Victory Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've held off on sharing this story for the past month as I've been powerless to do anything about it. I wanted one last shot at making sure I hadn't missed anything obvious before taking it to the forums and making myself look stupid. So here it goes...

The bike: 2012 XC, PCV, D&D's, Lloydz Filter, Lloydz Touring Cams, Lloydz Adjustable Timing Wheel (+4). 10,000 miles on the odometer. PCV, filter, and pipes installed back when it was new, cams and timing wheel installed by me about 2500 miles ago, fuel map borrowed from Rylan.

Here's where I'm at now… Bike starts up but occasionally needs a little throttle to keep from stalling. It then stumbles at idle between about 950-1000 RPM. Feels like it is running on one cylinder as it lopes and the bike shakes. Front cylinder is running noticeably hotter than the rear. Infrared thermometer says the front header at the first bend is 300+ while the rear is only about 175. Front pipe is also nicely blued at the first bend while the rear appears to have a rusty looking patch. When riding, it hesitates as you begin to twist the throttle, but runs relatively smooth above 2000 RPM or so. Power is noticeably lacking both at take-off and cruise and it “thump-thumps” like it’s running on one cylinder.

Where I’ve been… Bike had been running beautifully, even more so after the cam install. I decided to take on the IBA “Hell to Heaven Gold” ride about a month ago. Rode ~500 miles from home to Death Valley and parked it for the night. The next morning it fired right back up without a hiccup. Over the next 750 miles and 15 hours, I encountered a blinding sand storm followed by five torrential thunderstorms. I actually had what looked like a small beach sloshing back and forth on my dash. Made four stops along the way, the longest of which was an hour for dinner. I took advantage of a wide open I-70 in the middle of the night and blasted out another 300 miles averaging about 80mph before stopping in Grand Junction, CO for a few hours rest. Bike was running like a champ. Topped her off, parked her, and then slept for a few hours.

In the morning, I went to start my bike and it sputtered and died. I found I was able to keep it running if I gave it a little throttle. It sounded like it was running on one cylinder and feeling the jugs with my hand indicated that in fact one cylinder was warming up while the other stayed cool. Wasn’t sure what else to do so… I jumped on it, rode it across the street to the freeway onramp, and gave it some gas. It started struggling up the onramp and then suddenly the second cylinder sprang back to life, launching me up to freeway speed and back along my merry way. About 100 miles later, I had to navigate some city streets in Glenwood Springs, CO while changing highways. I pulled in the clutch as I approached a stop light and found my bike was idling very high, somewhere in the neighborhood of about 1750 RPM if I recall correctly. This continued all the way through town, probably about 10 stoplights in total. Got back up to freeway speed and rode on through to Aspen, CO where I hit bumper to bumper traffic. Pulled in the clutch and was pleased to find that my idle was back to normal. I had some starting difficulty after fueling up in Aspen, but that would be the end of my mechanical difficulties for the day as I reached the summit of Pike’s Peak and completed my H2H ride. Mother Nature apparently wasn’t so impressed however as the sky opened up about a mile into my descent and I got blasted by a brutal hail storm. The hail began melting as I continued the 18 mile descent and I soon found myself riding in, across, and through many streams of deep runoff and debris. I rode another 100 miles and got to my friend’s house just in time to get drenched by yet another downpour. Parked the bike in his garage, and called it a day.

I had originally scheduled an appointment at a dealership in Colorado Springs for the afternoon immediately after summiting Pike’s Peak. I was going to get an oil change and have them give the bike a once over during which time I was going to see if they could check for engine codes related to either the single cylinder operation or the high idle issue. Unfortunately, the hail storm I encountered while descending Pike’s Peak resulted in US-24 being closed for an undetermined period of time. I had to take back roads to my friend’s house and missed my appointment. The next day, we took a ride to a dealership in the Denver area so I could pick up an oil change kit. We stopped a few times along the way during what ended up being about a 30 mile ride, stopping and starting the engine without issue. We then grabbed lunch at a spot that required us to park on an incline. A burrito and two margaritas later we went out to the bikes and that’s when the real trouble started. Bike turned on, fuel pump primed, starter cranked and cranked, but it didn’t even try to fire up. I got the bike turned around and coasted it down the hill in an attempt to bump start it, but again, not even a hint of it trying to start.

