vt1100c problem - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 04-24-2007, 10:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default vt1100c problem

I have a 1996 Shadow vt1100c with 12.600 miles.I bought this bike last year , put 4500 miles on it , no problems. This spring I replaced the seats,throttle cables,changed oil and waited for good weather (western ny).
Twice now on rides of 40+ miles the engine has started to backfire and stalls out on me.On shorter rides there seems to be no problem , After the
engine quits it will restart and idle fine, but if I give it any throttle it starts popping and breaks up real bad. Thought it could be fuel filter I checked it and it is ok.Gas tank was filled and had stabol in it all winter so I doubt it is bad gas.I have removed tank and seats and checked all electrical connections,finding nothing wrong.Fuel pump checks out ok also.Ive had to truck it home once and nursed it back at 10 mph another time so I'm
afraid to go anywhere until I find this problem. Has anyone had this happen or have any suggestions? I am going to go on a longer ride and take a spark plug along and check spark if it acts up , Ive also checked gas tank vent tube and it seems clear . THANKS FOR ANY HELP
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not being critical but when you say you "Checked and didn't find" did you actually do anything?

It sounds like a fuel issue - and they are probably easiest to chase down.
You replaced the fuel filter? Or did a fuel delivery test to determine it was ok.

There is a very fine filter in the fuel tank above the petcock, that could be clogging up after some miles. Drain the tank fuel through cheese cloth, rinse it out and look for rust etc in the tank that could be causing a blockage.

Drain the carbs maybe something is floating around in the bowls.

The Fuel pump might be going 'offline' after getting hot.

You may want to be ready to do a fuel delivery test on the side of the road when it stops next time - to help you determine it is still pumping fuel. (have heard of your symptoms before for fuel pump problems - all is ok once it cools).

The main ground lug under the seat and of course the battery terminal lugs need to be removed and the contact points shined with some fine sandpaper.
Any of the 'failsafe' switches kick stand, etc could be going intermittant.
Again when it fails you will need to check for spark.

Hope this helps - it's the most common of the problems on the VT-1100s, just do the easiest cheapest things first - - about 90% of the time that fixes them.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I did my idea of fuel delivery check ; removed fuel line from output side of filter -lots of gas , removed fuel line from output side of fuel pump - strong stream of gas when key was turned on.This was done roadside at a time when it wouldn't run.After trucking home I removed battery ,checked electrolyte level and charged overnite.Terminals were clean on battery when I reinstalled it.Same symptoms appeared that afternoon,luckily I was homeward bound and only a couple miles from home.I haven't checked kill switch or sidestand switch with a meter yet,
maybe that will be next step. THANKS
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You've checked all the stuff Chuck mentioned and some more...but, bear with me here, it's probably the gas + the Stabil. Granted IT should be fine...but most times this mixture along with sitting all winter stills make gummy stuff in the carbs.

Granted it may NOT show up at low speeds, light loads. BUT it MAY/WILL show up as you open the throttle more, much more for a full bore speed run. Then closing the throttle also adds to this... backfires, etc.

My 1st tank the bike does NOT run like it did when I let it set for a month, two or three. I try to drive some gas out, add fresh, drive some more, add more gas and then try to make some full rpm gear runs in 2nd/3rd gear to get onto the main jet. Sometimes it stumbles, bumbles and backfires but not all that bad. To me it's cleaning itself out with "new/fresh gas" and it takes about 50-100 miles till it's running just as good as last summer.

Having only a 3-4 gallon gas tank allows this "new gas" to get stale/gum-up very quickly compared to gasoline from many years past. All my bikes do this type of beginning of the riding season things. If my bikes DON'T clear up and start running like normal (within 2 tanks)...then I know I have more than just gummy slides, gummy idle jets, etc. It's the nature of the beast in the spring even with all the Stabil, fresh gas, engine fogging or whatever one does to store the bike for the winter months.

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Old 04-24-2007, 02:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willjcobb
I did my idea of fuel delivery check ; removed fuel line from output side of filter -lots of gas , removed fuel line from output side of fuel pump - strong stream of gas when key was turned on.This was done roadside at a time when it wouldn't run.After trucking home I removed battery ,checked electrolyte level and charged overnite.Terminals were clean on battery when I reinstalled it.Same symptoms appeared that afternoon,luckily I was homeward bound and only a couple miles from home.I haven't checked kill switch or sidestand switch with a meter yet,
maybe that will be next step. THANKS
Cool, sounds like you are doing due-diligence and you are getting adequate fuel when hot.

