Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner
1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, so I am stumped. I have a 2011 Vulcan 900 custom that was sitting for 10 years. I have done the following:
  • Cleaned out the tank, vinegar and degreaser, pressure washing. Completely cleaned out.
  • The fuel pump was shot, so I replaced the entire assembly. Cleaned out all fuel lines.
  • A squirrel made a nest in the air intake, so cleaned that out and replace the filter with a K&N filter
  • Brand new spark plugs
  • Complete oil change
  • Coolant flush
  • Fuses good
  • Kick stand and seat sensor OK
  • No wiring issues
  • Brand new battery (dry) fully charged on a trickle charger
When I go to start, fuel pump primes. The oil light and FI LED are on, but quickly turn off while cranking. Still won't start.

I tried diagnosis testing per the manual, no diagnostic codes showing. The manual says:
  • FI Indicator Light
  • Fuel Pump
  • Fuel Pump Relay
  • ECU Maine Relay
  • ECU Power Source Wiring and Ground Wiring
  • Fuel Injectors
I am stumped at the next steps. Any advice? I'm just making sure I didn't miss something before I move on to the ECU.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
So the starter is turning the engine and it won't fire up/start running? Back to basics. Check compression, while the plugs are out, look at and smell the tips. Looking for a small amount of discolorization and gas smell. Is the emergency stop switch on run? Try the old plugs again and ensure the low tension leads aren't crossed. Also check the fuel pressure after the pump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So the starter is turning the engine and it won't fire up/start running? Back to basics. Check compression, while the plugs are out, look at and smell the tips. Looking for a small amount of discolorization and gas smell. Is the emergency stop switch on run? Try the old plugs again and ensure the low tension leads aren't crossed. Also check the fuel pressure after the pump.
Thanks for the response. I'll compression test it this weekend. I pulled the spark plugs as saw some discoloration, though I don't remember a gas smell. The engine stop switch is on (I don't know of and can't find anything in the manual about an emergency switch).

I'm not sure what low tension leads aren't crossed... but I'll try my google-fu! Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK. So when I took off the tank I realized the fuel line to the tank wasn't seated properly - I missed the collar on the lock and it was barely hanging on. Hoping that was it. But I did test the spark plugs - they are firing. And I did compression test, ~200psi both cylinders and within the manual specs. I'm going to check the FI just to see if it's clogged up with rust while i have everything apart, but crossing my fingers it was just a poorly connected fuel line. 🤞 I'll post back once I assemble it this afternoon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
Sounds likely you've found the issue. The next thing I'd suggest if it doesn't fire up, check the voltage drop when cranking. A voltmeter reading DC voltage across the battery should not drop below 11 volts when cranking. If it shows say 9.5v it will likely crank but the voltage getting to the spark plugs produce a spark that is defeated by the compression.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Since you didn't smell fuel on the plug tips, hopefully the line was your problem. If not, try getting a fuel pressure reading. You mentioned it primed, but the screen may have become plugged. Best wishes!
I haven't gotten around to assembling it yet today but what screen are you talking about? The fuel screen? I bought a whole new fuel pump assembly, so hopefully that isn't the case. Still, I'll post once it's back up and (hopefully) fired up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright. Bikes back together and it's still not firing. Battery is 12.98v so that's fine. I'm going to have to figure out how test the fuel pressure. Any other thoughts would be great. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
If you have efi sounds like the fuel injectors are stuck, If you have a carb it is plugged. I would also replace all fuel supply lines as dried up fuel will start flaking and cause issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you have efi sounds like the fuel injectors are stuck, If you have a carb it is plugged. I would also replace all fuel supply lines as dried up fuel will start flaking and cause issues.
I think so too. I just went to remove the tank again and the fuel hoses were extremely pressurized. Thank god i was wearing eye protection because my face got blasted. phrasing...

Can these be cleaned out, or do they need to be replaced?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
Lets get the terms correct -
Turning over is when you push the start button and you hear the engine spin. (turning over)
I'm not sure what you refer to if the bike isnt "turning over"

If the clicking sound happens after less than 5 start attempts, the battery is to low and might not have enough power to start.

On fuel injected bike the fuel line needs to be under pressure. There are pressure testers/gauges to check this.
When you first turn the key you should hear the pump running for a period of time pressurizing the system.

The injectors are just a liquid switch / relay.
You could test them like this -
If you have a bit of wire you should be able to hook an injector to a battery and hear the click as it opens and closes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I'm still thinking it's a fuel delivery problem. The screen I mentioned earlier referred to the internal new fuel pump. My opinion here, but I have no faith in aftermarket fuel pumps for the Vulcan, if that is what you installed. Other folks will disagree with this. Recharge your battery and make sure it holds at or just above 12.6 volts dc after letting the battery rest for 12 - 24 hours. If you have adequate fuel pump pressure, as a last resort, and using extreme caution, spray a small amount of ether into the intake and try the starter and see if the engine tries to fire off. I can't stress enough to be very careful. Ether is flammable and can be explosive. Wear safety gear and do it outside.
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top