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Surging Surging Surging!


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I have an 05' w/ABS, and for about a year now I've done just about everything I can think of to eliminate a hot running surging problem. This symptom doesn't appear until the engine temp is over 200F, and is a lot more pronounced in 1st/2nd gear at the usual 4-5.5k rpm range, although it's still present but less pronounced in other gears at higher rpms. It's definitely a hot running problem...which pretty much means it runs badly during the summer months here in SoCal.

Here is a little history...

When I first got the bike, within a month or so I removed the flapper valve, PAIR system, and sync'd the starter valves. I also installed a set of Staintunes, and all tubing for the flapper and PAIR was yanked and capped off, and as far as I can tell I don't have a vacuum leak. Later on I added a PCIII USB and O2 Eliminators to help smooth out low rpm snatchiness, and when that helped but didn't eliminate the on/off transition, I also tried the Turbo City fuel pressure regulator. Never could get a working combination that totally got rid of the problem, so I decided to just live with it.

When my bike was apart this past September after a minor low-side, I went back to the stock fuel pressure regulator, and decided to replace the internal fuel filter and sparkplugs in case either might be a contributing factor to this problem. I also sent the PCIII back to Dynojet for testing, and even though they didn't find anything wrong with it, they sent me a brand new one. Also tested the O2 Eliminators...they weren't exactly 300 ohms if I remember correctly...just a little less at 290 ohms or so. Well within a 5% tolerance though...

This past weekend I loaded a zero PCIII map just to see what would happen, and once the bike got hot it surged even worse than before. It's tough to explain the surging, but it's as if the engine is stumbling...either from a severe lack of air or fuel.

Anyway, I'm about to give up and sell this thing as I can't believe I'm supposed to deal with a bike that runs like this. Any help comments would be appreciated...

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Ressurecting this thread so as not to open another... Having the typical surging or dead-spots at 3500 and 4500 RPM... I can live with those, almost, but what IS worrying me is the VTEC transition. I

Sorry mate, but the PGM-FI control unit on the VFR just isn't that smart. Only vehicles with the newer OBD-II (Onboard Vehicle Diagnostics) can guarantee such levels of diagnostic capability. Even t

TPS is circled in red

Did you have this condition prior to you:

"When I first got the bike, within a month or so I removed the flapper valve, PAIR system, and sync'd the starter valves. I also installed a set of Staintunes, and all tubing for the flapper and PAIR was yanked and capped off, and as far as I can tell I don't have a vacuum leak."

These bikes have lean conditions all over as is and your mods could have made something worse! +1.gif

As far as a PCIII map goes, you may need a super fat(rich) area around your surge (3-5 k), but I would be worried that some hose or plug you moved or removed could be causing the extreme lean cond. that just running 02 eliminators could cure.

I would think you need to eliminate your mods as a source of the problem first, then hunt done the proper cure.

my $.02 :goofy:

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NV2L8,

We met before, I think? Either the Tech Day at Steve's, or one of the SoCal flaf rides. Good to see you around.

Regarding the hot surge, well I have an '06 so admittedly our bikes are a little different there. But, my surging problems pretty much disappeared after about 5k on the bike....though you've probably put far more on it?

I don't know what else to offer besides that... +1.gif

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Sounds to me like a faulty temperature sensor, Intake Air Temperature sensor or the Coolant Temperature Sensor. Most likely the coolant temp sensor since its is what measures the engine temp, and thats when your having surging issues at temp.

You should check for ecm codes - 7 blinks indicates off spec for the ETC sesor. Then measure the resistance between the yellow/blue (+) wire and the green/orange (-) wire terminals it should be 2.3-2.6 ohms at room temp (68f), then you need a harness to measure its output voltage - probably best done at a dealer who has the tool. It should be 4.75 - 5.25 volts. Unless you can rig up a way to test the voltage by piggybacking at the ECT connector or somthing.

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I have about 10.5K miles on the bike... And I'm not sure when the problem started, but it was a while ago. It definitely didn't have this problem when I first got it though, so it has to be something I modified or removed. And since the problem didn't surface shortly after a mod, I haven't been able to pinpoint it to anything specific. About a year ago I do remember the end of a work day commute, because when riding in 1st gear thru the last two blocks of the residential area near my home, it all of a sudden for the first time started surging. It was like, "okay, it hasn't ever done this before so what the heck is happening?"

