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2012, Crank, no start

1978 Views 40 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  NewRedRider
After a year long break, we're back!

My bike died while I was riding it. This is important: it started, seemed to be running normally, and died while I was turning around.

It had been sitting for a few weeks, and the ignition switch was acting weird--sticking, and not working correctly--but it started once I was able to get the ignition switch working. I got about 4 miles, was turning around, and it died while I had the clutch in (i.e., no load on the engine). I did note that it seemed to take a little longer to get up to operating temperature than I would have expected.

I have tested a new ignition switch, and the switch seems to work well. The dashboard lights up, and the fuel pump primes when I put the kill switch in the 'run' position. It sounds like it's cranking normally, but it doesn't start.

The battery is currently reading at 12.5V or so, which isn't surprising since I've tried starting it multiple times, and it was sitting for a while before that. I need to charge it. The battery is fairly new, less than two years old.

No fuses are blown.

I need to try jumping the kickstand sensor and the clutch sensor. The neutral safety switch was replaced less than a year ago, so that doesn't seem like a probable culprit. I need to check the ground for continuity, but I'm not seeing anything visually. I have not removed the tank yet to see if there are any obviously broken wires. I do have a CEL, but it's for a knock sensor, and I'm not using anything below 93 AKI, so that shouldn't be an issue.

I had a crank/no start last year that started as a rat chewing through wires, and ended up with very bad compression; that was solved with a new wiring loom, and lapping all the valves and seats. I don't think it should be a compression issue again; electrical seems the most likely, and I'm guessing that I don't have spark at all.

My next step--once I've verified that it's not a clutch position or kickstand sensor--seems to be checking to see if the coil packs are getting electricity. So, once I've checked to see if I'm getting power to the spark plugs, what should be my next attack? If I'm getting spark, I assume that I should check injectors and compression? It seems like it would be weird for an engine that had been running correctly to die suddenly if it wasn't electrical though.
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First, to be clear, there was definitely something wrong with the old ignition. When I turned the switch, the dash didn't start, lights turn on, etc.; I had to turn turn the key multiple times to get it to work, and the whole thing was sticking. As far as, "seems to work", I mean that I removed the old one, and tested the new one on the bike; the lights turn on, the dash powers up, it works the way I'd expect an ignition switch to work. BUT I don't have it installed in the triple tree yet; it's just hanging loose at the moment.

Do you have a wiring diagram or SM to reference?
Yes, I have the '07-'12 service manual.

Yes, I know that I need to charge the battery, and replace if I can't get it up to spec.

go through and lube (Yamalubzall) the ignition switch, run/stop switch
I already know that I need to clean and lube the left side switch; turn signals and high beams are not consistently working. Is it save to use dielectric grease on all electric connectors? I've never seen it used anywhere aside from switch housings.
Did you measure FI fuse?
Measure power coming out of kill switch?

Starter circuit and EFI system are on completely different independent circuits. EFI system can be knackered and bike will still crank completely fine. For example, you can remove ECU, all injectors, coils, etc. and bike will still crank, just engine won't run.

I discovered this by accident one time at filling station, bike wouldn't start afterwards. Damn bastards gave me bunk tank of petrol!!! Crank and crank for minutes at time until battery was dead, nope... Turned out my kill-switch was off, ahahahhahah!!!! :ROFLMAO:
First: I charged the battery, and it's holding at 13v. I checked the new ignition switch--the module that the key goes into--and I've got continuity when it's on, and no continuity when it's off (plus I can crank when it's on), so that's good.

I'm waiting until I have daylight to keep working, because I have a feral cat that I feed on my back porch (where my bike is currently parked; I don't have a garage) after dark, and I'm trying to avoid scaring him away. So that kinda limits me to working on weekends, or if I manage to get home from work before dark.

With that out of the way, I think that the obvious thing I've missed--because I'm a gosh darned idjit--is that I need to check the MIL. I had been getting code 25, which is a faulty knock sensor/circuit, but I didn't think to see if I had a new and improved DTC.

Are there fuses hidden anywhere other than in the fuse box just behind the battery? All of the fuses in the box look good.
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There's 2 fuses you missed. FI fuse which powers entire EFI system and 30-amp main fuse. Easiest way to determine if they're good is to measure voltage at destination.
Okay, where are they? I'm reading through all the electrical sections in the '07-'12 manual, and I'm not seeing a diagram showing where they are on the bike. If the FI fuse is blown, I'll still need to figure out why it blew.

