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  #1  
Old 10th January 2015
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Default Crank Position Sensor Testing

Introduction/Basics/Other CKP applications
Many crank position sensors (CKP) are 3 wire hall effect sensors, such as used on a Dyna or my Jeep Wrangler TJ. Middle lead is ground, one outside lead is power and the other is the 0-5 VDC signal.

This type is best checked with an oscilloscope or a quality multimeter which measures root mean square (RMS). It can, however, be tested with a basic multimeter in the low voltage DC range: If functional, if a good ground and if adequate voltage to the power lead, it will produce the following approximate (~) voltages:

While cranking: ~0.5 VDC
At idle: ~0.3 VDC
Static (key on, bumping starter until a close signal is received): 5 VDC

The signal is 0-5 VDC square wave, thus the average voltage read is rather low.

When a vehicle is not starting, this basic test will validate a functional CKP. A failed unit (or poor connections) will not provide a 5 VDC square wave (digital) signal. However, this is not sufficient to test for a failing unit with inconsistent output. An oscilloscope, while cranking or motor running, should show the hiccup of a failing unit.

Sportster CKP
Sportster crank position sensors are 2 wire units, which may be described as variable reluctance sensors or magnetic pulse generators, etc. They do not have as clean a signal as hall effect, but generally more durable (simple coil). As with the hall effect, they are typically rated -40 C to 150 C (300F). It would be interesting to use a temperature gun aimed at the CKP area after a hard ride in hot weather.

For 2004-2006 Sportsters, the red lead is connected to ICM position 8 and the black lead to ICM position 9.

For 2007-2013 Sportsters, the read lead is connected to ECM position 30 and the black lead to ECM position 12.

Output is measured by probing the two connections, while cranking.

Insulation piercing probes may be used, or just probe the ICM or ECM connector at the correct positions. The black and red leads are twisted pairs.

The above is basic info from 2004-2006, 2007-2009 and 2010-2013 schematics.

Following is from research without opportunity to test on a Sportster. Any Forum member with actual voltage reads is invited to provide multimeter readings.

While cranking: ~ 0.3 VAC (note this is a sine wave and requires the AC scale)
At idle: ~ 1 VAC
Static: N/A

When your bike is not starting, this basic test will validate a functional CKP or indicate a failed CKP. A failed unit will not provide a signal. However, this is not sufficient to test for a failing unit with inconsistent output.

Although CKP issues are common, maybe the above info will save some unnecessary replacements.

Last edited by sportsterdoc; 10th January 2015 at 23:37..
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Old 11th January 2015
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the hall effect pickup uses a hall effect transistor which in itself can cause problems. a lot of electronics that switch are actually looking for thresh-hold points on the wave and not the actual peak voltage. that being said, a poorly formed wave can not get a correct rise or falling point. the scope is the best way to see this and they actually have nice hand helds at a fair price. just like it inductive cousin, debris on the sensor tip can cause magnetic field distortion and problems. also of point is if the supply voltage is not within spec, problems will occur. in electronics, always check power first for correct value and any induce wave form riding on it for example wire running next to a plug wire.
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Old 11th January 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustert View Post
the hall effect pickup uses a hall effect transistor which in itself can cause problems...
Yep, that transistor helps with a clean signal and it's failing is probably the reason for many Hall effect sensor issues...and the reason why the two wire sensors are usually more reliable.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustert View Post
...just like it inductive cousin, debris on the sensor tip can cause magnetic field distortion and problems...
The early new Triumph Bonnevilles went to EFI two years after Sportsters and had a moderately high incidence of CKP issues. Those issues were almost vanquished when the spacing to the reluctor was reduced from 1 mm to 0.8 mm.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustert View Post
...if the supply voltage is not within spec, problems will occur. in electronics, always check power first for correct value and any induce wave form riding on it for example wire running next to a plug wire.
Yes, thanks for the backup on that, hence my comments in post one:

"This type is best checked with an oscilloscope or a quality multimeter which measures root mean square (RMS). It can, however, be tested with a basic multimeter in the low voltage DC range: If functional, if a good ground and if adequate voltage to the power lead, it will produce the following approximate (~) voltages..."

Thus poor connections or a failing battery can cause real problems.
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Old 12th January 2015
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaTEPhB1_C8
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Interesting, but generic
Looking for actual values on a Sportster
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Old 13th January 2015
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on the inductive pickup, the min voltage at crank speed should be 1 volt ac, it changes value as engine speed increases. I haven't gotten into hd inj. models but typically, the circuits use a voltage to frequency generator and from this, the ecm calculates rpm. some count pulses which translate to frequency and from this the ecm calculates rpm.
on the hall sensor, a lot of meters can not read it as the meter averages the wave form. really, +5 and -5 equal zero. a rms meter will do better but a scope even better or a peak meter. the input is +5 volts dc or older 12 volts dc and that is what should be showing near abouts on the scope. as I said before, peak voltage is not of concern.
the ecm triggers the plug/injector on the rising edge of the wave form which is when the tooth is leaving the c/l (away from)of the magnetic field. this means the trigger point is dependant upon the type of semi-conductor used. I do not know the hd setup. the trigger point is really not important since the trigger is on a rising from zero on the wave. the threshold is the point which the semi-conductor turns or switches. if we know the type of transistor/logic is used, we can find the voltage at which it triggers.
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Old 13th January 2015
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The ICM / ECM looks for the peak on the sine wave, which I understand to be only 0.3 volt AC while cranking, 1 volt AC at idle with voltage rising with RPMs, but I do not know how much. I am hoping that actual Sportster voltage readings will be posted when someone gets curious enough to check out...then we will have numbers for future comparison.

For 2004-2006 Sportsters, the red lead is connected to ICM position 8 and the black lead to ICM position 9.

For 2007-2013 Sportsters, the read lead is connected to ECM position 30 and the black lead to ECM position 12.

No clue on the 2014 up bikes with the CAN bus communications.

Last edited by sportsterdoc; 13th January 2015 at 16:38..
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are we talking inductive or hall??? the hall is not ac but a pulsing dc which is a big diff. the peak voltage is totally in-material to the ecm. I am going out on a limb because I do not know the hd setup so I will post later possible values.
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