Tengai has lost spark. - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 18 Old 05-22-2019, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia
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Tengai has lost spark.

Looking for suggestions for things to check to solve this.

Background - my old but faithful 1990 Tengai today just suddenly cut out and stopped. Investigations show I have lost spark. This bike was running fine up to this point - and in fact has just completed 8000 miles throughout Central America with nil issues.

Checks so far are:
Spark plug changed. No impact
Coil changed. No impact
All connectors taken apart and remade. No change.

During the checks I found the loss of spark is not 100%- occasionally when I hold an earthed spark plug against the cylinder head I get a very weak spark, but it disappears again after a few cranks of the engine.

For information the bike has all the safety circuits bypassed (the red/black wire on the CDI is directly connected to earth - and has been for many years) so the cause is definitely not due side stand switch or the like.

Tomorrow I'll start trouble shooting by:
Checking stator coil resistance.
Checking the stator coil is outputting voltage to the CDI.
Checking pulse coil resistance.
Double checking all connections.

Anything obvious I'm missing?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated. I am an Australian and use this bike for long distance travel and am currently stranded in Tombstone, Arizona until this is resolved. Many thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 18 Old 05-23-2019, 01:19 AM
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The wires exiting the alternator cover, adjacent to the front sprocket, become very brittle as they age. You might want to remove the sprocket cover and inspect those wires. If you are having an intermittent and weak spark perhaps a wire from exciter coil is severed. I would think that a severed wire from the pick-up coil would make for an intermittent, but strong, spark.

Other than those thoughts you seem to have it pretty well covered.

Tombstone sucks.

Tom [email protected]

“I lit a cigarette and dragged a smoking stand beside the chair. The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


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post #3 of 18 Old 05-23-2019, 02:28 AM
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CDI?

Resistance values between CDI connections/contact points appear in service manuals, but . . . word-on-the-street, values are elusive; hard to measure effectively with digital ohm-meter. Worth taking a look, still, IMHO.

Substituting a known good CDI might help with diagnosis.

Also, dynamically . . . besides the RESISTANCE of the pickup coil, the OUTPUT is of some concern. You should see a voltage spike with every crankshaft revolution from the pickup coil; again, part substitution may be in order.

You say the stator (exciter?) coils supply voltage to the CDI; what value AC? You're probably aware, the engine kill mechanism (from either the kill switch, or the OFF position of the ignition switch) is GROUNDING (earthing?) this voltage; might check and see if a pesky ground (earth?) has entered the picture here.

We can recommend KLR experts in Arizona, but . . . not sure about in Tombstone, "the town too tough to die!"

“You better put down that gun. You got two ways to go, put it down or use it. Even if you tie me, you’re gonna be dead.” "John Russell" (Paul Newman), Hombre
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-23-2019, 10:52 AM
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I've found to Only Use analog VOA meters to attempt to test the Kawasaki CDI & TCBI igniters. I know nothing about the other 3 brands of Japanese bikes and their igniters.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

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post #5 of 18 Old 05-23-2019, 11:03 AM
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Might I also suggest to unscrew the spark plug cap from the wire and test spark strength Directly from the coil, with out going thru the resistor of the plug cap.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 83,000+ miles & counting
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-23-2019, 11:55 AM
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Good suggestion, what @pdwestman said. I would add to that a bit. Checking for spark can be an iffy proposition, what with trying to make it jump and air gap while hitting the starter and all. It's all well and good if you have a proper spark tester at hand but roadside and kneeling in the dirt it's a poor diagnostic.

Just grab ahold of the wire and hit the starter. It won't kill ya and it will remove all doubt about whether there is spark or not. No need to chase problems that don't exist.

Tom [email protected]

“I lit a cigarette and dragged a smoking stand beside the chair. The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-23-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for your suggestions and support. Tom's suggestion of of the excitor coil wiring send to be correct. It's measuring open circuit. I've got the stator completely off and can't find a break but the insulation on all wires down by the exit point from the cover is shot further and even when I meter at that point I still get open circuit suggesting the break is down in the epoxy soaked area of the wiring. Time to start making phone calls to find a replacement stator.

To contribute a bit of information here, the stator is an after market one (Caltric) about 18 months and 25,000 miles old. The wires have gone rigid at the exit point and are a mess of cracks (all of them) which suggests the insulation had insufficient heat rating. It looks like a foolish decision to save money buying that one.

Thanks again for the inputs.

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post #8 of 18 Old 05-23-2019, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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A quick supplemental question if I may. Can you confirm my understanding all Gen 1 stators are the same (or interchangeable). Thanks.

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post #9 of 18 Old 05-23-2019, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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For people's interest, this is the condition of the eye insulation I found.

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post #10 of 18 Old 05-23-2019, 01:42 PM
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Yes, 21003-1170 fits all KL650A & KL650B models, 1987 - 2007. https://www.kawasakipartshouse.com/o...rch=21003-1170

Should be plenty of used oem stators available. Or try Ricks Motorsport Electrics, $225USD.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 83,000+ miles & counting

Last edited by pdwestman; 05-23-2019 at 01:47 PM.
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