When you say measure voltage at the destination, what do you mean?

This is 5-minute fix with multimeter and tests above. Continuity at kill-switch is no good if you don't have power going into it at all. Thus, no power going to ECU
It's not continuity at the kill switch, continuity at the ignition switch. There's at least some power going to the kill switch, because when I turn the kill switch to the run position, the fuel pump primes.

At the moment, I'm looking at page 6-7 in the '07-'08 service manual, and it says that for crank no start, with no DTC and MIL blinking, that I should crank for 10 seconds, check the DTC, and then execute troubleshooting, along with inspection of the fuel supply system. All the diagnostic trouble codes that would cause a no-start condition seem to be centered around fuel except the cam position sensor, and the crank position sensor. So. Hmmm.

I'll check the diagnostic codes, and report back as soon as I can. No sense in borrowing trouble thinking of worst-case-scenarios until I've check the MIL.
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The main fuses are under the seat right next to the battery. Yellow 20 amp (FI) and red 30 amp (Starter).

Have you tried to start it on some starter fluid to see if it fires up? I'm wonder if some of these knock sensor DTC's are from a dirty/clogged fuel system running the engine too lean.
First: I did check the DTCs, and there's nothing new; still just the knock sensor circuit. The knock sensor circuit has been an issue since the wiring harness was replaced last year (rodents + wires = bad); the knock sensor circuit warning popped up as soon as I started it up after lapping the valves and seats. It could be a fault with the replacement harness, or I could have damaged the sensor itself in some way. I suppose that, since I had the whole thing apart, the injectors could have gotten clogged while they weren't installed.

Follow path of electricity flow like water down a river. It starts somewhere, then flows off in branches here and there. Somewhere, it might hit a dam and stop flowing.

START - battery
DESTINATION - fuel-pump, ECU, injectors, ignition-coils, idle-valve, exhaust-valve, etc.

TESTS - measure voltage at each of these components to make sure they can operate. So you measure for power at injectors, ignition-coils, etc. Either one of them not getting power from broken wire, corroded connectors will prevent bike from starting.

You can rule out fuel-pump because you can hear it. BUT... does that mean petrol is actually making it into cylinders? Again, petrol-flow is just like water and river:
  • Is fuel flowing out of tank? How can you test verify this?
  • Is fuel flowing past fuel-filtre? Clogged filtres are not uncommon and is source of lots of issues
  • Is fuel flowing out of pump when it's running? How can you test and verify this?
  • Is fuel flowing into fuel-rail? How would you know yes or no?
  • Is fuel flowing out of injectors? Dirty and clogged injectors are a thing.

How do you know if coils are sparking? How would you test and verify this?
I'm currently watching videos on testing coils; I can readily test for voltage going to the coils, and if there's no voltage to the coils in the first place, then I have to figure out why the EFI system is apparently working, and the spark isn't.

There's no filter on this year, just a strainer (per the 2006-2007 service manual, page 6-48).

I'm not getting any codes that indicate issues with injector circuits; I'd been assuming that bad injectors would give me an injector error, but I'm not sure that's the case.

I truly, deeply hate electrical problems, they make me feel so incompetent. Hopefully it's warm enough this weekend to work outside for more than a few minutes without my fingers going numb.
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Okay, for starters: I checked the 30A starter fuse, and it's visually good. Which makes sense, since I don't think I'd get any cranking if the starter fuse was blown. I still don't see the 20A FI fuse, which tells me I'm short-bus "special". I checked the ground (battery to starter/engine), and I've got continuity. I did a quick visual inspection as I was removing the tank, and--with the airbox still on--I don't see any obviously damaged wires, nor do I see any pinched fuel/vacuum lines. I have not yet removed the fuel pump to double check the screen.

In my mind there's your smoking gun right there. By the way you worded this it sounds like you replaced the harness and then the code came up after the valve adjustment. Is that correct? Did you run the bike with the new wiring harness without it throwing a code?

Just brainstorming here but If you changed the shims in cylinder "x" and cylinder "x" is now showing signs of predetonation, it leads me to believe you may have too much compression in that cylinder. (I.e. wrong shim spacing)

Did you change any shims during the valve adjustment?

