The DR800 BIG EFI project

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Thoran, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Thoran

    Thoran Adventurer

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    After being asked on Reddit to make a thread detailing my work on the DR BIG electronic fuel injection project (and a lot of postponing), today I'll finally start with the chronicle of my BIG project.

    A few years ago I stumbled upon the DR800, at that time I was an avid sportsbike rider (and still am) and allthough the concept of a BIG 800cc 1 cylinder bike was very cool, I didn't really think it was the bike for me. Fast forward 2 years and a friend asks me to bring home his Cagive Elefant. After riding that bike I was sold, allroads were thé bike to ride on the Dutch roads. Lots of ground clearance, speed bumps were no longer a problem, and they didn't need absurd speeds to feel like you're riding. About two months later I managed to trade in my Yamaha FZR600 for a DR800.

    About a year later the idea to convert the bike to EFI came to mind. A friend of mine wanted to do the same to his Suzuki GT750, and while I was on a trainride to my girlfriend (I got halfway on the BIG before my tire got punctured) I came upon this thread by ambraa who showed it was pretty easy to convert a DR800 from carburetors to EFI.

    And off to buy supplies I/We went. The first thing to arrive was the ECU, we settled on a KdFI, because it was pre-built, had a handy casing (we tought) and has a built-in Lambda controller.
    [​IMG]

    Next up were a few other important parts:
    [​IMG]
    Throttlebodies of a GSX-R600 K2, a lambda sensor of a Volvo S80 and a temperature sensor from a random Saab. (Which turned out to be a switch instead of a sensor)

    Because the BIG has two carburetors I needed to refit the throttlebodies down from 4 to 2.
    [​IMG]

    And than it was time to start stripping the bike of it's carburetors and start fitting the EFI:
    [​IMG]
    to
    [​IMG]
    (In the background you can see the GT750 being converted into EFI too)

    A box with stuff that all needed to be fitted:
    [​IMG]

    Testfitting the Throttlebodies and the Twin-Air pod filters:
    [​IMG]
    As you can see the filters were a bit too long, and didn't fit well, but after cutting down the flanges they now fit like a charm.

    My beautiful bracket to support the (Hayabusa) fuel pump:
    [​IMG]
    At the moment of writing (converting the bike was done end of februari/begin of march) I've moved the bracket back a little further, to get a better airflow, and hopefully fix the vaporlock problem i've been having.

    Wheee, spaghetti!
    [​IMG]

    Shortened the cables and fitted them into the ECU:
    [​IMG]

    Connected to the laptop. Houston, we've got a signal!
    [​IMG]

    The KdFI only had one problem, with the encasing closed I couldn't access the USB port, and for logging etc. during riding it's pretty much needed that you cán acces the ECU, so a-drilling I went:
    [​IMG]
    A-soldering:
    [​IMG]

    And voilá, one KdFI that's accessible while it's casing is closed:
    [​IMG]

    One of the first trips that wasn't up and down the street I went to the local brewery:
    [​IMG]

    Because I thought MAP (manifold air pressure, the ammount of vacuüm in the throttlebodies) might give a better signal than the TPS (Throttle position sensor) signal I fitted the vacuum to the map sensor on the KdFI:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    But before I was at the end of the street I decided to turn it back to Alpha-N (TPS based). It was like I was riding a bucking horse, the differences in vacuum were too big to give a reliable MAP signal.

    Underwhile I also fitted a different Oil temperature sensor and fitted a heat shield:
    [​IMG]
    The previous one didn't really give a reliable signal...

    Next up, trouble in paradise...
    #1
  2. Thoran

    Thoran Adventurer

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    Holy crap, i screwed up posting the images. Off to fix that first before the next part of my electronically injected epic.
    #2
  3. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Nice! :lurk
    #3
  4. Thoran

    Thoran Adventurer

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    Time to continue. When I left off I had just mounted the new, more accurate CLT sensor and had been riding around a lot to make logs and design a new mapping.

    This all in anticipation of going on a weekend holiday in Luxembourg with the student motorcycle club. A trip of 1000 to 1500km.
    I even bought some new tires:
    [​IMG]
    (Mitas E08).

    The only problem I still had was my fuel lines were still overheating and causing vaporlock.
    Trying to find out if this problem persisted on the highway I decided to first visit my grandma and after that my girlfriend (Both stints of about 60km) I got to my grandma quite okay, and with a fuel consumption of 1 litre per 15km I was quite pleased.
    After tweaking the mapping a little bit I decided to continue to my girlfriend.
    About 30km into the trip disaster struck, I had just decided to wait for a bit of open freeway to check the top speed of my bike when I heard/felt a CLUNCK! With a lot of luck I was just near a rest stop, so I pulled the clutch and let the bike roll to a parking spot.

    Removed the usual stuff:
    [​IMG]

    And went to look inside the valves:
    [​IMG]
    Not very visible in this picture, but I was able to fit the 10mm hex key extension between the left tumbler and the top of the valve.

    That was nothing that was easibly fixable, so on the ride home was on the back of a truck:
    [​IMG]


    And now I'm going back outside to continue tuning my motorcycle. Next up: gore...

    Any comments, remarks or questions are welcome offcourse.
    #4
  5. Ladder106

    Ladder106 It's a short cut, really

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    With the bucking you describe in your first rides, I wonder if the cam chain did not jump a tooth or two.

