R6 Not Starting (sorry for the non-zx6r question) - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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R6 Not Starting (sorry for the non-zx6r question)

Hey all, as some of you know, I've got a group of students who I've been helping through the process of rebuilding a trashed R6 into a track bike. We have everything cleaned, repaired, and ready to go (we think), but it's not starting. We have gone through the manual to try to make sure everything is correct, but are confused about what's going wrong.

It seems like our issue is probably spark-related, but I don't know what would be the specific issue or what to troubleshoot first.

Here's what we've checked or prepared already:
  • kickstand switch is bypassed (it's going to be a track bike)
  • ignition switch, stop/run switch, and starter switch appear to be functioning properly
  • plugs are all new and gapped properly
  • coils all have proper primary and secondary resistances
  • carbs are clean and are getting fuel
  • engine turns over without any trouble whatsoever
  • oil pump is primed and oil is topped off
  • bike is in neutral
  • neutral and clutch switches are wired properly (not sure how to test whether they are actually working though...)

I just need some guidance from some of the experts around here on what to do next to try to get it running (this is my first full rebuild project).

Thanks in advance for the help!
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post #2 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 07:47 AM
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Tip over sensor stuck? Not even sure if your bike would have one.
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post #3 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Tip over sensor stuck? Not even sure if your bike would have one.


It doesn't seem to have one according to the wiring diagrams. Thanks for the thought, though!

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post #4 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 09:09 AM
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Start with the basics.... right now you don't know if you are missing spark, or fuel. A can of starter fluid will tell/confirm which you need to chase.

I'd expect it's spark related, but that can also be checked relatively easily, by pulling one out of the head, and leaving it connected to the high tension lead..... put the grounding lug near the chassis, so the spark can jump to the frame and try and start the bike. If you have no spark, that's confirmation you are on the right track.

With the bike in neutral, all of the safety switches should be rendered moot. Shouldn't matter if the side stand is up or down, or whether the clutch is pulled in or not.

The Kill switch leads need to be complete, for current to flow to the coils/ignitors.... but that generally also kills power to the fuel pump and may not allow the starter to engage.

If the plugs are dry after you've tried to start it, you lack fuel, which may be confirmed by the ether/started fluid check. If they are wet..... it's almost certainly a lack of spark -- which you should have confirmation of, with the spark check described above.

Let us know what you have for results.

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post #5 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RJ2112 View Post
Start with the basics.... right now you don't know if you are missing spark, or fuel. A can of starter fluid will tell/confirm which you need to chase.

I'd expect it's spark related, but that can also be checked relatively easily, by pulling one out of the head, and leaving it connected to the high tension lead..... put the grounding lug near the chassis, so the spark can jump to the frame and try and start the bike. If you have no spark, that's confirmation you are on the right track.

With the bike in neutral, all of the safety switches should be rendered moot. Shouldn't matter if the side stand is up or down, or whether the clutch is pulled in or not.

The Kill switch leads need to be complete, for current to flow to the coils/ignitors.... but that generally also kills power to the fuel pump and may not allow the starter to engage.

If the plugs are dry after you've tried to start it, you lack fuel, which may be confirmed by the ether/started fluid check. If they are wet..... it's almost certainly a lack of spark -- which you should have confirmation of, with the spark check described above.

Let us know what you have for results.
It appears that maybe I wasn't clear...Some of these things have been confirmed and tested as well as a few other things. Here's a few thoughts:

  1. the carbs are getting fuel (confirmed by pulling the airbox and watching fuel spray into them)
  2. I agree about the saftey switches unless the neutral switch is faulty (right?)
  3. I'll pull a plug and try to confirm whether spark is actually absent today

Assuming spark is missing, however, what's next? I already confirmed that the coils have proper resistance, but I'm not sure what else to check on them (because the manual doesn't say anything else). There's no info in the manual about checking the rectifier/regulator, but I have to believe that could be a problem, right? What else?

I should mention, I also confirmed that the fuel pump is working properly and sprayed some ether into the airbox. Since it didn't fire on ether, I immediately assumed it was a spark problem...is that reasonable?

