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Discussion Starter #1
A few of weeks ago I was going to start my '03 Vulcan 1600 Classic to heat up the oil so I could change it and put the bike to bed for the winter. It was a cold day and it just wouldn't fire. Turns over fine, just won't catch. I gave it a shot of ether down the throttle body, still no pop. Noticed the FI light stays on, indicating there is a fault code buried in there. Clymer manual says to find a yellow wire and short it to the battery negative terminal as part of the process to display the codes, but I can't find the yellow wire (I find black with yellow stripe, but no yellow, see photo below, leftmost connector). Is it accessible just by taking the seat off?
Here's looking at the battery from the left side of the bike:


Just wondering your thoughts on potential issues and where is the darn yellow wire I need to short to negative so I can check the code.
Observations:
-When I first insert the key and turn it on, I hear the whir that I assume is the fuel pump pressuring the line, but I'm wondering if maybe the pump isn't bad.
-Haven't had a chance to check for spark yet.
-The engine turns over just fine.
-I've had the bike two seasons, but I don't know how old the battery is.
-Spark plugs look great
-It ran fine on our last outing in mid-October.

Questions:
-I understand that if I disconnect the battery, the code will reset after a period of time, correct?
-Are there some codes, once set, that will prevent the bike from starting? In other words the ignition or fuel is disabled due to the very presence of the code(s).

Temperature-wise November was miserable here in Minnesota and it was a cold day when I tried to start it. Tomorrow is supposed to be relatively warm (by our standards) and I'm hoping to finish the pickling process for the bike. Thanks in advance for any pointers. If you can get me to that mystery wire for putting it in diagnostics mode I will be grateful.
 

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In the middle of the three connectors, you will see a yellow wire.
Push a wire beside the yellow and run it to battery ground.

There are a couple of faults that will cause a no-start.

Codes will not reset with battery disconnect.

Could be a battery issue. If you have a meter, we can check it. No meter, we can help there too.

Post back.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you sfair for your response, I truly appreciate that you would take time to assist a fellow rider.

Update:
The self diagnostic connector and wire were not visible until I removed the battery. I re-positioned it so it is now accessible and put the battery back in. Self-diagnostic check did not reveal the code as there was no blinking of the FI indicator. The odometer display changed from the miles to FI, but the light did not blink the code. The Kawasaki manual I downloaded from the web says that a slow or non-blinking light may indicate a battery issue. I plan on taking the battery in for a load check tomorrow.

Has anyone else seen similar issues when the battery is at the end of it's life? I hope it's just a battery, but....

I'm very frustrated that I didn't at least extract a code (sigh). On the bright side, I have until about mid-April to figure this out.

djt
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just got back from having the battery checked. It's a good battery. So now I am back to continuing the troubleshooting process.

So here are the symptoms:
-turns over no problem
-no hint that it is firing at all
-FI light is illuminated, indicating a fault, but there is no fault code displayed when I go into self-diagnosis mode.

I will continue reading the manual, but if you could help me prioritize the possible causes I will be appreciative.

Thanks again,
djt
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, I have a meter.

I checked for spark and did get it on both cylinders, although the front seemed better/brighter than the back. That observation is pretty subjective and might have something to do with the way I was holding the side electrode to the jug.

I'm guessing it's time to start checking the fuel pump and injectors?

djt
 

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Could you post back with make and model number of meter for my reference.

Caution: I never recommend the use of ether for testing purposes. It can make the engine backfire easily into your face and if the engine does run on it, it will knock like never before. Not good.

Is the FI light still on solid?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's an el-cheapo digital multi-meter. It does AC and DC volts, resistance, continuity and current up to 200mA. If that's not sufficient for what you have in mind I can get something more capable from work.

What are we going to check?

Thanks again for your interest in my problem.

djt
 

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El cheapo meters usually work ok for this.

I need to know make and model# (a link even better) for my reference.
 

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OK, could you do the following:

1. Take voltage reading across battery.
2. Turn on key and take another reading.
3. Leave key on for a full 5 minutes and with key still on, take another reading.
4. Turn key off for a full 5 minutes, then take another reading.

Post back with 4 readings.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
1. initial reading, nothing on: 13.11 V
2. with key in ON position: 12.40 V
3. 5 mins later with key still on: 12.35 V
4. turn off, wait 5 mins: 12.87 V

djt
 

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Battery looks OK.

Before we go any farther, beside same battery, you should find a bundle of black with yellow strip wires that terminate in an orange connector. The connector may be taped up.
Inspect the connector for any signs of being burned or corroded.

Post back with your findings.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Not finding the bundle you describe inside the battery compartment. There is a connector going into the junction/fuse box on the right side of the bike that has a number of yellow/black wires. The connector does not appear to be orange. To what does the orange connector plug into?

djt
 

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It is a gathering point for many electrical grounds. They terminate in what looks like a connector but it is free floating. It is around the battery compartment somewhere and because it is loose, it sometimes gets moved around, but it is there somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I found the bundle of black w/yellow wires. After removing the tape it all looks as good as the day it rolled off of the assembly line. It is all taped up again.

I was looking through my electronic copy of Kawasaki's shop manual for this bike and found the following passage in the fuel system self diagnosis section:

"When no service code is displayed, the electrical parts of the DFI system has no fault, and the mechanical parts of the DFI system and engine are suspect.
#1: For Front Cylinder
#2: For Rear Cylinder"

Not exactly sure what the reference to front and rear cylinder means. To what mechanical parts of the DFI are they referring? Fuel pump and injectors?

djt
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, as described in the initial post: when I turn it on I hear the whir of what I believe is the fuel pump as the stepper motor for the speedometer takes the needle to max speed and then back to zero.

djt
 
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