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Discussion Starter #1
Hi fellow owners of what was for me the most awesome machine ever!

Just thought I would tell you about my issues with my ZX, which is an 03 with just 6500 miles on it. Yup, that's right, 6500! I bought it a year ago with just 2,200 on it and have loved upping that to it's current reading.

I started having problems a few months ago when it just plain refused to start, this happened overnight and my local bike shop suggested damp in the plugs. Well I had a check and then (after bruising my knuckles to death) handed it to them for a service, new plugs and a new rear shoe. Problem solved!:thumbup:

SO then a few weeks later it started kicking up a fuss. The whole thing suddenly blew a fuse and the dash died. I'm a teacher and it happened on the way to work, leaving me having to push my beloved machine past all the kids! :banghead:

One fuse change later and off we go.... belting.... but then, the damn thing starts getting an FI fault, seeing it cut out and restart as though I was running out of fuel. (this tended to happen at higher revs or when pushing it, so you can imagine how much fun that was in a bend!) :headscratch: Along with this I had a fuse go again! Then it wouldn't start with all fuses in place, it would just grind on the starter, but the pump wasn't priming :puzzled:

If you shook the bike back and forth between your legs, that tended to deal with it but most of the time it would take up to ten minutes. :eek:hthedrama:

FINALLY = On the fourth of April while riding in sh*t weather the FI light played up as if there were fueling issues, then the whole thing conked out. No blown fuses to be seen, but no priming pump and no starter motor! If I slammed the bars across full left or full right the starter switch would work again, but without fuel flowing... nothing! :deadhorse:

So now I have to wait for the AA - who ignore my request for recovery and send someone who will try to fix it!:rotflmao:

No surprise when he couldn't - but full marks for trying - and it got recovered to A KAWASAKI DEALER AND REGISTERED WORKSHOP.

Here's what happened then:

1) told the ECU was fooked
2) told the alarm was also fooked
3) ECU replaced with one from the showroom
4) alarm removed from bike
5) bike tested, all electrical measurements done
6) loom checked for faults, arcing to frame etc.... NOTHING
7) told bike likely to be ready next week... next day it blows up second ECU
8) both ECU's get sent to Belgium for repairs
9) Kawasaki UK are brought in, one of their blokes looks at it with no ideas
10) No one can work out what's going wrong and the ECU people in Belgium say both ECU's are beyond repair.

Riddle me this.....

What is going on!???!!!???!!!!???!!!!

No one seems to have a bloody clue - BE WARNED, IF THIS FAULT HAPPENS TO YOU, YOU MIGHT NEED TO CARRY A SPARE ECU EVERY TIME YOU WANT TO GO OUT FOR A RIDE:scared:

But seriously... any ideas?
 

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The ECU's are not known for going awol and I am pretty sure they won't be able to fix them as they are encapsulated in resin....:).
Sounds like a short circuit somewhere has killed the ECU ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ivor..... thanks.... no really... that was SOOOOOOO helpful.

Mauser, I'm right with you on that, I suspect an intermittent fault that is spiking and blowing the damn thing to bits.

Don't ask me about how these people think they can cope with fixing ECU's they are a proper mind f**k to me! Thing is that the guys have 'tested' the loom and all the components with no evident fault...

Can you think which circuit(s) are most likely based on dicky fuel pump issues?

I thought my local bike shop might have trapped the loom in the tank brackets etc causing an intermittent arc to the frame - causing blown fuse etc etc...

Thanks for your help...
 

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"If I slammed the bars across full left or full right the starter switch would work again, but without fuel flowing... nothing!"

This sure sounds like a broken or shorted wire up around the triple trees, thats were I'd start looking, also look were the alarm was hooked up. The zx12r doesn't usually have ECU problems. Stator plug melting, now thats a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Don't suppose any one knows which ECU's I can get away with whacking in mine? I understand that some of the earlier ones fit from 02-04 I think... (does this also bypass the dull and lifeless first gear restriction with an 02 one)

Anyone with encyclopoedic knowledge on this and the assorted part no.s / codes would be great to hear from.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lobo -

Thanks, I'm glad we think alike... I pointed all this out to the guys at the Kwak station, but sadly it was miles from me and still is so I can't nip in and check it...

