DR650 Won't Start - Troubleshooting Advice?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by OsoADV, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. OsoADV

    OsoADV Oso

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    2002 with 1900 miles. IMS 4.9 gallon tank, otherwise mechanically stock.

    Discovered a leaking base gasket, and decided to use the silicon seal method as a temporary solution.

    I removed the tank, cam tensioner, starter, and loosened the oil lines before cleaning and sealing the problem area. Waited 48hrs and then reassembled.

    Bike ran fine, and seal seamed to work. I rode it home, then to a customer's house. On my way home from the customers house (~30-35 miles after reassembly) the bike just died. I was at medium throttle in 4th or 5th gear going about 50mph. It felt like i'd just hit the kill switch.

    Couldn't get it to even attempt to crank. The motor just spun and spun.

    Called for a pickup and got it to the shop. Pulled the wire and used a spare plug to check for spark, which it was getting.

    Figured it had to be fuel.

    I had removed the filter off the fuel intake line on the carb a few months before because it was giving me issues. I figured for sure I had some trash in the carb, so I took the carb off, completely disassembled it, cleaned it, and reassembled (this time with a filter).

    Hopes high, I tried to crank it, but no luck. Still spins but doesn't try to fire.

    I sprayed starter fluid in the air box, doesn't do anything. (Just spins)

    Took the carb off and sprayed a little starter fluid straight into the intake, nothing.

    Hand over the intake while cranking and you can feel suction.

    Sand blasted the plugs, confirmed they both get spark, but still nothing.

    I'm stumped, and all 3 of the guys at the shop are too.

    All three requirements seem to be present - FUEL + AIR + SPARK.

    Help please, we're out of ideas.
    #1
  2. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    You need compression. You can use a tester or try covering the spark plug hole with your finger. If there is little to no compression felt with your finger, you likely have some issues. Feeling some with your finger may lead you to a legitimate test with the proper equipment.


    #2
  3. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    I'll guess that your trigger coil is shot.

    This happened two times on a DR650 I had. Each time was at around 24-24k miles on that coil.
    #3
  4. OsoADV

    OsoADV Oso

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    Thanks for the reply. Didn't think about compression being a necessity too, doh! Guess i'm used to dealing with multi-cylinder engines where it will still run, though very poorly, without good compression on one or many cylinders. I've had an international with a v8 running down the road on just 3 cylinders! This being a single would obviously be a different story.

    Intake sucks really hard while trying to start with your hand over where the carb mounts up. Will give it a shot tomorrow with a compression tester.

    Still think it should do SOMETHING with starter fluid and spark...we've tried spraying to air box, carb, directly into intake, and even a very small amount into the spark plug hole directly into the cylinder.

    If there is low compression, what could have cause that/what could it be?
    #4
  5. OsoADV

    OsoADV Oso

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    Both plugs get spark though. How else do I tell if this is happening?
    #5
  6. RiDR

    RiDR The Himalayan what?

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    I'd eliminate any safety switch issues, kickstand and clutch, then check the kill switch before digging further.
    #6
  7. OsoADV

    OsoADV Oso

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    Wouldn't all that stuff prevent the engine from turning over?
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  8. RiDR

    RiDR The Himalayan what?

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    I think Kill switch and clutch yes, not sure about the kickstand switch.
    #8
  9. OsoADV

    OsoADV Oso

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    Will double check them all, but if i'm getting spark i don't understand how they prevent the engine from starting.
    #9
  10. bluebye

    bluebye Skin it back

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    Really wierd, you have messed with the cam chain tensioner,,,,,
    #10
  11. RiDR

    RiDR The Himalayan what?

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    Just did a search, the kickstand switch will completely disable so you are correct, missed that your engine was trying to crank over, apologies... if you have an aftermarket tank without a vacuum petcock you might have had to kink off the breather hose out of the carb, grasping at strings but maybe another thing to check. Good luck.
    #11
  12. OsoADV

    OsoADV Oso

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    Yep - had to take it off to get the starter out. Put it in just as it came out AFAIK.

    Weird thing is it didn't chug down like it was a fuel prob, just died at 50mph instantly like i hit the kill switch. That seems like it be ignition, but i have spark.

    Yikes.
    #12
  13. OsoADV

    OsoADV Oso

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    No worries, it was a long OP :deal

    No vacuum petcock but i capped the original vacuum fitting on top of the carb. Cap came in IMS kit.

    I've tried starting fluid...so even if it was a fuel issue it should bump in theory. Doesn't seem to do anything.
    #13
  14. knybanjo

    knybanjo kinda slow

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    Take the tank back off and look for any loose connections and/or pinched/chafed wires. Then test all your coils per the manual. Besides the main spark coil you also have the magneto igniter and the pick-up coils. (I think the pick-up may also be called the trigger)



    :scratch

    Yeah...you may be onto something there..... You should probably take the valve cover off and double check the cam chain and timing too.
    #14
  15. knybanjo

    knybanjo kinda slow

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    Is this the coil that tells the ignition when to spark? (sometimes called a pick-up coil on other bikes)

    That could very well be the problem, you have spark but it's out of time?
    #15
  16. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    pull a plug wire and attach another plug, ground it to the motor and look for spark. if yes, squirt some starting fluid in the carb and see what happens.
    #16
  17. knybanjo

    knybanjo kinda slow

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    He already did that.

    It has spark but won't fire even with starting fluid.


    #17
  18. OsoADV

    OsoADV Oso

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    This is sounding like a possibility. Getting spark at the wrong time could be the issue. Still seems weird it won't make any bang.

    Explanation of testing the pickup coil here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6554040&postcount=10

    Tomorrow i'm gonna:

    1. Check compression
    2. Check wiring along frame and handlebars for kinks
    3. Check coil(s) per manual
    At that point, if everything checks out, I think I have a big issue like valves/cam/cam chain/cam tensioner/who knows.

    Two things still stump me: First getting no bang with spark and starter fluid. Second riding it 30 or so miles and THEN dying.

    Onward and upward!

    Will report back tomorrow. Feel free to add any other suggestions in the meantime folks!
    #18
  19. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    I'm not sure about a thumper but when a car has no compression (such as when the cam belt is 180* off) it will smell quite nasty. As you crank the smell gets worse. It's not really a fuel smell; it's more like that of old engine oil.
    #19
  20. Nibis

    Nibis Where to next?

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    After reading your post, I'm thinking you may have not got your CCT back in properly. Did you have the motor at TDC on compression stroke when you took it out?

    It could have took 30 to 40 miles be for the cam chain jumped a tooth or two.

    I would remove the valve cover and get your motor to TDC and make sure your cam is in the right spot.
    #20