Chasing Gremlins (not the ones made by AMC) - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Year/Make/Model: 2000 Kawasaki VN800 Classic
Displacement/CC's: 800
Gender: Male
Posts: 7
Garage
Chasing Gremlins (not the ones made by AMC)

Hello everyone.
I am glad to have found your forum. I am new here, but not to bikes, however, this is my first Vulcan. I picked up a 2000 VN800 Classic this last spring for a song. It had literally been sitting in a guyís barn for a little over a year. Itís bone stock except for a set of Vance and Hines pipes.
Did all the normal stuffÖ cleaned it up, aired up the tires, new battery, drained the fuel, removed and cleaned out the carb., etc.

Gremlin #1: Bike starts, runs fine. Let out the clutch it dies. Removed the starter lockout switch on the clutch handle and spliced the wires, now it works great. Solved! Who needs all those safety switches anyway?

Gremlin #2: Bike starts up runs on down the road just fine. About 5-10 minutes into the ride or a few miles, the engine dies momentarily then comes back to life. Backfires and pops for a few, then runs ok briefly then dies again. Almost like someone is switching the kill switch on and off. The guy I bought it from told me that he thought the ignition switch was going bad. So I took it off, took it apart, everything looked good and all the connections were ohming out ok. A little corrosion in the connector so I cleaned the terminals and reinstalled it. Went for a test ride, same problem. One thing I havenít checked yet is to see if Iím losing my lights when this happens. Frankly, when it occurs Iím too busy trying to avoid being rear-ended by a cell-phone wielding teenager to notice if my lights are flickering or not. Guess I need to find a less traveled road to do my test rides.

Theory 1, Electrical: When the bike heats up to a certain temperature, something is breaking down and losing connection. But what? Iím definitely losing both cylinders at the same time. Pick-up coil? IC igniter box? Is there a way to check for something like this? Maybe using my meter and a heat gun?

Theory 2, Fuel: Could it be time related? I start it up run down the road and in a short time when it empties the carb. bowl, it starts acting up? Maybe the float needle valve is sticking and canít fill the bowl quick enough to keep up with the motor? Or could it be the vacuum petcock not letting in enough fuel fast enough? If I ride it in the ďprimeĒ position and I still have the problem, that would tell me itís not the petcock, right? Simple enough to pull the carb. and check the float valve, but I donít want to go down that road if itís something electrical.

Anyone else run into something like this in the past?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Gerry (Big G)

Gerry Langwell (Big G)
Albuquerque, NM
2000 VN800 Classic
Big G is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 08:43 AM
Member
 
oldrockr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 35
The fuel tank vent could be clogged. Never happened to me but I've read about it on this forum.

Doug

'96 VN800A
V & H Cruzers
F & S Sissy Bar
Unik Fork Bag
oldrockr is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 12:26 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Macedonia, GREECE
Year/Make/Model: VN900 CLASSIC 2007
Displacement/CC's: 900
Color: RED
Gender: Male
Posts: 71
Garage
Check & tighten battery connections!
darkkon is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-05-2017, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Year/Make/Model: 2000 Kawasaki VN800 Classic
Displacement/CC's: 800
Gender: Male
Posts: 7
Garage
Thanks Doug. This was suggested to me by a friend who used to work at the local Kawasaki shop. I blew through it with my mouth yesterday and it seemed clear. I'm going to try riding it with the cap open sometime this week (schedule permitting) and see if the problem goes away. He also suggested checking all the carb. Vent hoses for obstruction.

Big G

Gerry Langwell (Big G)
Albuquerque, NM
2000 VN800 Classic
Big G is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Year/Make/Model: 2000 Kawasaki VN800 Classic
Displacement/CC's: 800
Gender: Male
Posts: 7
Garage
Update:
Blew through the gas cap vent and it seemed clear. Rode it until it got hot and it started acting up again. Opened the gas cap and left it open. Rode some more with no improvement. Turned petcock to Prime, still no improvement. Pulled out the choke, no change. Now Iím thinking I have an electrical problem.
I then noticed the side stand switch was acting intermittently. Got down and checked it out and saw that the tab on the kickstand that actuates the switch was bent and not pushing in the switch. But this would just mean that the bike thought the kickstand was always up. Just to make sure, I cut the wires and put a meter on them. The switch reads open regardless of the position (in or out). OK, bad switch. So I twisted the wires on the bike side together simulating kick-stand up. Now when I try to start it, I get nothing. The neutral light just dims slightly when I hit the starter button. Undid the wiresÖ no change. Hmm.. maybe I blew a fuse?
Also, wondering about the neutral safety switch. Most older bikes I've worked on this switch only controlled the green light and nothing else. However, on this bike according to the wiring diagram, it looks like the switch is tied into a whole bunch of things. I have one on order and Iíll check my fuses while waiting. Still not ruling out a fuel/air issue, just won't be able to chase that one down until I get this electrical problem worked out.
Big G

Gerry Langwell (Big G)
Albuquerque, NM
2000 VN800 Classic
Big G is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 02:13 PM
Junior Member
 
JoyRide's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 27
If the switch operates opposite oof how you think, then when the switch is OPEN, you can start the engine. If it is CLOSED you cannot. So connecting the wires directly is like putting the side stand out = engine OFF. You might want to disconnect those wires again.
JoyRide is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 09:38 AM
Top Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 11,701
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoyRide View Post
If the switch operates opposite oof how you think, then when the switch is OPEN, you can start the engine. If it is CLOSED you cannot. So connecting the wires directly is like putting the side stand out = engine OFF. You might want to disconnect those wires again.
That is incorrect.
Also, neutral switch trumps sidestand switch, so if the bike is in neutral, sidestand switch is irrelevant.
sfair is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 10:08 AM
Junior Member
 
JoyRide's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 27
That is why I used the word "IF". Because there exist switches the close circuits when pressed, while others cut circuits when pressed. Since Big G mentioned a change after "twising the wires", I assumed a functioning switch could work opposite of what he was expecting. He also mentioned the neutral light affected when pushing the start-button, which may or may not be relevant to the issue of the sidestand switch.

Maybe try to start again with the wires untwisted? Did you try that Big G?
JoyRide is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 08:02 PM
Top Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 11,701
1. If the neutral light is working, twisting or untwisting the wires makes no difference.
2. Twisting the wires together takes the sidestand switch out of the equation and is a good test to see if the switch is the problem.
sfair is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Year/Make/Model: 2000 Kawasaki VN800 Classic
Displacement/CC's: 800
Gender: Male
Posts: 7
Garage
Thanks for the replies guys.
Manual states, stand up switch closed - i.e. wires twisted. I did try it both ways, however and it didn't make any difference, that's why I'm thinking the neutral switch or I blew a fuse dicking around with it.
Maybe both. I got the new switch yesterday. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks again.
Big G

Gerry Langwell (Big G)
Albuquerque, NM
2000 VN800 Classic
Big G is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chasing fuel leaks around the carb Influencer Vulcan 1500 3 02-05-2014 07:40 PM
Chasing the shadow Bay Rider Vulcan 900 20 11-05-2013 02:08 PM
Weird Electrical Gremlins brian518 Vulcan 1500 0 07-06-2011 08:48 AM
elec. gremlins sockrdoc Vulcan 1600 2 04-11-2010 02:34 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome