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Old 11-20-2012, 08:46 PM   #71356
Feelers
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Cool2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
Need your advice, fellow DR riders:

As you may know, I was having electrical problems with my bike in western Tanzania (she's a 1998 with 74,000+ miles). She was dying after a few minutes of running and a reworked carb, a newer CDI, rectifier and ignition coil didn't solve the problem, so I figured it was the stator. I got a new stator shipped in, the 250W uprated one and installed that along with slightly-newer parts from parted DRs: a CDI from a 2006 and a rectifier from a 2001. After those parts, she fired up and sounded really good. I did 50 kms of test rides and was confident the problem was solved, so got back on the trail heading south.

But now, after 400 kms (250 miles), the problem is back. She died on me today in the middle of muddy roads. It felt like a loss of power. I let her cool, we rode a bit more and then she died again. I figured since I didn't replace the original ignition coil, maybe it was acting up now. I put in the coil from the 2001 bike and she died again in a few kms. Then I unplugged the generator and we ran for a while before same failure. Then I unplugged the rectifier and we ran fine for a few kms before she died again. The longer I let her cool down before trying again, the longer she lasts before dying again. To me, this sounds like something is heating up and causing the loss of power. It doesn't feel like a fuel (carb) issue. It feels like something is cutting power to the spark plugs. I limped her back to a small town.

I'm running on the Shorai battery and have a voltage monitor and after unplugging both stator and rectifier, battery was holding charge at 13.45 and after two starts with no stator, it dropped to 13.35 V.

I have a replacement wiring harness from the 2006 bike. Is mounting that on going to help? That's all I can think of now. I'm close to throwing in the towel and putting her on a truck and heading back to a good mechanic in Nairobi. Argghhh!!!!
Jay,

I'm sure you have done this but I've been looking through the wiring diagram for you. Things that we know (or are pretty sure) are good:
CDI: You've tried 3 of them I think, including the original. They can't all be bad.
Regulator/Rectifier: You have tried a couple, with no change. Also, you tried with it unplugged with no change in bike's response.
Ignition Coil: You've tried 2 or 3 of them with no change. Again, they cannot all be bad. I would consider this an unlikely failure point.
Stator: You've replaced it with a brand new one, so both of it's coils should be fine.
Clutch Switch: The bike starts, so that shouldn't be a problem.
Battery: The bike starts fine, has good voltage, and the regulator is fine.
Plug Wires: I'm pretty sure you have replaced them.


When the problem occurs, do you notice any other electrical problems? such as flickering headlights? That could indicate corrosion or poor seating of the main fuse. I'd call this unlikely.

Check the ignition switch and its connector as well.

As far as the bike running, the current needs to get past the side stand safety switch and relay, neutral safety switch, and kill switch before it gets to the cdi. I expect that you bypassed the neutral safety switch and side stand switch when you initially prepped the bike? Maybe give them a quick check. I would also recommend checking the handlebar kill switch even though it is not heat related, it could be wet or dirty or corroded or something and be causing a shut down.

The CDI has 2 wires that end up going nowhere, 2 grounds, 1 power feed (depending on the safety switches), and 1 wire to the ignition coil. That should all be good.
It also has 2 wires coming from the source coil, which is wrapped on top of the charging coils on the stator. Since the stator is new, and the bike runs a bit, it is probably connected properly and fine.
The last two wires come from the ignitor/pickup coil. This would certainly be subjected to engine heat and have been known to fail. Have you replaced this? It's the little black box in the top of this picture.


So, in short from least likely to most likely: Main fuse, Safety switches, Ignition switch, Pickup Coil.
If the problem is indeed electrical (starting to have my doubts), and it's none of these, then it's gotta be a problem with the harness.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:09 PM   #71357
heirhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Man, that's bad luck! You've replaced just about everything it seems. Hard to know where to look. I suspect a bad Pick-Up coil (ignitor) ... within the stator. Maybe swap in another from the other stator? They can be intermittent, from what I've heard. Maybe heat related?

Got to be heat related issue as she starts after cool down, no?
Could also be Rectifier/Regulator ... but I know you replaced that too.
But using 2nd hand donated parts ... its sometimes not possible to know if they are "known good". Not an easy situation ...

