Date: 18-11-17  Time: 14:03 PM

Author Topic: Well, it's never done that before...  (Read 3856 times)

Fazerider

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Well, it's never done that before...
« on: 29 September 2012, 02:36:31 AM »
Let me down, that is.
I hit a bump on the A316 late this evening on my way home from work and instantly, there's no power. Coast to a halt 80 yards from the top of a flyover with three lanes of traffic ignoring the 50 mph limit. Shit. Can't stay here. :eek
Shove the dead weight to the top and then get back on and freewheel down the other side and across the on-ramp. Park in bus stop with sweat pouring off me.
Engine still not interested, though the starter motor is doing it's best.
Dig out toolkit, shove screwdriver in a plug cap, hold it a few millimetres from the cam cover and spin the motor again. Completely sparkless. This bike is going nowhere under it's own power tonight.
Still, can't complain. 14 years, 146 thousand miles and this is the first time it's stranded me with anything other than a puncture.


Call AA. " No, I'm not a member"
Can hear spotty git at the other end of the line salivating as he estimates the commission he'll earn. Joining at the roadside and requiring a 30 mile recovery... and it's now nearly midnight... he starts totting up and I hang up as the figure heads north of £250.
Ring Green Flag instead. Helpful friendly lady comes up with a more sensible figure and says "You could just talk direct to the recovery firm we use in that area"... and gives me the number. :rollin
So, thank you Green Flag, you've earned some affection (but no money). Thank you, Revolution Motorcycles of Southall, £120 is about what a taxi would have cost at that time of night. :)


It's a working weekend for me, so I can't investigate the bike until Monday. Pretty sure it's not a connector as I've recently tightened them and sprayed with WD40 in preparation for winter. I'm guessing pick-up failure, with the CDI as an each-way bet.
« Last Edit: 29 September 2012, 08:27:16 AM by Fazerider »

red98

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #1 on: 29 September 2012, 07:19:57 AM »
hi fazerider..............................thats a bummer but got home in the end :rolleyes .....might be worth checking those connections again after going over that bump  ;)  let us know how you get on  :)
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Fazerider

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #2 on: 29 September 2012, 08:50:36 AM »
hi fazerider..............................thats a bummer but got home in the end :rolleyes .....might be worth checking those connections again after going over that bump  ;)  let us know how you get on  :)

Thanks, Red.
For months I'd thought there was an occasional misfire when the bike hit bumps, that was part of the reason I'd gone over the connections a few weeks ago. Balancing the carbs at the same time made the bike so much smoother I thought that had cleared the problem. It's definitely electrical, but I'm pretty sure the cause is elsewhere... and I spent a fair time checking nothing had come loose under the streetlights last night before admitting defeat and calling for rescue.

Tried to kill some time while waiting for the van to arrive by taking some arty-farty pics, but only managed two snaps before the battery in the camera died. :lol

marksfazer

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #3 on: 29 September 2012, 10:07:10 AM »
Is 146K all on the fazer?? :eek


red98

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #4 on: 29 September 2012, 01:06:41 PM »
look on the bright side matey ;) .....not much traffic  :rollin :rollin :rollin :rollin :rollin :rollin
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Fazerider

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #5 on: 29 September 2012, 02:06:04 PM »
Is 146K all on the fazer?? :eek
Yep, that's all.  :lol


look on the bright side matey ;) .....not much traffic  :rollin :rollin :rollin :rollin :rollin :rollin
It was quiet an hour later. :z
But that pic is a long exposure... cars were passing at the rate of about one a second, they're blurred to nothing at 70 mph so all you can see is empty road with streaks from the tail-lights. ;)

Andy FZS

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #6 on: 30 September 2012, 10:28:02 PM »
My car cover is with Green Flag and if I want to add the bike I think it was about £21 so not too bad.
Andy

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #7 on: 30 September 2012, 10:34:00 PM »
good pic, its good how ya got your phone to stay still long enough to take the exposure  :lol

Fazerider

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #8 on: 01 October 2012, 07:08:22 PM »
My car cover is with Green Flag and if I want to add the bike I think it was about £21 so not too bad.
Andy
Thanks Andy, I might look into that.
Chatting to the chap from Revolution Motorcycles on the way home, he told me they get paid feck all by these companies. The AA were particularly bad at just £38 for a call-out which includes 10 miles of onward travel... as he said, 10 miles can take two hours in London traffic and use a fair bit of diesel doing so. By the time they add up other costs it barely makes it worth their while. I will probably stick to my current arrangement of no cover at all and make a note of a few local firms on my usual route (most of my mileage is commuting). That way I'll end up paying less, assuming I don't break down very often, and when I do have to call someone out at least they'll get a decent amount of money for their efforts.

Fazerider

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #9 on: 01 October 2012, 07:14:59 PM »
good pic, its good how ya got your phone to stay still long enough to take the exposure  :lol
My phone is so primitive it can't take pictures. It can barely make phone calls. :D
I used my little Panasonic TZ3 camera which has image stabilisation. Even so, I couldn't have hand-held that shot as it was a 1 second exposure. I held the camera against the wall to keep it still enough. ;)

unfazed

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #10 on: 01 October 2012, 07:45:40 PM »
Most definitely electrical.
The pick up would be highly unsual but not beyonds the bounds of posability
Did you check the all the fuses including the backup one and all the connection under the tank?
 

