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  #1  
Old 3rd September 2007
Moved On / My Own Choice Moved On / My Own Choice is offline
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Default TROUBLESHOOTING an EFI Sporty

3 hours on the side of the NJ Tpke this weekend reminded me of some things.

Some people are going to use a cell phone when it won't start. That's cool, no worries. But many of us like to tinker, and TRY to prepare for trouble. Honestly, when I travel (more than a day trip) I now always carry a little pocket DVOM and a couple of extra basic tools so I can fix stuff if need be.

Funny thing is, in the past 2 years or so, the two times I've been on the side of the road with an EFI bike it was for components that ARE ALSO ON NON-EFI bikes and the roadside fixes were EASY once I figured it out.

The problem is we (and that includes me) too often jump to conclusions.

Always remember, and never forget, the BASICS when troubleshooting.


1. Be logical - don't shot gun it. Check for Compression, Spark and Fuel and don't leave ANY of those steps to ASSumptions, cause ASSumptions can be wrong.

For instance, this weeked we all ASSumed it was spark only when we found a lack of spark. But HAD we bothered to check for fuel (you can literally feel the fuel injectors while cranking to see if they are actuating, or you can pull a spark plug and smell for it when cranking or right after cranking) then we would have narrowed it down to 2 components RIGHT AWAY. Instead, we shotgunned it and it took 3 hours instead of maybe 10 minutes.

2. Check the SIMPLE things first. We were smart and replaced the crankshaft position sensor right away, that was an easy thing to check when Dan just happens to carry brand new spare with him. We got dumb after that and replaced the coil (no Dan didn't have a spare, but we had a part's bike right? I mean Jenn was riding a new 07 so we figured the parts had to be pretty good.).

3. If you're going on a trip and you've futzed with your bike, it's really a good idea to AT LEAST bring a wiring diagram. Cause if we'd had the diagram we would have figured it out a LOT quicker, I'm SURE of it.

Ya see, we replaced the CPS, we swapped in the ignition coil from Jenn's bike, we saw the battery dropping below 10 volts when cranking (Yes, I had a DVOM with me), so we swapped in the battery from my bike (at this point you gotta realize we had 3 dead bikes on the side of the road cause 2 were missing pieces). And at that point all we could think of was ECU...

we decided to talk about the circuit one more time (no diagram, so we were going on memory and the basics of how these things USUALLY work).

Battery cranks the starter, CPS gives a signal to the ECU telling it when to unground the coil, causing the field to collapse and inducing high voltage in the secondary circuit. But from where does the power come? I asked Dan, "is it from the ECU or ???" that's when the lights came on. It's from a RELAY he said.

Pop off the side cover, pull a relay.

TROUBLESHOOTING EFI TIP 101 - If you ever suspect a relay problem and your machine has more than one, swap em around and see if the trouble moves.

BIG TIME TIP

EFI Sportys have 2 relays (four-pin mini relays) ONE for the starter and ONE for the EFI system (controls power to the ECU and other components, so no relay no SPARK AND NO FUEL EITHER).

Honestly, after this weekend, ANOTHER BIG TIME TIP - IF YOU HAVE AN EFI SPORTY BUY AN EXTRA RELAY. You MIGHT not ever need it, but if you do, that $15 insurance policy will be worth it's weight in GOLD!!!!

And if you want the whole story of what led to thinking about these tips, go here

http://xlforum.net/forums/s...364#post873364
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  #2  
Old 3rd September 2007
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Suck, Squeze, Bang, Blow, Suck, Squeze, Bang, Blow ..... and all at the right time.

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  #3  
Old 3rd September 2007
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Your tips apply to Ironheads as well. I was having starter problems. Click click click... No whir whir vrooommmm...

Sounded like the solenoid was kicking in but not getting anything to the starter. So I pulled the battery, battery box, rear exhaust, oil tank and got the the solenoid. Pulled it out, took it apart, cleaned the contacts, put it back together, re-installed it in the bike (ignoring the rubber boot for the moment), replaced the oil tank, battery box, battery... click click click (damn!).

Okay, so I had this extra solenoid on this '72 I have the top end ripped out of, so I pulled the battery box nd oil tank out of that (all other parts have already been removed) and snag the solenoid out.

