Front cylinder not firing on 1500 [Archive] - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums

: Front cylinder not firing on 1500


coffeeit
02-19-2011, 01:55 PM
I have looked around this forum and couldn't find anyone having problems with there front cylinder not firing.
It started on a 2o min bike ride and all of a sudden it cut out and almost died.
Big loss for power, I found out when I got home that the front cylinder wasn't firing. I first changed the coils around to see if that was the issue and it wasn't.
Then I removed the left coil that feeds the front cylinder but left it plugged in, and stuck the plug in an cranked the bike over and there was spark. Felt great but once I replaced the coil back in the bike no spark again. At this point I am not sure what's going on.
I wondering at this point if something is grounding out somewhere. IF anyone has any ideas please let me know. Bike season is right around the corner and I want to be ready.
Thanks.

jagered
02-19-2011, 06:12 PM
how cheap are the coils?

i'd say replace it... i have a friend's intruder doing a similar thing and we need to replace the coil. i gotta find out the cost of a coil though. it sounds like it may be grounding out due to an internal failure when you bolt it in place.

sfair
02-19-2011, 09:40 PM
Some questions:

1. What year?
2. What model?
3. How many miles?

Also, never check for spark without using the following tool:

http://www.lislecorp.com/divisions/products/?product=312&division=1&category=8

Using any other method puts your ignitor at risk, and that will not make your day!

Do not buy anything until the fault is proven by some troubleshooting.

Post back.

coffeeit
02-21-2011, 05:14 AM
My bike is 1500cc 97 Vulcan Classic.
I would say it has about 45000 not really a lot.
The grounding issue for the coil sounds more real now that you mention it.
Because that's what it appears whats it's doing, sparking while not being grounded.
To note; I did change the coils around and the front cylinder still had the problem, which rules out a bad coil I would think. Now saying that, once I placed the left coil back on the bike it would not fire to the front spark plugs.
I did test the coils and they seemed to be within spec. The plugs are brand new with only 20klms on them. Sounds like a grounding issue somewhere......

Your thought?

sfair
02-21-2011, 11:24 AM
You will have to test with the correct tool before any thoughts can be formed. They are very cheap and available at most auto supply shops.

crossroads123
02-21-2011, 11:44 AM
You will have to test with the correct tool before any thoughts can be formed. They are very cheap and available at most auto supply shops.

You can not correctly trouble shoot and eliminate any thing without the proper tools and following the correct order. You may luck up and solve the problem or you may waste alot of money chasing the wrong thing.

sfair
02-21-2011, 11:58 AM
As an add, leave all plugs and wires in place while you test. Only remove the wire that you have the tool plugged into.

coffeeit
02-24-2011, 09:26 AM
This will be my 4th time taking the gas tank off to troubleshoot lol.
I have the manual, but it really doesn't go into great depth on fault-finding techniques. Question; If I turn the bike over and hold a test light on the power wire coming into the coil (While it's in place) I should get a palusing light for showing spark, correct?
I did turn the bike on to get power and tested the leads coming into the coils and both showed power input....now I'm scratching my head in wonderment.
I guess I will have to remove the coils and take them to get tested at a dealer... but from what I have learned most shops are parts replacement and don't bother with much testing. yea yea they would say it's junk need a new one and never test it... my experience only......
I will figure this out and when I do everyone will know about it.
I will take heed and get the right test tools so I don't end up replacing a dead IC because I blew it up from being stupid......:):)

sfair
02-24-2011, 12:26 PM
1. You will not see a pulsing light on the positive side of the coil.
2. Showing 12v on both sides of the coil when it is not running is correct.
3. Do not be too hard on the dealer. Many times coils can have intermittant problems due to heat, etc. If he tests it for you and it happens to work, then you go back and it fails, unbeknownst to you, then the tail chasing begins.

This a good example when the shotgun method does not work. It can empty your wallet in a hurry and the bike still does not run. Proper troubleshooting techniques must be employed.

Test for spark; if you have none, post back and maybe we can help. If it is there, a different approach can be taken.

coffeeit
02-24-2011, 05:40 PM
Thanks a lot. I will try tomorrow night after work. I will test with the coils in to start and see what happens.....

coffeeit
03-15-2011, 07:37 PM
I just talked to a friend of mine and he seems to think that the coil is grounding out to the frame and it makes since to me. I will check and see if there is a reading for resistance and if there is coil is n/s.
I will post back and let you know how I make out.
Thanks agian for you help guys.:):):):)

coffeeit
03-28-2011, 06:12 PM
How much do you guys know about the IC Igniter? It's looking like it's the problem, because the front cylinder won't fire. Question; I did boost the bike from my truck and i'm thinking it might have done something to the IC, but I boosted it last year with no problems, what do you guys think?
Either way i'm looking for a second hand one somewhere but very hard to find.
One last thing i'm trying shortly is cross the good side to the front to see if it fires the front cylinder... that way we'll know it's the IC..
Your thoughts.?

