Sudden failure left me stranded


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Goofaroo
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Location: Guthrie, OK
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade
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Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:05 am



I’ve been enjoying my Wing and it has been very reliable until yesterday. I was running about 80 on the interstate and I suddenly started feeling an odd shudder or vibration. I looked down to see if my front tire was down but it wasn’t. I started to suspect a final drive issue. Power started decreasing rapidly and I had to work it to get over to a safe spot to pull over. It finally died completely and I coasted to a stop. It would turn over but not restart.

Oddly, my wife happened to be in the same area and happened to see me pull over from the other side of the highway. She pulled up behind me in the shoulder before I could get my phone out and call her! So she took me home and I came back with my trailer. Let’s just say that wrestling my Wing onto my three rail dirt bike trailer is something I don’t want to repeat.

I got it home and put it on the lift. The way it was acting with the shuddering and progressive power loss I suspected a timing belt issue. When I bought this bike the PO claimed that he had replaced the timing belts. I have always wanted to have a look for myself so I pulled the covers. Everything was fine and in time and the belts are as new.

So I pulled the plugs and they were oddly clean. I suspected a lean condition so I tested the fuel pump. I unhooked the line going to the carbs and ran a line off the pump into a container. I spun the motor and fuel pulsed into the container. Is that enough to verify fuel delivery?

I also checked each cylinder for compression and all is well. This bike only has 45k miles and mechanically seems very healthy.

So I decided to check for spark. Each plug has spark but it looks very weak. I’m going to dig a bit deeper this afternoon but I would appreciate any info that might help me diagnose this problem. I’m hoping to find a weak ground or something along those lines.

As for the shudder, does that sound familiar to anyone? I am hoping that this boxer configuration just tends to really shake when it’s misfiring. I have it on the center stand and the rear wheel spins freely with no sign of failure in the final drive but the way this thing was shaking I was fearing the worst.

Any input is appreciated.



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WingAdmin
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:28 pm

You've done exactly the diagnostic steps I would have performed, although it's probably easier to check for fuel delivery by smelling the tailpipe after cranking the engine. :) But what you have done is validate that fuel is in fact being delivered.

Have you checked your battery voltage? How about the infamous "three yellow wires"? If your stator stopped charging, the bike will run until the battery is depleted enough that it won't supply a strong enough spark. Is it cranking strongly, or does it seem to crank a bit slowly?

And yes, if you are getting intermittent ignition, you will get lots of shaking and vibration.

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Aussie81Interstate » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:45 pm

Has it run out of fuel or got bad fuel in it?, maybe a clogged fuel filter, clogged petcock?

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Goofaroo
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:42 pm
Location: Guthrie, OK
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade
2004 Kawasaki Concours
1978 BMW R100S
1971 Honda CB500/4
2007 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 Kawasaki KLR250
1992 Kawasaki KDX200
1987 Kawasaki KDX200
1985 Honda XR350R
1971 Honda CT90
1984 Honda NH125 Aero
2008 Yamaha Vino 125

Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:46 pm

The battery checked at only 11.76 volts. For the first time I checked the dogbone and it doesn’t appear to be blown but you can tell the wires going to it have been hot before. The fix the previous owner performed was not exactly glamorous.

The stator is new but is still plugged into the harness. As I recall I read somewhere that I should hardwire it to the harness so I will do that while I have it on the lift. I also need to service the final drive but I’d like to get it running first.

Anyway, I have the battery on a trickle charger and I’m curios to see if it charges properly.
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User avatar
Goofaroo
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:42 pm
Location: Guthrie, OK
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade
2004 Kawasaki Concours
1978 BMW R100S
1971 Honda CB500/4
2007 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 Kawasaki KLR250
1992 Kawasaki KDX200
1987 Kawasaki KDX200
1985 Honda XR350R
1971 Honda CT90
1984 Honda NH125 Aero
2008 Yamaha Vino 125

Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:48 pm

The battery could very well be low just from me cranking it to test spark and compression and trying to get it fired up on the side of the road.

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dingdong
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by dingdong » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:21 pm

The dogbone fuse can easily have an intermittent hairline crack. Especially if it has overheated. It may look good but have a hairline crack that separates when hot. By the looks of the pic of that circuit you need to replace it anyway.
Tom

John F. Kennedy would be impeached by todays liberal Democratic socialist party.

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Aussie81Interstate » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:27 pm

Time to rethink your current wiring and maybe replace some of it.. The whole fuse assembly looks like it has suffered from heat over a period of time. The fuse I would definitely replace with a modern blade fuse. The 3 pin yellow wire connector - I would back track on that and see if the connections are corroded or correctly joined together.

If you have a new alternator/stator then that battery voltage looks not good as well.

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AZgl1800
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by AZgl1800 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:38 pm

I just have a feeling that the charging system is not up to snuff.

then the battery voltage fell below what is required to keep the spark nice and hot....

that caused a loss of power, and then it would not restart, because the battery is too low.

Definitely inspect all 3 of the yellow wires to be sure they are good and solid.
if there is any signs of being hot, repair as needed with new wire to replace the bad joints.
solder them together...

the stator should put out ~50 VAC or more at 3,000 rpm if you can get it running.
that is across any two of the 3 wires, a to b, b to c, c to a.
~John

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Goofaroo
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:42 pm
Location: Guthrie, OK
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade
2004 Kawasaki Concours
1978 BMW R100S
1971 Honda CB500/4
2007 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 Kawasaki KLR250
1992 Kawasaki KDX200
1987 Kawasaki KDX200
1985 Honda XR350R
1971 Honda CT90
1984 Honda NH125 Aero
2008 Yamaha Vino 125

Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:47 pm

I’m hoping the stator is still healthy. I didn’t have a chance to work on it today but I’ll dig in a bit tomorrow and see what I can find.



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