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Old 09-01-2012, 10:44 AM   #1
jlpp OP
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On road, engine loses power and dies repeatedly

In rural Kyrgyzstan riding US 2009 F800GS with problem as outlined below. Please excuse brevity (typing on phone) and mechanical novice. Requesting any thoughts on troubleshooting or fixing this problem. Bishkek is 350 kms away and hoping to get bike there tomorrow.

Problem:
Two days in row, at end of day and after 300+ kms per day, engine loses power and stops running, much like being out of fuel. Able to start by start button or bump start but only after engine turns over many times more than usual. Engine stops again after several minutes. Repeat this until arrive at destination for evening. After first occurrence, the following morning and most of day no issues, until recurred at end of second day. Thought I had run out of gas about 2/3rds through second day ride as fuel gauge dropped to zero quickly and engine died while gas gauge read empty for 10+ kms. Used two liters emergency supply and got to station. When filling it only took 11 liters so 16 liter tank should have had 3 or more liters when I thought it was empty and engine died. After filling at station ran 100+ kms before engine stopped for second time that day.

Conditions:
  • Occurred first day at 3,200 meters, second day at 2,000 meters.
  • Both series of engine stoppages were near end of day after 200+ kms.
  • Outside temps both days at about 70 degrees F. Engine temps normal. Four out of eight bars. Fan running fine.
  • Both days have been dusty with a lot of bumpy off road.
  • Opening gas cap near end of day to fill tank there is a strong rush of air but not sure if tank has vacuum or is under pressure.
  • In Central Asia for the past two weeks. Lowest advertised gas: no more than 5 liters of 80 mixed with 92 already in tank, more than week ago. All other gas: 91+. Last two days only used 93 or 95.
  • Air filter is not new or clean but doesn't drop much dust when blowing on it or hitting it against something hard. Does not appear clogged but does have a lot of kms on it.
  • All reservoirs, hoses, cables, fasteners, clamps, etc appear ok except one hose that runs from right side of bike under seat then snakes down to hang just below bottom of bike. This hose is not connected to anything on either end. This hose doesn't exist on friend's German 2009 800GS. What's it for?
  • No rain but a few splashes from riding through small streams. No standing water in air box.

Tests (while stopped on center stand at destination at end of second day, a few minutes after series of engine stops while riding):
  1. Run engine - engine loses power (struggles) and stops within five minutes
  2. Start with button - engine loses power and stops within one minute
  3. Start with button again - engine loses power and stops within one minute
  4. Open gas cap and start with button again - engine runs without issue for more than ten minutes
  5. Close gas cap without stopping engine - engine continues to run without issue for five minutes until turned off normally with switch
  6. Wait 15 minutes
  7. Start engine with button again - engine loses power and stops within ten minutes
  8. Open gas cap and start with button again - engine runs fine for about 15 minutes BUT THEN loses power and stops even with gas cap open

Thoughts:
Seems very much like fueling issue. Suspect vacuum in fuel supply preventing sufficient amount of gas from getting to engine. Maybe vacuum between canister and engine. Maybe fuel pump issue.

Next idea:
Check the fuel line vent to the very right and rear of bike, under seat. No issue on first look. Will remove from bike to have closer look and see if clogged.

Please let me know if you have other ideas. Maybe how to check fuel pump to see if it's working properly. Or how to get a fuel pump to Kyrgyzstan and get it installed in the next 4 days. Trying to meet visa and medical schedules and deal with bike issues.

Thank you,
Jeff

jlpp screwed with this post 09-01-2012 at 06:03 PM Reason: typos
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:57 PM   #2
jlpp OP
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Fuel pump

On computer now but Internet is spotty here so research is very slow. Our problem looks the same or very similar to the problem in the first post from this thread:

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=420546

Charlie's (chunter) problem was only fixed when the fuel pump was replaced. Assuming, for now, that we need to replace the fuel pump too. Assuming this, follow-up questions in case anyone has suggestions while we continue to research (slowly):
  1. Is it possible to test the fuel pump to confirm problem?
  2. Is there a way to repair the pump, or at least get it to function more consistently for some time?
  3. Are there non BMW fuel pumps that can be made to work with F800GS, ideally that we might find in/near Kyrgyzstan?
  4. On a Sunday, is it possible to find which BMW parts dealer closest to Bishkek have fuel pumps in stock? We might have to fly there to get the part and come back in order to meet our visa schedule...

(An urgent) Thank you!

Jeff and Si
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
cathulu
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Suggest you bypass the fuel pump controller, ie wire the fuel pump direct to the battery. There is a thread on it. It is perfectly safe to do so and may solve your problem.

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Old 09-02-2012, 08:10 AM   #4
JRWooden
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Jeff:
The other thread is a good one.
I suggest you hold a strip of paper near the fuel tank cap when you open it next time and as the pressure/vacuum is released the paper will deflect in or out ..........

If it is deflecting IN (vacuum) then it may be the case that the vacuum gets so high the fuel pump can not overcome it.
This would likely be the result of a clogged charcoal canister (assuming this is a USA built bike) or perhaps the check valve in the vent line from the tank.

I carry an extra "straw" from a can of WD-40 in my tool kit so that I can close the gas tank lid on it if needed and hopefully maintain venting until I can fix the real problem (if it is a venting issue)

What is the latest news?
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathulu View Post
Suggest you bypass the fuel pump controller, ie wire the fuel pump direct to the battery. There is a thread on it. It is perfectly safe to do so and may solve your problem.
Thank you Cathulu. I'll look into bypassing the fuel pump controller now.

This morning we bypassed the carbon canister and rode 300 kms to Bishkek. First 150 kms no problem at about 90 kmph. At about 150 kms I slowed for police, down into second gear and low RPM and engine stalled.

