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1986 Honda Shadow VT1100CG
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Sorry I haven't posted in awhile, no new progress to speak of other then figuring out it's getting fuel and the compression is good. I've enlisted the help of another motorcycle enthusiast friend of mine and we're both thinking it's gotta be electrical. The previous owner installed a kill switch to the fuel pump but how he did it I've never seen before tied it into the red and black wires behind the ignition so that's where we're thinking some of the issues coming from I'm currently in the process of going through and taking out all the crimp connectors that I placed throughout the electrical system and soldering the connection points for better connection I did pull off the cover for the flywheel and found that the straighter looks slightly damaged (looks burnt/melted in some places) other then that she looks clean like she should run had several friends come over and take a look and tell me the exact same thing there's no excuse for it to run it must be an electrical issue like a ground isn't quite connected or like it's arcing off of something somewhere
 

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Did you test with ether/starter fluid etc? Spraying some of that into the throat of a carb just before/while cranking will tell you instantly if there is or isn't a fuel problem. If it fires up when it wouldn't, probably a fuel problem. If it doesn't fire, probably electrical or compression :)

Yes, I've seen arcing badly. My first bike had rim tape wrapped around the ignition coil. One day, when I had no idea why that was there, I took it off and tried to run the bike. Even in daylight the arcing was visible! And no, the bike wouldn't run. Wrap the tape around the coil again, she's away :)

At night, take off anything that hides the coil(s), turn out the lights, crank and watch. If you can see arcing, you'll know.

Did you get a spark or ignition tester like I suggested? (One from HF : In-Line Spark Checker )- $4 to work out if you have spark or not! Takes 20 seconds to fit it, plug one end into the spark plug and the other into the spark plug lead, press the starter (with the key etc on), and presto, you can see if you have spark or not.

Do note those spark testers are designed around mowers etc, so you might find it's not a perfect fit to the plug or cap. But I just tested mine on both plugs of my rear cylinder and it worked OK. It was only on loosely but still worked.
 

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1986 Honda Shadow VT1100CG
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Totally did the starting fluid suggestion, both by lightly spraying the filter, and straight blasting starter fluid down the carbs. I knew I wouldn't work unfortunately, like I said I know it's getting fuel because she turns over but doesn't fire and I have my fuel pump on a kill switch so before I go to attempt to start the bike I prime the carbs. I've drained the carbs a couple times with how many times I've tried fixes. As for the spark tester, I just do it the 'ol fashion way and pull a plug, connect it to the plug wire and hold the gap end against either my pipes or one of the jugs. I like this method better as I've had spark testers before and it's just an unnecessary luxury of you ask me but this method tests 2 things while checking for spark. Obviously it tests for spark lol but it also tests the compression, not like a compression tester. I have no way of knowing what my compression is unless I borrow my buddies compression tester but either way I don't have spark. Last time I check for spark I waited til around 7 or 730ish went out to the garage, pulled all the plugs one at a time and tested them first against my pipes then against one of the jugs. And all of them, with the lights out in the dark had no spark. I waited till night and turned off the lights because I've heaver of 85-86's having weak spark with certain electrical issues. However I've just got like the all of 13 wire ends to solder together, the clutch side of the case to finish putting back together, get the foot pegs on it, then I'll see if my newest fix actually did anything. But I liked the suggestions of looking for aching. I'm also tempted to buy a new wiring harness if I can find on cheap enough because I think I'm missing part of mine from the previous owners. He's the one who installed the kill switch on it, and he originally tied it into the dreaded pink wire, the ignition positive wire and the ignition ground wire before then again grounding the kill switch again to the battery. I took it off the ignition while it ran, but I started going through the wires behind my bucket and started connecting wires because my gage lights didn't work, my tail light didn't work and we'll I have no turn signals, I plan on installing some sometime but haven't yet lol anyways I'm just cleaning and reorganizing my tool box and waiting for the sun to come up some before working on her. Should have at least enough done to test fire her before noon so I'll keep ya posted. If it still doesn't fire though I met someone with a bike diagnostic tool and I'm gonna give him a call to test my bike.
 

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1986 Honda Shadow VT1100CG
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I actually haven't had time to work on her recently, I've been outta town for a bit with work. I'm not ****ing with this fixing the harness ****, I'm just getting ready to buy a whole new wiring harness, I've found them pretty cheap on a couple of sites. I'll get them ordered and update you after I install the harness.
 

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Understood.. There's sections of my 750's harness that won't be touched by me if I can help it. Ok, in all honesty... There's bits of my 750's harness I don't know what they hell they did with it, and I'm scared to touch it coz she works as she should right now! (it may be this 'stuff' doesn't actually connect to anything, but I ain't touching nothing till she breaks!)
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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If it ain't broke leave it alone.
Most of these older bikes at least don't have sensitive computer circuits like the EFI bikes may.
So repairing a wire or two is easy to do without major consequences.
Not like EFI sensor circuits that a splice may interfere with the value of the signal that the computer has to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
There has been a development!! It is not the main harness like I originally thought, the problem is stemming from the bucket harness, which actually makes a lot of sense considering the PO tried wiring in that multi functional gauge and wired in a fuel pump killswitch to bypass the fuel cut off relay byt wired the killswitch into the main red wire and ground. Anyways knowing this, I'll just pull up a wiring diagram for the bucket and just go though and make sure the wiring is correctly connected, i.e all the wires tie back into where they are supposed to go. Figure I'll just make me a couple pots of coffee and go get a few red bulls and spend a night getting the wiring done up correctly. I figured out that it was said harness when I went to pull the main harness and previously having soldered some of the PO's wiring edits and having to cut those solder points now just to go and re-solder these wires. It seems like its a ground issue, so once I get these wires right, I guarantee she'll not just turn over but fire up too. oooooo when she does fire up, she's gonna sound like a raped ape cause I don't have the pipes on right now lmao xD
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
... :/ don't know, she didn't fire. I'm wondering if it's not something mechanical from when I cracked the crank case to check the pickups offa the pulse Gen. There's a peice back behind the crank that just looks like it's outta place. I'm gonna consult the repair manual and report. But I've cut out my baffles and converted my exhaust system to straight pipes and split them.
 
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