Stalled in rain wouldn't start - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Stalled in rain wouldn't start

2003 919, no performance mods, no PC3, etc. 24,xxx miles, up until today, ran like a champ.

I was riding home in the rain, which is typical, I ride rain or shine. Rode about 8 miles of my 20 mile commute. Rain wasn't terribly hard and was just starting to let up. Suddenly I noticed the engine sputter (I was in 3rd doing about 50ish) and the tach/speedo were bouncing to zero and bouncing back to my current speed/rpm. I got on the throttle and it started sputtering even worse. Speedo/tach dropped to zero and stayed there, FI/OIL/Low Fuel lights all came on and then she stalled out.

I coasted to a stop on the side of the road, turned it off and put it in neutral. Turned the ignition back on, disabled the kill, waited for the FI light to cycle (it did, as normal) and thumbed the starter. Nothing but a very faint buzz from somewhere under the seat.

I took off the seat and checked the fuse box -- everything was good. I found the starter magnetic switch assembly (Number 9 in this fiche drawing) and checked the fuse there, it was also good.

Pushed the pig (this thing is heavy!) up a the hill until I was under a dry bridge. Made some calls to find a possible ride/tow all to no avail.

After sitting for about 15 minutes, I gave it another try at starting. It buzzed much louder (from the magnetic switch mentioned above) and sound like it was really trying -- no turning over though, just loud buzzing.

I turned the bike around, hopped on, put it in first, pulled the clutch and got a nice galloping start back down the hill into a sweet wheel-spinning pop-start out in the rain. Rode fine the rest of the way home, although I did keep the tach up a bit a lights.

Now that I'm home, and in the garage, she'll start without issue. I've tried it about 15-20 times now without a single failure.

So what gives? Where do I start troubleshooting? Battery seems strong enough to sit with the headlight on for several minutes and start. Alternator seems strong enough as I had all the electronics following my pop-start...... Any ideas are welcome. This is my first Real Problem with the 9'er, so I'm not even pissed about it, just curious.

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post #2 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 03:22 PM
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you could have a bad connection in the kill switch or a bad ground somewhere. Check the wiring harness plugs in the bucket and battery voltage.

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post #3 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 03:27 PM
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Did you get the rectifier wet or some other part of the harness? Not for nothing but how was your gas situation? Maybe the fuel filter got clogged or the pump its self and the pop start got it out? Just throwing ideas out no flaming please.

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post #4 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Did you get the rectifier wet or some other part of the harness?
Rectifier? I'll have to find this part. I don't think the harness got wet, but I'll take the headlight out to check.

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Not for nothing but how was your gas situation? Maybe the fuel filter got clogged or the pump its self and the pop start got it out? Just throwing ideas out no flaming please.
Tank was filled yesterday, at the same station I use each week. I couldn't possibly flame, any input is appreciated as I am a troubleshooting n00b. Thanks.

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you could have a bad connection in the kill switch or a bad ground somewhere. Check the wiring harness plugs in the bucket and battery voltage.
I will take apart the right hand control and check the kill/starter switches. I'll also put the battery on the charger and check the harness as well. Thanks.

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post #5 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 04:21 PM
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i have on occasions issues after i wash my bike... water will get trapped in the kill switch housing, and if it sits out in the sun and evaporates up to the kill switch it shorts things out and you cant start.... its possible that something along these lines are the issue... id spray some wd40 on all the switchs n connections inside to make sure theres no water that wants to stay in there.

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post #6 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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id spray some wd40 on all the switchs n connections inside to make sure theres no water that wants to stay in there.
Ok, I'll also try this. Should I seal the innards of the controls with a dielectric grease? I don't remember seeing grease remnants when I put on the Renthals a couple years ago... Couldn't hurt anything to coat the connectors right?

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post #7 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 04:27 PM
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Could you have a bad/dead battery? My car did a very similar thing when the battery died and the alternator could no longer keep enough current for the car.

This would most likely occur at lower RPM's.

Test your battery, try trickle charging it, or even swapping for another one.

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post #8 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Test your battery, try trickle charging it, or even swapping for another one.
My charger has an analog gauge on it, not sure how accurate a tester it would be, but it's a bit over 12v when I connected the battery. Will leave it on there over night.

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post #9 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 05:27 PM
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Not sure it is the kill switch as the bike went through it's checks when he turned the key on.

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post #10 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 06:37 PM
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The next nice day you get, take the hose to her, try one area at a time, kill switch, coils, rectifier area, etc.. See when she starts to sputter.

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post #11 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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The next nice day you get, take the hose to her, try one area at a time, kill switch, coils, rectifier area, etc.. See when she starts to sputter.
Ohhhh, that's a good idea!


So far, tonight, I have:
  • Put the battery on the charger
  • Cleaned the kill and starter switches with WD-40 and then coated internals with silicon grease.
  • Cleaned the high beam and turn switches with WD-40 and then coated internals with silicon grease.
  • Hit all connectors inside the the main harness with WD-40 and then silicon on the push-ins.

Crossing my fingers for tomorrow but still open to any more suggestions.

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post #12 of 18 Old 08-11-2011, 01:54 PM
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Any luck?

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post #13 of 18 Old 08-11-2011, 02:26 PM
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check the ground under the tank that connects to the frame. other than that, see if it still does it... if it does then you might have bigger issues at hand.

did you notice any loose connections up at the kill switch etc? i had one solder joint at the starter switch vibrate loose the other day.

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post #14 of 18 Old 08-11-2011, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Any luck?
It started just fine this morning, as it did yesterday after drying out.

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check the ground under the tank.... ...did you notice any loose connections up at the kill switch etc?...
Ground appears firmly attached. Didn't notice anything loose in the harness or controls.

[Un]fortunately it didn't rain today. Bike ran great as expected. I'm going to take the hose to her on Saturday morning to see if there's anything getting short because of the water. Hoping it was just a leak and the rain managed to get in. Maybe the grease will have sealed things well enough for another seven years.

Thanks all.

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post #15 of 18 Old 08-11-2011, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscott View Post
It started just fine this morning, as it did yesterday after drying out.



Ground appears firmly attached. Didn't notice anything loose in the harness or controls.

[Un]fortunately it didn't rain today. Bike ran great as expected. I'm going to take the hose to her on Saturday morning to see if there's anything getting short because of the water. Hoping it was just a leak and the rain managed to get in. Maybe the grease will have sealed things well enough for another seven years.

Thanks all.
more than likely the electric grease and wd 40 will of solved any probs that you have... 919's rnt known for electrical gremlins.

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post #16 of 18 Old 08-11-2011, 06:11 PM
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pointless post but I just washed my bike and I made sure to soak all the areas discussed in this thread. Bike started fine.

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post #17 of 18 Old 08-11-2011, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
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pointless post but I just washed my bike and I made sure to soak all the areas discussed in this thread. Bike started fine.
I would try a pressure washer with a zero degree nozzle

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post #18 of 18 Old 08-11-2011, 07:55 PM
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I would try a pressure washer with a zero degree nozzle
Ouch...

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