    Sorry to see that simple mechanical problems have slowed development, but please keep us posted on your progress.
    #5
  6. Thoran

    Thoran Adventurer

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    The bucking was because of the Fuel map that had to be built from scratch, and after that because the difference in (air)pressure inside the inlet rubbers differed a lot per stroke of the engine. I know for certain that it wasn't the cam chain that jumped a tooth or two, because I checked (more on that in my next picture post)

    Thanks a lot. At the moment my biggest "mechanical" problem lies in the fact that my fuel pump overheats and creates vaporlock. But I'm hunting down a few solutions for that aswell.
    #6
  7. wundis

    wundis Adventurer

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    I must admit this is much more interesting than reading Harry Potter books. And nicely illustrated too. Keep it up and best of luck with the mechanical issues.
    #7
  8. robmoto

    robmoto Long timer

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    Too technical for me , I will leave it all up to you [​IMG]
    #8
  9. mait

    mait Been here awhile

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    Its good to see other people spending ridiculous amounts of money and time on those old beasts. Makes me feel somewhat better doing it myself.

    Very interesting to read, please keep it coming. (Though I would never attempt it myself)
    #9
  10. Ladder106

    Ladder106 It's a short cut, really

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    I think Throan has plans to market it as a "kit" when all the R&D is finished.

    ......or it that just wishing?
    #10
  11. Thoran

    Thoran Adventurer

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    If I were to put together a kit it would probably very pricy (~$1000-1500), and finding the components is not what's the difficult part, putting everything in the right place is.
    #11
  12. Jacl-Kampuchea

    Jacl-Kampuchea Booze Merchant

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    Are you the same guy who had another thread on doing this a year or two back?

    IIRC that guy went back to carb's after a short while.
    #12
  13. MrPopples

    MrPopples Been here awhile

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    great project :)

    thanks for sharing! :freaky
    #13
  14. Thoran

    Thoran Adventurer

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    Like the great poet Shaggy once said: "Wasn't me" ;)
    #14
  15. Thoran

    Thoran Adventurer

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    Alright, time to continue the story.

    So the "wegenwacht" (I guess it's called AAA in the US) was nice enough to arrange for a truck to take the bike and me home.
    This all was around the end of april.

    Offcourse I was quite pissed off that I couldn't take the BIG to Luxembourg, but luckily my dad lended his Honda Transalp, so I could still go.

    And while I was gathering courage a friend (the guy with the GT750) told me I could lend his endoscope to view the intake.

    As soon as I removed the air filters I found the first bit of evidence...
    [​IMG]
    The top of a valve guide and a lot of other debris:
    [​IMG]

    Well on to the next bit, I removed the throttlebodies and this greeted me:
    [​IMG]
    Yes, that's a valve
    [​IMG]
    Or at least, half an exhaust valve...

    I had hoped that it was something simple why the valve wouldn't close anymore, something that would be fixed without too much hassle or costs, but as soon as I found this I knew the repair would be costly.

    Time to put the bike onto the bridge:
    [​IMG]

    The magnetic oil plug was a witness of what kind of destruction took place inside the engine:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    After removing the engine from the frame I decided I wanted to check the spark plug to see if the engine was maybe running too lean, overheated and broke down because of that.
    After a lot of convincing I got the spark plug out.
    [​IMG]
    Or well, most of it.

    Time to crack open the engine and survey the damage.
    I guess I'll let the picture do the talking:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    At least the cylinder still looks quite okay:
    [​IMG]
    I think it'll be good to go after a little honing.

    As you could see both exhaust valves are missing. Half of one I found in the inlet port, the other 1,5 had been hiding in the exhaust:
    [​IMG]

    And this is the ammount of rubble that was still stuck in the actual exhaust (muffler?):
    [​IMG]

    Luckily I could buy an other engine thanks to the dutch DR BIG club:
    [​IMG]

    So I mounted that one:
    [​IMG]

    And made some adjustments, I replaced the fuel pump bracket to have some more room between the fuel pump and the air filters and hopefully not have vapor lock that easily. Moved the oil temperature sensor from the head (after the radiator) to the foot of the engine (before the radiator), so I can hopefully get a more accurate reading of the temperatures in my engine.

    Too bad the vaporlock problem still exists, to next up is to remount the heat shield between the throttlebodies and engine, and make a new heat shield for the fuel pump. And for good measure I will also try to insulate my fuel hoses.

    Also the mapping I had for the previous engine doesn't really work with this engine, so I will need to make an entirely new map for this one.
    #15
  16. Thoran

    Thoran Adventurer

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    #16
  17. freetors

    freetors Long timer

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    So let me get this straight, you are using the the hayabusa fuel pump externally? Most modern fuel pumps are designed to be submerged in fuel so they run cooler. When they start heating up the tight tolerance parts inside can seize up and stop pumping fuel. Maybe this is related to your problem.
    #17
  18. Thoran

    Thoran Adventurer

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    The 2000 hayabusa has an external fuel pump, that's the one I'm using.
    I could fix all my problems by using an in-tank pump, but there's no room in my fuel tank without some serious cutting/modifying of the tank.
    #18
  19. freetors

    freetors Long timer

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    Ok I got ya. I was unaware that the earlier Busas had external pumps.
    #19
  20. Thoran

    Thoran Adventurer

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    Only the first type has an external pump. After that they changed into an in-tank pump, because the previous one had quite some vaporlock problems... :bluduh
    #20