Again back to ripping the guts out of my '77 to get to the solenoid, do the swap, replace the guts, and.... click click click (DAMMIT!)

Swap the starter relay with the '72's... click click click (CURSES!)

So, I decide that it HAS to be the starter. At least I saved the hard one for last, right. Remove the battery, battery box and oil tank again and swap the starter with that of the '72. Put everything back together.... click click click.

After pulling my wrench out of the drywall in my basement, I decided that my battery was getting low because of all the testing, so I stuck it on my slow charger and called it a night.

The next morning I went to pull the battery off the charger and noticed it was not yet fully charged, and there was some battery acid leaking out of the caps on top. So deciding that suicide was not yet an option, I would get a new battery and see if that could have been a problem. The '72's battery was junk, couldn't use that. I took the bike out of my basement and hooked up some jumper cables to the bike and my truck, and what'cha know, turned right over.

It was the DAMN battery! Two freakin' days of trouble shooting and hair pulling and it was the freakin' battery.

So yeh, start with the easy stuff first. Stupid.
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  #4  
Old 3rd September 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alleydude View Post
Your tips apply to Ironheads as well. I was having starter problems. Click click click... No whir whir vrooommmm...

<snipped the yeah, been there and done that>

So yeh, start with the easy stuff first. Stupid.
Oh yeah, I feel your pain. I've done that. I imagine most of us mear mortals who work on our stuff have all done it at some point or another.

Hopefully others learn from our mistakes though.

Cause I sure as shyte don't seem to learn from mine sometimes.
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Old 17th March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whittlebeast View Post
Suck, Squeze, Bang, Blow, Suck, Squeze, Bang, Blow ..... and all at the right time.

AW

I dated a chick like that once
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Old 17th March 2009
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I dated a chick like that once
Just ONCE - bummer...
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  #7  
Old 3rd September 2007
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KevM

Great troubleshooting tips. I bet you are a great wrench. Thanks for passing along the knowledge; Not everyone would do that!!!
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Old 3rd September 2007
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Kev:

That's a story right out of my Porsche background. The Porsche EFI uses the same technique to supply power to the fuel pump and the EFI box. I carry a spare relay in the golve box.
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  #9  
Old 3rd September 2007
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Cool he just takes tips.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev M View Post
3 hours on the side of the NJ Tpke this weekend reminded me of some things.



The problem is we (and that includes me) too often jump to conclusions.

Always remember, and never forget, the BASICS when troubleshooting.


1. Be logical - don't shot gun it. Check for Compression, Spark and Fuel and don't leave ANY of those steps to ASSumptions, cause ASSumptions can be wrong.


2. Check the SIMPLE things first.
3. If you're going on a trip and you've futzed with your bike, it's really a good idea to AT LEAST bring a wiring diagram.

we decided to talk about the circuit one more time (no diagram, so we were going on memory and the basics of how these things USUALLY work).



TROUBLESHOOTING EFI TIP 101 - If you ever suspect a relay problem and your machine has more than one, swap em around and see if the trouble moves.

BIG TIME TIP

EFI Sportys have 2 relays (four-pin mini relays) ONE for the starter and ONE for the EFI system (controls power to the ECU and other components, so no relay no SPARK AND NO FUEL EITHER).

Honestly, after this weekend, ANOTHER BIG TIME TIP - IF YOU HAVE AN EFI SPORTY BUY AN EXTRA RELAY.
And if you want the whole story of what led to thinking about these tips, go here

http://xlforum.net/forums/s...364#post873364

ya know Kev.... you're a pretty smart guy.......even if ya do ride a spagetti rocket

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  #10  
Old 4th September 2007
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thanks guys... I get by with a wrench, but I've met too many guys who have forgotten more than I'll ever know to consider myself good.... not that I'm gonna stop trying.

Actually, I was stuck on the side of the road with two decent wrenches... Dan knows his stuff too, and Joe (HawkMech) is good with mechanical, and I betcha he's awesome with hydraulics, but he doesn't like electricity.

He we all have achilles heels.

Anyway, Spaghetti Rocket... lol...

Kev
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