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Old 04-19-2013, 07:57 PM   #8326
Velociraptor
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Instrument cluster gone dark!

My turn to deal with electrical gremlins Put a new shock on my 2009 690r today and after I was done the instrument cluster was not working. Everything else works. Headlights, turn signals, bar controls all work. I am pretty sure I must have done something to a wire when I had to pivot the gas tank up to get the shock out. Bike starts and runs OK in the garage. Anybody else had this particular problem? Fuses are all ok. For awhile the cluster has a very dim back light in the instrument panel that came on and off in repeating intervals of eight with a slight pause then eight more. This kept going. Seems like that has stopped now. This was NOT the FI light as none for the idiot lights were working. Rather is was a dim backlight of the main instrument panel, but no appearance of any numbers. No wires behind the headlight shroud seem broken. I am guessing it is something in the large wiring bundle under the battery. I am going to trace back from fuse 1 unless I get some advice from the asylum here!
BTW I noticed that there is about 10 volts going across fuse 1 contacts with ignition off. With ignition on the voltage goes up to around 13.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:24 PM   #8327
rickypanecatyl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmnz View Post
Things checked so far:

1. Damaged wiring. No.
2. Air. Yes. Air filter clean.
3. Fuel. Yes. I can hear the pump running. Strong fuel smell from exhaust after cranking for a while.
4. Spark. Yes. Seems to be a good, bright spark. Plug gap OK.
5. Volts. Might be too low? Measured at the battery: 12.7V initially. Dropped to around 11.2V when cranking. Back up to 12.6V after test.

Questions:

1. Should I expect zero firing with the battery voltage measured?
2. What to check next? (I am searching the thread for ideas also.)
3. Has anyone managed to get the spark plug out without removing the airbox?
David was it running fine before the 6 week rest? Any fault codes?

I've had fuel pump issues even when I could hear the fuel pump and with my history that would be my first guess followed by a plugged injector.
If it were me I would check and make sure you are getting good pressure coming out the fuel hose while cranking.

I haven't tried this but curious if it will work for cleaning the 690's injectors? It's from Neduro's EXC500 thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro
Those sound like injector issues.

A few tips on injector cleaning. Take the injector out, drown it in carb cleaner/ solvent, put the downstream end in the schraeder valve side of a bicycle floor pump, and blow into it. It'll take quite a few PSI (as high as 80ish), but it will let go and shoot a bunch of junk out. Easily done in the boonies provided you have a pump. No harm to the injector and typically the bike runs great after doing so.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:46 AM   #8328
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Originally Posted by rickypanecatyl View Post
David was it running fine before the 6 week rest? Any fault codes?
Yes. I have had zero fault codes since new. Well actually I got one today when I cranked it over with the airbox off. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickypanecatyl View Post
I've had fuel pump issues even when I could hear the fuel pump and with my history that would be my first guess followed by a plugged injector.
If it were me I would check and make sure you are getting good pressure coming out the fuel hose while cranking.

I haven't tried this but curious if it will work for cleaning the 690's injectors? It's from Neduro's EXC500 thread:
Thanks for the info. I'm pretty sure I'm getting fuel into the engine because the exhaust stinks of unburnt fuel after cranking for a while. I thought I should get some bangs since I think I have air, fuel and spark but I get nothing.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:25 PM   #8329
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Sheared flywheel key? Slipped cam chain? What does compression look like -- b/c of fuel injection, engines no longer need to suck air through carbs, and will give the fuel-smell at the exhaust pipe even if there is no sealing at the piston.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmnz View Post
I thought I should get some bangs since I think I have air, fuel and spark but I get nothing.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:46 PM   #8330
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Originally Posted by Roadracer_Al View Post
Sheared flywheel key? Slipped cam chain? What does compression look like -- b/c of fuel injection, engines no longer need to suck air through carbs, and will give the fuel-smell at the exhaust pipe even if there is no sealing at the piston.
I can't see it being a compression problem since it was running and starting fine the last time I rode it. Cam chain slippage, sheared flywheel key (ignition sensor?) are possible I suppose. Are these kinds of things more likely after the bike has been sitting a while?

I am pretty sure now it is electrical. Since I had the airbox off I pulled the injector and got a nice figure 8 (sort of) spray pattern. Plenty of fuel pressure too. I didn't realise the injector is 2 parts and the pressure blew it half apart. Fuel spraying everywhere. Slight panic until I figured it out.

