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Barn Find - need help please


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Greetings everyone, I am new to the VFR forums and have found this site to be a tremendous resource.  I hope you guys can help me troubleshoot my issue.

I wasn’t looking for a project when I came across this non-running 2001 VFR, but after research and YouTube videos, I decided to take a chance (It was the dyno pull videos - that sound is something special).  It’s a low mileage bike with only 8,594 original miles! (not a typo).  It still has the OEM tires, though dry-rotted and bald.  Previous owner said it ran last time he rode it but does not start now, selling due to surgery and getting older. Been dropped on both sides but not crashed, will need fairing kit.  He said its been sitting about a year, but judging from the amount of dirt I’d say more like 4-5 years.  It was stored in a lean-to type shed with a dirt floor, basically had a roof over its head but open to the elements otherwise.

Got it home, new battery and changed all fluids except brake, fresh gas and turned the key, no green neutral light on the dash.  The neutral wire and oil pressure wire were severed and there was evidence of a mouse nest.  Rigged a temporary ground for neutral wire, the fuel pump primed and she turns over but no start.  At this point I became aware of the vulnerabilities of the VFR harness and R/R.  I inspected every single plug (including the hidden multi block grounds), and found zero corrosion or indications of heat, pleasantly surprised.  Will do RR upgrades as soon as is practical but want to get it running first.  Continuing on…

Pulled and tested fuel pump, 250cc @ 10sec out of main fuel line.  Checked spark, weaker than I like, orange color.  The left cylinder plugs were dry and the right side wet with fuel, injector voltages are little more than 12 volts each, 12.2 I think .  Digging deeper: pulled fuel rail and throttle bodies, lines were clear, rail was clear, no debris or varnish.  Vacuum lines still supple, no cracks or dry-rot (I know I Know, should have replaced them, I still may).  Repaired the neutral and oil sensor wires, ECT wires were ok.  Tested the injectors, no clicky clicky on the dry cylinders, wet ones clicked.  Installed 4 new injectors (helpful hint, same part number as Honda Civic), and tried to start.  The bike started and ran one time for about 2min.  I was able to record some of it, see video of idle and attempted start.  Hard to start, very low idle initially but slowly stabilized at 1100rpm then slowly increased to 2k rpm, then slowly decreased to under 1K rpm and died.  Gave it tiny throttle while at 2k and it immediately wanted to die.  It hasn’t started since and only gets the initial fire.  There are no FI codes, unplugged the MAP to create a code to verify and it worked.

My intuition tells me its probably one of the vacuum lines but thought I’d check here before removing the throttle bodies a second time.  Again, I really appreciate the forums here and I welcome any suggestions.

 

Video Not starting:  

 

 

Video Running: 

 

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Welcoe to VFRD !!!!

 

My 1st guess would be the Fuel Pressure Regualtor, an easy enough check.

Lift the tank, pull off the thin tube and place a rug under/around its spout. Turn the ignition on (no starting, just primong). If fulel comes out, it is farked.

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Pretty good start to the project..... I'd guess running too lean if it dies and can't go at 2k rpm.... what Dutchy says......

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Have you verified the wax idle unit is properly operating. If the starter valves aren’t being closed (pic to show you what they look like-push the top eyelet inward, when cold), you’ll just about never get it started, when it’s not fully warmed up. It sounds like your initial start, where it was idling fine, might be just that. Giving it throttle when it’s still cold, and the starter valves not closed, would cause it die like you experienced, as well. If you disconnect the wax idle unit linkage and manually manipulate the starter valves, you’ll quickly find out if the wax idle unit is the issue. 
 

It sounds like you’ve been about the most thorough one could be, with this. Hats off to you. 

D8376FE9-9736-42CE-8CA5-EC6F3FF6326E.jpeg

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Sounds like a cool  project....best of luck...lots of work to get it on the road.

 

:beer:

 

 

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Maybe re-test the fuel pump flow; maybe the pump filter is now clogged? I don't think the fast idle system is an issue as all it does is create an alternate air path around the butterflies; you can get the same fast idle from opening the buterflies, but that caused a stall. 

