ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Battle scooters
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-11-2010, 01:26 PM   #1
btcn OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
btcn's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Morgan Hill CA
Oddometer: 2,880
Elite 150 and other scooter owners beware of CDI!

So this is going to be a thread for anyone experiencing any intermittent type problems on their scooter. I wanted to spread the word on spark problems. But any problems with performance can go here, all scooter models and brands welcome.

So for my problem[s]. So I have had a Satellite blue 1986 Honda Elite 150 Deluxe for the past 2 years. You have likely read many of my posts on problems that I have had with it. But I will explain if you haven't.

Unfortunately, this scooter has suffered many problems in the past 2 years. It has had it's engine overhauled at just 11,700 miles with a 1897 Elite 150 engine that had only 2,900 miles on it or so. It had no compression with bad piston wrings and engine damage to the side walls. Figuring it wasn't worth it, I simply replaced it with an engine in great condition off of ebay.

Ever since I have had it, it has had a power problem. It would CONSTANTLY have the power go on and off. Usually it would start up running very rough and poorly. But once in a while it would start up running great. Or sometimes restarting it helped, but now usually. This problem drove me insane. I could just be riding down any road at any time and the power would just flick off like a switch. The first thing, like most mechanics would suspect was the carburetor. I checked it out. I took it apart and all was great. I blamed the Auto By starter, as these can cause a couple of problems. But after enough research and wrenching, I discovered that this was completely uninvolved. I also replaced the carb with a brand new OEM one just to be sure. Nothing better.

So I was stuck for a while, and upon trying to commute on it to San Jose, it just wasn't doing it. I avoided the interstate, and took a 2 lane 55 MPH highway. Not enough speed or power to be safe. So I tried a 45 MPH road parallel to the 2 lane highway. Still dangerous! So I had to pull out a big bike to commute. But it doesn't get such great gas milage, and is harder to maneuver in traffic. The Elite is perfect for the expressway in rush hour, especially with it's light weight and auto CVT. I just love it for this ride!

But I couldn't do it! It was to damn slow, and no top end. Winds would even slow it down a ton.

I trouble shot it everyday, everyday! I took it apart, trying desperately to find the issue. Now, after 2 years, I find it! It was the CDI! You may have read this on a previous thread.

So I test it with a multi meter, and YES! It failed 2-3 of the tests from the service manuel! So I just ordered a new CDI from Monster Scooter parts. It has an aftermarket one with no rev limit. It gives an even better spark for even better acceleration! It runs like a dream now!

So now the logic behind CDIs and why the hell we need then.

So a CDI, or Capacitive Discharge ignition, is just in simple terms what boosts your voltage and advances your timing. It takes voltage from your pulse generator or alternator, and boosts the voltage big time by holding charges.

Generally about 100 or so AC volts come into it, and it takes that and shoots out around 37,000 AC volts! Sometimes more or less, depending on your engine. If it is not working right, it can fail intermittently like mine did, or fail altogether, so that your engine won't even start at all. It could also be the connector or wires going out of it or into it. Or your ignition coil, spark plug wire, spark plug, etc. But this is definitely something to take a look at!

So why the hell do we need this kind of voltage? It doest take 37,000 voltes to jump that tiny little gap and explode very flammable gasoline with in air does it?

No, it doesn't take that much voltage at all. In fact you can take your spark plug out, ground it to the frame, and you will see a decent spark or even a nice, clean blue spark, even if your CDI is failing! But there is a good reason why we need the CDI.

So when your engine is running, what's right before the combustion stroke, or spark plug firing stroke? COMPRESSION STROKE! Yes, a compression of around 180 PSI, possibly much more or much less depending on your compression ratios and engine size, type, etc. But, there is compression. This means that right before that spark plug fires, there is a vacuums in the cylinder. It is very tightly compressed, and the air pressure is high. What does this mean? This means it will take much much more electricity for travel the same distance under this pressure. It is sealed in there, and no air is escaping once that exhaust valve closes on a good motor. So that means you will need WAY more electricity to jump that tiny gap. The pressure makes it much harder to jump that gap.

