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No spark - Left cylinder

Modern 961 Norton Commando Motorcycles

No spark - Left cylinder

Postby marcgiglioli » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:34 pm

Hi all,

Our story of troubled bikes continues (from the cam sensor incident). My dad managed to put just over 100 miles on his bike (non-SS Dominator) over the weekend and everything was running great until yesterday when he was coming back home. The bike lost power and started to run like crap, he managed to make it back home and we started to troubleshoot the problem.

We initially thought it was a fuel problem as upon opening the fuel cap we noticed quite a strong vacuum in the fuel tank, enough to hear air rush in as we opened it. We didn't have too much time to investigate it. But after quickly starting up the bike it seemed to cure the problem so we chalked it up as the vent line was pinched under the tank causing the vacuum which led to the fuel pump fighting the vacuum. So we checked the vent line and nothing seemed to be pinching it nor was anything blocking the intake on the emissions box.

This morning when we rode to work, my dad nearly became a hood ornament as the bike decided to cut power/not accelerate as he pulled out of the junction. We turned back and bike was still running like crap so we garaged it. This evening we narrowed it down to the left cylinder not firing at all. Both exhausts were pushing out air/exhaust but you could smell unburnt petrol being pushed out of the left cylinder and through the exhaust. Also when we broke out the IR thermometer, the left exhaust header was a cool 35 C while the right header was 105C. We changed the spark plug in the hope that would cure it but had no luck with that. As usual we ran out of time to investigate further but I did manage to send an email back to the factory for some troubleshooting help. So I will post their reply once I hear back.

In the meantime, we were just wondering if anyone had any insights or had experienced a similar issue. Tomorrow we are going to check the wire and take the boot off and pop the old spark plug in their to see if we are getting any spark when we turn the engine over. My guess right now is we are looking at a dead coil pack (given that it died while riding). Maybe it is time to invest in that Bosch coil pack and plug wires on Norton Colorado, as OM electrical parts seem doomed to fail.

The funny side to all of this is, both our Italian bikes (Moto Morini and Moto Guzzi) are running flawlessly and have given us zero electrical faults since we purchased them. Even the old Husqvarna after being dropped in a river has fewer electrical issues than a brand new Norton.

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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby GKRyder » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:26 pm

Hi,

Sorry to hear it.

Yes! Same symptoms and it was a coil.

Aaaand my Moto Morini Scrambler is the flawless bike at the moment as well. Weird... :)

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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby glb » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:13 am

I had similar although mainly in the wet It was a coil

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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby richard-7 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:40 am

ignition upgrade makes many problems disappear. It wouldn't help your vent or cam sensor tho. I assume you are billing out your time to the factory for warranty diagnosis work. Seriously.
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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby Britfan60 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:18 am

Sorry for your troubles. This is where the acid builds up in ones stomach from frustration. Although I've never had troubles with my coils in the 3+ years I've had the bike, I did find the Bosch coil upgrade with the new ignition wires a worthwhile investment. Those EPA compliant wires are horrible.
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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby Bluedog 55 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:04 am

Question for GLB was yours mainly in the wet or only in the wet? Because I had the problem but only in the wet they changed the ECU but I haven't had it out in the rain again but the dealer had a few goes at correcting it and I did all the dialetric grease on fittings but every time it rained bike would run on one pot rain stop and bike would come good 500m down the road .
Glad I seen this post I might do the upgrade I've been reluctant to spend too much extra I figured pay that much for a bike it should work, the last fix was supposed to cure the rain issue so next time I'm caught if it plays up new coils it is.
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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby glb » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:39 am

Hi Bulldog

The problem started to occur only after heavy rain. It would run on one cylinder until the heat of the engine dried it out again, then it would come back to life. It was diagnosed by the factory that there was water getting into the coil(s). They replaced the coils and sealed them. I am not sure exactly how this was done. I have had it back for over a year now. For eleven months it was fine and I had no problems. Over the last month or so the bike would again cut out, this time even in the dry. The bike is currently with the factory for a service and diagnostics check. I will let you know.

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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby Bluedog 55 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:30 pm

Thanks GLB

Yes same as mine exactly, I don't purposely go riding in the rain but on the odd occasion I get caught in it I expect to be able to ride the bike.
Thanks I'll be keen to hear Thier diagnosis.
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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby richard-7 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:39 pm

Forget the stock coil. Get the Bosch. This will keep happening.


glb wrote:Hi Bulldog

The problem started to occur only after heavy rain. It would run on one cylinder until the heat of the engine dried it out again, then it would come back to life. It was diagnosed by the factory that there was water getting into the coil(s). They replaced the coils and sealed them. I am not sure exactly how this was done. I have had it back for over a year now. For eleven months it was fine and I had no problems. Over the last month or so the bike would again cut out, this time even in the dry. The bike is currently with the factory for a service and diagnostics check. I will let you know.
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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby richard-7 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:42 pm

I'm telling you ..... trash the stock coil and wires. Investigate the wires and coil and check for the proper resistance. These bikes are incredibly simple. It can only be a few things. Check the fuse box. Maybe a fuse vibrated out. Check all connections.

