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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sorry for starting a new post on this but I may have found something that is important. A little on my background to give you a perspective on how I'm approaching this ECU-top end issue. I sell electrical components (ie, processors, resitors, capacitors, connectors relays etc) and much of my work day consists of designing in these components with engineers. I have an engineering degree so I'm fairly technical. The thing that has bothered me most about this issue is the "intermitance" of it. That lead me to believe that it is not something mechanical (which tend to just get worse and worse until it fails) but electrical. I also thought about my own experience with a 2000 ZR 600 with performance issues where we did change the spark plug caps and it made a world of difference. That being said, I looked at my plugs yesterday and I found that the studs (particularily the PTO side) were black with a residue that rubbed off (not sure what it is but I've not seen it before, maybe oxidation?). The significance of this is that the power that is being put through that connection should "burn" it off and keep it clean (the reason why low power signal connectors have to be gold plated is because they don't have enough power to burn this "carbon" off). I'm not sure if it is in the spark plug caps itself but it definately seems that there may be general lack of power getting to the spark plug itself. Another thing to keep in mind is that that as electrical components get warm (all components resistors, caps whatever) they will "de-rate" (ie become less effective at whatever they're supposed to do). Typically you design components into an application based on the MAX temp it will see, or you will over build it allowing for a de-rate in the component. A long story I know but it would explain (I believe) a lot of what is happening. The harder problem and catmaster you could be the one to trace this will be which component(s) in the spark chain is possible failing. End caps like GLS mentioned, the coil, I don't know but I am almost 100% certain that the problems we are experiencing is electrical. Sorry about the length, if you have any questions, you can email me or post. Talk with all of you soon. Paul
 

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Originally posted by .600-liter@Mar 25 2003, 12:12 PM
I'm sorry for starting a new post on this but I may have found something that is important. A little on my background to give you a perspective on how I'm approaching this ECU-top end issue. I sell electrical components (ie, processors, resitors, capacitors, connectors relays etc) and much of my work day consists of designing in these components with engineers. I have an engineering degree so I'm fairly technical. The thing that has bothered me most about this issue is the "intermitance" of it. That lead me to believe that it is not something mechanical (which tend to just get worse and worse until it fails) but electrical. I also thought about my own experience with a 2000 ZR 600 with performance issues where we did change the spark plug caps and it made a world of difference. That being said, I looked at my plugs yesterday and I found that the studs (particularily the PTO side) were black with a residue that rubbed off (not sure what it is but I've not seen it before, maybe oxidation?). The significance of this is that the power that is being put through that connection should "burn" it off and keep it clean (the reason why low power signal connectors have to be gold plated is because they don't have enough power to burn this "carbon" off). I'm not sure if it is in the spark plug caps itself but it definately seems that there may be general lack of power getting to the spark plug itself. Another thing to keep in mind is that that as electrical components get warm (all components resistors, caps whatever) they will "de-rate" (ie become less effective at whatever they're supposed to do). Typically you design components into an application based on the MAX temp it will see, or you will over build it allowing for a de-rate in the component. A long story I know but it would explain (I believe) a lot of what is happening. The harder problem and catmaster you could be the one to trace this will be which component(s) in the spark chain is possible failing. End caps like GLS mentioned, the coil, I don't know but I am almost 100% certain that the problems we are experiencing is electrical. Sorry about the length, if you have any questions, you can email me or post. Talk with all of you soon. Paul
I agree that it is probably electrical, but it also could be a sensor, water temp or air temp or other.. But at any rate, I had new end caps put on today as well as new clutch weights. Now, all I need is a little cold weather to test things. :rolleyes:
 

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Thanks for the excellent technical post Paul. If nothing else the past few days, I've learned of a LOT of potential trouble areas to check and be aware of if nothing else!

I've also noticed this black residue you mentioned on spark plugs before, including the plugs on my F7. I don't think it's rubber in this case, as the caps SEEM to fit tight and any rubber is down lower if I remember correctly. About the only other obvious thing to me would be the top of the plug post and/or the plug cap retaining device that holds the cap to the plug post wearing away. Or, IS it carbon coming from somewhere between the plug cap and the plug post???

