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Old August 8th, 2017, 09:46 PM   #1
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Question 2010 only running on one cylinder

hey guys,
been a long time lurker on the site, haven't posted much. Ive bought and fixed a few pre-gens with various issues over the years but this is my first newer model 250 and I'm a bit stumped.

I bought it as a non running project and finally have it narrowed down to the left cylinder isn't getting spark.
so far this is what I've checked:

I swapped out the coils and both coils seem to be working on the right cylinder

Fresh plugs are in it, still no spark

One cylinder is firing so I'm thinking its not the crank position sensor

so I'm guessing my issue is lying somewhere within the wiring harness or the cdi is malfunctioning. Any help would be appreciated as to where I should start looking.

Thanks in advance
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Old August 9th, 2017, 12:19 AM   #2
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Do you have oscilloscope or access to one? This is literally a 5-minute job with one.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 06:07 AM   #3
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I guess I would start tracing power back with a meter or test light, starting at the coils, into the wiring harness to see if you can isolate where it stops.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 08:12 AM   #4
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Sadly I don't have access to one. Is there any way to do it without an oscilloscope?

If I'm looking at the wiring diagram right it looks like the only wiring runnng in and out of the left coil is a black wire to the cdi and the red wire up to the kill switch on the right clip on?
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Old August 9th, 2017, 10:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitter View Post
Sadly I don't have access to one. Is there any way to do it without an oscilloscope?

If I'm looking at the wiring diagram right it looks like the only wiring runnng in and out of the left coil is a black wire to the cdi and the red wire up to the kill switch on the right clip on?
This looks like inductive ignition, not CDI then. Oscilloscope needed to troubleshoot output signal from CDI to coil.


1. Test for +12v power to coil on red wire on both coils.

2. Then test for momentary grounding of black wire when running. A 'noid light can be used.

3. Have you tried swapping plugs and coil-output wires between sides? Could just be bad coil output wire
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Old August 9th, 2017, 11:45 AM   #6
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I swapped the coils and the left cylinder still doesn't get spark so I'm assuming the coils are good.

As far as checking for 12v at the red wire on the coils, I'm assuming key in the on position but bike not running?
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Old August 9th, 2017, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitter View Post
I swapped the coils and the left cylinder still doesn't get spark so I'm assuming the coils are good.
We want to leave the coils and swap just the output-wire. We are testing the hi-ten plug wire to spark-plug. If you swapped left output wire along with coil to right side and it sparked there, then that should be good enough to rule out spark wire.

Quote:
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As far as checking for 12v at the red wire on the coils, I'm assuming key in the on position but bike not running?
Yep.

1. Here's solenoid test-light. It has duration-extending circuitry so that light stays on long enough for human eye to see. Otherwise flashes are too quick. Connect to each side of ignition-coil and should show flashing.
Solenoid test light

2. If coil not getting grounding signal from ECU, test continuity of black-wire from ECU to coil. Should be zero-resistance end-to-end on each side.

3. Connect solenoid test-light directly to ECU's output to coils. Use +12v power to ECU for one side. Should have flashing at ECU outputs on each side. Otherwise ECU's bad.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 01:32 PM   #8
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Yup I swapped the coil and wire as one unit and they both fired off on the right cylinder. I'll check for voltage hopefully Friday on my day off
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Old August 9th, 2017, 02:41 PM   #9
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Also, as far as the plugs, they're fresh plugs.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitter View Post
Sadly I don't have access to one. Is there any way to do it without an oscilloscope?

If I'm looking at the wiring diagram right it looks like the only wiring runnng in and out of the left coil is a black wire to the cdi and the red wire up to the kill switch on the right clip on?
Buy a Kawasaki Service Manual and a DVOM. You'll save yourself a-lot of time.

