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Buell Forum » Big, Bad & Dirty (Buell XB12X Ulysses Adventure Board) » Archive through April 14, 2017 » ECM Issue Maybe..? « Previous Next »

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Hangetsu
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 10:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Well, after over 40k of flawless running, I never thought it would be me having to write in with this type of issue. But, to my surprise, I see that several others are suffering similar problems with Ulys of similar age and mileage. So as not to be too redundant, Ill make my explanation brief, but if anyone has dealt with the same or similar situation and found a solution, Id love to hear from you.

So here it goes:

These symptoms are extremely sporadic and intermittent. 80% of the time, the bike runs great, but when its bad, its really bad, and that 20% seems to be becoming more frequent.

The 20, but increasing %:

Bike starts, but soon after it settles into a smooth idle, the RPMs will suddenly rise to about 1500 2000, then, just as suddenly drop. They drop low enough for the engine to die without throttle assistance.

When afore mentioned symptom occurs, almost without fail, the bike will cough, sputter, and backfire on takeoff sometimes violently enough to almost send me over the bars.

Once rolling, low RPM riding is rough and power delivery erratic. On throttle, however, things are smooth and the thing hauls ass. 2000+ RPM cruising is also smooth and strong. Low RPM in traffic riding is rough with frequent near stalls or power surges.

These symptoms occur periodically when the engine is cold, but they are at their worst when its fully warmed up, but has sat for a few to several minutes for fueling or perhaps a coffee stop. When I return to the bike, the erratic idle, backfiring, sputtering, and loss of low RPM power occurs almost 100% of the time. However, once underway for a bit, the problem generally smooths itself out and all is OK till the next round which may or may not happen again for a few to several days.

Any ideas? Im considering taking it to Team Latus in Portland for a diagnostic, but if its something with a fix that wont entail weeks of trial and error, Id like to save the $$. This is my daily and only transpo, so a quick fix is imperative.

Thanks in advance for your help and advice.
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Mtz117
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Sounds like the ECM. Had similar issues recently. 30,000 miles. ECM fixed all issues.
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Reepicheep
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 03:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Could also be the cam position sensor.
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Steveford
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 05:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The TPS mechanism is a plastic part which wears and develops slop in it so that could also be the culprit.
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Tootal
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 10:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Sounds like ECM but like Steve says the tps would also do that. Try loosening the two screws holding the tps and rotate it Clockwise all the way. There is adjustment there. Tighten the screws and reset the tps. If the spring gets weak in the tps sensor it could bounce around, rotating it will add spring pressure and stabilize it. It won't hurt anything and it doesn't cost anything but a little time.
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Arry
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 02:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Hangetsu, I'm off topic, but I saw a CO plated Uly in Camas, yesterday. As you are in the Portland area, I'm wondering if that was you?
When my ECM went bad, It had intermittent/sporadic symptoms, but not quite the same as you describe.
Have you seen a CEL, or checked for codes?
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Hugie03flhr
Posted on Friday, September 30, 2016 - 09:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I think you are looking at a dirty IAC or leaky intake gaskets. After 40,000 miles the plunger on the IAC gets dirty or the servo starts wearing out. I have a 2009 and it kicks the idle up about 200 rpm when I kick it in gear. That sensor is constantly moving and when it starts sticking, the bike will have a fit under 2000 rpm.
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Hangetsu
Posted on Tuesday, October 04, 2016 - 10:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Wow, a lot of places to look, but I will check them all. Replacing the ECM is something I want to save till I have to replace the muffler - which won't be long now, but not yet.
Thanks for all the advice.
Arry -
I've already changed my plates to OR, so that wasn't me. However, if you hang around on Division between the water and Gresham anytime in the mornings or early evenings, you will likely see me at some point. That's my daily commute.
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Hughlysses
Posted on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 - 08:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I have a 2009 and it kicks the idle up about 200 rpm when I kick it in gear.

William- Check the switch on your clutch lever. If that switch is sticking, it will produce the symptoms you are describing. I was able to fix mine with a shot of contact cleaner.
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Jasonmcelroy
Posted on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 - 12:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I had these symptoms last fall on my '09.

I removed the airbox and cleaned the intake tract which was pretty sooted up. I also removed the idle air control value (easy, two screws, just treat it gently) and cleaned it and the port too.

That solved my problems.

My current thinking is that the bike runs a little rich at idle and eventually carbons up the intake. Having a long history with HD engines (with aluminum cyls pinched between head and cases) I err towards warming the engine up a bit at idle before riding to avoid base gasket leaks.

Clutch lever switch is also a great suggestion. I wasn't aware the bike had one until I saw some unexpected behavior after switching levers. ;-0

Jason

(Message edited by jasonmcelroy on October 05, 2016)
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Hangetsu
Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2016 - 09:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

So, maybe it's ignorance or maybe just gullibility, but please explain how a switch on the clutch lever can have an effect on fueling...?
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Griffmeister
Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2016 - 11:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Not so much fueling but idle speed. When stopped and holding the clutch in, the idle will increase to about 1500 rpm. Put the bike in neutral so you can let the clutch out and the idle will drop back to the normal 1100 rpm. If the clutch switch was making erratic contact then you could expect the idle to go nuts in this situation.

