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Author Topic: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.  (Read 757 times)

amritc

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Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« on: October 06, 2013, 08:32:20 PM »
hi all, I have a 500cc, Year 2000 Classic imported from India. I recently did a head decoke and on putting it back together find that the bike doesnt start. The Ammeter is always in the red, even though unable to start AND there is no spark. I have replaced the condensor, ignition on/off switch, Coil, HT lead, spark plug, CB points, Regulator/Rectifier units to no avail. The battery was very weak and didn't hold charge, so that has been replaced as well. I understand that the CB points assembly if not put together can 'short'? Where does the tiny washer on the CB points go? Also how do all those plastic spacers on the Condenser assembly get put together and in what sequence?
Any help is most gratefully received and most appreciated.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 08:40:17 PM by amritc »

mrunderhill1975a

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2013, 09:18:10 PM »
I understand that the CB points assembly if not put together can 'short'? Where does the tiny washer on the CB points go? Also how do all those plastic spacers on the Condenser assembly get put together and in what sequence?
Any help is most gratefully received and most appreciated.

The tiny washer goes on the post of the stationary point.

The plastic spacers need to be arranged such that the movable point assembly is isolated from the ground.  That is when attaching the movable point and condenser, first put the small insulating washer on the post,
2) then put the moveable point on the post,
3)then put the small bolt through the hole on the condenser wire,
4) then the one plastic spacer on the bolt,
6) then put the bolt through the mounting bracket,
6)then put on the other plastic insulator,
7)then attach the spring to the small bolt,
8) then attach the wire from the coil to the bolt,
9)then thread the small nut to the small bolt.
 
To make a long story short, you want to make sure the movable point and condenser wire & coil wire are insulated from the stationary point (ground).
Also make certain the spring on the moveable point is not touching any grounded nut or metal part.

Perhaps the attached photo from the manual will be of some help.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 09:36:47 PM by mrunderhill1975a »

amritc

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2013, 02:33:27 AM »
hi, thanks heaps for your step by step guidance on this. I followed it and connected up the battery and was able to produce a beautiful fat blue spark at the plug... and then... the fuse blew. Something keeps shorting and when hooked up to battery again the ammeter deflects completely into the red and then the next fuse blows. I have traced this down to the wires that go plug into the rectifier/regulator, when I disconnect that wire set from its correspond ding plug, there is no current through the system but on plugging it back the positive wire from the battery to the fuse starts to spark like crazy before blowing the fuse. I am completely at my wits end on this one now...... Any words of wisdom?

ace.cafe

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2013, 08:25:10 AM »
The wires to the reg/rec come from the alternator, and they have to go thru a hole in the primary case. Sometimes the rubber grommet doesn't protect them, and they can rub there and short out after a while. Also, check that the wires are clear of the primary chain, because that also sometimes rubs the insulation off them, and they short out.
You have to drain the primary and take off the outer primary cover to check these things.
While you are in there, check the gap of the rotor and stator, to be sure that the rotor isn't rubbing the stator.
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amritc

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2013, 02:34:06 PM »
thank you gentlemen, I will have a go tonight after work and will post an update thereafter... cheers

mrunderhill1975a

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2013, 03:22:11 PM »
It appears you have a short....you need to check every place where any positive wire rubs on any metal, likely places are:
1) where the large wire bundle rubs on the steering head and under the fuel tank,
2)any of the wires in the headlight nacelle which rub on the nacelle itself,
3) alternator wires that pass through the primary case,
4)taillight wire where it attaches to the fender or where it passes through the fender,
5) Pilot bulb socket in the nacelle which rub on the nacelle.

Take your time, examine all locations where wires can pinch, you will eventually find it.

Arizoni

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2013, 11:24:32 PM »
Question:
Is it possible to hook up the power and ground wires to the regulator/rectifier backwards?

