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post #1 of 24 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 9:15 am Thread Starter
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Unhappy Help - Still Sputtering

Before I get to the issue, a little history of how I got here. A week or so ago, out of nowhere, my 04 LT with just over 13K miles stalled at idle while warming up. On the 20 mile trip home, she stalled at every stop light as I decelerated. By the time I got home she no longer stalled but was running a little funny (can't really explain the symptoms). Fast forward to a few days ago, while cruising she was sort of sputtering, making a popping sound - almost backfiring. She was idling around 1000 rpm.

My initial thought was that it was a bad tank of gas, so I decided to let her idle and burn off the gas in the tank. After a few minutes I remembered reading various threads here regarding the "woosh" sound when opening the fuel tank. (Incidentally, I noticed there was water dripping from a tube at the back of the bike, which I later found out to be connected to the canister). Opened the tank, and sure as heck, she wooshed for about 4 -5 seconds. Using knowledge from the HOW I deduced that the tank vent line was not clogged, which left the canister.

After doing the canisterectomy last night (easy!), she was idling a little higher (about 1100 - 1200 rpm) but I still heard some popping in the exhaust. I completely removed the gas cap and started her back up and she continued to do the same (therefore I do not believe the issue to be a tank venting issue).

On the ride in this morning, I noticed that she ran a little better than she had for the past few days; not sputtering as bad, but it is still "popping" occasionally especially when I let off the throttle, so the problem did not go away completely. May have been my imagination, but I felt she ran poorer as she warmed up. Opened the gas cap when I arrived and did not hear a woosh.

About 400 miles ago, I did the 12k service myself (about 1k late) - fuel and air filters, spark plugs (torqued them in properly), and all of the fluids. She has run like a clock for those 400 miles, until about a week ago.

I'm still running the same tank of fuel so I have not completely ruled that out yet (I use this gas station almost exclusively for all my vehicles and have never had a problem).

What else could it be and why would it just come on like that?

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post #2 of 24 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 1:15 pm
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Red face Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Is it possible one of the spark plug wires is not on properly? Also, you should never have the woosh at the gas cap. So....there may still be some vent problem.
Just my .02

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post #3 of 24 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 2:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

No vacuum since I did the canisterectomy.

I'll be checking the plugs as soon as I can get the plastic off, but I don't think that's it. It's not misfiring that bad. But hey, you never know! Thanks.

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post #4 of 24 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 6:48 pm
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

From everything you've said it still sounds like a fuel problem
I would try running some fuel injector cleaner through her,
if it works you'll know it in 10-20 miles.


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post #5 of 24 Old Apr 28th, 2009, 8:32 am Thread Starter
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Thanks Hans. I thought about trying that as I was riding in this morning. I'll be heading to Pep Boys to pick some up.

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post #6 of 24 Old Apr 28th, 2009, 10:47 am
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Quote:
Originally Posted by razman10
Thanks Hans. I thought about trying that as I was riding in this morning. I'll be heading to Pep Boys to pick some up.
I'm thinking that the ECM has "adjusted" for the clogged canister by pushing extra fuel that you now don't need any more - that is, you're running rich. It will probably correct itself over time, but you might want to consider disconnecting the battery for an hour, reset the TPS and try again. I'll bet it runs 100% better after resetting the ECM.

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post #7 of 24 Old Apr 29th, 2009, 8:29 am Thread Starter
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
From everything you've said it still sounds like a fuel problem
I would try running some fuel injector cleaner through her,
if it works you'll know it in 10-20 miles.
I'm at about 100 miles, still no change.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VRodPete
I'm thinking that the ECM has "adjusted" for the clogged canister by pushing extra fuel that you now don't need any more - that is, you're running rich. It will probably correct itself over time, but you might want to consider disconnecting the battery for an hour, reset the TPS and try again. I'll bet it runs 100% better after resetting the ECM.
Thanks Pete. I'll give it a try.

This is frustrating! She runs well at high RPM's; the only issue is when cruising between 2 - 3 thousand RPM's. Also noticed that she sputters more when running hot.

I'm almost ready to take her to the stealer, I mean dealer.

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post #8 of 24 Old Apr 29th, 2009, 5:00 pm
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Ray
I don't know if this still applies with a 2004
but do a search for "brown wire"


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post #9 of 24 Old Apr 30th, 2009, 9:12 am Thread Starter
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

It appears that the brown wire has already been clipped on my bike. There are two capped brown wires very close to eachother near the right side bike frame. They were like that when I bought the bike. I've always assumed that was the "magical brown wire" that had been cut.

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post #10 of 24 Old Apr 30th, 2009, 2:05 pm
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Oxygen Sensor?
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post #11 of 24 Old Apr 30th, 2009, 5:27 pm
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

How about the fuel regulator on the rail?



