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Old 09-29-2015, 02:40 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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Intermittent loss of power

I have been chasing my tail on this one, so before I go and spend more money to replace parts that might not need replacing, I figured I'd ask the collective mind...

Bike starts fine, idles fine, and even runs the freeway fine - most of the time. It seems that lately, I'll be tearing down the freeway, and I suddenly feel like I'm running on 2 or 3 cylinders! I can maintain about 70-75mph on flat ground, but no more than that. It will drop out, then return, sometimes a few times per second. Usually, the problem lasts for several seconds to many minutes (i.e., the rest of my ride home). If I turn off the bike, and restart, the problem will go away for a few seconds, then return.

There is no correlation to speed, or RPM, as this has even happened in a parking lot. It does seem to wait until the engine is fully warmed up though. I have taken the TCI apart and re-sweated the contacts, I have cleaned all the terminals on it too. I did notice that my battery will need to be replaced soon, as I let it dry out this summer...

My only thoughts at this point are:
1. Might the dying battery cause this? I doubt it, since it is so intermittent, with the same AMOUNT of power lost all the time.
2. Am I missing a different loose connection somewhere?
3. Possibly a spark plug going bad? At $14/ea, I don't want to replace them AND the battery if I don't need to.

Any thoughts or insight would be appreciated.
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1980 XS850SG - Sold
1981 XS1100LH Midnight Special (Sold) - purchased 9/29/08
Fully Vetterized and Dynojet Kit added, Heated Grips, Truck-Lite LED headlight, Accel Coils, Irridium plugs, TKAT Fork Brace, XS850LH Final Drive & Black SS Brake lines from Chacal.
Here's my web page devoted to my bike! XS/XJ User's Manuals there, and the XJ1100 Service Manual and both XS1100 Service manuals (free download!).

Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot - You're right.
-H. Ford
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2015, 03:39 PM
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dbeardslee dbeardslee is offline
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My brother recently had an issue that was very similar. It wound up being one of his pickup coil wires that was a little too free. It got up against the timing wheel which removed the insulation and exposed the core of the wire. Sometimes when the timing advanced it would get the bare part of the wire against the timing wheel and short it out, which resulted in it running on two cylinders. Then he'd hit a bump, or whatever, and the wire would move away from the timing wheel and it would start running on four again.

Just looking at it everything seemed okay. I had to feel around on the wires to find the bare spot. After that I redid the clamp that holds the wires in place and covered over the bare spot with some self fusing tape. Problem solved.
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I think I have a loose screw behind the handlebars.

'79 XS11 Standard, Jardine 4/1, Dyna DC1-1 Coils, 145 mains, 45 pilots, plastic floats - 25.7mm, XV920 fuel valves, inline fuel filters, speed bleeders, Mikes XS pods, spade-type fuse block, fork brace, progressive fork springs/shocks, manual petcocks, 750 FD, Venture cam chain tensioner, SS brake lines
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:43 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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Unfortunately, I checked that too... I even found a wire that had some cracked insulation, and spliced in a new wire. The problem didn't change at all.
__________________
1980 XS850SG - Sold
1981 XS1100LH Midnight Special (Sold) - purchased 9/29/08
Fully Vetterized and Dynojet Kit added, Heated Grips, Truck-Lite LED headlight, Accel Coils, Irridium plugs, TKAT Fork Brace, XS850LH Final Drive & Black SS Brake lines from Chacal.
Here's my web page devoted to my bike! XS/XJ User's Manuals there, and the XJ1100 Service Manual and both XS1100 Service manuals (free download!).

Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot - You're right.
-H. Ford
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:52 PM
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dbeardslee dbeardslee is offline
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Maybe you've got a coil going out. Sometimes they'll check out fine when they're cold, but fail when warm.
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I think I have a loose screw behind the handlebars.

'79 XS11 Standard, Jardine 4/1, Dyna DC1-1 Coils, 145 mains, 45 pilots, plastic floats - 25.7mm, XV920 fuel valves, inline fuel filters, speed bleeders, Mikes XS pods, spade-type fuse block, fork brace, progressive fork springs/shocks, manual petcocks, 750 FD, Venture cam chain tensioner, SS brake lines
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:54 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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Do they go out like that? I thought they just died all at once. I'll double check the connections on them at least.
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1980 XS850SG - Sold
1981 XS1100LH Midnight Special (Sold) - purchased 9/29/08
Fully Vetterized and Dynojet Kit added, Heated Grips, Truck-Lite LED headlight, Accel Coils, Irridium plugs, TKAT Fork Brace, XS850LH Final Drive & Black SS Brake lines from Chacal.
Here's my web page devoted to my bike! XS/XJ User's Manuals there, and the XJ1100 Service Manual and both XS1100 Service manuals (free download!).

Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot - You're right.
-H. Ford
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2015, 03:56 PM
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dbeardslee dbeardslee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatatonicBug View Post
Do they go out like that? I thought they just died all at once. I'll double check the connections on them at least.
I added this to my last post, but we were probably posting/editing at the same time. Sometimes they'll be okay when cold but fail when warm. I'd get a read on the plugs when it's exhibiting the problem and see what your pairings look like.
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I think I have a loose screw behind the handlebars.

