear. Does anyone have any idea what happened or what I should do next to check to see what messed up? I spent a lot of time getting this thing running good and only got to ride it for 5 minutes. Please Help! Thanks
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 12:07 PM
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Welcome aboard.


I'm lost on ES but I can offer you a free service manual link in my signature, courtesy of some guys on this great site.

2007 Foreman 500FM
2014 Foreman 500FM
Service Manuals Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...7LP-eZp2jMRVJU
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 01:05 PM
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It's possible that the shift arm that connects the shift shaft (that the shift lever mounts to) has broken. I've seen this before, likely when the rider came down hard on the foot shifter. Usually when that happens the lever flops around loosely though. Otherwise, the shift drum area behind the front cover needs to be inspected - lots of moving parts in there that can also be damaged.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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I was sitting while shifting and just using my foot to shift, so I know I didn't come down on it too hard. At first I thought maybe the shift lever came off the shaft, but that was not the case unfortunately. I plan on tipping the four wheeler up on its rear rack when I get the chance and taking that front cover off. But I don't really know what it is I'll be looking at or what I'll be looking for. Anyone have any pictures or layouts that could possibly point me in the right direction? I'm pretty mechanically inclined and can most likely figure it out once I have it opened up, but having an idea of what exactly I'll be looking at or for would be a great advantage and probably help the process go a little faster. Thanks
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 04:19 PM
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You should be able to remove the electric shift motor and gears before the front cover comes off, possibly something in there locked up but not likely. To remove the front case cover means pulling the prop shaft first so you'll have to unbolt the front diff and slide it forward (you can leave the axles connected so it isn't that hard). Obviously, referring to the service manual is helpful. With the cover off you'll still have to deal with the clutches before getting good access to the shift linkage. A special clutch puller is necessary. IF you get that far, hopefully the damage will be noticed. The shift arm I previously mentioned is at the back of the engine and I bet the only way to fix one of those is to pull the engine from the frame. It's all time consuming but usually involves a small, not too expensive part. Good luck!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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re

Quote:
Originally Posted by spock View Post
You should be able to remove the electric shift motor and gears before the front cover comes off, possibly something in there locked up but not likely. To remove the front case cover means pulling the prop shaft first so you'll have to unbolt the front diff and slide it forward (you can leave the axles connected so it isn't that hard). Obviously, referring to the service manual is helpful. With the cover off you'll still have to deal with the clutches before getting good access to the shift linkage. A special clutch puller is necessary. IF you get that far, hopefully the damage will be noticed. The shift arm I previously mentioned is at the back of the engine and I bet the only way to fix one of those is to pull the engine from the frame. It's all time consuming but usually involves a small, not too expensive part. Good luck!
That's the plan when I get home today. I already planned on taking the es shifter motor gears out, so hopefully that fixes my issue and something in that system is just binding and I don't have to worry about trying to figure out everything under that front cover. Thanks
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, got home and looked at the electric shift motor and I'm a complete idiot. Was trying to hurry and forgot to snug the bolts down after finger tightening them so it worked it's way out a little and that's what binded up. Gutted the shift motor now and put it all back together and it shifts good again. I'm relieved now though that was all that was wrong. Next on my list is to adjust the valves. I have a "cough" at idle too, but I'm going to put a rebuild kit in the carb.
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1999 Honda Foreman 450 ES and 1994 Suzuki Quadrunner 250 LT4wd
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