Seems to me that if it is possible and amritc is attaching the positive wiring harness wire (+) to the negative side of the reg/rect he might have a direct short?
Jim
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1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

amritc

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 04:11:31 AM »
Hello everyone, and thanks for your helpful guidance. I found the shorting on a live wire in the wires bundle/loom under the tank. I had to unwrap the entire wiring harness to get to it. It had sort of scraped past the insulation tape and was touching the body metal. Ok great, that sorted and the power is back on. Great blue spark at plug, all lights working, but not starting. I had removed the timing cover earlier on and had managed to remove the idler gears so I think timing is out. I have tried setting the points gap to .04 at what I think is TDC (both tappets can be rotated by hand, and a wire through spark plug hole shows at top of piston travel) but to no avail. The ammeter doesn't deflect at TDC (when kick start is unable to travel until decompressed) and pretty much deflects into the green side on ammeter.

Your guidance once again will be most appreciated.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 04:14:08 AM by amritc »

ace.cafe

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2013, 07:03:44 AM »
You may possibly have the valve timing off, if the gears did not get put back on properly.
You need to put the engine back on TDC of the COMPRESSION STROKE, so that both of the valves are closed. If the valves are part-way open, then you are on the intake stroke, and that is not the correct TDC. So, get the engine there, and you will be close. But unless you use a dial indicator and degree wheel, and use them to centralize the location in the "TDC dwell" of the piston, you will only be within maybe ten degrees. So, you have to know this. For setting the valve timing, that's close enough.
Anyway, you get the piston there at TDC, and don't move it after that. Take off the timing cover carefully, taking note if any cam shims fall off, and hopefully noting where they came from. Then look at the cams and the crank pinion gear. The dot on the crank pinion gear should be at about one-o'clock position, and the exhaust cam dot aligned to it. Then, look at the two cam dots where the cam gears touch, and they should be aligned. Even if they are not exactly perfectly aligned, as long as they are definitely on the same tooth/valley alignment, then they are okay. They might be a very little off if you didn't get TDC exactly, which you probably wouldn't without a dial indicator and a degree wheel.
Then put the cam shims back on where they were, and you can put the timing cover back on.

Now, to do the timing, you use the "stick tool". If you don't have one, you make one. It's  a stick, like the wire you are using, but it's rigid, and it has a guide that screws into the spark plug hole. You can make this guide by knocking out the center of an old spark plug so that it has a hole down the middle, and all the porcelain broken away, so that only the metal part of the spark plug remains, and it's flat on top. Get a suitable "stick" made of rigid material, and with your piston at TDC, put it into the hole so that plenty of the stick still pokes out the top at TDC, and mark it to match the guide at that location, and that is TDC. Then, move the engine in the backwards direction from the way it would normally run, and find the place that the piston is 0.8mm(1/32") below TDC, prior to reaching TDC(NOT after TDC). This is the 0.8mm before TDC that the manual talks about. Leave the engine right there, and don't move it.
Then you can do the ignition timing.
Set the points gap first.
Then do the timing.

It depends on how accurate you found TDC, as to how accurate your ignition timing setting is going to be. You may have to make minor ignition timing adjustments if it doesn't start.
My "rule of thumb" is that if the engine kicks back but doesn't start, then try retarding the timing a little bit. And if the engine is not kicking back and doesn't start, then advance it a little bit and see if it will start.
It should start in a few kicks if it's right. You don't have to wear your leg out trying to start the bike. If it doesn't start in a few kicks, then check your adjustments. 
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mrunderhill1975a

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2013, 08:33:22 PM »
Ace, one question, how is the points cam indexed to the valve cams?  Is it possible the points cam moved while the valve cams were being adjusted?

ace.cafe

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2013, 08:50:42 PM »
Ace, one question, how is the points cam indexed to the valve cams?  Is it possible the points cam moved while the valve cams were being adjusted?