So you've also ran into plug cap problems before, changed them and noticed "a world of difference?!" Wow... sounds like this might be more of a problem area than most of us realize, especially when Greg (GLS) mentioned they've had some plug cap problems with some 7's and 9's.

I change my plugs rather frequently, but for some reason, outta' the blue, I did foul a plug (or two?) during my last week of riding. Low and mid range were OK, but all of a sudden top was getting weak, and weaker, and weaker, and finally she was only running on one when I came to a stop. Thought for sure I blew her up. Checked everything I could -- which wasn't a whole heckuva lot -- put new plugs in, and she felt like new again! So it appears it had SOMETHING to do with the plugs, and/or the PLUG CONNECTION! BTW, I failed to heed previous people's warnings and advice -- THAT EXHAUST PIPE IS [email protected]#$%^&* HOT when trying to access and change the plugs... OUCH! I burned my wrist, but not TOO bad!

Your comments regarding warm components is very interesting, and someone mentioned this before -- the plug caps being so close to the exhaust pipe as a possible cause for concern, and I also questioned the location of the coil, being so close to the exhaust canister. I see for 2004 they did move the coil next to the steering post. Hmmm...

Any additional feedback or technical info on this is appreciated. Thanks again for adding to these discussions Paul! -- Roy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the comments Roy. I think it might have been me that mentioned the distance (lack of?) between the plug caps and the exhaust. I did replace the plug caps on my ZR and it DID make a world of difference (I'm not saying this is for sure the issue currently though). I did this at the suggestion of my neighbor who races sprint cars (actually it was his mechanic) after I tt him about the issues I was having with the sled. I checked EVERYTHING on that SOB; compression, TPS, clutches, belt, plugs. He asked if I had replaced the spark plug caps and I laughed. He told me they replace them on their car after pretty much every race because the resistor in the cap will begin to break down (all it is a ceramic or carbon film) and your performance will suffer. I spent 6 bucks, replaced and sled ran great. Put another 1500 miles on it and sold it to a family member, still running good. I now replace them in the spring as part of my summerization process. I'm holding off on it with Fcat because I'm not certain this is the root cause. In any event, I can assure you that I will have at least new spark plug caps on my F7 come next fall.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Rob, thanks for the reply. Just two quick questions:

Why new clutch weights?

With the new caps did you use a good dielectric grease? I think that may help on any retro fit and I don't believe its done from the factory.

Please post how it works if you get the chance. Also, thanks for the great site. :lol:

Paul
 

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Originally posted by .600-liter@Mar 25 2003, 04:21 PM
Rob, thanks for the reply. Just two quick questions:

Why new clutch weights?

With the new caps did you use a good dielectric grease? I think that may help on any retro fit and I don't believe its done from the factory.

Please post how it works if you get the chance. Also, thanks for the great site. :lol:

Paul
turns out my weights had some wear grooves on them... Dealer was out-of-stock on the stock weights, so I got a "used" clutch kit off another F7 at a good price. Don't even know who's kit it is.. has an orange spring and 66g weights. Engagement seemed about the same loading it onto the truck. Really hope to get a chance to try it out. Yes, he used dielectric grease on the new caps. :rolleyes:
 

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i been a catmaster for 9 years now and seen alot trouble back to this top end performance i had a 900 did the same thing changed the stator the cdi timimg pickup the cluthes the coil checked out fine but changed it to and the top end was back so just a coil that broke down after it got hot was it the sled works great now only had 700 miles on it but allso had the sevo motor fail intermently and throw the ecu in to rich moade on the efi modles
 

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Originally posted by rob+Mar 25 2003, 05:07 PM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-.600-liter
@Mar 25 2003, 04:21 PM
Rob,Ê thanks for the reply.Ê Just two quick questions:

Why new clutch weights?Ê

With the new caps did you use a good dielectric grease?Ê I think that may help on any retro fit and I don't believe its done from the factory.

