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WTF is this noise?


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#1 wfooshee

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 05:15 PM

I rode about 230 miles today, and when I got home, I stopped at a store. After restarting when I came out, the bike made a clunk while cranking, idled rough, and had this noise. Bike is idling in neutral, hands off the controls. Microphone is near the clutch cover.

I was only a couple of miles from home, went ahead and rode it home, then got the video camera out to record the sound. During the ride home, the bike pulled fine, and idled better after running a couple of minutes, but still makes this noise once in a while at idle. It might go 3 or 4 minutes without, then do it 2 or 3 times within 10 seconds.

I don't think it does it with the clutch pulled in, but I didn't try that for very long. Putting on gloves and placing my hand against the motor, I can't feel this from the left side, but it is evident with my hand on the right side. I can't localize it any better than the right side somewhere, can't tell for sure if it's clutch, tranny, valve, cam, or what.

I'd made several stops during my ride today, checking a handheld GPS (no Garmin, yet), getting water, etc. and this never happened until I was nearly home.

A final note: I ran the bike lower on fuel than I ever have before, about 27 miles into the blinking fuel gauge.

I might know what this is, but I want to hear a consensus before I speculate.
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#2 ionbeam

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 05:35 PM

Well, let me speculate a bit.

The engine rpm changes with the noise, that brings to mind that the cam chain tensioner needs to take up another ratchet click. But, I'm pretty sensitized to this topic dry.gif If it doesn't 'heal' on its own pretty quick you should have your preferred service center take a look.

On a more optimistic outlook, it could be a failing TPS. A failing TPS could cause a similar rpm/noise situation. It would be easy to test for a TPS failure with a DMM monitoring the TPS signal wire.

There could be a clutch issue involved too, but with the noise plus rpm change I would check other items first.

[This assumes that all basic maintenance such as spark plugs, air filter, TBS, etc., are up to date.]


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#3 HaulinAshe

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 05:41 PM

Use a stethoscope or the old long screwdriver trick to locate what region the noise originates from. That says a lot about the possibilities, but I concur with Ion that it sounds like cam chain noise.

The older you are, the faster you used to be.

#4 Hit the Road Jack

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 05:43 PM

Just a wild guess, but you might have a the beginning of a vacuum leak.

Check the rubber caps over the throttle body sync ports. One could be dry-rotted and creating an intermittent leak at idle. Opening the throttle will suck the leak shut and return things to normal.

Good luck! Keep us posted on the outcome.

#5 wfooshee

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 05:58 PM

Interesting to get Ionbeam's response first, because that (cam-chain) is my fear. As for the TPS, I don't know if this bike has had the recall done. I've had a few instances of no-reason-for-it stalling at idle, but not many at all.

I am going to lift the tank when I get a chance and check for vacuum leaks. That occurred to me because the idle was so rough even when the noise isn't present.

BTW, I should have stated that I can feel the mechanical noise in the seat if I'm sitting on the bike when it's idling.

I don't think the noise is a result of an idle drop, I think the idle drops because of whatever is making the noise. That reduces the odds for TPS or vacuum. . . . .

Also BTW, should have stated that the bike is an '03 with 45K and change miles.

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#6 ionbeam

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 06:30 PM

The TPS is a definite possibility for your symptoms and since it is fairly easy to check you may want to verify it first. Stalling is a classic symptom of a TPS failure as well as vacuum leaks. Typically, a vacuum leak will also be associated with an elevated idle speed. It is important to use the TPS Black/Blue wire for ground and the Yellow for the positive meter connections, never use the frame or battery for the ground connection. Monitor the Yellow wire voltage when experiencing the noise & rpm change. The voltage should be stable out to .01 volts. If the Yellow wire voltage fluctuates more than .1 volts you are looking at a TPS problem.

If the problem looks like the cam chain tensioner most shops will wait for you to leave and then repeatedly whack the throttle fully open/closed until the tensioner takes up another ratchet click. Crude but effective as long as all the tensioner components are all sound.

Edited: To add, that a bad TPS can cause you to feel a mechanical roughness. The ECU will set totally unappropriate FI shots if the TPS returns a false position signal, resulting in a really rough engine.



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#7 huk finn

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 08:30 PM

A final note: I ran the bike lower on fuel than I ever have before, about 27 miles into the blinking fuel gauge

could it be sludge/bad fuel/water??? most any misfire would make your cam chain tensioner jump around, I see you've an '03 ,,,changed the fuel filter lately?
I'm thinking you've haven't dipped that deep in the tank for awhile. does'nt water stay on bottom of fuel tank? wild guess , I know theres only 1 fuel pick up, but maybe slushed/vaccummed some sludge/varnish up while in a turn w/ low fuel, clogging 1 injector

#8 wfooshee

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 08:50 PM

I would have expected a fuel-related problem to clear up after the fillup, and it didn't.