I parked it at the gas station at the bottom of the hill and tried starting it up a few more times. It was obvious I was doing nothing other than draining my battery at that point so I started some basic troubleshooting as the evening started creeping in. After a while, I did what any irrational (OMG I’m stranded in Colorado and am supposed to be back at work in California in two days!) adult would have done and placed a Hail Mary phone call to Rylan Vos before it got any later. He graciously took my call (despite being at an event in New York, thank you soooo much Rylan) and explained to me the first steps he would take to troubleshoot my bike. I thanked him and got to work with the limited time and tools I had available. Over the course of the next 24 hours, I checked:

1. Battery voltage was good (over 12V)
2. Battery terminals were tight (Didn’t have the equipment to clean them, but had done so in the past year)
3. Fuel level was at roughly 1.25 gallons of 91 octane
4. Main circuit breaker was tested and appeared to be operating normally
5. Rear spark plug wire pulled apart at the crimp! (both wires were replaced with new ones)
6. All fuses and relays in fuse box tested good
7. Ignition coil bench tested at the dealership and determined to be good
8. Spark plugs evaluated by dealership (said they appeared to be from a well-tuned engine)
9. PCV completely unhooked from factory wiring harness (no change)

Still, no love from the Victory gods. And with that, I was out of time. Bought a plane ticket home and made arrangements to have my bike shipped back. Fast forward one month and my bike is finally here. Yesterday I:

1. Siphoned the gas tank and refilled with 2.5 gallons of 91 octane (added some Liquid Heet for good measure)
2. Cleared the gas tank water drain line with compressed air
3. Cleared the gas tank vent line (about 6oz of water blew out of the lines and CA emissions canister)
4. Discovered the CA emissions canister breather tube was oriented down instead of up as it should have been
5. Re-installed the PCV using di-electric grease on all the connectors

The bike now started up but was running poorly as described at the start of my post, so I:

6. Confirmed CPS sensor was undamaged and adjustable timing wheel had not slipped
7. Discovered my rear O2 sensor (on disabled AutoTune) was shot (Raw fuel contamination?)
8. Found TPS shows 0-100% range when hooked up to the PCV software
9. Determined bike runs the same with PCV disconnected as with Zero Map loaded (worse with cam map loaded)

So (for anyone who actually stuck around long enough to read this novel) where do I go from here? Every thread I’ve read with similar symptoms all seem to relate back to the battery terminals so I thoroughly cleaned and re-installed them late last night, but I was unable to fire up the bike before leaving for work due to a sleeping baby. Any ideas beyond that? Please help, I’m stumped and am about ready to drag it down to the dealership for some diagnostic work. Not sure how that will go with all the performance goodies on there…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
611 Posts
Rear cylinder not firing means you're either not getting fuel, not getting air, or not getting spark into that cylinder. If those three things are happening then the only remaining failure point is the spark is happening at the wrong time.

Start with the easy stuff. You rode through a sandstorm so check your air filter (unlikely cause since the other cylinder is firing but it wouldn't hurt). Check the ground connection at the frame. If there's more than one, check them all. Just because your battery connections are tight doesn't mean the other end of those cables is as well. Definitely doesn't mean that your ground cable isn't corroded to hell from all the water, dirt, etc you rode through.

Pull the spark plug, is it wet and smelling of fuel? If no, you're not getting fuel and you need to start at the injector and trace back until you find the fault

If yes, are you getting spark? Lay the plug against the cylinder head and crank the motor, you should see a big fat blue spark. If no spark, or spark is small, faint, or yellow, you have a spark fault, start at the plug wire and work your way back until you find the fault.

If you're getting fuel and you're getting spark, the next thing I would do is a compression check, if that checks out good I would find someone willing to loan you a known good ecu and swap that out just to make sure yours isn't toast. If that still doesn't work, start testing all your engine sensors (dunno what all sensors our bikes have but cam and crank position, intake air temp, map/maf, etc. are all possible causes of poor running if one or more are bad)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
632 Posts
:

1. Siphoned the gas tank and refilled with 2.5 gallons of 91 octane (added some Liquid Heet for good measure)
2

QUOTE]

I would never add liquid heet or dry gas, It contains alcohol, Which is already in your gas [ethanol] And that will only draw more water into the tank..
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
13,247 Posts
I would copy your post and send it to Rylan at the Vic shop

I would have dealer hook it up to there computer

Rent a fuel pump pressure tester and check fuel pump. 50psi needed

You said un hooking PCV did not change anything ?