There is a gear train up the horn of the timing chest, which drives the distributor shaft.
The distributor shaft has a friction taper fit to the points cam which is held tight by the center allen bolt in the end of the shaft. In the event that the ignition timing is not synchronized to the cam timing, the distributor shaft bolt in the end of the shaft can be loosened, and the shaft taper fit broken with a sharp tap from a plastic mallet, and it will break the taper fit and it can be rotated freely around to bring it into sync.

It's not likely that the taper fit on the distributor shaft would suddenly just loosen up by itself like that, although it is a remote possibility.
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AgentX

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2013, 09:54:11 PM »
If you removed both the idler cams, is it possible the distributor gear rotated while they were out and put the ignition timing way off?

Edit:  There is no way to tell if the distributor gear is indexed like you can with the marks on the pinion and valve cam gears.  You have to get the engine to TDC and set the timing manually, putting the gear where it needs to be for the points to break at generally the right time, then dial it in at the breaker plate for fine tuning.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 10:00:42 PM by AgentX »

mrunderhill1975a

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2013, 10:30:12 PM »
If you removed both the idler cams, is it possible the distributor gear rotated while they were out and put the ignition timing way off?

Edit:  There is no way to tell if the distributor gear is indexed like you can with the marks on the pinion and valve cam gears.  You have to get the engine to TDC and set the timing manually, putting the gear where it needs to be for the points to break at generally the right time, then dial it in at the breaker plate for fine tuning.

Agent X,
You read my mind, that is the heart of my question, if  both the idler cams removed, is it possible the distributor gear rotated while they were out and put the ignition timing way off?

ace.cafe

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2013, 06:06:59 AM »
Yes, absolutely.
If the engine was moved while the idler gears were removed, then the ignition definitely would be out of timing with the engine.
That would require that the ignition be re-synched with the engine, either by removing the timing cover and restoring the proper location of the distributor gear in relation to the cam gears, or by breaking the taper fit of the distributor shaft, and re-timing the ignition.
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mrunderhill1975a

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2013, 09:19:42 PM »
I'll make a mental note, if I ever take off the timing cover, I will make sure to mark each of the idler gears so as to get them back together in the proper location.

amritc

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2013, 03:49:54 AM »
Hi, I got the timing set and was able to start after a number of kicks, and had to advance the timing plate a bit. Problem is that the engine is idling with highly excessive rpms, almost like a full throttle, and turning the carb idler screw makes no difference to the rpm. Should I retard the timing?

ace.cafe

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2013, 06:10:53 AM »
If you had the carb apart, check to be sure that the slide is in the right orientation, because it can be put in backwards, and then it won't drop all the way down to the seat, and cause high idle speed.
Also, check that the cable isn't hanging up from the bend at the top of the carb.
With the bike off, you should be able to hear a click, and see that the slide is all the way down when you let go of the throttle.

And yes, if that isn't the problem, you can try very small increments of retarding the ignition timing to bring the idle down.
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AgentX

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2013, 10:50:03 AM »
I'll make a mental note, if I ever take off the timing cover, I will make sure to mark each of the idler gears so as to get them back together in the proper location.

The idlers can go back in any orientation--it's rotation of the distro gear you gotta watch out for while it's apart.

mrunderhill1975a

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2013, 01:24:07 PM »
AgentX,
I don't want to hijack the thread, but how do you make certain the distro gear does not rotate relative to the cam gear while apart?

Amritc,
I agree with Ace, something is hanging up, or the adjuster on top of the carb is too tight.

ace.cafe

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2013, 03:18:15 PM »
AgentX,
I don't want to hijack the thread, but how do you make certain the distro gear does not rotate relative to the cam gear while apart?

Amritc,
I agree with Ace, something is hanging up, or the adjuster on top of the carb is too tight.

