Ignition or fuel problem, No start - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 27 Old Jan 3rd, 2010, 11:55 pm Thread Starter
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Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Arriving at my club's rally point for our monthly ride I pulled in the clutch and the engine immediately died. I released the clutch and the engine caught and ran fine. After our pre-ride brief I attempted a normal start without success. I was able to get it started by agressively twisting the throttle while cranking the engine. Once the engine was running all was well. I declined on the ride and rode home at normal interstate speeds, 70-80.
No performance problems of any kind were noticed, no surging, missing backfiring, etc.

The bike is garaged now and will not start. Cranks fine but no indication of life. Twisting, or opening the throttle numerous times has no effect.

My 2005 LT has 30K miles, has never had any starting issues.

The first problem started after the 3rd start of the day. Weather was approx 35 degrees
when problem first appeared. I had just added 5 gallons of mid-grade fuel at a busy local station so bad gas is a remote possibility.

On the way home I pushed the speed to 90 and held for about 30 sec to a minute so clogged fuel filter does not seem to fit.

If it's the fuel pump why did it start at all. The injectors need positive pressure, it won't gravity feed or suction fuel.

Help Me! My Big Blue won't (can't) come out and play!
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post #2 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 12:05 am
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

When you open you fuel gas cap, do you hear a wooshing sound? If yes then you probably have a partially clogged charcoal canister. Do a search on "canisterectomy".
This can happen after riding in heavy rain. if this is your issue you need to resolve it before running the engine as you are risking a fuel tank collapse.
If you do not get that wooshing sound then let's resume troubleshooting. Bad gas is still a possibility, since you mention your troubles started shortly after filling up.
When you first turn the ignition on, before starting the engine, do you hear the fuel pump? If not then start looking for a back electrical connection or fuse.

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post #3 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 12:23 am Thread Starter
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

I checked, not "wooshing" sound when I removed the fuel cap.

The fuel stop was at a busy, reputable dealer in our area, Gate gas stations. With all their gas sales the likelyhood of contaminated fuel seems remote.

When the key is turned on there's the ABS motor hum but I am not familiar with the fuel pumps sound?

Thanks, I;ll check the FP electrical circuit tomorrow when it's warmer.

BTW, on New Years Day, our club ride was in heavy rain. I'll go study the canisterectomy threads.
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post #4 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 5:01 am
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

One propblem that BMW are not good at finding is a split fuel line inside the fuel tank. Sounds odd I know, but the fuel filter is in there and it gives an intermittend problem.

"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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post #5 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 9:11 am Thread Starter
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

If I have to replace the FP I will heed your advise and inspect the condition ofall internal (and external) fuel hoses.
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post #6 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 9:35 am
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

It sounds like an electrical issue with the safety switches. Pulling in the clutch lever should not kill the engine. If you are positive that the two were connected, you probably need to take a hard look at all the kill switches and control module.


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post #7 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 11:44 am
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
It sounds like an electrical issue with the safety switches. Pulling in the clutch lever should not kill the engine. If you are positive that the two were connected, you probably need to take a hard look at all the kill switches and control module.
If I read correctly I think what he meant is the when he pulled the clutch, while riding the bike, the engine should idle, but instead it stalls. No idle seems to be one of the symptoms. When he releases the clutch the engine is cranked and start back up.
Maybe a vacuum hose at the fuel rail is loose...?

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post #8 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 12:31 pm
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

I had a similar problem with my 05Lt last year while on a trip. The fuel pump relay was stuck. I disconnected the battery and the relay reset.
There was a recall of certain 05's
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 04V438000
Build Dates : 2004-01-05 - 2004-03-13
Summary:
ON CERTAIN MOTORCYCLES, AT LOWER TEMPERATURES, WIRING WITHIN THE ANTI-THEFT CONTROL UNIT MAY PRESS AGAINST THE FUEL PUMP RELAY. THE FUEL PUMP RELAY CONTACTS COULD OPEN, INTERRUPTING THE FUEL SUPPLY TO THE ENGINE, RESULTING IN STALLING.
Remedy:
DEALERS WILL INSPECT AND, IF NECESSARY, REPLACE THE ANTI-THEFT CONTROL UNIT. THE RECALL BEGAN OCTOBER 4, 2004. CUSTOMERS SHOULD CONTACT BMW AT 1-800-831-1117.
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post #9 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 3:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Update...