I had to ask at the beginning of the post, because we could spend days diagnosing something that 'looks' good - We never know how much knowledge a new post person has.......or what has actually been done to help with the diagnosis.

You are on the right track and heed what bullzeyet says, he has been around bikeses longer than most people have been around......

Also - easiest, cheapest items first is my mantra, don't waste your money on unnecessary parts - it's rarely a component breakdown with these bikes.
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Old 04-24-2007, 03:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One last thing you could try to eliminate the fuel supply as the problem (assuming getting fresh gas in the tank doesn't fix it). Put a small piece of clear plastic tubing over the nipple on the bottom of the float bowl. Tape it up to the side of the tank so that the open end is well above the float. Now when it's running good, open the drain valve on the float and mark with a permanent marker on the tube where the fuel level goes to. Now, take it around the block until it starts cutting out on you and open the drain again and see if the level is the same. If it is, then it has to be an electrical problem.

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Old 04-25-2007, 09:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Put 65 miles on bike last night , no problems! I did check sidestand , kill switch and ignition switches with meter ,all are good. I had filled gas tank 40 miles before trouble started ,maybe just bad gas.When I filled the tank that day I filled it right up into the filler neck .Is it possible to put too much gas in and fill vent tube with gas ? I know thats a stretch but when I
pulled the tank off the next day there was gas in the vent tube, not alot but definitely some there.Would it take much to stop tank from venting or would pump suck it clean?
As far as gas goes ,that was the third tank I've ran thru this year so it probably wasn't a storage/stabil issue. Called local Honda dealer and tech
didn't seem to want to give much help over phone but did say it could be
an "ignition sending unit? " that could only be checked in his shop with a
special tester. I have a Clymer manual and have done the ignition pulse generator ohm tests but only on cold engine. Any chance the pulse generators heat up and be the problem? Thanks ahead for any tips or ideas !
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Third tank of gas isn't much...really. Some of us is still getting the crappy winter mix gas formula and now we've got warm temps. I suspect your battery might be a little weak or near replacement time. Just having a weak battery at the start of the season gives a lot of little gremlin issues and with the smallish sized battery on the Shadows, it doesn't help things. Had the same issues with my old CB750's years ago...weak battery would give mid or high rpm miss. Drove me crazy looking for a the problem. New battery...no problem.

I got a 95 and the wife has a 96 1100 Shadow and at this time of year I try to get make sure I run them semi-hard (up/down gears and rpm's) to make certain that I get good gas in the carbs.

Gotta remember these are not cars. Little gas tanks, less fuel pressure, less cylinders, etc., and keeping them as good running as your car is difficult in the winter months. So, when you bring the bike out to ride....it's gonna sputter, cough and protest to some degree. Maybe all's I can say is ......ride it harder/faster and tell me again after you've run 8-10 tanks of gas in the 2 weeks.

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Old 04-25-2007, 10:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willjcobb
Put 65 miles on bike last night , no problems! I did check sidestand , kill switch and ignition switches with meter ,all are good. I had filled gas tank 40 miles before trouble started ,maybe just bad gas.When I filled the tank that day I filled it right up into the filler neck .Is it possible to put too much gas in and fill vent tube with gas ? I know thats a stretch but when I
pulled the tank off the next day there was gas in the vent tube, not alot but definitely some there.Would it take much to stop tank from venting or would pump suck it clean?
As far as gas goes ,that was the third tank I've ran thru this year so it probably wasn't a storage/stabil issue. Called local Honda dealer and tech
didn't seem to want to give much help over phone but did say it could be
an "ignition sending unit? " that could only be checked in his shop with a
special tester. I have a Clymer manual and have done the ignition pulse generator ohm tests but only on cold engine. Any chance the pulse generators heat up and be the problem? Thanks ahead for any tips or ideas !
I doubt that gas in the vent tube would keep the tank from venting. If that were the case, when you were having the problem, just opening the gas cap would fix it for a while.

As for the ignition sending unit. It's simply a coil of wire the senses a magnet passing by it by generating a pulse. It's possible that it could malfunction when warm. You could try the ohm meter test on it when it's warm, just remember that the resistance of copper goes up when it gets hot. On my Yamaha XJ550, the pickup coils are about 600 ohms cold and about 680 hot, if I remember correctly. Your Honda will be different but probably about the same proportion of change.
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If its the iginition sending unit. Carry a small can of freeze spray (Radio Shack sells it) When you have a failure spray the freeze spray on it see if it works. This stuff is very cold be careful with it dont crack anything.

Mark..
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