I'm pretty sure they would have looked, and interestingly when the ECU was replaced it would start no bother, without bar slamming.... go figure!>!>????

It's got expert mechanics, electricians and the boys at Kwak stumped.... so it will probably turn out to be something simple that's been overlooked like an incorrectly rated fuse allowing a straightforward problem to overcharge the ECU, but which can't be detected because the ECU blows first!

Or maybe I'm just hoping, cos if it's anything complicated I will never get it back from the garage and be several grand out of pocket!
 

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Definitely short circuit somewhere.....not too many folks want to spend the money or time to trace short circuit due to tight spaces & just too many wires to deal with....but if you narrow it down by what all is connected to ECU it should not be too hard......there is a wiring schematic somewhere here on KW or you can find it online.....then try to find both ends of each wires and use tester to make sure there is not a break or short somewhere......not going to be easy but very much possible to do it......:eek:hno:

Good luck with it......I don't wish this on anyone :banghead:
 

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I would not be putting another ECU on until I had atleast found something that looked like it could be the culprit.
Which fuse did it blow?
You can't check intermittent faults easily. On the service helicopters we used to continuity check while a second person "simulated aircraft vibration" with a big rubber mallet!
Kawasaki mechanics are trained in how things are supposed to work, most have no more clue than the school dinner lady when stuff goes wrong. If they fit another ECU without finding the cause of the problem, make sure you aren't paying for it.
If its the same fault damaging the ECU as blowing fuses it is more likely to be an intermittent short to earth or to the frame rather than an intermittent cable break although this could spike a fuse in some high current circuits.
I recon I would follow Lobo and start looking at the harness up front. It could be a time consuming process and not something I would relish paying main dealer rates for.
The Americans contribute some great technical knowledge on here but usually during the night and am our time. :thumbup:

The rubber mallet thing never really worked but it was fun to twat some expensive stuff with a big comedy hammer!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Dragon and Shep,

Great stuff...

I had figured on a short to the frame based on the nature of the FI fault with the pump cutting in an out, particulalry with high vibrations or in bends. I'm starting to regret sending it to a Kwak dealer, but I figured... it's a great bike, do it by the book... they know their stuff... right?!

Why anyone would fit another ECU when there is a hole in the first is beyond me, they suggested I might have damaged it myself by overloading the underseat storage! er... how can you 'overload' that space!? It's tiny!

I'm thinking tiny cable damage & incorrect fuse causing intermittent faults and spikes (particulalry in wet conditions) leading to fried ECU rather than tripped fuse......

Seems like you lot are with me...

SO if a few Zx owners on a forum can propse solutions so quick, how come my bike is still in the shop 2 months and 10 days later?:headscratch:
 

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Lobo -

Thanks, I'm glad we think alike... I pointed all this out to the guys at the Kwak station, but sadly it was miles from me and still is so I can't nip in and check it...

I'm pretty sure they would have looked, and interestingly when the ECU was replaced it would start no bother, without bar slamming.... go figure!>!>????

It's got expert mechanics, electricians and the boys at Kwak stumped.... so it will probably turn out to be something simple that's been overlooked like an incorrectly rated fuse allowing a straightforward problem to overcharge the ECU, but which can't be detected because the ECU blows first!

Or maybe I'm just hoping, cos if it's anything complicated I will never get it back from the garage and be several grand out of pocket!
Did you check the stator plug? Hundreds of volts going to ground, will cause all kinds of problems. You either need a new wiring harness or inspect the old one till you find the short, which if you have the dealer do this time consuming check, its going to cost big bucks. I wouldn't plug in a new ECU till your sure you found it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just a quick post to point out that I am NOT slating the dealers... they have done right by me so far. I'm just getting really fed up of seeing the odd good day and not having two wheels in the garage.:angry:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Lobo & co.