I have spark, removed #1 plug, grounded same and I saw spark jumping. Also, spark plug was dry. (no fuel)

Removed negative battery cable in attempt to reset as recommended in previous post, no change.

Performed canisterectomy, no help. Thanks by the way for all the "How to", took me longer to find my tools than do the removal!

Removed FP pressure and return to tank lines from FP. Depressed pressure side white button on the male end of the QD and activated starter, plenty of fuel sprayed out. I don't have a pressure guage to get a reading.

Regarding the broken hoses inside the tank, this is for c00k1e if you're out there, if fuel is spraying out the QD when the starter is activated does that necessarily mean the internal hoses are intact?

Also, since I don't have a fuel pressure gauge, is there a minimum pressure or flow of fuel need to activate the injector nozzels?

I'd like to stay away from working in the injector rail system.

Still wrenchin' away, all inputs accepted and appreciated.
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post #10 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 3:46 pm
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Quote:
Originally Posted by ridinredfox
Regarding the broken hoses inside the tank, this is for c00k1e if you're out there, if fuel is spraying out the QD when the starter is activated does that necessarily mean the internal hoses are intact?

.
My buddy experienced similar symptoms as you. His wrench also tested the fuel supply by disconnecting the gas tank connectors and since gas was flowing out while crankng the starter the tech made the judgement that this part is OK.
Wrong.
The fuel line curve inside the tank had a crack and when the gas tank connector was open there was still gas spraying out but when the connector was connected the crack let gas to burst back into the tank and not enough fuel was given for the injection.

A BMW experienced tech found out this problem in 2 minutes by looking into the tank while cranking the motor. He could see / hear the gas being pumped back into the tank through the crack in the hose.

My buddy wasted five days with unexperienced mechanics....

God luck with your search

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

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post #11 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 6:47 pm
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Quote:
Originally Posted by ridinredfox
Update...I have spark.. spark plug was dry...
Well, if it cranks and has ignition, it eliminates anything related to safety interlock system. It very much looks like the above posts about faulty fuel line in tank may be onto something.

Here's the deal: if the check suggested by Ari does not yield anything, it actually is not that difficult to open the tank (I assume that by now you have the tupperware off). The real problem is - and that is a question to all who had that experience - is the cracked fuel line obvious to spot once the assembly is out? Or, is the crack visible only with pressure on? In other words, once the fuel pump assembly is out, where should the OP look?

Robert in Northern NJ

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post #12 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 7:09 pm
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

I would change them anyway, as well as the fuel filter.
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post #13 of 27 Old Jan 4th, 2010, 7:58 pm
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
Well, if it cranks and has ignition, it eliminates anything related to safety interlock system. It very much looks like the above posts about faulty fuel line in tank may be onto something.

Here's the deal: if the check suggested by Ari does not yield anything, it actually is not that difficult to open the tank (I assume that by now you have the tupperware off). The real problem is - and that is a question to all who had that experience - is the cracked fuel line obvious to spot once the assembly is out? Or, is the crack visible only with pressure on? In other words, once the fuel pump assembly is out, where should the OP look?
The lines normally crack in the tight U at the top of the assembly. Usually the crack is longitudinal with the hose. I doubt you could see it unless you remove the assembly from the tank and inspect it closely. If you see the fuel stirring in the tank it is a strong probabilty for the cause.

Like mentioned earlier, I would change the filter while in there and be sure to use fuel injection clamps on the hoses.

Ron


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Total BMW miles 509,508
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post #14 of 27 Old Jan 5th, 2010, 8:49 am Thread Starter
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Update #2

Pulled the fuel tank and inspected internal fuel lines. All appear to be OK.

Questions:

1. Can a suitable replacement for the "U" hose be made with out kinking?

2. Is there an aftermarket automotive or MC subsitute for the BMW fuel filter?

3. Can the fuel pump be bench tested y submerging the pump in a suitable
liquid and applying 12V to contacts?

Thanks again, all inputs welcome.
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post #15 of 27 Old Jan 5th, 2010, 9:06 am
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

About 50-55 PSI is what you should see on the fuel rail. The hose crack in the tank will reduce that and cause it to run poorly or not at all, but you will still have some pressure on the supply line. Checking the flow at the QD will only confirm function of the pump and not pressure. I suppose an adapter could easily be made with 1/2 of a QD, some line, and a pressure gauge to take a reading at the QD but I've not heard of anybody trying this. Sounds like it would be a simple way to confirm or eliminate the split hose issue.