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Old August 9th, 2017, 08:50 PM   #11
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Just tested the red wires at the coils and have 11.5v @ each coil and 11.75 at the battery
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Old August 9th, 2017, 08:54 PM   #12
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Also I talked to the previous owner and he said it ran fine until one night the left cylinder stopped getting spark, the tach stopped working and the gas gauge stopped working all at once
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Old August 9th, 2017, 10:59 PM   #13
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I had a similar problem and am inclined to say its a problem with the wiring harness. Is the neutral light working?
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Old August 9th, 2017, 11:16 PM   #14
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As far as lights, neutral, oil, temp, blinker and the back lighting to all the gauges works. The needles on the tach and gas gauge don't seem to be working. (Also the no spark thing)
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Old August 10th, 2017, 09:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying View Post
I had a similar problem and am inclined to say its a problem with the wiring harness. Is the neutral light working?
Quote:
Originally Posted by gitter View Post
As far as lights, neutral, oil, temp, blinker and the back lighting to all the gauges works. The needles on the tach and gas gauge don't seem to be working. (Also the no spark thing)
Gauges dying at same time is clue, I bet black signal wire between ECU and coil is shorting out with some of gauge wires. The tach gets its RPM signal from left-coil black wire. They all share common power and ground wires. Let's test black signal wire between ECU and coil.

1. Unplug connector from ECU and black wire from coil. Measure resistance of black wire from end-to-end.

2. Measure resistance of black wire from either end to chassis ground.

These tests will at least tell us health of signal wire to left coil. Now, signal on that wire should look like this:



Unlike popular misconception, ECU/ignitor does not send power to coil to fire plugs. Coil is powered fulltime directly from battery through ignition/kill-switch, and ECU/ignitor grounds coil to fire plugs. So oscilloscope trace you see is signal on green (right) or black (left) wire between ECU and coils. During spark OFF time, coil is charged from other side by red +12v wire. Since signal side is open (disconnected), there's no current-flow and no voltage-drop; we see battery voltage on both sides of coil. Then during spark ON time, ignitor grounds green and black signal wire to dump coil and fires plugs.Those are momentary dips to zero you see on trace.

With oscilloscope, we just test for this signal at ECU-ignitor socket. Then work forwards on green|black wire towards coils to see if it stops somewhere due to broken wire or bad connector. Where signal disappears is your problem. Without oscilloscope, you can use 'noid-light. Gives you binary ON/OFF data instead of nice 'scope trace, but serves same function.

So test resistance of black signal wire for now. And get 'noid-light. I'll look up how to test gauge and fuel-level wires; I suspect these failures are all connected...

Last futzed with by JacRyann; August 10th, 2017 at 09:51 PM.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 09:20 AM   #16
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Hmmm.... Looks like there's no cam-sensor. So ignitor is doing wasted-spark. We might be able to fire left-coil using right-coil's trigger-signal. But that's just workaround, doesn't actually find and fix problem...
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Old August 10th, 2017, 09:50 AM   #17
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Ok, here's how to test power & ground for fuel & tach:

1. with key ON, test for power at harness-side connector brown/black wire

2. with key ON, test for power at gauge-side connector brown wire

3. measure resistance between chassis-ground and harness-side connector black/yellow wire

4. measure resistance between chassis-ground and gauge-side connector black/yellow wire

unplug ECU connector

5. measure resistance between ECU-connector black wire and harness-side connector black wire

6. measure resistance between ECU-connector black wire and guage-side connector black wire

7. measure resistance between ECU-connector black wire and chassis-ground
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Old August 11th, 2017, 07:58 AM   #18
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Thanks, gonna get started on this after morning coffee. picked up the 'noid light last night, or rather a set of them. does it matter which one i use ( theres a few in there for different types of injectors)
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Old August 11th, 2017, 08:55 AM   #19
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Shouldn't matter which light you use.
I would use test leads with alligator-clips to make them easier to connect.
Use it on the working side first (green wire) to get an idea of what a good signal looks like.

Good luck!

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Old August 11th, 2017, 12:43 PM   #20
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Ok here's what I have so far:

1. with key ON, test for power at harness-side connector brown/black wire
12.6V

2. with key ON, test for power at gauge-side connector brown wire
12.3V

3. measure resistance between chassis-ground and harness-side connector black/yellow wire
.2

4. measure resistance between chassis-ground and gauge-side connector black/yellow wire
.3

unplug ECU connector

5. measure resistance between ECU-connector black wire and harness-side connector black wire
.3

6. measure resistance between ECU-connector black wire and guage-side connector black wire
.3