Thanks for the TPS check instructions, Ionbeam. I'll get to that next chance. Like I said, I don't know if this bike has had the recall done. Any way to find out without calling my local jerks? Call Yammy, call another dealer?


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#9 Windjammer

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 09:11 PM

QUOTE
I would have expected a fuel-related problem to clear up after the fillup, and it didn't.


Not necessarily. Why not try throwing a can of Sea-Foam at it? If you did pull up some water or sludge, it could still be in the injection system. It just seems odd that the bike was fine until it ran super low on fuel. I always try to think of what changed since the bike last ran normal.

Also agree it could be TPS, or cam chain, could also be low battery voltage. Has the battery ever been replaced? Is voltage OK? Just looking for the simple things first.

WJ

#10 wfooshee

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 09:42 PM

Battery replaced in October, voltage OK, showing 13.8 to 14.0 at idle, 14.2 or 14.3 with any revs, straight across the battery (although through a relay).

I'm gonna lift the tank soonest chance and see what I find from Ionbeams' suggestions, and the vacuum plumbing. Maybe my CC tap worked loose or something.

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#11 USMC CWO

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 03:57 AM

It is very unlikely that this is a dirty fuel problem. Most contaminents such as water settle into the bottom of the tank and get sucked up early. On the other hand, if the tank sat low on fuel for a while, condensation could build up, but it does not sound like this is the case in your situation.
Don


#12 ionbeam

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 04:34 AM

QUOTE
I'm gonna lift the tank soonest chance and see what I find

If you don't find anything positively wrong I highly recommend going a step further and verify the plug caps are solidly attached and the plug wires are fully inserted in the plug caps. This got me around 40k miles and gave Radman the run-around too.



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#13 Fred W

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 07:50 AM

QUOTE (ionbeam @ Jan 2 2008, 07:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
I'm gonna lift the tank soonest chance and see what I find

If you don't find anything positively wrong I highly recommend going a step further and verify the plug caps are solidly attached and the plug wires are fully inserted in the plug caps. This got me around 40k miles and gave Radman the run-around too.


When I listened to the sound file, all I could hear was what sounded like misfiring.
In addition to the plug caps, when was the last time you looked at or changed the plugs?

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#14 RsvlFeej

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 10:02 PM

QUOTE (wfooshee @ Jan 1 2008, 05:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Interesting to get Ionbeam's response first, because that (cam-chain) is my fear. As for the TPS, I don't know if this bike has had the recall done. I've had a few instances of no-reason-for-it stalling at idle, but not many at all.

Also BTW, should have stated that the bike is an '03 with 45K and change miles.


My service manager told me he has fixed 3 FJR cam-chains at about 40-45K miles. He says mine is due as well (I'm at just under 52K on my '05). Noise was originally most noticeable when cold. His acid test was to drop RPMs to about 850 - 900. Sounds kinda like top-end noise on a normal diesel engine. On the plus side, when he fixed the first one, he pulled stuff apart to confirm where the noise was originating and was pretty confident no further damage was being done by the noisy bit - i.e., nothing was rubbing, gears weren't getting stripped - so he told me I could go ahead and ride mine until it was convenient to drop the bike off for the fix.

#15 wfooshee

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 11:20 AM

Pulled plugs, #4 is kinda bothersome. Isn't oil in 4 a ticker symptom?



Haven't gotten to the TPS yet, thought I'd pull the plugs with the motor cold, y'know. . . That's next.
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#16 ionbeam

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 12:01 PM

QUOTE (wfooshee @ Jan 5 2008, 02:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pulled plugs, #4 is kinda bothersome. Isn't oil in 4 a ticker symptom?

Haven't gotten to the TPS yet, thought I'd pull the plugs with the motor cold, y'know. . . That's next.

It's #1 and #2 that are the traditional ticker cylinders. Whew? laugh.gif Most of the people that have been finding plug wire/plug cap problems have found them at cyls #3 & #4, no idea why it shows up there most often.

Change the plugs, looks like they are due. Ensure #4's wire is fully in the cap and that the cap clicks down on the plug. I've had a problem with my #3 plug cap staying seated on the plug, causing my #3 plug to look like your #4. Your bad #4 plug looks like Radman's description of his problem. In another thread Rad describes resolving the problem down to a broken plug wire at the cap.