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Hi Jroberts3.

Welcome to the forum, great job with all your fault finding so far.

 

Your statement regarding the right side cylinder plugs being wet and you have no Fi fault codes makes me think the same as Dutchy, the Fuel Pressure Regulator needs checking. A ruptured FPR diaphragm will dump excess fuel into cylinders 3 and 4 the two right side cylinders via its vacuum hose. And as Dutchy has mentioned, its an easy check.

The engine failing to start might now be caused by a flooded situation.

A thorough check of all vacuum lines is also a good idea.

You haven't mentioned it, but assume your air filter is in good shape?

 

Good luck hope you get it sorted. If you get it running again, have a voltmeter on the battery to verify charging voltage. 

 

Keep us posted. Once sorted you'll find the 5gen is a Great bike.

 

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If its been sitting for a few years, I'd suspect the injectors are gummed up. Unfortunately to pull  them you need to take the throttle bodies off the engine. You can run them with a hose with brake cleaner in it & I use a small tyre compressor to pressurise the hose a few psi. Then use a couple of insulated wires from a 12v battery to cycle the injector on/off with a tap on the connectors. I've brought a few gummed up injectors back doing this.
 

Or you can pull them & send them for cleaning. 
 

 

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😯

2 hours ago, Mohawk said:

If its been sitting for a few years, I'd suspect the injectors are gummed up. Unfortunately to pull  them you need to take the throttle bodies off the engine. You can run them with a hose with brake cleaner in it & I use a small tyre compressor to pressurise the hose a few psi. Then use a couple of insulated wires from a 12v battery to cycle the injector on/off with a tap on the connectors. I've brought a few gummed up injectors back doing this.
 

Or you can pull them & send them for cleaning. 
 

 

 

 

that's alota work, as much as cleaning carbs !  🙄

 

 

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On 10/2/2021 at 5:23 PM, Terry said:

 I don't think the fast idle system is an issue as all it does is create an alternate air path around the butterflies; you can get the same fast idle from opening the buterflies, but that caused a stall. 


That’s not how the system works. 

 

23 hours ago, Grum said:

Hi Jroberts3.

Welcome to the forum, great job with all your fault finding so far.

 

Your statement regarding the right side cylinder plugs being wet and you have no Fi fault codes makes me think the same as Dutchy, the Fuel Pressure Regulator needs checking. A ruptured FPR diaphragm will dump excess fuel into cylinders 3 and 4 the two right side cylinders via its vacuum hose. And as Dutchy has mentioned, its an easy check.

The engine failing to start might now be caused by a flooded situation.

A thorough check of all vacuum lines is also a good idea.

You haven't mentioned it, but assume your air filter is in good shape?

 

Good luck hope you get it sorted. If you get it running again, have a voltmeter on the battery to verify charging voltage. 

 

Keep us posted. Once sorted you'll find the 5gen is a Great bike.

 


That’s very observant, about the FPR’s vacuum hose and where it T’s and then connects.

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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone, I will check the fuel reg after work this evening and report back.  Fingers crossed. 

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Welcome Jroberts3! Congratulations on your find. Hopefully it won't having you crawling down a rabbit hole but as you said, this forum has great resources, so I anticipate this group keeping you top side! Good Luck!

 

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That looks like a blast. I think that my perfect retirement job would be getting a barn full of bikes back into service and sold. 

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1 hour ago, bmart said:

That looks like a blast. I think that my perfect retirement job would be getting a barn full of bikes back into service and sold. 