Anyway, I was pretty careful when removing the flapper valve, PAIR system, and EVAC canister junk. I made sure to cap off everything except the fuel tank vent hose, but I still might have done something wrong. What is really puzzling is that during the winter months the cooler weather means the operating temp is usually between 175-200, and at these temps it's been running great. The first time the weather is warm and the bike gets over 200 in city traffic, then the surging becomes worse. Strange...

Going completely back to stock will be tough... That means re-installing the flapper and PAIR...both which can be done...but the area where the EVAC canister usually resides is now taken by a Stebel. I would also have to remove the Staintunes and install the stock exhaust.... All together it's a lot of work...

The bike is going to the dealer tonight because the right front shock is leaking from the seal. I'm going to be honest with the service manager and explain what I've done, what it's doing, and see what he has to say.

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You know at least a couple of things:

1. It surges between 4.5 and 5.5k rpm.

2. It's surging, therefore it's running lean.

3. This is most likely either an air leak (which you seem to have ruled out), or insufficient fuelling.

Before you panic, and sell it or "blow the f$%ker up!", do this:

1. Save your current PCIII map to a different name.

2. Add some numbers to the map in the 4-6k rpm range (to richen it up), save it, and load it. (It sounds like it's just small throttle openings, so start with those first).

3. Go for a ride.

4. If it's not right, then repeat until it's more betterer and acceptable.

5. If for some reason it gets worse (unlikely), then it's actually running too rich, and you need to put lower figures in the map.

It's not RocketScience, so it's easily fixed. You have nothing to lose by fiddling around with your mapping, because you've got the saved one to go back to, and it's relatively hard to muck it up, as long as you don't change too many factors at once, keep each change small(ish), and note what you did.

If this is all too hard, then you need to have it dynoed with an EGO sniffer.

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I have about 10.5K miles on the bike... And I'm not sure when the problem started, but it was a while ago. It definitely didn't have this problem when I first got it though, so it has to be something I modified or removed. And since the problem didn't surface shortly after a mod, I haven't been able to pinpoint it to anything specific. About a year ago I do remember the end of a work day commute, because when riding in 1st gear thru the last two blocks of the residential area near my home, it all of a sudden for the first time started surging. It was like, "okay, it hasn't ever done this before so what the heck is happening?"

Anyway, I was pretty careful when removing the flapper valve, PAIR system, and EVAC canister junk. I made sure to cap off everything except the fuel tank vent hose, but I still might have done something wrong. What is really puzzling is that during the winter months the cooler weather means the operating temp is usually between 175-200, and at these temps it's been running great. The first time the weather is warm and the bike gets over 200 in city traffic, then the surging becomes worse. Strange...

Going completely back to stock will be tough... That means re-installing the flapper and PAIR...both which can be done...but the area where the EVAC canister usually resides is now taken by a Stebel. I would also have to remove the Staintunes and install the stock exhaust.... All together it's a lot of work...

The bike is going to the dealer tonight because the right front shock is leaking from the seal. I'm going to be honest with the service manager and explain what I've done, what it's doing, and see what he has to say.

I'm not sure if I would worry about the exhaust, even though it should make a lean condition leaner. All (or one of) the vacuum line work you mentioned could be an issue, even a blocked/plugged tank vent could cause problems when it's hot enough for excessive fuel evap.! Sorry your having issues and good luck. :thumbsup:

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Thanks for the replies... After work I'm taking the bike to the dealer for the leaking shock, and depending on what the service manager says just might let the dealer figure it out. I trust this dealership since they're small and family owned...not like the other big Los Angeles area dealerships. Some good advice here though and I appreciate the help...I'm leaning towards a vacuum leak or maybe I plugged something I shouldn't have.

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Thanks for the replies... After work I'm taking the bike to the dealer for the leaking shock, and depending on what the service manager says just might let the dealer figure it out. I trust this dealership since they're small and family owned...not like the other big Los Angeles area dealerships. Some good advice here though and I appreciate the help...I'm leaning towards a vacuum leak or maybe I plugged something I shouldn't have.

I hate it when I plugged something I shouldn't have. +1.gif

Good luck. :thumbsup:

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Guest nasadiver

I have pretty much the same setup as you, although I'm running an 02.

Staintunes, K&N, TurboCity FPR, and PCIII-USB with the poor-man's O2 elims (330 Ohm Resistors).