'79 XS11 Standard, Jardine 4/1, Dyna DC1-1 Coils, 145 mains, 45 pilots, plastic floats - 25.7mm, XV920 fuel valves, inline fuel filters, speed bleeders, Mikes XS pods, spade-type fuse block, fork brace, progressive fork springs/shocks, manual petcocks, 750 FD, Venture cam chain tensioner, SS brake lines
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2015, 04:37 PM
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bikerphil bikerphil is offline
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I had a similar problem not too long ago, bike would drop 2 cylinders at random. It turned out that the 4 wire connector at the TCI had poor connection due to stretched out terminals. I put a new 4 pin connector on and it was fine after that. This connector goes to the PU coil harness, there is also another connector in the harness behind the fuse panel, I just cleaned/crimped that one. The terminals can be removed from the connector with a tool and then crimped closed and reinstalled.
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79F - owned since '89 - FJ fork mod, solo seat mod, Dyna 3Ω's, 14MM M/C (168K miles)
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:48 PM
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BA80 BA80 is offline
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Try a different TCI Marshal, you may have a solder connection that's cracked making intermittent contact.
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Greg

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

― Albert Einstein

80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

The list changes.
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  #9  
Old 09-29-2015, 04:49 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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I was contemplating replacing the terminals on the wires in the connectors at the TCI. Had not thought of looking behind the fuse panel. The terminals look ok, but replacing them won't be too difficult, and I already have the new terminals. That will probably be my project tonight.
__________________
1980 XS850SG - Sold
1981 XS1100LH Midnight Special (Sold) - purchased 9/29/08
Fully Vetterized and Dynojet Kit added, Heated Grips, Truck-Lite LED headlight, Accel Coils, Irridium plugs, TKAT Fork Brace, XS850LH Final Drive & Black SS Brake lines from Chacal.
Here's my web page devoted to my bike! XS/XJ User's Manuals there, and the XJ1100 Service Manual and both XS1100 Service manuals (free download!).

Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot - You're right.
-H. Ford
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:50 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BA80 View Post
Try a different TCI Marshal, you may have a solder connection that's cracked making intermittent contact.
I don't have access to one... I have re-sweated the solder connections in the TCI though. No change to the problem with I did that.
__________________
1980 XS850SG - Sold
1981 XS1100LH Midnight Special (Sold) - purchased 9/29/08
Fully Vetterized and Dynojet Kit added, Heated Grips, Truck-Lite LED headlight, Accel Coils, Irridium plugs, TKAT Fork Brace, XS850LH Final Drive & Black SS Brake lines from Chacal.
Here's my web page devoted to my bike! XS/XJ User's Manuals there, and the XJ1100 Service Manual and both XS1100 Service manuals (free download!).

Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot - You're right.
-H. Ford
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:54 PM
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Does it go away if you let off the throttle?
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Greg

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

― Albert Einstein

80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

The list changes.
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:56 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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Nope. Same issue if I let off the throttle. The only time it seems to go away is when I turn it all the way off, and re-start the engine. But then, it just starts again shortly thereafter. I have even had it die at a light because it happened at idle.
__________________
1980 XS850SG - Sold
1981 XS1100LH Midnight Special (Sold) - purchased 9/29/08
Fully Vetterized and Dynojet Kit added, Heated Grips, Truck-Lite LED headlight, Accel Coils, Irridium plugs, TKAT Fork Brace, XS850LH Final Drive & Black SS Brake lines from Chacal.
Here's my web page devoted to my bike! XS/XJ User's Manuals there, and the XJ1100 Service Manual and both XS1100 Service manuals (free download!).

Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot - You're right.
-H. Ford

Last edited by CatatonicBug; 09-29-2015 at 04:59 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-29-2015, 04:59 PM
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BA80 BA80 is offline
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OK. That sounds electrical. Whatever it is it probably doesn't show up until the bike is warmed up. Correct?

Have you ohmed the pickup coils?
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Greg

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

― Albert Einstein

80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

The list changes.
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  #14  
Old 09-29-2015, 05:02 PM
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BA80 BA80 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatatonicBug View Post
I have even had it die at a light because it happened at idle.
Mine did that when I had a plug going bad.
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Greg

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

― Albert Einstein

80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

The list changes.
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  #15  
Old 09-29-2015, 05:03 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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Yes, it seems to start fine when cold, and the problem doesn't start up until the engine warms up. I have not ohmed anything.
__________________
1980 XS850SG - Sold
1981 XS1100LH Midnight Special (Sold) - purchased 9/29/08
Fully Vetterized and Dynojet Kit added, Heated Grips, Truck-Lite LED headlight, Accel Coils, Irridium plugs, TKAT Fork Brace, XS850LH Final Drive & Black SS Brake lines from Chacal.
Here's my web page devoted to my bike! XS/XJ User's Manuals there, and the XJ1100 Service Manual and both XS1100 Service manuals (free download!).

Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot - You're right.
-H. Ford
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