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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I removed the rubber inlet pipe to get some sea foam spray into the carb, and I thought the small vacuum hose by my finger came off the #42F2 sensor on the left, but both sensors
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have a nipple on the bottom for a hose. I don't see any sign of another hose. After re-assembly I got the blinking FI light, so I thought I goofed something up here.

Any knowledge about this out there?
 

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If you have a mass airflow sensor on the bike, you have fuel injection not a carb. Dumping solvent into the throttle body does nothing for the injectors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nevermind, I found the second hose that fell off, it was on the right and had fallen waaaay down onto the forward cylinder head, with the opening facing down, so it was hard to see it wasn't connected to something down there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you have a mass airflow sensor on the bike, you have fuel injection not a carb. Dumping solvent into the throttle body does nothing for the injectors.
Thanks for responding! I realize that now. The injectors are located in what looks like a 'fuel rail', just rearward of the throttle body, correct?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So with the hose off, the bike ran fine, but the FI light on, and blinking "FI" on the display. Once hose was back on, it ran like crap again. Can I assume that sensor is bad? On the attached parts diagram, it's called a "pressure sensor", but the bracket for it is called a "boost sensor bracket". I can't remember where I read that the boost sensor, only operates when the throttle is cranked for hard acceleration to even the air/fuel mixture. Does this make sense that if this sensor went bad, it would cause low power, sputtering on even mild acceleration and some backfiring?
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No. If the sensor were bad, it would be throwing a code which you could retrieve by putting the diagnostic plug under the right side cover into dealer mode and reading the error code.

Stumbling, low power and backfiring is an indication of a lean engine condition. Either too much air is getting into the cylinders, or not enough fuel. The bike is 15 years old and you have no records of how it was kept during the previous owner's possession. If I had to venture a guess, they left it sit in their garage for a year or more with old gas in the system. This fuel evaporated and gummed up the injectors and possibly damaged the fuel pump. The only way to figure it out is to pull the injectors and have them flow tested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks. That will be this weekend. Interesting, though, I just ran it with the vacuum hose off that sensor, with the hose plugged and it ran better, not great, but better.

I read the article on how to create a jumper to get the display into dealer mode. I'll try that this weekend.
Thanks, again!
 

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@Dominiquer I have a couple of suggestions. I just ran into something similar to what you're dealing with.

1st: When you pull the injectors, you can do a pretty good cleaning yourself using the following setup:
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Here's the video I found that on:

That procedure worked very, very well for me. I've done it multiple times on a few bikes now. I've even found a stuck injector that I had to lightly tap to get to actuate again. So, be sure to listen for the audible click of the injector plunger moving when you hook it up to the battery. If you have a bad injector, don't go spend $250 on OEM Suzuki injectors. Now, normally I'm a fan of good OEM parts where precision is important. In this case though, we're very lucky in that other injectors work perfectly (same fit, same wiring harness, same flow rate). And they only cost $35 or so rather than $250. If you think you have a bad injector then read through this post: Fuel Injector Interchange


Also, when I cleaned my fuel system I didn't remove the fuel rail entirely, I just removed the 4 screws that secured it to the throttle body (that will allow you to wriggle the rail and remove the injectors). I sprayed Seafoam (aerosol version) through my fuel rail and also the little hose that attaches the fuel rail to the tank.

In my opinion, this is probably the first place to start when troubleshooting a lack-of-fuel issue. If you clean your injectors, and ensure there's no debris in your fuel rail and fuel hose, and it still runs poorly, then that's when you should start looking at the pump (the source of the fuel) and working your way toward the cylinder, troubleshooting anything that could be preventing the proper flow of fuel.

Looking at any codes the bike is throwing is a good idea if you suspect it's one of the FI sensors. I spent the $16 for the little mode switch. But, I know there's plenty of good hacks out there to accomplish putting the bike in dealer mode without that switch. I haven't actually had to do the procedure yet, but seems pretty simple. May be a good idea to check it out just to rule out the possibility of a misbehaving FI sensor.

Lastly, I also used a little tube to siphon out every drop of existing gas in the tank that I could. Then, I put the high dollar 93 octane in it (with some Seafoam). When you get a bike from someone else, you really don't know what you have. It could be gas in that tank or it could be cat pee and beer. So, best to start with known good fuel.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@Dominiquer I have a couple of suggestions. I just ran into something similar to what you're dealing with.

1st: When you pull the injectors, you can do a pretty good cleaning yourself using the following setup:
View attachment 149379

Here's the video I found that on:

That procedure worked very, very well for me. I've done it multiple times on a few bikes now. I've even found a stuck injector that I had to lightly tap to get to actuate again. So, be sure to listen for the audible click of the injector plunger moving when you hook it up to the battery. If you have a bad injector, don't go spend $250 on OEM Suzuki injectors. Now, normally I'm a fan of good OEM parts where precision is important. In this case though, we're very lucky in that other injectors work perfectly (same fit, same wiring harness, same flow rate). And they only cost $35 or so rather than $250. If you think you have a bad injector then read through this post: Fuel Injector Interchange


Also, when I cleaned my fuel system I didn't remove the fuel rail entirely, I just removed the 4 screws that secured it to the throttle body (that will allow you to wriggle the rail and remove the injectors). I sprayed Seafoam (aerosol version) through my fuel rail and also the little hose that attaches the fuel rail to the tank.

