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Running weakly on 1 cylinder.

I am probably calling the dealer tomorrow when they are open so they can work on this while I am traveling for work. But maybe someone can say something I can check before they pick the bike up.

My bike is a 2004 R1100s. It has 50,038 miles on it.

I was riding on the interstate at 70mph. I went to roll on the throttle in 6th gear to pass a tractor trailer. The motor would not respond to more throttle. I couldn't hear the motor because of the tire and wind noise from the truck.

I stopped rolling on the throttle and the bike did accelerate enough to pass the truck. 5 or 6 miles later again at 70mph the bike lost power. At first I though the motor stopped running but it was running on 1 cylinder. It couldn't pull 6th gear but by going down to 4th I was able to still do 50mph. There was no mechanical noise that sounded like anything broke.

I was able to limp home the last 20 miles running on 1 cylinder. It wasn't running very strong on that 1 cylinder but it was running. When I pulled in the driveway, it stopped running.

I thought it might be a stick coil. I had them go bad before and that was 32,000 miles ago.

I bought 2 new Beru and put them in. No difference.

I wanted to change the plug wires on the lower front plugs (it is a 4 plug head). I did that and got a new coil as well. No difference.

By no difference I mean the bike will not start. Only 1 cylinder is firing, but it doesn't sound very strong to me. Both pipes started to get warm after trying to start it for 15 seconds or so.

Any ideas what I can check before it goes off to the dealer?

Thanks.
Old 06-17-2019, 09:08 AM
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Check the basics... easiest first:

1. Remove primary spark plug from each cylinder. With plug in the coil and grounded check for spark while cranking

2. One at a time removed each fuel injector from throttle body and direct into a container. Check for a fine spray while cranking

3. Check cylinder compression

Results determine next steps....
Old 06-17-2019, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giarcg View Post
Check the basics... easiest first...
+1 great advice...
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:39 AM
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Basics

Thanks to both of you. I will check all 3 tomorrow. I know what it isn't.
I will post what I found including the compression.
Old 06-17-2019, 04:04 PM
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Seems like you're already got it narrowed down to which cylinder is not firing.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:34 PM
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if its not the compression save yourself some money and do it yourself
the diagnostic for the rest of the issues is fairly simple and the parts are cheap.
also if you havent ajusted the valves check them if the compression is low.
before you spend money at the shop.
Old 06-17-2019, 07:43 PM
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I had a similar problem and it was the fuel line in the the tank ("J" shaped) had split, therefore giving low fuel pressure.
The bike ran, but no power and then stopped.
You can measure the fuel pressure and think it should be 43 PSI.
Regards Mark.
Old 06-18-2019, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groceryrun View Post
Seems like you're already got it narrowed down to which cylinder is not firing.
Really? Where does he state which cylinder is not firing?
Old 06-18-2019, 02:55 AM
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Stranger things have happened, but I have had a clogged fuel filter act this way in a BMW K75s that I had. I put a new fuel filter in this bike Last Sept. 5,000 miles ago, so I didn't think it could be the filter. The fuel lines in the tank were changed in the last 4 years or so. I am going to check the compression, spark at the main plugs and the injectors like stated, I am going to buy a new fuel filter to day so I have it in case the injectors don't squirt. I will make sure the fuel lines are good and not kinked after I do the other things. If I put the filter in I can see the lines.

This bike was running perfectly before it ran on 1 cylinder. Again I have seen this before with a clogged fuel filter.

I thank all for any feedback. There is a lot of experience here. Maybe something happened to someone no one else has experienced. You never know.

Last edited by twitchy; 06-18-2019 at 05:44 AM..
Old 06-18-2019, 05:04 AM
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HES wires going bad?
Old 06-18-2019, 11:03 AM
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Both fuel injectors squirt fuel (fine mist) when removed and motor turned over. Both plugs have a very intense spark.

I don't know how much fuel should come out of the injectors.