sfair
03-28-2011, 06:40 PM
If you have a meter and know how to use it, post back and we can do some checking.

coffeeit
03-29-2011, 04:15 PM
Hi;
I do have a tester and will check the IC tonight. Is there anything I should be looking for other then following the manual for checking pins?
I'm told that the IC can't be fixed if it's n/s. It looks like a closed unit anyways.
Your thoughts.

sfair
03-29-2011, 04:24 PM
Do the following tests:

1. Key off, take voltage reading across battery.
2. Key on, take another reading.
3. Leave key on.
4. Put red meter lead on one coil red wire, black meter lead to battery ground. Take reading.
5. Put red meter lead to other coil red wire, black meter lead to battery gound. Take reading.
6. Put red meter lead to coil black wire, black meter lead to battery ground. Take reading.
7. Put red meter lead to other coil black/green wire, black meter lead to battery ground. Take reading.

Post back with the six voltage readings.

coffeeit
03-29-2011, 06:15 PM
Readings as follows;
1. 12.65.v,2. 12.29 v,4. 11.84 v,5. 12.07 v,6. 11.91 v,7. 11.85.
Here is what I did after the test; I found a connection with a fuse (Was good) that was by the IC Igniter that was corroded. So I cleaned it up and was hoping that it fixed the problem. Just for fun I checked the right front sparkplug for fire and there was, a small spark, and thought I was in the home stretch.. but nope didn't fix it. While I had it started I wiggled some wires around the connections to see if it made a difference but didn't. Right now i'm #$@%$@#$ to say the least.
Your thoughts and direction. Thanks again.

sfair
03-29-2011, 06:56 PM
Ok, do this:

1. Pull all wires from each coil.
2. Set meter to read ohms.
3. Put red meter lead on one coil connection that goes to red wire, black lead on remaining connection. Take reading.
4. Do step 3 for other coil.
5. Insert red meter lead into sparkplug connection on one coil, black into other connection. Take reading.
6. Do step 5 for the other coil.

Post back with the four resistance readings.

coffeeit
04-05-2011, 07:43 PM
Does anyone know where I can find a CDI unit for my 97 Vulcan 1500 classic? I have looked all over for a good price but nothing under 379 dollars. I'm hoping to find a second hand one but looks pretty grim to say the least.
Thanks :)

coffeeit
05-16-2011, 05:52 PM
There is spark (although weak) on the front cylinder, but not all the time.I've had the pickup coils tested by the dealer (Good) and they are testing the CDI now. Coils seem to be fine, I swapped them earlier and they worked on the rear cylinder.I haven't made new wires yet although it's prob the first things you do, but I had spark (Orange) once in a while on the front. My question is; what would make the bike loose power on the front cylinder. It happened quickly with no warning at all. It was working great, then wouldn't fire the front cylinder again, it just cut off and would barely run. There are only a few componets that make the bike start that makes fire, coils /pickup coils / stator / CDI / plug wires / plugs, that's it. Where the bike lossed power that quickly, my thought is that it must be a componet and not a fault in wiring, because no matter what I did it wouldn't fire the front, moving wirers and grounding connectors.
You guys are a great help, your thoughts and ideas are priceless.
Thanks. :)

coffeeit
04-06-2012, 12:50 PM
Well i'm back to the same thing again this year; last fall my rear cylinder stopped firing. The last time it was a bad wire on of the coils. The right coil that feeds the rear cylinder doesn't fire now. But It will start and run. I'm assuming that it's a wire broken somewhere but where? Could someone tell me when the bike is running what should be the voltage coming into the coil? is it 12 volts into the coil on both sides?
That way I can find trace the power backwards.
Thanks.

CRUISERDON
04-06-2012, 01:06 PM
I have looked around this forum and couldn't find anyone having problems with there front cylinder not firing.
It started on a 2o min bike ride and all of a sudden it cut out and almost died.
Big loss for power, I found out when I got home that the front cylinder wasn't firing. I first changed the coils around to see if that was the issue and it wasn't.
Then I removed the left coil that feeds the front cylinder but left it plugged in, and stuck the plug in an cranked the bike over and there was spark. Felt great but once I replaced the coil back in the bike no spark again. At this point I am not sure what's going on.
I wondering at this point if something is grounding out somewhere. IF anyone has any ideas please let me know. Bike season is right around the corner and I want to be ready.
Thanks.