7. measure resistance between ECU-connector black wire and chassis-ground
3.7
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Old August 11th, 2017, 01:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitter View Post
Ok here's what I have so far:

1. with key ON, test for power at harness-side connector brown/black wire
12.6V

2. with key ON, test for power at gauge-side connector brown wire
12.3V

3. measure resistance between chassis-ground and harness-side connector black/yellow wire
.2

4. measure resistance between chassis-ground and gauge-side connector black/yellow wire
.3
This is good, means we're getting power to the gauges across the connector. They also have good grounds to chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by gitter View Post
unplug ECU connector

5. measure resistance between ECU-connector black wire and harness-side connector black wire
.3

6. measure resistance between ECU-connector black wire and guage-side connector black wire
.3

7. measure resistance between ECU-connector black wire and chassis-ground
3.7
Good that black signal wire is intact to tach. NOT GOOD that it's shorted to ground somewhere between ECU-connector and coil/tach.

I guess you'll have to unwrap the loom starting at the ECU-connector and work your way forwards inspecting black coil wire along the way. At some point, it's frayed with a bare-spot and connecting to ground. Or where it splits off to tach may be shorted as well. Hmmm, maybe a short inside the tach?

Try this final test before unwrapping:

8. disconnect black signal-wire from coil
9. unplug gauge-connector from harness connectors
10. measure resistance of black-wire between ECU-connector and coil spade-connector
11. measure resistance of either end of black signal-wire to chassis-ground

If it has infinite-resistance (open), then we know there's short between tach and gauge-connector.
Otherwise, there's still short along way from ECU to coil, and we'll need to open up loom and inspect entire length of that black wire.

You can use the 'noid-light to test signal as well. Start at ECU-connector's green coil-wire as control to confirm light works. Then switch to black-wire terminal and verify ECU's sending out correct grounding signal (use any +12v for other terminal of 'noid-light). Then work your way up black wire and see where signal stops.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 02:05 PM   #22
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connevting at both ends of the signal wire I get .3
Gauge plug to spade connector on coil I get .3
Spade connector to ground I can't get a reading
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Old August 11th, 2017, 02:15 PM   #23
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Hmm, sounds like there's short between gauge-connector and tach.

Leave gauges disconnected from harness
Plug ECU-connector back in
Plug spade-connector/black-wire into coil
Start bike, does it in run on both cylinders now?
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Old August 11th, 2017, 02:54 PM   #24
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Used 'noid light, worked fine on right cylinder, left cylinder nothing lit up.

Unplugged gauge cluster from harness, still no spark on left cylinder
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Old August 11th, 2017, 03:53 PM   #25
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Just pulled the gauge cluster harness apart didn't see any damaged wires. Time to start pulling the main harness apart?
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Old August 11th, 2017, 06:42 PM   #26
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Quote:
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Used 'noid light, worked fine on right cylinder, left cylinder nothing lit up.

Unplugged gauge cluster from harness, still no spark on left cylinder
Quote:
Originally Posted by gitter View Post
Just pulled the gauge cluster harness apart didn't see any damaged wires. Time to start pulling the main harness apart?
Odd... testing showed there's no short on black wire between ECU/igniter and gauge-connector though.

Where did you hook up 'noid-light? At the coils? Or at the ECU connector? If at ECU connector, then we have bad ECU with no output on one side

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Old August 11th, 2017, 08:19 PM   #27
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I hooked it up at the coil wires. The wires were disconnected from the coil at the time
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Old August 11th, 2017, 08:19 PM   #28
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Should I pull the wiring harness and go through it? Or try finding an ecu on eBay / CL?
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Old August 11th, 2017, 08:38 PM   #29
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Quote:
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I hooked it up at the coil wires. The wires were disconnected from the coil at the time
OK, that's good. Was the gauges unplugged from harness too?
If so, that pretty much means the ECU/ignitor is bad since we've tested the black wire as good.

That explains why tach doesn't work. However, doesn't explain the fuel gauge.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 09:01 PM   #30
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i dont remember if they were plugged in or not. I'll re-test tomorrow with them plugged in. would a bad ecu cause the grounding issue that we thought i had though?
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Old August 12th, 2017, 09:55 AM   #31
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Gauges and coil should be unplug unplugged for test at ECU connector.
No signal on black wire with signal on green shows bad ECU
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Old August 12th, 2017, 06:55 PM   #32
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ok so i unplugged the gauge cluster.

left coil still plugged in, unplugged right coil ( green/red) cranked it over, 'noid light lit up.

