Power loss in heavy rain


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The Wolf
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1995 1500 Aspencade

Power loss in heavy rain

Post by The Wolf » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:14 pm



Just got back from 40 to Phoenix, driving 1995 1500 Aspencade, it ran fine all the time except for heavy rain, then it lost power. I finally figured out I could give it about full choke for 15 seconds turn off the choke and the bike would run ok for 2-3 miles then start slowing down again. It it was a light rain no problem. Once the rain stopped the bike ran ok the rest of the time. I was told it was probably water in the gas, but I got a gas treatment from the Honda shop that would remove any water. I used it during my second rain ride but it didn't help. I'm checking the carberators now and it looks like the left side has oily/gas on the vacuum slide and around the top. I also had water etc from the crankcase breather but the manual says this is normal if running at full throttle or in lots of rain. I've yet to drain the storage tank mentioned in the manual. So not sure what I'll find when I remove the carberators but I'm thinking they're ok.
If anyone can point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

Thanks for any help. No rain no problem!


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redial
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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by redial » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:21 am

Check your plugs, wires, caps, and the ECM. It sounds like you had water build up in the electrical. I would do this easy thing first, before attacking the carbs.
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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:22 am

Lean fuel/air mixtures require a strong spark to ignite them.

The #1 problem caused by rain is weak (or no) ignition due to leaky (cracked) wires or insulators. This drains off some of the charge, routing it to ground instead of letting the charge spark across the spark plug gap. Once it dried up, your problem went away - which pretty much eliminates water in the fuel as an issue.

Try hosing down your plugs and spark plug wires and taking it for a ride to see if the problem reoccurs.

I would focus on the ignition system before even thinking about touching the carbs.

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The Wolf
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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by The Wolf » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:32 pm

That doesn't explain why it would keep running after I did full choke then release the choke and it ran fine for 2-3 miles. My crankcase breather tube did have lots of water in it. Thatight be part of problem.
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ct1500
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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by ct1500 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:34 pm

The Wolf wrote:That doesn't explain why it would keep running after I did full choke then release the choke and it ran fine for 2-3 miles. My crankcase breather tube did have lots of water in it. Thatight be part of problem.
Check for bad gaskets/seals, unattached hoses in and around air box. Check drain hoses for water. Running bike when hot and applying lots of choke is not good for the slide diaphragms.
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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:22 am

Well, I hit a heavy rain today on highway (75mph) and after driving few km's power started to go away.
I was hardly able to keep speed at 30mph so I had to stop for a moment (too risky to stay with other trafic at the highway when heavy raining)
Engine does not misfire, idles fine. Again back on road, and soon again power going away.
Luckily there was exit to smaller road I could continue. Stopped again for a minute, engine runs ok.
Ride continues, then rain stopped, road is wet and it still is not able to go over ~2k rpm.
Then when wet part of road suddenly stopped, all problems disappeared... like there was never been any power loss.

Ok, this is what I think...
Last summer I had no problems with heavy rain, only part/thing I played last winter was the airbox bimetallic switch for hot air vacuum actuator. It was not closing actuator, it was mechanically stuck. Got it working but now I think it's not opening the air valve door and it is taking air via airtube down from exhaust headers and now the rain/water is sucked up to airbox.
I disabled (disconnected the vacuum tube and blocked it) hot air vacuum actuator, need to wait next rain for a test...

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by The Wolf » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:37 am

I had the same problem 2 years ago, but I could keep it running by giving it full choke for about 15 seconds then I could go 60 mph for about a mile or so then the bike would just start slowing down again, choke again and away i went. once the rain stopped the bike ran fine. I did this for about 150 miles in heavy rain. it was on the 40 to Phoenix trip 2015. i will try your suggestion and see what happens.
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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:41 pm

Ok, it's worth to try. It's easy to test actuator vacuum tube, if there is vacuum even when normal warm temperature... not good. But what is normal... I think it's said in manual and if I remember right there was a procedure how to test bimetallic switch.