Well, it would be more like a charity operation than a retirement plan. 😆

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I've had fun with it so far. I try to get through one or two every winter while I'm holding down a job. lol A few I've done:

 

IMG_9274.thumb.JPG.27568bbcf308a2fe01350370ddd94359.JPG

 

20200503_092836_resized.thumb.jpg.4fce46a44535c12ae45d7ba17df09390.jpg

 

 

IMG_0002.JPG

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Thanks again everyone, I was able to confirm the fuel pressure regulator operates without leakage into the vacuum tube, but in the process took 2 steps back.  I did a stupid thing and  jumped the fuel cutoff relay trying to apply more pressure to the regulator (never listen to voices in your head, ugh).  It work for a few seconds but then something happened.  I'm not sure what but now it appears the "go signal" doesn't get to the pump.  I tested the pump via direct 12v (still works), and all the fuses are in tact.  I switched out the hi/low beam relay while a new one is on the way.  Could I have fried one of the other relays?  I am hesitant without further direction, don't want to mess up something else.  The bike cranks over, but no fuel pump activation.

 

BTW great looking machines bmart!

IMG_20211005_120606211_HDR.jpg

IMG_20211005_120511552_HDR.jpg

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4 hours ago, Jroberts3 said:

Thanks again everyone, I was able to confirm the fuel pressure regulator operates without leakage into the vacuum tube, but in the process took 2 steps back.  I did a stupid thing and  jumped the fuel cutoff relay trying to apply more pressure to the regulator (never listen to voices in your head, ugh).  It work for a few seconds but then something happened.  I'm not sure what but now it appears the "go signal" doesn't get to the pump.  I tested the pump via direct 12v (still works), and all the fuses are in tact.  I switched out the hi/low beam relay while a new one is on the way.  Could I have fried one of the other relays?  I am hesitant without further direction, don't want to mess up something else.  The bike cranks over, but no fuel pump activation.

 

BTW great looking machines bmart!

IMG_20211005_120606211_HDR.jpg

IMG_20211005_120511552_HDR.jpg

Uh no.... You've created short-circuit to ground. Like connecting battery +12v terminal directly to -ground terminal... I hope you had disconnected ECU before doing this...

 

Proper diagnostic methodology is non-interference, you don't change anything in system. It's like doctor trying to diagnose your chronic tiredness issue, "Hmm, I suspect worn-out heart. Let's just bypass heart with pump and see if it improves." Instead, measure and come up with numbers and compare those numbers with standards given in manual (like doing blood tests). For example:

 

troubleshooting headlights not-ON issue

1. measure continuity/resistance to ground of ground-terminal in bulb-socket. Ohms = ???
2. measure voltage of power-terminal in bulb-socket, Voltage = ???

3. measure grounds at headlight relay. Ohms = ???
4. measure voltages coming out of headlight relay. Voltage = ???

5. measure voltages going into headlight relay. Voltage = ???

6. measure voltages going out of headlight switch. Voltage = ???

7. measure voltages going into headlight switch. Voltage = ???


Notice that you haven't changed anything in system. Just measure states of wires and junctions, which tells you everything you need to know to troubleshoot. Shorting wires across relay-connector won't give you any useful info. Even if it did work, are you going to pull over every time you want to turn on headlights to jumper relay socket to turn on lights? Better to measure voltages at the connector itself to gather more useful data to pinpoint actual problem & cause of issue. Every single wire and junction has a state (on, off, ground). Comparing state you measured with what it should be gives you all necessary information without changing system and introducing additional errors. Similarly:

 

troubleshooting fuel-pump not-ON issue

1. measure power/ground at pump (green->black probe, brown-> red probe). What is voltage when cranking?

2. measure power/ground at fuel relay-output (Br -> black probe, Bl/W -> red probe). What is voltage when cranking?

3. measure power/ground at fuel relay-input (Br/Bl -> black probe, -> Bl/W red probe). What is voltage when cranking?

4. measure power/ground at ECU connector (A5 br/bl -> black probe, B8 Bl/W -> red probe). What is voltage when cranking?


These numbers will tell exactly where problem is without disturbing system. You can deduce where break in circuit is based upon where power disappears along way. Then you can measure wiring & components between where power exists and next junction where it disappears.

