3 or 5 flashes at gear selector
I just thought I would post my findings and solution to the numerous posts I've found all over the www regarding Honda ES models and shifting problems.
I have a 2003 Honda Foreman 450 ES. Last week I ran through some high water, parked rig, next day no shift! Just a lot of flashing of the gear readout. I troubleshot the number of flashes and it traced back to the ECU and shift motor.
After checking the net and finding no real answer to the situation, I read that the problem may be a 'shift angle sensor' or 'bank angle sensor'. And then I stumbled onto this tried it (I'm no mechanic btw.). Also, I could shift with manual shift wrench. No way to operate an ES imho.
"Back into the garage, pulled apart the shift motor, gave it a cleaning and it's shifting like gangbusters, no problems.
What I have found is that the carbon build up on the 'brushes' and the 'communicator' limits sufficient current to be passed to the motor, in turn limiting it's effectiveness to properly shift gears. My fix is to take some fine grit (600-1000) sandpaper, wrap it around the 'communicator' which is part of the armature, and turn, thus cleaning off the black carbon build up. Once cleaned the communicator will appear as a bright copper color. This will result in good electrical contact between the brushes and the communicator/armature. I then take the same paper and run a couple passes over the contact surface of the brushes. You could probably use a solvent to clean the brushes. Be careful the brushes are delicate.
Putting the motor back together takes some dexterity. Place the armature in the brush housing first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (You can do this only wo the housing over the coil armature. Otherwise you'll go crazy trying to get it all back!!!!)
You'll have to use a small screw driver to push the brushes aside while pushing the armature back in. (Make very sure the coil contacts are lined up on Cooper contacts. Take your time with this step!!!!). Get that armature ALL the way in. Then put the cylindrical housing over the armature. I think the rest you should be able to figure out.
Hopes this helps.