Please post how it works if you get the chance.Ê Also, thanks for the great site.Ê :lol:

Paul
turns out my weights had some wear grooves on them... Dealer was out-of-stock on the stock weights, so I got a "used" clutch kit off another F7 at a good price. Don't even know who's kit it is.. has an orange spring and 66g weights. Engagement seemed about the same loading it onto the truck. Really hope to get a chance to try it out. Yes, he used dielectric grease on the new caps. :rolleyes: [/b]
Rob, while I hope either the caps AND/OR the aftermath clutch kit will be the miracle cure here, my gut feeling tells me you shoulda' left your stock weights in while testing the new plug caps, or vice versa, until you've narrowed down for sure which was the cause of the problem. As it is now, you know exactly how your sled ran and reacted before with over 8000 miles under your "belt," but you have no idea what the characteristics are of this new clutch set-up; would it have run the same RPM as the stock clutching, 200 RPM higher, 300 RPM lower???

Well, either way, I hope you come up with something... ANYTHING, conclusive. Keep us posted please! -- Roy
 

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.600-liter, I would say we have a deffinate electrical problem here, its just going to be a matter of tracing. I wish I had a F7 with this problem, I may contact some of the owners of F7's we sold to see if some one has one.Not to wish this problem on any one, but it would help me alot to have one of these problem F7's in my shop to analyze and test. We have three major electical components located in suseptable locations.

Coil - very close to heat from silencer
Plug Wires - very close to exuast.
Voltage regulator - in high vibration location

Now any one of these could be a cause. .600 liter, a ? for you, What about the voltage regulator throwing either to little or to much power. Seems like from posts I've seen that its losing power upon problem acuring(lost power to handwarmers,ect). Like I said before I did see a completly blown voltage regulator on one F7. Whether or not it was due to some thing causing it to go or the regulator itself just gave out. I do have to say one thing, that paticular F7 is a buddy of mines and for some reason his F7 (Stock) is faster than any other F7 he comes upon. And since we put the new regulator in it he hasnt had any problems. For some reason I just cant get away from this possibility.
Well listen I need to do some reading on this before spewing off to much, I will be posting again later this evening.
 

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One thing I would like to see would be if any one could take a infrared laser thermometer and get some readings on the above mentioned components when the engine is at operating tempatures.Just out of curiosity, to see what kind of heat they are being exposed to.
 

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id like to replace mind..really dark and full of looks like carbon buildup in the caps...how hard is it to do this??...i know the rubber end L cap slides off..but were talkin replacing the metal end of the wire right??? hard to do?? whats involved??...do ur guys plugs look like this with this black stuff on them?? is this normal..i wiped some off accidentally on the plugs pulling them out on the tips...lookin for info here thats all...
 

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Originally posted by Catmaster900@Mar 25 2003, 06:46 PM
We have three major electical components located in suseptable locations.

Coil - very close to heat from silencer
Catmaster, not only is the coil's current location very close to the exhaust canister, but I think it's even closer to the brake disc! Any idea what kind of temps some of these critical electrical components can function in before they start doing funky things? I have a Raytek MiniTemp infra-red laser temp gun, but my season is all finished here in NW lower Mich. -- Roy
 

