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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Year/Make/Model: 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan
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Need a little help...

So, I have a 2003 1600 classic and there are a few issues I'm having with it. The first is that randomly while riding, the FI/Oil press/Temp light will illuminate and FI is displayed on the LCD and the bike runs like crap, I think it enters "Limp" mode. I can get to about 55 MPH, but that is about it. Then, out of nowhere, the light will go out and the LCD clears and it runs fine... until it happens again. it is completely random when it happens, so I have no idea what is causing it.

Secondly, when I try to read the fault codes, I can't. My reset button (the right one) doesn't work. According to the Manual, I have to ground the diag wire, then navigate to the trip meter, then hold the reset button for 3 seconds to have it blink the codes. I have disassembled the speedo and read out both buttons, the right one never reads for continuity, even when depressed, but the mode button (left one) does.

A little info about the bike: Aftermarket K&N kit on the right side, Vance and Hines big shots staggered exhaust, and a Thunder MFG Lightning fuel injection controller.

Any help or advice is much appreciated!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksalternate View Post
So, I have a 2003 1600 classic and there are a few issues I'm having with it. The first is that randomly while riding, the FI/Oil press/Temp light will illuminate and FI is displayed on the LCD and the bike runs like crap, I think it enters "Limp" mode. I can get to about 55 MPH, but that is about it. Then, out of nowhere, the light will go out and the LCD clears and it runs fine... until it happens again. it is completely random when it happens, so I have no idea what is causing it.

Secondly, when I try to read the fault codes, I can't. My reset button (the right one) doesn't work. According to the Manual, I have to ground the diag wire, then navigate to the trip meter, then hold the reset button for 3 seconds to have it blink the codes. I have disassembled the speedo and read out both buttons, the right one never reads for continuity, even when depressed, but the mode button (left one) does.

A little info about the bike: Aftermarket K&N kit on the right side, Vance and Hines big shots staggered exhaust, and a Thunder MFG Lightning fuel injection controller.

Any help or advice is much appreciated!

First off, turf the fuel controller for now, second there is a yellow wire by the battery, that's the wire you ground for the fault codes, I've never heard of it not working.

But as you say the right button doesn't work. But I'd start the diagnosis without the fuel controller.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidewalkman View Post
First off, turf the fuel controller for now
What do you mean by turf?

Also, an update: while troubleshooting last night, I was looking at the wiring, and accidently touched a ground wire for the fuel controller to the positive terminal on the battery... bike instantly turned off and will not start. I disconnected the fuel controller completely, verified that I'm getting spark on the plugs, read out the fuel injector power relay, and got the fault codes to show. It is showing 41 and 42, which are both fuel injectors. is it possible that I fried the injectors, or is the ECU more likely? I'm currently in the process of finding a power commander 3 for a reasonable price so that I could just take out the Lightning FI. The original owner must have put it in and I can find no support whatsoever on Thunder MFG website for it.

2003 Vulcan 1600 Classic

"There are two types of riders: those who have gone down, and those who haven't... yet"

Last edited by Jacksalternate; 07-12-2016 at 08:27 PM.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 02:58 PM
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Turf = disconnect, fix the problem without having additional issues to consider. Makes no difference what controller you have, disconnect the whole thing so it's as close to stock as possible, then start to figure out the problem. I can't imagine there is not a fuse someplace between the ECU and the battery, I'd look there first.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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So, I know its been a while, but I finally have an update. The first issue turned out to be the ECU, and now that has been replaced and it is back to the random limp mode. I was able to get into diagnostic mode while the issue was happening and it gave me a code 52, which is the #2 ignition coil. Since it is still intermittent, how would you recommend I troubleshoot it down between the coil and the wiring? I am getting spark at all sparkplugs, but they all seem weak. I am thinking about just replacing both coils and all sparkplug wires. What do you think?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 06:57 AM
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do coils go bad? i dunno but do know that on my bike there was a problem at the elbow at the spark plug wire cap, that connected there is weak right at the cap elbow

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:03 AM
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1. How many miles on the bike?
2. How long have you owned?
3. Who replaced the ECU?
4. Was it the EXACT part number or a Kawasaki supercede?
5. Was it new or used?
6. Is the PC still connected?
7. Do not throw parts at it just yet. Coils are not a sore spot with these units.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfair View Post
1. How many miles on the bike?
2. How long have you owned?
3. Who replaced the ECU?
4. Was it the EXACT part number or a Kawasaki supercede?
5. Was it new or used?
6. Is the PC still connected?
7. Do not throw parts at it just yet. Coils are not a sore spot with these units.
The bike has 16,000 miles and I have owned it since 2015. I replaced the ECU with a used one and it was an exact Kawasaki part number. PC is not still connected. As I stated in the original post, the issues I'm having happens completely at random, there is no way for me to reliably duplicate the issue in a controlled way.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:45 PM
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With the original ECU, were you getting the same error code?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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With the original ECU, I was getting the #1 and #2 fuel injector codes and the bike would not start at all. This is after I accidentally touched the diagnostic wire to the positive battery lead. I was not able to get the codes for what was causing the rough running then due to lack of knowledge and experience working on this bike. After reading wiring and across several sensors, I deduced the ECU was bad. Once I replaced it, it started and the original issue came back. The engine is running exactly how it did with the original ECU, though.
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