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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.
I've been reading what you guys have contributed to this forum for a while.. and I'm hoping you can help me out a little

Went out today on my bird for approx a 60 mile round trip at a mix of between 30 - 70 mph roads (hadn't ridden for a couple of months so was taking it easy)
20 miles out and the bike has developed a misfire making it sound more like a v twin than an inline4. and the fuel started to go down at a higher rate than normal. Ok I thought, plugs may need cleaning or replacing.. but when I got home my stock exhausts we so hot the right-hand side one (when you're sitting on it) was actually glowing so much so that my rear huggar mount was going soft.

So before I start stripping things off the bike, here's what my train of thought was
Misfire = bad plugs, bad fuel (so I put some shell vpower stuff in)
Read on here is might be the fuel pressure regulator.
But the glowing exhausts has me really concerned. Could this be the FPR allowing the fuel to overflow the cylinder and pushing it into the exhausts causing it to burn there constantly? which obviously isn't good as the exhaust is for passing hot gas.. not burning fuel.

Thanks guys.. and I hope that one of you can give me some pointers.
 

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Thinking you already have the answer. I'm suspecting the FPR let go. Dumping raw fuel into the cylinders. Your going to want to check the oil for a high level and fuel smell. DO NOT FIRE THE BIKE as per the normal oil level check. Pull the dipstick and smell it first. If it smells of fuel pull the vacuum line that feeds the FPR it'll be the smaller of the 2 lines. If its wet your FPR went. Get a replacement change it put then drain all the oil change the filter. Fire the bike let it idle for about a minute or 2 then shut it down change the oil and filter again. You should be safe at this point to enjoy riding again.
 
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I too think FPR.
As a side note what year is your Bird? Does it have Cats? These can get horribly hot in normal conditions and if one gets blocked they can glow.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks @beestoys .. I've decided to book it into the honda main dealer and let them deal with it.. if anyone knows what to do.. it should be them.
I really don't fancy the risk of getting it wrong.. and for £36 labour (1/2 hour) it was an easy decision.
but great point I will check the smell of the oil and level before riding it to the garage, otherwise, I'll get it picked up

@TheDuck my bird is a 2003 and it has the original full exhaust system, and yes I agree the exhausts do get extremely warm.. especially compared to my fireblade's scorpion can which is touchable after shutting the engine off for 5 mins.
if the cat was blocked I'm assuming that it wouldn't have passed the UK mot emissions test which was done in February and I've only ridden it once since then (because of being locked down).
 

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if the cat was blocked I'm assuming that it wouldn't have passed the UK mot emissions test which was done in February
Emissions are not part of the MOT so the only test that will have been carried out is a check for leaks at the joints.
 

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@TheDuck ahh.. ok. never watched my bike have an MOT.. so I assumed it was the same as a car. In that case have you any tips on checking for a blocked cat ?
 

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In that case have you any tips on checking for a blocked cat ?
Not really, but if it is (or is failing) the fatter area where the cat is fitted will be by far the hottest area, will melt boots and the pipe will discolour.
If the excessive heat that you experienced was in this are then suspect the cat but if the heat was the same in the actual can then there might not be an issue.
 

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i have a cat equipped germany carbed bike and the whole exhaust is tinted brown by the heat
the manifold is stainless from honda to withstand the extra heat
paul
 

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Ok so the update today.. I've checked the oil level which looked to be at the normal level.. so in line with @beestoys recommendation, I removed the dipstick and smelt the oil.. no hint of petrol.. so I took it to the next step and built some up on a piece of tissue until it was damp and then try lighting it in the fire bin.. which there wasn't the fainted hint of trying to catch.. (and yes it was a bit extreme but i was well away from the bike at this point and better catching fire in a fire bin, rather than between my legs !


@TheDuck the glow was between the joint and the can area. I've pinched a picture off eBay to illustrate where the heat was, more towards the silencer end than the joint end. and the whole right silencer has gone a golden colour which I'm hoping once fixed will be able to be polished out with something. (but that's a problem for another day).

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Other things i have noticed today.. is that there is a lead coming off the exhaust (right hand side) that has been disconnected from the loom and a plug matching the size has a connector blocked off.. I'm reading that this is a mod that helps smooth midrange (like it needs any help).

I got under the tank and pulled the smaller hose off the FPR and it was dry (but then it has stood for 24 hours).
connected everything back up.. started the bike for about a minute.. on idle.. pulled the hose off.. no change to the tickover (sounded proper "clanky" ) put it back on.. sound changed a little.. then went back to sounding like a twin again in fact I've heard better sounding 1 cylinder engines.

I was watching a you tube video titled "Biggest mistake ever.. we brought and sold a rare honda blackbird"
and when he finally got it started.. it smoked a grey smoke.. mine did that a couple of times.. but hasn't done it in a while, and only seemed to be for a short time..