Hopefully there will come heavy rain, I hate to be unsure why it behaved that way.

br, kane

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:56 pm

Found it, so it should be open over +16 C temp inside airbox
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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by FM-USA » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:57 pm

Few years back I Power Washed my Wing at the car wash.
The first two times it would take 10 - 15 minutes before it restart. I since changed my powerwash angle so not to spray water under the false tank where the coils and plug wires are. So far it starts right up.
But I never had a power loss at speed in the rain, this includes a DELUGE and high winds in Florida couple years ago. So you're problem might be different.

There's a spray can called "Wire Drier", maybe that help next time you have an issue?
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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:34 pm

Update,

Yesterday I tried to catch rain :lol: , no luck... just few drops, clouds looked so promising.
Well, on the way back on highway (very windy) I noticed that bike is not pulling good enough on speeds 70-80 mph. It was like missing gasoline, when I dropped speed to 50-60 it runs nice.

Today I changed fuel and air filters and finally the kit for petcock. The tiny "drainhole" there was full of white stuff.
Later on test drive, bike was running sooooo goood, forgot how easily it pulls to 80...
When I had airfilter off, I looked the hot air bi-metal switch, top screw was a bit loose (holds bi-metal upperpart), now it keeps vacuum open and actuator door is closed for down tube.

Short rain during test run, drove behind trucks where water is "flying" over, no signs of loosing power.

So far so good, testing continues...

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:55 am

Update II

Now we have rain, I've been testing and trying to figure this out...
When rpm is 2000 - 3000, engine acts almost like switching off, when I release throttle a bit it runs again very nice. Throttle all the way full does not make anything, just total boooo.....
If I put lower gear and get rpm over 3000-3500 it runs like nothing is wrong.
And this is only when raining. If I stop, I can accelerate hard to red line with no problems.
I checked spark plug drain holes open, tried to spray water all over but couldn't find any problem.

So, can slides be "sticky" when wet weather? If I use choke, it helps but doesn't clear problem.
Coils? 2000-3000rpm...why? ECU?

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:59 am

I suspect the air filter gets wet and limits the air passage so low that the engine can not find the correct air-fuel ratio.

Also, there may be a leak in the vacuum hoses under the carburettor, which may be more effective in such a low ambient pressure weather conditions.

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:26 pm

Hi Erd and thanks for replying.
I replaced all those smaller vacuum tubes also under the heat rubber mat, could it be one of those larger rubber tubes?
It is so weird that how it follows throttle from 2000rpm > nothing happens all the way full throttle... just saying booo... but when release back gas handle pos about 2000rpm, it continues normal.
If I set lower gear and rpm gets over 3k it starts to run normal.

Rain's not that heavy, air intake "horn" is up left, seems to take 4 to 5 miles before starting this...

Could it be an air intake leak, carb rubbers or manifold itself? But no problems with dry weather?
Rubbers were replaced 6years ago by PO.

Br, kane

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:26 pm

kane67 wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:26 pm
Hi Erd and thanks for replying.
I replaced all those smaller vacuum tubes also under the heat rubber mat, could it be one of those larger rubber tubes?
It is so weird that how it follows throttle from 2000rpm > nothing happens all the way full throttle... just saying booo... but when release back gas handle pos about 2000rpm, it continues normal.
If I set lower gear and rpm gets over 3k it starts to run normal.

Rain's not that heavy, air intake "horn" is up left, seems to take 4 to 5 miles before starting this...

Could it be an air intake leak, carb rubbers or manifold itself? But no problems with dry weather?
Rubbers were replaced 6years ago by PO.

Br, kane
There are many components involved in the fuel, air and ignition control systems. If I am not mistaken, 88-89 models have some differences from the other models. This video may help to understand the systems, if you haven't watched before.



