Need help! Problem with Big GS. Mexico

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Veter, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. Veter

    Veter Motoviajero

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    Hello, everyone! So to cut the story short I've been cruising around Mexico on my 1200gs and decided to have a service check at Mexico City dealer's. Looks like it was a serious mistake as now I have problems with my bike that I can't figure out myself. I'm near Cancun now and Cancun's dealer is said to be even worse, so I can rely on your advice only to fix it myself with those crippled hands of mine :D

    The symptoms are the following:

    1. When cold engine stalls and I need to rev up the gas in order to keep the RPMs
    2. When on the first gear stalls frequently, overall RPMs are not stable and it gets worse
    3. I can feel that output/power is much worse on both ends and it gets worse
    4. Sound has changed - before I had exaust "caugh" only when I close gas, now it is all the time like series of caughs
    5. Clutch became more tight - it is hard to hold it on first gear
    6. When I try to move slower than the first gear allows using clutch there is SERIOUS vibration and "helicopterish" sound, engine stalls sometimes as well

    My noob Hypothesis:

    1. Smth with fuel/air mixture - need to check air filter, try without power commander (booster plug in my case), check injector (dunno how)
    2. Exaust/CAT? I've been using mexican 92 fuel and 89 occasionaly. However, many ppl use the same bikes here without such problems and I didn't use unleaded fuel (which I'm not certain as they can add anything in fuel)
    3. Clutch. But it doesn't hold for all the symptoms. However, I had my clutch steamed in the mountains once and asked those BMW guys to check it, they said it was OK

    Please advise, I'm desperate :cry
    #1
  2. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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    1200? 1150? 1100? Check to make sure your throttle cables are seated properly on the throttle bodies. Take it back to the dealer and get them to fix it. :1drink
    #2
  3. Veter

    Veter Motoviajero

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    1200gs, that dealer is really far from me now
    #3
  4. gsweave

    gsweave Yinz, blinkers are on, since 05

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    What work did they do in Mexico City?

    Pinched fuel line?
    Cables not seated?
    plug wires?
    #4
  5. Veter

    Veter Motoviajero

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    They did 12k miles service and checked clutch. I didn't have ANY problems with the bike before that. I'll check cables and fuel line, thanks!
    #5
  6. Mudcat

    Mudcat Unregistered

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    What kind of service did you have done? Did they have the fuel tank off?
    It could be a cable not seated properly. Do you have free play at the throttle?
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Has the clutch lever adjustment screw backed out?
    #6
  7. FlyingFinn

    FlyingFinn Long timer

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    Pretty sure it's one of two things,

    a) Like already mentioned above, a badly seated throttle cable.
    It's possible one of the throttle cables has come partially dislodged and now the two cylinders are getting very uneven throttle.
    That makes the engine run quite rough. Or,

    b) My guess is that one of the stick coils is not properly connected to the ignition wire. Or worst, one stick coil was damaged when they pulled them out.
    From the sound of it, your bike is running really badly so it's more likely one of the main spark plugs (as opposed to the secondary).

    --
    Mikko
    #7
  8. gsweave

    gsweave Yinz, blinkers are on, since 05

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    Heads off for valve job,

    Check plugs/wires.
    check fluid level in clutch res. too little too much.

    Hopefully it will be something little and stupid. (pebble or bug caught in throttle body linkage)
    #8
  9. Veter

    Veter Motoviajero

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    gsweave, FlyingFinn, Mudcat

    Many thanks for replies, guys! Now I will need to do some research in order to understand how to address it as I'm zero lvl mechanic. I will post here the results
    #9
  10. gsweave

    gsweave Yinz, blinkers are on, since 05

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    Veter. You alone?
    one step at a time
    best wishes:deal
    #10
  11. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer

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    Veter, here is an excellent picture from JVB, in thread on fast idle, showing how the throttle cables can be unseated at the Bowden box below fuel tank.

    [​IMG]

    The same can happen to other end of cables and is actually more likely. This area could have been touched during the service.

    This is the end at the throttle body - sometimes the little ferrule pops out. Picture from R1200GS.info thread on throttle body adjustment.