Do a spark plug wire test with meter.

Check all vacuum lines going to IAV and rubber nipple plugs

Look for pinched wires or all connectors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Start with the easy stuff. You rode through a sandstorm so check your air filter (unlikely cause since the other cylinder is firing but it wouldn't hurt).
Air filter is pretty dirty, even blew a bunch of sand out of the frame while I was checking it. I was also thinking it was an unlikely cause due to the other cylinder firing as you mentioned.

Check the ground connection at the frame. If there's more than one, check them all. Just because your battery connections are tight doesn't mean the other end of those cables is as well. Definitely doesn't mean that your ground cable isn't corroded to hell from all the water, dirt, etc you rode through.
I measured 0.2-0.3 Ohms at the ground at the front left of the transmission case as well as the one at the rear left near the clutch cable hanger. I think 5 Ohms was the FSM max reading. I'll have to see if there are other grounds to be tested.

Pull the spark plug, is it wet and smelling of fuel? If no, you're not getting fuel and you need to start at the injector and trace back until you find the fault.
Plugs looked good when I pulled them initially and when I pulled them after getting my bike back. At that time however, they had only run on one cylinder for a couple of minutes followed by 400 miles of proper operation leading up to my no start issue. That probably cleaned them up. They may very well be fouled now after tinkering with the fuel map in my garage and going for a brief test ride. I'll have to re-check them.

If yes, are you getting spark? Lay the plug against the cylinder head and crank the motor, you should see a big fat blue spark. If no spark, or spark is small, faint, or yellow, you have a spark fault, start at the plug wire and work your way back until you find the fault.
I did this test while stranded at the gas station. Saw a blue spark on both plugs, but can't say for certain if they were big and fat. I've only tested plugs like that one other time (on a lawn mower) and after shocking the crap out of myself on the front cylinder, I was a little gunshy when checking the rear and only cranked it once. I don't really have much past experience to compare my observations to.

With new wires and an ignition coil that was confirmed to be good by the dealership, what else is there? ECM directly supplies the ground signal to tell it when to fire, correct? Continuity test between the ECM plug and the ignition coil plug? I guess new plugs probably couldn't hurt.

If you're getting fuel and you're getting spark, the next thing I would do is a compression check
I think that's next, should have grabbed the compression tester while I was at the auto parts store the other day. Hope I haven't toasted a cylinder somehow...

if that checks out good I would find someone willing to loan you a known good ecu and swap that out just to make sure yours isn't toast. If that still doesn't work, start testing all your engine sensors (dunno what all sensors our bikes have but cam and crank position, intake air temp, map/maf, etc. are all possible causes of poor running if one or more are bad)
In the FSM, it basically says the ECM is the least likely thing to fail. Something like a 0.1% chance of failure. At the end of the troubleshooting flow chart when it gets to the ECM, it actually tells you to go back to step 1 and repeat ALL test procedures a second time before beginning to suspect the ECM. That being said, mine has been rev-extended by Lloydz, but it appears to be in good physical condition (no bent pins, no sign of dirt or moisture in the connector).

