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Author Topic: Problem with G5; no electric start then later engine cutting out and backfiring  (Read 840 times)

Chris-G5

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I think I may have jinxed myself!  ??? I had posted a couple of days ago that I had not had any problems with my G5 except a loose wire to the fuel pump in '09, also forgot a bad low fuel sensor in '10. Now today I have a problem while riding on this beautiful 60+ degree day. On my last stop when I went to start the bike the electric start did nothing. So I folded out the kicker and it started right up on one kick. I rode around 15 or so miles, on the way home, then the engine started cutting out bad and backfired quite a bit. I was around 4 miles from home. I was able to keep going sputtering and backfiring till I made home. It seemed like it ran better at high RPMs but still cutting out and backfiring off and on all the way home. At home  I turned it off then turned ignition and the kill switch on again. The MIL and fuel pump did not come on. I tried again and the MIL and fuel pump came on and shut off like normal but the electric start did nothing and couldn't start it with the kicker.  I turned off the kill switch and ignition. Later I turned them both on again and neither the fuel pump nor the MIL came on. The neutral light was on but the blinkers did not work either. So I decided to wash the bike, as it was super dirty from riding through all the water from the melting snow, before I investigated more. After washing the bike the fuel pump and MIL came on but no electric start. Kick started it and it fired up sounding pretty much normal and reving pretty good. I let it idle for a bit then the idle lowered and it sputtered out. It has been the same since. I checked the starter relay by ohming the coil. Got 3.3 ohms. Then checked if the starter relay was closing by measuring the voltage across the relay switch, which was low around 9 volts. The voltage reading should have dropped to zero when the relay closed, by pushing the start button, but it did not. You can hear a faint click when the start button is pushed and the neutral light dims. Checked the battery it was low, around 9 volts. I put it on a tender and later went to check it and the tender check battery light was on. So battery is probably bad, but that doesn't explain the bike cutting out, backfiring, and now dying at idle. I haven't tried riding it. I'm thinking some sort of electrical problem. Any thoughts?

Chris

Chris-G5

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Just went out to check it again because I put the battery back on the tender. The tender check battery light was on again. I unhooked tender and turn the bike on and it barely started with the electric start. Check the voltage at battery while running it was around 9.6 volts. Seemed to be idling fine. Continued to check voltage while idling and it was dropping. When the voltage approached 7 the idle went down and the bike died when the voltage dropped below 7. Could the battery be the whole problem or maybe the alternator?

r80rt

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I think it's just a bad battery.
On the eighth day God created the C5, and it was better looking than anything on the planet.
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olhogrider

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I think it's just a bad battery.

What he said. I would hook up jumper cables to  a car battery and see how everything functions. I think the alternator is trying to revive a dead/broken battery when it should be powering your electrical system. Even your Tender is trying to tell you something.

Chris-G5

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Yeah I think the battery is most likely bad or getting there. I have been meaning to replace it with a new sealed battery. Although it does seem that the alternator should power the electrical system even if the battery were dead. Which would mean either the alternator or the regulator is bad. The regulator is built in with the rectifier. There is a rectifier regulator unit test in the service manual. It says to check voltage at battery with engine a 3000 RPMs and there should be between 12.2 and 13.5 volts. I guess I'll try replacing the battery. I hope I can find one in town and not have to order one.

Chris-G5

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I just tried the rectifier regulator unit test and the most I was reading was in the high 8 volt range. Hard to tell what RPM I was at without a tach but I was reving it pretty high. So I am thinking the regulator is bad. @ Scooterbob, what do you think?, has there been previous problems with bad regulators or charging coils? This is an early G5, bought May '09 from Interstate Motorcycles. Bike built Jan. '09

r80rt

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Maybe you ned a fully charged battery to do a proper test?
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gashousegorilla

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Maybe you ned a fully charged battery to do a proper test?
Yea, what he said. Disconnect the battery from the bike, take it out and see if it will take and hold a charge on the bench. And as Dan suggested , if you don't have another, take you car battery out, hook t up with jumper cables, then do your tests. CAREFULLY with the cables, don"t short anything out, there is sensitive electronics on the bike.
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.

UncleErnie

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Numero one-o;  iof you have to use a car battery, DO NOT START THE CAR.

When a dealer puts a bike on the floor, he puts a barry in it.  and the battery sits with the bike.  So you come along and buy the bike and- Hey- this thing domne't work!  Well hurry up and get a charge on that battery because the customer is coming to pick it up.

A fast charge is not good for a battery.  Batteries love slow.
Plus- when's the last time you cheked the fluid level?

