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sputtering in the rain


mythreesons

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mythreesons

My trusty '96 RT was coughing, misfiring and backfiring in the rain this morning. I know, I know, I know most of you are thinking HES - as am I. My question is - have any of you experienced this and had it be something other than hall effect sensor wiring. The reason I ask is I replaced the HES a little over two years ago. I haven't done any diag yet but I assume it to be ignition due to the occasional backfire.

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Morning David

 

I have heard of "Singing In the Rain" but "sputtering in the rain" is a song I haven't heard yet.

 

Most likely it IS the HES, but it could also be a spark plug wire arcing externally, or pulled partially loose from the coil.

 

Or water in the fuel tank.

 

Or a cracked spark plug.

 

Or ?????

 

About all you can do is start somewhere & eliminate everything one by one.

 

If your bike has had the current HES in it for long while now that is the place I would start. Even IF it isn't bad now it can act up about any time.

 

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mythreesons

Hey DR, The "sputtering in the rain" song is quite melancholy as compared to the "singing in the rain" version. I broke down in Virginia two years ago and the HES was replaced by a dealer. Did BMW ever upgrade their wiring on replacement sensors? I'm thinking the replacement sensor sat on a shelf somewhere for 10 years, hence the premature failure.

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I unplugged the O2 sensor once on an 1150. I didn't waterproof the plug, and it would act up when it rained.

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foundationapps

HES, mine did the same thing exactly, then died. Crawled into the HES and found 2 things. Wiring was recently good.

 

THE problem was accumulated brake dust that looks like it entered the vents on the front cover. Had a new and used HES ready to replace it. I thought I'd risk a fix instead of a replacement.

 

Was viewing the sensors from the side and in just the right light I could see the brake dust interrupting (if that's possible) the field. Hosed it out with brake cleaner. Put everything back together and did a better job of positioning and waterproofing the 4 pin plug (tape).

 

Be careful if you use a high pressure hose on the big, it's fine for the rims and undercarriage parts. Use a bucket and cloth on the plastic, ignore the front cover except to use Simple Green and a rag on it to keep the crap down.

 

Buy a fender extender to keep crap off the front cover and header pipe.

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mythreesons

Thanks for the input guys,

I'm hoping I'll make it home from work in all this Pennsylvania rain. I'll do some garden hose testing and then tear it down for more visuals. I've got the original throttle cable (1996!!) to replace anyway.

Jim, thanks for the O2 suggestion. Good idea but I'm running open loop on this old 2.2 motronic.

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mythreesons

FYI. When I started my bike after work yesterday there was a delay when I hit the starter button. Do you guys have those glorious diagnostic AH-HA moments followed by delusions of grandeur when you figure something out? Well this was one of those moments (maybe not the delusions of grandeur but glorious just the same). The day before yesterday I lent the RT out to a friend who, when returning my bike, shut it off using the kill switch on the handlebars. Well I have NEVER used that kill switch in the 15 years I've had this bike. Duhhh - I wiggled the switch back and forth a few times to "clean" the contacts and all is well! I rode home in the pouring Pennsylvania rain singing instead of sputtering.

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FYI. When I started my bike after work yesterday there was a delay when I hit the starter button. Do you guys have those glorious diagnostic AH-HA moments followed by delusions of grandeur when you figure something out? Well this was one of those moments (maybe not the delusions of grandeur but glorious just the same). The day before yesterday I lent the RT out to a friend who, when returning my bike, shut it off using the kill switch on the handlebars. Well I have NEVER used that kill switch in the 15 years I've had this bike. Duhhh - I wiggled the switch back and forth a few times to "clean" the contacts and all is well! I rode home in the pouring Pennsylvania rain singing instead of sputtering.

 

I just got that AH-HA moment because I (or someone) should have thought of that culprit as it is not terribly uncommon -doh...

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