The compression I can't check until I get back from Denver for work in a week and a half.

I ordered a new fuel filter from Beemer Boneyard and will have it tomorrow. When I put it in I can see the fuel lines in the tank.

I am under the impression if the HES is bad I won't have spark or fuel. Is that correct?

The main plugs Autolite 3923 look beautiful. The lower plugs are pretty loaded up like they always are. That is why I replaced the coil and the wires.

In the all the times I have adjusted the valves in this bike, none of them has been loose by more than .001 or .002. They have never been tight.

The compression could be low that is always a possibility but I am not feeling that. Many times when something runs on 1 cylinder, the running cylinder is pretty strong. This was definitely not that.

Any other thoughts put them out there. I decided not to call the dealer until I change the fuel filter and look in the tank. It would be pretty costly to have it be that simple.

Thank you again for any replies. I love working on my bikes, just not in the middle of the summer when I am riding it everyday.

Last edited by twitchy; 06-19-2019 at 02:28 PM.. Reason: More text
Old 06-19-2019, 01:56 PM
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throttle cable not seated on either throttle body
check they are synced and fully closing and opening together
yeah a bad hes would usually not produce spark or fuel
Old 06-19-2019, 11:38 PM
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Both of the throttle cables are seated. That was one of the first things I checked. The throttle bodies where recently synced. Right now by sound, they close at exactly the same. By feel they lift at the same time.

Thank you.
When I find out what this is I will post it for all to put in their memory banks. I won't have time to put much more time into it before I travel for work. When I get back I will address the problem and Ted Porter called me to let me know my Wilbers shocks have come in. I will have them when I get home as well.
Old 06-20-2019, 04:26 AM
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Had a similar problem a few yrs ago at 46000 miles on my 03 BCR
Looked like this
Old 06-20-2019, 11:18 AM
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Ouch! Exhaust valve?
Running too lean?
Old 06-20-2019, 03:06 PM
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Too tight a clearance... valve needs to seat properly and long enough to transfer heat (cool) into the cylinder head.
Old 06-20-2019, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giarcg View Post
Too tight a clearance... valve needs to seat properly and long enough to transfer heat (cool) into the cylinder head.
+1 ...or bad exhaust leak close to valve will do this...compression test will be obvious if this is the case...
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:20 PM
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Checked compression

I checked the compression. I have 135lbs in the left cylinder cold. The right cylinder 5lbs cold. I want to ride while I fix the BMW so I bought a used 2014 Honda VFR 800.

I checked the valve clearance in the bad cylinder and it is on the money. No tight valve.

Give me an idea where to start. The bike sat for 2 years while I got the money and parts together to fix a clutch spline issue. Could the rings have gotten rusty?

It has been running awesome for 5,000 miles since fixed. The 1 cylinder thing seemed to come out of the blue.
Old 07-07-2019, 03:51 PM
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OK, I would suspect one of the following:
1) burnt valve like depicted above
2) hole in piston
3) rings & cylinder wall destroyed
4) blown head gasket
5) cross threaded plug that finally let go

4 and 5 will usually provide an audible tick (leak you would hear), plugs are quick, pull them and see if threads come out with them, if not look at plug threads...if that all passes, you have to pull the head to verify the rest, although you can also check the rings/cylinder by changing the oil, there will be plenty of metal in the oil sump if you did and possibly some chucks if it's the piston...if this last option, remove the starter and buy the cheap plastic BMW tool to lock the flywheel at TDC when you find it, they will make much easier to take apart and put back together...
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:47 PM
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Brent
 
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check the timing the chain might have jumped,
unlikley rings
ive seen carbon bits stuck under a valve cause this but usually it will make the clearance wrong.
you can blow air into the cylinder at top dead center on the firing stroke and see if the air
comes out of the intake, exhasut, or crank case
it almost doesnt matter it will need to have the head removed most likely,
also ive seen bent valves
Old 07-07-2019, 11:18 PM
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