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1986 Honda Shadow VT1100CG
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've got a '86 VT1100c, I've replaced the coils, reg/rec, primary and secondary CDI boxes, starter solenoid, stop/tail box (as it's on the same circuit), I've got ample volts at the battery and the starter solenoid, the coils resistance is fine and I've got a good read of ohms throughout the plug wires to the boots. Thoroughly stumped and greatly irritated as it's cost me more than $500 so far, I've had the bike since late April and only ridden her for less then a week. She's been down since mid to late May. Any and all help is welcomed and appreciated. Thanks in advance
 

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1986 Honda Shadow VT1100CG
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've tested the coils with the kill switch on and off. Their putting off a good read. I read somewhere that the crank sensor/pickup unit might have something to do with this issue. I've also read that the kickstand positioning switch could that the fuel cut off relay could the wires fr the clutch lever could and that the neutral positioning sensor could all have something to do with this issue. I did replace the bad coils with a set of coils another 86 owner turn me on to off of Amazon. However I had to wire in my positive and negative wires and chose to solder them to the coils I was wondering if this could cause the same issue as I'm concerned that I have shorted out the coils. Really hoping that that is the issue considering I have two more brand new sets of coils sitting right next to me. Let me know your thoughts on this and also if you could upload a picture diagram of where the sensor pickup unit is located on the bike that would be phenomenal. Thanks.
-Toney
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Measure the pulse generators for resistance usually 450 to 500 ohms.
And the 1985-86 1100s have a cam sensor that other bikes don't have that can be measured also.
That should be about 570-690 ohms.
I don't think your year model has a kickstand switch.

Schematic Font Circuit component Parallel Engineering
 

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1986 Honda Shadow VT1100CG
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool, I'm in front of the bike right now. Only thing is, where's the pulse generator and cam sensor? Left or right side of the bike, I'm thinking it's the left and if this is the case would it be under these 2 panels next to the crank case, where the clutch bleeder valve is?
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Pulse generators are under the right side engine case cover on the end of the crank shaft.
The cam sensor is on the right side of the rear hear i think. As sitting on the bike = right side.
 
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7 - crank bolt
1- Sweep trigger
2 or 6 - Style you have

Sit on bike, right side are the pickups off the crank 7.
Sweep arm is 1 so to move that arm [positioned at noon high] and look at that as a leading edge, is the direction that is going to sweep at the dot [iron core pin] on the pickup block.

Place that leading edge near the dot. Key on, screwdriver is going to toggle those two points and cause a spark at the coil. Send the arm to the next pickup, toggle this for the other coil>>> Old trick on the quick diagnose of compete ign system.
Complete system are the pickups, the wires to and from, the spark unit, finally to the coil.

Soldering would not [I imagine] drop the wire inside the coil and render the coil inop. Only PITA is having no option to plug and play as in stock.

 

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1986 Honda Shadow VT1100CG
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cool, I'll letcha know where the bike stands once I get the case cover off and get my readings. Also, the rear hear? Not sure if that's a typo or if there's really a part named the 'hear' lol thanks.
 

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Clutch bleeder valve is to follow the hose from the clutch master, then down to the left side of the bike. Make a horizontal line at the center of the clutch basket, then look for the slave cylinder for the pushrod's nipple fitting or bleeder valve.

Reading wise, it's two wires at the connector, so the wires are tied in series so it's one resistance for both.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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REAR HEAR. LOL
That was supossed to be Rear Head where the cam sensor is.
I lost spell correct after Firefox updated and I get in a hurry and have to proof read better.:rolleyes:
 

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1986 Honda Shadow VT1100CG
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Last three reads off of the cam sensor was 584, 614 and 643. The front pulse gens last three reads are 513, 534 and 511 the rear pulse gens are 513, 638 and 528. I've learned to always take a couple reads with electrical. I'm thoroughly stumped now cause these readings indicate, by everything y'all have told me, means my bike should not only turn over but fire as well. Officially gonna ask, HELP!!! Please 🙏 ..
 

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1986 Honda Shadow VT1100CG
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Apon closer inspection I've found corrosion on both coils at the positive and negative terminals. These coils are brand new however I'm wondering if the corrosion could cause any kind of electrical interference if this is the case that's amazing because I have two more brand new sets of coil sitting right here in the garage with me if it's the rec/reg I've got again 2 more sitting here with me. I'm gonna get a set of coils ready Incase this is my issue. Hopefully that's the issue and I'll have the new coils all wired up and ready for the answer.
 