The PCIII was the last thing I installed, and since then I have taken it back off due to gas mileage issues until I can get a custom map done at a DynoJet center. Other than that, it ran pretty nice with a map that was sent to me from a member on these boards. No surging, extremely smooth VTEC transition, nice low end delivery, and no "snatchiness".

The bike ran really well after installing the TC-FPR as well, so I just dropped back to that to get a little better gas mileage for the commuting I do.

I still have my PAIR system on and have only disconnected the vaccuum line for the flapper valve.

If you would like to try a different map, it may clear up some issues for you. At least with this map, if you still have problems, you should only have to re-install the PAIR and you will be very close to the same mods as me. May help in troubleshooting.

If you want to give it a try, let me know and I can email the map to you.

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Get it mapped on a dyno that has a broadband ego and 3 gas analyzer tied to it. Use the eddy current to duplicate conditions and see what happens when it surges. (Lean/rich, timing) adjust as needed.

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Thanks for the replies... After work I'm taking the bike to the dealer for the leaking shock, and depending on what the service manager says just might let the dealer figure it out. I trust this dealership since they're small and family owned...not like the other big Los Angeles area dealerships. Some good advice here though and I appreciate the help...I'm leaning towards a vacuum leak or maybe I plugged something I shouldn't have.

NVR, this may be the only area that I can actually provide some advice and or guidance. I have a similar set up although I have Remus exhaust, K&N and O2 elims. I experienced worse than normal surging after I installed my O2 elims. For somme reason the CPU doesn't always recognize the open loop (or is it closed loop) at start up so you have to turn the key to the on position let it go through it's FI whine and then turn it off. Wait a couple seconds and tunr it back on and then start it. I do this every time now and have no problems. Others have had the same issue. Give that a try without the PCIII first befoe you get drastic. Good luck.

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All good advise. For the heck of it, toss in some FI cleaner, also. Slight chance that it may help.

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As said before....return the bike to stock and begin your troubleshooting there. I would leave the Staintunes on as they probably have nothing to do with your problem. Who knows, returning it to stock may cure the issue. Good luck.

I have an '03 and other than the Staintunes and a Sargent seat it is stock. No problems in 23,000 miles.

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  • 2 months later...
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Update to my surging issue!!!!

I’ve posted here on VFRD about an annoying surging problem, and I think I might have stumbled onto something.

Here’s a quick synopsis...

I started having a surging problem sometime last summer. It usually only happened when the bike temp reached 200F or higher, and was very pronounced when riding at high rpm at a constant speed in first gear. My bike has been de-flapperized, un-PAIR’ed, and the EVAP canister has been removed, and other mods include Staintunes, K&N air filter, PCIII USB and O2 Eliminators. After my low-speed crash last September I figured it was a good time to do a few things that I thought might take care of the problem, so I checked all vacuum lines and capped-off fittings for leakage, checked vacuum and fuel lines for kinks, replaced the fuel tank fuel filter, replaced the sparkplugs, beefed up the 30-amp fuse link with 12 gauge wire, and re-synced the starter valves. Dynojet even sent me a new PCIII USB after I sent mine in for testing. About a month ago I re-connected the flapper valve, and since I didn’t want to re-connect the PAIR system, I installed a set of aluminum PAIR valve covers. None of these things had any affect or fixed the surging problem…

A few weeks ago I tried something else after reading a post here on VFRD, and I think what I did all but eliminated the surging problem. I can’t say that the surging is completely gone, because once in a while when the engine is at 200F or higher, I can occasionally feel just a slight amount of stumbling while holding a steady throttle in first gear, but it’s definitely a lot better. So it’s not a 100% fix...more like a 90% fix which is great and I can live with it.

What was the fix you ask? It was the velocity stack placement…

At some point after having the airbox apart and putting it back together, I didn’t think to see how the stacks were originally placed at the factory, and when I checked VFRD the consensus here was that they should be front/short and rear/tall. In one of H.S.’s tutorials though he has the placement staggered, except just the opposite as what I show below. Anyway, ever since last summer I’ve had the velocity stacks with the short in the front and the tall in the rear, and I’ve been chasing a frustrating surging problem.

After reading another post though, I switched my stacks to this configuration which seems to be how the manual depicts them and how they are installed at the factory.

Left Front: Short

Right Front: Tall

Left Rear: Tall

Right Rear: Short

Here is the thread: http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.p...c=30771&hl=

I don’t know why this makes a difference, but it does seem to affect how the bike runs. So if you’re running the stacks as front/short and rear/tall, and are experiencing low speed high rpm surging, then I suggest trying the stacks in this configuration. It worked for me…

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Update to my surging issue!!!!

