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Thread: Spark Ping

  1. #1
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    Spark Ping

    Hey all, my 2007 XB12S w/ Jardine, open airbox ,and buelltooth tune for jardine is having what I believe is some spark ping. I previously thought it was just a rattle somewhere that I couldn't identify, but after revving in neutral in the driveway after a ride I couldn't replicate. Seems to only be under load, when warmed up. Google scared me, now I'm here. I've found other old threads that claim to have some level of spark ping, with no apparent real isuses, but who knows what that caused long term. I recently worked on my fuel pump (several times), and replaced the rocker box gaskets, and am guilty of starting the bike several times without going anywhere just to check for leaks and such. I last replaced the plugs in the fall with NGK DCPR9EIX, which I believe should be cooler than the 8's (I live in Phoenix). The "rattle" sound is pretty much throughout the rev range, but more noticeable in the mid-rpm's under even moderate load (not WOT). Given the potential consequences of spark ping, I'd like to get this figured out. I checked my AFV and it appears it was all the way down at 85%. I was planning to re-set AFV, re-set TPS, and possibly even change plugs just to rule them out. My questions are

    a) Would fouled plugs have anything to do with this
    b) is the low AFV indicating leaning fuel delivery due to rich scenario the most likely culprit?
    c) could the low AFV just be the ECM trying to catch up with recent changes to the fuel pressure (recently increased after leak in fuel pump assembly addressed)
    d) am I right to worry? I read spark ping can cause some pretty terrible things with regards to the longevity of motors

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Spark knock/ pinging is most commonly caused by a lean mixture (not enough gas in the mix causes it to burn too fast) or over advanced timing (lighting the mixture too soon). The sound you are hearing is the pressure of combustion slamming against the piston as it is still traveling UP in the bore, instead of powering the piston DOWN in the power stroke.

    a) No.
    b) Low, 85% AFV means the ECM thinks the fuel map is rich and is taking 15% of fuel out of the map in all conditions. A lean mixture can definitely cause your issue.
    c) Maybe, but the AFV can change pretty quickly if it needs too when riding, but not so much while idling in the garage.
    d) YES. Ping, spark knock etc is terribly destructive to an engine. Rapidly.

    You mentioned a Buelltooth tune.
    1) The ones I am aware of are Open Loop tunes and instruct you to 'lock the AFV' to 100 by adjusting its min/max settings in ECM parameters to 100. You obviously haven't done that. BT instructs you to do that so they can run richer than necessary tunes without the ECM compensating with a low AFV. Sound familiar?

    2) IME, BT also runs VERY advanced timing curves in their tunes, which will also definitely contribute to spark knock.

    Does the noise go away with premium fuel/ or lower temps?
    Last edited by Cooter; 03-22-2022 at 10:32 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, cooter. I've been running premium fuel from the corner circle k, but just filled up with chevron partly for this reason. I also have it on my list to check static timing to ensure it's set correctly. With regards to lower temps, that will be tough to test here in phoenix in the next 8 months, but I will say I rode a couple mornings to work last week when it was in the low 50's and noticed it, but I had already given the bike about 10-15 mins to warm up before setting off. I do also have the original tune my bike came with saved. No idea if it was stock, but may throw it back on for a ride as a comparison point. I believe BT would also share the stock tune, so I'll reach out there too.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Barrett's Avatar
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    9's are fine for your climate. That minimal amount of heat range change will neither induce or resolve combustion detonation or "pinging".
    Your extraordinarily low AFV value is the root problem for all this combustion racket. It's also inducing Stoich in the 15.5-1 and above ratio which causes a multitude of problems including head temp...exhaust gas temp...pre-ignition

    Your AFV needs to be corrected.
    Clean your combustion chambers. A few tried-and-proven methods available.
    A crack or leak anywhere in the exhaust system pre-muffler plumbing will also induce combustion noise due to the aggressive profiles of these 4-cam motors. Check same.

  5. #5
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    RidetheLightning, not sure if you could use this or not but I also have a '07 XB12s and if you need additional maps, just let me know and I'll shoot them over to you.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    If you have YOUR stock map for YOUR bike, it would be a great place to start. Be wary of ANY other tunes as they may introduce other issues while you are trying to diagnose your bike.

    You mentioned BuellTooth, so I'll assume your using ECMDroid to swap tunes. The file that ECMDroid uses included ECM Parameters like fan settings, O2 voltage settings, current AFV/EGO values when it was downloaded etc. After installing a tune from ANYWHERE, you MUST go through all of your ECM Parameters and check for anomalies. Some programs have the temp settings for the fan reversed or have the annoying 'speed-based fan control' on.

    And timing... base timing is RARELY an issue as it's hard to change, but a timing advance curve in a aftermarket tune ABSOLUTLEY could be.

  7. #7
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    RidetheLightning, did you ever get the problem sorted?

  8. #8
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    Hey guys, haven't able to get out for a ride. Haven't tracked down a true stock tune, but reached out to rev-mo to see if he'll provide. In the meantime, I've reflashed the "original" Jardine tune that worked well previously, reset AFV, and re-set TPS. Going to start there and go for a ride and see.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    By adding the new tune and re-setting the AFV, it will run better. For now. Maybe the timing curve is better? Maybe the fueling is better? We have no idea.

    So is it fixed? 50/50. You'll have to keep an eye on the AFV to see if it drops again. If it stops pinging and the AFV stays within 92-108, I'd say you're good to go.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    3 words

    Ceramic
    Cylinder
    Bores


    Get sum. That is all.



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