I know you wired in a bunch of switches in your dash. Could anything there be shorting or in anyway screwing things up? Also ... when you modded your dash, did you mod the ignition switch? I was thinking of that little hidden resistor (anti-theft) under the switch. It interfaces into the harness and goes to CDI ... if shorted or missing ... bike won't start. I doubt it is intermittent though. More mystery.

When you swap out the harness ... take care that little resistor.



But I keep coming back to the Pick-Up coil (ignitor)

Good luck ... I hope you solve it!
Hello,

Sorry your stuck. Same problem on xt225 and it was pick-up coil on stator. Starts great when cold, stop when really hot and not start when hot.
+1 ADV Grifter

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Old 11-20-2012, 11:56 PM   #71358
Jammin
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Location: New Delhi - new 'home' for post RTW
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Thanks for all your input, guys. You all rock!

@Randomroad: thanks for those tips. I used to work for a cellphone manufacturer in Chicago and initially was part of the backend (mechanical) engineering team, root-causing failures on the proto-type line, so I understand what you did and I'm applying a lot of what I learned on that job here: going through a process of elimination, but as best as I can in the 'field'

@Adv Grifter: the new stator that I installed from Procycle came with a new pickup coil and wires leading to the CDI. The problem persists even after I disconnected the stator, so I don't think it's the pickup coil. Problem persists even after I disconnected the regulator, so that's not it, either. Yeah, bummer about using second-hand donated parts, but that's what I've got here.
I did not mod my ignition switch. I'm aware of that hidden resistor and haven't touched it. All the switches on my dash (and other farkles: horn, gps, 12v socket) sit on top of the bike's harness, they plug in via a relay directly to the battery, so I dont think a short in there somewhere would cause a power loss, right?

@C/W: yup, sounds like a short to me. Going to try and replace the wiring harness when I get a chance. It's pouring down tropical thunderstorm here and no good covering to work on the bike.

@BergDonk: I checked the ignition coil connector, looks good to me. I installed my spare coil yesterday and bike was running for a bit. When this problem first surfaced, my first thought was a fuel starvation issue. I opened up the carb and saw that the float needle wasn't that smooth in its jet, so I lightly sanded the jet, got better motion for the float needle, but problem persists. What else in the carb should I look at? I have a Mikuni TM38 flat slide. I had it rebuilt before I left Nairobi and replaced the slide, float pin, air screw and reseated the float needle.

@DRT: good tip to check the fuel filter, will do.

@Multisurface Rider: good tip on cracked plug wires. I have a spare set of ignition coils with plug wires and plug caps. Problem persists with either set.

@Feelers: thanks for the that comprehensive breakdown
CDI: I have 3 on hand: original 98, take-off from a 2001 in South Africa and a good 2006 one from Arizona (installed)
Regulator: I have 2: original 98, take-off from the 2001 (installed)
Ignition coil with plug wires and caps: I have 2 sets: original 98 and 2001 (installed)
Stator: I have 2: original 98 and new 250W from Procycle with new pickup coil (installed)

I don't notice other electrical problems when it dies. I turned off the headlight, to reduce straining the battery.

I didn't bypass the neutral safety switch but did bypass the sidestand and clutch safety switches. Will check them when the rain subsides. I'll also check the handlebar kill switch.

I did replace the pickup coil as it came with the replacement stator, but I don't know if it's failed since I installed it 250 miles ago.

@heirhead: yeah, maybe the new pickup coil has failed already.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:05 AM   #71359
BergDonk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
...........
@BergDonk: I checked the ignition coil connector, looks good to me. I installed my spare coil yesterday and bike was running for a bit. When this problem first surfaced, my first thought was a fuel starvation issue. I opened up the carb and saw that the float needle wasn't that smooth in its jet, so I lightly sanded the jet, got better motion for the float needle, but problem persists. What else in the carb should I look at? I have a Mikuni TM38 flat slide. I had it rebuilt before I left Nairobi and replaced the slide, float pin, air screw and reseated the float needle.

..............
I'm not familiar with the TM38. What sort of filtration setup do you have? The fuel taps will likely have filters in them inside the tank. I remove them and just have a single in line servicable filter on the way to the carb. Do you still have the stock inline filter that sits in the intake pipe on the BST? I aslo routinely run on reserve so any accumulation of crud in the bottom of the tank gets flushed into the filter.

