Sputter, cough, backfire loss of power, mistery solved!
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Thread: Sputter, cough, backfire loss of power, mistery solved!

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    Default Sputter, cough, backfire loss of power, mistery solved!

    My bike started acting up last thursday and I thought it was bad gas (Coughing only). Friday the same thing so I burned up the remaining fuel and filled up again. (I checked the board for similar problems and everything indicated it was the battery connections. I took the seat off and the battery was connections were tight, I check the air filter and the plugs, no problem). Saturday I didn't ride but Sunday I went for a 120 mile ride and no problem so I figured it was the gas.
    Today I am on my way to work and the bike started doing the same but worst. Backfired, coughed and lack of power. 7 miles out and I had to turn back home. I barely made it.
    So I checked the board for similar problems and everything indicated it was the battery connections loose. (Or maybe a foul plug). So I came home took the seat off and the battery connections were tight. I figure maybe a grounding issue because a week ago I installed the hondaline lightbar. Nope I can't find anything. Suddenly while I was putting the battery cover back on I got a glance of the ICM (ignition control module) and saw that the black wire was broken. I mean you could barely see that something was going on there!!!. I have no clue how this got broken but it did. Checking my service manual this wire is hooked to the Engine Stop switch and fuel cut-off relay. No wonder!
    In order to fix it I disconnected the 22P connector and with a very small screw driver I had to push the square connector from inside the case. This is very delicate and I ended up bending it a bit. This actually took me awhile since I didn't know how it was hooked inside and I was trying to push in a way not to damage anything. This connector is very strong but it can bend easily. The wire was too short so I ended up extending it with another piece of same gauge wire. I put it back together in the box making sure it was in the right direction. Started the bike and VOILA!!!! (Stupid wire!)
    I just wanted to document this in case another member has the same issue.
    Honda VTX 1300S 2003
    No fuel pump/Tubeless tires on spoke wheels/Cobra pipes/Stebel Horn/
    http://www.advlife.net

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    Senior Member michael7276's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip man!

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    Senior Member davemack's Avatar
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    great tip bro.......
    ty

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    Thanks for the info, good to hear you fixed it yourself.
    '05 Candy Red 1300C, Cobra mini backrest and laugage rack,seat pin mod..lotsa chrome stuff, proud member of the BUB Club...being made into beer cans as we speak,now a proud owner of a '05 VRSCB,and a recently acquired 1972 Norton Commando 750,and lets not forget the '86 Yammi XJ700X

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    Good look'en out man!
    Mike,
    Black 06 C- "Foot's Mod" 200 Metzler, HK 3" Big Straights, Kuryakyn loaded, including Pro-R Intake, Dynojet Stage III kit, Stainless hose & lines, Pair Valves deleted, Splitfire Triple Platinum Plugs and So Cal Cycle Seat.
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    Great find Kingato. That sure saved lots of hair pulling. Thanks for the post.

    I love pics. Any pics?

    Thin Man
    It's Fun.

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    Senior Member Biddy's Avatar
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    Thanks, good stuff! IMO some of Honda's elec connector's (like the 2 speedo nacelle) could be a bit beefier as well.

    Biddy
    '04 Silver 1300 S

    Proud C.R.A.P. Member #001


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    Thanks for the info, Tips like that will make me look alittle closer whenever I have the seat off.
    05' 1300C Black, Black, Mods: Audiovox Cruise
    Safe and Happy Riding