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No I dont have any idea Roy, maybe .600-liter could help us out there. If I had one I'd look into relocating it more like the where the F6's are.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Catmaster (by the way, where are you located?), Roy, Sorry I haven't posted anything since yesterday so I'm just now trying to catch up. First, Catmaster I think you're wanting to heat soak these various components before testing them and I agree 100%. These components might work fine at "air" temp but subject them to heat and they may show as being bad. I forget who asked where the voltage regulator was but I believe (please verify this) that it is "part of" the left side drive shaft bearing assembly (a high vibration area if there ever was one). Catmaster, I also agree that the failure of other items such as hand warmers and tachs at the same time motor has issues may be (probably is) indicitive of something further down the electrical chain than the plug caps and wires. In any event it does seem to support this being an electrical problem, NOT mecahnical. Catmaster, a question for you; The electrical chain on these sleds is?? I'm assuming it's stator => volt reg => coil => wires, caps plugs. If this is correct I would almost rule out the voltage regulator as it almost seems like a case of too little power and the function of the VR is to "clamp" voltage to a certain ceiling so it doesn't start blowing stuff. I gues what I'm saying is my experience with VR's (I have a brother in law w/ Ski-Doos and older ones were known for bad ones) and when they went, he'd go through head light bulbs like pull tabs at the VFW (but motor always ran fine). If your experience if different, please let me know. If we believe the other issues (hand warmers, display etc) are significant (I'm not sure they are) then the only thing it can be is the stator (the coil is not in-line with these other things, correct?). Has anyone heard of stators being an issue on any of the snow pro's or Fcats? I have not. Another thing, you mention possibly moving the coil to where it is on the 600's. Where is that? Can we retro fit on the 7?. Another question, I have not heard of any fives having this issue. Where is their coil? I know that there is more room between their exhaust and the plug caps. Let's assume that this issue is not happening to the 5's, what is different and maybe that will lead us to a solution (we do know the VR's in the same location on both). Sorry for rambling but I'm just thinking out loud. I hope to hear back from you guys soon. :wacko:
 

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Originally posted by Big Fire Chief@Mar 25 2003, 09:57 PM
id like to replace mind..really dark and full of looks like carbon buildup in the caps...how hard is it to do this??...i know the rubber end L cap slides off..but were talkin replacing the metal end of the wire right??? hard to do?? whats involved??...do ur guys plugs look like this with this black stuff on them?? is this normal..i wiped some off accidentally on the plugs pulling them out on the tips...lookin for info here thats all...
The metal end that clips onto the plug terminal and the resistor are all inside the cap. The cap is basically a friction fit onto the high tension wire. I think most of the black stuff on the tops of the plugs is carbon from arcing between the metal clip and the spark plug terminal.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Catmaster, Sorry for last post. I posted before I read your post on the other thread (ecu report/top end perf). Obviously there is more to the "electrical chain" than I commented on (please understand, I look at block diagrams all day where "a" goes to "b" then to "c" etc.) based on the tests you would like to have results on. Unless the VR on the Fcat does something other than "clamp" the max voltage I still stand by my last post of it probably not being the culpret; we seem to have too little power. I guess their is something that could explain it being the culpret and that's if it fails closed rather than open (like on the ski-doos). Could you check on that? I also still think we need to look at the differences between the F5's and 7's and see if any of these point to a likely suspect. I agree that only testing is going to solve this. Hopefully (again not wishing this on anyone) you will find someone that has these problems in your area. In the meantime, I'll keep thinking on this.
 

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I changed one of my plug caps on my 94 formula z because it was loose and fell off every time i hit a bump. Fairly easy, the wire is threaded, just twist it on slip the rubber piece over to keep moisture out, good as new, good luck...
 

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Yes .600_liter it is a complicated wiring diagram. I tried to scan them for you, but there just to big. The voltage resistance is very close on all the components on the 5 + 7's, the difference is in the stators. There are 2 additional charge coils on the 7's. I also believe that static tests on this stuff isnt going to show any thing, they have to be done hot and while running. As for the voltage regulators, the failure I had was a closed failure. I'm not calling the VR the culprit, but it is telling me that there is a lack of output to the VR while problem is present(ie, hand warmers not working) Voltage goes to the VR via the ECU. The tests on the charge coils are what I'd be interested in seeing, because they are rpm related, so a static test isnt going to show any thing.

Charge coil 1
RPM Volts
2000 112
3000 168
4000 216
Charge coil 2
2000 104
3000 176
4000 200
now after establishing a running test on the charge coils, I would then go to a running test on the ECU to External Coil test.

RPM Volts
2000 154
3000 152
4000 156

That is where I would go after performing ALL static tests on all of the other components in the system. And I would do them Hot, not just warm. Perferably while sled is experiencing the low rpm/top end isuue.
I am calling AC in the morning, hopefully they will have some thing for me.
 
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