As for the sensor tests, most of the tests seem to require either the Digital Wrench and/or a more advanced multi-meter with special probes to poke into the harness connectors. I've got some connector pins from another project, maybe I could make myself some probes? Visually inspecting the connectors probably wouldn't hurt either.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'll take your adivce here and hopefully it will help lead me to my answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I'm thinking something got clogged up along the way and suggest that you make sure all fuel hoses and ports are good. Same as we humans... something as small as a pebble can wreak havoc on a big burly strong man and make him scream like a little girlie. :D
I've been thinking this too, but where exactly do I look? How/where could debris get into the system? I'm pretty sure all the water I blew out of the gas tank vent line and CA emissions cannister had something to do with my no start issue, but I'm a little hazy as to how exactly a clogged vent line causes fueling issues. I've also been thinking that possibly the purge valve (which incidentally pumps only into the rear throttle body) may have pumped some water into the rear cylinder while attempting to vent the fuel vapors out of the cannister.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,638 Posts
I've been thinking this too, but where exactly do I look? How/where could debris get into the system? I'm pretty sure all the water I blew out of the gas tank vent line and CA emissions cannister had something to do with my no start issue, but I'm a little hazy as to how exactly a clogged vent line causes fueling issues. I've also been thinking that possibly the purge valve (which incidentally pumps only into the rear throttle body) may have pumped some water into the rear cylinder while attempting to vent the fuel vapors out of the cannister.
Yep! Sorry to say you may have nailed problem. You described some pretty strong storms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I would never add liquid heet or dry gas, It contains alcohol, Which is already in your gas [ethanol] And that will only draw more water into the tank..
I was a little hesitant when I saw that on the bottle, but I was under the impression that the alcohol absorbs the water and mixes it into solution in the gasoline where it can be (inefficiently) burned off. This supposedly keeps the water from pooling at the lowest point in the tank (where the fuel pump pick up is) and allows it to be passed through the cylinders. I decided to try it because I saw what appeared to be a couple of drops of water in the fuel I siphoned out. I only added 4oz to my 320oz of fresh gasoline so it is less than 1% by volume anyways. Don't think it will do any harm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I would copy your post and send it to Rylan at the Vic shop
Hoping he might see it while perusing one of the three forums I posted this on. Feel like he has already given me enough free technical support. :eek:

I would have dealer hook it up to there computer
May come to this as only they have the Digital Wrench, but I'm trying to save this for last resort to avoid the hassle/expense of trailering the bike to the dealership and paying shop rate for diagnostic troubleshooting.

Rent a fuel pump pressure tester and check fuel pump. 50psi needed
On the list, but they didn't have the correct fitting on the one I looked at at the parts store. Late model 106's don't have the schrader valve test port any more. You're supposed to use an in-line test fitting (dealer only tool) but I believe you can rig something up with some rubber hose and some hose clamps.

Regarding the fuel pump, you can hear it run when turning on the bike. You can also hear it change tones as it primes the lines after reconnecting the fuel line to the gas tank. It is also supplying the front cylinder through a common fuel line which has led me to believe it is not the issue, and thus not (yet) worth the hassle of rigging up a test connection.

You said un hooking PCV did not change anything ?
Correct. Disconnected and connected with a Zero Map seemed to run identically. Connected with the cam map installed made it idle worse, probably due to the fueling changes at idle on Rylan's map.

Do a spark plug wire test with meter.
Tested the resistance on my original wires. Assumed the new wires I installed were good. Probably worth checking just to be sure though.

Check all vacuum lines going to IAV and rubber nipple plugs
Lines looked good, no nipple plugs for me though as I have the CA emissions package.

Look for pinched wires or all connectors.
Saw some slightly smashed wires where the main harness gets squeezed under the left side cover. Nothing that appeared damaged though. I have been checking all ignition and fuel system related connectors and applying di-electric grease to them, though I'm sure there's still some I haven't gotten to yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yep! Sorry to say you may have nailed problem. You described some pretty strong storms.
I'll buy that, I think the CA emissions cannister breather tube being oriented downwards may have caused it to act like a straw, sucking up the road spray coming off my rear tire. I'm sure it probably contributed to my no start problem... but why after clearing out the vent line, drying out the cylinder, and running fresh gas through the fuel system would the rear cylinder continue to not run? Could it have caused some permanent damage?

The only part of the vent line that hasn't been cleared out is from the purge valve forward. I figured it would have cleared itself out after running for a few minutes, but it might be worth disconnecting and blowing out as well. Guess it also could have potentially dumped a little water into IAV line via the T-fitting at the rear throttle body as well. Maybe I'll blow that line out and then plug the T-fitting to take the emissions system out of the equation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
611 Posts
You said the plugs looked good but you didn't say if the rear was wet (unless by good you mean not wet). If the rear cylinder is not firing the plug in that cylinder should be SOAKED in unburnt fuel. If not, you're not getting fuel to that cylinder and that's your problem. Run the bike for 10-30 seconds and pull the plug right away so it doesn't have time to air dry (not like it would for a while anyway but just to make sure). It should be WET. If not, the next step would be to make sure your injector is firing. I have no idea what the injector arrangement is on these bikes since I've yet to take mine apart farther than an oil change but on my aprilia I was able to pull the top of the airbox off and look right down into the throttle bodies while cranking the motor. I could see the actual spray from the injectors (throttle opened so I could see past the butterflies). Another method would be to plug the injector harness into a test light and see if the light flashes on and off while cranking. If so, test the injector with a 12v battery to make sure it's opening, check the spray pattern if you can. If the injector is firing and the spray pattern is good then you probably have a fuel pressure issue. If the spray is bad it's either fuel pressure or clogged injector (water or debris) which will need to be cleaned. If it's not firing you have to start tracing the wiring back to power and the ecu to find the fault.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,411 Posts
First if you haven't actually replaced the plugs I would do that.
At least exchange them from cylinder to cylinder and see if the problem moves. I've had defective plugs that have totally failed in use. It's been a while but I've personally experienced it.