Honda doesn't list a separate filter because the fuel filter for the 03-06 models are inside the sealed housing and cannot be serviced or changed. Stupid huh.

The ECU cannot tell if the injector is physically clogged. It can only see the signal loop when it applies the ground.

tl;dr - The bike was never started after the wiring harness was initially installed.

A shop replaced the wiring harness, but the crank, no start condition persisted. They checked compression and found that all cylinders were running was below spec. I paid for the electrical work, did the leak down testing myself, and determined that everything was from the valves. After lapping the valves, I was running >90% across all cylinders. I did check valve clearances, and I think that after lapping there were3 (?) that needed to be re-shimmed. I verified clearance after reinstalling the cam shafts and torquing all bolts to spec. After the valves were lapped and I had compression, the bike started up immediately.

I'm not hearing any signs of pre-ignition. That's not proof that it's not happening though

Not sure how I missed this, but as far as harness replacement was this full harness..what year is it out of? And what year is your bike? 07-08 pin-out for knock sensor is different than 09-12.

Also @NewRedRider is referencing valve lash and is correct in everything he said, but you said "lapping the valves and seats". If you did actually lap the valves in, it is possible (in theory) that too much material was taken away causing an actual "knock" that the sensor is picking up, assuming the harness is correct for your bike.
...I was not aware of that. I had thought that '07-'12 had no significant changes. I'll have to check my eBay purchase history to see what year the harness was, because that could be doing it. (Yes, I bought one off a crashed bike, because $1000 for a new main harness was definitely more than I had.)
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I checked the listing for the wiring harness; it just says '07-'12, so short of trying to find the part number on the harness itself, I have no good way of knowing.
Hmm, that's annoying it was listed that way, but I guess its not that well known of a wiring change through the years but I digress lol.

I'm not sure if this code would actually cause the bike not to start all together to keep from damaging the bike BUT it is possible. I hope this helps though.
I can say with a high degree of assurance that it would not prevent the bike from starting and running, because the wiring harness was replaced in December '21, and I was riding daily with the DTC up through late October, when I stopped because I needed to replace the front tire. Page 6-16 of the '07-'08 service manual indicates that the bike should function normally with a knock circuit sensor fault. So, while this (probably) tells me what I need to do to correct that fault, I don't think that this is the current issue.

I still need to find the 20A FI fuse and check it. I still need to pull the air box off; there's always the possibility that something is preventing air flow, like a ground squirrel building a nest in the intake. (I found a nest in the glove box on the GTI that I was rebuilding, so that's not impossible.) I need to visually check for spark by pulling the coils and plugs, and seeing if I'm getting anything when I push the start button. And I need to do another leak down test, just to be sure that I haven't totally lost compression again. If those are all good, then I can circle back to the FI system.
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I will go down, and check the coils and injectors.

I will call my labors the first day, and return and report.
Hmm, that's annoying it was listed that way, but I guess its not that well known of a wiring change through the years but I digress lol.


Basically, for 07-08 the black/yellow wire from knock sensor should go to ECU plug-B(grey) pin-5 and for 09-12 it is plug-B pin-23. Check your pin-out and adjust accordingly if needed. Hopefully this will at least solve the knock sensor code for you. I'm not sure if this code would actually cause the bike not to start all together to keep from damaging the bike BUT it is possible. I hope this helps though.
Okay, I finally got back to this. I've got a black/yellow going to pin 5, so it looks like the harness is from a '07-'08, and the bike is '12. That should be what the issue is with the knock sensor circuit. I'm not sure how to adjust the pin out.

I've got the air box off, and so far I'm not seeing any obviously broken wires, no missing insulation, etc. I haven't removed the throttle bodies and radiator yet, so I don't have a clear view of the wiring to the coils.

What is the best way to test everything? It looks like I can check injector function with a battery charger and some carb cleaner (i.e., hotwire the injectors directly to the battery charger, listen for the click, have a fuel line zip tied to the carb cleaner, and shoot cleaner through while the injector is open). If I pull the coils and plugs so I can visually inspect, should I be able to get spark when I push the start button even if the injectors and fuel pump aren't connected?

If I have spark, and the injectors are good, do I then need to check continuity of every wire in the harness?