So now I think it is either (1) some weird low voltage issue or (2) a major ignition timing error. Not sure how I could have issue (2) unless something slipped/broke when I first tried to start it. Easier to check/fix issue (1) so that's next on the todo list.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:22 PM   #8331
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Originally Posted by sprouty115 View Post
I have a burn on my left arm from 4-days ago and another one from last night. I'll be ordering my FMF later today...
May be we should start a new thread titled SHOW ME YOUR BURN....lol
ive got one on my right arm...lol your not alone.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:05 PM   #8332
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I don't know how exactly you are verifying spark, but mine was stored seceral months until I bought and started but then didnt. the plug fired when grounded outsiderhe plug hole, but was nontheless fouled. i replaced it and everything was fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmnz View Post
I can't see it being a compression problem since it was running and starting fine the last time I rode it. Cam chain slippage, sheared flywheel key (ignition sensor?) are possible I suppose. Are these kinds of things more likely after the bike has been sitting a while?

I am pretty sure now it is electrical. Since I had the airbox off I pulled the injector and got a nice figure 8 (sort of) spray pattern. Plenty of fuel pressure too. I didn't realise the injector is 2 parts and the pressure blew it half apart. Fuel spraying everywhere. Slight panic until I figured it out.

So now I think it is either (1) some weird low voltage issue or (2) a major ignition timing error. Not sure how I could have issue (2) unless something slipped/broke when I first tried to start it. Easier to check/fix issue (1) so that's next on the todo list.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:41 AM   #8333
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Originally Posted by lightfighter View Post
I don't know how exactly you are verifying spark, but mine was stored seceral months until I bought and started but then didnt. the plug fired when grounded outsiderhe plug hole, but was nontheless fouled. i replaced it and everything was fine.
I tested for sparks the same way you did. Got a nice, fat, bright spark so I figured the plug should be good enough to get the engine started. Maybe my reasoning is flawed but I figure if the rest of the ignition system is good then a plug that sparks outside the cylinder should spark under pressure in the cylinder. But if something else is degraded then a slightly fouled plug might not fire.

Anyway, why should the plug be fouled by attempted starts after sitting for a while? Oil fouling in two strokes I can understand but I can't see why a four stroke should foul plugs unless mixture is way too rich. I've never had this kind of problem before and it's not the first time I've left a bike unused for weeks or even months. My TL1000S had a rather crude EFI system but would start even when the battery was nearly flat. I flattened the battery on my CBR1000RR once but it started OK after recharging the battery overnight. It's been decades since I've had to change a plug to get a bike running.

Experts please feel free to trash my argument...

Tomorrow I intend to try jump starting the bike off my car battery. I will report back with results.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:10 AM   #8334
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Originally Posted by DrtSqtr View Post
May be we should start a new thread titled SHOW ME YOUR BURN....lol
ive got one on my right arm...lol your not alone.
Hell, after a couple of those burns and a few gear melts, I figure most people get rid of that POS stock can.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:22 AM   #8335
Roadracer_Al
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmnz View Post
I tested for sparks the same way you did. Got a nice, fat, bright spark so I figured the plug should be good enough to get the engine started. Maybe my reasoning is flawed but I figure if the rest of the ignition system is good then a plug that sparks outside the cylinder should spark under pressure in the cylinder.
There is an actual spark tester tool -- looks basically like a spark plug with no ground bar -- it jumps from the electrode to the housing, a bit under 3/8" -- and a small spring clamp to attach it to ground.

The dielectric (insulating) property of any gas increases with pressure -- there is more "stuff" packed into a smaller area, so more electrical resistance is created. That's why just testing with a normal sparkplug doesn't give 100% iron-clad proof that the ignition system is working right.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:09 PM   #8336
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+1 on what RR-Al said. Piston aircraft engines have notoriously weak sparks because of their magneto driven ignition systems. Takes a number of crafty solutions to make them work well: Special multi-pronged surface gap spark plugs, impulse couplings for starting, dual plugs in each cylinder, etc. Serious aircraft mechanics use pressurized spark plug testors to simulate the conditions the plug actually sees in operation. Often they spark well enough in the open air (but not much---they don't spark very brightly no matter what) but then not at all under pressure. Automotive/motorcycle plugs do much better because of the stronger ignition systems they employ, but they can still suffer from poor/no spark under pressure. $2,345 U.S. for a Champion pressure tester. And you thought motorcycle "stuff" was expensive...

