Author Topic: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??  (Read 701 times)

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Offline Warwgn

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coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« on: September 24, 2018, 02:34:59 pm »
So have a problem with the connie, about 2500 miles ago I noticed my mileage has started to drop about 2 mpg, then about 1500 miles ago it dropped another 2 all the way down to about 34 mpg. So did an oil and filter and it went back up to 37 then 38 for the next 2 tanks but then back down to 34 by the 3rd tank. Then noticed it running very rough one morning like it had a miss and some weird clunking like the front end was loose.

I found the clunking, on the right side the top bolt for the engine to frame had backed out and just sitting there against the fairing. Right I though maybe I was losing ground because of that, I was at work so just shoed it back in for the ride home and sure enough the bike ran fine no miss. Got home and forgot about till the next day while riding to work and the miss was back, but about half way to work it straightened itself out and was running fine again, so yep has to be the bolt and a ground issue. Get off work and still running good but soon at I get home I set about resolving the bolt issue. Next day with a tight bolt runs great to work but on the way home the miss is back?? It stumbled and lurched and was all better after about 5 miles of riding. I got it home and pulled the plugs and cleaned them and found #2 was fouled the next  couple days it rode fine and I put in an order for plugs and stuff to do the valve adjust.

Got the valves done and all the exhaust were out of spec and #2 intake were out a little. All that done and wow the bike was running great! Well it was still not getting good mileage, only 36 for the tank after the valve adjust. Then the next tank was down to 34 and yesterday while going to the gas station it had the miss back, I put seafoam in with the fill up and rode home about 8 miles with the miss still there, and then this morning on the way to work for about the first 15 miles it had the miss then straightened out on it's own again?? It seems to take quite a bit of warming up then the buzzy stumbly miss will go away power will increase at higher RPMs but at lower it still feels weak.

Have not cleaned the air filter so I am sure that is a contributor and will do that, but I am starting to think this is not a carb issue at all which is what I first suspected (bike has 78,200 miles) I think if I pull the plugs I will find #2 fouled again, I did notice the plug wire did not seem as firm of a grip on the plug as #1 and #4. You know how you can kind of feel them click as they slide on the plug, well #2 and #3 don't seem to click so I suspect that may be my problem. Maybe as the bike gets hot enough the plug wires swell and make better contact?? I am broke till Thursday but will order new wires and boots from Murph then and see if that solves the problem. Also gonna look around in my shed and see if I have a set of motorcycle boots and pull the resistor out of on of those and see if it has a better clip on it.

Any thoughts or predictions on this strange problem?

Offline Boomer

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 05:22:14 pm »
Hopefully it's the boots or wires, but your symptoms can also be a coil misbehaving.
Make sure the connectors to the low voltage side of the coils are solidly attached.
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Offline Brooke_Benfield_OR

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2018, 06:24:05 pm »
sounds like your petcock is leaking fuel into cylinder #2.

If I'm right, you need to rebuild your petcock ASAP.
Brooke Benfield  2013 FJR1300  COG #2185

Offline Warwgn

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 06:56:44 pm »
How would the petcock leak into a cylinder? Or do you mean the #2 carb float needle is leaking? I may not understand how this system works, correct me if I am wrong but the petcock is vacuum operated so normally it is closed unless the bike is running. If that fails and stays open fuel would leak down to all four carbs and stop at the float needle, but if the needle starts to leak then it would flood the bowl and start going into the cylinder and other places as well.

I could be wrong or not understanding what your saying, either case I will look into it.

Offline JPD

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 06:59:54 pm »
The petcock can not leak into just one cylinder. It supplies fuel to all of the carbs. Is the plug fouled with oil or fuel? Look in to older posts and they will first try to unscrew the plug boot and cut off about 1/4 " of wire and reattach the boot. They can corrode at that point and make a bad connection. Each coil fires two plugs, 1 & 4 and 2&3. So a bad coil should affect 2 cylinders.

Offline WillyP

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 07:28:38 pm »
Don't be convinced that it's only one thing. As time and mileage rack up carbs and ignition both deterioate, as well as grounding issues, weak battery, etc. So you fix one thing, it seems to run better, but other things now become the weak link in the chain.