That said, I had a battery tray failure a while back, and there's a hole directly under the exhaust servo motor. (There used to be a license plate bracket that attached to the tray. The bracket broke off, and took part of the tray.) I had a servo motor failure shortly after I bought the bike, because of the way the PO had hacked up the exhaust. IIRC, that did the same thing; the bike stopped dead, and I had to replace the tray and servo motor to get it running again. BUT the manual says that I should be able to start and run even if the servo motor doesn't work, and I'm not getting an error code indicating anything is wrong with the servo motor circuit (that should be DTC 35). Does anyone have any thoughts on that?
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Okay, I finally got back to this, and...

It's not great.

I pulled the plugs, ran a leak down, and cylinder #4 is almost 100%, and cylinders 1-3 are 30% or less. I haven't removed the cover yet to see what's going on. I don't think that this is going to be a timing issue, because if piston 1 crashed into valves, then 4 should have also.
With piston 1, air was definitely coming out of the intake valve; it got a lot lounder when I opened the throttle. With pistons 2 & 3, I think it was blowing out of the exhaust valves, but I'm not positive. I've already pulled the radiator--it makes getting to the coils and spark plugs easier---so I wouldn't be able to tell if it was blowing past the head gasket. Since I'm hearing air leaking quite strongly on cylinders 1-3, I don't think it's going past the rings, but IDK.

I'll have a better idea once I pull the throttle bodies and camshaft cover off.

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What about borrowing a bore scope and just having a look in the cylinders before you tear it completely apart?
I'm at 99% sure I was, or currently am doing the leak down test wrong. Right now, when the T is lined up with the witness mark--so cylinders 1 & 4 are TDC--one of them read at 90%+. Rotate the crankshaft 1 revolution, and the other reads 90%+. Rotate the crankshaft 180 degrees off the witness mark--so that cylinders 2 &3 are TDC--and cylinder 2 reads 90%+. Rotate the crankshaft another full revolution, and, and cylinder 3 reads 90%+. The only reason that I can't say more than 90% is because my wife is asleep, and I don't want to get my air compressor back up to above 100 psi, since that would wake her up.

Regardless: when a piston is up and both valves are closed, I'm getting good pressure readings. I think I'm hearing a little leakage on one cylinder past the rings, but it's only one, and it's not enough to be a worry yet.

With a borescope, I'm not seeing any obvious issues. The cylinder walls look like they're in good condition with fairly minimal wear, there's carbon on the piston heads and exhaust valves, but the intake valves look clean still.

So I think I'm back to tracking down whether it's fuel supply or spark.😥
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The coils/plugs was something I had planned on checking today; a friend told me about in-line spark plug checkers, which i didn't know about until yesterday, because I suck.

What is the best way to check to see if I have power to injectors? Turn the key and check each plug with a multimeter?

I feel really sodomizing dumb now.

After all the diagnostic work, I wasn't able to find anything that wasn't working. So I bought two gallons of 115 octane racing fuel, and drained the tank. The gas that came out of the tank was a medium-dark yellow. Once it was filled up, I cranked it for a few seconds, and...

It started.

So apparently, despite riding regularly, the gas had gone bad. Maybe just enough water had gotten into the tank that it would burn. I don't know. It was two problems that popped up at the same time. First, the ignition switch had legitimately failed. But the gas was also bad.

So, yeah. F. U. N., with the emphasis on FU.
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So you live in really humid area? Causes petrol to degrade faster. Especially the higher octane stuff as they usually sit around longer.

No need to use octane higher than manual suggests, you're not gonna get more power, actually worse. By its nature, higher-octane fuels are more stable and difficult to ignite. So that allows you to increase compression and advance ignition-timing. Which is actually what produces higher power.
Not only is it a high-humidity area--Georgia--but I ride in the rain on a semi-regular basis. If it rains while I'm at work, my bike it getting wet. Rain shouldn't be getting around the rubber seal on the gas cap, but the seal on the old cap had hardened and was cracking.

It should have been one of the first things I checked, but I assumed that since I ride year 'round and a tank of gas usually lasts about two and a half days, that it wasn't going to go bad. Obviously I was wrong, or I somehow got a lot of water into the tank.

Oh, and the CEL is gone now that I've moved the pin for the knock sensor on the wiring harness.
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