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 bike died and won't start

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bjorn78




PostSubject: bike died and won't start   Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:20 pm


Hi everybody,

Been lurking this site and the monster thread at adv for quite some time, lots of good info :)

I bought a European 08-WRX July last year (I live in Stockholm, Sweden), a 0 mile leftover at the dealer at a good price.
Got my license in end of September and have put around 500 miles on it since then, had the first service 60miles ago. It had been at the dealer for two years and I keep it in a heated garage.

I am now having problems to get my bike to start :( This is what happened and what I have done:

A few weeks ago I was out driving my stock bike in the cold, around 4 degrees Celsius, so just a bit over freezing. After riding for 15 minutes I stopped the bike for 2 minutes. When I was going to start it, it took three times for it to start. This was the first time I ever had problems to start it. After this I have been riding a few times and had no problems.

Last weekend I put a power commander V on it, used the map that came with the programmer which is for a stock bike. Same time as I installed the programmer I did the flapper mod and also removed the AIS with Krabills AIS removal kit.
After this mod I fired up the bike in the garage and everything seemed fine. Was too cold and icy outside so I never tested it at that time. A few days ago I tried it and it started fine and I did a small trip for about 1 mile to see that all was OK. Couldn't go very fast as the roads were quite icy. But everything seemed fine.

Yesterday I installed my FMF Q4. I removed the metal cables for the EXUP but kept the EXUP servo on the bike. I also disconnected the O2 sensor. I checked with a guy from Finland who did the same setup as me and he had no problems with the disconnected O2 sensor. After installing the Q4 I started the bike in the garage to hear what it sounded like, and all went fine.

Today I was going to take the bike for the first ride with the Q4. (I still have the stock map on the power commander). Started it in the garage and walked it out in first gear. Killed the bike with the key and locked up the garage. Started the bike again. It was about -10 degrees Celsius (14 Fahrenheit). I notice the idle RPM is quite a bit higher compared to when the bike was stock. Put the bike in first gear and it started to pull more than normal as the idle RPM was quite high. I have never run my stock bike in this cold condition before so not sure if the power commander + Q4 made this change in idle RPM or not...
Anyway, I got about 15 meters on the road in first gear and then the bike died on me. Tried to start it again but it would not come to live again. I hear all the normal sounds from the fuel pump and it cranks and it almost started, could hear it fire a few times.

This is what I have tried so far:

1.Walked the bike back to the heated garage and tried to start it about 10 times but no luck.
2.Checked the spark plug. It was wet and black (and rusty). Wiped it dry and put it back. Still no luck.
3.Disconnected the power commander. Still won't start.
4.Put the stock pipe back on and connected the O2 sensor (did not connect back the EXUP wires to the pipe). Still won't start.
5.Checked some electrical connectors and the fuse box. Seemed fine.

I put a battery tender on my battery and left the bike. I will let it sit for a day or two and see what happens.

Now I am not fully sure what to try next.
I will buy a new spark plug as I did not like what I saw on my current one. Can't believe it was that rusty as this bike only has 500 miles on it... not sure why it was all black and wet either...

Maybe I should replace the fuel with some new fresh one as well.

When I had the spark plug off I never pressed the starter to see if there was a spark... guess I should have tried that.

This is my first bike so I'm new to this kind of stuff. But I want to try as much as possible by myself before walking the bike to the dealer.

I would gladly take any suggestions.

Have anyone noticed that after putting on a programmer and/or Q4 that the idle RPM is much higher than stock? I think it had high idle RPM in the garage as well before I got it out in the cold air, so I do not think there is any correlation...

Sorry for the massive post!

/Björn

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1moreroad




PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:25 pm

Check battery voltage off the bike before you try charging it. If it's below 12.8V, the problem is simply a dead battery.

Now you get to figure out why the battery is dead.

Could be the age of the battery or simple bad luck.

Could be a slow leakage current in one of your accessories. When you hook up the battery, see what the voltage is. If it's below 12.8 V (might be a better number someone else could suggest), then you have a load on the battery and you are draining it.

