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 Post subject: First gear hesitation
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:48 pm 
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Hornet Baby

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Location: BW, Germany
Hello guys,

I have an issue with my hornet which appears to be for a long(er) time but either is more noticable now, either I am on the "finding problems mode". The bike starts fine, runs fine, idles fine, revs fine, but when I put 1st gear and have some load, it hesitates and I have to rev it a little more keeping the cluch too. The problem seems much worse when I start in an uphill. If I do not come to a full stop and I put first gear while rolling and accelerate again, everything seems fine.

I read that the problem can be the ignition coils or the spark plug cables, so I took a look at it and I have to admit that I am veeeery confused!

The spark plugs on cylinders 1-4 are good (1st picture on the link below) but on 2-3 are more blackish (like the second picture but not that bad)

https://www.ngksparkplugs.com/about-ngk ... spark-plug

which seems to be a problem in the ignition coil for the cylinders 2-3 BUT...

I checked for spark using a spark plug grounded to engine block and both coils seem to work (a spark is comming which jumps also in the engine block).


I checked the ignition coils resistance and I have:

Coil 1-4 and coil 2-3

Primary 3 Ohms
Secondary with spark plug caps 33KOhms
Secondary without caps 23Kohms

with the secondary out of specs according to haynes manual :

Primary 2.5 to 3.2 Ohms
Secondary with spark plug caps 21 to 25KOhms
Secondary without caps 11 to 15Kohms

but this does not explain the black middle spark plugs as both coils are identical.


I made also a voltage peak tester and I measured the primary coil voltage when cranking (with a spark plug connected to each spark plug cap and grounded to engine block). Honda manual (I have this one too) says that it should be minimum 100V and I got

Plug cap 1 - 172V
Plug cap 2 - 142V
Plug cap 3 - 135V
plug cap 4 - 145V

which seem also fine.

Valve job was done last winter (1500 Km done since then), carbs were also cleaned and checked the same period.

The bike is a hornet 600 2005 with a K&N filter, dynojet and Acrapovic exhaust.

any help is apreciated
thank you


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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:35 am 
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Did you check the stator with the multimeter?


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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:02 am 
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Hornet Baby

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HOON98 wrote:
Did you check the stator with the multimeter?


I have to admit that I did not! The stator should be responsible for charging the battery which It does, so I thought that there is no point in checking that (If I am missing something please correct me).


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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:14 pm 
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Actually - forget the stator for the time being - it could likely be a carburetor issue - specifically (because it's a first gear low rpm problem) the pilot jets which might need adjustment or cleaning.


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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:22 am 
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Hornet Baby

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HOON98 wrote:
Actually - forget the stator for the time being - it could likely be a carburetor issue - specifically (because it's a first gear low rpm problem) the pilot jets which might need adjustment or cleaning.


It sounds logical but the confusing part is that I inspected and cleaned the carburetors last winter plus the two middle cylinders are involved. If it was let's say only one or another combination 1-2 or 3-4 then a carburetor check would be the "obvious" thing to do.

I am just wondering though... I saw some rust on the coils and cables which I intend to clean after reading this

viewtopic.php?f=60&t=33701

but the strange part is that both coils have the same -out of spec- resistance. Is it possible that both coils (or the spark plugs caps) are "on the border line" and one of them is slightly below and I have these results?

It seems that the cleaning part should be the first thing to do before start digging deeper


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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:49 pm 
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Yes I see your point - from what you say it does sound like it could be a coil issue - as you say - give all the related contacts a clean and see if it improves the situation.


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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:02 am 
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Hornet Baby

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Ok, so I took it once again apart, cleaned the secondary terminals from rust and cut a very small amount from the rusty part of the cables (the two of them were rusty, the other two were ok). All of the cables are showing about 5K but the coils are still stubborn. Coil 1-4 is 22.5K and coil 2-3 22.7K

I put the two clear plugs in the middle cylinders and the blackish ones on the cylinders 1-4. That being said, the bike should clean the 1-4 plugs and make the two middle ones "dirtier"

The bike felt a little smoother, but it can be the spark plug re-arrangement or the impression that when you are repairing things the bike is always nicer or faster etc. I did not notice any hesitation during my quick ride so I tried starting on an uphill and the problem still persists.

So either my "theory" that both coils are on the border line with the 2-3 just under it, is correct, or I have a different problem.

I forgot to mention that the bike has 70k kilometers.

I might get a set of used ignition coils.
I like to get new parts but they are way too expensive and if they are not faulty, there is no point in spending so much money.


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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:32 am 
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If the bike has done 70k it might be worth doing a compression test so that you can rule in/out compression related issues.


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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:52 am 
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Hornet Baby

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HOON98 wrote:
If the bike has done 70k it might be worth doing a compression test so that you can rule in/out compression related issues.


I bought a cheap compression tool from e-bay and tried to make a test but It did not work so good. The gauge popped out from the hose twice and all measurements stopped at 130 psi. I saw the needle that wanted to go higher but returned to 130.

There maybe a reason that the good ones cost 5 times more :)

Anyway, I swapped the ignition coils (just to rule them out) and see what happens next time I pull the plugs out.

Just a question: If it is a carb issue, shouldn't it run rough or idling unstable or something??


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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:48 pm 
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Quote:
I bought a cheap compression tool from e-bay and tried to make a test but It did not work so good. The gauge popped out from the hose twice and all measurements stopped at 130 psi. I saw the needle that wanted to go higher but returned to 130.


Cylinder compression spec is between 185 to 191 psi (for my 1998 Hornet 600 model) so until you can definitively establish that your engine is within this range then a compression related issue will remain a possibility - it's unfortunate that the compression tester was not adequate for the job - personally speaking I would want to eliminate compression as an issue before I started looking at the carburetors because checking engine compression is a relatively simple task (assuming the tester works :angel ) compared to adjusting or repairing the carburetors.

