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Thread: Erratic Idle

  1. #1
    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Erratic Idle

    Well, I finally got a ride in after several weeks of poor weather here. Just a ride to the office, but 50 miles at least. The weather for this weekend is forecast to be poor also.

    During my ride, the engine power was fine, but the idle was a little off, as it has been since new (now 200 MI), and again it stalled once when coasting to a stop, immediately upon disengaging the clutch. Since new, when started, the bike will fast idle at about 3000 RPM for about 3 seconds, and then drop to a lower RPM. When warm, it idles at 1400 RPM. I believe the spec. to be 1250.

    After the ride, I checked the sync which was as close to perfect as it could be. I did notice that the front cylinder was erratic, whereas the rear was amazingly smooth for a twin. The mercury for the rear was almost motionless (my manometer has restrictors). Original air bleed adjustments were: front- closed, rear-open about 1/2 turn, which seems fine. Closing both for a moment, the front measured 20.8- erratic, the rear measured 22.1- smooth. No fooling with the bleed screws would make the idle any smoother.

    Fortunately and by good chance, the work I have done to clean up the wiring harness routing, coil HT re-routing, and coil sealing, has only been to the rear cylinder, which appears to be the non-offender. Otherwise, I would be suspecting I had made some error!

    On my bike, as received after the dealer "corrected" the low idle prior to delivery, the rear cylinder, rear mounted coil HT was connected to the side plug. I don't know if this is correct or not, as the dealer said they "cleaned" the plugs, and may have reversed the wires in the process. I reviewed my "before I touched it" photos I took, and noticed the color code of the primary wires from the ECU to the coils. According to the ignition block diagram from the workshop manual, which differentiates center and side plug coils (the schematic does not), and based on the current HT wiring (rear mounted coil to side plug, forward mounted coil to center plug), the primary connectors were reversed. I tried swapping them, but it made no discernable difference. I strongly suspect that it does not matter, and that they fire simultaneously. On the small chance that they are designed to fire slightly time staggered, I thought it might matter. Does anyone know the definite answer to this? Can anyone report which coil goes to which plug, what the primary color coding is for each coil, and which coil is regarded as 1 thru 4 in terms of ECU error codes?

    Searching for anything amiss, I removed the airbox cover. There was about a half teaspoon of oil. Not enough to cause any issues.

    I started the engine with the airbox cover removed. This seems to confuse the ECU, and it idles even higher. I then noticed that the throttle butterflies were not fully closing. applying a slight finger pressure caused the idle to slow, and seemed to improve the quality also!

    I have not yet learned the method of operation for the idle stepper on the right side of the airbox. Is there a functional diagram of the entire FI system anywhere? Is there a logic diagram for the ECU?

    I removed the airbox bottom half from the TB's. I noticed that the throttle cam has a stop screw. As currently set, this is holding the butterflies slightly open (about .005" - .010" gap). In other FI TB engines I am familiar with, the butterflies close completely at idle, and the air bypasses do the idle air work. Does anyone know the proper setting for this stop screw? There is a small chance my dealer may have improperly used this to raise the idle speed. Is there any published info on this adjustment? It does not seem too easy to adjust. I do know that they did not have the Axone 2000 tool in the shop at the time they may have made any adjustments, as they told me it resides at their other store. They did not mention having made any adjustment other than TB sync, just plug cleaning, but the idle was clearly higher after their work, for whatever reason, and I doubt it was just plug cleaning or sync.

    In diagnostic mode, my TPS reports a +1.

    I have not yet checked / cleaned the plugs (again), but do not think they are the current culprit.

    Does anyone have access to a copy of the manual for the Axone 2000? I think it would be helpful to read it even without the instrument.

    I am looking forward as always to some detailed responses!

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert
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    Erratic Idle

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  3. #3
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    Just checked the trottle bodys. Trottle off, completely closed. Tested with a 0.002 blade, no chance. About a functional/logic diagram. Have been looking for that, but no. May be Wayne Mcdonald (tuneboy guy) can help?
    Hans

  4. #4
    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hansb
    Just checked the trottle bodys. Trottle off, completely closed. Tested with a 0.002 blade, no chance. About a functional/logic diagram. Have been looking for that, but no. May be Wayne Mcdonald (tuneboy guy) can help?

    Hans?

    Thanks for your response.

    Can you also measure the clearance of the throttle stop screw (if any)with the throttle closed?

  5. #5
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    coils.

    Spark plug, wire colors. Blueprint of the service manual.
    Rear cylinder coil/center spark plug wires red/brown-yellow/blue,
    Rear cylinder coil/side spark plug wires red/brown-orange/light blue,
    Front cylinder coil/center spark plug wires red/brown-orange/white,
    Front cylinder coil/side spark plug wires red/brown-green/light blue.
    Reply in an hour with the clearance.
    Hans

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert JeffC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futura
    ...

    I strongly suspect that it does not matter, and that they fire simultaneously. On the small chance that they are designed to fire slightly time staggered, I thought it might matter. Does anyone know the definite answer to this? Can anyone report which coil goes to which plug, what the primary color coding is for each coil, and which coil is regarded as 1 thru 4 in terms of ECU error codes? ...
    I can't validate your assumptions absolutely but I believe them to be correct. I think the maintenance manual delineates the coil indices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Futura
    ...