Could be a problem in the alternator. If the battery is at 12.8 V after you hooked it back up, start the motor and let it run. At idle, it should be sitting around 13.2-ish V (off the top of my head) or higher. If it's below that, then the alternator is not properly charging the bike.
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mordicai




PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:59 pm

1moreroad wrote:
Check battery voltage off the bike before you try charging it. If it's below 12.8V, the problem is simply a dead battery.

Now you get to figure out why the battery is dead.

Could be the age of the battery or simple bad luck.

Could be a slow leakage current in one of your accessories. When you hook up the battery, see what the voltage is. If it's below 12.8 V (might be a better number someone else could suggest), then you have a load on the battery and you are draining it.

Could be a problem in the alternator. If the battery is at 12.8 V after you hooked it back up, start the motor and let it run. At idle, it should be sitting around 13.2-ish V (off the top of my head) or higher. If it's below that, then the alternator is not properly charging the bike.

I've spent years working with 12 volt batteries and I've never seen a 12 volt battery with a resting voltage of 12.8. I don't know where you get this hog wash from to pass it on as if you know what the hell you were talking about to a guy trying to fix his bike is a real disservice to him and to this forum.
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g-train

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PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:19 pm

have a look at side stand switch... those little suckers can cause headaches... ditched mine, soldered the wires together and pusses them back into harness

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craigq

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PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:17 am

mordicai wrote:
I've spent years working with 12 volt batteries and I've never seen a 12 volt battery with a resting voltage of 12.8. I don't know where you get this hog wash from to pass it on as if you know what the hell you were talking about to a guy trying to fix his bike is a real disservice to him and to this forum.


Yuasa seems to think the 100% SOC for their "normal" 12V batteries should be 12.65-12.80V Yuasa Tech Manual PDF, and for our VRLA batteries anything between 12.00-12.79V needs a recharge, 12.8-13.0V is fully charged. I'll go with what they know thumb I know for a fact that a VRLA with a resting SOC < 12V after charging needs replacing, it happened with my old ZZR250...


OP, "not sure why it was all black and wet either..." too much fuel. Also, you have a 2008 which are known for bad fuel pumps. I've not read all of the typical symptoms for the bad pumps, so you would need to read up on it to see if what you're experiencing is the MO for a failing pump...
Fuel Pump Problem Thread
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YZEtc

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PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:08 am

The 12.8V figure comes straight out of the Yamaha WR-250R/X Service Manual.
They say that if the open circuit voltage tests less than 12.8 volts, it needs a charge.

Might be hogwash for an old-fashioned 12V battery with the 6 yellow caps on top where you need to keep tabs on fluid level, but with this newer-style battery, that's how they do it. thumb
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mordicai




PostSubject: Apology   Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:53 am

I owe a big apology to 1moreroad. I just went out and put a voltmeter on the battery. 12.76...the bike hasn't been ridden in two days. I have never seen this kind of voltage on a resting 12v battery before. I was terribly mistaken in my previous post, and I feel a bit of an ass....Max
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bjorn78




PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:58 pm

Thanks for the tips.

Regarding the stand switch, I guess the bike should start even if this was not working. It should only kill the bike while in gear as far as I understand.

I will buy a multimeter so I can check the voltage. I also have the battery tender cables connected so I will remove those cables in case they interfere somehow.
The battery was charged since yesterday and the battery tender showed it as fully charged when I checked the bike after work today. But I will measure as well to be sure.

Some co-workers think it might be water in the tank. Yesterday the bike, with half full tank, was at room temperature and then I took it out to -10 C (14 F) where it worked for about 1 minute and then died. I bought some “K-booze” which is supposed to break up water so it mixes with the gas instead of just sinking to the bottom. Put some in the tank and shook the bike. Tried to start it around 10 times and a few times it sounded like it would almost start (heard one or two bangs so there was some kind of ignition to the fuel). But still no luck. I also bought new gas but will have to wait a few days until I can replace the old fuel. I will also remove the spark plug so the cylinder can dry out more easily if it is soaked with fuel and maybe some water.

