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Cam Sensor

Modern 961 Norton Commando Motorcycles

Cam Sensor

Postby marcgiglioli » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:02 am

Hi,

New to the forum and Norton brand. My father and I just purchased a Dominator and Dominator SS and have had a couple of teething issues at first but after a grand total of 15 miles now, completely stumped by the latest problem and was hoping someone here has knowledge of the issue.

Yesterday at the DVLA, much to my embarrassment the Dominator SS decided to give up the ghost (more so as a Zongshen scooter passed inspection and rode away). The bike would turn over but not start and did so until the battery was about to die. So last night we checked the fuel and spark and after recharging the battery, still no joy. After hunting around on the forum we found a post that the cam sensor maybe to blame. So we swapped the sensors between the two bikes (after all that is the point of having two of the same bikes right).

The Dominator SS fired to life straight away (and better than before as it used to take a few seconds to fire up). The Dominator however did not fire, so problem solved, faulty sensor.

This morning you can imagine how much of twit I looked when I rolled up to the DVLA for a second time only to have it not start on me again. (Luckily no Zongshen scooters were around at this time.) Same issue as before, turns over but does not start. I haven't had time to swap the sensors round again but I am guessing that this sensor is now dead.

The two questions I am hoping someone might know the answers to are:
1. Has anyone experienced this and knows why the sensors would fail after a 3 minute ride? (There was no rain on both rides so I have ruled out water getting in there.)
2. Does anyone know what the resistance range is for a sensor that should be working? I have the workshop manual but couldn't find anything in there about how to test it. And which of the three pins you would use to test it.

Any advice or ideas is much appreciated as we are at a loss on what is causing it.
Last edited by marcgiglioli on Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Crank Sensor

Postby glb » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:47 am

Hi This failed on my bike (a Dominator) also last year and as it was a Sunday afternoon and no replacement I had it towed back to the factory. The unit was replaced and I have had no problems since. I took it to be the weather and the fact I had ridden through all sorts of Thunder storms that year. The RAC guy who towed my bike back was able to measure the resistance across the terminals but I cannot remember which ones sorry.

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Re: Crank Sensor

Postby TonyA » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:04 pm

This would be a great time to have the Norton Factory speak up and let us know how to troubleshoot this with a DVM ? This is the cam sensor then in front of the engine by the cam ? Maybe a tip over sensors or the side stand switch . ? Can a dealer plug into the ECU port and will the system tell them what is wrong ? It is frustrating to have this happen to virtually new bikes.

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Re: Cam Sensor

Postby marcgiglioli » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:42 pm

Update: I meant to talk about the Cam sensor on the front of the engine not crank sensor.

About to swap them around again and break out the ohmmeter to see if I can get a benchmark reading. A friend who is a car mechanic and deals with electrics every day is going to stop by later to see if he can troubleshoot it but reckons a bad wiring harness or short could be killing the sensor. I will post an update once I figure out more.

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Re: Crank Sensor

Postby marcgiglioli » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:52 pm

TonyA wrote: Can a dealer plug into the ECU port and will the system tell them what is wrong ? It is frustrating to have this happen to virtually new bikes.



Unfortunately there are no dealers where we are. It has never been a problem as between my father and I, we have owed 9 different brands of bikes and always managed to fix the issue. Just never had a bike die this early on us :oops:

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Re: Cam Sensor

Postby marcgiglioli » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:41 pm

Just swapped the cam sensors between the two bikes. Now both bikes are dead. We ran the voltmeter across the cam sensor plug and noticed some interesting readings:

Dominator:
Pink-Purple: 8 volts
Green-Purple: 4 volts

Dominator SS:
Pink-Purple: -4 volts
Green-Purple: 0.3 volts

Completely different readings. I fear that my friend may be correct and the issue is hiding in the harness somewhere. Now consulting the electrical diagram hoping to shed some light on the where the gremlin is hiding.
Last edited by marcgiglioli on Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cam Sensor

Postby richard-7 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:17 pm

The speed sensor is the exact same part number. Try it. There has been a lot of issues lately with cam sensors. I wonder if someone is trying to make a few extra bucks selling Norton chinese knock offs. This reminds me of why we sourced better ignition coils. --- oohhhhh!!!
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Re: Cam Sensor

Postby marcgiglioli » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:24 pm

richard-7 wrote:The speed sensor is the exact same part number. Try it. There has been a lot of issues lately with cam sensors. I wonder if someone is trying to make a few extra bucks selling Norton chinese knock offs. This reminds me of why we sourced better ignition coils. --- oohhhhh!!!