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post #16 of 27 Old Jan 5th, 2010, 10:06 am
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Wink Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Quote:
Originally Posted by ridinredfox
Update #2

Pulled the fuel tank and inspected internal fuel lines. All appear to be OK.

Questions:

1. Can a suitable replacement for the "U" hose be made with out kinking?

2. Is there an aftermarket automotive or MC subsitute for the BMW fuel filter?

3. Can the fuel pump be bench tested y submerging the pump in a suitable
liquid and applying 12V to contacts?

Thanks again, all inputs welcome.
Answers in same order as questions:
1. Do not know.
2. Some folks have claimed to have found substitutes, but not sure if they measure up to the BMW as far as Micron size for filtering, so be careful.
3. Yes! But do be careful, and realize that you could get fuel coming from unexpected places on the pump if it has failed like mine did years ago: There is a pressure relief port that had somehow blown out on my pump.

HTH,

John

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post #17 of 27 Old Jan 5th, 2010, 12:59 pm
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

I had a cracked line inside the fuel tank. The bike ran really crappy at idle, but would run down the road. The problem masked itself as a bad O2 sensor because the low fuel pressure screwed up the mixture and the computer had a hell of a time figuring out how much gas to deliver with the air being measured by the MAP sensor.

I took it to the best BMW shop in the state and he found the spit fuel line very quickly. I was happy to pay him for the 1/2 hour of his time.

My bike would start and sputter, but would not idle. It would run but only with alot of throttle input.

'00 Blue K1200LT
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Minnesota

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post #18 of 27 Old Jan 11th, 2010, 3:41 pm
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Bill, any luck with your search for the "no start" cause? Please let us know when the reason is found.

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

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post #19 of 27 Old Jan 12th, 2010, 7:51 am Thread Starter
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

I just received a "new" used fuel pump yesterday. I'll reassemble today and have a report soon.

Thanks for your interest.

Bill
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post #20 of 27 Old Jan 13th, 2010, 9:36 am Thread Starter
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Update #2...
Still not starting. Cranking like crazy but no start.

Here's the latest:

First a warning! When attempting to remove the fuel injection clamps from the fuel filter where it attaches to the top of the fuel pump, DO IT GENTLY, not like the ham-fisted author who snapped the nipple off the top of a perfectly good [email protected]#$%&*@!#!!!.

Luckily, I was able to find an E-bay, 2001 pump, ( the Tampa dealer cross-checked applicability )

Installed new FP and pressure tested at 51-52 PSI while cranking with my newly constructed FP tester with QD fittings.

Pulled the #4 plug and, again, it was just as dry as the #1 plug!

Grounded the #4 plug, turned out the lights and cranked engine to insure spark at the plug.
Both side of the electrode ar producing strong, blue sparks.

I've been reading my Clymers about fuel injection, Hall-effect systems and the Motronic module.

Occam's Razor says the simplist solution is usually the best. So, it's either fuel or spark. I've got spark, I've got good cranking RPM, Ive got fuel pressure (at the pump, I have not tested it at the rail), but since the pressure regulator in down stream of the injectors one would assume the PR is good.

The Hall-effect sensor, though electro-mechanical, is relatively simple, and sends crankshaft position to the motronic panel for timing and fuel metering.

I've read Saddleman's saga of his exploits about his fuel problem. There's no way I can match his expertise in troubleshooting my FI system.

Saddleman's saga leads me to believe it's in the Motronic or the TPS (throttle position sensor) since when the problem first occured I could get the bike started by rapidly twisting the throttle while cranaking.

The real "bitch" of the problem is I've got to pull the tank, again, to get to the FI rail so I can check each injector for spray, or most likely, lack of.

The NEFLABMW rally's this weekend and I don't want to be like a Harley rider and drive a car the a MC rally!

Thanks again to all for your comments
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post #21 of 27 Old Jan 13th, 2010, 7:08 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

To paraphrase Gene Wilder in the 1974 classic Young Frankenstein...

"She's alive!!! She's alive!!!

I sitting here relaxing with a fine single malt scotch after returning from an exciting "Italian Tune-up" run up and down I95 north of Jacksonville. 7000 rpm thru 4 gears then 6000
in 5th='s about 125! (She was still pullin') This beast realy likes her turns in the 5 to 7K range.

With the help of this community and local input of the BMWNEFLA riders club "Big Blue" is up and running.

I'm not sure what was wrong but I'll re-cap all I've done since my last update.

