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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,
In order to avoid a damaging low-range shift (when stopped), I have found this to work pretty well. I believe the real problem is the cable slop in compression. Therefore, I chose not to buy an aftermarket shift gate, because it will still require adjustment and potential modification. This easy modification seems to be working fantastic. However, a rigid (non cable) design from the lever to the shifter, which there is plenty of room for, would potentially solve this entirely and not be altered by temperature and wear like the cable is. Hopefully, Honda goes down that path for future models, but til then, this is what I did:


https://youtu.be/YB4iBxyCFdY
 

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In neutral was the shifter jumping into low?

I have gone to putting the shifter in park to avoid starting in low or high. Bad habit to brake but getting there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
In neutral was the shifter jumping into low?

I have gone to putting the shifter in park to avoid starting in low or high. Bad habit to brake but getting there.
No, the problem is when people are in “High Range,” then they completely stop, and shift to “ Low Range” , the cable is either hot, stretched or out of alignment just slightly, and result is the ” Low Range” light comes on, so they proceed to accelerate and the transmission is not fully engaged causing the transmission to SLAM into gear. If you do this a few times, the Sub-Transmission can be damaged not allowing it to hold Low Range, or worse breaking metal on metal inside.

Some people have claimed that Honda will ONLY warranty this one time! Basically, I have shifted the entire position forward a little and modified the ”Reverse” gate to accommodate that change and not grind into the frame. The result is I gain more travel in the compression direction (low range). Again, I made sure not to grind into the frame, for warranty reasons.

In a nut shell, it’s NOT easy to adjust only the “play” or “tension” of the cable, versus position of the cable as the forward and backward position of the lever. At least it’s not clear in the shop manual. Imagine if you had a dirt bike, and you could NOT adjust the tension of cables for say, throttle, brake, clutch ; what a disaster that would be. Same here, so the modified (larger) “Reverse” slot is just allowing more gap in the opposite (compression ) direction , because in ”Low Range” direction, the cable is being pushed, not pulled, and the result is it has way more flex and squishy factor to it. This very slight miss adjustment or slop can cause the “Low Range “ not to fully engage.

I also tested this by blocking the shifter with a metal block. I could actually compress the cable up to 1/4 of a inch in any of the positions in the direction toward “Low Range.” Thus, this is why I chose not to buy and after market gate, because they will still require adjustment and this seems to be a more accurate fix to me.
 

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Excellent adjustment. Makes very good sense. Ok.... you notched the reverse slot but what about the Park position?
 

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This is good information and makes sense. I have the CA tech. gate and have positioned it where it is ideal with the factory cable setting, but can see where extending the slots for Low (or any other gear) would be easy. I like the CA gate as it's nice to be able to shift from R to L/H quickly and confidently. I've not experienced any engagement issues with the subtrans thus far, but I do think extending slots to allow for more cable compression and stretch would be a good thing to ensure adequate engagement.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
This is good information and makes sense. I have the CA tech. gate and have positioned it where it is ideal with the factory cable setting, but can see where extending the slots for Low (or any other gear) would be easy. I like the CA gate as it's nice to be able to shift from R to L/H quickly and confidently. I've not experienced any engagement issues with the subtrans thus far, but I do think extending slots to allow for more cable compression and stretch would be a good thing to ensure adequate engagement.
Actually, extending the lower the slot on the lower may not fix the problem and if you grind into the frame it could invalidate your warranty. This is because the shifter is really rotating in a large radius, not moving in a straight line. Thus, the shifter requires far more travel once the lever gets to the low range due to the angle of sweep.

Note that grinding into your frame under the shift gate could invalidate your warranty!! Same with the aftermarket shift gates,... You can call any dealer to validate this. Assuming they know you have it.

Turns out some of what I'm saying now Honda is admitting the that the cable compression needs enough travel or it can break the gear shifter teeth (dog legged shaped) outer tooth from partial engagement. This tiny tooth is enough to fail the entire lower transmission engagement. The replacement part is cheap, only about $25 to $40, but the labor to remove the transmission and split it open is massive. Also, there are some spring C-clips that some dealers are not replacing as new, nor putting in the correct position, so you risk issues due to poor installation, and some dealers are saying Honda seems to only warranty this sub-transmission one time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Excellent adjustment. Makes very good sense. Ok.... you notched the reverse slot but what about the Park position?
The park seems to have plenty of play and distance. But I think, again, that is because the cable is in tension not compression and far more accurate in position. In fact the Park seems to engage prior to coming into the larger park-pocket or park-slot.