    [​IMG]

    Best of luck with your bike! Robert.
    #11
  12. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer

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    Now, to check if you have issues with the stick coils.
    (I don't know how mechanically inclined you are, sorry if this is already obvious to you.)

    The ignition coils ("stick coils") are INSIDE the valve covers, at ends of ignition wires, plugged onto the spark plugs. There are 2 plugs per cylinder, but based on the severity of the problem, I'd blame the main plugs - facing you, not the secondary plugs underneath cylinder heads.

    Below is a picture from a spark-plug changing thread at r1200gs.info - this shows how to pop off the cover to access the stick coils.

    [​IMG]

    Get the cover off and feel with your finger if the coils are solidly seated.

    You can try pulling out the stick coil if unsure. You should have a little plastic coil-removal tool in your kit, otherwise use a screwdriver as shown here. Be careful, go easy to avoid ripping up the coil head (I'd use 2 screwdrivers) and make sure to protect the valve cover with something soft, like the cloth shown here.

    [​IMG]
    Or, use the wire method:
    [​IMG]

    If the coils are seated, one of them could still be faulty. One method to check that is to disconnect one of the coils wires, tape up the end and start the bike. If it is much worse, you disconnected a working coil. If there is no change in behavior, you disconnected a coil that was not working.

    Here is a picture from JVB's post that shows the top of stick coil and the connector that needs to be undone to disconnect the wire. There is a little tab on the connection - pry it up slightly with a small screwdriver and then pull out the connector away from the coil.

    [​IMG]

    I hope this helps in your troubleshooting. Since you believe that the problem started with the service, I'd look at things that were disturbed during the work (like the throttle cables or the coil sticks), before worrying about actual component failures.
    #12
  13. matthangen

    matthangen 07' R1200GS Adv.

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    Everybody's dead on with the advice, trace back what's been touched before you touch anything else. Don't get ahead of yourself, take time to do this right and don't make stuff worse in panic. Lay everything out on a towel or tshirt (don't lose stuff in the dirt), take lots of pictures of start to finish what you do so you can back track. Where i'm at in Africa it's best to keep the local mechanics away if it's more than patching a tube. Most of all good luck!
    #13
  14. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer

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    +1 +1 +1

    Exactly! We all have been there, trashing around, suspecting total breakdowns, multi-$$$$ repairs - while only a small item was missing (omitted by ourselves or even a skilled mechanic).

    Relax, have a nice drink, think things through. I cannot emphasize enough that the troubleshooting should follow a bit of detective work regarding recent service.

    Robert.
    #14
  15. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Bannned

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    How far are you from Veracruz / Boca del Rio? There is a very good dealer there and BMW should fix this under warranty.

    OH! I see your are near Cancun. A few days ride from Veracruz.

    Good Luck!
    #15
  16. GSAragazzi

    GSAragazzi Long timer

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    Posts like RDwalker's is why this forum rocks.
    Best of luck to the op.
    #16
  17. Bobby Ginger

    Bobby Ginger Cat Herder

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    :lurk

    Cheering for ya!
    #17
  18. Veter

    Veter Motoviajero

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    Thank you, everyone! Rdwalker, pics were VERY helpful, saved me a lot of time. I checked plugs and throttle cables, they were OK. To be on the safe side, changed the air filter. Doing it found a problem that can be the reason of vibration and decrease in output

    [​IMG]


    Moreover, there are some torn uneven edges on top of the engine, I wonder if it is normal

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer

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    Hmmm... I cannot orient myself on those pictures. The first one, is it the rubber boot on the swingarm? If so, it is not very good for the driveshaft, but should not cause the problems you are experiencing.

    The second picture is a mystery to me as well. Can you describe the location?

    Robert
    #19
  20. Veter

    Veter Motoviajero

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    Robert,

    I will need to make 400 km to Cancun in the morning and will have a definite answer if manipulations with plugs and cables changed anything.

    The first picture is swingarm connection, right. I checked the vibrations come from that area when using the clutch. Seems that I won't get away from a dealer with this one

    The second picture is top of the engine under the rear part of gas tank dunno how to explain, see the pic

    [​IMG]
    #20