So with all that in mind.. I'm left with more questioning thoughts..
I wonder.. was the plug from the exhaust unplugged to overcome a dash warning light ?
Is it possible that both cats are blocked ? I'm assuming it would be unlikely and as I can see its a 4 - 1 - 2 system, surely it can still breathe out the other can.. (my fireblade is a 4-2-1 and seems to do ok).
I do concede the point that both cans have been attached and travelled the same distance.. so should be in the same condition.
Was the smoke I saw an early sign of the FPR failing.. or is it symbolic of something more sinister..

I know I have to start somewhere to resolve this issue.. so with the FPR being relatively cheap does it still make sense to get that done.. and see how it goes..

Thanks for your help so far.. it's really useful to have a sounding board where I can get some feedback.
 

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So sounds like the 02 delete's been done. The pipes going red are a sign of rich fuel burning off in the catalyst itself. The dropped cylinders would suggest the same thing. The fact that the oil level is good and clean and your FPR vacuum line was clean (typically even when setting it will stil show fuel) it's probably good as well. So the next thing I'd do is pull the plugs. You could also with a wet hand very quickly tap the primaries to see if any are cold or only slightly warm. This would indicate that cylinders down. If you have access to a IR temp gun you can shoot the primaries as well. Once you know which ones are cool then pull that cylinders plug and see what it looks like. If the cylinders down are paired 1/4 or 2/3 you could have a bad coil or connection. Plugs will be very wet. If it is paired as stated above swap the coils across each other and see if the dead cylinders switch
If so your very close. It'll be coils or power and or trigger for that coil.
 

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So sounds like the 02 delete's been done.
Indeed it does, has the loom side got something like this fitted where you say
and a plug matching the size has a connector blocked off..
or is it a home made job?

Where you are saying most of the heat is corresponds to the cat and as you are probably thinking why is one cat showing an issue and not the other if one 'blockage' is an issue. Could be that one is / has failed not the other, hard to tell.

I'm with beestoys with pulling the plugs first. If a couple have got wet then they will never fire. You might get a spark (weak) if tested outside the head but they tend not to work when under compression.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
additional update (amazing what you can get done in a lunchtime from work when working from home ! )

@exxelent - nice tip.. thanks.. added to eBay basket (assuming i have any money left after fixing the bird ! lol )

Yes, the O2 delete has been done. (knowing the term allowed me to go hunt google for it) and the plug looks to be a manufactured one.. all sealed up to prevent water ingress. so being "glass half full" today I'm going to assume that wasn't done to hide any gremlins.

As the tank is currently lifted.. I opened up the airbox and started my dig down to the spark plugs for the first time since owning the bike (I had it serviced when I brought it last year).. and I have noticed that of the 6 screws, there was 1 that was chewed up slightly.. and even my JIS screwdriver isn't budging it.. these are the ones that hold down the 2 air intake bits of plastic to the base of the airbox.. which I notice from the other one are slightly captured (most likely so they don't come undone and find their way into the air intakes).
Normally I'd break out the impact driver.. but as there's a fuel tank supported in mid-air and no idea what strength the metal beneath the plastic airbox lower I'm reluctant to simply encourage it out with the hammer ! my usual go-to is my dremmel.. but as the intakes are rather close I'm not overly keen on the option either.. (why oh why do people use the wrong tools.. and overly tighten screw heads.) I think the dremmel, some plastic bags over the intakes and an assistant with the vacuum is going to be the only option.to first cut away some of the plastic housing.. and then cut a slot in the top of the screw.

So I'm kinda stuck at the moment until I bite the bullet or I give it to the honda dealer with the instruction.. see what's wrong (I appreciate that's like saying here's my online banking details.. help yourself).

If I do the latter I'm thinking to not attempt to remove the screw from the airbox as it's going to look really bad plus it will remove the final chance the honda guy will have to get it out normally.
 

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Street
Hand impact is the way to go. Just don't use a 5 pound maul as your hammer. They do take a set.
 

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Evening all.
An interesting new development this evening.
Had no joy getting the last screw out of the so decided more ruthless measures were required.. so I've cut a slot down the side and managed to coax the plastic pipes away.. which left the screw exposed and at the mercy of my mole grips. (I'm going to have to work out what the plastic part is called so I can source a replacement as well as a new screw)
So anyway screw's out.. airbox off and spark plugs removed (hurray !!!) so inspecting all the plugs doesn't give much away, slightly rich, but if it's been running with a misfire, it's to be expected I guess.
Picture is based on the left plug it the one for the left cylinder if you were sitting on the bike then in order left to right. (not sure which would be cylinder 1)
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so I've given them a good wipe down to get rid of the bit of much on them.. reinstalled them and (with crossed fingers fired the bike up.. too much of the same. very bad misfire. :cry:

At this point i was thinking about the suggestion from @funwithbono and the CCT.. which perhaps isn't opening valves correctly, however I threw caution to the wind (2nd time tonight).