    Searching for anything amiss, I removed the airbox cover. There was about a half teaspoon of oil. Not enough to cause any issues. ...
    I think a teaspoon is usually the minimum (There is a piece of plastic tubing under the airbox used to collect excess oil - you can empty it from time to time.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Futura
    ...

    I removed the airbox bottom half from the TB's. I noticed that the throttle cam has a stop screw. As currently set, this is holding the butterflies slightly open (about .005" - .010" gap). In other FI TB engines I am familiar with, the butterflies close completely at idle, and the air bypasses do the idle air work. Does anyone know the proper setting for this stop screw? There is a small chance my dealer may have improperly used this to raise the idle speed. Is there any published info on this adjustment? It does not seem too easy to adjust. I do know that they did not have the Axone 2000 tool in the shop at the time they may have made any adjustments, as they told me it resides at their other store. They did not mention having made any adjustment other than TB sync, just plug cleaning, but the idle was clearly higher after their work, for whatever reason, and I doubt it was just plug cleaning or sync.

    In diagnostic mode, my TPS reports a +1.

    I have not yet checked / cleaned the plugs (again), but do not think they are the current culprit.

    Does anyone have access to a copy of the manual for the Axone 2000? I think it would be helpful to read it even without the instrument.

    I am looking forward as always to some detailed responses!
    What do you mean when you say that the TPS reports a +1???

    Off the top of my head, I don't know what stop screw you are referring to but if your dealer used it to set the idle - and they didn't have the Axone tool handy - then they just screwed up your mapping. I believe the throttle position sensor reads the position of the butterfly valve. If they changed the butterfly valve position then the TPS needs to be recalibrated again (told where the new zero% throttle position is) with the Axone tool or Tuneboy. If it isn't, your whole fuel map gets offset by the adjustment amount - causing all kinds of subtle smoothness and fuel consumption issues.

    As for whether or not the butterfly valve should be fully closed at 0% throttle, that's a great question. I can only say that it makes sense to me that it absolutely should, BUT, I haven't seen that in writing anywhere. (I thought the idle is controlled by a stepper motor that controls a bypass valve - I'd have to consult the manual on that one...) .

    I would try adjusting the butterfly valve to zero clearance (also a convenient time to adjust throttle cable slack) then reset TPS to zero using Axone or Tuneboy and the bike should return to normal.

    Let us know!

  7. #7
    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hansb
    Spark plug, wire colors. Blueprint of the service manual.
    Rear cylinder coil/center spark plug wires red/brown-yellow/blue,
    Rear cylinder coil/side spark plug wires red/brown-orange/light blue,
    Front cylinder coil/center spark plug wires red/brown-orange/white,
    Front cylinder coil/side spark plug wires red/brown-green/light blue.
    Reply in an hour with the clearance.
    Thanks again,

    Do you observe the same wiring on your bike? Are the rearmost coils in each pair connected to the side plugs?

    I appreciate your making the effort to measure and look.
    Last edited by Futura; 03-31-2005 at 03:18 PM.

  8. #8
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    Stop screw/ coils

    About the coils. Just checked my bike. simular to the service manual.
    Sorry, it is not possible to measure the stop screw without removing the bottom part of the air box. I would do like Jeff wrote. Adjust it to close to zero. The air flow at idle is controlled by the stepper motor.
    Hans

  9. #9
    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffC
    I can't validate your assumptions absolutely but I believe them to be correct. I think the maintenance manual delineates the coil indices.
    In a way it does, but does not seem to call out the physical locations or whether it matters which plug they connect to. The schematic does not differentiate between side and center plugs. The block diagram does.


    What do you mean when you say that the TPS reports a +1???
    I am likely mistaken about this. I have heard many conflicting stories. My understanding was that if no other error codes are present, in diag. mode a 1, 0, or -1 would appear indicating the throttle position relative to when it was calibrated or zeroed. I am beginning to doubt this though. I would like to learn what they mean, as well as the "off" sometimes displayed in the LCD.

    Off the top of my head, I don't know what stop screw you are referring to but if your dealer used it to set the idle - and they didn't have the Axone tool handy - then they just screwed up your mapping. I believe the throttle position sensor reads the position of the butterfly valve. If they changed the butterfly valve position then the TPS needs to be recalibrated again (told where the new zero% throttle position is) with the Axone tool or Tuneboy. If it isn't, your whole fuel map gets offset by the adjustment amount - causing all kinds of subtle smoothness and fuel consumption issues. As for whether or not the butterfly valve should be fully closed at 0% throttle, that's a great question. I can only say that it makes sense to me that it absolutely should, BUT, I haven't seen that in writing anywhere. (I thought the idle is controlled by a stepper motor that controls a bypass valve - I'd have to consult the manual on that one...) .