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Sputter, cough, backfire loss of power, mistery solved!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingato
    My bike started acting up last thursday and I thought it was bad gas (Coughing only). Friday the same thing so I burned up the remaining fuel and filled up again. (I checked the board for similar problems and everything indicated it was the battery connections. I took the seat off and the battery was connections were tight, I check the air filter and the plugs, no problem). Saturday I didn't ride but Sunday I went for a 120 mile ride and no problem so I figured it was the gas.
    Today I am on my way to work and the bike started doing the same but worst. Backfired, coughed and lack of power. 7 miles out and I had to turn back home. I barely made it.
    So I checked the board for similar problems and everything indicated it was the battery connections loose. (Or maybe a foul plug). So I came home took the seat off and the battery connections were tight. I figure maybe a grounding issue because a week ago I installed the hondaline lightbar. Nope I can't find anything. Suddenly while I was putting the battery cover back on I got a glance of the ICM (ignition control module) and saw that the black wire was broken. I mean you could barely see that something was going on there!!!. I have no clue how this got broken but it did. Checking my service manual this wire is hooked to the Engine Stop switch and fuel cut-off relay. No wonder!
    In order to fix it I disconnected the 22P connector and with a very small screw driver I had to push the square connector from inside the case. This is very delicate and I ended up bending it a bit. This actually took me awhile since I didn't know how it was hooked inside and I was trying to push in a way not to damage anything. This connector is very strong but it can bend easily. The wire was too short so I ended up extending it with another piece of same gauge wire. I put it back together in the box making sure it was in the right direction. Started the bike and VOILA!!!! (Stupid wire!)
    I just wanted to document this in case another member has the same issue.
    King Dude. I have the exact same thing going on. Based on your finding here I just came in from checking my ECM and all I did was touch the green wire and it fell off the connector. And it won't run without the green wire either. The black wire next to it is nicked through the insulation and no doubt will fail early. Honda dealer will get it courtesy of extended warranty. Thanks man it was driving me crazy.
    www.photobucket.com/albums/d50/ridnagn/ecm.jpg That a look at that link showing the wires.
    As Always Peaceful Cruisin'
    BLACK POWER


  11. #10
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    Default Re: Sputter, cough, backfire loss of power, mistery solved!

    Quote Originally Posted by RobT
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingato
    My bike started acting up last thursday and I thought it was bad gas (Coughing only). Friday the same thing so I burned up the remaining fuel and filled up again. (I checked the board for similar problems and everything indicated it was the battery connections. I took the seat off and the battery was connections were tight, I check the air filter and the plugs, no problem). Saturday I didn't ride but Sunday I went for a 120 mile ride and no problem so I figured it was the gas.
    Today I am on my way to work and the bike started doing the same but worst. Backfired, coughed and lack of power. 7 miles out and I had to turn back home. I barely made it.
    So I checked the board for similar problems and everything indicated it was the battery connections loose. (Or maybe a foul plug). So I came home took the seat off and the battery connections were tight. I figure maybe a grounding issue because a week ago I installed the hondaline lightbar. Nope I can't find anything. Suddenly while I was putting the battery cover back on I got a glance of the ICM (ignition control module) and saw that the black wire was broken. I mean you could barely see that something was going on there!!!. I have no clue how this got broken but it did. Checking my service manual this wire is hooked to the Engine Stop switch and fuel cut-off relay. No wonder!
    In order to fix it I disconnected the 22P connector and with a very small screw driver I had to push the square connector from inside the case. This is very delicate and I ended up bending it a bit. This actually took me awhile since I didn't know how it was hooked inside and I was trying to push in a way not to damage anything. This connector is very strong but it can bend easily. The wire was too short so I ended up extending it with another piece of same gauge wire. I put it back together in the box making sure it was in the right direction. Started the bike and VOILA!!!! (Stupid wire!)
    I just wanted to document this in case another member has the same issue.
    King Dude. I have the exact same thing going on. Based on your finding here I just came in from checking my ECM and all I did was touch the green wire and it fell off the connector. And it won't run without the green wire either. The black wire next to it is nicked through the insulation and no doubt will fail early. Honda dealer will get it courtesy of extended warranty. Thanks man it was driving me crazy.
    www.photobucket.com/albums/d50/ridnagn/ecm.jpg That a look at that link showing the wires.
    As Always Peaceful Cruisin'
    BLACK POWER

    This is an update. I delivered my 1300 to the dealer for the above described problem 11 days ago. All I had to do was show them my discovery and let the words 'extended warranty' roll off my tongue. They ordered and installed a new main harness.
    I just drove that 1300 home this afternoon from Roseville Cycle Center in Sacramento Ca. The service writer let me know that the next two wires in line on the old connector were beginning to fail and would have eventually broken. And he achknowledged that this is a known defect to Honda.
    Thank you kingato for showing me where to look. Everyone. If you are one of the riders who has an unexplained miss-fire really consider looking at the plug. It's on the top of the battery and feeds an electronic engine control unit.
    As Always Peaceful Cruisin'
    BLACK POWER