After reading another post though, I switched my stacks to this configuration which seems to be how the manual depicts them and how they are installed at the factory.

Left Front: Short

Right Front: Tall

Left Rear: Tall

Right Rear: Short

Here is the thread: http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.p...c=30771&hl=

I don’t know why this makes a difference, but it does seem to affect how the bike runs. So if you’re running the stacks as front/short and rear/tall, and are experiencing low speed high rpm surging, then I suggest trying the stacks in this configuration. It worked for me…

I believe that as the potential source of your problem, good for you finding it!

I've seen the "shorts in front talls in rear" recommendation before, but none of the half dozen factory Vtecs I've looked at had this config from the factory and I know Honda spent a lot of time setting up our air boxes! :thumbsup:

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I switched my stacks to this configuration which seems to be how the manual depicts them and how they are installed at the factory.

Left Front: Short

Right Front: Tall

Left Rear: Tall

Right Rear: Short

I don’t know why this makes a difference, but it does seem to affect how the bike runs. So if you’re running the stacks as front/short and rear/tall, and are experiencing low speed high rpm surging, then I suggest trying the stacks in this configuration. It worked for me…

Very interesting. I know when I stuck 330 ohm resistors in my O2 sensor wires, the surging was absolutely horrible. Almost to the point of dangerous when traveling around town in 1st and 2nd gear. The only work around was to get the bike to start in default mode, which involved turning the bike on and off quickly a few times before starting it.

After putting on quite a few miles with the resistors in place, the surging has gotten better. I can still tell it's there, but it's no where near as bad as before. I always figured the ECU just "relearned" everything and fixed it for me. I'll have to give this velocity stack swap a try and see if it eliminates the surging for good. :thumbsup:

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After putting on quite a few miles with the resistors in place, the surging has gotten better. I can still tell it's there, but it's no where near as bad as before. I always figured the ECU just "relearned" everything and fixed it for me. I'll have to give this velocity stack swap a try and see if it eliminates the surging for good. :thumbsup:

I wish that was the case, but our ECU's do not have that ability (to learn). sad.gif

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SWEET! :thumbsup:

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After putting on quite a few miles with the resistors in place, the surging has gotten better. I can still tell it's there, but it's no where near as bad as before. I always figured the ECU just "relearned" everything and fixed it for me. I'll have to give this velocity stack swap a try and see if it eliminates the surging for good. :thumbsup:

Please post your results after trying the stack swap...I rode my bike for about 2 weeks after the change to make sure the stack placement made a difference. I still get some slight surging now and then, but as quicknick already mentioned, it also helps to change your startup routine. Turn the ignition ON and let the fuel pump prime, and then OFF and back ON. Crazy...but it works.

I also re-connected the flapper. I didn't notice any performance gain with it disconnected, and I quickly tired of hearing the intake suckage noise. It also didn't make any difference with the surging, but with it re-connected it does make the on/off throttle a little snatchier. Still, my flapper is back to stock and I'm leaving that way.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I remember wondering about that due to the bad drawing in the tech manual, but at the same time I don't recall finding my stacks installed that way when I first took the bike apart.

Its been a long time, but I'm pretty sure the length of the plastic differs front to back to make up for the difference in length in the intake runners below them. Anyone with a brand new VTEC want to take theirs apart for the first time to look, or does someone want to measure the difference between intake length in front and back?

From an engineering standpoint, at lower RPM where you're having issues the stack placement shouldn't affect surging for two reasons. One is that the air is moving well below the point where the intake would experience sonic choking, and its way, way too short compared to diameter at too low of a speed for friction to be significant...so runner length doesn't matter. The second is that the plastic stack is upstream from the butterfly valve. If its not entirely or almost entirely open, its interfering with the flow (by design, fuel mixing needs turbulence) and so again, the runner length doesn't matter.

This is why it doesn't matter that your airbox is discombobulated for the starter valve sync...air is too slow for significant friction or choking to occur anyway. Its also why your surging isn't entirely gone wink.gif

I would suspect that your bike might have new issues at or near full throttle with different intake lengths...assuming that you're not remembering original placement better than I am :unsure:

Edited by ShipFixer
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I opened up an 02, 04 & 06 for the first time each and all were as shown in the post here: short and tall on the front cyl. None of the Vtecs I've ever opened had shorts or talls on the same head! wink.gif

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