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Thank God for the back-up shifter

5650 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ToddC
My 2007 Foreman ES quit shifting on me about 1hr into a nice leasurely ride today. Was stuck in 3rd gear. Shut it down for a few minutes then tried again, no luck still stuck in third. 10 miles from the nearest civilization and no cell service, thank god for the backup shifter. Limped it back to the truck, disgusted, only about 250miles on it and already problems with the ES. Seems to be a lot of problems with the ES. You would think Honda would have some recalls or plans to fix some of the problems. The code is 3 flashes which I guess means a problem with the angel sensor. I do not ride it hard, I have never been through anything more than a little mud puddle so far, and today's ride was all on smooth gravel roads/maintained ATV trails. The only thing a little different was a couple of real long steep hills where I used the engine breaking to slow me a lot (this was just before the problem started).

Anyway Im not real happy with the ES, this is not my first problem, as it has not wanted to shift a couple brief times before. I would appreciate any info on how to proceed. I will start with just checking the angle sensor connections, maybe diconnect and reconnect. I have read the several post on here already but was hoping someone could summarize. I'm a bit confused with what "preloading" the sensor is and about the intial set up. If I just unplug the current one and then plug it back in is there anything special I need to do to it. If that doesn't work I would like to change it myself but I am not that mechanically inclined (my closest Honda dealer is 2hrs away)

Note: other than the shifting issue I really love the Foreman
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Sorry to hear about your problems. My ES has been a submarine for at least half of its life and not one problem. You might want to try adjusting the clutch after you figure out code.
I have never had a single problem out of either of my ES hondas! MY first one had right at 4000 miles on it when I got rid of it and it had been sunk alot and flipped....i think the only thing that was good on it when I got rid of it was the ES parts! MY new one I havent had a lick of problems out of either and its got 1700 on it!
The code was definately 3 flashes, indicating the angle sensor. Today I go out and turn it on and it shifted fine. I decided to take a look at the angle sensor anyway. I took it off, cleaned it up, sprayed it with electrical grease, and then put it back in. I then, for the fun of it, tried to adjust the clutch but didn't change it much as it seemed to be about where it should be. I then rode it around the yard for about 10 minutes and it worked fined other than for the first couple of minutes it did not want to shift higher than 3rd gear (a problem I have had before). After that it shifted up and down smoothly. I did the diagnostics test for any problem codes left in the ES system and it showed none.

I think I will go ahead and replace the angle sensor anyway and hope not to break down on the trail again. I just need to find the part number(s). A guy I work with just today went and bought a new Foreman ES and I am interested in seeing if he has any problems. It seems quite a few people do have problems but then there are plenty that say they have had none. At first I wanted to attribute problems to the way some people use their ATV's but I dont abuse mine at all and I am having problems.

Anyway all and all I love the Foreman I just hope the ES doesn't plague me forever.
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sorry for steeling your post, but mine is starting to get to where it doesnt want to shift all the time. its not throwing any error codes. could this need a clucha djustment?
No problem with adding to the post, I wish more people would. I read every single post on here and a couple other forums that I could find about problems with the ES and many people talk about a simple clutch adjustment to help with the shifting. I tried this today with mine and it was very simple. Though I dont think it really helped mine much, as I think the problem is with the sensor, I would not hesitate to give it a try. It was really easy to do following the directions in the manual, even for some with very limited mechanical ability like me, and I dont see where you can mess it up unless you really turn it way off. I adjusted it a couple times and then road it around the yard until I got it to where I thought it was best, it may shift slightly smoother than before. If you are not getting any codes then it seems quite possible that a little adjustment might help. Of course now I am not getting any codes and the diagnostics test shows no problems but I guessing the problem is not gone and it will resurface again soon.
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I have a 06 ES no problems at all i did put dielectric greese on all the electrictal connections as soon as i baught it. I am sorry to hear if you are having problems I hope it gets better
Set out on a long ride Sunday and went about 20 miles or so and the ES quite again, flashing Code 3 again, so as I thought problem is still there. I didn't want it to ruin the day so we continued to ride using mostly 3rd gear. I used the back-up shifted when necessary but most to the time 3rd worked fine. I hope using the back-up shifter repeatedly doesn't cause any problems. It was much better once I realized you could start while in gear if you use the brake, then I didn't have to keep shifting back into neutral everytime we stopped. I've got a sensor on order, will replace it and hope that fixes things.

It is strange that it will work for a while each time before malfunctioning. Im wondering if it has anything to do with heat as I have seen a couple posts questioning if the engine heat might mess with the sensor at times.
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So what was the outcome? Did replacing the angle sensor fix your problem?
I haven't got the part yet, UPS tracking showing delivery date now of Tuesday much longer than I thought but it came from CA and I'm in Maine. I probalby wont even get a chance to do it until Saturday because I work Wed, Thur, Fri. Hopefully that will fix it. I am still trying to find out the exact process of changing it because I want to do it right. There is something about "preloading it" and then "initializing it" that I am still not sure off. I will post results.

I did go for a short ride today. When I started it up it was working fine, no code flashing, but less then 5 minutes or so it started flashing again (3 times like before) and stopped shifting.
I finally was able to replace the angle sensor on Sunday. It was a fairly easy process (probably really easy for someone with a bit more mechanical ability than me) . I didn't have time to go for much of a ride once it was done only about 5 miles. It worked perfectly so I hope it is fixed, although in the past it would work for a while before it stopped shifting so wont be sure until I can ride longer.
What does it mean to "preload" or "initializing" the angle sensor??
Todd you do not need to do either with a Foreman but from what I read on here and other forums you do both with a Rubicon. Preloading it has to do with how you install it. You have to put it on a certain way and the twist it into place as it is spring loaded. Initializing it is a process you do after replacing the angle sensor (or some other parts) that involves pushes the ES buttons and throttle in a certain squence. I was able to find both procedures on here after an extensive search but couldn't do so again quickly just now. If you are planning to replace an angle sensor on a Rubicon you probably should take a half hour or so and do a lenghty search on here for the procedure or maybe if your lucky someone else will respond with the complete answer. If you are replacing one on a Foreman you do not have to worry about preloading or initializing.
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Thanks, I was just wondering what those terms refered to in case I have to change the sensor sometime.
Thanks again for the info, this is what I love about these forms, always someone willing to explaine things!!
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