Thanks for the tip we will give that a try tomorrow, see if we can at least get one bike up and running. When we Googled the part number we noticed a lot of Chinese parts that are now discounted so wouldn't be surprised if that did happen. Found out that the sensor is the same sensor used on Seadoo jet skis so will pop by the local Seadoo dealer to see if it the same sensor in stock.

No luck tracking down the gremlin yet in the harness or connectors. Looked at the wiring diagram and we are just guessing at the moment that it could be the diode between the two ground wires that has fried. Will post an update when we know more.

In the meantime does anyone know where I can download a full electrical diagram for the 961. The one in workshop manual is only the centre part of the diagram and has the sides cut off.

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Re: Cam Sensor

Postby TonyA » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:23 am

Image
No , But this wiring diagram is in my manual. I am not sure what you mean when you say cut off. This diagram looks complete to me. The 5th block up from the bottom on the right side is the cam position sensor with the diode (Transil Diode) you spoke of and how it connects to the ECU.

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Re: Cam Sensor

Postby marcgiglioli » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:28 am

Thanks TonyA! The one in my manual is a photocopy of this on A4 paper/US Letter. So I only have the middle part of this, missing the gauges and colour code legend.

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Re: Cam Sensor

Postby DODGY DEN » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:46 am

Just to add my contribution I have a MK 2 Commando the temperature sensor at the back of the cylinder head under the inlet manifolds failed after 2000 miles this apparently sends messages to the ECU, when this failed no spark to the plugs. I now carry a spare and also crank sensor, cheap enough and small enough to carry. Otherwise 3500m miles and going well.

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Re: Cam Sensor

Postby Fast Eddie » Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:35 am

Having to carry spare electrical components with me on a brand new machine would drive me insane!

Personally, I've not done this since I stopped using points (slight exaggeration, I do carry a spare spark plug).

I can (only) just accept the 'hand built' argument as an excuse for occasional assembly related errors.

But this kind of thing has nothing to do with being hand built at all. These sensors aren't hand built! They're probably coming out of a machine in China faster than the eye can see them!

All modern vehicles are bristling with sensors supplied by 3rd party suppliers. Hundreds of millions are supplied and used annually. Specifying the right sensor AND right supplier is thus very important. But it ain't rocket science and it ain't ok to expect customers to suffer like this.

This kind of issue should be stamped out by proper root cause problem solving. If the sensors are counterfeit then more robust procurement processes are required. If they are simply from a poor supplier then a new supplier should be found. If they are just too cheap for the task or have been under specified, then a few pence per vehicle needs to be 'swallowed' to solve the problem, etc.

I realise this might come across as a bit of a rant, and I admit it's 'touched a nerve' as it's basically part of my day job doing stuff like this, so perhaps I'm a bit abnormal, nerdy or anal about it, but to see it causing customers grief and not being addressed is just so sad as it's so unnecessary.

Any manufacturer who took my money and did not or could not address such issues systematically would just drive me up the wall, be it a washing machine or a hand built 'exclusive' motorcycle...!

All only IMHO of course.
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Re: Cam Sensor

Postby TonyA » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:50 am

I agree 100% !

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Re: Cam Sensor

Postby speirmoor » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:12 am

Very disappointing, I'd be hopping mad if I were in the same situation. I hope this gets sorted out quickly so you can enjoy your new bikes.
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Re: Cam Sensor

Postby Raphi » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:20 am

The head temp sensor is apparently very sensible though. On my bike it was damaged as well and the search for the reason of poor running engine very time consuming... Last sensor changed was this one. And now everthing perfect again!
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