Does the float bowel have a drain valve/screw? If so, if you can get a piece of clear tube and attach it to the drain and leave the valve open and route the tube up so you can get a visible float level. Then when it stops, check the level in the tube. A manometer arrangement and it should be enough to tell you if itsa fuel issue.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:08 AM   #71360
Nullarbor63
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My friend, I come back to the forum after a break, to read your post with fresh eyes, and my first impression is that you seem to be hung up on the concept of an electrical fault (understandably). Might I offer a different idea? I have a fair bit of history with four valve 250 and 500cc Honda singles and they had a common fault in that the cylinder head would crack between the spark plug hole and the exhaust valve seat. When they were cool this would not affect the starting of the bike, but as it heated up (especially under load and heat) the crack would expand, the cylinder head would lose compression and the bike would stop. The only foolproof way of checking for this condition is to remove the head, decoke and polish the combustion chamber and look for the crack. On clean aluminium the crack would be quite obvious. I don't know if DRs are susceptible to this, but it's a thought, and seems to fit your symptoms. I've just finished Ted Simon's 'Jupiters Travels'. Good luck with your trip.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:24 AM   #71361
greer
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Jammin's Troubles

Please bear in mind I know diddleysquat about anything mechanical. But is there any way that new-fangled battery could be causing something funky in the electrical system? Seems like I read some such about that early on in the development of these batteries.

Sarah
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:08 AM   #71362
Hasanito
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Location: Kalgoorlie, Perth
Oddometer: 39
Has anyone upgraded from DR650 into 790cc

Just curious, how many people did the full procycle upgrade on their DRs to 790cc.
I couldn't find much info on this thru search...

How much difference was there and in terms of weight/power ratio, any drawbacks?
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:18 AM   #71363
nsrrider
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Location: sunny Central Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
Thanks for all your input, guys. You all rock!

@Randomroad: thanks for those tips. I used to work for a cellphone manufacturer in Chicago and initially was part of the backend (mechanical) engineering team, root-causing failures on the proto-type line, so I understand what you did and I'm applying a lot of what I learned on that job here: going through a process of elimination, but as best as I can in the 'field'

@Adv Grifter: the new stator that I installed from Procycle came with a new pickup coil and wires leading to the CDI. The problem persists even after I disconnected the stator, so I don't think it's the pickup coil. Problem persists even after I disconnected the regulator, so that's not it, either. Yeah, bummer about using second-hand donated parts, but that's what I've got here.
I did not mod my ignition switch. I'm aware of that hidden resistor and haven't touched it. All the switches on my dash (and other farkles: horn, gps, 12v socket) sit on top of the bike's harness, they plug in via a relay directly to the battery, so I dont think a short in there somewhere would cause a power loss, right?

@C/W: yup, sounds like a short to me. Going to try and replace the wiring harness when I get a chance. It's pouring down tropical thunderstorm here and no good covering to work on the bike.

@BergDonk: I checked the ignition coil connector, looks good to me. I installed my spare coil yesterday and bike was running for a bit. When this problem first surfaced, my first thought was a fuel starvation issue. I opened up the carb and saw that the float needle wasn't that smooth in its jet, so I lightly sanded the jet, got better motion for the float needle, but problem persists. What else in the carb should I look at? I have a Mikuni TM38 flat slide. I had it rebuilt before I left Nairobi and replaced the slide, float pin, air screw and reseated the float needle.

@DRT: good tip to check the fuel filter, will do.

@Multisurface Rider: good tip on cracked plug wires. I have a spare set of ignition coils with plug wires and plug caps. Problem persists with either set.

@Feelers: thanks for the that comprehensive breakdown
CDI: I have 3 on hand: original 98, take-off from a 2001 in South Africa and a good 2006 one from Arizona (installed)
Regulator: I have 2: original 98, take-off from the 2001 (installed)
Ignition coil with plug wires and caps: I have 2 sets: original 98 and 2001 (installed)
Stator: I have 2: original 98 and new 250W from Procycle with new pickup coil (installed)

I don't notice other electrical problems when it dies. I turned off the headlight, to reduce straining the battery.