I had this issue yrs ago and it was time consuming to find the problem. It turned out like this. I was really frustrated and pondering what it could be and flicking wired with a finger while feeling pissed off. Then I noticed that the wire that went from the left coil to the right coil had a suspicios limp spot near its middle, I grabbed the wire and gave it a tug and the insulation broke revealing where the wire had been stretched to the point of breaking. This had to have been done dureing manufacture as the insulation looked good. I spliced in a good wire and never had an issue again with it.
Look for a suspicious limp spot or your going to have to unhook wires at both ends and start testing them with a meter.

bikerider50
04-06-2012, 01:20 PM
I had problems once where it was cutting out and no power then it kick back in and ran good then back to no power I found it was the plug caps that were bad i just replaced them and no more problem

coffeeit
04-06-2012, 02:47 PM
To add to my last posting; Right coil has 12 to red and little to none on the black, i'm thinking there should be 12 volts to both sides when running. Your thoughts.

coffeeit
04-06-2012, 03:15 PM
Well it happened again; the back cylinder stopped firing and figured it was a bad wire on the coil agian but be darned if i can find it. I know that there i suppose to be 12 to black and red on the coil but on the right coil feeding the back it is only reading 12 on red and nothing on black. I can't figure why it's burning wires off or just that they are getting brittle and breaking off. What are you thoughts out there?
Thanks

sfair
04-06-2012, 04:05 PM
Did you get the recommended tool as noted in post #3?

sfair
04-06-2012, 04:08 PM
To add to my last posting; Right coil has 12 to red and little to none on the black, i'm thinking there should be 12 volts to both sides when running. Your thoughts.

12v will not be on both sides while running.

sfair
04-06-2012, 04:15 PM
Well it happened again; the back cylinder stopped firing and figured it was a bad wire on the coil agian but be darned if i can find it. I know that there i suppose to be 12 to black and red on the coil but on the right coil feeding the back it is only reading 12 on red and nothing on black. I can't figure why it's burning wires off or just that they are getting brittle and breaking off. What are you thoughts out there?
Thanks

One coil should have a red and a black wire whilst the other should have a red and a black/green wire. Is this what you have?

coffeeit
04-06-2012, 04:26 PM
yes indeed thats what it is on the right side, red and green with strips i think, and i am only getting 12 volts off the red and not the green.
I should be getting fire. Im hoping the coil didn't shit the bed this time.......
I did take the plug wires off and re-cut them to make them fit better just to make sure. Strange now the back cylinder is not firing. The last two times it was either wires touching the frame and grounding out or broken off at the coil, but it's so hard to find..

sfair
04-06-2012, 04:31 PM
Pull black off of the one coil and black/green off of the other.
Turn on key, measure voltage on the bare coil terminal that you just pulled the wires off of.

Post back with results.

coffeeit
04-06-2012, 04:38 PM
Right 11.98 and left 11.98 . it flucks back and forth from 12 to 11.98 on both sides and the black on the left and black and green on the right.

sfair
04-06-2012, 04:52 PM
Replace both wires, key on, take voltage on same said connectors.

coffeeit
04-07-2012, 07:50 AM
Left and right are 11.76 volts when key is on, dropped a bit when connecting the wires,but should run the back cylinder if the coil is getting fire.

sfair
04-07-2012, 12:04 PM
OK, all wires connected, tug and wiggle wires that go to coils while monitoring the black and the black/green wires, in turn, for 12v. Then with the butt end of a screwdriver, tap on the coils, in turn, whilst monitoring the corresponding coil wire for 12v.

Post back with your results.

coffeeit
04-07-2012, 12:19 PM
same thing, 11.67 volts with bike not running.
Same on both sides.
Tapped on the coils and no real change in voltage

sfair
04-07-2012, 12:24 PM
OK, go to ignitor and unplug. Locate the black and the black/green, on the connector, key on, tug and wiggle wiring while monitoring the pin in the connector for the wires in question for 12v.

Post back with results.

coffeeit
04-07-2012, 12:39 PM
On the igniter; green/black and black 11.54 on both with key on. The coils are not bolted to the frame because i can't reach them bolted in place, not sure if this will make a difference or not, but it could since they need to be grounded.
Your thoughts.
Some background, last fall after finding out a wire was grounding out on the frame under neath the gas tank and having a wire brake off the right coil and replaced it with a shrink tight connector and fixed it, and then once again last thing this past fall it happened again it quit and the rear cylinder stopped firing again. that's where i'm at.
Lots of fun.

coffeeit
04-07-2012, 12:51 PM
Im on facebook if you feel it's easier to chat. Fred Trainor.... i'm on line now. But your choice.
I'm in New Brunswick Canada Oromocto.
And again thanks for helping out a friend :)

sfair
04-07-2012, 02:04 PM
My next step would be to get the tool that is suggested in an earlier post.
It can check for spark there, not there or if it is very weak. This is something that must be known. Weak spark is a different kettle of fish.
For tests we have done, looks OK so far at this point.

I do not do one on one troubleshooting. My hope is that someone else can learn too!

coffeeit
04-07-2012, 02:07 PM
Again thanks for the help Cheers.