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Buell Forum » Knowledge Vault (tech, parts, apparel, & accessories topics) » Electrical - Battery, Charg Sys, Lights, Switches, Sensors & Guages » Intermittent CEL and cutting out on my way home...... « Previous Next »

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Hoovdawg
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 11:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Bike was fine on my way to work last night (I work grave). During my shift I had a bit of free time. The bike was fairly trashed from a ride I took last weekend so I took a bucket of hot water out to it and gave the thing a scrub. Front of the engine was fairly coated with bugs, so I did a bit of scrubbing there with a pipe cleaner type of brush (much larger than a pipe cleaner though)I did run it over the finned thing (voltage regulator?) briefly.

I get done with my shift (approx. 6 hrs. after the cleaning), and I go out and start it up, idling fine. I take off, and not much more than 2 blocks down the road the CEL flickers on and off, accompanied by the engine cutting out, and the speedo and tach. dropping to zero for a split second during the stutter. Just momentarily though. It didn't ever totally die on me. Sometimes the CEL would come on and stay lit for a few seconds before the engine would start hiccuping, but once the enigine starts cutting out it would flicker on and off till the engine started behaving, then it would go out. It happened a half a dozen times on my 6 mile ride home.

I threw the cable on it and checked for codes with ECMSpy, but it shows nothing. No historical codes either. Took the seat off and checked battery connection. Positive was maybe a super tiny bit loose, but not that bad.

Did I get something too wet?

I'll try it out again when I get up this evening. Maybe a nice hot day in the garage will evaporate whatever water is sitting wherever it is sitting?

Any ideas?

Thx
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Maxd
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 02:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

If anyone has any information on this problem, I could use the help as well. My bike started recently doing this. When I turn the key to on, the Odometer numbers flicker and the speedometer flickers on and off. I can get it to work by rocking the bike back and forth. It seems obvious that there is something loose somewhere, but I've check all the lines and everything seems tight and connected. Occasionally while driving it will flicker and the bike looses power momentarily, but then everything comes back on and runs fine.

The speedometer currently isn't working either, which I assume is the speed sensor but haven't had time to fully investigate that problem.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Edit: I should add I didn't see the CEL light up, but it happens so fast I don't really get a chance to look to closely. It is noticeable because the speedometer loses power and the odometer turns off.

(Message edited by maxd on August 29, 2011)
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Hoovdawg
Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 04:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Well, I took it out again today after it sat in my garage for two days baking in 90 degree heat. So any moisture that was there should have been burned off. It did the same thing. Idles fine, but after a few blocks it does the same thing. Guy on another forum says it is word for word what was going on with his bike, and it ended up being that his ECM had took a dump. I really hope that's not the issue. Can't afford a new one right now. BTW, the bike is an '07 XB12R.

Any ideas on how I might do some testing to see what the problem is?

So pissed.....
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Hoovdawg
Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 11:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

No input from any the Buell scholars on here? Wow.....surprising.
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Froggy
Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 11:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Wiggle the connectors on the ECM while it is running, if it acts up, it probably is an ECM failure.

Could also be a bad ground or a loose wire in a billion other places, start wiggling things.
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Terrys1980
Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 11:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Check all connectors, plugs, fuses and relays for water intrusion. Pull the front sprocket cover, there are several important connectors behind there that could have gotten wet. The speed sensor, stator, cam position sensor, neutral switch, voltage regulator connectors are all behind it.

Get yourself some de-natured alcohol or precision clean or contact cleaner to do some electrical cleaning. De-natured alcohol is my favorite as it will not eat up epoxy coatings on circuit boards. Do not use brake cleaner.

Sometimes the water can get in but has no escape when it evaporates causing a never ending cycle.

(Message edited by TerryS1980 on August 31, 2011)
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Hoovdawg
Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2011 - 03:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Ok, cool. I'll give all that a try. Anything to keep from shelling out $250 for an ECM.

I have a question though. If any one of those components (or their connections) was the culprit, wouldn't the ECM be giving me some sort of code for it? A guy over on the Buelletinboard said the description I gave was word for word what his bike did to him. And it ended up being his ECM. And he said the reason why there were no codes is because the ECM itself was the problem. But once he put a new one on the bike it started spitting out codes for other components being bad. Sounds like something happened that killed one thing, and that caused issues elsewhere, etc, etc.
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Froggy
Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2011 - 04:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

If the issue is what I am thinking it is, it is a broken connection causing the ECM to lose power, so when your bike is acting up, it keeps momentarily rebooting the ECM, that will not throw a trouble code. The CEL coming on is just the normal bootup.

As for replacing the ECM and getting codes, that is because whoever told you that probably never read the directions. When you get a new ECM from Erik Buell Racing, it will have historical codes on it as a byproduct of the programming process they use. The codes will clear themselves after a few starts.
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Kalali
Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2011 - 05:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

At the risk of stating the obvious, did you check closely the spot you scrubbed with the brush? I would start with the last place you touched and work backwards. No need to chase down areas where you did not even touch...
Also, there aren't many places where water could puddle and cause a short. Just my 2 cents.
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Hoovdawg
Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2011 - 06:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Yeah Kalali, I've taken a quick peek around the areas I cleaned. I've done the exact same scrub job I don't know how many times, which is why I have trouble seeing how it's all of a sudden acting up. And with it being an XB12R I don't see how the ECM could have gotten all that wet being stuffed up behind the front plastics.

A bit busy this week so I haven't had a chance to really dig in to the thing yet, guess we'll see.......
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T9r
Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 04:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

ECM via Erik Buell Racing are now $305, ouch.
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Hoovdawg
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 - 07:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Well, since I've been busy getting all my ducks in a row for the fall quarter of college, I just today had a chance to dig into the bike. So, it's been sitting in my hot garage for a couple weeks.

I took the front fairing and the front sprocket cover off. Then I disconnected every single connection I could get my hands on. Looking for any corrosion, water, or signs of arcing out. Nothing to be seen anywhere. Dry as a bone, and clean as a whistle. Also pulled the ECM off the bike. No signs of anything there either. Connections very dry and clean.

Plugged everything back together, and decided to try it again. Ran it around the neighborhood. It ran like a top. I brought it back and put the fairing and sprocket cover back on, and took it for a spin around town. No problems at all. Ran it for about an hour.

I'm gonna guess I just had a little drop of water in there somewhere, and it finally evaporated after a couple weeks of baking in the garage. So happy I'm not out $305!!!
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Hoovdawg
Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2011 - 11:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Ummm......I spoke too soon it seems. Rode it to work last night. Ran fine. Temp was in the lower 80s. Got on it to go home this morning, and it did the same thing. Temp in the low 50s. Something inside the ECM must be losing connection in cool weather? Any way it could be the battery? It starts and idles just fine though. Man this sucks!!
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Mesozoic
Posted on Friday, February 17, 2012 - 10:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I had the same problem a few months ago and traced it down to a bad ground plane for the ECM. The ECM was throwing bad O2 sensor codes, but the reality was that a corroded ground connection was making the ECM read wonky. Cleaned everything, put it back together and runs great. The stumbling part before the CEL stays on was the O2 still being used, shortly afterwards the ECM goes into a permanent open loop and runs fine.
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Lauper99
Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2014 - 12:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

My 99
Thunderbolt is doing something very similar. On a day trip when I stop in the late morning lets say one or two hrs into the ride. I'll hop back on the bike it runs fine. But a couple of miles down the road it dies ..
I coast to the shoulder and before I stop it fires back up and runs fine for the rest of the day ..its like so predictable but one of these times I no its not going to fire back up .. best I have heard is a bad relay box. Has anyone heard of this ..
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