Opened tank, which made no air pressure noises, filled tank to top with 95 gas and continued and engine stalled again about 20 kms later, in 3rd gear at about 3500 rpm, indicating that fuel level and tank pressure/vacuum is not significant to problem.

At the end of the ride, in Bishkek, slowed to 1st/2nd/3rd gears through city traffic. RPMs ranged from 1k to 3k. Engine stalled about 10 times, every minute or two, before finding a place to stay for the night.

Things we've confirmed or learned from today's canister bypass and ride:
  1. Stalling has not yet happened above 4k RPM nor above 50 kmph while in gear
  2. Stalling has not happened before 100 kms or first 1 hour of ride after night of no riding (something overheating?)
  3. Carbon canister is now out of the picture
  4. Tank pressure/vacuum no longer a factor now that tank vents directly to atmosphere instead of canister
  5. After stalling, engine consistently restarts after turning ignition off, waiting a couple seconds, then back on and hitting start button

I wonder if engine is cutting out above 4k RPM and 50 kmph but inertia is immediately bump starting the engine back up. I think I feel very faint hesitations while riding but nothing so significant as to make it obvious. Maybe just in my head.

What does all this add up to? A sensor? ECU? Bum fuel pump? I'd be really grateful for any way to narrow in on the problem.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:07 AM   #6
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Thanks for your help, JR. Just posted an update above. We bypassed the carbon canister and the problem no longer adds up to a tank vacuum issue. Seems to be tied to heat as problem only happens after some time riding. Is it possible for the fuel pump to overheat? But then why would it work again immediately by cycling the ignition? The behavior makes it seem like there is a sensor or breaker that flips when the pump reaches a certain temperature and turning the key off and on again resets that sensor or breaker until it overheats again a minute later.

Please keep the ideas coming... We're heading for the Chinese border in a couple days and are hoping to have some fix or workaround until we reach India, where our visa schedule is more flexible for proper fixing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JRWooden View Post
Jeff:
The other thread is a good one.
I suggest you hold a strip of paper near the fuel tank cap when you open it next time and as the pressure/vacuum is released the paper will deflect in or out ..........

If it is deflecting IN (vacuum) then it may be the case that the vacuum gets so high the fuel pump can not overcome it.
This would likely be the result of a clogged charcoal canister (assuming this is a USA built bike) or perhaps the check valve in the vent line from the tank.

I carry an extra "straw" from a can of WD-40 in my tool kit so that I can close the gas tank lid on it if needed and hopefully maintain venting until I can fix the real problem (if it is a venting issue)

What is the latest news?
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:59 AM   #7
Cambi
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Have you tried an ECU hard reset?

Cambi screwed with this post 09-02-2012 at 11:00 AM Reason: Typo
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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Buggered fuel pump - overheats as fuel supply gets low.

You need a GS911 to diagnose.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:25 PM   #9
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We haven't hard reset the ECU, no. I'll look into this.

We were with a friend yesterday morning who has a GS911. It found no faults. Our plan is to reconnect in a couple days before crossing to China. I'll take any suggestions on what else to do with the GS911 with me.

If this is a failing fuel pump that's overheating on low fuel, what options do we have to limp along? Keep the fuel level high and cold. What else? Another traveller friend who's with us now in Bishkek has a spare fuel pump for a 1100GS. Could this be rigged to work for a few thousand kms?
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:55 PM   #10
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jlpp:

Based on the latest info, yes I have to agree it does not seem the canister is the problem.

Keeping the tank at least 1/2 full will help keep the fuel pump cool.

Some folks have had some luck with removing the fuel pump and then running it backwards and forwards by changing the poliarity on the pump and running some light solvent/lubricant (like WD-40 or kerosene) through it ... I've not done it so I can't say with certainty...

Not sure if you could use the 1100GS pump but ... Here's a picture of what I think is the pump:

http://cnnc.en.alibaba.com/productsh...8_9200109.html

http://www.onlyfuelpumps.com/oem-rep...p-hfp-382.html

sigh................ oh for the days of carburetors..............
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:05 PM   #11
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Thanks again. This thread had some really good info: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=599568

We're going to take the 1100GS part to a mechanic and try a few of the suggestions discussed above. Sounds like the original Bosch part is fairly generic and a suitable alternative may be found in Bishkek. Will find out soon!

More to come...
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:07 AM   #12
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No fix yet. We'll go to an "auto bazaar" tomorrow and show around the old pump.

We've read that pumps from Opels, Vectras and other cars may be the same as the Bosch pump. Has anyone seen a more specific list of parts and part numbers that are the same?
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:39 AM   #13
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The pump is 50psi and capable of 90 liters per minute. It has BMW style electrical connectors. If the 1100pump fits that stat it should work. I agree it sounds like a pump, but the sensor on the fuel rail tells the the controller how much pressure is needed, other wise it will pump at full pressure all the time. That I suspect is unique to the bike.

The word is that can be found on a few small cars.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:46 AM   #14
JRWooden
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I recall Joel saying that the fuel pressure sensor could be unplugged and the bike would still run ok ....
for a diagnostic test.

I've never seen a part number cross reference, but from somewhere heard that our pump was the same as:

Opel Tigra Vectra B Zafira 99-05 FUEL PUMP OPEL 815037

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Old 09-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #15
itsatdm
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I recently saw that some one did that and it ran. Routing around the controller has the same effect. I always thought the timing of the injecters controlled fuel flow, but there must be some reason to control the pressure. If not, 2 less things to go wrong.

I remember an Opel pump being a potential source. Never found out which one, nor bothered as Opel dealers are kind of scarce. Looking at pressure and volumne for your typical US car, it must be an itty bitti thing.
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