In my opinion, this is probably the first place to start when troubleshooting a lack-of-fuel issue. If you clean your injectors, and ensure there's no debris in your fuel rail and fuel hose, and it still runs poorly, then that's when you should start looking at the pump (the source of the fuel) and working your way toward the cylinder, troubleshooting anything that could be preventing the proper flow of fuel.

Looking at any codes the bike is throwing is a good idea if you suspect it's one of the FI sensors. I spent the $16 for the little mode switch. But, I know there's plenty of good hacks out there to accomplish putting the bike in dealer mode without that switch. I haven't actually had to do the procedure yet, but seems pretty simple. May be a good idea to check it out just to rule out the possibility of a misbehaving FI sensor.

Lastly, I also used a little tube to siphon out every drop of existing gas in the tank that I could. Then, I put the high dollar 93 octane in it (with some Seafoam). When you get a bike from someone else, you really don't know what you have. It could be gas in that tank or it could be cat pee and beer. So, best to start with known good fuel.

Good luck!
Wow! Thanks so much for the time you spent on this reply, I really appreciate it. I've only had (and still have) a 1996 VS1400GLP, which is a dual-carb bike. I only bought this VL800 to ride while I'm taking my first stab at a piston ring rebuild on the VS1400.
 

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Okay, am I going to be the first one to say this???!
Put it on you tallywhacker and rev the throttle.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
UPDATE: I tried the fuel injector cleaning plan above. No improvement. The sputtering, hesitation and backfire seems to be only in a specific RPM Range (no tach, so I can only say this) in first gear around 20mph, 2nd gear 35mph, etc. all the way up through the full range of gears. The RPMs are all over the place, especially once warmed up.
UNRELATED, but I also checked compression, which is at 155 each cylinder, which I see is just at the service limit. Using that information, I've sent it back to the H-D dealership where I bought it. They are going to look at it, but not promising anything.
Under NYS Lemon Law, I believe the bike is subject to a 90-day/4,000mi warranty.

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Did you check the compression HOT or COLD? You will get two different reading. If HOT, they yes, you are at the service limit and need to have the engine rebuilt. If COLD, then my bet is you're up around 165psi, which is still within tolerance, but on its way out. Either way, an upper cylinder refresh is the only way to remedy that situation. But if you refresh the top end, be ready to refresh the bottom end. Parts alone for the job were $2000 back in 2012. I can't begin to imagine how much they are today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
UPDATE: So, having just purchased the bike on March 1, I gave up and decided to bring it back to the H-D dealership that sold it to me, hoping to not get into a NYS Lemon Law dispute. They looked over the bike, and I was correct, below tolerance compression on the forward cylinder. This was the explanation and correction I'm offered:
"The bike has a ticking noise and low compression on the forward cylinder due to a rare breakdown of the camshaft in the forward cylinder. This is often due to a screen in the engine that should be cleaned with oil changes, but it appears it never was in the 33,000+ miles on the bike. We looked into rebuild parts, but most are on long backorder, so we've sourced a replacement engine with just over 2,000 miles on it in NY state, and are offering to swap that engine in at no charge. This will take 2-3 weeks to complete."
Question 1: Anyone ever heard of this uncommon failure of the forward cam or this screen? I don't have more details on the nature of the failure (worn parts, or an actual break (which I doubt).
Question 2: Anyone familiar with this "screen" he's talking about?
Question 3: I think its great they are standing behind their sale and taking this action, but should I be wary of this engine? How can I verify it's mileage, other than a statement of such on the work order? Is there anywhere to look up the serial number on the engine? Any other cautions, if the bike and engine are different years (mine is a 2008) that could cause issues?

Thanks, guys!
 

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There is an oil sump in the bottom of the oil pan that has a mesh screen on it. The idea is to let metal particles separate out of the suspended oil and collect in the sump, rather than circulate through the engine. No, that is not a "regular maintenance item" and I doubt anyone ever breaks it down to clean it. I have never heard of a "forward cam screen". That sounds a like you also need to rotate your muffler bearings diagnosis.

Unfortunately, front cylinders tend to wear out on these bikes and nobody knows why. When mine popped, it was the front cylinder as well. Interestingly enough, mine gave up the ghost at 38k, yours failed at 33k. Notice the pattern?

The engine is also not serialized, so you can use any engine from any year bike without affecting your title.

Now, here's what I would suggest. Have the dealership swap the engine, then start shopping for a new bike. You bought someone else's problem child and now you're going to have step-problem child problems with the new engine. They're great bikes for the money, but there are better options out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There is an oil sump in the bottom of the oil pan that has a mesh screen on it. The idea is to let metal particles separate out of the suspended oil and collect in the sump, rather than circulate through the engine. No, that is not a "regular maintenance item" and I doubt anyone ever breaks it down to clean it. I have never heard of a "forward cam screen". That sounds a like you also need to rotate your muffler bearings diagnosis.

Unfortunately, front cylinders tend to wear out on these bikes and nobody knows why. When mine popped, it was the front cylinder as well. Interestingly enough, mine gave up the ghost at 38k, yours failed at 33k. Notice the pattern?

The engine is also not serialized, so you can use any engine from any year bike without affecting your title.

Now, here's what I would suggest. Have the dealership swap the engine, then start shopping for a new bike. You bought someone else's problem child and now you're going to have step-problem child problems with the new engine. They're great bikes for the money, but there are better options out there.
Thanks, Skrapiron for all that! I only bought this bike to ride while I'm rebuilding my '96 Intruder VS 1400, then flipping it anyway. I hear you on it being a problem child.
 
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