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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:46 pm

When the engine is under load, it takes more voltage to create an arc across the spark plug points. If your voltage is low, the bike might run just fine at low load, but as soon as you open the throttle to accelerate, there isn't enough voltage to create a spark and the engine bogs down. Let go of the throttle, the load disappears, and the bike comes back to life.

A common cause of weak spark is moisture. If you have leaky high-tension (spark plug) wires, moisture can wick off some of the power being sent down those wires, leaving lower voltage at the spark plugs. The fact that this is happening under heavy rain would give more credence to this theory.

My very first car was a 1982 Datsun 200SX. It had dual ignition, like an airplane - two coils, and eight spark plugs for four cylinders. Every time the high tension wires got wet, the engine would die under any kind of load. You had to feather the throttle to keep it running.

I could open the hood of that car with the engine running at night, and spray mist water around the spark plug wires. It would look like a fireworks show from all the sparking going on. That's a sure sign of bad wires.

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:35 pm

Ok, I need to focus on that too. I sprayed water all over plugwires over plugs, no sign of misfire.
Could be up closer coils.

Just came back from 100 mile coffee round, after few miles in good rain, it started.
But if I give choke, it runs. That confuses me thinking weak spark.

Second thing to check is airfilter box, if there's any chance for leak.

Br, kane

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by virgilmobile » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:26 pm

Sorry.... quite a bit late in this and have just skimmed the posts.The 88/89 has a carb control module.It opens 2 valves at specific rpm's.First one valve then the second and finally both.They feed to the carbs.These valves do open and close air flow passages in the carbs.The valves do vent to a small airbox tucked behind the frame under the right shelter.It has a filter in there.Mine crumbled to crud and plugged the valves.If you haven't resolved the trouble yet,an inspection of the filter,hoses and valve operation would be a good idea.

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:54 pm

Is that the sub air filter? If yes, I've replaced that one year ago.
I did block air way (rain water I thought) entering to these solenoids & carb control box, but it did not help.

Anyways, tomorrow I will check this filter/solenoids and airbox seals...

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:01 am

It's missing both upper and lower seals in air filter box base and cover. :?

Also, when I have bike running normal temp, both valves are open. If I understand manual correct, they should be closed 800 rpm, at 2000rpm aj2 should open and let air go to carbs... right?
If I disconnect cable, it will block airway (both valves same). Valves are not stuck.

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by virgilmobile » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:38 am

I'll review the manual for exact but as I remember...Both valves are closed up to 1500 rpm...then one opens till 2000 rpm...That valve closes and the second one opens till 3500 rpm then both valves open.

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:54 am

I found from -89 manual a good test procedure, section 4-49

All passed except aj3 in one test point;
- vacuum connected to ignition box, ta sensor jump wired,
Supposed to be open, open ,open (below 1550, between 1550 to 3000, above 3000 rpm)
Was closed, closed, open. Just like in same test point but "vacuum disconnected ignition module"

All other tests with and without TA jumpered passed correctly.

Also replaced all spark plugs, made also temporary airbox seals. Now have to wait rain :D

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:46 am

Finally I was able to catch a real heavy rain, and yes... wing was like never had any problems :D
I drove through 2000-3000 rpm speeds, without any signs of trouble I had before.

So, my fix was temporary silicon seals to airbox base and top, I did not know before that there should be rubber seals under and over airfilter. No idea why they are missing, need to get new ones.

I'm happy, case closed 8-)

br, kane

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by lamasue » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:50 am

There are little drains in the spark plug wells make sure they are cleaned out and just for sure make sure your gas cap is venting soak it in white vinagar

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Re: Power loss in heavy rain

Post by kane67 » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:03 pm

I did check drain holes (all were clean and open) when I noticed missing seals couple weeks ago.
Gas cap makes nice low pressure sound when opened, I believe it works like designed.
But I will do a cleaning as suggested.

Today I continued "rain test", I drove over an hour in the rain and oh boy I like rain now :D
It feels so good when problem is solved...



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