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post #12 of 24 Old May 1st, 2009, 9:24 am
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

I had a very similar problem with my bike. I turned out to be an intermittent ignition coil.
At first I too thought fuel problems. Everything checked , no fuel or pump problems. Finally went back to the ignition sysem and found the problem.

Here is what to do.
Get a good timing light, one with the inductive pickup. Place the pickup on a plug wire. Start the bike and watch the flash of the timing light. If the plug is firing the light will be flashing continually. If it is misfiring you will see the light flash in a ragged pattern. This will indicate either the plug is bad, the plug wire is bad, or the coil is bad. Do this on each plug wire. If you find one "stuttering" change the spark plug and see what happens.

Your problem seems to be when your riding, here is where you get to test your skills.

Hook up your timing light as normal but make up a power lead from the battery to power the timing light as you ride the bike. Make sure all the wires to the light are someway secured and tied up so they don't interfere with the operation of the bike. With the light connected to a plug wire take the bike out for a test ride. With the bike warm and up to speed where you experience the problem pull the trigger on the timing light and watch the flash pattern, again it should be very smooth. If is even a bit ragged you have a plug miss firing for some reason. Check each plug wire with this method.

Try it and see what happens.

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post #13 of 24 Old May 1st, 2009, 9:54 am Thread Starter
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I'm going to call the dealer and make an appointment to bring her in. I have about 2 weeks left (12 days actually) left on the "Pre-Owned" warranty that the bike had when I bought it.

I'm just not going to go crazy trying to figure it out with a warranty remaining.

(If we were having this conversation next month, I'd be all over it. But for now, that's what the warranty is for.)

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post #14 of 24 Old May 1st, 2009, 12:55 pm
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Have you tried the TPS reset, which can be done without disconnecting the battery and only takes 20 seconds to perform?

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post #15 of 24 Old May 4th, 2009, 8:49 am Thread Starter
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Yes, thanks for the suggestion though!

I've scoured these boards and tried just about every suggestion anyone has had for any problem similar to mine.

I have to say that she is running better than she was when this all started, but she's still not 100%. She's no longer "popping", just a slight sputter between 2000 & 3500 rpms.

The earliest I can get her in the dealer is May 19th - a week AFTER my warranty expires! Since they do not have an opening before the warranty expires, they put in their notes that they'd honor the warranty anyway. I'll report back when I finally bring her in.

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post #16 of 24 Old May 4th, 2009, 11:38 am
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Don't rule out a dirty injector or injectors. I've had instances where an injector begins to foul...and the problem only manifests itself in a very narrow RPM range. In other words, the spray pattern coming out of the injector gets a bit lop-sided, the spray inconsistency can vary greatly depending on the pulse-width (load/RPM), which can mean that it affects one RPM range much more than others. Best of luck. Let us know how you get on with the dealer.

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post #17 of 24 Old May 4th, 2009, 2:04 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

I bought a bottle of fuel system cleaner and ran it through (between two tanks full) and nothing.

I'll let you know what the dealer says.

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post #18 of 24 Old May 4th, 2009, 2:50 pm
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Raz,
If mild backfire sounds like unburned fuel is getting into the exhaust. Be curious to see if it is fuel or spark issue. As some others have stated a partially plugged injector or a bad plug/wire would cause this and trying to determine which can be a PITA.

best of luck with the stealer

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post #19 of 24 Old May 20th, 2009, 11:31 am Thread Starter
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Just got off the phone with the service dept at the dealer. They could not recreate my problem (even though I "played" it for them when I dropped it off). He mentioned he could hear a hissing sound so he suspects a vacuum line could be off.

Would a vacuum line being off cause this issue I'm having?

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post #20 of 24 Old May 20th, 2009, 11:38 am
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Would a vacuum line being off cause this issue I'm having?

It certainly could as it most likely would impact only one cylinder, causing a lean mixture in that cylinder.


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post #21 of 24 Old May 20th, 2009, 12:48 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

Thanks Dean.

The only How difficult is it to check the vacuum lines? How many are there?

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post #22 of 24 Old May 20th, 2009, 1:04 pm
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

never done this on beemer but 2 find vacum leak on cars i take a little propane tourch and attach a peice of rubber hose a couple ft long start up the car turn tourch on but dont light it wave it around all vacum lines if 1 is cracked or un hooked she will rev up good luck
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post #23 of 24 Old May 20th, 2009, 2:15 pm
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

I don't know how many lines there are but getting the covers off and back on will likely be the big part of your bill if it is a vacuum leak. Fixing a popped off or split hose just takes a minute or two once it's found.


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post #24 of 24 Old May 21st, 2009, 7:57 am Thread Starter
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Re: Help - Still Sputtering

I'll be doing it myself.

Once I get the Tupperware off, will I need to take the fuel tank off?

Pardon my naivety, but are the throttle bodies accessible without taking apart the engine?

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