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Last edited by NitrusReigns; 05-12-2017 at 10:08 AM. Reason: added info
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post #6 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 10:41 AM
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If you've definitely got fuel then it is a spark or compression (likely timing) problem.

Resistance tests don't always tell the whole story. Sometimes things ohm out but when they've got a full load they fall apart. You would expect to at least have a gurgle here and there though.
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post #7 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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If you've definitely got fuel then it is a spark or compression (likely timing) problem.

Resistance tests don't always tell the whole story. Sometimes things ohm out but when they've got a full load they fall apart. You would expect to at least have a gurgle here and there though.
Compression is good as well (or was a few months ago and nothing should have changed).

There were no gurgles, pops, blips, anything whatsoever when we tried to start it. I am not all that experienced, but I really have to believe it's a spark issue.

So, once again, what should I be doing to diagnose where the problem is if we aren't getting spark?

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post #8 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 12:12 PM
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It's possible the wiring harness is compromised. I'd want to see voltage at the coils when the ignition is on so you know they are able to provide spark. The chain required to allow the ignition to see power is the one I'd want to verify. The master relay is typically the one that is powered by the kill switch.... same way an emergency off switch works. If you lose power to the coil of the master relay, you can't close the contacts and get power to the coils. I'd expect the same circuit would power the fuel pump, but the instruments would be on a different circuit.

What becomes energized, when you turn the key to the 'on' position? What do you think SHOULD become energized at that time?

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post #9 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RJ2112 View Post
It's possible the wiring harness is compromised. I'd want to see voltage at the coils when the ignition is on so you know they are able to provide spark. The chain required to allow the ignition to see power is the one I'd want to verify. The master relay is typically the one that is powered by the kill switch.... same way an emergency off switch works. If you lose power to the coil of the master relay, you can't close the contacts and get power to the coils. I'd expect the same circuit would power the fuel pump, but the instruments would be on a different circuit.



What becomes energized, when you turn the key to the 'on' position? What do you think SHOULD become energized at that time?


This is exactly what I don't know and am hoping someone can help me figure out. I am terrible with electronics and am not sure what SHOULD be getting power or the best way to test what is IS getting power. I know that when the ignition is on, the fuel pump doesn't run, but when the kill switch is on, it does. So that, to me, says that the ignition and the kill switch are both working.

I think that I can also safely say that the starter switch, relay, and Motor are all working as well since the switch fires the relay which sends power to the motor which turns over the engine.

That's about as far as I know what to do. I already did all the troubleshooting and diagnostic stuff I could find in the manual, but it certainly doesn't have everything nor does it provide any big picture understanding to someone like myself who is somewhat lacking.

So, any tips on what I should test and how I should test it?

I'll be pulling plugs to see if they spark in just a moment, but then, if they don't, how do I test if the coils are good?

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post #10 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 12:25 PM
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The bike you are working on has got actual coils, right?

When you turn the key to the ON position, the instruments become active, you can run the blinkers, etc?

Can you verify that you have voltage at the ECU? (-- if you have a digital display, with readings for temp, etc., odds are very good the ECU is working.)

I'll follow up on this in a couple of hours, headed home shortly.

"Basic stuff fellas. Use your head for something other than to break your next fall."

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #11 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 12:27 PM
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Gas in the tank?
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post #12 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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The bike you are working on has got actual coils, right?



When you turn the key to the ON position, the instruments become active, you can run the blinkers, etc?



Can you verify that you have voltage at the ECU? (-- if you have a digital display, with readings for temp, etc., odds are very good the ECU is working.)



I'll follow up on this in a couple of hours, headed home shortly.


We have no lights or anything, but we have power to the gauges and no warning lights after the initialization sequence.

The bike has wiring that goes to connectors to the things pictured below which I believe are coils and then to the spark plugs...is that what you're asking about?


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post #13 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Gas in the tank?


Gas in the bottle I have rigged up to the fuel pump

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post #14 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 01:00 PM
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Gas in the bottle I have rigged up to the fuel pump
What is the fuel pressure?
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post #15 of 44 Old 05-12-2017, 02:50 PM
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The suspense is killing me! Ground a connected spark plug already and crank the engine ... is there spark or not?!
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