Keep us in the loop. We're here to help.




marcgiglioli wrote:Hi all,

Our story of troubled bikes continues (from the cam sensor incident). My dad managed to put just over 100 miles on his bike (non-SS Dominator) over the weekend and everything was running great until yesterday when he was coming back home. The bike lost power and started to run like crap, he managed to make it back home and we started to troubleshoot the problem.

We initially thought it was a fuel problem as upon opening the fuel cap we noticed quite a strong vacuum in the fuel tank, enough to hear air rush in as we opened it. We didn't have too much time to investigate it. But after quickly starting up the bike it seemed to cure the problem so we chalked it up as the vent line was pinched under the tank causing the vacuum which led to the fuel pump fighting the vacuum. So we checked the vent line and nothing seemed to be pinching it nor was anything blocking the intake on the emissions box.

This morning when we rode to work, my dad nearly became a hood ornament as the bike decided to cut power/not accelerate as he pulled out of the junction. We turned back and bike was still running like crap so we garaged it. This evening we narrowed it down to the left cylinder not firing at all. Both exhausts were pushing out air/exhaust but you could smell unburnt petrol being pushed out of the left cylinder and through the exhaust. Also when we broke out the IR thermometer, the left exhaust header was a cool 35 C while the right header was 105C. We changed the spark plug in the hope that would cure it but had no luck with that. As usual we ran out of time to investigate further but I did manage to send an email back to the factory for some troubleshooting help. So I will post their reply once I hear back.

In the meantime, we were just wondering if anyone had any insights or had experienced a similar issue. Tomorrow we are going to check the wire and take the boot off and pop the old spark plug in their to see if we are getting any spark when we turn the engine over. My guess right now is we are looking at a dead coil pack (given that it died while riding). Maybe it is time to invest in that Bosch coil pack and plug wires on Norton Colorado, as OM electrical parts seem doomed to fail.

The funny side to all of this is, both our Italian bikes (Moto Morini and Moto Guzzi) are running flawlessly and have given us zero electrical faults since we purchased them. Even the old Husqvarna after being dropped in a river has fewer electrical issues than a brand new Norton.
1977 Suzuki GT500 2-stroke Cafe Racer
2014 Norton 961 SE #112
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ONE07 Flickr Account Photos
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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby marcgiglioli » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:49 am

Hi all,

Sorry for the long gap in replying, I was away recently for work and didn't have a lot of time to update everything.

As you all suggested, it was ignition coil pack that was dead! We ordered two new ones and a set of wires from Norton Colorado and the bike ran perfectly! Currently the SS is running a stock coil pack and the non-SS is running the Bosch coil pack, both still running stock plug wires and stock plugs. My dad and I have swapped bikes around and even without the new plug wires you can tell the difference between the coil packs. The SS bogs when you first start it up and isn't entirely happy until you fully warm it up, whereas the non-SS with the Bosch coil pack runs perfectly from the start.

This weekend will be the 500 mile service - we plan to upgrade the coil pack, spark plugs and plug wires at the same time, so I will post an update once that is done.

The only other thing I would add, is the factory has been rather quiet recently. The last time we heard from them was June 26th which was them confirming that two new cam sensors were on their way... they still haven't arrived and after nagging them several times for an update, I gave up trying to get hold of them.

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who posted and provided moral support with bikes. As it was a kick in the nuts moment when you sat looking at two brand new bikes that wouldn't run with the factory providing minimal feedback on how to make it right.

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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby Britfan60 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:21 am

When the Cootes fellas give advice, take it. :wink: I haven't noticed any great shakes with the plug upgrade. The bike even acted kind of quirky on my first ride with them but settled down. Then coil and wires though are great!!
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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby richard-7 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:42 pm

Thank you Britfan.

We've been testing sensors - ALL OF THEM - and finding much better replacements. Still a bit more testing on more bikes but looks promising. I'll post more as soon as I have something to share. But weve managed to get the bikes to run even better.

I'm also waiting to hear back from the factory on a personal issue. So I've been laying low. I'm still reading tho.

PS DAY THREE NOT RIDING SINCE NF TO HUNTSVILLE TRIP AND STILL SORE. Not sure how my dad did niagara falls to texas and then niagara falls to Oregon.
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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby richard-7 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:51 pm

Britfan60 wrote:When the Cootes fellas give advice, take it. :wink: I haven't noticed any great shakes with the plug upgrade. The bike even acted kind of quirky on my first ride with them but settled down. Then coil and wires though are great!!


The ignition upgrade and transmission vent are the best money spent if you plan on riding your 961 any decent miles. We just upgraded a 2013 bike with only 30 miles. It came to us because after all these years he finally decided to take it for a ride and complained it ran bad. Did a map update. Ran better. Did the ignition upgrade ran way way better. Then changed out all the sensors with our new test sensors. This guy is in heaven. He has 30 bikes. This 961 is finally his favourite.
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Re: No spark - Left cylinder

Postby nopdog » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:04 pm

Hi Richard
"Sensors" That's what I'm talking about.
Will you eventually compile a complete list of all the sensors and their replacement part no's.
Pretty please.
Simon

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