Engine intermittently dies, no codes (this is very long winded)...

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by FLHTrider08, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. FLHTrider08

    FLHTrider08 Active Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I'm hoping someone has some ideas about this problem. Here's some history:

    1) I originally posted about this problem in August of 2011:
    Fuel filter shell again? (sorry it's long) - Harley Davidson Forums - HDTalking.com . When it was in, they haven't found any codes.

    It's been repeating since then on a very intermittent basis, as it always did.

    2) I had a recall done on the fuel filter shell (it would crack causing stalling and starting problems but I've never had a problem with starting). See:
    Road Safety Recalls Database


    3) This year it was fine until (July 28th). I had put about 2500Km (1500mi) on so far in the year without any problems. I was on the hiway on a warm, sunny day (about 29C or 84F) going about 110Km/h (68mph) in 6th gear on a flat road. I was about 20Km (12mi) from my last gas stop and all of the sudden my engine dies. The radio stayed on. The check engine light also came on. I think I saw an "EIC" or something close to that displayed on the stereo screen but I could have been dreaming. I was listening to a CD so it wasn't any info from radio RDS. I haven't seen anything about "EIC" listed anywhere else I've looked. Next I pulled in the clutch and shifted down to 5th and hit the starter. It started back up and I continued on my way and shifted into 6th again. I have a love for 6th when I'm on the hiway cause I like to save on gas. About 10-15 mins later it happened again. I didn't see the "EIC" again on the radio but the check engine light come on again. I pulled in the clutch and shifted down to 5th and hit the starter. It started back up and I continued on my way and shifted into 6th again. I had no further problems on the way back (about 290Km or 180mi).

    4) Yesterday (Aug 13th), I was out on the hiway again, also doing 110Km/h (68mph) in 6th and it died again. It was about 21C (70F) and lightly raining. I was riding on about a 20 degree incline if that matters. I didn't see any "EIC" or whatever it was on the radio but again the check engine light came on. I pulled in the clutch and shifted down to 5th and hit the starter. It started back up and I continued on my way in 5th for the rest of the trip (about 180Km or 112mi) without any problems. Often this problem will occur twice in a short period of time but didn't this day.

    5) I began to think that every time this has happened, I've been going about 110Km/h (68mph) in 6th gear. Is it just a coincidence or could there be something to it?

    6) Yesterday after my ride I called the dealer I bought my bike from and they said they couldn't get me in for 8 days. I then called the other dealer in town who I'd only bought a t-shirt from in the past and they said to drop it off and they would try and look at it before the end of the week. Needless to say I took it in and fully described the circumstances to them.

    7) Today the tech called me and advised that he had taken it for a test ride and had driven it in 6th at about 110Km/h (68mph) and couldn't reproduce the problem and hadn't found any codes. I told him I wasn't surprised as it can be very intermittent. I said I had gone about 2500Km (1500mi) before it happened this year. He advised he would look into it further and see what he could do.

    8) I got a call back this evening and they advised that my bike was ready. I asked what had been done and the girl said they hadn't been able to reproduce the problem. She stated that they had checked the resistance on the ignition, cleaned the battery posts and cleaned some corrosion off the fuse box connections? (I think).

    9) I had another brainstorm which may or may not be related to the problem. When I looked through the maintenance schedule for my bike it talks about cleaning/replacing the fuel tank filter screen every 20,000mi. I've got 37,000mi on now and it's never been done that I know of. Is there not a fuel filter that can be changed, if so, how often does it need to be done? Is this hard to do or should I just get it done before I pick my bike from the dealer? I'm just wondering how much labor would be involved. The person in the dealer that could tell me wasn't available when they called.

    I know it's an incredibly long winded, somewhat boring story. My main concern is that my extended warranty only has 1 month left on it. I don't want to have to pay big bucks later for a problem I've been experiencing for years. I can certainly understand that the techs are unable to reproduce the problem because even I can't reproduce it if I want to. It seems to happen on it's own schedule.

    Does anyone have any other ideas or seen a similar issue? I'm getting worried that I'll be stuck with this forever.

    Thanks a lot,

    FLHTrider08
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  2. FLHTrider08

    FLHTrider08 Active Member Contributor

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    I also forgot to mention that they tested the battery today and it was also o.k.
     
  3. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    The fuel filter replacement is a recommended interval. I would not believe that the fuel filter would be the culprit for if it was the fault you should be having more problems. When stalled is bike slowly shutting off or is it like someone threw a switch. Do you cycle the kill switch to restart or are you just pulling in clutch and thumbing the starter button. Ask dealer if a possibility could be a vehicle speed sensor dropping out and with the combination of speed and 6th gear bike is shutting off.
     
