Another "Won't Start" Thread
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  1. #1
    Ditch Magnet
    My Bike(s)
    Suzuki M50
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    OC, MD and Venice, FL.
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    Another "Won't Start" Thread

    I was riding along with not a care in the world, when my 2005 M50 stalled, and I haven't been able to start it since. When I turn the key, everything lights up properly, the battery is in great shape, and the starter does what starters are supposed to do with lots of life. I replaced the spark plugs and am getting good spark. I cleaned the fuel injectors, electrically pumping fluid through them. They look to be in good shape. I replaced the fuel pump. Now I' have a fuel pressure tester on order. Has anyone here successfully gone through this exercise and come out of it with a running bike? BTW, apparently your friendly Suzuki dealer only sells a fuel pump as a complete "fuel pump assembly" for a price of about $433. I purchased the fuel pump only in the after market for $20 and installed it into the "assembly" myself. I hope I don't have to spring for the price of a full "assembly."

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManOnBike View Post
    Has anyone here successfully gone through this exercise and come out of it with a running bike?
    Well of course they have. Probably many times a day spread all over the world.

    First you should NOT be trying to fix something by spending money on wild guesses.
    Often when you do that it ends up costing you more that a shop visit would.
    Maybe the fuel pressure tester will help.

    A couple of "normal" testing steps seem to be missing.

    Even though you think the battery is in great shape, you need to test the voltage and charge it up or jump in another known good one.

    You should also introduce a little extra fuel into the intake to see if that makes it fire a bit (confirming a fuel delivery problem).

    If there is a fuel filter that should be changed just for good measure.

    The air intake should be inspected for foreign debris or a clogged filter.

    Some of the safeties, like the side stand switch, can shut the bike off by killing the spark OR by killing the fuel pump.
    I don't know which one happens on your model but the sidestand switch is a fairly common culprit in the engine suddenly going dead.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  4. #3
    Ditch Magnet
    My Bike(s)
    Suzuki M50
    Location
    OC, MD and Venice, FL.
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    Frankly, I was hoping for a more substantive reply from someone who's experienced s similar problem not caused by spark, and not caused by a bad fuel pump. This is a bike that's gotten a lot of use and been hauled around the country for a lot of miles on an open trailer. So far, I've spent $18 on a new fuel pump (incl filter) and $25 on a fuel pressure gauge (recognizing that, under certain circumstances, the ECM can shut down the fuel pump). I have no intention of "trying to fix something by spending money on wild guesses", nor do I have any intention of hauling it to a dealer who will probably charge me many hundreds of dollars, even replacing the $433 fuel pump assembly, need it or not.

    Perhaps I should have been more clear when I said the battery is in great shape. It's practically new, is kept on a maintenance charger, and registers 13.6 volts. Also, the air cleaner assembly is right now off the bike so that's not an issue.

    So far, my total costs have been $43 and I don't intend to spend a lot more on this bike. I've gotten good use out of it and it wouldn't bother me at all to haul it to the junkyard or give it to some kid as a project bike. This problem just has me curious, and I enjoy solving problems. However, in the end, I have other bikes. My only reason for posting was in perhaps finding someone here who's experienced a 'No start' issue not caused by the usual stuff. So far, no replies.

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  6. #4
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
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    OMOB; you mentioned fuel and ignition are present. Did you check compression? It's probably not the culprit. But when a bike is not running, you generally verify you have all 3 of those components.

    You also mentioned cleaning the fuel injectors. When you try starting the bike, does it fire every now and then? Or does it just turn over with no firing sound? Easy R mentioned adding a little fuel to the intake. Do you get a fire then?

  7. #5
    Super Moderator

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManOnBike View Post
    Frankly, I was hoping for a more substantive reply from someone who's experienced s similar problem not caused by spark, and not caused by a bad fuel pump.

    Perhaps I should have been more clear when I said the battery is in great shape. It's practically new, is kept on a maintenance charger, and registers 13.6 volts. Also, the air cleaner assembly is right now off the bike so that's not an issue.
    Do you want to continue this as an adult discussion ......or do you want to throw rocks at those who are trying to help ?
    I have some other suggestions but won't offer them if they will be ignored.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  8. #6
    Ditch Magnet
    My Bike(s)
    Suzuki M50
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    OC, MD and Venice, FL.
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    Sorry about that, Easy Rider. I know there are always dealers who troll these motorcycle and automobile forums looking to drum up business, so I get a little testy the moment someone starts his post suggesting to take it to a dealer. In this case, one can see why taking it to a dealer is not necessarily the best idea. If the problem turned out to be the fuel pump, the dealer sells and installs complete fuel pump assemblies only, since that's a lot quicker and easier than removing the old fuel pump from the assembly and installing a new one. The difference . . . $433 vs. $18.

    At any rate, I'm waiting for my fuel pressure gauge to arrive before I proceed with anything else on this bike. Fortunately, it's garaged and I have the ability to leave everything lying there for long periods of time. In the mean time, I can pick up a spray can of starter fluid, and see how the bike likes that.

    I've realized I could have described the problem in much simpler terms. When I try to start it, it reacts as though the fuel tank is empty or contains contaminated fuel, though neither is the case. I suppose I could dust off my old compression tester, though the bike ran perfectly the day before it would no longer start. I have to think it's a simple case of fuel not reaching the injectors, since the injectors and spark plugs seem to be working . Or else, maybe I'll work on my sick water softener today. On the other hand, I have a beautiful, custom-painted VTX1800 sitting here saying, "Pick me . . . I want to go FAST." There's always something to do.
    Last edited by OldManOnBike; 12-14-2016 at 09:57 AM.