Any ideas of most likely cause in the loom - am I looking for a hole/exposed cable OR a screwed wire with a break buried inside the shroud>?

ALSO - does anyone know if there are major loom changes from the 02 B specs to the 03 B2H I have? It might make it easier to pick up another...

Cheers for the help guys:thumbup:
 

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Shep -

Seeing as you have a passion for hitting expensive things with hammers, perhaps I could get you to go to the bike shop and bray several bells out of my currently useless lump?:deadhorse:

Who knows it might do more good than anything else has so far....
 

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No, you can't blame the dealer. Faults like that are no fun. Your delay is probably caused by them doing full price labour work when they can and looking at yours in the gaps. They are unlikely to even try to charge you the full hourly rate for the amount of time that fault could take.
That's right above... About the stator connectors. Some get fried due to oil wicking up, others, like mine just melted inside the connector for no real reason. It may be something to look at. Did you do the "lock to lock" thing on a few occasions? Are you happy that doing it had an effect or could it have been a coincidence? Sometimes you can spend a long time chasing a red herring.
 

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Shep -

Seeing as you have a passion for hitting expensive things with hammers, perhaps I could get you to go to the bike shop and bray several bells out of my currently useless lump?:deadhorse:

Who knows it might do more good than anything else has so far....
Wait an see if the US folk have any good ideas. I know its hard to think about right now, but when its sorted, the 12 is an awesome machine. Persevere with it. Think of all that fuel your saving, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Shep -

The final breakdown was the only time I did the bar slam thing. Not sure if they have looked at the stator, but in light of the fact it's a regular problem I would imagine so..

I'm just gutted as I was torn between a Busa or a ZX12 and I picked mine as it is just a better looking, better handling machine....

First ever Kwak....... Last ever Kwak at this rate.....

Back to Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki.....

Or maybe a Hyosung would be more reliable? Certainly easier to fix, worst thing that can go wrong is the main rubber band which powers it snaps.
 

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Have you done anything inside battery compartment, kind of back track to what you have done and see if something that you might have missed :headscratch: I am sure Kawasaki dealer probably check that....but they can easily missed something.....there are so many switches & sensors but usually blow fuses first. Blowing ECU is definitely something grounding somewhere......most usual places will be triple tree, under the seat & by rear taillight areas. I am surprised to why Kawasaki techs couldn't break it down and find it.

I don't trust new techs at Kawasaki dealers, the last time I took my bike in for oil leak (under warranty) they broke tabs of inner fairing covers and they super glued them.....I did not see it until it broke again and I was wondering what the heck those pieces were.......can't believe they did that but since I found out few years later it was too late for me to complain about it :banghead: I never take my bike to anyone unless I can stand and watch what they are doing.....if they have a policy that customer can't watch then I go somewhere else.....but everywhere I have been to allow me to stand and watch :thumbup:
 

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Look at page 530 in the service manual this shows the ECU and what connects to it, most of which are sensors, going to take some time and effort to track down which 1 has caused the short.
1. Ignition Switch
2. Engine Stop Switch
3. Starter Button
4. Spark Plugs
5. Stick Coils
6. Side Stand Switch
7. Crankshaft Sensor
8. Camshaft Position Sensor
9. Throttle Sensor
10. Gear Position Switch
11. Junction Box
12. Ignition Fuse 10 A
13. Starter Lockout Switch
14. ECU Main Relay
15. ECU Fuse 15 A
16. Vehicle-down Sensor
17. Main Fuse 30 A
18. Battery
 

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Since you have such a strange problem, I'd be looking at were the alarm was hooked into the harness or any other accessory's that have been added. Alarms can be very simple or very complex to wire in, depending on what kind you had.
 
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