Take your old battery in to any bike shop where they can get you a decent Yuasa and re-cycle the old battery for you.  They may even have it in stock, but it wi;ll take about 5 hours to charge.  If you have a TENDER at hame, you can have them put acid in it and take it home to charge.  On a battery tender.
Run what ya brung

gashousegorilla

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Yeah I think the battery is most likely bad or getting there. I have been meaning to replace it with a new sealed battery. Although it does seem that the alternator should power the electrical system even if the battery were dead. Which would mean either the alternator or the regulator is bad. The regulator is built in with the rectifier. There is a rectifier regulator unit test in the service manual. It says to check voltage at battery with engine a 3000 RPMs and there should be between 12.2 and 13.5 volts. I guess I'll try replacing the battery. I hope I can find one in town and not have to order one.
Chris, you sort of answered your own question here.The alternator on a bike,  usually will not be strong enough to power a bike at idle.There for it will die out at idle, ...... If your battery is bad, it will not take a charge or hold a charge even at or above 3000 rpm's.  The eratic behaviour your describing, sounds like a bad battery. You MUST have a good one to check the out put of the charging system. Once you have a good battery hooked up, hook up your multi meter and rev the engine up pretty good and watch the meter.
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.

Chris-G5

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Alright, alright!  ;D I'm going to get a new battery tomorrow. Hope that fixes it! The weather is too nice not to be riding.

prof_stack

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A new sealed or gel battery is the way to go.  Did you keep the OEM battery on the 'tender whenever the G5 sat?
A Royal Enfield owner's cup is always half full.

Chris-G5

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A new sealed or gel battery is the way to go.  Did you keep the OEM battery on the 'tender whenever the G5 sat?
Not all the time

clubman

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So battery is probably bad, but that doesn't explain the bike cutting out, backfiring, and now dying at idle.

Chris

I had something similar to this last summer when I spluttered home on a flat battery. In my case it was duff wiring rather than a duff battery as in the wiring was wrong from the day it left the factory allowing it to carry on running directly off the battery with all fuses blown and no charging. Once the battery is flat it stops running. Leave it half an hour and it recharges itself just enough to run a bit longer but then it will stop again as there isn't enough power to run the fuel pump. That's what was happening to you too.

Chris-G5

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I had something similar to this last summer when I spluttered home on a flat battery. In my case it was duff wiring rather than a duff battery as in the wiring was wrong from the day it left the factory allowing it to carry on running directly off the battery with all fuses blown and no charging. Once the battery is flat it stops running. Leave it half an hour and it recharges itself just enough to run a bit longer but then it will stop again as there isn't enough power to run the fuel pump. That's what was happening to you too.
So what exactly was the fix for your G5? Just replacing the fuses? Changing the wiring?

Thanks, Chris
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 02:21:12 PM by Chris-G5 »

clubman

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I'm not suggesting your problem is anything more than a dud battery so much as telling you what happened to me and why it can run for a while and then cut out. But of course it's worth checking the fuses and if any are blown investigating further. I was told that a small batch were known to have left the factory with incorrect wiring and mine happened to be one of them. It was wired correctly - as per the wiring diagram - under warranty and I've had no further problems. Neither does the battery seem to have suffered in any way. (It's only done 15 months mind but if I get a couple of years out of it I'll be happy.)

singhg5

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@Chris:

Sometimes the real cause of the problem is never quite found out but the problem is solved.  About a couple of months back, my G5 engine was cutting, sputtering, and stalled on a very cold day.  I have the link below for you to go through.  In my case, it was spark plug.  Once replaced, the bike ran fine after that.  I don't think a bad spark plug could explain everything - but it worked !

In your case, battery is definitely low and I would say get a new sealed Yuasa battery.  

http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/forum/index.php/topic,9358.0.html
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 03:51:03 PM by singhg5 »
1970's Jawa /  Yezdi
2006 Honda Nighthawk
2009 Royal Enfield Black G5

Chris-G5

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I checked the fuses and there was a blown fuse. The blown fuse was a 15A and the back up fuse next to it was a 20A. Also in the wiring diagram in the service manual it only shows 20A fuses. So I think this 15A was mistakenly put in at the factory. I went ahead and put in a new sealed absorbed glass mat battery. It read 12.3 volts out of the box. Afterward I checked the voltage at the battery while revving the engine up and the voltage rose to over 13 volts so it seams the charging system is working since I replaced the blown fuse. ;D

Also I noticed the fuel line is showing some cracks. That fuel line makes that tight 180 degree turn from the pump to the injector which I am sure does not help with wear and cracking. It is going to need to be replaced soon. :(

r80rt

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Glad to know it wasn't a major headache!
On the eighth day God created the C5, and it was better looking than anything on the planet.
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olhogrider

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Great news about the electrical problem! My experience with F.I. systems is they run high pressure to the injector. Make sure the new hose is up to the task. You wouldn't want a fuel bath on a hot bike! Bear in mind this is just my experience with other bike/auto systems. I know nothing about the RE system.

Marrtyn

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I have had a very similar problem with my G5 early last year.
I blamed everything except the battery. I then tried jump leads from my car and the problem disapeared. Therfore fitted a new battery. On examing my old battery (my dealer),- said one cell had gone caput.

r80rt

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Yeah, fuel line is cheap, I change it on my bikes once a year just for peace of mind.
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gashousegorilla

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 That's cool you found it Chris!   
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.