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  #1  
Old 04-27-2013, 10:55 PM
baltimorenick baltimorenick is offline
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Unhappy Infuriating ignition issues

Welp, time to ask you guys for help again. I am having some intermittent ignition issues that are driving me crazy. Several times I have hit a bump, and then I stop getting a spark completely and the bike dies. Sometimes it will start again fine or sometimes only on 2 cylinders, most of the time nothing. After I do the walk/push of shame home, everything will work fine again after I take the tank off and start inspecting things. The first time this happened, I replaced the high tension wires and thought that the problem was fixed, until I experienced it again. My next thought was maybe the tank was pinching one of the primary coil wires, however I currently can't get the bike to stall out no matter how much I wiggle and pull the primary wires. I have also wiggled and pushed around on the connectors/wires that go to the TCI, the pickup coil wires and the handlebar kill switch wires. I know as soon as I get any distance away from my house and hit a bump, I will be pushing it home again. I have the green Mike's XS coils and the appropriate NGK resister spark plug caps. The ballast resistor is bypassed. The ignition fuse has been replaced with an inline ATC fuse holder. What am I missing here? The SF doesn't have a tipover switch does it?
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:58 PM
baltimorenick baltimorenick is offline
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Also worth nothing, I have horrible misfire issues when I am in the rain. The bike will completely die, and after a few minutes of the bike sitting it will sometimes start again. I thought maybe I had a hairline insulator fracture on one of hte spark plugs so I replaced them. It will still stumble if I spray water around the spark plugs while it is running. I think this is completely unrelated to my above issue though.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:53 PM
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Bellerophon Bellerophon is offline
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I would start by soldering in new pick up coil wires. These 1100s are notorious continuity loss on them.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:06 AM
baltimorenick baltimorenick is offline
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I want to reproduce the problem before I start making changes. I'm fairly confident its not the pickup coil wires because I have pulled and tugged on them while its running and can't get the bike to stall.

UPDATE: I am dumb. I found the tipover switch. I dont know how I never noticed it before. Anyways, it works as advertised. If I remove it from the frame and tilt it, the engine dies. Has anyone ever had one of these become intermittently stuck? Although, a bad tipover switch wouldn't explain why I was only running on only 2 cylinders the other day when I hit a bump.
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Last edited by baltimorenick; 04-28-2013 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:45 AM
baltimorenick baltimorenick is offline
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After doing some research, it looks like I need to examine the entire length of harness from the coils to the TCI. Apparently tons of people have the same issues as me when it rains and it always ends up being the section of wire near the shift cover grounding out through the neutral switch. I will post an update after I check it out tomorrow.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:37 AM
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natemoen natemoen is offline
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How many miles do you have on the ignition coils. It has started becoming evident that the green coils from mikes xs are also prone to failure around the 10K mark.

The misfire in the rain is either a short in the pickup coil wires or there is a crack in a ignition coil and it is getting wet.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:27 AM
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If there are splices in the wire bundle under the kicker, they need to be waterproof. I would give the bundle a good look as it could be the source of the problem.

I noticed they have weatherproof butt splices at Auto Zone when I was in there the other day. You just crimp them and then heat them. The jacket shrinks around the wire.
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2013, 02:41 PM
baltimorenick baltimorenick is offline
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Update

So I've been investigating the bundle underneath the shifter cover. No matter how much I shake and wiggle it, the bike will not stall or stumble. I've also completely soaked the area in water to try to cause a short. Nothing happens. I really want to reproduce the problem before I go making changes. Are there are any other splices or connectors that I should check? I feel like it should be easy to cause it to completely fail again but so far, no luck.

My coils have over 10k on them. Getting them wet doesn't cause any issues. I will check the primary and secondary resistances of each coil in a few minutes.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:36 PM
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Courtney Courtney is offline
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Question

OK Baltimore, keep us posted, because now we REALLY want to know what the hell is going on!

Fuseblock?? Killswitch??? Ignition wires?? If a bump kills the bike maybe it's an ignition wire/switch issue? If only running on two, then that's more puzzling, one coil is going down, or related wiring. Maybe the TCI unit itself in that case? Geez.......
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Last edited by Courtney; 04-28-2013 at 03:38 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-28-2013, 08:28 PM
baltimorenick baltimorenick is offline
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Update

OK, turns out the flexible section of the pickup wires are definitely the suspect here. I didnt get it to fail until I undid the little bracket that holds the bundle right as it comes in under the ignition cover. Once that was loose and I started moving the pickup wires around a lot, bingo, bike cut out. Doh! Should have done that all along. I am going to fix the wires and post my final results.

As far as my mike's green coils go, each one is about 3.7 ohms on the primary side and a little over 15k on the secondary side. Those values seem acceptable, so I can hold off for awhile until I replace them with dyna coils.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:20 AM
baltimorenick baltimorenick is offline
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OK, I did the pickup coil wire fix. The wires to one coil were fine and both wires of the other coil had obvious breaks in them. Fixed the broken wires and everything seems to be alright. Tomorrow I have to ride to DC for work. 45 miles each way in the rain. If the problem persists I will definitely find out tomorrow
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:03 AM
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good luck, hopefully you got it.
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  #13  
Old 04-29-2013, 09:51 AM
kevxs kevxs is offline
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i had a strange problem last year that took a while to track down. turned out the wires to my stop/run/stop swtich on the right handle bar were shorting out to the housing causing the whole bike to quit. sometimes it would fire back up sometimes not. anyway I re insulated those wires with heat shrink tubing and all is well now.
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  #14  
Old 04-29-2013, 11:57 AM
baltimorenick baltimorenick is offline
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Didn't end up riding to DC. Chickened out after looking at the rain and thinking about how everyone on I95 forgets how to drive as soon as there is any kind of moisture on the ground. Kev, I actually looked at your thread where you were having rain issues. I will check the kill switch, but I think the starter wouldn't crank if it was shorting out. I will soak it anyways and see what happens.
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  #15  
Old 04-29-2013, 12:59 PM
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How did you fix the pickup wires? I had a problem last summer with intermittant stumbling and have been advised to check the wires. I opened the cover and the wires look good. I would hate to destroy the wires checking them only to find out that they are still good.
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