  12. #11
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    If you look you will see that the ECM moves around alot on top of the
    battery cover when the bike is running.
    I used a little heavy duty Velcro and it don't move no mo'.
    IMO this constant movement is what makes the wires fail.
    Spencer

    MINE -04 Retro / Black & Chrome - Hers - 05 Suzuki C50 / Silver & Black - Part time ST1300 pilot
    See my bike pics: CLICK HERE

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spencer
    If you look you will see that the ECM moves around alot on top of the
    battery cover when the bike is running.
    I used a little heavy duty Velcro and it don't move no mo'.
    IMO this constant movement is what makes the wires fail.
    Spencer
    Spence Dude. for sure constant vibs contribute to an early demise. I think the harness shop assembler nicked the copper when stripping the ends.... and all the vibration helps it along. My miss fires didn't show up untill 2 1/2 years and 28000+ miles later. That harness is $113.00 delivered from HDL. Shop rate in Sacramento County is $65. or more. I know king Dude fixed his own but WTH I paid for warranty. My extended is good thru the middle of OCT. 2008.
    As Always Peaceful Cruisin'
    BLACK POWER

  14. #13
    Senior Member Biddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spencer
    If you look you will see that the ECM moves around alot on top of the
    battery cover when the bike is running.
    I used a little heavy duty Velcro and it don't move no mo'.
    IMO this constant movement is what makes the wires fail.
    Spencer

    Thanks for bringing that to our attention RobT, good stuff to know about the iffy connector. Glad to hear it was covered under warranty and hopefully Big Papason Honda will make the proper corrections at the factory. Also good idea there Spencer to keep the wires in firmly place.

    Biddy
    '04 Silver 1300 S

    Proud C.R.A.P. Member #001


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    Thanks for the info hav'nt got my new bike yet but hope this monday I'm waiting on the dealer to put on my cobra pipes now if it backfires when I pick it up thats the frist place I'll check you just mite of saved me some green because I would have contributed it to the new pipes and got a jet kit a air kit etc etc.... agin thanks dude!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fordman
    Thanks for the info hav'nt got my new bike yet but hope this monday I'm waiting on the dealer to put on my cobra pipes now if it backfires when I pick it up thats the frist place I'll check you just mite of saved me some green because I would have contributed it to the new pipes and got a jet kit a air kit etc etc.... agin thanks dude!!!!
    fordman dude. Don't be to quick, it will be missfires with some backfire and rough running.....
    As Always Peaceful Cruisin'
    BLACK POWER

  17. #16
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    You guys rock ! !
    I've had my VTX for 2 years now. Not a problem - just a happy bike
    All of a sudden, after 43,000 miles, it started acting up - just like the subject of this post says.
    First I changed the plugs, then drained the gas and put in new gas. Nothing . . .
    Did a search on the 1300 Board for 'bad gas', got a boatload of hits, but didn't look at any till I saw the subject line of this thread.
    Wow ! Hit the nail on the head. Called the dealer this AM, told them what the problem was, although they were way reluctant to believe what this chick was telling them. Dropped it off, told them to start with the ECM wire. Still looked at me funny . . . whatever . . .
    They called me back, said they fixed the problem. I had to ask them what the problem was since they didn't offer up that info. Go figure.
    Oh . . . a loose ECM wire, eh ? Geez. . . who'd a guessed ? ! ! lol
    I took it to the dealer since I had purchased the extended warranty and thought I would save myself the trouble and follow Rob T's path. Thanks dude !
    I can't imagine how much trouble this has saved me or what the dealer would have done if I hadn't insisted on checking the ECM wire, but thanks for putting this thread out there : )

    2004 1300 Retro ~ a.k.a. the 'seXy beast' ~ over 94,000 miles currently : ))
    2007 VTX 1800F ~ bot new in Sept 2009 - not as many miles yet - working on it !
    Susan

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    Great post Kingato

    Thanks for the additional info RobT.

