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Thread: Failure to Fire - After just riding a few times.

  1. #1
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    Failure to Fire - After just riding a few times.

    Just bought a 2003 XB9S 10,100 miles. Knew the previous owner, he had it since 2013 and put maybe 300 miles on it. I test drove it and it ran fine, several weeks later we had weather in Indiana to ride a bit, I had to charge the battery but rode fin for 20 min. Parked it for another few weeks, tried ride it two days ago and it was rough to start but finally started. Didn't let it warm up much and took off down the road. It started running really bad and backfiring. Parked it, let it idle and revved it for a few min, seemed like it warmed up or kicked in" rode it for 10 min just fine. Yesterday when I went to start it, it cranked and cranked but no love. Charged the battery added a gallon of 92 octane, cranked and cranked could smell fuel but no firing maybe once. I did notice for an hour or so, the fuel pump noise wasn't coming on so I put it in the garage. Today I tried to jump it, (Non running vehicle) and the fuel pump did make the engaging sound but still no fire. I did take off the air box, and the filter box, Filter looked fine (K&N) and sprayed a little starting fluid in it and still no love. The previous owner did say he did not winterize it at all so I am wondering if it is just the plugs. I've read all the posts I can find on the fuel pump and filters and also watched the video on the plugs but wanted to get some input from experienced owners. Id really like to find an owner in Indianapolis that may be will to help for some cash. I'm very mechanically inclined but an extra set of experienced hands would be nice.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    you need 4 components to fire that motor as follows:
    1-compression which turns into combustion. clearly you have compression.
    2-fresh air intake charge. you have that.
    3-fuel charge. clearly you made an attempt at that with the ether you sprayed into the intake tract. good move on your part.
    4-spark at the correct time. you do NOT have that.
    here's the basic steps to determine why no spark:
    1-remove fuse box cover and check the the ignition....ecm....fuel pump fuses. by "checking" i mean remove each one individually...examine it closely...and closely examine the female spades that each one plugs into. any looseness or corrosion must be addressed.
    2-your ecm fires your ignition coil. your coil is a dual-spark model meaning it fires both plugs simultaneously. the ecm accomplishes this thru its ground source being passed along to the ecm as its signal. there are several small ground wires in the vicinity of the ecm or battery box on the 2003 model. check them closely.
    lastly.....and i am NOT saying they are fouled....but to eliminate the plugs as the source of this problem and considering the bike is 15 years old i would absolutely replace them. NGK DCPR9EIX plug of choice which is 1 heat range colder than stock. report back with what you find please.
    NOTE: back-firing is combustion blown up thru the intake tract. after-firing is combustion being blown out thru the exhaust. you mentioned back-firing but i know you're talking about popping and belching out the exhaust. 95% of the time with XB model buells that is a clear indication of faulty spark plugs.
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; 02-28-2018 at 10:54 PM.

  3. #3
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    And to add another typical candidate, those plug wires age and fail, if they are the originals they are probably crap.

  4. #4
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    Thank you. I have checked all the fuses but will most likely replace all of them just to do so. Already orderd the plugs. The previous owner also added some led strip lights to which are connected near the battery. I will remove those. Thanks for the advice. Iíll report back results.

    Is there a good document for all the chassis ground points. I browsed the service manual but didnít see anything. Iíll have to look a little closer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    Is there a good document for all the chassis ground points. I browsed the service manual but didn’t see anything. I’ll have to look a little closer.

    not having a 2003 service manual in hand going by memory here:
    1-front of bike a cluster of 4 black wires either attached to the lower triple clamp or the steering neck.
    2-large braided dog-bone wire underneath rear of airbox base-plate in conjuction with rear engine/frame mount
    3-negative battery cable to frame at left frame rail.
    4-ground wires 1,2,13(most models) onto right frame rail directly opposite left frame rail grounding point.
    OPTIONAL #5-if you're so inclined when replacing your spark plugs run a dedicated ground using 12 gauge wire from rear coil hex head mounting bolt to left frame rail grounding point. often times solves alot of low speed stutters and hiccups.
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; 03-01-2018 at 11:38 AM.

  6. #6
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    Changed the plugs and it fired right up. Went with the NGK DCPR9EIX. I think I may have jacked up the gap but she fired right up. Going to replace the wires but definitely going to buy some long angle needle nose pliers to but them on.. Also ordered my ECMSpy cable. going to see what kind of info I can gather.

    Thanks all for the help.



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