When you ground the plug against your frame, air pressure is normal, but when you put it in that cylinder, you will need much much more electricity to successfully jump that gas and make a powerful spark. This is where the CDI comes in. It sends tons of voltage to the ignition coil, and if this is not enough, you will get spark, but not enough for a full, powerful combustion. It just stores energy in a rectifier and at the correct intervals sends it to your coil.

It will explode, but not a great one under that pressure. This causes fuel inefficiency, slow acceleration, low top speed, etc. Then sometimes it will work, and send a great charge to your ignition coil and it'll run great.

My top speed was only 45-50MPH, with horrible slow acceleration. Sometimes at WOT it would flicker, as in slow down and speed up, while backfiring, but now always.

So this is some of the basic workings of it. Now I will make a chart of other electronics that could cause similar issues:

-Pulse Generator
-Ignition Coil
-Spark plug wire
-CDI connectors/ wires
-Bad spark plug

These also can cause problems, so also check them if this is not your problem

Now here are some of many symptoms. If you have even one of them, its worth a look!

-Slow top speed
-Lack of "Kick" in power
-Poor acceleration [Off the line and especially in midrange]
-Poor Hill climbing abilities
-Low torque
-Lack of high RPMs
-Intermittency between power
-Poor gas milage
-Backfiring [Especially during de acceleration]
-Engine sounds low to low pitched and won't rev up or even sounds different
-Full throttle is the same at half throttle
-No passing power
-Just doesn't quite "FEEL" right
-Restarting sometimes changes performance or runs poor after start up after sitting [especially in cold]
-Etc

These are a few major symptoms that you may or may not have. If you have one, just check it out. It doesn't mean it is not something else, but it could be involved.

If you ride an Elite 150, it may have a different sound when it is running right. I think it is normal. It make a sound that sounds like it is sucking in gas in.

So if you have any questions or want to discuss this, just post!
btcn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 02:53 PM   #2
brockster
Despair & Repair Garage
 
brockster's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Near Dayton, Ohio USA
Oddometer: 2,042
Thanks for the great write up!
__________________
2001 HD XL1200S
1977 Vespa + 1985 Honda Elite
CB550K project.

"
Man whoever came up with Ronald McDonald was dropping some serious acid.
." - SpoonKiller / tiotalruckus.com

brockster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 03:04 PM   #3
btcn OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
btcn's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Morgan Hill CA
Oddometer: 2,880
No problem! I just hope it helps someone!
btcn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 02:03 AM   #4
fullmetalscooter
Let me take this duck off
 
fullmetalscooter's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: BC
Oddometer: 2,654
it can happen to any bike with a cdi. glad it's over , now I ll have to drag race to the beer store.
__________________
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body,but rather to skid in sideways totally worn out shouting WHAT A RUSH, WHAT A RIDE.
"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot." Charlie Chaplin
fullmetalscooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 07:06 AM   #5
tastroman
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Collinsville Va
Oddometer: 1,579
I had a bad CDI on my Daelim that took over a year to diagnose. The scoot was under warranty but I got so frustrated with its intermittent coughing that I talked the dealer into letting me exchange it for another. Low and behold the new scooter had the exact same problem. The mechanic finally got around to replacing the CDI and all was good. The faulty CDI was causing my scooter to intermittently misfire on acceleration. Since having the CDI replaced I have had 12,000 trouble free miles.
__________________
------------------------------------------------------
The world would be a better place if there were fewer people who felt like they needed to teach other people a lesson.
2007 Daelim S-2 250
2009 Buell Ulysses XB12XT
tastroman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 09:46 AM   #6
btcn OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
btcn's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Morgan Hill CA
Oddometer: 2,880
Yep, thats what those damn little things do! They are very very hard to diagnose. They make problems that seem very Carburetor like or mechanical like! Sometimes they cause the regular problems, but many times they cause very weird problems.

Wow, the other brand new scoot did the same exact thing? Jeez, CDIs can be a real pain! I hate that intermittency! Because you could be running with full power, and then you got to pass a car and halfway through the pass the power goes away! And there is definitely no power to pass!