If you are leaving the engine in the frame, then it's easy to just pluck out an idler gear, and then don't just touch the distributor gear again until after you put the cams and idler gears back on. If you are worried about it, then you could use some method to fix it in place, such as duct tape or something like that. I never had any problem with just letting it sit there without touching it.
Anyway, it's not really a big deal to check that it is in the correct spot before you put the timing cover back on. And even if you find out that it moved after you put the timing cover back on, the taper fit of the 2 pieces of the distributor shaft  allows re-timing of the ignition with the whole thing together anyway. That's the reason for having that 2-piece shaft.
It's a nice little system, once you know how it all works, and what you can do with it.
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AgentX

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2013, 03:23:44 PM »
Yeah, even as a rank amateur I never had a problem with the distro gear rotating when I didn't want.

I only brought it up because it was a possible answer to why the timing may have been way off.  It's not a big deal if you pay attention when pulling it apart, as Ace said.

amritc

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2013, 10:01:42 PM »
hi everybody, apologies it has taken a few days to get back. So I re-did the timing and checked that the throttle wire has adequate play and nothing snags it - but to no avail. The engine starts after a few kicks AND the kick back I have to say is phenomenal - almost took my foot off - and idles at very high rpms. Making adjustments by retarding/advancing or taking out the carb throttle screw brings the rpms down but very so slightly. The engine is putting out a sooty black exhaust and most interestingly on opening up the throttle the ammeter actually deflects into the negative/red. The battery is brand new (1 week ago) and shows 12.8 V across the terminals when removed from the bike. So, to cut a long story short, the bike was put onto a trailer and sent off to the dealership. A lesson for all budding Royal Enfield mechanical enthusiasts...... if it works (which my bike was absolutely doing until I decided to open her up completely) do not fix/fiddle with it! Will update all once it is back with the $$ spent learning a costly lesson.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2013, 10:10:40 PM by amritc »

mrunderhill1975a

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2013, 11:54:34 PM »
The black sooty smoke would indicate a rich mixture, floats set too high, causing flooding?

If unscrewing the idle screw does not decrease the engine speed, then I would look at the adjustment of the ferrule at the top of the carburetor. If that ferrule is adjusted to short, the effect would be to shorten the throttle cable (Bowden cable) thus raising the engine speed.

If the ammeter deflects to the left, I would first suspect that the two wires to the ammeter have been reversed.  I believe that would cause the ammeter read backwards when the engine revved.

Good luck, let us know what the mechanic finds.

neil

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2013, 04:17:28 PM »
Hi:
Your picture shows a really nice bike. It also shows that you have the  micarb to feed the fuel charge into your engine. I had similar problems of high idle etc with that carb and I couldn't get it under control. Mine would begin to race at a stop sign or red light, I wasn't gunning the throttle. The only way I could slow the engine down was to shut it off and turn it back on. Some times this would work and some times it wouldn't. People nearby in cars would look at me like I was trying to race the engine to compete with them. Frankly I was embarrassed and decided to try the 30mm flat slide carb sold by our hosts. I haven't had difficulties since. SO much for the micarb. Just my experience.
Neil and Buzzy the Bullet:

amritc

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Re: Not starting and all sorts of electrical problems.
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2013, 02:41:50 PM »
hi everyone and thanks for all your assistance. Got the bike back from the dealership. Stung for a good $340..... Timing was completely out, it seems they had to get the main drive shaft out and re-time. Carb was runnign too rich so a reset as well as a replacement of the main jet from 112 to 110?? Change of spark plug as I had the wrong one in (NGK BS8ES). Runs rather smoothly now except for a few wiring niggles.. i.e.intermittent brake light, so will sort those out over the next few days.

MrUnderhill you were quite right as in the ammeter was wired incorrectly hence the deflection to negative. All sorted now. thanks.

Rode it back from the dealership - some 50kms from home of which 30kms consisted of a motorway so was quite pleased to get the bike to 100kph with some coaxing but she got there. With summer fast approaching I am looking forward to riding. cheers
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 02:44:29 PM by amritc »