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Fuel pump issues solved - Ducati (and possibly others)

Discussion in 'Tech Help' started by Crabman, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Crabman
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    Crabman Member

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    2013-05-26 18.01.46.jpg 2013-05-26 18.02.22.jpg Hi all,

    An FYI that may save Ducati owners (and possibly others) a lot of time (and/or money) one day…

    Spent the last 2 months (on and off) trying to get to the bottom of a fuel pump problem.

    Out of nowhere, the bike would cut out, and then the fuel pump wouldn't prime on start-up. Started moving around some wiring near the fuel pump relay and that seemed to work - but only sometimes. Sometimes it would work for 400km, sometimes for 5km. Checked the relay, it was fine. Sometimes these can accumulate some gunk and cause the connection to be less than reliable. Replaced it anyway (relays are dirt cheap).

    Over time the problem got worse and bike would cut out more often, but if you left it for a while, came back later that day, it would often prime and start straight back up…

    So this was driving me crazy as I’d play with something, that would seem to fix it… take it for a ride and BAM… cuts out. Relays were fine, wiring in the wiring harness (behind the battery etc) was all in-tact and looking good, fuel was clean, but I couldn’t locate the problem.

    So one time when the fuel pump wouldn’t prime, immediately connected a multimeter to the connection just before the fuel pump and it was still jumping up to 12.x volts for the ~2sec after start-up. So now I knew it was in the pump/wiring to the pump.

    Long story short, after eliminating everything else including the pump itself, through trial and error (a lot of test rides that ended up with me on the side of the road :( ) managed to trace it back to the wiring that leads into the fuel pump.

    Turns out this is a common problem with Ducati’s (at least monster and the 749/999 series which is what this kit is for) that the wiring leading into the fuel pump comes loose INSIDE the epoxy that is meant to hold it in place – OR the epoxy just gets eaten away completely and the wiring comes loose --> no power to pump --> no fuel to engine --> no smile on Ducati rider's face.

    California Cycleworks ( http://ca-cycleworks.com/products/fuel-carbs/fwireslg ) has manufactured their own replacement for fuel pump wiring. Their wiring kit which is much better than the original and seems to have solved the problem for me, and a lot of other Ducati owners throughout USA and Aus alike for all models including the Hypermotard, Streetfighter, all 1098 family Superbikes 1198/1098/848, new Monsters 1100/796/696 etc.

    If you take this problem to a mechanic etc, word is that they are instructed to replace THE ENTIRE PUMP ASSEMBLY, and I've heard this going for anywhere from $400-900 depending on who’s installing it. The CaCycleworks kits are $100-150 to your door and you get to have some fun installing it too! :D

    Tricky thing is that you won’t usually be able to see the loose wire. Mine was still held in place by the epoxy and seemed ok, but the connection was broken/loose inside.

    So after a bit of fiddling around with the fuel pump, as you have to dismantle the entire thing to install the new wiring, it’s pretty easy to do yourself if you’re relatively handy with the tools.

    Food for thought.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
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  2. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    Chris at CA-Cycleworks is also a good guy to deal with. I've seen reports of this on a few of the Ducati forums but hadn't seen a fix, so that's good to know.

    Could be worth you posting this on a couple of other Ducati forums e.g. ducatimonsterforum.org and ducati.ms
     
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  3. Crabman
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    Yeah Chris deserves a special mention. Great guy and really looking to improve their products and customer relations. As far as i know, CA-Cycleworks are the only guys manufacturing this kind of replacement. At a fraction of the cost of a new assebly, its well worth it!

    Yeah i'll get to the additional postings soon - it took me sooo long to find the problem... it wasn't until I serched for "fuel pump intermittently failing" that i got the results showing the semi-common wiring problems with the ducati's. all other searches pointed back to the same dead ends.
    Let's just say I'm just slightly (insanely) excited that this ordeal is over, at least for now!
     
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  4. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    I've had good service from them. They got me a killer deal on the full Leo system on Stace's 250R (which I currently ride daily anyway, might as well if all I'm doing is commuting), they went above and beyond when they sent me the wrong front sprocket for my bike and also went through hell to get me a reverseable single-sided swingarm Pitbull stand. I'm probably the only person with one in Australia actually, it was a nightmare getting it here. Plus they send me American chocolates whenever I buy from them. The exact fit timing belts they do are pretty good, though you can get them in Aus from the distributor (Brad the Bike Boy in Melbourne), too. Though I use OEM belts as they're about as cheap if I source them out of a dealership in Seppoland and get Brett to fit them at service time.
     
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  5. Gosling1
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    Gosling1 Forum Whore of Death Veteran Member Supporter

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    well played :up a good tip for anyone with a Duck

    fuel-pump issues can be incredibly frustrating to track down and fix - I have suffered similiar issues with the fuel pump on the Black Pearl (but for different reasons than what you had) - intermitttent pump power very hard to track down. Even late-model bikes like ZX10R's and 12r's can suffer from issues related to fuel-pump failure which don't immediately manifest themselves as related to the pump......