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#17 Fred W

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 12:18 PM

QUOTE (wfooshee @ Jan 5 2008, 02:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pulled plugs, #4 is kinda bothersome. Isn't oil in 4 a ticker symptom?



Haven't gotten to the TPS yet, thought I'd pull the plugs with the motor cold, y'know. . . That's next.


I'm guessing the #4 plug was the cause of your misfire. As to what caused the plug to carbon up, that will be the next mystery to solve. How long since you changed them last?

I'd slap in a new set of plugs and see if the misfire is gone. You might want to use the cheaper standard (non IX) plugs so you can yank them again shortly for a re-read. There has to be a reason you are fouling up #4.

-Fred

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#18 wfooshee

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 01:25 PM

Having checked the TPS, it looks OK. Didn't do anything weird. As extra checks, I hooked up my laptop to the PCIII, and the throttle position was stable, and I put the ECU into diag mode, checked its throttle position readings, and they were steady as rock from idle (16) to wide open (100). It ALWAYS went back to 16 when I let go of the throttle, and it never varied as long as I didn't move the throttle. Voltage on the meter at the connector was also rock steady.

Only trouble code in the ECU was the tip-over switch set (my low-side near Birmingham in October) which I cleared.

I did find a cracked vacuum cap on #2, replaced, but it made no difference.

Looks like new plugs and some SeaFoam are in order.

Also loaded a zero map into the PCIII, just to see what happens over time. Had been running the Wally smoothness, which is way rich.

As I stated before, gas mileage has been disappointing lately, can't reach 35 in town, barely breaking 40 on the road. Actually didn't break 40 on my New year's Day ride. Reading Radman's thread referenced above, this looks very much the same. I, unfortunately, don't have extra injectors lying around the homestead.

As for the noise, it still does it, but I'm thinking the noise is a bouncing around kinda thing along the gearshafts when the idle stumbles, rather than something mechanical actually dragging the engine idle down, which was what I feared at first. It does it less if I hold the clutch, and if it's in gear and clutched, the noise doesn't happen at all, even thought the idle is occasionally still unsteady.
Darksider #18

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#19 03HiYoSilver

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 02:41 PM

QUOTE (wfooshee @ Jan 5 2008, 04:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Looks like new plugs and some SeaFoam are in order.

As I stated before, gas mileage has been disappointing lately, can't reach 35 in town, barely breaking 40 on the road. Actually didn't break 40 on my New year's Day ride. Reading Radman's thread referenced above, this looks very much the same. I, unfortunately, don't have extra injectors lying around the homestead.

As for the noise, it still does it, but I'm thinking the noise is a bouncing around kinda thing along the gearshafts when the idle stumbles, rather than something mechanical actually dragging the engine idle down, which was what I feared at first. It does it less if I hold the clutch, and if it's in gear and clutched, the noise doesn't happen at all, even thought the idle is occasionally still unsteady.


Wfooshee,
Your plugs look VERY rich to me... when I had my head done for bad valve guides, my plugs looked better than that. It looks like you are getting worn valve guides and burning some oil bypassing the valve guides. If you want to be sure, install the rivnuts( see link below) and it will give you your answers no other diagnosis will give you.

Your HC(hydrocarbon) levels should be if I recall correctly, under 400, my number 4 cylinder plug similar to yours was around the HC 1600 level.
http://www.fjrforum....s...c=28571&hl=

Below is a link to my Head and Valves before the fix: http://www.fjrforum....s...c=23034&hl=

Hope this helps and Good Luck!

#20 wfooshee

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 05:45 PM

To be honest, I really don't know how long those plugs have been in there. I haven't pulled plugs since I bought the bike in June, because I haven't felt a need to.

The ride last Tuesday seems to have done something, as the idle roughness happened on that day, after the 220-mile ride. This didn't fade in, it happened.

That said, I rode a 45-mile loop this afternoon after dumping most of a pint of SeaFoam into a full tank. For now I'm going to treat this as a fueling condition, i.e. running very rich, based on my lousy mileage. After the ride, it does seem to idle better; left it running on the centerstand for about 5 minutes, and although there were some burbles, it was nothing like the sound bite in my first post of this thread.

When new plugs get put in, we'll see how #4 holds up.

If this is gonna require cyclinder head work, it's just gonna have to wait. I'm not covered by anything, and I can't afford serious shop time.

Added:

After the bike sat for a couple of hours, I went out and re-fired it. LOTS of backfiring while it sits at fast idle, which settled down as it warmed up. However, it still backfires on overrun nearly every time, and occasionally just holding revs. Didn't ride it again, supper's ready. Just wanted to report the backfiring, still seems to be a fueling issue.

Darksider #18

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