After consulting local talent I got my courage up and dove into the fuell injection system.
I knew I had fuel pressure at the tank outlet but was unsure if I had any spray pattern at the nozzels. Going slowly and with my Clymer's and local advise I first did an electrical check of the FI system. Connecting my new $3.00 electrical tester with 2 paperclips I had indication of electrical activity to the FI nozzels while cranking the engine. I next used my multimeter to check the actual voltage I got about a 3 to 5 volt indication.

I then entered the 5th level of LT Hell by removing the FI rail! After removal of the rail I cleaned the FI nozzels and rail with throttle body spray cleaner and blew out the supply and return lines of the fuel system. This was done to clear the lines of old, possibly bad fuel and insure I had no pinched lines.

I "jury-rigged" the fuel rail and fuel tank so I could do a nozzel spray test. (I laid the fuel rail on top of the left engine crash bar and reconnected the fuel and electrical connectors)
I had good spray patterns except on #3. I swapped it to the #2 position and it still was bad.

I pulled all nozzels from the rail for cleaning. While I was attempting to OHM the bad nozzel I dropped it, there was not external damage. I re-installed the nozzels in my temporary set up, cranked the starter and I had 4 good spray patterns. (I guess dropping the #3 nozzel dis-lodged whatever was clogging it.)

I re-installed the FI rail, fitted the tank again (the 4th time I've had it off in 2 days!!!),
hit the starter and she sprang to life like nothing had been wrong.

I re-assembled all the tupperware and took her to the street for my "Italian Tune-up".

After all this I'm still not sure what was wrong in the first place. My best guess, is back to basics, bad fuel. But... and it's a big but, why did it run so good on the way home after it first died when pulling in the clutch?? There was a fine black substance in the fuel filter when I removed the BMW filter. That filter had only 6000 miles of use.

Maybe my cleaning of the FI rail and injectors cleared some foreign material from the FI system.

Again, thanks for all the advise and encouragement in my quest to back up on 2 wheels.

Bill
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post #22 of 27 Old Jan 13th, 2010, 9:28 pm
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Great Job Bill!

Thanks for sharing the results...it gives us all another option to look at if we have similar circumstances.

Glad to hear you are back riding and now so much more familiar with your bike.

Ron


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747,891 miles on touring motorcycles since 1990

IBA 45658 MOA167437

2000 LTC 90,600 miles KIA (new)
2003 LTE 164,188 miles Silver (Purchased with 1687)
2008 R1200RT 176,196 miles (Purchased with 16458)
2017 R1200RT 96,669miles (new)
Total BMW miles 509,508
1982 GL1100 rode 84108 miles (bought with 12012 sold 96120)
1988 GL1500 rode 12067 miles (bought with 19893 totaled 31960)
1989 GL1500 rode 142208 miles (bought with 20302 sold 162510)
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post #23 of 27 Old Jan 14th, 2010, 1:37 am
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Way to go Bill! Although the final reason remains somewhat unclear and that always sort of cuts off some of your feeling of victory you can still congratulate yourself.

You did a great job and also keeping the rest of the community updated of your adventure gives valuable information for the others who might someday end up in a similar situation.

In fact my bike is currently in thousand pieces all over my garage so I have to remember to drop # 3 fuel nozzle on the floor while cleaning it. That must be the good luck charm...

regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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post #24 of 27 Old Jan 14th, 2010, 3:50 am
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Yes, but from what height ?.
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post #25 of 27 Old Jan 14th, 2010, 9:02 am
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

An earlier post had similar issues and the common thread I see between the two is the black contamination mentioned in the fuel system. Since you seem to have had an injector stuck closed, that would explain your symptoms since it would cause the Motronic to go full rich on the programming. I'm wondering if the black goo comes from outside air being pulled into the tank (cannisterectomy), a breakdown or contamination of the charcoal cannister, or perhaps contamination of the fuel itself (a little diesel algae perhaps). In any case, congrats on sticking with it until you got it fixed.


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post #26 of 27 Old Jan 14th, 2010, 9:05 am
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Shouldn´t the fuel filter remove any/all contamination ?.
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post #27 of 27 Old Jan 14th, 2010, 9:15 am
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Re: Ignition or fuel problem, No start

Yes it should, but each filter has a micron rating. If the contamination is smaller than the micron rating then it can pass through. That's one reason I suspect the algae issue. That and I know of situations where diesel was accidentally put in the unleaded tanks at a couple of gas stations.


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