Right coil plugged in, left coil (black/red) unplugged, cranked it over, 'noid light didnt light up.

does that point to a faulty ecu? if so, how does that point to a faulty ecu?
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Old August 12th, 2017, 07:36 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitter View Post
does that point to a faulty ecu? if so, how does that point to a faulty ecu?
The red wires on the coils are connected to ground and constantly supply the coils with power.

The black/green wires coming from the ECU signal each coil to cause a spark. If there is no continuity from the black/green wires coming from the ECU, then there might be a problem within the ECU that prevents the signal from going out to black/green.

In your case, I'm assuming black is lighting up, but green isn't?
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Old August 12th, 2017, 07:41 PM   #34
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Green is lighting up, black isn't lighting up
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Old August 12th, 2017, 09:17 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitter View Post
ok so i unplugged the gauge cluster.

left coil still plugged in, unplugged right coil ( green/red) cranked it over, 'noid light lit up.

Right coil plugged in, left coil (black/red) unplugged, cranked it over, 'noid light didnt light up.

does that point to a faulty ecu? if so, how does that point to a faulty ecu?
  • Testing grounds seems to indicate some sort of short on black-wire.
  • Disconnecting gauge-connectors removes short on black-wire
  • You've verified that the black-wire is intact from ECU-connector up to space-connector @ coil.
  • Noid-light shows signal on green wire at coil and at ECU connector
  • Noid-light shows NO signal on black at coil and at ECU connector.
I think this process of elimination and boolean-logic narrows down problem to no signal coming out of black terminal at ECU.

Here's final test & confirmation of bad ECU:

1. unplug both spark-plug wires from plugs
2. disconnect gauges
3. disconnect black wire spade-connector from left-coil
4. connect empty left-coil signal terminal to right-coil signal terminal (green). You can use a test-lead with alligator clips and back out green spade-connector slightly.
5. use 'noid-light and test right-coil when cranking
6. use 'noid-light and test left-coil when cranking

Do you get flashing at both coils now? If yes, plug spark-wires back in and run bike. Does it run on both cylinders? Only do this short-term, 10-15sec. max.

Now, you still have wiring issue, and it very well could be that short damaged ECU driver on left side. So we want to track down that short and fix it otherwise new ECU will be damaged as well.

Last futzed with by JacRyann; August 13th, 2017 at 09:12 AM.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 09:22 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying View Post
The red wires on the coils are connected to ground and constantly supply the coils with power.
Red wires are actually connected to battery to constantly supply the coils with power. Then ECU grounds green & black wires on other side of coil to fire spark.
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Old August 18th, 2017, 12:59 PM   #37
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hey guys, its been a few days, finally had time to pull the harness and split it open.

Found that the black (signal wire for the tach) and the brown/black (im assuming ground for tach, gas gauge, and temp light) were worn through and touching, close to where the black wire splits into two wires ( to go to tach and left coil, respectively)

I dont want to jinx it but I'm pretty sure that was my problem. At this point do i just wrap the bare spots with tape and then wrap the harness back up?
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Old August 18th, 2017, 01:03 PM   #38
Triple Jim
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I like repair methods like splicing in new sections of wire, using solder and heat-shrink tubing on the joints.
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Old August 18th, 2017, 01:08 PM   #39
gitter
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in a prefect work yes. but will wrapping it in electrical tape suffice?
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Old August 18th, 2017, 01:10 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitter View Post
hey guys, its been a few days, finally had time to pull the harness and split it open.

Found that the black (signal wire for the tach) and the brown/black (im assuming ground for tach, gas gauge, and temp light) were worn through and touching, close to where the black wire splits into two wires ( to go to tach and left coil, respectively)

I dont want to jinx it but I'm pretty sure that was my problem. At this point do i just wrap the bare spots with tape and then wrap the harness back up?
To test that it fixes the problem yes. But you will eventually get problems there again. Best bet is solder and shrink wrap.
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