Just sayin'...
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:07 PM   #8337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmnz View Post
I tested for sparks the same way you did. Got a nice, fat, bright spark so I figured the plug should be good enough to get the engine started. Maybe my reasoning is flawed but I figure if the rest of the ignition system is good then a plug that sparks outside the cylinder should spark under pressure in the cylinder. But if something else is degraded then a slightly fouled plug might not fire.

Anyway, why should the plug be fouled by attempted starts after sitting for a while? Oil fouling in two strokes I can understand but I can't see why a four stroke should foul plugs unless mixture is way too rich. I've never had this kind of problem before and it's not the first time I've left a bike unused for weeks or even months. My TL1000S had a rather crude EFI system but would start even when the battery was nearly flat. I flattened the battery on my CBR1000RR once but it started OK after recharging the battery overnight. It's been decades since I've had to change a plug to get a bike running.

Experts please feel free to trash my argument...

Tomorrow I intend to try jump starting the bike off my car battery. I will report back with results.
Sounds like you've covered most everything so far. Good voltage/ cranking speed, fuel pressure, injector pulse, spark, airfow...

Have you tested the fuel? 6 weeks shouldn't be too long for fuel to go bad, but it may have been old or contaminated to begin with. Just something to double check. Take a sample in a clear bottle. Smell it and look at it up to the light. Then light a small amount on fire on the ground to make sure it ignites. You could always give it a quick spray of carb cleaner or starting fluid to make sure as well.

Does it sound like it has compression? Maybe an actual compression test may be needed to verify.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:15 PM   #8338
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Update on electrical problem. Removed the easiest wiring covers around the battery area and coming from the fuse box to check for damage. Nothing. Next step would be to start unwrapping more of the loom which would get painful. Since it is possible that my instrument panel took a dump, have ordered a new one to check. Expensive troubleshooting but preferable to tearing apart more of the wiring loom and find nothing is wrong. If new instrument panel also does not work then will have to start looking for the wiring fault. As a said I get a 10 volt bleed across fuse one when ignition is off. This goes away when I disconnect one of the three connections going into the instrument panel. So either something on the circuit board on in the panel is bad or there is something bad downstream of the panel on a return wire and connecting those wires completes the(faulty) circuit. I also took the panel apart and everything looks like new. Nice and clean. So nothing obviously wrong.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:37 PM   #8339
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Good news: It starts. Bad news: Something marginal in ignition

Well jumping it off the car finally did it. Had to start the car to get volts above 13V. And it took a bit of throttle I suppose because it was flooded from previous failed attempts. First try jumping off the car battery failed because I had a bad earth connection on the bike end of the jumper cable. The battery box is apparently not well earthed. So I got a good earth on the exhaust but it still wouldn't start until the car's alternator was helping to boost volts.

BTW once it started the battery voltage was around 14.5V so the alternator and RR are good.

My strongest suspect is the battery. I suspect this because what else would degrade in the ignition system with the bike just sitting? I can't see it being a coil or HT lead or earthing problem because those kinds of things should have shown up earlier as intermittent starting/running problems.

So the bad news is it seems to me this bike needs a good battery capable of holding over 12V (maybe more) under starting load. :( So I need a new battery then I'll have to wire up a plug/socket for a battery tender because it's too much of a pain to lift the seat and battery bracket every time I park it. Probably need regular battery replacement to be sure of starting when I go on trips away from home.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:49 PM   #8340
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadracer_Al View Post
There is an actual spark tester tool -- looks basically like a spark plug with no ground bar -- it jumps from the electrode to the housing, a bit under 3/8" -- and a small spring clamp to attach it to ground.

The dielectric (insulating) property of any gas increases with pressure -- there is more "stuff" packed into a smaller area, so more electrical resistance is created. That's why just testing with a normal sparkplug doesn't give 100% iron-clad proof that the ignition system is working right.
Agreed. Actually used a cheap spark/ignition tester many years ago. I believe that the root cause of poor spark is usually not the plug itself. I remember modifying my flatmate's 6V VW with an auxiliary starting battery to keep the ignition volts up when the starter was cranking. Amazing the difference in how it started before and after the mod. Also I learned a trick starting old cars/bikes with bad batteries: They will often fire just as you release the key. What happens is the starter load drags the battery voltage down too low for the spark to fire. But if the engine will spin it sometimes has enough momentum to keep spinning just long enough for the battery volts to recover enough to generate a spark.
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