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Help Zeal not starting under the rain

Discussion in 'Yamaha 250cc In-Line 4's' started by Pyr0technicien, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Pyr0technicien

    Pyr0technicien Member

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    Hey fellas,

    The title explain quite a lot. In the beginning, when it was raining ( or even just a lot of water on the road), I was losing power. I suppose losing some cylinders.

    Now when it's raining the bike can't even start. If it has been raining a lot overnight and I try to start it in the morning, I need to use the starter with some gas for a really long time 5/10 minutes ) at some point it will start on one (two or three ?) Cylinders. After driving for 5 min and heating the engine all my power comes back little by little.

    Two observations tough :
    My coils and wiring seems properly sealed, can't see any sparks anywhere. I removed the coils, clean the contacts and I can't see any cracks.
    By removing the wires on the sparkplugs, they all spark when my problem occur. So again seems like my coils aren't shorted or cracked.

    - my airbox and carb intake is dry, so there is no water in these places ( and air box filter is sealed to the carbs properly now).

    - lot of my electric cables behind my headlight are in the open air, so completely wet when it's raining ( however same problem when the road is wet, without rain, so I don't think these cable have anything to do.)

    As my power start coming back little by little when I drive, I suspect water in my cylinders what do you think about that ?

    But where is this water coming from ?


    The bike is starting without a single problem when it's dry. So I'm really out of option.

    Happy to hear what you think about that ☂️

    Forgot to mention : when I check for sparks by removing the cap on the sparkplugs, I can see clearly the spark on the second cylinder, however for the others they are really small sparks, I need to get it really really close from the frame to see a tiny spark. By writing this, I feels this could be my issue.
     
  2. GreyImport

    GreyImport Administrator Staff Member The Chief Contributing Member

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  3. jmw76

    jmw76 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yes, follow GreyImports suggestions.

    I have had all sorts of dramas in the past also.
    Try these recommendations:
    1) Replace all spark plugs (do not attempt to clean them)
    2) Replace all spark plug leads or trim as per GreyImport. You can purchase 7mm (most likely not standard 8mm)copper HT lead to use.
    3) check balance and idle mixture on all carbs. If these are out they can cause plugs to bog up and cause starting difficulties.

    9/10 spark plugs being fouled up (appear as a short circuit) is the problem. Use a multimeter to measure the resistance (ohms) between the body of the plug and screw cap at the top (use a megohms range). If you see anything other than open circuit (infinite ohms) through the plugs in the bin.
     
  4. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    Take a piece of fine wire about 300mm long and clean the drain holes in the cylinder head that go through to the spark plugs. These holes must be clear to allow any moisture that gathers around the spark plug to drain away to prevent shorting of the spark.
     
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  5. my67xr

    my67xr Bike Enthusiast Staff Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    The cylinder head drain hole's on the FZR/FZX are 25mm to 30mm above the bottom of the spark plugs
    And there is only 1 each side on the very outer edge's of the head
     
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  6. ruckusman

    ruckusman Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    Years ago when walking in the rain I came across a guy that couldn't get his car started in the 100% humidity.

    So I asked him to pop the bonnet so I could have a look. It was dark and what I saw was a lightning show - all of his leads had lost their insulation and sparks were flying everywhere under the bonnet

    Just mentioning this is case your spark plug leads have had their insulation break down and are sparking somewhere else besides the plugs.

    They aren't difficult to replace IIRC - just be careful with the plastic clips into the coils, they will be brittle and need a gentle touch

    I got good quality lead material from a motorcycle shop which is the correct diameter
     
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  7. Linkin

    Linkin The Apprentice Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club Contributing Member

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    New plugs, leads and caps for a start.
     
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  8. GreyImport

    GreyImport Administrator Staff Member The Chief Contributing Member

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  9. Pyr0technicien

    Pyr0technicien Member

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    Ok, didn't realised I could remove every single rubber piece of the caps. What I saw was not nice.

    I tried to clean as much as possible and sprayed some WD 40 to clean the mess.

    Still doesn't start tough. The bike is soaking wet now, I'll put it inside and charge the battery.

    I don't have any multimeter or even the right tool to remove the sparks at the moment.

    Two things I realise :

    - Cylinders 1 and 4 tend to be warm and 2 and 3 totally cold when I try to start it, so it give me some indication on where is the biggest problem.

    - I get some chocks when I touch the sparkplugs cap and try to start it, however I don't see any sparks.