His Dudeness

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #11 on: 01 October 2012, 09:49:23 PM »
if the starter is turning that would rule out fuses and cut off switches wouldn't it? maybe the check ignitor unit. its in where the spare tools are kept

unfazed

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #12 on: 01 October 2012, 10:35:42 PM »
Not necessarily as some of the cutouts have bypasses. eg neutral switch  bypasses the side stand switch, and clutch switch bypasses neutral switch. etc.
Forgot to mention the Cam cover is insulated from the engine with rupper gasket and rubber seals on the cam cover bolts so there would be no spark there.
The fact is stopped dead is definitely electrical. It could even be a dogy ignition switch as it has 8 connectors within and at 146k it would be well worn. One contact of the ignition switch powers the speedo via the backup fuse which in turn connects to the speed sensor which has a connection to the pick up coil and TPS

unfazed

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #13 on: 01 October 2012, 10:37:52 PM »
Rubber gasket obviously not what I wrote, to much distraction here with one playing a guitar and the other a violin
 

Fazerider

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #14 on: 02 October 2012, 09:02:55 AM »

Diagnosis so far:
All fuses are intact, that much I was able to check at the roadside.
"Unfazed": good point about the cam cover being isolated, but more by luck than judgement I'd been checking the spark against a cylinder fin.


The pick-up coil resistance is a healthy 200Ω and produces a measurable a.c. voltage as the starter spins the engine. So it's not that. And the signal appears on the actual connector for the CDI unit, so it's not getting lost on the way there.


The ignition coils themselves are OK, as is connectivity of the 'cold' end of the coil primaries to the CDI... there are no sparks to any cylinder so it's got to be something common to both sides anyway.
The ignition switch is certainly getting a bit iffy, at least mechanically, but all contacts are working, the speedometer faithfully registered the decline to zero mph :rollin  and both coils have 12v present, so it's not the kill-switch or a wiring problem in the supply side.


All the sidestand/neutral/clutch interlock stuff looks OK, and would I think, as His Dudeness suggested, have prevented the starter from being used if the fault lay there anyway. As would a missing supply or ground to the CDI unit.


Why do they make wiring diagrams so difficult to follow? :'(
I spend my working life fixing televisions, switch-mode power supplies and bits of broadcast equipment which have circuit diagrams that cover a hundred A3 pages, yet still find it a struggle to understand a handful of switches and relays when they're represented like this. :wall

unfazed

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #15 on: 02 October 2012, 10:18:41 AM »
Fazerrider,
Have to agree with you on the diagram issue. I to have spent years reading electrical diagrams in the telecommunications and IT industry and have to reset my brain when reading motorcycle wiring diagrams.
One of the best places to start is disconnect all the connectors in the box under the tank spray them with WD40 and reconnect them. This is the first thing I do when I get a fazer with electricl issues, it has solved 7 out of 10 of the problems .I have seen cases of broken earths causing strange problems and it is a likely case.
Since you are familiar with electrics remove the Orange and Grey wires from the coils and with the iginition on (and kill switch on) and spark plug earthed against the engine tap the wires off an earth and the plug/plugs should spark. Thay rules out the coils. The only thing common after that is the CDI.
It may be a CDI issues as His Dudeness suggested as it is common to all, but why a bump should cause it is strange as it is mounted on plastic and rubber. I have never heard of one fail, but there is always a first time.
As far as I remember the 02-03 one is a different part number to the 98-99 one, but there are available on ebay.
 

Fazerider

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #16 on: 02 October 2012, 02:50:10 PM »

It was all pointing towards a duff CDI, though I too had doubts about that since it's encapsulated and the amount of vibration required to cause it to fail would have shaken the entire bike to bits long before that.
The only wire I'd not checked going to the unit was the thinner black one. According to the diagram this goes to the ignition switch, light switch and the optional alarm. I'd already checked the link plug at the back end of the harness was OK, but then twigged that if it needs a link plug if the alarm isn't fitted, it must also be an immobiliser... so that black wire must be able to inhibit the sparks. Lifting up the harness I found a second link plug underneath with one of the two black wires going to it completely severed where it had been chafing against the edge of the plastic tray where the CDI unit lives.





Chopped the whole connector off, soldered the two wires together and then insulated it with heatshrink and silicone. Pressed the starter button and, once my hearing had recovered from the immense bang as the vapour accumulated in the exhaust detonated, I could hear the engine running. :woot


So, thanks all for your suggestions. It's a great relief to be back on two wheels. :)


red98

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #17 on: 02 October 2012, 03:11:30 PM »
well done fazerider :) ..brum,brum
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His Dudeness

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #18 on: 02 October 2012, 04:39:23 PM »
nice one ;) . when i said check the ignitor unit i just meant the connection to it. i don't think there's any way to actually test the unit itself.

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #19 on: 02 October 2012, 05:27:30 PM »
Awesome!


Reminds me of the time I broke down on the A2 near Bexleyheath on the way back from work one afternoon, the bike started cutting out, the rev counter was bouncing up and down and the bike eventually stopped.


Fuck....


Had a look round the rev/speedo pick up wiring loom, found a connector that had melted.


Solution: found a DIY shop still open, bought a 10 amp connector block and a screwdriver, set about the connector and re-wired it at the side of the road.


Started first time and the connector block lived under the carbs till I sold it  :D :D :D

unfazed

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #20 on: 02 October 2012, 05:53:25 PM »
Glad to hear it is sorted easily.
Happy riding
 

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Re: Well, it's never done that before...
« Reply #21 on: 02 October 2012, 08:51:35 PM »
Happy days  :thumbup . Always good to hear a good news story.
Should be right till at least 200k now.