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Gear Indicator Issue

15022 Views 132 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  thehueypilot
I bought my 2019 Chieftain Limited this time last year. I had the mandatory shift indicator recall done to the bike at around 250 miles last year. 15k later it is becoming lazy about going into neutral as it says second gear but if I let out on the clutch the indicator moves to neutral. Sometimes before I can put down the kickstand it will show second gear and kill the engine even though it is in neutral. It will also show neutral when in six gear out on the highway. If I bump the clutch slightly it will indicate six gear again. Has anyone had to replace their gear shift indicator a second time? Damit this bike was running good until this happened and the dealer is three hours away.

Tim
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I bought my 2019 Chieftain Limited this time last year. I had the mandatory shift indicator recall done to the bike at around 250 miles last year. 15k later it is becoming lazy about going into neutral as it says second gear but if I let out on the clutch the indicator moves to neutral. Sometimes before I can put down the kickstand it will show second gear and kill the engine even though it is in neutral. It will also show neutral when in six gear out on the highway. If I bump the clutch slightly it will indicate six gear again. Has anyone had to replace their gear shift indicator a second time? Damit this bike was running good until this happened and the dealer is three hours away.

Tim

Yes, there was bad batches of the new sensors
 

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Like GJMarsh, I’ve had mine replaced four times. The last go around the boys in service thought they nailed it. They found a loose ground wire which they determined was causing part of the issue. That was at the end of last year’s riding season. Guess what? New year, same problem. I’m throwing in the towel. Too much time with the scooter sitting in the shop along with the hassle. I’m going to ride, ignore the frustration (or at least try) and hope Polaris actually figures out a true fix someday. Last note, on a RM, not a Chieftain, but that’s irrelevant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
This is not the news I wanted to hear but thanks to all for responding. I have decided there must be a lot more issues if some of you have had multiple failures on the same switch. I have decided to put pressure on the Indian corporate pukes by starting a new complaint to NHTSA and referencing the original “recall campaign” (ref. Recall campaign: 19V-776) subject: 2014-2019 Indian Motorcycle (111 c.i.) Gear Position Switch. I will tell them about my issue to let them know this issue has not been resolved.


Please visit this link and start a new complaint and hopefully we can get this ongoing issue resolved. You can also reference my complaint # 11418209. I am wondering if this issue gets worse and is going to leave me stranded if the neutral light fails to come back on?

Tim
 
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Polaris didn't change the design of the switch at all, all they did was make the 2 closest resistance values 6th gear and neutral. Basically because the resistance valves are so close, the new switches will eventually have issues down the road.

The difference is that not many people park the bikes in 6th gear.

So if the bike is parked in neutral and the value is showing 6th, the bike wont start. And if the bike is in 6th gear and the sensor shows neutral, your cruise control will cancel.

So basically they just moved the sensor positions so that if the sensor failed, it would not cause any issues like stating the bike in gear and having it take off.

The only reason after 7 1/2 years of issues that Polaris finally addressed this, was because someone got injured when starting the bike in neutral and the bike was actually in 2nd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Something is changing the resistance of each segment over time? Since the belt is in that area and has carbon in it I would guess the wear particles from the belt is being deposited onto the switch changing the resistance values over time/mileage? Maybe heat from that area is shrinking the epoxy encapsulation of the housing and increasing the sensing gap in two areas? Not currently available sounds like they are going through a lot of them?

Tim
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The switch is sealed, belt has nothing to do with it. The transmission has a small rotary piece that has multiple spring loaded contact points. This is the mechanical part. It rotates against the gear position switch and makes contact with sperate contact points that have a resistor attached to them. Oxidation over time of the contact points increases resistance which cause a incorrect gear reading. The concept is not flawed, but the resistance valves are measured in ohms which means any tiny change can throw things off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So the long term solution is to remove the switch and clean the oxidation off it to get it back to the normal resistance readings every 15k miles or whenever it starts reading wrong? Wasn’t that the original solution from Indian?

Tim
 
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So the long term solution is to remove the switch and clean the oxidation off it to get it back to the normal resistance readings every 15k miles or whenever it starts reading wrong? Wasn’t that the original solution from Indian?

Tim

Pretty much, the only reason they changed the switch on the recall is to move the positions on the sensor, so that when it went awry you wouldn't be starting the bike in gear. The VCM re-flash was to tell the VCM the new switch positions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for your replies Baron58. How many times is Indian going the replace the same switch? Until the warranty expires and your on your own after that or you just live with it? Are other bike models going to have this issue?

Tim
 

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Thanks for your replies Baron58. How many times is Indian going the replace the same switch? Until the warranty expires and your on your own after that or you just live with it? Are other bike models going to have this issue?

