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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I get an occasional engine cut out on a 1999 Dominator. It happens randomly about 3 times a year during winter (I use it daily). But it's always the same: riding to work, everything warm, it just dies. This happens idling, accelerating, or doing anything really. Electrics seem fine but it won't start again and will drain the battery trying. If I leave it a few hours and have enough battery to turn it over for 30-60 seconds, I can get it going again. Then it will be fine. It's been like this for 3 years now but it irritates me (I hate bus journeys in full motorbike kit) and I am wondering if anyone has any ideas.
Jon
 

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May be carb icing. Are you running the standard airbox? Is the float bowl heater connected and working?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The bike is standard apart from the exhaust and it's the only problem* I've had in 13 years. It's not been that cold in London but I'll check the bowl heater when I do some spring maintenance. It's just a weird random problem that leaves me stranded occasionally. Today it started instantly and has run fine. Cheers for the suggestion.
Jon

* apart from the 1l oil p 500 miles consumption, and the taking minutes to start when it's been left for a week.
 

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Mine's the same but I found it starts much easier if, at the end of the previous trip, when I'm a minute from home I turn the fuel tap off and get home on whatever's left in the system. Then next time I start the bike (i.e. a week later), turn the fuel on again and it's much easier to start. Don't understand why (this is the first vehicle I've had with a carb since about 1988!!), it just works.

taking minutes to start when it's been left for a week.
 

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Mine's the same but I found it starts much easier if, at the end of the previous trip, when I'm a minute from home I turn the fuel tap off and get home on whatever's left in the system. Then next time I start the bike (i.e. a week later), turn the fuel on again and it's much easier to start. Don't understand why (this is the first vehicle I've had with a carb since about 1988!!), it just works.
It's because of modern crappy Ethanol rich fuel. When you run the carb empty then turn the tap on next time, you're filling the float bowl with fresh petrol and so it starts better. Try it on Ethanol free Super Unleaded from Texaco, Murco etc. Avoid supermarket fuel like the plague.
 

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Could be just as Bobn says about Ethanol attracting water and screwing with your carb jets/passages.
Example, yesterday I had to move my 1986 Alfa Spider (two twin-choke carbs). Would not start after two months sat (even with an Ethanol stabiliser).
Could get it to fire using Cold Start. So got fresh fuel and bingo!
A couple of days without use and my FX is ok, a few weeks and it is empty carb time.
It does not suffer from Carb Icing unlike my Ducati M900. Strangely it is coldish damp days in November not icey cold days that affect that.
 

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Hi
I get an occasional engine cut out on a 1999 Dominator. It happens randomly about 3 times a year during winter (I use it daily). But it's always the same: riding to work, everything warm, it just dies. This happens idling, accelerating, or doing anything really. Electrics seem fine but it won't start again and will drain the battery trying. If I leave it a few hours and have enough battery to turn it over for 30-60 seconds, I can get it going again. Then it will be fine. It's been like this for 3 years now but it irritates me (I hate bus journeys in full motorbike kit) and I am wondering if anyone has any ideas.
Jon
Don't know if this will help, I've got an fmx 650 and had the same kind of problem. It would cut out only once/twice a year and not start for anything upto an hour. This would be on idle or when riding. It would flatten the battery trying to start and would sometimes just backfire. If I replaced the crankshaft speed sensor it would be fine for about 6month then do the same. I've had the bike for 6 years and last year it got worse. After trying another carb then crank sensor then the cdi followed by the wiring harness I was about to part ex it. I rang the chap who put it on a dyno, he told me to check the plug and if it was sooty it would be the coil. I replaced the coil and it's been fine ever since. ( just to add when it broke down their was always a spark)


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That seems a bit high, I would expect to use that ammount every 1000 miles.
What sort of miles has your engine done and what sort of speeds are you doing?
Engine has done 74k km (60k with me) but I haven't looked after it too well and it smokes slightly when cold. Bike is only used in central London these days. The original owner rode it through three winters without washing off the salt, so the engine head bolts look like they have been welded on. I've always been too terrified to go near it. Even changing the spark plug was a problem -it snapped off in the engine.

