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Hey guys, I'm new to the forum and I've never really worked on a bike except for the time I replaced my radiator and fan. My 81 CX500d is my first bike. About a year ago, my bike quit out on me while driving to work when I ran out of gas and it never fired up again. There aren't any Honda mechanics in my town because I live in Fayetteville, AR. Almost every shop here works on Harleys specifically because of the Bikes, Blues, and BBQ festival we hold yearly. Anyway, I had a couple friends check it out for me and one friend told me it was the coils not throwing spark, the other friend told me my cdi box was what was causing the coils to not fire. I just got an Ignitech box thanks to Cobram and I've replaced my coils, but I'm getting the very same problem that I've always had, which is the bike gives me a wheezy cycling noise when I try to push in the ignition, at which point it won't go any further and it just runs down the battery.
I made a youtube video today to show the problem and give an example of the sound it's making in hopes that someone else knows what's going on with it. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated, so feel free to even email me privately at jonpeven at gmail dot com, if you don't think I'll see your reply right away.

Keep in mind that I have basically no experience with electrical repairs to machinery. All I've ever done is replace my own oil pan on my car and replace my radiator/fan on my bike. Terminology-wise I'm a total novice, so I kinda need it spelled out for me.

-Replaced the coils with some from a shop in Oregon via ebay.
-Replaced the cdi with an ignitech box
-Starter button is a little janky, but I opened it up and it seems to work fine
-Headlight isnt working. Not sure why

Here is the video I made:
 

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So, what did you get for readings?

statortest.jpg
 

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I used starter flluid in the filter box to see if it sould try to start. You can take the spark plug out, with the wire on, touch or lay the threded part of the plug on the frame, engin, so that the outside of the plug touches metal. Do not hold it in your hand. Then see if there is a spark while trying to turn over the engin.
The starter fluid is sprayed while starting the engin. You can have the petcock turned off if you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not getting spark when I put the spark plug's threaded end to the engine block and turn. Shocked me a bit at first but then I remembered to screw in the ground wire where the old CDI box was attached.

Combram - I tested the Stator with a multimeter I just bought and my results were that most everything read off fine, if not one or two points high on some of the connections. I tested it with my multimeter on 2000 ohms on the whole thing. Is that correct? I found that everything checked out ok except for the Source Coil High Speed (8/9), which read out between 3 and 7 when it's supposed to be around 77 and 95. The low speed (5/9) was fine. So, what do I do?
 

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Unplug the black/white switched ground wire that comes from the on/off switch. Test for spark with it disconnected. Check the Black wire on the bike (the one that's bridged with 2 red wires on the Ignitech,) there should be juice there whenever the key is in the "on" position.

Maybe you just thought the bike ran out of gas when it first died?


 

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Agree with Cobram, it may have died on you from something other than no gas. As suggested, first thing is to find out if you have good spark, and if not why. You may also want to charge up your battery as from the clip it isn't cranking nearly fast enough (my bike will not start cranking that slow even with everything working right). Take a plug out and wrap a wire around the threaded part and join that to a good ground, then check for spark in a dimly lit area if possible. This leaves your hands free and gets a better ground on the plug than trying to hold it to the engine frame. If you spark is bad or not there, double check your wiring. Make sure you do the checks that Cobram has listed here, as there is no point checking anything else if the Ignitek inst power properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So test the 8/9 connection on the multimeter with the black/white cable to the ignitech disconnected? I just tested it and I got the same readout of about 3-8 ohms, when it should be around 77-95
 

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8/9 are necessary to power the original CDI box, they are not used by the Ignitech.
 

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As stated by Stern, make sure your battery is at full charge. If you get a spark with the black/white disconnected that means you have a bad on/off switch or a fault in that wiring somewhere. Do the current check I posted above too.

For testing, you can disconnect the black wire and connect either of the red bullet connectors that come from the Ignitech directly to the + of the battery, this will power the unit directly, the ignition (Key/Main) switch will be out of the the loop in case the defect lies there.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My battery is only at about 7 DC volts right now according to the meter, so I'll take it to the auto shop around the corner and put it on a charge. Another problem I'm having is my start button. It seems to have a bad connection inside it's housing on the right handlebar. I've had this problem for a while but it's never been bad, but since it drizzled a little bit ago then it won't connect so I can't test for spark right now. If there's a way to easily fix my start button connection, please let me know. I'm about to just open it again and use a screwdriver to connect it. If it helps, my engine cut-off switch is disconnected and has been ever since I got the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Also @ Stern: If it helps, ever since I've had this problem the bike has been cranking about that slowly, even when I take the battery in for a charge and plug it back in.
 

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Do a load test on the battery after it's charged. They're cheap enough, probably less than what you've spent on gas going down to get it charged at the autoparts and they can come in very handy.
 

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At 7 volts I think your battery is toast. Like cobram said, do a load test and if the voltage is under 12 when fully charged you'll have to buy a new battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Charged it at the shop. The guys in the parts store thought it was toast cause when they charged it "the battery got hot and smelled a little". I tested it with the multimeter upon walking out and I got 12.6 volts :rolleyes:
 

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Welcome to the forum!

This might help with terminology. http://cxgl.wikispaces.com/FAQ+ENGINE

Q. Help me use the terms "engine cranking","turning over" and "engine firing" correctly?
A. The term engine cranks, cranking, and turning over, refers to the starting motor turning the internal engine assembly in a normal manner.
Engine firing refers to the observance of combustion pulses due to backfiring, spitting, coughing, and a indication of the engine is trying to start, but may not keep running. Some countries use slightly different connotations, but this is generally accepted in the U.S.

Here's a link to the Wiki on the starter button rebuild/cleaning. http://cxgl.wikispaces.com/Rebuilding+the+Starting+switch

A link on not starting. http://cxgl.wikispaces.com/What+to+do+when+your+bike+won%27t+start

You got 12.6 volts on your battery after charging. What voltage do you get when the starter is turning the engine over?

http://cxgl.wikispaces.com/Batteries

Here's a great battery at a good price. (I'm using this one in my CX. Get it, your bike will thank you! LoL!) YTX14AHL BS YTX14AHLBS GTX14AHL BS UTX14AHL YB14L A2 AGM Battery Replaces Yuasa | eBay

That should keep you busy for a while!;)
 

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At 7 volts I think your battery is toast. Like cobram said, do a load test and if the voltage is under 12 when fully charged you'll have to buy a new battery.
That doesn't mean the battery is good, you need to do a load test as all you're measuring after a charge is the surface charge, a battery which is junk will read 12+volts until you put a load on it, then the voltage will take a nose dive.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A load test is where I just check the drop in volts when I hit the ignition button, correct? It dropped only to about 10-11V when trying to start. Right now it's sitting at over 11.6V afterwards, so that means it's discharged? Should I take it to the battery store and ask for a replacement, or does all of that sound ok?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I tried disconnecting the ground wire (black & white) and I don't think I got any spark, though it did shock me :/

After reading these tutorials I'm a little worried that I may not be getting gas and my carbs are gummed up even though I thought it may have been fine previously. Does anyone know the best way to check if the fuel filter is clogged on an 81 cx500d? I have no idea if it's in the tank or in the fuel line. I took apart the petcock before and it looked fine.
 
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