While not a situation to just go blindly changing parts, I will vouch for the potential issue of a bad ECM. I was having some running issues, one of which involved the idle. For the first few miles while warming up, the idle was terrible. It was all over the place and would like to stall at a stop. Even when warm, it didn't have the previously mentioned response to the clutch lever. I bought a new IDS ECM and put it in, the difference was like night and day. The idle is now just as it should be and the bike runs 100% better overall. That and my fuel mileage has increased by 6 to 8 mpg. I know that I'm impressed with the difference but like I say, this is not a random parts changing fix.
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Jasonmcelroy
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 06:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

My understanding of the clutch switch effect on engine RPM is a little different but maybe I'm just thinking about it wrong.

Discovered when I changed levers with with different profile where it meets the switch that the bike behaved differently when taking off from standstill. I commute on the bike all year long so it was immediately obvious.

I ground down the lever where it contacts the clutch lever switch until I got it back like it was.

When in gear and the switch is depressed the idle is around 1100rpm. As you let the clutch lever out and the switch plunger starts to emerge the RPMS rise.

Two ways you can look at for the reason:

1) assists in throttle application (smooth take-off) when releasing the clutch (friction zone)

2) brings the RPMS to appropriately low level for smooth gear shifting when clutch fully disengaged (lever to bar)

Jason
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Ftd
Posted on Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 03:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Who what is IDS??

TIA
Frank
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Jasonmcelroy
Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2016 - 01:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

As I understand it, they're the company that made the oem ECMs for Buell. The sell them under their own label now.

I ordered one and it has identical casing and appearance (aside from the label) to the stock one I replaced.

They were great to deal with too. They answered many tech and theory questions for me about the programming logic.

ECM has worked flawlessly commuting and desert riding over the last year.

http://idspd.com/

I don't work there. Just a satisfied customer.

Jason
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Hangetsu
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 02:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Well, I thank you all for all of your input. As it turned out, it was the ECM (at least that's what the Digi-Tech said). A new ECM was $350, and I don't even want to discuss what the diagnostics cost. I'm hoping to pick it up from Latus this weekend.
This sucks only because I have been planning on upgrading to the Drummer SS, which would have entailed buying an IDS ECM. I've been holding that off for financial reasons. I shouldn't have. This repair, labor + parts has cost me as much as the Drummer and ECM would have, but this only achieves getting my bike back on the road in stock form.
Oh well.
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Tootal
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 10:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Why don't you get an ECM for the Drummer and wire your stock muffler open. It may run a little rich but when you do get the drummer you're already set.
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Hangetsu
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2016 - 12:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Tootal - that would have been a decent idea, but since the bike's my primary (meaning only) transportation, time was of the essence. I left it in the dealer's hands, and it was, in fact, the ECM. They replaced it with a stock unit and it now runs great.
The Drummer SS and tweaked ECM will still happen, just a little further down the road.
Thanks again everyone.
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Ftd
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 09:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

What was the problem with your ECM? Cracked or damaged from contact with the seat? I don't understand why so many of these bikes have ECM issues?
My 06 Uly with ~40,000 miles is still using the direct link tuned race ECM I had Appleton HD install before I picked it up 10 1/2 yrs ago. I would like not to have to replace it anytime soon.

TIA
Frank
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Griffmeister
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 10:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The stock seat on the 06 was taller and did not have the contact issues that the newer bikes have. Of course there was the low seat option which kind of defeated the whole thing.
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Froggy
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 10:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Also on 08+ bikes the ECM is physically larger, so the gap between the ECM and the seat is smaller, which compounds the issue.

An 06/07 with the tall seat is less likely to have the issue, but it is not immune.
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Twisteduly
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 10:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

And the tabs face up on the ecm connection
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Hangetsu
Posted on Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 03:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

No, mine had no issue with the seat touching. The case on the old ECM was totally intact.

I believe the reason this is such a common problem is heat. The Ulysses' ECM is mounted right behind the rear cylinder, directly in the path of the fan blast. It is literally right in the hottest spot on the bike, path of all the exhausted engine heat. Heat (and heat-cycles) is the mortal enemy of microprocessors. You mount any microprocessor in such a hot environment, it will begin to deteriorate from the first day. I believe this (and making an underslung muffler out of mild steel) to be two of grossest design oversights in this bike.

Anyway, it's running great now, and I'm sure the new ECM will last just fine till I can afford to go to the Drummer SS.

(Unless I buy a new Tiger Explorer first.)

Thanks for the chat.

A-
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Sagehawk
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2016 - 12:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Several times after getting home, i would shoot temps on battery and ecm and area to be 140 to 150f . sometime , at a rest or gas stop i would pull my seat off to let a bit of heat cool off under the seat. I did get some strange looks at doing that. some rides i would go on would be 10 hour and 330 miles plus. lots of heat under the seat.
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