Don't know if this will help, I've got an fmx 650 and had the same kind of problem. It would cut out only once/twice a year and not start for anything upto an hour. This would be on idle or when riding. It would flatten the battery trying to start and would sometimes just backfire. If I replaced the crankshaft speed sensor it would be fine for about 6month then do the same. I've had the bike for 6 years and last year it got worse. After trying another carb then crank sensor then the cdi followed by the wiring harness I was about to part ex it. I rang the chap who put it on a dyno, he told me to check the plug and if it was sooty it would be the coil. I replaced the coil and it's been fine ever since. ( just to add when it broke down their was always a spark)
That helps a lot. It sounds exactly the same symptom - even the occasional backfire, although I am not sure why the coil would behave this way. I'll take a look.

Cheers
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mine's the same but I found it starts much easier if, at the end of the previous trip, when I'm a minute from home I turn the fuel tap off and get home on whatever's left in the system. Then next time I start the bike (i.e. a week later), turn the fuel on again and it's much easier to start. Don't understand why (this is the first vehicle I've had with a carb since about 1988!!), it just works.
A good tip which I will get to try next week as I'm leaving the bike for 10 days. Thanks.
 

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Engine has done 74k km (60k with me) but I haven't looked after it too well and it smokes slightly when cold. Bike is only used in central London these days. The original owner rode it through three winters without washing off the salt, so the engine head bolts look like they have been welded on. I've always been too terrified to go near it. Even changing the spark plug was a problem -it snapped off in the engine.
If you havnt been near your engine for 60k ,that could be part of your problem ,when was the last time you checked your valve clearances?
 

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Engine has done 74k km (60k with me) but I haven't looked after it too well and it smokes slightly when cold. Bike is only used in central London these days. The original owner rode it through three winters without washing off the salt, so the engine head bolts look like they have been welded on. I've always been too terrified to go near it. Even changing the spark plug was a problem -it snapped off in the engine.



That helps a lot. It sounds exactly the same symptom - even the occasional backfire, although I am not sure why the coil would behave this way. I'll take a look.

Cheers
Jon
The guy who told me it was the coil said as the coil was breaking down intermittently it would take a fraction of a second for it to spark. This would then cause the bike not to run but still produce a spark. It was so intermittent it did my head in. It could just pack up at the lights on idle or I'd feel it judder a few times then it would stop. I take my bike to HONDA for service and they couldn't find a fault as it was so intermittent. They had a rough guess at a regulator/rectifier and a nice price with the service at 500 quid. Which I paid as I like the bike. I ended up replacing everything and the cheapest part being the coil (£90) think I should of started there 1st.


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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you havnt been near your engine for 60k ,that could be part of your problem ,when was the last time you checked your valve clearances?
last time I checked them was around 45k km so I guess it's more than due another. It's one of those jobs I always put off and never end up doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The guy who told me it was the coil said as the coil was breaking down intermittently it would take a fraction of a second for it to spark. This would then cause the bike not to run but still produce a spark. It was so intermittent it did my head in. It could just pack up at the lights on idle or I'd feel it judder a few times then it would stop. I take my bike to HONDA for service and they couldn't find a fault as it was so intermittent. They had a rough guess at a regulator/rectifier and a nice price with the service at 500 quid. Which I paid as I like the bike. I ended up replacing everything and the cheapest part being the coil (£90) think I should of started there 1st.
Ouch that's expensive. I like mine too but was thinking of a £15 one off ebay. I'd agree with you on the bike. It's great fun and makes commuting in central London almost enjoyable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the useful feedback everyone. It's given me a clear list of things to work through to sort the problem. It might have to wait a while until warmer weather and I can sit bear to sit outside for a day. But do it I shall.
Cheers all
jon
 

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Coil is £10 off eBay. Almost any two terminal coil will work. Xr600 ones are cheap on eBay. CDI can give this problem. The solder breaks inside them. £40 on eBay.

A reg/rect is also a simple change. You need a three phase one. Again, £40 on eBay.

First you need to check dirty plugs, broken wires and bad earths..
 

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Thanks for all the useful feedback everyone. It's given me a clear list of things to work through to sort the problem. It might have to wait a while until warmer weather and I can sit bear to sit outside for a day. But do it I shall.
Cheers all
jon
Now go and sit in the naughty chair for neglecting your Dommie for so long.....:D:D:D
 
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