    :cool:
     
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  6. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    00-03 GSXRs have weird pump issues too which make them hard to start cold. Ducatis are kind of good in that a lot of cases you can use a car fuel pump with the Ducati housing to replace the pump more cheaply.
     
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  7. Gosling1
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    Gosling1 Forum Whore of Death Veteran Member Supporter

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    the old EFI kwakka's all use Bosch car pumps ......well pumps made in Japan under licence to Bosch :wink

    I would highly recommend anyone looking for a replacement fuel pump to use US ebay first. Walbro do good f.i pumps for a heaps of models of jap bikes, that are way cheaper than OEM stuff. This isn't news either.......

    Back in 1996 when I needed a new fuel pump for the Pearl, an OEM part from Kawasaki was >$1300 !! :shock at the same time at Dynotune I picked up a Bosch replacement for less than $300. Even today, the same pump from Bosch is still only around $300.

    :cool:
     
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  8. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    A lot of the Ducati ones are shared with a Mustang in the states (mid 80s probably) which means there's plenty of other options with investigation.

    Biggest tart with my Monster is the mahoosive O ring they use to seal the pump flange at the bottom of the tank. I just keep a few in stock and get Le Brett to deal with it and the fuel filter at services.
     
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  9. Gosling1
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    Biggest problem with the old zeddie fuel pumps is the fuel hose between the filter and the inlet side of the pump........fuel filter outlet is 5/16", fuel pump inlet is 5/8" :shock: try and find a replacement fitting for that ! :(
     
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  10. Crabman
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    yeah i thought that would be an issue too - a lot of people citing the same frustration.
    By the end of it, i'd actually drained the tank, removed the pump and re-installed and filled the tank 3 times... all using the same O ring. not sure whether it has to do with the way i removed and re-installed it CAREFULLY (evenly) and slowly each time, but a liberal amount of Vaso on the o-ring seemed to let the pump 'pop' back in and come out again later without any wear and tear on the o-ring --> seems to be sealed fine!

    also, I have an unused pump (with the wiring, hoses, clamps, mesh filter-thingy etc) if anyone is in need of one, think it fits a bunch of models. Picked it up off ebay pretty cheap, but even though i immediately posted the guy 2 mins later after discovering the CA-Cycleworks fix, and said "I MADE A MISTAKE! DONT SEND IT!"... he chose to ignore my emails and send it anyway... jerk! lol:mad:
     
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  11. Crabman
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    +100 on that one! my god... was a painful troubleshooting process.

    the fact that the fuses and relays all worked and it was just the wiring in the flange also meant that no engine warning lights or codes would show up. and the intermittent thing just meant that if i managed to get it to a shop for someone to take a look, whos to say that it will actually stop working??

    i remember thinking "knowing my luck, I'll get it to the shop, it'll run fine, they will charge me to tell me nothing is wrong and it will die on the way home..."

    although it was tedious and time consuming, it was cheap (compared to spending $900 on a new assebly and install) and lets just say i know my way around a 749's fuel system now! its also just that tiny bit more satisfying knowing it didn't defeat me! :D
     
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  12. Gosling1
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    Gosling1 Forum Whore of Death Veteran Member Supporter

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    its always a good feeling to sort out bike issues by yourself. Very satisfying.

    It often makes me walk past the bike - wagging a finger while saying " I am the fucken boss around here bike, don't you forget it "

    :)
     
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  13. DonT
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    Gold !
     
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  14. power6994
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    Hey I have a 749 as well, does yours stall out when coming up to lights or stopping? Like a motor stall?
     
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  15. Crabman
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    uhhh, no - that would pretty annoying! lol

    do you mean every time you are coming to a stop and disengage the clutch it stalls?? if so, how do you even start the thing? im a little confused! does being in 1st/N/2nd make a difference?
     
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  16. power6994
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    uh its kind of like the idle is down too low and it cuts out, i've had it happen rolling up to lights and sometimes when about to cross at an intersection.

    it seems to be worse under hard braking and clicking down through the gears quickly.

    kind of hard to explain but you will see me starting my bike every now and then if we were to go for a ride, it's not a constant problem, just intermittent

    maybe i'm riding it like a jap bike too much?
     
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  17. BeltandBevel
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    Hi Power6994,

    That to me sounds like a TPS/ throttle body issue. Do you know whn the last time they were synced and setup?

    Ducatis shouldnt stall coming to a stop.

    Mike
     
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  18. power6994
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    Thanks Mike,

    The only work I have had done to the bike has been a service and power commander at motogarage in which they did a dyno run/setup

    A friend of mine was test riding an 848 and he noticed the same problem so I thought it may be a semi common ducati issue?
     
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  19. Alltorque
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    Are you using the clutch?
     
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  20. CT90
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    I thought the ability to stall like that was a Ducati 'feature'.
     
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