However a good tuneup and carb cleaning might correct all your problems, if it hasn't been done in a while. If not, then you've eliminated all the tuneup items as the culprit... though you can never rule out defective parts even if they are new, until you test them.
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Offline Cal

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 08:04:44 pm »
"How would the petcock leak into a cylinder?"

the vacuum hose comes off the #2 intake to the back of the petcock.  that is vacuum side - so if there was a pin hole through the Petcock diaphragm (happened to me a few times) then fuel can get sucked into intake #2 and the plug can end up feeling like it is running rich - and the bike will run rough (had it happen a few times; BTDT!)

usually a gassy smell as the same fuel can weep out the weep hole of the Petcock.  but also usually runs rough all the time in this case.

Cal

Offline Warwgn

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2018, 08:12:29 pm »
wish I could post a pic, but sure enough there was a small amount of fuel leaked out on the black part of the fairing right under the petcock when I came out to go home. I think that might be a damn good suspect because yes the plug if fouled with fuel not oil. and makes sense that when it is cold the fuel could leak more then as it heats up sorta seal off but not all the way.

Gonna order a kit to rebuild it, but get new plug wires and boots too anyway, that and clean the air filter and all tune up is done.

Thanks for the insight on the vacum port being off #2, now that makes perfect sense what is happening and exactly matches my symptoms.

Offline Warwgn

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2018, 08:30:40 pm »
order placed to Murphs Kits, hope this solves it.

Offline Bud

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2018, 08:42:25 pm »
Make sure you stretch the spring before you install it in the petcock.  There have been mixed results with rebuilding petcocks.  I also wonder if it would be a good thing to polish the port where it seals.

Offline DC Concours

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2018, 09:17:33 pm »
How well have you maintained the bike all those 80K miles?

Do a general tune up, plugs, valves, air filter, etc. Try do all the simple top wire ignition related electrical rejuvenation too.

Then, if still a problem send in the carbs for an overhaul. It's probably overdue. Your bike is past it's middle age. It's got some arthritis and clogged arteries.

I think it is your carbs not the petcock (check petcock anyway by pulling a vacuum on it).

Offline Warwgn

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2018, 10:34:34 pm »
it has been maintained very well, I got it last Jan with only 34,000 on it so did valve adjust and full tune up minus wires. changed oil about every 5-6 thousand miles and it does not sit at all, I ride purdy much every day. Just took it  from MS to nova scotia and around the great lakes over the summer and it ran flawless. I do plan to throw a little cash at it and get it back up to snuff, maybe over xmas break rebuild the carbs, unless I have to do it sooner.

Offline DC Concours

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2018, 11:19:14 pm »
you put ~45k miles so fast!!! wow I wish I could ride more.

Offline esmoojee

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2018, 12:37:14 am »
I’d check your float levels and float needles. I’d venture to guess it’s a carb issue.

Offline JPD

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2018, 02:13:00 am »
I stand corrected. The petcock can leak into just the #2 cylinder from the vacuum line. It will usualy cause the one cylinder to run rich at idle but may run ok at higher rpm. The bike can handle the extra fuel at higher rpm. It may be the source of low mpg. If the tank sits for a longer time the leak at the petcock will use more gas but you might not notice the small leak as fluid dripping. The petcock has a small vent in one of the sides look for any sign of gas at the vent

Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2018, 09:18:20 pm »
Have you ever had your carbs serviced and re-jetted and overflow tubes installed? Sounds like the answer is no because your mileage was never that good to begin with so I assume you are stock and you have not had your carbs correctly done.
Just the fact that you have carbs means they need and require periodic servicing and if you do not have over flow tubes  then you are currently at risk of hydro-locking your engine.
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Offline Warwgn

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2018, 08:08:20 pm »
Have you ever had your carbs serviced and re-jetted and overflow tubes installed? Sounds like the answer is no because your mileage was never that good to begin with so I assume you are stock and you have not had your carbs correctly done.
Just the fact that you have carbs means they need and require periodic servicing and if you do not have over flow tubes  then you are currently at risk of hydro-locking your engine.

I think my mileage was purdy good, I average 42 mpg riding 80 and 85 MPH most of the time, when I drop to 65 and below I can get about 50 to 51 MPG. But to your point no have never re-jetted or messed with the carbs to this point because I was getting good mileage and great performance.

So a few days ago I turned the petcock valve just a little and rode to work and the bike was running great no issues at all on the way to work or home even in a serious downpour of rain. Well my boots got wet inside and the tank was now close to empty so took the truck 2 days in a row and the rebuild kit for the petcock arrived yesterday.

