Popping, backfiring and dying engine, loose battery terminals - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Popping, backfiring and dying engine, loose battery terminals

On our weekend ride, the girl that was riding with us on a Vulcan 500 had been having problems with her bike backfiring and sometimes just going dead. She had it happen in Austin traffic several times. It happened to her as she was on her way to meet us in Johnson City. I had recommended that she put some seafoam in the gas but it had not helped. (she had never mentioned that the ignition went dead) We got to Comfort and pulled in for gas and her bike died. Her electrical system was dead. We pushed the bike into a gas station where there were several goldwings parked around. She had just bought the bike from my best buddy and he was messing around with the ignition and suddenly everything came back on. He started the bike and it ran like crap and backfired and died again. Electrical was dead again. I got my tools out and was starting to take off the seat to check the battery when a winger came over and started telling me what was wrong with it. He said that the petcock was clogged and said it was a known problem with that bike. I told him that the electrical problem was not going to be related to fuel and he laughed at me. Anyway, sure enough the battery terminals were both so loose you could turn the screws with your fingers, and wiggle both cables back and forth. I pulled them and cleaned them up and put em back, nice and tight and the bike cranked right up and ran perfect. We finished the 500 mile trip with no problems. (she'd had a new battery installed about 3 weeks ago at a well known bike shop, and has had problems since...go figure)

Just posting this for an FYI. Loose battery connections can make our bikes run like crap, or not at all!

Fergy
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 06:38 PM
 
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Thanks a lot for the info. Posts like these are very helpful to a newbie ( 9 mos and 3k miles)

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 06:44 PM
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Go figure, a well known bike shop. The industry reputation just dropped a little more.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnewell
Go figure, a well known bike shop. The industry reputation just dropped a little more.
Is that possible?

Jon

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fergy
Loose battery connections can make our bikes run like crap, or not at all!
I was hoping my problems would have been fixed that easily. Glad ya got the 500 rolling again Fergy.
Was the Winger rider still there when ya got it going? Here's a laugh at/for him


AKA: Tim & 'The Adventure Cycle' VROC #24567, NEVROC, SteelCity VROC


"When life throws you curves,
Aim for the apex."

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 10:38 PM
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Had the exact same thing happen to me this last summer. Bike started surging like it was running out of gas (I thought maybe I had got some bad gas). Then it started back firing, the tachometer briefly pegged to the right and eventually it just died. I thought it was possessed. Finger tight battery cable. Apparently I did a real sucky job of putting it on prior to that. I could probably qualify as a "master mechanic" at the local dealership now

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperbuzzin
I was hoping my problems would have been fixed that easily. Glad ya got the 500 rolling again Fergy.
Was the Winger rider still there when ya got it going? Here's a laugh at/for him
Yeah, they were all sitting around watching me work on the bike. I was more releived that it was all it was and we could get back on the road. The group by far was a good group of riders, just the one "know it all" guy with them. They were all sniffing on my 750, which was kind of cool. Several of them knew what it was and were showing their wives, trying to get them excited about having their own bikes. The "know it all" guy was riding solo...go figure! He kind of went and stood by his bike when we started up the 500 and it ran fine.

Fergy
Kyle, TX VN750.com member #707 VROC#19556
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Spline Lube Procedure, with photos, R/R Relocation and Coil Mod
Rusty Tank Cleaning!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 04:46 PM
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I'm still jealous about that trip. And you came out the hero in the end !

Ron from Jersey
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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I just talked to my buddy who was with us and sold her the 500. He bought the battery at the well known shop, but installed it himself! He had on another trip, found the battery terminals loose on the old battery and when he tried to tighten them he broke off the lead terminal. He had to drive a sheet metal screw into the lead to hold the battery cable on, which quickly was eaten by the battery acid, which is why he bought the new battery just before he sold her the bike. He said he was tentative about tightening them too tight and must not have got them tight enough. So, I retract my statement about who installed the battery!

Of course, I told him that if the bike was losing all power, that should have told him what it was. He said he had been meaning to pull the seat (one bolt) and check them, but never got around to it. ha! Nothing like leaving for a 500 mile trip when you know your bike has problems. She must have had some butterflies heading out of town on the trip!

Fergy
Kyle, TX VN750.com member #707 VROC#19556
2002 VN1500 Classic
Spline Lube Procedure, with photos, R/R Relocation and Coil Mod
Rusty Tank Cleaning!
Electrical Fault Finding Flowchart
SEAFOAM JUNKIE!


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman
I could probably qualify as a "master mechanic" at the local dealership now
LMAO !!!
I think this is the head mechanic at alot of dealerships ....


AKA: Tim & 'The Adventure Cycle' VROC #24567, NEVROC, SteelCity VROC


"When life throws you curves,
Aim for the apex."

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