    I would try adjusting the butterfly valve to zero clearance (also a convenient time to adjust throttle cable slack) then reset TPS to zero using Axone or Tuneboy and the bike should return to normal.
    Who knows what the dealer did! I can't get a call back, let alone a straight answer! They generally discourage direct communication with the tech, and make you speak with the manager/writer. This is why I prefer to do my own work. They were to have ordered some small items, defective at purchase... 2 months, 5 calls... not a word. They also have not supplied any warranty document.

    A tuneboy is sounding better each day, if only for its interrogating capabilities.

    The stop screw is located beneath the throttle cable cam on the butterfly shaft. My understanding is that it prevents "over-closure" of the throttle, meaning it prevents the "pull" cable from forcing the butterflies against the TB bore, and also takes the hit when snapping the throttle closed. I believe it should be adjusted for minimal contact when the butterflies are gently rested against the bores.

    I believe that the stepper controlled valve also allows bypass air to regulate the idle RPM. In any case the false air passing the butterflies is likely to confuse the ECU. I am guessing that once warm, and under normal conditions this valve is closed, and all idle air comes from the bypasses.





    Let us know!
    Thanks, I will keep you posted!
    Last edited by Futura; 03-31-2005 at 03:20 PM.

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert JeffC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futura
    ...
    My understanding was that if no other error codes are present, in diag. mode a 1, 0, or -1 would appear indicating the throttle position relative to when it was calibrated or zeroed.
    Interesting. I've never seen anything but a "-1" in diag mode (when nothing is wrong, that is). I know that a lot of others have reported the same. It would be nice if that number actually had meaning - and we knew the meaning..


    Who knows what the dealer did! I can't get a call back, let alone a straight answer! They generally discourage direct communication with the tech, and make you speak with the manager/writer. This is why I prefer to do my own work. They were to have ordered some small items, defective at purchase... 2 months, 5 calls... not a word. They also have not supplied any warranty document.
    It might help to explain to the manager that you understand that the Futura is a rare bike and therefore you may need to work with them on these issues. Otherwise you could purchase Tuneboy and not need their services anymore. But if you plan on keeping the bike for any length of time then I'd just go ahead and purchase Tuneboy. It's the only way for you to be certain that things are right.

    A tuneboy is sounding better each day, if only for its interrogating capabilities.
    I would never have sorted my bike out/learned all this stuff if it weren't for 1) a bike that was never set up right from the factory and 2)Tuneboy.


    The stop screw is located beneath the throttle cable cam on the butterfly shaft. My understanding is that it prevents "over-closure" of the throttle, meaning it prevents the "pull" cable from forcing the butterflies against the TB bore, and also takes the hit when snapping the throttle closed. I believe it should be adjusted for minimal contact when the butterflies are gently rested against the bores.
    Makes perfect sense to me.

  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Can anyone with a Tuneboy explain what its capabilities or limitations are based on experience using it? Is there anything that it cannot do, that could be done with the Axone 2000? Is the documentation thorough and specific for the Futura?

  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert JeffC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futura
    Can anyone with a Tuneboy explain what its capabilities or limitations are based on experience using it? Is there anything that it cannot do, that could be done with the Axone 2000? Is the documentation thorough and specific for the Futura?
    AFAIK, there is nothing that the Axone device can do that the Tuneboy can't. On the contrary, I believe Tuneboy offers a lot more features (necessary or not) than the Axone tool. Tuneboy is nothing more than a Futura specific specialty tool that you probably won't use on another bike.

    Tuneboy documentation is pretty good but you need to have a basic understanding of how a FI system works (and it sounds like you do). For instance, the documentation will tell you how to set TPS to zero but it doesn't explain what setting TPS to zero actually means or does.

  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert bikpaintr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futura
    Does anyone know the definite answer to this? Can anyone report which coil goes to which plug, what the primary color coding is for each coil, and which coil is regarded as 1 thru 4 in terms of ECU error codes?
    !
    Stu posted the following on the Capo forum:

    The coil numbering is a confusing issue. It can be determined from the service manual only by referencing several different charts to compare wiring codes with location schematics. Here's the entire thing.

    Coil #1
    front cylinder - center plug
    wires - brn/red and orange/white
    EFI code - 33

    Coil #2
    rear cylinder - center plug
    wires - brn/red and yellow/blue
    EFI code - 34

    Coil #3
    front cylinder - side plug
    wires - brn/red and gr/lt blue
    EFI code - 35

    Coil #4
    rear cylinder - side plug
    wires - brn/red and orange/lt blue
    EFI code - 36

    Stu
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    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Upon closer inspection this evening, the throttle stop screw appears to be an allen set screw about 10mm long with a lock nut fixing it in place to the bracket. The allen opening is filled with tamper evident paint. I am hesitant to adjust it if only because it will be apparent, and the bike is new. The measured clearance between the butterflies and bores is only about .002", but that is still substantial in terms of air leakage and in terms of degrees of rotation until fully seated. As I am now sure that the dealer did not adjust it (unless they repainted the screw), I wonder more if it might be set correctly and intentionally. Can others measure the butterfly clearance with a thickness guage? Also try pressing gently on the butterfly to see how much it moves before seating against the bore.
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    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Butterfly clearance
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