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Heavy rain, bike cuts off

Discussion in 'XJ Technical Chat' started by tabaka45, May 16, 2018.

  1. tabaka45

    tabaka45 Well-Known Member

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    I got caught in a heavy rain today, and when I stopped for a red light the bike cut off. After a couple of minutes it finally started but every time I stopped or let it go to idle it would cut off, and after a couple of minutes and several efforts it would always start and run well as long as I kept the rpms up. I have also had it cut off for no apparent reason several times in the last couple of months, and sometimes it starts quickly and sometimes it takes a couple of minutes. The bike is absolutely bone stock, 17,000+ miles on it, starts easily, and runs and idles well, except for today and the few shut offs over the last couple of months. I’m almost certain that it is an electrical issue but not sure where to start. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Chitwood

    Chitwood Active Member

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    Somehow you have to figure out what is exactly happening. Losing spark? Trace it from the plugs up through the entire circuit until you find the component causing the issue. This can be difficult as you have to get the issue to happen in order to immediately start troubleshooting before whatever it is to start functioning again, ie when it starts back up and runs until it acts up again.
     
  3. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    wet coil packs or spark plugs arcing out? see if you have a night time light show. spray some water on them with a spray bottle.
    check your battery resting voltage and then start bike and look at the idle voltage, inspect connections for charging system.
    inspect and clean connections for ignition system. check voltage drop at connectors. start at fuse and move forward.

    does it only cut out at stops or at idle? except for your last rain trip.

    how old is the fuel filter?
     
  4. tabaka45

    tabaka45 Well-Known Member

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    Fuel filter about a year old. No more than 3,000 miles on it.
    I’ll look for the light show tomorrow night, too late and wet tonight.
    I’ll check the battery also, but it is about 6 months old, stays on trickle charger and turns the starter strongly.
    (Wonder if the charger pigtail hooked to the battery could cause the problem when wet?)
    I hate electrical issues, but I’ll look at the fuses an connections.
     
  5. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Burbon. Moderator Premium Member

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  6. jayrodoh

    jayrodoh YimYam Premium Member

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    Definitely check out the coils and wires. My Maxim would do the same thing when I got caught in the rain, was able to replicate with the spray test at idle. Coils were visibly cracked but I never got around to replacing them or the wires.

    X2 on @k-moe on that suggestion. About a year into riding mine would start cutting off randomly. After she shutdown mid left turn I cleaned the switch up, lubed it, and never had a problem afterwards.
     
  7. cgutz

    cgutz Well-Known Member

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    Your comment "I've had it cut off for no apparent reason in the last couple of months...."

    Fuse box replaced? Mine would totally die, then restart after a few minutes until I replaced the fuse holder.
     
  8. Jetfixer

    Jetfixer Well-Known Member

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    ^^^+6 agree with all replies , You should pull tank and look carefully at the coils remove them and look at bottom if they are cracked replace them. Look at all your grounds a little corrosion and also cause issues when wet .
     
  9. tabaka45

    tabaka45 Well-Known Member

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    I've never cleaned the kickstand switch, but that is one of the places I had planned on checking. I'm definitely going to look at the coils, but the last time I looked I didn't see any cracks, but it wasn't a really close inspection. The fuse box is stock, so it needs to be looked at also. I'll do all that tonight/weekend, but I especially wanted to look at areas that might be affected by rain and road splash--coils and side stand switch certainly qualify. K-Moe, assuming that the side switch is ok when dry, would water cause it to malfunction, and if so wouldn't it cause the bike to shut down at any speed? The pigtail for the battery charger also is out in the open, so could that also be a problem if wet.

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll let you know what I find, if anything.

    Did I ever mention that I hate electrical issues??
     
  10. jayrodoh

    jayrodoh YimYam Premium Member

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    Since that is usually connected to the battery, it would cause more issues if shorted and it should be fused anyhow. If shorted the fuse would blow.

    I would definitely look at and clean up the fuse box. Better yet just replace it as they are known failure points.
     
  11. tabaka45

    tabaka45 Well-Known Member

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    You are right, there is a fuse on the pigtail. I had forgotten about that. One thing eliminated. Thanks.
     
  12. jayrodoh

    jayrodoh YimYam Premium Member

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    To answer your side stand switch, it's possible that water would cause it to short and shut the bike down but it's more likely that it is gummed up. There are three wires to the TCI to test. Ideally you can test right after the bike shuts down but you should see:

    • 12 Volts when testing to Red and Black Wire on TCI with ignition on. If that fails then:
    1. Test meter probe to Red and other meter probe to battery ground. If good then you need to troubleshoot grounds.
    2. Test meter probe to Black and other meter probe to Battery Positive. If good then look at Fuse box, Ignition Switch, and Run switch as something is preventing power to the TCI. Easiest sopt to check is at the Ignition fuse with the key on. Should be 12 volts there with one probe on ground. Check both sides of fuse. The fuse is after the ignition switch.
    • If you have 12 Volt on black and red then:
    1. Test Red to Black/White wire with side stand down and in Neutral. If you see 12 volts then the safety circuit is shutting down the TCI by grounding the black/white wire.
    2. If the neutral light works, it is most likely the sidestand switch. Clean, lube, and test again. You can remove the sidestand relay to defeat the safety as well for testing.
    I hope that helps!
     
  13. tabaka45

    tabaka45 Well-Known Member

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    Now you really know how little I know about electrical issues--where is the TCI on my XJ700?
     
  14. jayrodoh

    jayrodoh YimYam Premium Member

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    Wherever the factory put it!

    I have no idea as I've never had that bike :D

    No 7 in pic below.

    700.png
     
  15. tabaka45

    tabaka45 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I've never had a need to look for it.
     
  16. jayrodoh

    jayrodoh YimYam Premium Member

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    No worries, I'm working on a Vulcan at the moment and it took me forever to find a damn diode module in the wiring harness. Not used to the bike.
     
  17. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Burbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    Not likely. The temperature change when wet (unless you live in a really warm place it's not typical to have warm rain) could be enough to cause any gunk in there to gunk up more, causing the switch to stick. My main reason to have you check it is because you siad that the bike has been cutting off randomly for quite some time, so it may not be rain-related.
     
  18. Toomanybikes

    Toomanybikes Well-Known Member

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    Are you running PODS ? Bikes don't like running on water!
     
    jayrodoh and Jetfixer like this.
  19. tabaka45

    tabaka45 Well-Known Member

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    Completely stock, right down to the oem paper filter.
     
  20. Rooster53

    Rooster53 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    If the side stand switch was the issue then it should start right up after dying if the bike was placed in neutral since the side stand relay is controlled by either the neutral switch OR the side stand switch. Additionally, if you were stopped at the light and in neutral when the bike died then that would also rule out the side stand switch.

    Having to keep the revs up to keep it running would seem to indicate low fuel levels or missing cylinder / cylinders firing.

    Since your bike already has the blade fuses there would not be an update to perform (excepting the main fuse), but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be inspected for corrosion (as well as other connectors) for possibly degraded contacts causing some voltage drop resulting in ignition issues.
     

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