Since your problem started in wet weather I'd be looking for moisture in a connector.
I'd call a vic mechanic and ask if next step is OK to do. If there is any special precautions such as unhooking the battery first etc.

I would make everything safe however recommended then I would remove the ECM plug from the ECM and pull the boot away from it and look for any signs of moisture and dirt.
I'd probably wash it off and out good with a good brand of electrical cleaner designed for delicate plastics. All electrical contact cleaners are not created equal. Make sure it says plastic safe on the can.
I'd mention that you planned to do this when you called whomever you intend to call just incase vic uses some compound in the connector to inhibit oxidation. Just in case.

Then I would let everything sit over night so that the ECM had time to completely bleed down internally and any moisture that was trapped anywhere had dissipated.
Don't play with the pins or sockets while you have it opened.
Just resist the urge to poke or prod.
After everything has sat I would plug it in a couple of times and unplug it. Then plug it in and see if anything has improved.

If not I would work my way through the plugs in the harness associated with the ecm one at a time.
First check the function of every electrical accessory on your bike.
Be sure that everything works no matter how unrelated it maybe.
The clock, thermometer, turn signals etc. etc. Something that you missed that had started malfunctioning could give you a valuable hint as to which connectors might have moisture in them. Being preoccupied with the motor problem might have made you miss something else not working.

Baring something else not working start with anything to do with the ignition, all the sensors etc. Pull the plug inspect for moisture and clean allow ample time to dry and reassemble. I'd get some dielectric grease and put a little on tiny bit on just the rubber seal of the connector when reassembling unless you find that the connector itself is packed with it from the factory. Then I would repack it as per what you found.
Work through the connectors that are most exposed to water while riding first. Plugs to sensors too.
Don't forget the ABS connector, if you have one that is under the rear fender. I have a hard time understanding why it isn't covered on my 8 ball. That and having it mounted facing up so the dirt can build up in it. Pretty poor since there is no Abs unit on mine. That's asking for a problem down the road.

There is a very good chance you have moisture and a little dirt in a connector. Most ecm signals are just a grounding of a switch at very low voltage. So any resistance in the ground can quickly become a signal that is ignored by the ecm. Also when you hold unexpected inputs to ground or close to ground it can keep the any processor so busy that it can't run everything properly.

Everything OK but still no joy. Well your not done yet.
A bad ground is a good place to start.

Aluminum oxide does not conduct electricity. That is what you get when you expose a electrical connection between a connector and the aluminum frame to moisture while it has a voltage passing through it while exposed to O2(air). You avoid making it by cleaning all aluminum exposed surfaces then excluding the air with a grease or compound while you assemble it. Then you keep the area covered with a compound or grease to continue to exclude the 02.

That is why you see a grease like compound on all the ground connections going to the frame on your vic. If any of the grounds that were greased no longer have grease, like the one behind the ecm
for instance you will want to clean it with a scotch bright and coat it with either noalox from home depot or grease.
You'll have to figure out what vic recommends.
You might want to have the battery disconnected while doing this.
Work your way through every connection where there is a screw going into the frame holding a ground wire.
Good luck
Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,638 Posts
I would think that everywhere water could go, some other contaminants could go as well. So, if it gets into the fuel system, it may have routed to the bad cylinder. Like soofle said it could be injector. You can remove tank and get to throttle body to see if injector is spraying as it should.