I didn't bypass the neutral safety switch but did bypass the sidestand and clutch safety switches. Will check them when the rain subsides. I'll also check the handlebar kill switch.

I did replace the pickup coil as it came with the replacement stator, but I don't know if it's failed since I installed it 250 miles ago.

@heirhead: yeah, maybe the new pickup coil has failed already.
I think you can rule out the resistor buried in the ignition switch.......if it is fried the switch duznt work........
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:40 AM   #71364
Albie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barko1 View Post
Southwest Moto Tire is in Tucson, they used to have most everything.
Actually, they used to pretty much drop ship everything. Worked great for me because living in Dallas back then it was next day shipping from Parts Unlimited. I stopped buying from them back when they got bought out and jacked up their prices.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:42 AM   #71365
Rusty Rocket
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Location: Northcentral CT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albie View Post
Actually, they used to pretty much drop ship everything. Worked great for me because living in Dallas back then it was next day shipping from Parts Unlimited. I stopped buying from them back when they got bought out and jacked up their prices.

Do mean you stopped buying from SWMotoTire, or PartsUNL?



I just shopped tires (5 mins ago after seeing the name) at SWMT and their prices seemed pretty good. Anywhere better? I love saving munney.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:55 AM   #71366
Rob.G
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Location: Fulltiming in an RV!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasanito View Post
Just curious, how many people did the full procycle upgrade on their DRs to 790cc.
I couldn't find much info on this thru search...

How much difference was there and in terms of weight/power ratio, any drawbacks?
There are some people here with the 780 and 790 kits... the posts I've seen indicate that it's a very worthwhile mod. I plan to do it hopefully before the end of next year. But my little KLX250S needs the 351 kit first. The DR already has pretty respectable power stock. The KLX? Not so much. :)

Rob
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:05 AM   #71367
dljocky
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Yorktown, Va
Oddometer: 842
I've got a 2009 that I bought new 2.5 yrs ago, and it's got 39K miles on it with no problems so far. Good luck.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve in Santa Fe View Post
Greetings all,

I am looking at a 2005 DR 650 that has 24,000 miles. (Mostly highway as a commuter).
The guy has full records and the bike looks well cared for.

Question: IS 24K high mileage for a DR 650 engine that has been maintained?
(I have an old BMW Boxer, where 24K is barely broken in, so my thinking may be off.

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:30 AM   #71368
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Death Valley ride report

Still in progress. 3 more days ahead of us.
--> http://drriders.com/topic6350.html
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:45 AM   #71369
O'B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greer View Post
Jammin's Troubles

Please bear in mind I know diddleysquat about anything mechanical. But is there any way that new-fangled battery could be causing something funky in the electrical system? Seems like I read some such about that early on in the development of these batteries.

Sarah
I agree you should not proceed without getting another good battery to test with. Be sure to check all the associated ground points. A little patience I am sure you are almost there. It will certaianly be a WTF moment when you identify the problem.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:10 AM   #71370
Jammin
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@BergDonk: As far as I know, the TM38 does not have a built-in fuel filter. I have the Aqualine tank with two petcocks and there are screens on the inside of them. I then have an inline fuel filter (paper core) where the two fuel lines meet and before it goes into the carb inlet. Good idea on viewing the float level. Will try that when I get back to civilization.

Here's an exploded view of my carb: http://www.sudco.com/Diagrams123/exptm.gif
Anything you see in there that I can fiddle with?

@Nullarbor63: thank you, my friend. You are right that I am getting hung up on it being an electrical issue but I'm open to it being related to something else. It's just that I can't diagnose that here but once I'm back to a city, I'll do a full tear down and investigate. Thanks for bringing up the cylinder head crack issue. Didn't know about that.

@greer: you have a valid point and yes, it could be the Shorai lithium-iron battery. I'll test with a regular one once I'm back to Nairobi.

@nsrrider: yeah, I dont think it's the resistor. thanks.

@Randomroad: I can't wait for that WTF moment!

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sanDRina in the middle of a field repair in southwestern Tanzania, just before a thunderstorm rolled through:



In trying times like this, I tell myself to look for the positives and put things in perspective. I'm healthy, dry and online :)
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J A Y on a 98 Suzuki DR650SE (sanDRina)

Trip Website: JamminGlobal.com
Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos
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