Quote:
Just a question: If it is a carb issue, shouldn't it run rough or idling unstable or something??


I'm not an expert on carburetors or fuelling (I am still learning myself) - however the carburation process (as you know) is complex and relies on a very fine and specific set of adjustments - so a fuelling issue that presents itself at 2/3k revs under first gear acceleration might not present itself in the form of rough running at tick over.

You say it has a K&N filter, have you tried the bike with a standard filter?

Also are you running standard or after market header pipes?


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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:48 am 
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Hornet Baby

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Well, I am not planning to mess around with the carbs. Cleaning ok, but I would not touch the air/fuel mixture. It was set by my mechanic and it has been working for a long time perfectly so I will leave it as it is. Same thing with the KN filter. If it has been working good, why not now?
My header pipes are standard.

An update. When the bike is warm I hear a clicking noise (like arcing). Not always but often. If I have a spark plug cable problem, then It would make sense the hesitation (or at least I hope so), right?


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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:08 pm 
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Yeah - sounds like you have zeroed in on the problem - if the multimeter test is confirming that the coils are out of spec then it could be worth tracking down some used replacements off ebay.


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 Post Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:47 am 
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Hornet Baby

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The arcing comes usually from the cables and not the coils, right?


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 Post Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:13 am 
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alex84 wrote:
The arcing comes usually from the cables and not the coils, right?


Yeah, sounds more likely to be located in the cables - but don't quote me as I'm not an electrical expert :D

The coils are a sealed unit I think - it's not really practical to attempt a repair on them (unless someone can advise you better).

As you have already established that your coils are out of spec with the multimeter it should be much easier to buy a replacement in spec used set off ebay and see if that cures the problem.


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 Post Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:24 pm 
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Did you check that the 'metal spike contact' in the coil unit (where the lead connects to) is free of corrosion? If the leads were rust then the spike will be also... spike should be shiny silver, shine torch in hole and check/clean.

Image
Note rust on lead, the other lead and both leads on the other coil were clean.

I resolved the high resistance issue by cutting 1/4 inch off the lead's thus exposing fresh wire, then i used a thin screw driver to poke a tight wad of wire wool in and around the coils 'spike contact', spinning it around until the 'spike contact' looked shiny and new. (On the lead there is a rubber grommet which will need re positioning if the lead is cut shorter)

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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:09 am 
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Hornet Baby

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Yes, the coils did have some corrosion on them and I removed it, but the resistance stayed the same (I had a 300-500 Ohms difference which is nothing). I cut also some mm from the cable to remove the rust but nothing changed.


No, the coils are not supposed to be opened and repaired. They are sealed and you can only replace them. I mentioned on a previous post that I swapped the coils to rule them out (but I kept the cables in the right cylinder order) and there were no changes on the spark plug colour nor the bike performance. So either it is a spark cable related thing or something different.

I will check the rest of the circuit for leaks and correct voltages just to be on the safe side and I will be back with the results.


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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:23 am 
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Hornet Baby

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I'm back with some update. :)

So, I took the carbs out to check them, all fuel jets were clean and shinny. As I was about to put them back, I read some threads about rich mixture until I came up with one saying about the air jets!!! :eek Hey! I totally forgot them!!!!
Now it makes sense as the carbs 2 and 3 are using the same sub air cleaner, which last time I change the sub air filter it was cracking and falling apart. So I suppose something blocked the air jets on both carburetors.

As I do not have an air compressor, I used a tyre pump I have, which uses CO2 cartridges, combined with a ball needle.
This gives you about 2-3 very strong air blasts and then it is time to change the cartridge.

I did that, put everything together and... Spark plug on cylinder 3 clean, but on cylinder 2 not. Only a small edge of the ceramic was white.
I ordered some more CO2 cartridges (I had only 3 in the first attempt), repeated the procedure and FINALLY all spark plugs are now clean!! :) :)

I changed also the spark plug wires, so no more clicking BUT the hesitation problem is still there :Bang

Now, some people are saying that the regulator / rectifier can cause problems when idling and off idle.

I checked the battery voltage after warming up the bike and it was 12.8V with the motor off.

The bike running on idle produced 13.0V across the battery leads which went up to 13.6V revving the bike. I tested it with 3k and 5k rpm and remained stable at 13.6V

Now my question is:

According to the specs, the results should be BV < CV < 15.5V

where BV is the measured battery voltage and CV is the charged voltage.

It is on specs but is seems to be a little low. Has anyone measured the voltages on his bike to compare them?
Should the charging voltage be that low when idling?

Thanks


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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:14 pm 
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Hornet Baby

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This may sound silly but have you changed the spark plugs? I had a very similar problem with my 89 Hornet, I changed the plugs and it was a completely different bike!


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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:45 pm 
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Expect you may have already been pointed to this:

http://hondahornet.org.uk/messageboard/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=19522

Your battery and charging voltages DO seem low, how old is your battery ? A new one often works wonders, in my experience.

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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:45 pm 
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Hornet Baby

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@Mailee: No it is not silly, sometimes we forget the simplest things. In our case, yes I changed them 600km ago and there was no change compaired to the old ones.

@Richard: My spark plug cables are new and they did not change the problem with the older ones. The battery is also new (3 months on the bike) but if the charging voltage is too low it will drain it eventually.

I was searching what the other guys have as charging voltage and everyone mentions that their motorcycles produce 14-14.5V which means that mine is low (even if it is on specs).

The question now is why hesitates when warm? If the voltage is low/lower shouldn't it do the same when the engine is cold?

Another question. If a coil was failing shouldn't it be noticable in the whole range?


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