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Thread: No start after rain

  1. #1
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    No start after rain

    2003 xb9 lightning 1 year old fuel pump, injectors, plugs. Ran like a dream. Parked outside and got soaked in a downpour. Get back out, cranks but no start. Weak battery so I replaced it. No start. Sprayed with starting fluid and put some gas down the throttle body, starts and runs until the fuel supply runs out. Pump comes on and sounds healthy. What am I missing?

  2. #2
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    direct and to the point and decent trouble-shooting. either your injectors have lost their operating signal....or the fuel pump has...or both. clearly this downpour forced extensive moisture into 1 or more electrical connections that control these 2 components. when i run into a situation like this...where the bike and its components worked fine before exposed to a deluge...what i do is this:
    1-use either CRC marine/automotive penetrant or Aero-Kroil.
    2-start at the negative battery cable-to-frame attachment point and clean and check and reinstall.
    3-remove every single fuse and your 3 relays...spray compressed air into the slots for each...clean tips of each....spray with CRC or Aero....and reinstall. don't leave any of them to chance.
    4-perform step #3 for the connections at the bank angle sensor and safety switch for sidestand if equipped AS WELL AS the slot for your ignition switch and kill switch housing. the trick is to blow out each piece with dry compressed air...then get a bit of CRC or Aero into the component.....then see what you have.

    the logic here is this: think about what got doused during this event. would be the handlebar switch-gear....ignition switch and perhaps connections in the headlight bucket area...possibly the connections behind the plastic front pulley cover...and everything electrical under the seat. those are the specific areas i'd blow dry with compressed air then chemically treat as mentioned above, for starters. then see what you have.
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; 08-30-2019 at 01:16 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the suggestion to chemically treat the connections. I'm finished with all the connectors I could find. No success. Any sensors that could be damaged? What should I check next?

  4. #4
    Member TapRoot's Avatar
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    Hopefully Lunatic will have you up and running ASAP but you couldn’t be in better hands. Until he comes back and saves the day let me see if I can help at all. Wet equals corrosion, rust and worst of all shorts. Did you check your fuses visually or with a meter? I know it’s pretty obvious visually but the diode will need to be checked with a meter I believe if you have one and if it would matter in this case but I would check it anyway. Second, on your relays did you try swapping them around? If one goes it’s pretty easy to tell when you swap them, you’ll lose an action or gain one that was lacking from a bad relay. Last and probably worse case scenario, did your ecm get wet? Hopefully not the case but almost sounds like a lack of ground or signal wire but then again we could correlate that to whatever is wrong obviously. Take it with a grain of salt, maybe read up on the manual a little in the trouble shooting areas if you haven’t already.

  5. #5
    Member TapRoot's Avatar
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    Anything watertight holds water well

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good troubleshooting info
    You say you hear the fuel pump run. So that system is probably OK
    And you say it cranks over fine with the new battery. So all the switchgear, safety bypasses, and fuses are OK.
    It will run on starting fluid, so ignition is OK.

    So, fuel is the culprit and you're left with only a few things.

    It could be fouled plugs. Even though it runs on starting fluid, I would pull the plugs and either replace them or clean and dry them. Try cracking the throttle a little bit while cranking to lean it out slightly while starting.

    The fuel injectors not getting any signal is also a possibility (like Lunatic said).
    Easily tested by checking for a pulsing signal on those wires while cranking. A test light works perfectly for this. There are also little adaptors you can buy from an auto parts store with lights in them. If you don't get a signal at the injector end, use the free .pdf manual download you can get from Buellmods.com or Buelltooth.com to trace the wiring to the ECM plug and grounds for the injectors.

    Other than that, is there gas in it?

  7. #7
    Member Endopotential's Avatar
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    Total blind guess here, but is it possible to get water into the gas tank? Water is heavier than gasoline, and would sink to the bottom of the frame where the pump sits. Maybe drain out current gas and refill the tank?

  8. #8
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    your bike is approaching 17 years of age. though it's coincidental with this wash-out incident....if you've properly performed all the tests and checks that i gave you....and it sounds as though you did....then it is either a failed ignition relay.....or fuel pump...or both. you are losing the "pump signal" during cranking which can either be corroded/wet ECM harness plugs...faulty ignition relay which the fuel pump is circuited to...or failing pump. remove and clean and spray both ECM harness plugs....then replace the ignition relay, and see what you have. it is 20 amp rated....all 3 the same...and crosses over to many ford and chrysler a/c relays available at auto parts stores. take yours along and match it up.

    crosses over to
    Duralast Part#19389---retails for about 8
    Panasonic CM1-D-12V---""""""""""""""""" 5

    also be damn sure both your ignition and pump fuses in fuse box are perfect and the female box terminal ends pristine or that will affect the pump signal during crank and run times.



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