battery issue? clutch? gas? - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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battery issue? clutch? gas?

so i'm riding to work and have to go through some stops at intersections and stuff along the way. i even peeled off the road after a mile from my house because there were droplets coming down and i needed to move my laptop to a dry compartment of my backpack so i shut the bike off for a minute while i did this. i get a few miles down the road and have to stop again and then my bike dies. i figure it was probably me and something i did with the clutch because i'm in 2nd gear and have the clutch lever pulled all the way in. the bike starts right back up. because i'm in a long line at this one line and we're just barely moving, i'm mostly holding the clutch all the way in and it dies again. seems to be doing it when my RPMs drop when i have the clutch lever completely pulled in. i think it did this once more before i realize that every time i completely cut off the transmission by squeezing in the clutch and letting the RPMs drop it is dying. so the next intersection i stop at, i pull in the clutch as usual but keep the throttle on a bit to keep my RPMs up and it doesn't die. so i'm thinking my battery is going. especially after the issue i had with it dropping down to 3 volts that i documented in another thread a few weeks ago. i get to work, shut the bike off, and then try to start it back up to see if i'm going to have to get someone to jump start me later or something. it starts right up. when i leave from work, it starts right up. i hit a number of stops at intersections on my way home and actually try to replicate the issue but it never dies again. what happened?

checked the battery when i got home and it registers at 13.3 volts. the bike never sputtered going to or from work. it recently sat for several weeks while i was unable to ride but i'm now on my 2nd tank of gas since getting back on it again. i recently replaced the fuel sender unit with a barely used one and confirmed a few days ago that it is functioning. my current clutch friction plates only have about 20,000 miles on them. so what could it be? clogged fuel line? a sensor? something that was temporary and now fixed itself since it doesn't seem to be happening again? '09 950 with 90k miles on it.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 07:57 AM
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I would first check for vacuum leak, this will cause a surging idle. A loose vacuum line will cause idle issues. Also check the electrical connection on the TBS and IAP. Both sensors send info to ECU for fuel and timing adjustments as rpm and load changes. You had your tank off recently and could have pulled something loose. Have a repair manual? Here's a screenshot of TBS and IAP testing in you need it. Keep us informed. Hey, do you ever sleep? Your post times are stranger than mine.

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Les B.
2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
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Last edited by lesblank; 09-30-2018 at 08:01 AM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 09:00 AM
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Sleep? Thoreau said if he hammered a nail into plaster and hung a picture on it, he would not be able to sleep at night.

How can anyone sleep if your ride is suffering?!

It sounds like your engine has an idle issue, which could be caused by many things.

Quote:
i recently replaced the fuel sender unit with a barely used one and confirmed a few days ago that it is functioning....
! There is a fixed amount of chaos in the universe. Chaos cannot be created or destroyed.

When you remove the chaos from one part of a machine, it has to go somewhere else. Either to another part of the same vehicle, or to a vehicle parked nearby....

Last edited by KCW; 09-30-2018 at 09:22 AM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 07:00 PM
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Bevo, figure anything out. Or was is a one time thing and done. If it did just happen that one time you might have gotten some fuel with water in it and enough was sucked up by fuel pump to cause the issue.

Les B.
2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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hasn't happened again yet. but if it does, thanks for the suggestions on what to check.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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well now my issue has kicked into a full blown problem and bike shut down. i was just 5 miles from my house when i started hearing something kinda funny, and then i lost most of my power and RPMs and the engine started sounding like a loud lawnmower. i was able to limp back home and cycle through all my gears and i didn't hear anything that sounded like metal on metal noises. when i got home i smelled gas and saw some near the bottom of my tank. the RPMs were low enough i could count them, but the engine does not shut off like it was doing before. this is completely different.

i actually fully removed my tank this time and inspected it and the fuel lines and didn't see anything strange though i'm now pretty positive that i forgot to reconnect the breather hose last time (is this what caused my first issue as stated in my initial post?). so now i made sure each hose was fully connected and everything is where it should be and fired it back up but no change. now i recognized and felt air coming from the rear cylinder head area. i remembered when i was reinstalling my tappet covers that the gaskets were difficult to get back into place and one in particular was extremely difficult and i remember it being on the rear head. if this gasket has come lose or blown or whatever, would this be causing my issue? i can't imagine what else it would be. i was pretty careful with everything else i was doing with the valves and everything was tightened pretty close to torque factory specs. but could it be a damaged valve or piston? and could that be caused by a leak in a gasket? i've got 4 new gaskets on order right now.