    Also since I cut the end of the leads, the sparks coming out of them are way bigger so I guess that will help.

    Also I can hear some sort of boiling coming out of the exhaust when I try to start it. I don't know if that's the noise of little explosion from the two cylinders or literally boiling water...

    Bike is mostly drown anyway now, will charge the battery and dry the bike for now. I need to see if it starts when dried or if I ****** something even more.

    Changing everything for new parts might be the easiest solution but not the cheapest tough.

    Don't really understand where that is, under the airbox or am I suppose to access it from behind the radiator ?

    Also like I said, can't see any fireworks showing me the leads have an insulation problem, but the fact that I get shocks isn't normal right ?


    IMG_20200207_182704.jpg IMG_20200207_182518.jpg IMG_20200207_181141.jpg IMG_20200207_181636.jpg IMG_20200207_181224.jpg
     
  10. maelstrom

    maelstrom LiteTek Staff Member Premium Member 250cc Vendor Contributing Member

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    Having all that debris in your spark plug cavity is not good at all. That can fall into the cylinder when you remove the spark plugs. Clean all that away first until it is spotless. If the 250 is like the 400 there will be a drain passage for water to escape but yours will obviously be blocked.
     
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  11. my67xr

    my67xr Bike Enthusiast Staff Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    These are the only drain passage's i can see on my 3LN3 engine head
    Just above cyl 1 and cyl 4 exhausts, if there are any other's then i don't know where they'd be ?
    I'll check my spare engine when i can get near it next and post some more pic's

    20200208_150724.jpg 20200208_150656.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
  12. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    Do you seriously expect that spark plug to fire sitting in water and crap. Clean it out and it might have a chance of running.
     
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  13. Pyr0technicien

    Pyr0technicien Member

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    I wrote in my message that it's what i discovered, I cleaned it all
     
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  14. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    And did you clean or replace the spark plugs too?
     
  15. my67xr

    my67xr Bike Enthusiast Staff Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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  16. Gizziracer

    Gizziracer Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    Congratulations on the 60,000 kms, that's very impressive. Re the sparks. are the 2 functioning leads running out of one coil and the 2 non functioning running out of the other. If so id be checking the coil has power and is still functional. The gurgling noise could suggest an exhaust system full of water, this would stop the motor running just as well as a loss of spark. Many exhausts have some type of drain hole, especially those whose design assists with the ingress of water. there may even be a a drain bolt underneath.
     
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  17. Pyr0technicien

    Pyr0technicien Member

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    Alright,
    So I think I'm back and I feel like my zeal is actually slowly dying :(
    I still can't make it start eventough it's dry today, it was working well when dry before I start cleaning everything so it's really weird.

    So basically I dissassembled totally all the caps and cleane them. I'll probably try to find the right tool to get my sparkplugs out tomorrow.

    However what scares me a lot is this :



    As I said since yesterday I could hear some water boiling in the exhaust, I remove the screws at the bottom of the exhaust, but not much water. So I remove the end of my exhaust and water is pouring out when I try to start the bike

    My cooling fluid went down, last time I checked it was still full ( but was month ago)
    It's not empty but down.

    Isn't that an exploded gasket ? If it is, I don't understand why now ? Pure randomness or trying to force on the starter might have done something bad to it ?

    Or maybe it's still just water that came trough the exhaust ?
     
  18. Pyr0technicien

    Pyr0technicien Member

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    My Zeal doesn't have this part.
    I don't seem to have the two drains either.

    An other reason could be the heavy rain made it worse than usual, more water and therefore it needs longer to dry out... Hopefully. However I never really had trouble in the rain before. It started a few month back.
     
  19. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    I would get hold of the front wheel and tip the bike up so as to get the water out of the pipes. That much water will be causing back pressure (like putting an orange on the exhaust pipe of the teachers old Holden (wasn't me, honest)) and not letting the cylinders exhaust the burnt gases out.
     
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  20. Pyr0technicien

    Pyr0technicien Member

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    Yeah good idea, i have honestly tought about it, looking at the bike but damn alone is not an easy task.
    I just spend 2h trying to push start it on my own, feels like running a 20k.

    I got the bike running without the end part of the exhaust. However only my cylinders 1 & 2 were hot. ( so at first sight, coils aren't a problem as they are running 1-4 & 2-3). Then as soon as i put my exhaust end back, it just doesn't want to start anymore (2 cylinders is probably too weak).
     

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