All of this can be done by adjusting the cable and testing freely without or before any grinding.
 

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Hey, update... Sorry, I chose to remove my video! Crazy, but I had an after market company express they felt my video was misdirecting people from their commercial product, which is so ridiculous! In no way did I express anyone else should do this, nor did I name ANY aftermarket company in the video. I was just trying to express a potential cause to this sub-transmission failures, and a solution that seemed to work very well. This is so petty, I just took it down. Again, hopefully, Honda comes up with a solution, that people don't have to buy or modify things; thus not compromising their warranty.
 

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Too bad, but I can see both sides. The information and technical analysis you provided makes sense and I will follow that in regard to the aftermarket gate. It does more the shifter out of the designed movement affecting the throw. It puts two paths in the space of one in the OEM gate if that makes sense. I'll revert right away as I've had no issue and don't want to.
 

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Hey, update... Sorry, I chose to remove my video! Crazy, but I had an after market company express they felt my video was misdirecting people from their commercial product, which is so ridiculous! In no way did I express anyone else should do this, nor did I name ANY aftermarket company in the video. I was just trying to express a potential cause to this sub-transmission failures, and a solution that seemed to work very well. This is so petty, I just took it down. Again, hopefully, Honda comes up with a solution, that people don't have to buy or modify things; thus not compromising their warranty.
Who complained so I know to NEVER buy anything from them???
 

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I talked with a mechanic that had one apart and he showed me one he just replaced. When going to low make sure your low showed up on dash before you try to goose it. It’s a splined gear that fits into each other and has to adjust to one another, so let off of break until it latches and low showed up on dash. If it don’t try again. Also like someone else said check your cable alignment to make sure it’s not stretched.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I talked with a mechanic that had one apart and he showed me one he just replaced. When going to low make sure your low showed up on dash before you try to goose it. It’s a splined gear that fits into each other and has to adjust to one another, so let off of break until it latches and low showed up on dash. If it don’t try again. Also like someone else said check your cable alignment to make sure it’s not stretched.
That is exactly the problem. The L light is on, completely stopped, and it is not engaged and then BAM! Most these units that are failing are under 500 miles from what I was told. The problem is, mechanically, that something that has this tight of adjustment should NEVER pushed in compression with a cable versus a rigid body (Rod, cam, geared lever...).

~ “ you can pull a door shut with a rope, but if you try to push with a rope, the door will stay open to endless problems” P.R.T.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Who complained so I know to NEVER buy anything from them???
Good question... Anywhoo, I’m not the only one adjusting into the R position. However, for the technical type of rock crawling we do, I would not remove those tabs on the gates. Too easy to bump the shifter. And if you look on this video, I found you do not need to grind the High Range only the Reverse.

 

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I engineered, tested and now sell a modified gate that helps with this problem on another forum and never had anyone complain. That forum is privately owned and not under the VerticalScope Gestapo like this one (I see censorship coming :cool:)

My design moves P,R,N,H gates forward 3mm and extends the Low area back 4mm for a total of 7mm additional throw for Low range. It also moves the Low gate back so it provides a positive engagement for Low. If the Low dogs are not engaged, you can't move the shift lever over into Low. If they are partially engaged, there is some preload that pushes them in the rest of the way when you start moving.

So far it has proven to work much better that the stock gate. Lets see how long this post lasts...

OEM Style...
658


Semi-Quick Shift Style...
656
 

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That is exactly the problem. The L light is on, completely stopped, and it is not engaged and then BAM! Most these units that are failing are under 500 miles from what I was told. The problem is, mechanically, that something that has this tight of adjustment should NEVER pushed in compression with a cable versus a rigid body (Rod, cam, geared lever...).

~ “ you can pull a door shut with a rope, but if you try to push with a rope, the door will stay open to endless problems” P.R.T.
 
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