There is a video somewhere around here that shows how to clean TB. Check it out if you need to. You could also view it on utube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
You said the plugs looked good but you didn't say if the rear was wet (unless by good you mean not wet). If the rear cylinder is not firing the plug in that cylinder should be SOAKED in unburnt fuel. If not, you're not getting fuel to that cylinder and that's your problem. Run the bike for 10-30 seconds and pull the plug right away so it doesn't have time to air dry (not like it would for a while anyway but just to make sure). It should be WET.
By good, I meant they were dry and had a light tan sort of color to them. No sign of excessive wear, damage, or deposits. The dealersip also agreed they looked good. As I mentioned however, this was after the no start issue, but prior to my current episode of single cylinder operation. I haven't pulled them again yet. With your description of what to look for after running the bike in mind, I will check to see if they are wet as soon as I get back home from work tomorrow morning. Sounds like an easy way to determine if the rear injector is firing at all.

If not, the next step would be to make sure your injector is firing. I have no idea what the injector arrangement is on these bikes since I've yet to take mine apart farther than an oil change but on my aprilia I was able to pull the top of the airbox off and look right down into the throttle bodies while cranking the motor. I could see the actual spray from the injectors (throttle opened so I could see past the butterflies).
Sounds like a great way to visually see whether they are working. Unfortunately, with the airbox being the frame itself on the cross bikes, you can't look diectly into the throttle bodies, especially not with the gas tank still installed. The air filter is located near the front of the frame while the throttle bodies are near the rear, both under the gas tank. You would need some sort of an inspection camera to see into the inner workings while cranking the motor.

Another method would be to plug the injector harness into a test light and see if the light flashes on and off while cranking.
Can I just touch any old test light to the injector harness plug to see if this is working? Or does it need to be something special? This sounds like a simple approach that I could pursue rather easily.

If so, test the injector with a 12v battery to make sure it's opening, check the spray pattern if you can. If the injector is firing and the spray pattern is good then you probably have a fuel pressure issue. If the spray is bad it's either fuel pressure or clogged injector (water or debris) which will need to be cleaned. If it's not firing you have to start tracing the wiring back to power and the ecu to find the fault.
I've been trying to avoid removing the injectors partly due to the labor involved with removing them, and partly out of fear of contaminating them or otherwise screwing them up. This idea is working its way up the list though. Maybe I could still test them this way without removing them by applying 12V to them with the spark plug removed from the cylinder? Then I could listen/smell for fuel spray inside the cylinder?

If I removed them, I could check to see if they're opening, but I'm not sure how I would go about checking the spray pattern as the fuel rail needs to be removed in order to get them out. Regarding clogging, could water in the gas tank clog them? I guess dirty water could, but it would have to pass through the fuel filter first, right? How do you clean an injector anyway?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I would think that everywhere water could go, some other contaminants could go as well. So, if it gets into the fuel system, it may have routed to the bad cylinder.
I can see contaminants getting into the fuel, but wouldn't they have to also pass through the fuel filter in order to make it to the injectors?

Like soofle said it could be injector. You can remove tank and get to throttle body to see if injector is spraying as it should.
I like the idea of visually checking the spray, but how do you do that (if it is even possible on the aluminum framed bikes) with the tank removed? Removing the tank also removes the fuel pump which provides the pressure to create the spray. Or am I missing something obvious here?

There is a video somewhere around here that shows how to clean TB. Check it out if you need to. You could also view it on utube.
Inspecting/cleaning the throttle bodies obviously wouldn't hurt anything, but I'm not so sure it is as easy of an operation on a Cross bike as it is on a steel framed bike. I'll have to research that a little further.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,378 Posts
Inspecting/cleaning the throttle bodies obviously wouldn't hurt anything, but I'm not so sure it is as easy of an operation on a Cross bike as it is on a steel framed bike. I'll have to research that a little further.
I quickly breezed through this thread. Has the airbox and/or throttle bodies been checked for any small furry obstructions? It seemed to happen overnight. Sounds like it may be weather related, but in case it's not...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
First if you haven't actually replaced the plugs I would do that.
At least exchange them from cylinder to cylinder and see if the problem moves. I've had defective plugs that have totally failed in use. It's been a while but I've personally experienced it.
Think I'll try both of those ideas tomorrow.

Since your problem started in wet weather I'd be looking for moisture in a connector.
I'd call a vic mechanic and ask if next step is OK to do. If there is any special precautions such as unhooking the battery first etc.