Glad you also got yours fixed!
btcn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 09:50 AM   #7
tortoise2
Studly Adventurer
 
tortoise2's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Nevada
Oddometer: 501
One preventative maintenance strategy on the China GY6 50cc and 125/150cc scooter engines is to just replace the CDI module and ignition coil every few years . . because the stock components are relatively inexpensive.

tortoise2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 10:01 AM   #8
btcn OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
btcn's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Morgan Hill CA
Oddometer: 2,880
Yea, I agree. I should also replace my Ignition Coil and spark plug too! I am going to order many parts today, so I'll add one to the list due to it's age.
btcn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 02:41 PM   #9
robertjludwigsr
Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Oddometer: 89
good article

the cdi system is superior to the old points coil system but no system is perfect. Sometimes when the cdi fails it does so all at once where as the old points system crude as they are fail over time and in emergencies can be tinkered with in the field to get you homea a nice feature when you are off road.
robertjludwigsr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 03:28 PM   #10
btcn OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
btcn's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Morgan Hill CA
Oddometer: 2,880
I definitely agree with you robertjludwigsr. There is no truly perfect system. I also know that CDI is better than points. But yea, points is simpler. Just replace your CDI box every so often, or better yet, keep a spare.
btcn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 08:43 PM   #11
acejones
Beastly Adventurer
 
acejones's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: MS. Gulf Coast
Oddometer: 4,979
So when your engine is running, what's right before the combustion stroke, or spark plug firing stroke? COMPRESSION STROKE! Yes, a compression of around 180 PSI, possibly much more or much less depending on your compression ratios and engine size, type, etc. But, there is compression. This means that right before that spark plug fires, there is a vacuums in the cylinder. It is very tightly compressed, and the air pressure is high. What does this mean? This means it will take much much more electricity for travel the same distance under this pressure. It is sealed in there, and no air is escaping once that exhaust valve closes on a good motor. So that means you will need WAY more electricity to jump that tiny gap. The pressure makes it much harder to jump that gap.


This makes no sense. If there is a vacuum, it cannot be tightly compressed with high air pressure. A vacuum is an absence of pressure. There is a vacuum in the cylinder on the intake stroke, then there is a compression stroke at the end of which ignition occurs, thus producing the power stroke. You should reread the principles of the four stroke engine.
__________________
I got tired of being here, so now I'm there
acejones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 09:23 PM   #12
btcn OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
btcn's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Morgan Hill CA
Oddometer: 2,880
Looks like I got my words wrong! Your right, it is actually just pressurized, like in an air compressor. I just got the word Vaccume confused with pressure. It is actually basically the opposite in some ways!
btcn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2010, 11:55 PM   #13
Ken11
Adventurer
 
Ken11's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: CA
Oddometer: 50
Man, that is EXACTLY what my old Elite 150 did! It ran great and was reliable, that is the only thing it did. I am an auto mechanic, and I got so tired of trouble shooting it that I sold it! I feel like an idiot! CDI, of corse! Its just such a weird problem!
__________________
-2007 Honda Reflex -2008 Harley Davidson Softail Custom - 2003 Sportster 1200 - Honda XR50 - Suzuki DRZ 400 - Suzuki GSXR 650 - 2009 Honda CBR 1000RR
Ken11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2011, 05:48 PM   #14
mctnez13
mctnez13
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Southern California, Orange County
Oddometer: 2
Thanks!!

I think this thread just might have fixed my 1986 Honda Elite 250 I just got! Thanks for sharing everybody!

Mike
mctnez13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2011, 12:14 AM   #15
btcn OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
btcn's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Morgan Hill CA
Oddometer: 2,880
I'm glad I could help mctnez13! We should try and spread the word for these scoots! Spread CDI failure AND the rubber intake manifold replacement.

It just seems to me on these old bikes that CDIs fail somewhat often. I've seen this as the leading cause of various dirt bike cases over the years as well as some big bikes [older carbed models]. CDIs tend to work good, far better than points ignition in my opinion most of the time, but the box can lead to problems like this. It is just so hard to diagnose, you THINK SO STRONGLY its got to be fuel or something! They cause the funniest symptoms.
btcn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014