Engine missing while riding - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Engine missing while riding

First, here’s some background information:

Due to riding restrictions, this bike has sat in my garage for 6 months with a topped-off tank of “non-ethanol” gas (R90) and the battery plugged in to a tender.

Here’s what happened on my first ride last Friday:

The motorcycle fired right up, and after the usual warm-up time, I adjusted the idle to 1100 RPMs and rode off thinking how smooth the motor ran after sitting that long. I had no trouble at all riding through typical city traffic for about 30 minutes, but when I turned in to my first destination, the engine cut out. I didn’t think too much about it, thinking that maybe I had stalled it out while turning in, but I restarted the engine and pulled in to a parking spot and let it idle a moment before I shut it down and went inside.

After a visit that took about thirty minutes, I suited up and started up the bike without issue. I went on down the road and merged on to the Florida Turnpike where I was riding along at 70 MPH for about five minutes when, all of a sudden, the engine started missing and cutting out. The engine never actually stopped, but my tachometer was showing the RPMs were dropping to zero when experiencing these “misses”. I found that I could keep it from shutting down completely by working the throttle and keeping the RPMs up, or at least that what it seemed like to me. This went on for a couple of minutes while I managed to keep up my speed and got off at the next available exit. As the engine kept on running despite this, I worked my way back on to the highway and made it home, but it was very unnerving having the engine buck me while doing those speeds, not knowing if the motor was going to completely die and have me reacting to the drivers around me and ultimately finding myself stranded on the side of the road.
I have noticed over the past few years that my engine will sometimes “miss” every now and then, but it only happened while warming up and wasn’t an issue once running normally.

Could it be the pickup coil under the right-side engine cover? Or, the ignitor (ICU) under the seat is starting to fail? Maybe it’s just a bad plug or wire? It couldn’t be as simple as a clogged jet in one of the carbs, could it? I have an external filter installed. No, It really seems to be an electrical problem. What do I start with? I don't want to take it out for another ride until I address this.

Thanks!

please keep your distance
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 10:15 PM
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Do you still have the stock Gill coil? It might also be that. I replaced mine with Nology after I started having a poor idle and other issues.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 11:00 PM
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The behaviour of the tachometer seems to point to an ignition fault. On that year bikes there's a Triumph instruction to dealers to close up the recommended pick-up coil gap:

The gap for the pick-up coil is quoted in service manuals as 1.0 mm +/-0.20 mm but was changed during production due to warranty issues. The following was sent out as a statement by the Factory in a technical release to dealers:

Affected Models: Bonneville/T100, America, Speedmaster, Thruxton and Scrambler.

Should a bike (see above) demonstrate faulty ignition coil type symptoms (most commonly an engine misfire), please initially check and adjust the ignition pick-up (IPU) air gap (we recommend an air gap of 0.8mm).

Since changing the IPU air gap in production to 0.8mm, we have had no ignition coil warranty claims.


It's a lot less work to try a new ignition coil first, even though it's more expensive.The pick-up mod only costs whatever the gasket costs, but there's a lot more labour involved.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 05:54 AM
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If it's not the pick up coil (correctly gapping the coil under the alternator cover) Forchetto referenced then it's the ignition coil cb100t/Forchetto referenced. The ignition coil is under the front of the gas tank attached to the frame the spark plug wires plug into it. It sounds like one of these items as your problem seems heat related. When your bike has been run for a while it acts ups typical of a heat related coil problem.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 07:31 AM
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...and it's relatively easy to test the ignition coil.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 09:55 AM
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Before doing the above recommendations - Take a good look at your battery terminals. Make sure you are not getting a loose ground or power lead. That can wreak havoc on a bike. Possibly the battery has a plate shorting internally ? Batteries can cause all kinds of issues.

Just a couple ideas for you.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 10:04 AM
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First things first

Quote:
Originally Posted by RICHW View Post
First, here’s some background information: Due to riding restrictions, this bike has sat in my garage for 6 months with a topped-off tank of “non-ethanol” gas (R90) and the battery plugged in to a tender.Thanks!
Rich,

Get rid of all that stored gas from the system completely, then with fresh gas see if your issue is still there. TRIAGE, TRIAGE, TRIAGE.

Charles
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips, everyone!

I have always had a hunch that my pickup coil gap was off because of the engine misses that I described during a typical warm up. I'll order up a gasket and check that it's 0.8mm if the following doesn't fix the problem first.

The battery terminals were tightened down before Friday's ride. I make it a habit to check those regularly. The battery (MotoBatt MBT12B4) is fairly new and was installed in Jan. 2015.

I'll drain the tank and put in some fresh R90 non-ethanol gas. I don't run on 10% ethanol fuel anymore. I can use the drained fuel in my lawn mower and old Ford truck - it'll run on just about anything flammable.

I had replaced the ignition coil with a new Nology back in Nov. 2014 because of the misses I was getting during warm-up. It didn't fix the problem, as I recall. I have a spare coil on hand and will swap it out.

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 05:20 PM
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With the bike on the side stand you can remove the ignition cover with it [the gasket] staying on the cover coming off nice and clean. No need to drain the oil. You and may not have to use a new gasket. Just a dab of black RTV on the rubber seal for the pick-up wire coming in the side and good to go. At least that is how mine went back when I checked the gap which was set to the .08mm. I just wanted to know for sure.

Just thought I would pass that on.
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Last edited by Back2-2; 04-05-2016 at 04:02 PM.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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