I would make everything safe however recommended then I would remove the ECM plug from the ECM and pull the boot away from it and look for any signs of moisture and dirt.
I'd probably wash it off and out good with a good brand of electrical cleaner designed for delicate plastics. All electrical contact cleaners are not created equal. Make sure it says plastic safe on the can.
I'd mention that you planned to do this when you called whomever you intend to call just incase vic uses some compound in the connector to inhibit oxidation. Just in case.

Then I would let everything sit over night so that the ECM had time to completely bleed down internally and any moisture that was trapped anywhere had dissipated.
Don't play with the pins or sockets while you have it opened.
Just resist the urge to poke or prod.
After everything has sat I would plug it in a couple of times and unplug it. Then plug it in and see if anything has improved.
I disconnected and checked the ECM connector and it looked pristeen. No bent/broken pins, no signs of moisture or related contamination. I did not however use any contact cleaner on it nor did I apply any di-electric grease to it as there was none in there in the first place and I wasn't sure if that was a good idea on this particular connection. I also connected/disconnected it a couple of times just to make sure it was seated properly. Do you think the contact cleaner would still be a good idea, despite the clean appearance of the connector? You mentioned allowing the ECM to bleed down... do you mean moisture, or does the ECM store voltage in a capacitor or something?

If not I would work my way through the plugs in the harness associated with the ecm one at a time.
First check the function of every electrical accessory on your bike.
Be sure that everything works no matter how unrelated it maybe.
The clock, thermometer, turn signals etc. etc. Something that you missed that had started malfunctioning could give you a valuable hint as to which connectors might have moisture in them. Being preoccupied with the motor problem might have made you miss something else not working.

Baring something else not working start with anything to do with the ignition, all the sensors etc. Pull the plug inspect for moisture and clean allow ample time to dry and reassemble. I'd get some dielectric grease and put a little on tiny bit on just the rubber seal of the connector when reassembling unless you find that the connector itself is packed with it from the factory. Then I would repack it as per what you found.
Work through the connectors that are most exposed to water while riding first. Plugs to sensors too.
Don't forget the ABS connector, if you have one that is under the rear fender. I have a hard time understanding why it isn't covered on my 8 ball. That and having it mounted facing up so the dirt can build up in it. Pretty poor since there is no Abs unit on mine. That's asking for a problem down the road.

There is a very good chance you have moisture and a little dirt in a connector. Most ecm signals are just a grounding of a switch at very low voltage. So any resistance in the ground can quickly become a signal that is ignored by the ecm. Also when you hold unexpected inputs to ground or close to ground it can keep the any processor so busy that it can't run everything properly.
All functions seem to be operating properly on the bike, from the gauges to the lights to the horn to the controls. I'm getting some electrical noise through my speakers when I first turn on the ignition, but I think that is from my aftermarket amp. It might even be normal, I've never really paid much attention to the sounds my speakers make with the stereo turned off before now. I've also been working my way through the connectors, focussing on the ones related to fuel/ignition. I've checked most, but I'm sure there are at least a few I've missed. I've been cleaning them out with compressed air, but again, is contact cleaner called for here?

Everything OK but still no joy. Well your not done yet.
A bad ground is a good place to start.

Aluminum oxide does not conduct electricity. That is what you get when you expose a electrical connection between a connector and the aluminum frame to moisture while it has a voltage passing through it while exposed to O2(air). You avoid making it by cleaning all aluminum exposed surfaces then excluding the air with a grease or compound while you assemble it. Then you keep the area covered with a compound or grease to continue to exclude the 02.

That is why you see a grease like compound on all the ground connections going to the frame on your vic. If any of the grounds that were greased no longer have grease, like the one behind the ecm
for instance you will want to clean it with a scotch bright and coat it with either noalox from home depot or grease.
You'll have to figure out what vic recommends.
You might want to have the battery disconnected while doing this.
Work your way through every connection where there is a screw going into the frame holding a ground wire.
I've checked resistance at the two major grounds on the transmission case and both were at 0.2-0.3 Ohms. If there's another behind the ECM, that would be a good one for me to check as I would assume that's where the ECM gets it's ground signal from? I try to use di-electric grease on most connections and use Ox-Gard (similar to NoALox) on major connections involving dissimilar metals such as battery terminals and frame grounds.
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top