    This post could save me alot of scrrewing around someday.

    Thanks
    Art
    2005 1300c, Blue, Ultimate X saddle w/backrest, KURY wide style crome levers, KURY ISO pegs, KURY ISO grips, Throttle Boss, Kewl Metal reservoir clock, possum pusher, Saddleman tool bag.

  19. #18
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    awsome post!

    gotta love it when we can fix our bikes
    better than the trained dealer repair personel.



    .



  20. #19
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    Good to bring this out again.
    This comes out periodicly. Is a known problem that has been discussed on this board previously.


    What part of "shall not be infringed" dont you understand?

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    I will be checking my harness tomorrow morning! I've had a misfire/backfire for about a week. I only have 1850 miles on it and changed gas twice so I know the gas isnt the problem.

    Good info and a place to check out.

    C.R.A.P. Member #023
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  22. #21
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    I had extended warranty yet I fixed it myself!! After a year I didn't know this was covered under warranty, go figure.
    I am glad that this post has helped the vtx community.
    Honda VTX 1300S 2003
    No fuel pump/Tubeless tires on spoke wheels/Cobra pipes/Stebel Horn/
    http://www.advlife.net

  23. #22
    Senior Member cool runnins's Avatar
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    I wonder if maybe if before breaking if you were to put some sealant around where the wires are breaking if that would help, what do you guys think?
    Agape,
    Bruce


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    Quote Originally Posted by cool runnins
    I wonder if maybe if before breaking if you were to put some sealant around where the wires are breaking if that would help, what do you guys think?
    Maybe CR Dude, but in another thread somewhere it was suggested that if the wires broke inside the sealant it might be hard to get to them.
    As Always Peaceful Cruisiní
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  25. #24
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    Oh what fond memories this brings back...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cool runnins
    I wonder if maybe if before breaking if you were to put some sealant around where the wires are breaking if that would help, what do you guys think?
    Don't know if that would help. Sounds like the problem may be caused by improper crimping of the connector onto the end of the wire, damaging the strands of copper. This weak place in the wire is then stressed by the vibration and fails. Securing the ECM may be a better solution, short of replacing the harness. Adding a layer of insulation may just make it harder to find. Connector issues acount for perhaps 90% of electrical problems. And they can drive you crazy trying to troubleshoot it.
    "03 1300S, Black & Chrome

  27. #26
    Senior Member RCTVTX's Avatar
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    Well, well, its had been a week or so since I fired the X up. Cold and rainy up here.

    Saturday it was looking real nice out so I decided to go for a spin, long story short she burped on me ten minís into the ride. Not wanting to get stuck in the middle of nowhere I turned around and headed back home. Parked and removed the seat and because of this post I new where to look. The green wire at the ECM was cut, not completely through but at least half the copper strands were severed.

    Started it up and poked at the wire, it broke completely through and the X shut off.

    Removed the female connector from the plug, that took a min. but I used one of the empty ones to locate the lock tab, went in at it with a big paper clip from the wire side and it slid right out.
    Soldered it up put it back together and when for that ride.

    Thanks Kingato for the heads up back in September.
    Black 1300c (because its fastest)

    There is only one sport, motorsport.
    If there is no horsepower its just a game.

  28. #27
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    Yes...This sure brings back lots of bad memories...

    http://www.vtxoa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=50819

    But no more problems since.
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    You guys are awsome. This forum is a great thing. So...... I was sitting around the garage last night and decided to check my battery connections and ignition module, since I read about it yesterday in this thread. Sure enough.... ignition modlue loose as a goose with battery cables to match!! Thanks every one!! Problem solved before it had a chance to rear it's ugly head!!
    '04 1300c,Candy Orange,Mustang seat,switchblade windshield,clayton mod,No neck trim

  30. #29
    Senior Member Beaker's Avatar
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    This is what I would consider to be a critical item to check whenever the seat is off and fasten the ICM so it cannot move around.

    Great post and contributions from all - I took the liberty of submitting this to the VTXOA Garage so that it becomes a little more visible to others.

    Well done.

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