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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to get my brothers '94 EX ready before we head down to VIR on Saturday. The bike is running kind of rough and someone mentioned that it might be caused by a weak ignition. The bike starts up on one cylinder and then after it idles for a bit it will run on both cylinders.

We put fresh fuel in but it did not seem to help. The igniton coil ignitor is making a buzzing sound so I think it may be caused by that. The manual says you need a special tool to test the IC igniter.

I pulled the plugs and they were black and covered in carbon and smelled strongly of gasoline.
I have two manuals but neither of them say how to test the coils. They just say 2.3-3.5 ohms on the primary and 12-18 ohms on the secondary. What does it mean by primary/secondary? I have a multi-meter but don't know where to test or if the bike should be running or not while testing.

Any ideas or a direction to start poking around would be much appreciated. I know nothing of carbs so I want to stay away from those if I can.
 

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the IC igniter is not servicable, and must be replaced as a unit. you can take it to a kawa dealer to be checked. it is rare for this part to fail and should last the life of the motorcycle. check all other ignition components before having the igniter tested.


heres what to do:

the ign. system must be able to produce a spark which is capable of jumping a certain size gap. a healthy system should produce a spark that will jump 6mm on your bike (500D) 7mm for 500A 8mm on ER. a simple tool can be made. take piece of wood about 3"x3"x1" or so. drill a hole about 1" in diameter in the middle. screw an alligator clip onto one corner. take two nails and put them in across from each other, such that the tips of both screws meet in the center of the hole you drilled. make the gap between the two tips 7mm. you can use small like carpeting nails or something like that. cut off the head of one of the nails so that it is flush with the wood, and make sure the other one sticks out a bit.

if you dont understand, tell me and ill draw you a picture. if you do understand, then take the alligator clip and clip it onto a good ground like a valve cover bolt, connect the spark plug lead to the other nail that sticks out.

you can also buy a spark gap tester if you want. but you can make this one for like 30 cents and 30 minutes. maybe even free if you have the stuff around your garage.

crank the engine over (it may start and run on the remaining cyl) you should see a well defined blue spark. if you do, then the coil is functioning properly. do it for both cyl. dont shock yourself. dont touch the wire. try not to even touch the bike lol. if you touch the wire, you could at the worst be killed, and at the least, be knocked on your ass and your arm tingle for an hour. ask me how i know ;)

if it will not jump or is orange in color:

1. unscrew a plug cap from the plug lead and check the resisitance with an ohmmeter. if it is infinite, renew it. if it reads 3.75-6.25 K-ohms, then its good. do the same with the other cap

2 make sure all connections are clean and tight.

3. with the BIKE OFF. here is how to check the primary and secondary resistances:



M is your multimeter, 1 is the primary resistance, 2 is the secondary resistance.

you want your multimeter in the ohm setting for the primary.

if the primary is as specified, then check the secondary. put the multimeter in K-ohms for the secondary.

if the secondary is not as specified, unscrew the spark plug lead and retainer from the coil, detach the lead and check it again. if it is now within specs, the lead is broken internally. if not within spec, the coil is probalby defective and should be renewed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Awesome thanks for explaining it. I'll check it tomorrow. I think you are right and the IC igniter is fine. I tracked the buzzing noise down to the turn signal relay (the one right next to the IC igniter). The relay was even vibrating with the key in the on position and with the engine not running. I don't care about that relay though since it is a track only bike.
 

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here is a drawing i made (in MS paint LOL) of the spark gap testing tool. its not exactly to scale, but the thing doesnt need to be very big... if the hole is an inch and a half across, thats big enough IMO. turn the lights down low, and you will clearly see a spark (if everything is working correctly)

the triangular thing at the bottom is the alligator clip.

make the gap in the middle 6mm (for 94-present) (7mm for pre 94, 8mm for ER models) attach the spark plug lead to the longer nail, and clip it onto a valve cover bolt (or other good ground), and crank er up. like i said, it may very well start and run on the other cylinder.

and again, remember my caveat: please dont shock yourself. dont touch the wire. try not to even touch the bike lol. if you touch the wire, you could, at worst, be killed, and, at very least, be knocked on your a$$ and your arm tingle for an hour.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey dragknee, thanks again for the advice and schematics. I actually found a spark plug gap tester in my dad's tool chest but the connector was too large for the spark plug lead to fit over. I ended up building your homemade tester and it worked great.

I installed the new plugs as well as drained the old gas and filled up it with new gas. It started right up on the first try and seems to be running great now. I think it was probably old gas all along but at least now I know the ignition system is working fine.

I've got a new question for you though if you don't mind. I started my EX (2001) up today and it started fine and ran fine until I turned down the choke. Even with the engine warmed up, if I turned the choke off, the rpms would drop and it would eventually stall. Do you think I need to turn the idle speed up? It ran and idled fine before I stored it for the winter.

TIA
 

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yeah that may help. but that may just be a temporary fix... i mean if you didnt turn the idle down before, then it shouldnt need to be turned up, know what i mean?

you may need to clean out your carbs. was this the first time you started it since you stored it? did it have gas in it while stored?
 

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#1

FOG
 

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Someone one another forum said it sounds like the idle jet is varnished. I didn't touch the idle when I stored it so like you said it shouldn't need to be adjusted. I did store the bike with fuel + Stabil in it but I must not have drained the float bowls. I drained the old gas and put fresh in, just like with my brothers bike. I also added some carb treatment type fluid to the gas. I'm gonna drive it up and down the lane to see if it can clean itself. If not then I will have to pull the carbs and give them a good cleaning. The only is that I am leaving on Saturday for VIR and I'm a bit apprehensive about taking the carbs apart because I might not be able to get them back together.
 

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go get some seafoam. follow the instructions and run that through. you can just mix it with the gasoline, but i forget the ratio. it may help a bit, before you have to pull the carbs.
 

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"Any ideas or a direction to start poking around would be much appreciated. I know nothing of carbs so I want to stay away from those if I can."

You can. but you won't fix it. #1

FOG
 
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