As I'd not had the bike running for more than about 30 seconds. With no access to a infrared thermometer, (although one is in my eBay basket right now) I got brave and tried @beestoys suggestion and touched the exhaust downpipes where they exit the head.
And, I've noticed the outside 2 pipes were air temp.. and the inner 2 were really hot ! (I really should have expected that.. just glad I'd took my gloves off first.)

So it looks like I'll be changing my order to honda.. from an FPR to a coil for cylinder 1 and 4

Now this is the first time I've ever had a coil pack fail.. and I'd like to explore the swapping of the packs from the left to the right so that cylinder 1 and 4 become the hot ones.. and 2 and 3 are the cold ones.. but I really don't want mess this up, so which order should I put the cables, is there a test I can perform with a multimeter (I have one of those) on the thinner cables.. or should i just order and fit the correct coil (I notice the one coil pack has a longer lead to reach both sides of the engine.

I'm really feeling quite pleased with myself tonight.. and I owe you guys a beer for your advice thus far.🍻🍻🍻
I just need to order a screw, a bit of plastic and a coil pack from somewhere !!
 

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Street before you switch coils try swapping plugs first. As Duck mentioned once the iridium's get fouled they tend to be dead. So swap plugs and see if the pipes heat up different. IE outer are now hot inner are cold. As for coils it's easier to just mark the posts 1 2 3 4 and then move the coils from side to side and swap high tension leads. Just unscrew the lock collars and slide out the wires. You don't even have to pull the terminals off the plugs. Just take a picture or note what hole went to what tower post. So this is how I'd do it. Mark coil bodies oh setting on the bike number one is far left cylinder then 2,3,4. So trace #1 wire up mark the coil body next to th tower. Then do the same for 2,3,4. Then unscrew the coil wires from the coils pull out the high tension leads. Unhook the power wires swap over the wires to the new coils holes. It's wasted spark system so even if you swap holes on the high tension side it'll still fire correctly. The big thing is pairing iE 1 and 4 2 and 3. For the power wires color goes to color on the coil. What I mean is one terminal is green one is plain. The black white trace wire goes on the black coil post. And the colored wires of each set go to there respective green terminal on the coil. Then fire it it up and see if your pipe heat changes. If either of these make a change then you've found your problem.
Let us know what the results are.
 

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Street before you switch coils try swapping plugs first.
Exactly what I would do. It is also worth checking that you have 12v coming to the coils (Blue and Yellow) without knowing this is correct you can head down all sorts of blind alleys.
When I am doing this sort of work I put marked up masking tape on all leads and cables so I don't get lost finding my way back to the beginning.
I'm going to have to work out what the plastic part is called
Have a look at Fowlers, click on the area you are looking at and you will see the fiche, Honda name, part number, cost and if it is in stock.
Fowlers is just down the road from me so I usually just call in but due to the lock down I can't. The parts dept is working, call them up and they will get the parts you need out to you. I used this service a couple of weeks ago and the parts arrived just over a day after I made the call, very happy with that. If you do phone them they will be doubly pleased with you if you can quote the part number ....

..... but as bees said don't rush into ordering parts until things are a little clearer.
(FWIW I am still using the original coil packs and leads, 21 years and 118K miles, as you say they don't tend to fail)
 

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If you suspect voltages are wrong you'll need a Peak Voltage Adapter to check the coils. The black with white trace is the easy one it's 12 volts key and kill switch on. The tricky ones are the colored wires they are a pulsed sorce and to get a true reading you'll need the PVA to read them correctly. with the adapter hooked up and the bike cranking you should see at least 100VDC. Yes that is 100 so be careful it bites an bit if your have your calculating devices in the wrong place.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
@TheDuck - nice link to fowlers.. now i know what parts I need to purchase (FUNNEL, R. AIR and a SCREW, PAN, 5MM) a mere £25, a worthy sacrifice considering I was going to put it into honda and have a £107 bill and still not be able to get to my spark plugs. I'm sure a garage would charge a lot more than £25 for fitting a new set of plugs.

So Today's progress has me really stumped..
As you know I had cold exhaust headers on cylinder 1 and 4 last night. so today.. I've left all the ht cables where they were.. and taken swapped plug 1 and 2, and then 3 and 4.. put it back together loosely fired it up hoping for the hot pipes to be 1 and 4 and 2 and 3 be cold.. hit the starter button.. No misfire ! she's purring like a big cat !! Grrrrr...

Got the multimeter on the black wire of both coils and I have a good 12.6v on both.
I don't have a pulse reader.. so not going to be able to check the other lead as you mentioned

So my current thinking is.
plugs - Are they on their way out.. I know they are 2 years old.. but they have done no more than 2500 miles.
Have the plugs dried out, over the last couple of days so they are now dry enough to fire properly..
So does this means potentially plugs leads and coils are all good..
Or (and this worries me more) is it something I've not really until now considered.. CCT, valve clearances are out.. but surely these wouldn't fix themselves on their own..

Welcome your thoughts as always..
 
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