Tim

Most likely until the warranty or extended warranty expires. The new switch even when malfunctioning won't cause a safety issue, just a big inconvenience. The only reason the first one was recalled, is because people were starting the bike in gear when the switch told the bike they were in neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I rode 300 miles today and just before I left I stuck the water hose inside the front pulley cover where the switch is located and rinsed all the belt dust/dirt off. I figured as I rode it would dry out but no change in switch operation. At first I thought it helped but it got worse the longer I rode.

Tim
 

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I rode 300 miles today and just before I left I stuck the water hose inside the front pulley cover where the switch is located and rinsed all the belt dust/dirt off. I figured as I rode it would dry out but no change in switch operation. At first I thought it helped but it got worse the longer I rode.

Tim

The switch is sealed meaning the contacts and assembly are not exposed to outside elements.

Here is the procedure from Indian on how to clean the switch. Keep in mind the resistance values table is for the old switch. On the new switch, 2nd gear and 6th gear swapped values
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the cleaning instructions! I called the Indian dealer which is 160 miles away. I was told I must drop off the bike and leave it because scheduled normal service jobs ($$$) have priority so they might not get to it that day. The switch is $78.00 and they have them in stock and it should be covered under warranty if that is the problem. Transportation Fuel = $3.00 per gallon and my truck averages 18 mpg. 160/18 = 9 gallons one way X 4 trips = 36 gallons X $3/gal. = $108 just for fuel. The switch if shipped to me is about $96 with tax and shipping fee. What to do.....

Tim
 

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Thanks for the cleaning instructions! I called the Indian dealer which is 160 miles away. I was told I must drop off the bike and leave it because scheduled normal service jobs ($$$) have priority so they might not get to it that day. The switch is $78.00 and they have them in stock and it should be covered under warranty if that is the problem. Transportation Fuel = $3.00 per gallon and my truck averages 18 mpg. 160/18 = 9 gallons one way X 4 trips = 36 gallons X $3/gal. = $108 just for fuel. The switch if shipped to me is about $96 with tax and shipping fee. What to do.....

Tim

I read your first post, you have the old sensor! If the new sensor was having issues, you would have issues with 6th gear and neutral not 2nd and neutral like the old one.


The recall was confusing because it came in 2 waves. The first wave was for the dealer to "clean" the OLD sensor, well many dealers mistakenly figured the recall was complete, that was a temporary fix. The Final solution was to replace the switch with the new one and re-flash the VCM with the changes in resistance valves.


Many dealers did the cleaning and not the switch replacement


Here is the summary of the sensors/issues.

The sensor design uses 6 resistance valves for the VCM to determine the gear.

On the original sensor, Neutral and second gear resistance values were close together which meant due to oxidation of the contacts and temperature variations, the resistance valves between Neutral and 2nd gear would be close triggering the VCM to say the wrong gear. The cause issues when guys tuned power on and the VCM said Neutral which means its safe to start the bike with the kickstand down and clutch not pulled, but the bike was really in second gear, and the bike would take off. Finally Polaris was forced by the NHSTA to fix it.

The new sensor is exactly the same design, but they changed 2nd gears resistance valve to 6th and 6th to second. This means that Neutral and 6th gear are close together.
So if the sensor gets oxidized again (which it will), then when you put the bike in real Neutral and the switch acts up, the bike will say 6th and won't start. It would be extremely unlikely for you to have the bike in 6th gear and a complete stop or in the garage. So yes if the bike was really in 6th gear and there was an issue the display would say neutral and the bike could start, but that is extremely unlikely as stated before. Now on the highway, yes it could go to neutral and that would just turn the cruise control off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am having issues with both neutral and second gear and six and neutral. When I’m in neutral the indicator changes back and forth between second and neutral just sitting still. If I put the kick stand down in neutral while it is running as soon as the indicator changes back to second it kills the engine. When I am cruising in six gear it changes back and fourth between six and neutral. When downshifting second gear takes a long time to show.
If I take it apart and clean it this could fix it maybe for 15k more miles but if it does not it could affect the warranty as they would blame me for working on it.

Tim
 
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I am having issues with both neutral and second gear and six and neutral. When I’m in neutral the indicator changes back and forth between second and neutral just sitting still. If I put the kick stand down in neutral while it is running as soon as the indicator changes back to second it kills the engine. When I am cruising in six gear it changes back and fourth between six and neutral. When downshifting second gear takes a long time to show.
If I take it apart and clean it this could fix it maybe for 15k more miles but if it does not it could affect the warranty as they would blame me for working on it.

Tim

No way the tech knows if you cleaned or not. But Indian did confirm they did have a bad batch of the new switches, so it might be worth it to get it replaced.
 

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Remember, replacing the switch is only half of the project. The service tech also has to hook the bike up to the digital wrench to update the firmware on the VCM so that the resistance values match the replacement switch. Since you do not have access to the digital wrench, you can not perform the firmware update.

If it were me, I'd haul it in.
 
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