  4. FLHTrider08

    FLHTrider08 Active Member Contributor

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    It just dies like somebody threw a switch. I don't cycle the kill switch. I just pull in the clutch, hit the starter and it fires right up.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    The fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, fuel pickup filter (sock) and fuel pump are all tied together inside the tank. Not hard to change once you get the stuff out of the tank. That can be a bit of a challenge the first time or two that you do it. Once you have figured out how to get the tank cover to hinge and allow the stuff inside the tank to swivel, it is pretty easy.

    But you will need to cut the hose clamps and pull the convoluted tubing lines off, and disconnect the wires so you can take the stuff over to a bench.

    Inspect the convoluted tubing for pinholes (see this thread: Harley Davidson Forums).

    Since you have the stuff out of the tank, go ahead and change the fuel filter and fuel pressure regulator. Clean the sock with mineral spirits, and then vacuum it with a wet vac. It is just for the big stuff anyway.

    I doubt this is your problem since in your case the engine restarts right away. It sounds like an intermittent problem with a sensor like the CPS or Speed sensor. The fact that it fires up after you downshift may suggest the Speed sensor. It is pretty easy to get to and check. If it is covered with metal fuzz (filings), try cleaning it off. In my mind it is just easier to change it out. The only trick is getting the wire up into the opening under the seat. On my bike, the connector was too big to fit through the slot. Had to route it a different way!!

    If it is the CPS, I can't believe that you wouldn't have trouble in other riding situations than what you have outlined. But this is also fairly easy to swap out too.

    Good luck.

    Cheers,

    TQ
     
  6. FLHTrider08

    FLHTrider08 Active Member Contributor

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    Thanks for the ideas and suggestions. I was able to speak to a senior tech (30yrs experience) at the dealer I took my bike to and he said he's never had to change a fuel filter that caused a problem for a bike under 100,000Km (60,000mi). He said they have done them because people have asked for it but never because one was clogged or extremely dirty assuming you're using decent gas and have no contamination in your tank. Maybe I'll hold off on the fuel filter for now. Not sure where to go from here but I'll see how it rides when I pick it up on Monday (Aug 18th).

    Do you know what the interval for replacing the fuel filter is dbmg? Like I said the maintenance schedule for my bike, and it looks like yours too :) isn't listed. It just talks about the Fuel Tank Filter Screen being cleaned or replaced every 20,000mi.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2014
  7. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    Shop manual states replacement at 25,000 mi (40,000km)
     
  8. 03HD883R

    03HD883R Active Member

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    It all depends on how it looks really. I pulled the one on '07 EG, and it had some junk in it, but not a whole lot. Didn't warrant for a new filter.

    It's the same for air filters... I tend to get longer life if I just use my shop air and blow them out from the opposite direction every so often.

    Eventually it needs to be replaced, but most times they just need to be cleaned up.

    I have 120k miles on my 03 ULTRA. original filter. I did have a problem with the engine shutting off for an instant when the engine rpms and throttle were in a certain position. The dealer reflashed the ECM and I have not had that problem since. It has been 4+ years. Good Luck
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2014
  9. FLHTrider08

    FLHTrider08 Active Member Contributor

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    Got my bike back today. I work 4on 4off 12hr shifts so I had to wait until I was off. So here's what they found and did:

    1) no dtcs found
    2) test ride in similar conditions didn't reproduce the problem.
    3) checked and cleaned battery connections and grounds
    4) cleaned corrosion from fuse blocks and fuses/relays
    5) checked function and resistance of ignition circuits, ok
    6) checked function and resistance of kill switch circuit, ok
    7) Charged and load tested battery, ok
     
  10. FLHTrider08

    FLHTrider08 Active Member Contributor

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    So I decided to go on a day trip on my bike since it was ready to go and I was off work for a few days. I did about 750Km (~465mi) the weather was warm, light wind and not much traffic. As it always is, the trip was about 85% hiway.

    On my way back I'm riding on the hiway doing about 120Km/h (75mph) and all of the sudden the engine dies again!!! Unlike times in the recent past, I wasn't able to pull in the clutch, shift down and start the bike back up. I had to cycle the kill switch before it would start back up. I didn't see any codes displayed. The only lights on after it died were the radio and low oil light (which I would assume is normal given the situation). I had about 100Km (60mi) left in the trip and everything was back to normal after that.

    Needless to say it's going back to the dealer in the morning. I'm frustrated cause I have a dangerous bike that's extended warrant has 1 month left and I can understand end how the techs can only do so much when they can't reproduce the problem. Come on Harley-Davidson, please don't let me down.