  9. #7
    Super Moderator

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManOnBike View Post
    I've realized I could have described the problem in much simpler terms. When I try to start it, it reacts as though the fuel tank is empty or contains contaminated fuel, though neither is the case.
    No problem.

    Not ALL dealers are crooks and not all situations are as extreme as the one you sited.
    And all riders are not as savvy as you are about how things work.....or don't work.
    Some would have blindly gone out and gotten a fuel pump assy. at a discount price.....of maybe $300 thinking they were getting a good deal and have it make absolutely no difference.

    For SOME people, a shop visit IS the best thing to do. Not for all though.
    Just like trying to fix it yourself is not always the best thing to do either......for some people.

    And then, your latest description of the problem is only slightly better than the first.
    Why? Because you have given us an "interpretation" of the actual symptoms instead of a detail of the symptoms themselves.
    Like someone else said: Does it spit and sputter or is it completely dead ?

    Testing the fuel pressure with a gauge and with an external addition of some fuel would be an excellent next step.

    Not trying to start a fight here; just trying to be helpful.
    Sometimes being helpful means being critical too.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  10. #8
    Ditch Magnet
    My Bike(s)
    Suzuki M50
    Location
    OC, MD and Venice, FL.
    Posts
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    Like I said, it's like trying to start a bike with a dry fuel tank, i.e. no spitting, no sputtering, just starter turning. There is always fuel in the pipeline, from gravity, so I suppose that's the equivalent of "the external addition of some fuel." I would certainly expect that bit of fuel to cause something other than what I'm getting I received my fuel pressure gauge late today so I'll give it a try tomorrow. I'm beginning to think the injectors are not being triggered. It's one thing to clean and test them on a workbench, it's another to actually have them inject when they're supposed to inject. Of course, if they're not being triggered, that's a whole other can of electronic worms.

  11. #9
    Super Moderator

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManOnBike View Post
    I would certainly expect that bit of fuel to cause something other than what I'm getting
    Well like you went on to explain yourself.......
    A bit of fuel in an fuel rail on an injected engine does absolutely NOTHING if there is no, or very low, pressure.

    Manually putting a bit of fuel into the air intake bypasses all that and will give a good clue to whether or not a lack of fuel is the real problem.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  12. #10
    Ditch Magnet
    My Bike(s)
    Suzuki M50
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    OC, MD and Venice, FL.
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    So, satisfied that I had fuel, I went back to the electronics, starting with re-testing for spark. Since I had installed the new plugs and didn't want to have to re-install them, I just used one of the old plugs that was still lying on the garage floor. It was carbonized but not too badly. The result, using the old plug was totally different. I got a couple weak sparks, and then nothing. The pulse was too weak to punch through the carbonization. Looking at the coils, I could see a lot of corrosion at the terminals, and on testing for spark through the other coil, I got nothing. I then tested the coils with an ohmmeter, and found one to be very weak, the other to be completely dead (check youtube for coil testing methodology). I ordered new coils on Amazon (2 for $28.00), installed them, and miraculously, the bike started right up.

    Things to be learned: 1) You can easily test your fuel pump by pulling out the assembly, hooking the pump to a 12v source, dipping the filter end in a little pan of fuel, and seeing it shoot out, hopefully in a safe direction. Try not to cause an explosion; 2) When looking for spark, you need to judge the "quality" of the spark. It's easy to misjudge if using a brand new spark plug, but the pulse ought to be able to punch through a little carbon. Otherwise, it's probably too weak to ignite anything. 3) If you're going to replace your coils, make sure you have an extra long hex wrench set, I had to run up to my local Harbor Freight to get one. You have to unscrew the left coil from the right side and the right coil from the left side. And, of course, as with most things on a motorcycle, you'll need the hands of a five-year-old girl.

    Costs: an $18 dollar fuel pump that I didn't really need (I'll keep the old one as a spare); $28 for new coils; A pressure gauge that I'll sell on Ebay if I don't think I'll use it again. On the other hand, it will probably end up on the shelf with all the other tools I probably will never use again.

    I have a feeling the coils went bad because of a tach that I have since replaced. The face plate on the old (Drag Specialties) tach came loose and just floated around inside the case. I ran with it for several weeks before I got around to replacing it. However, it may have been causing an intermittent short and, of course, the tach connects to both coils.

    Anyway, I'm leaving this long post in case anyone else ever finds the information useful. Case closed.

    Incidentally, don't think you're not being tracked on these forums. In a previous post, I mentioned having a VTX1800. Within 48 hours, I received spam from a Honda parts dealer. Coincidence, I think not !
    Last edited by OldManOnBike; 12-28-2016 at 09:51 AM.

  13. #11
    Super Moderator

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManOnBike View Post
    Things to be learned: 1) You can easily test your fuel pump by pulling out the assembly, hooking the pump to a 12v source, dipping the filter end in a little pan of fuel, and seeing it shoot out, hopefully in a safe direction.
    Glad to hear that you got it running again.

    On a fuel injected engine, that test is like your first spark test......almost but not quite.

    Sometimes a fuel pump will show good flow but won't develop the high pressure needed for injectors.
    Fuel pressure is critical......just as a healthy spark is.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  14. #12
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
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    Fat and blue anything less isnt going to survive compression very well.
    Smoke me a kipper I'll be home in time for breakfast

  15. #13
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    2005 Suzuki M50
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    17
    Glad you found the problem!


 

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