I rebuilt the valve and it seems to work perfect, no gas in the on position or res, but put it to PRI and it gushes out. Also used my brake bleeder to put a vacuum on it while on the bench and it works as it should so put the bike back together. Rode to work today and it runs like s*** again, I think it is only running on 3 cylinders, so I can rule out valve adjustment, spark plugs, and petcock leak. Boots and plug wires are ordered and on the way so will try those next and see what I get. I think that may solve it since the same coil runs cylinder 2 and 4 it would seem they would both have issues if the coil was bad so I am thinking it has to be the plug wire. If it was a carb issue it would stay bad all the time not be good sometime and bad others.

Anyway about to ride home and see how it acts now, if when the plug wires come in that does not fix it then I will pull the carbs and rebuild them early.

Offline Cal

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2018, 02:25:31 pm »
cylinders 1 and 4 are on the left coil.  2 and 3 are on the right coil.

check that all plug connections are remaining fully pushed down on the plugs when the rough running occurs.  I did have a plug ceramic crack and the resulting pressure from the cylinder would eventually push the plug connection from a fully seated position.

new plug was the answer - and I always carry at least one spare for that reason.

Cal

Offline Warwgn

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2018, 06:16:51 pm »
yep that is correct, meant to say 2&3, I am sitting here waiting for wires to be delivered but sure enough #2 was fouled again and when I checked the plug wire it was worn so that it was not really gripping the plug. I pulled the cap and resistor out and pushed the cap on and old plug a few time and it finally went all the way on. Still gonna put the new ones on but purdy sure that was my biggest issue, not positive but it was not good anyway. Everything else seems to ohm out in spec so think I might be ok, only thing that will not have been check is air gap at pick up coil, but if I still have issues after new wires and boots then I will check that.

Hope this will fix me up and its not something else.

Offline Warwgn

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2018, 08:09:15 pm »
all done, and once again is seems fine, I pulled and cleanex and regapped all the plugs before changing boots and wires. Started it up and runs smooth as glass, will take it for a ride later and how it feels but dont expect to know if it is fixed untill I run this tank of gas through it so should know by Wednesday.

Offline roadisattva

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2018, 10:13:56 pm »
The procedure for the bad plug wire would best be to cut just a bit off the end and firmly screw, not just push, on the plug connector to get a rejuvenated plug connection.  I have seen it mentioned often here.
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2018, 11:10:11 pm »
The procedure for the bad plug wire would best be to cut just a bit off the end and firmly screw, not just push, on the plug connector to get a rejuvenated plug connection.  I have seen it mentioned often here.

I agree, as I've been saying this for 14 years regarding the wires.. new is nice, but in reality, the FREE fix is to unscrew the plug caps, inspect the core of the wires, trim off 1/2" - 3/4", snd slice the insulation on the piece you removed to see if you actually got to 'clean wire core' (not green corroded core), if not, chop back a bit more, there is plenty of slack....
Also inspecting the opposite ends of those wires, where they are attached to the coils by a 'gland nut and ferrule', and if all is well, re install..
or, you can get a set of 7mm Yellow Silicone ACCEL automotive wires (around $25), and cut sections to use, you can cut/get about 3 sets out of one box if you choose a big V-8 set, even more...
Just make sure to retain the white ferrule, and knurled 'nut' from the coil ends on the old wires, and also, spray some WD-40 inside the 'old wire's' protective plastic sleeve, and pull that off, and slide that onto each new wire, as they have the numbers on them...
then, as noted, insert the cleanly cut off end into the plug cap, and push hard while threading the cap, as the inner 'pin' actually will thread up into the wires core about a half inch during the installation..

the trim and reinstall is free, the wire sets cost money, but the wire only costs less.. and that's the part the corrodes.

oh, never be tempted to attempt to use 'Carbon core' wires... won't work... always use 'tinned solid stranded core' wires.

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Offline DC Concours

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2018, 12:44:51 am »
MOB. Never having done this, how do you disconnect the cap from the wire and how is the wire held in the cap? Is it crimped?


« Last Edit: October 04, 2018, 10:57:20 am by DC Concours »

Offline Bud

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2018, 10:00:34 am »
Quote
the FREE fix is to unscrew the plug

To remove the cap, hold the wire and twist the cap off in a counter clockwise direction.  There is a stud inside the cap with what looks like wood screw threads.  To reinstall, you push the stud into the center of the wire and then twist clockwise to thread the stud inside the wire.  No crimps.  HTH

Offline DC Concours

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Re: coil, wires, ignition, WTF??
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2018, 10:58:32 am »
Thanks. That is easy enough. I'll look at that at next valve adjustment.