The fuel pump sounds just like normal, and from what I read the fuel pump problem seemed to be gradually and problems usually first appeared when the motor was warm. It is a candidate, but I will first try all other options before taking it to the shop and an eventual fuel pump replacement.
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mordicai




PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:40 pm

I would definatley what to look at the plug after I had tried to start it. The new PC may be flooding it.
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bjorn78




PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:53 pm

Will do that next time, did not have the tools with me today.
The power commander has been removed and I even put the stock pipe back on. So the current mods to the bike is the flapper mod and the AIS has been removed.
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mordicai




PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:37 pm

I assume you have checked all the block offs associated with the AIS removal?
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zone47

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PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:32 am

New gas is a good idea, I would totally drain the tank and install that. The plug being wet means the gas is getting there. Really the only other thing to check is the spark.... I take a new plug, ground the base and crank the bike to see how hot the spark is. If you have a hot spark, install that puppy and it should fire right up. I can't imagine the timing slipping or your valves being so tight that you've lost compression scratch .... and those are about the only other things that could happen (very unlikely). As a last resort, you could give it a shot of starter fluid in through the air filter and see if it kicks at all. As mentioned above, check your mods and make sure the correct intake port is plugged for the flapper mod, and the correct airbox hose is still in place for the air injection mod.

Good luck, let us know what you find.
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bjorn78




PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:23 pm

Got the bike to start today :) It had been resting in the garage since Monday night. This is what I did before I tried to start it.

1. I checked the battery which was at 12.8V, so that was OK.
2. Checked most connections and the caps for the AIS and flapper mods, all looked OK.
3. Removed my battery tender cables from the battery (these were placed between the battery and the bike cables), disconnected the bike cables and checked the contacts which looked OK.
4. Pumped out the old 95 octane fuel and put in new 99 octane fuel.

It started on the first push on the button.

I killed and started the bike three times. The second time it would not start immediately, took three start button pushes... third time it started on the first press on the button...
Could not take it for a spin tonight, too cold (-17 C) and late. I'll try it out his weekend, will be around 0 degrees (hopefully).

When I earlier removed the spark plug there was lots of rust, so not sure I dare take it out again without first blowing that rust out using a compressor. And I don't own a compressor... so if the bike runs I'll take it to the shop next week and let them clean it out and replace the plug with a new one.

I'll report back if the bike continues to be hard to start and/or die, and what I or the shop finds out.

One question. I got Krabills AIS removal kit and use his plate. The plate looks fine, but if it is not fully tight and some air is getting in that way, could that create any problems? I guess that intake is only for the exhaust gas going out and should not interfere with starting the bike?
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ramz




PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:45 pm

Quote :
3. Removed my battery tender cables from the battery (these were placed between the battery and the bike cables)
This sounds unusual... I always clip battery tender cables onto the battery posts, leaving the battery-to-bike cables in place.
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bjorn78




PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:29 pm

Just wanted to give a small update:

Yesterday I tried the bike (no power commander and stock exhaust) and it ran fine.
Today I put the Q4 back on and ran the bike 40 minutes without any issues. After this I put back the power commander, and it ran fine :)

So at the moment I do not seem to have any problems and I'm not sure what the problem was last weekend.

What I have done since last weekend is to replace the fuel (the old fuel ran fine a two days before the problems...).

I have also removed the battery tender cables from my battery, so currently there is only the bike cables and on the minus pool I also have the ground wire for the power commander. Now I have the power commander cable on top of the bike cable, to make sure there is full contact for the bike cable.

The idle RPM seems normal, unlike last weekend when it was very high. Maybe the bike got shocked/flooded going from starting in garage (room temperature), turned off (to lock up the garage), and then started in -10 C. When running today the temperature was just above freezing (+1 C).
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0007onWR

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PostSubject: Re: bike died and won't start   Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:21 pm

Sounds like you had stale fuel and fouled the plug
The plug will have a carbon track on it that you cannot get rid of so replace it asap
motorcycles are not tuned to run at low temps, not surprising
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