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Last edited by bevo1981; 10-06-2018 at 01:48 AM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 05:56 AM
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the Orings on the tappet covers only keep the oil from oozing out. If one was bad there would be oil all over that side of the engine. Eventually all the oil would leak out, but that would take a long time and would be making a noticeable mess on your garage floor.

If all your oil has leaked out and you did not notice or check it, that would be very bad.

Unless you have a California bike the vent hose on the fuel tank has no function that would make the bike not run correctly.

If it has no power its probably running on only one cylinder. I would not recommend riding any bike that is not running right (ie dont ride it to the shop, dont ride it home from where it fails. Some problems can cause secondary issues if you keep riding the bike.

I think you would have to start from the beginning: check the condition of the spark plugs, do a compression test, check the timing to make sure some component has not gone wonky, and then you are into the fuel system, sensors, ecm....

Mechanical and fuel system problems are not normally intermittent... most likely its an electrical or sensor problem, maybe a fuel pump (just from the face of the symptoms).

One other thought, you had not been riding for a while. How long was the bike sitting in the garage? Did you do anything to stabilize the fuel once you realized you could not ride, or did you drain the old fuel out of the tank?

If the bike sat for months its possible you got some jello-like fuel in the filter or something got sucked into the fuel pump, or even gummed up in your injectors. Strictly from a cause and effect point of view, bike parked for several weeks with no fuel stabilizer => goopy gas.

If a bike has sat for a long time and is then run on the old gas, it can start up and run somewhat normally at first. Then as the old gas is run thru the engine it can gum things up worse and worse. Since your started riding again have you run a fuel cleaner in the gas? Someone could make a good bit of extra money selling Seafoam to people on this forum :^)

Last edited by KCW; 10-06-2018 at 06:22 AM.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 06:41 AM
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If I remember correctly you did a valve adjustment. Possibly one of the nuts on adjuster did not get totally tightened and back off enough that a value is not opening and that cylinder is not firing. It has happened to me before on cars. I now put a piece of blue painters tape on manifold next to head, mark tape when that cylinder is done. Then double check each one and put second mark on tape. I then know all have been double checked. Keep us informed. Good luck.

Les B.
2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
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https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 08:01 AM
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^ if a valve is not opening because the adjuster backed off, you should be able to see that with a compression test, you should be able to tell if no air is pumping out the exhaust thru the exhaust valve, or maybe you could see that with a vacuum gauge if you know how to read the dancing needle.

Its a lot of work to tear the carbs off to get to the tappet (at least on my 650). Also raised the possibility, if you had the carbs off the bike maybe something came loose after you put them back on? Connection to the intake manifold, or the connection to the air box... one of the wires that you have to pull off?

also that cylinder head would have been tapping like there is no tomorrow while the adjuster was backing off.

An easy thing to do would be pull the hose off on the output of the fuel pump, and see if fuel is flowing - put a pressure gauge on it if you have one. If the fuel pump is weak replace the filter before you replace the fuel pump.

The other easy thing, if the bike is running on both cylinders still (both exhaust pipes get warm after you start it, I hate to keep singing the Seafoam anthem, but it will clean your injectors, as long as they are not completely plugged.

Last edited by KCW; 10-06-2018 at 08:12 AM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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i could try the seafoam, but that would require running the engine which doesn't seem like a good idea right now. and i'm now on my 3rd tank of gas (had refilled the night before this happened) since i started riding again. 1st tank experienced no issues. 2nd tank was when the bike would stall out 3 or 4 times and that issue hasn't returned since. how bad can gas get in just 10 weeks in a warm garage? and again, i feel air coming out from somewhere near the rear cylinder like something is leaking. with the very loud engine sound i now have, though i don't currently hear any metal on metal, and this air which i assume is exhaust, it makes me think i have a leak somewhere, almost like the rear exhaust header is missing even though i haven't done anything with my exhaust pipes in about 3 years. i'll definitely be checking those valve adjusters when my new gaskets come in and for anything that could possibly be loose. but i will probably stop short of taking out the valves or pistons because that's running into uncomfortable territory for me. will update again either next weekend or the next. thanks for the tips fellers.
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