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Won't be the stator, as that is only there to charge things while the engine runs. If your battery has enough volts the engine will run.

Go through everything you've changed and make sure that connectors are in the right places. Especially make sure you have the right wires going to the right coils, both the primary and secondary sides. It's not too hard to get these wrong, especially when you have a lot of bits off the bike at the same time :)

Once that is done, take the air filter off, spray in some starter fluid then crank the engine over. That will confirm if you have spark and compression and to some degree timing if the bike runs. If the bike runs (albeit briefly) with that, you know there's a fuel issue to chase. If it doesn't run, doesn't even fire, then you either have a severe compression problem or no spark still.

I assume you have checked the plugs? Plug caps?

Yes, corrosion on any wire or earth connection can stop things from running, even when they look nice and clean. Clean them, and apply some di-electric grease to keep moisture and dirt out.
 

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1986 Honda Shadow VT1100CG
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've replaced the coils as the others had corrosion at the terminals. However I'm not getting spark before the coils. The fuel cut off relay wasn't even connected via the previous owners kill switch on the fuel pump (ran with the kill switch installed) just figured if I'm gonna restore/build this bike I'm gonna do it right, this unfortunately didn't help. Currently going through the harness behind the headlight bucket and making sure all the wires are spliced correctly since this ass hat used the worst connectors. I've done a poke test on the boots in the ground box underneath the headlight. Utterly out of ideas here guys and honestly loosing hope for this bike as much as I don't want to. I really don't like electrical and that's all this has been. It's almost like it's not grounded right somewhere. Anyone ever hear about this problem??????
 

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Electrical can be "fun", in the same way being scratched up by a mass of cats then dumped in a bath of lemon juice is "fun", or cleaning the carpet after said cats ate something they shouldn't have is "fun"! At least it's not intermittent, that's the most kind of electrical fun...

Did you try squirting some starter fluid into the air intake (after removing the filter) while cranking? (or the carb bodies if the boots are off)? Any life? (Something like https://www.amazon.com/STA-BIL-2200...ref=zg_bs_15719711_sccl_1/138-2492783-5258346)


You need 3 things for a bike to run, correct fuel/air mix (within a reasonable range), enough compression, and ignition within time. Something common to both cylinders has failed, which is either kill switch (as that's the cut off for the 12v power to both), the crank sensor, or fuel. Unless it was already only running on one cylinder, it's pretty rare to knock out both cylinders at the same time on a running bike, and has to be something common to both. I've had my Shadows run with a carb down and run with the electrical to a cylinder down, still easily producing enough power to haul my a$s.


With the key ON and the kill switch in the RUN position, do you have 12v on the black/white connector on the coils?

Can you get an inline ignition tester like this HF : In-Line Spark Checker? I have the same type myself and while they cannot tell if timing is working, they CAN tell if you have spark. If you have dual-plug head you MUST have the other plug connected for this, as the path of the current goes from the coil to the first plug, through the first plug to the 2nd plug, then returns through the 2nd plug to the coil. These things light up quite nicely if you have spark, even a weak one.


If there's still no life but you have spark on at least one cylinder, we also need to check you haven't got a fuel blockage. Open the drain screws on each carb, see if you get any fuel out. Also check the quality of the fuel, in case you've somehow got water in the bottom of your tank. Does what comes out seem more like gas or water?

You mentioned on the 16th that you had good spark from the coils (at least as I read your post), but I cannot see fuel being checked. You mentioned the fuel cut-off relay not being connected, and I wonder if the fuel pump is getting power?

I have seen fuel problems seem more like electrical, and vice-versa.

The other thing to do is check compression if fuel and spark seem OK. But that should only kill one cylinder, unless one was already down. Considering one of your cylinders is nearly the CC of my whole bike, you might not've noticed one dead pot. And one of my cylinders is well below "working range" yet she runs fine.


An '86 1100 is one of the models I'd kill for. Don't give up, you'll enjoy this bike once you get past the PO's "work". My bike still has bits that I'm scared to touch, and while she runs I ain't gonna. A 750 (86), but a pleasure to ride still despite all the miles I've done on her.
 
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