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I need all your help, experience and advice on what the heck happened and how to fix it!!!!
I have a 04 vl800 with 27,000 miles on her..I have NEVER had any troubles of any kind with this bike EVER!!! She has been awesome to me...
I was stuck in a very slow moving traffic jam today, most of the time at a complete stand still..I would take her out of gear most of the time to save the clutch..well, she started sputtering and the oil light flickered on a little bit and she stalled..i started her back up and she ran really rough a few seconds then died again..i pulled off the side of the road and let her cool a few minutes. started her up and turned around to avoid the traffic jamb and get some air flowing..she ran down the road real rough for 1/4 mile then died so i pulled over..she would only start with choke all the way out, but ran really rough at idle and wouldnt pull me at all..i called a tow truck and had her towed home..that was about 3 hours ago..she has obviously cooled off now, so I tried to start her with no choke, and she fired right up and seemed to idle fine and smooth..im not about to take her on the road and get stuck again, especially if something is wrong..
So, im asking for any advice and experience about this..is there some kind of over heating cutoff switch to protect the motor from over heating..the overheat light never came on, just the oil light flickered a little bit...PLEASE HELP!!! I hate to think I damaged the engine..she seems to be idling fine now, but im not about to take her out again untill i hear from all of you!!! Thanks a bunch!!!
 

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Could you hear the fan running? How is the coolant level now? If all the fluids are good, I would let it run in the driveway a while and see what happens when it gets warm. Could have been an ignition problem or something else. Oil light might have came on because the idle dropped too low. I can't remember if my 04 has one or two coils. If it has 2, one of them could have had a break down when it got hot and you might have lost fire on one cylinder. Just throwing out some ideas.
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #3
the fan was running on and off as it usually does, and the coolant level is perfect. Where, and how do you check the coils..after it cooled down, it seemed to be running on both cyclinders
 

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Check your engine oil and antifreeze right now, before you start that bike again, And as suggested let it idle in your driveway until you hear your fan come on to make sure it works.
 

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Follow the spark plug wires to see where the go. If they go to the same coil it might not be the problem. If they go to different ones, then it could be. You can ohm the two coils out but it won't show if it is heat related unless it is hot. Best thing to do is see what happens when it warms up. If it starts missing, you will have to check spark on each cylinder. Let us know what happens.
 

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I need all your help, experience and advice on what the heck happened and how to fix it!!!!
I have a 04 vl800 with 27,000 miles on her..I have NEVER had any troubles of any kind with this bike EVER!!! She has been awesome to me...
I was stuck in a very slow moving traffic jam today, most of the time at a complete stand still..I would take her out of gear most of the time to save the clutch..well, she started sputtering and the oil light flickered on a little bit and she stalled..i started her back up and she ran really rough a few seconds then died again..i pulled off the side of the road and let her cool a few minutes. started her up and turned around to avoid the traffic jamb and get some air flowing..she ran down the road real rough for 1/4 mile then died so i pulled over..she would only start with choke all the way out, but ran really rough at idle and wouldnt pull me at all..i called a tow truck and had her towed home..that was about 3 hours ago..she has obviously cooled off now, so I tried to start her with no choke, and she fired right up and seemed to idle fine and smooth..im not about to take her on the road and get stuck again, especially if something is wrong..
So, im asking for any advice and experience about this..is there some kind of over heating cutoff switch to protect the motor from over heating..the overheat light never came on, just the oil light flickered a little bit...PLEASE HELP!!! I hate to think I damaged the engine..she seems to be idling fine now, but im not about to take her out again untill i hear from all of you!!! Thanks a bunch!!!
Just to confirm the light.... was the light you mean, the one on the right side of the turn signal indicator - on the same side as the neutral indicator?

The oil light may come on if the engine rpm gets too low.

Have you checked the oil level?

How long since the oil was changed? [I'm thinking of the possibility of oil dilution if the engine was flooded with fuel...]

There is no ''overheat'' switch that I know of.

Did the cooling fan for the radiator come on when the engine was idling while you were stopped in traffic?

One of the first things that comes to mind is the fuel pump that is operated by engine vacuum. The vacuum lines deteriorate and crack.

The ''choke'' isn't like you would find in a carburetor on a car. It is an ''enrichment valve'' that allows raw fuel to enter the engine when the knob is pulled.

The other thing is the heat may have caused a vapor lock of the fuel and prevented adequate fuel flow.

Another possibility is a problem in the carburetor.... scale/fuel deposits or a stuck needle/seat. From your description, it doesn't sound like the bike was ''flooding'' or you would have mentioned black smoke from the exhaust so the needle/seat isn't high on the list.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah Gene, it was deff the oil light, and I just changed oil about 2 weeks ago..went with full synthetic..have been on several rides since then with no problems..wasnt stuck in a traffic jam though.. just got home from work, and bike has been sitting sfor almost 24 hours now..going to go check antifreeze level, then crank it up and I guess let it idle till the fan kicks on..if everything seem fine, ill take it around the block a few times and see what happens.
 

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update...no antifreeze in resevoir, so I drained system and put new antifreeze in..started her up and she runs fine..let her idle in driveway for a good 10 minutes but fan never came on..the fan use to come on quite a bit..i guess it could have been from low coolant level..so now im stuck..is fan not coming on now because i have adequate coolant level, or because fan isnt working now..it use to come on quite a bit..how do i track down fan issues..should i take the bike out for a little spin and see if the fan finaly does come on..need help and advice PLEASE!!! thanks!!
 

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update...no antifreeze in resevoir, so I drained system and put new antifreeze in..started her up and she runs fine..let her idle in driveway for a good 10 minutes but fan never came on..the fan use to come on quite a bit..i guess it could have been from low coolant level..so now im stuck..is fan not coming on now because i have adequate coolant level, or because fan isnt working now..it use to come on quite a bit..how do i track down fan issues..should i take the bike out for a little spin and see if the fan finaly does come on..need help and advice PLEASE!!! thanks!!
In my riding on the C50, the only time I have had the cooling fan come on is when moving in slow traffic when the weather temperature is above 80F. I suppose that it would come on if, like you had happen, I were stuck in traffic at lower temperatures. I've never intentionally left the bike idling to make it come on.

According to specs, the fan should stay off till coolant temperature inside the bottom of the rad is above about 220F and will go off again once the coolant is below about 215F

After an experience like you've had it will take a bit to get your confidence in the bike back again. Take a few short trips on the open road and then try it in traffic close to home. Here's hoping it is fixed.... :boozin:
 

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Steve,

I know ur post is a few months old now but thought I'd let you know that I've experienced the same thing twice over the past two years in similar situations. In both cases I was in bumper to bumper traffic in hot weather. Both times the fan was coming on a lot attempting to keep the bike cool. Both times ended up with the bike running rough and then stalling.

The issue resolved itself each time after about 20 mins after I pulled over and let the bike cool down and they also required that I open the choke a little to help the fuel flow.

I've not had any explanation to the cause, and I'm no mechanic, but I was assuming it was some form of vapor lock, or bubbles forming in the fuel line leading to the carb. Could be dead wrong but it was the only thing I could think of.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #12
hey robert..yeah, its only happened to me that one time..now if im stuck in traffic and i know its gonna be a while, i just turn her off..glad to know its not something only i experienced..
 

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Glad I came across this post - I checked my coolant level and I noticed it was at the lowest mark in the reservoir. I also noticed that tool kit doesn't appear to be very high quality.
 
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