 

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Again, changing a system is not valid troubleshooting & diagnostic process. It introduces variables other than components you're trying to test and leads to additional errors. For example, this guy on Ninja forums was having ignition problems with no spark. So... to "test" ignition coils, he cuts all wires between ECU and coils and crimps on new ones. Logic was if wiring is bad, this would fix it right? Well, if wiring wasn't bad to begin with, it can certainly be bad now because he's introduced 2-crimps per wire where there was continuous wiring before.

 

Better to have measured voltage and ground at ignition coils themselves. Then if no power where there should've been power, measure power/ground at ECU. If present there, but not at other end of wires, then yes, you can deduce that wiring in between may be bad without changing single thing and possibly introducing additional errors. Then to confirm state of wiring, measure resistance/continuity of each wire end-to-end. Broken one will show up.... again, without changing  anything.

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Oh No.......Bottom line is you have shorted the 12v on the Black/White wire to the Brown/Black Ground control wire coming from the ECM!

 

The Brown/Black is the relay controlling Ground from the ECM.

 

To bypass the Relay you should have ONLY jumpered the Black/White to the Brown wire!

 

Sadly, you may well have blown the ECM!

 

Also if you have confirmed both Fuse B 20amp (in the fuse box) and Main Fuse B 30amp (next to your starter relay) are both OK, then that also reaffirms you've blown the ECM!

 

Refer top right corner of this drawing. (Note this training drawing may not be exactly per your bike.)

20211006_091843.png

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BTW - did you buy 4x brand-new injectors from authorised Honda dealer?

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Thank you DannoXYZ and Grum, I deserve every bit of public humiliation I receive.  Sadly, I knew better and did it anyway.  I am humbled but not deterred and really appreciate your time and effort helping me.   The injectors came from Rocky Mtn ATV OEM parts finder page.  That's where I get most of my stuff as I mostly ride dirt bikes.  Prior to your responses I was considering testing the other relays ahead of it, - engine stop, bank angle (pg. 21-24 of the manual) but the engine cranks so not sure if that makes sense.  The voltage at the fuel stop relay hovers around 2volts - shouldn't there be zero if the ECU is fried?  Should I assume the ECU is toast and take a chance on an E-bay unit?  After that, then what?  Someone else mentioned the air bypass and wax unit.  When cold the bypasses are held open approx. 1/16th to 1/8th inch.  Sound correct?  Thanks again everyone, any and all suggestion are welcome.

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5 hours ago, Jroberts3 said:

The voltage at the fuel stop relay hovers around 2volts - shouldn't there be zero if the ECU is fried? 

You should be seeing 12v on both the Black/White wires of the Fuel Cut Relay base, with Ignition to On, Kill Switch to RUN.

By confirming 12v at this point also confirms both Engine Stop Relay and Bank Angle Sensor(Engine Stop Sensor) are OK.

Your Starter/Cranking circuit is not effected by the state of both BAS or the ESR. However, ALL power to your EFI system is removed if the BAS is triggered or a faulty ESR = Cranking but no Start.

Refer to the Service Manual and wiring diagram!

 

Have you confirmed the state of the two fuses I previously mentioned? Either one of these fuses blown will kill the voltage to both relays ESR and FCR.

 

Your FCR socket looks melted beyond repair. Would certainly be replacing the relay socket. Given you had no previous issues with Fuel Prime there was most likely No issue with the Fuel Cut Relay itself.

 

You have most likley fried the fuel pump Ground control section of the ECM. If there was a major short within the ECM you would most certainly be blowing at least one of the fuses mentioned.

If after repairing the melted FCR relay base and refitting the relay And fuses mentioned are ok And you have confirmed 12v on the Black/White wire And your Fuel Pump doesn't prime at switch on along with most likley your Fi light being On - Then your ECM is toast!

 

As for an ECM replacement, can't really help you with that, hopefully others may be able to advise.

But I will say to make sure you get exactly the same part numbered item as there are a few variations for the 5gen ECM based on country, year etc.

 

Good luck, sad you've definitely gone backwards....as they say, shit happens.

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