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Discussion Starter #1
I reviewed a number of recent 999 posts, but couldn't find a similar situation. Please delete if there is already a thread that covers this.

Looking for some input here. 2005 999 had been running pretty well for a full season, gradually started to develop some surging, but only at constant low throttle positions (still accelerated well). Dealership adjusted fuel trim, replaced air filters, and calibrated TPS, but said it was still running rich. Took it apart to do valves and found the front engine mount cracked. Replaced the engine. This engine has about 7500 miles and was running perfectly prior to coming out of the other bike. Had some oil in the plug tubes, but found the valve cover gasket askew and replaced that. Cleaned out the oil as best I could. No other obvious issues.

Got everything assembled, fuel pump primes, but it won't start. It turns over easily and fast, no funny noises, and sounds like it's trying to start, but the engine never quite takes over from the starter motor. No error codes on the dash. Battery reads 12.3 or higher.

Can't figure out what to look at first. I'm thinking if it was valves/belts/timing, it wouldn't have run in the old bike. If it was fuel, spark, air, it wouldn't be starting as much as it is. If it was ecu/electrical stuff, it would be showing a dash error and would have shown some signs when the dealer was adjusting trim and TPS. There's probably an exhaust leak at the moment, but I didn't think that would completely prevent it from starting (especially since there's no O2 sensor on these).

Anyone have an idea about where to start?
 

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What was done subsequent to fitting the replacement engine? I agree, from your description, it sounds as though this could be timing related. If the TPS was removed and re-installed during the replacement then I would not assume that the calibration that the dealership did prior to that was still valid. Same goes for ecu trim. I'd also make sure you're getting spark at the plugs.

Basically, I'd start checking these things and hopefully eliminate them as a contributor.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The airbox stayed on the bike throughout the engine replacement process, and I didn't do anything to the ecu other than disconnect and reconnect the whole harness so I thought the dealership settings would be in tact. Plugs are brand new with correct gap, and I assumed the coils were working because the engine ran in the old bike, but I guess I should double check for spark.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I thought it wouldn't get any ignition at all if the injectors weren't working, but I'll check those tonight too.
 

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Forgive me if this is stupid, I'm no mechanic. Might you have swapped the plug leads around?
Also, are you getting strong fuel smells from the exhaust?
 

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Make sure battery is fully charged. At least 4 litres of fuel in the tank. Remove front fairing, air tubes and both filters. Place a STRONG led light in the air box. Remove BOTH spark plugs. Ground both plugs (use a length of solder around the thread and wind the other end to bolt on the frame. Saves you swearing when the plug falls or can’t touch an earth). Crank motor. Is it sparking strong? Is it throwing fuel? NEVER assume it is until you see fuel and spark for BOTH cylinders. WARNING. PELIGRO. DANGER. NEVER LOOK IN THE AIRBOX WITH THE SPARK PLUGS CONNECTED. IF THERE IS A BACKFIRE YOU WILL GET SEVERELY BURNT AND POSSIBLY BLINDED. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Spinoli1. Coils on a 999 can’t be reversed..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've actually tried swapping the plug leads, and it made things worse. The way I have them now is backed up by the diagram in the service manual as far as I can tell. Battery is fully charged, I'm even waiting for the headlights to go out to get a full 12.6. There's at least 13 liters of fuel in the tank. Fuel looks healthy from the injectors. Sparks may be lacking some vigor, hard to tell, but they are sparking. When you say coils on 999 can't be reverse, do you mean the coil itself has to go in a specific cylinder, or that the wiring from the harness has to be connected correctly? The coils themselves look identical to me, and I'm confident they're attached to the correct plugs in the harness. Successfully avoided blinding and/or burning myself so far.

It is firing up to some extent, and if I crack the throttle a bit, it will rev, but the starter never cuts out, and the engine dies quickly. No funny noises other than the starter continuing to run.
 

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You shouldn’t be able to change coil leads. Front comes out of the battery box and rear from the loom. Are BOTH injectors throwing fuel? Have you tried NEW plugs? Yours could be fouled. Did you check the Crank Position Sensor gap?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Maybe my terminology is off, but I'm pretty confident the coils are plugged into the right places. Both injectors are firing. Tried new plugs. Haven't checked crank position sensor gap. I guess I'll try that next, but I would have thought that would have prevented it from running well when it was in the old bike. It feels like it's close, but I'm just missing the last piece.
 

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Maybe my terminology is off, but I'm pretty confident the coils are plugged into the right places. Both injectors are firing. Tried new plugs. Haven't checked crank position sensor gap. I guess I'll try that next, but I would have thought that would have prevented it from running well when it was in the old bike. It feels like it's close, but I'm just missing the last piece.
This may sound rude. “.....but I’m pretty confident......” tells me you don’t real know if it is or isn’t. Unless you HAVE SEEN SPARK AND FUEL WITH YOUR OWN EYES then your just pissing in the wind and nothing we can say can help you. Don’t THINK, KNOW.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have seen fuel and spark with my own eyes. But seeing sparks doesn't mean they're sparking at the right time, they have to be plugged into the right output from the ecu for that to happen (as far as I understand). That's what I'm pretty confident about, because my wiring matches the service manual diagram and it ran worse when I plugged the vertical coil into what I think is the horizontal coil lead from the ecu.
 

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I have seen fuel and spark with my own eyes. But seeing sparks doesn't mean they're sparking at the right time, they have to be plugged into the right output from the ecu for that to happen (as far as I understand). That's what I'm pretty confident about, because my wiring matches the service manual diagram and it ran worse when I plugged the vertical coil into what I think is the horizontal coil lead from the ecu.
Fuel? The only time spark (and fuel) can go “out of time” is when the signal from the CPS is picking up on a mistimed layshaft or the ecu is toast. Everything starts where it (CPS) starts. Even cam timing. And you can be out by a tooth or two in the cams and you will get spark and fuel but no fire. Hope this helps. Again. Are you seeing the injectors working?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I certainly appreciate all the feedback. Still have to check CPS gap. Can't imagine cams could be out by a tooth since it as running in the last bike. Worried that we're narrowing in on ECU being toast. Would that be possible without any error codes, and with the dealer being able to adjust fuel trim and calibrate TPS without any issues? Is an ECU replacement doable at home with ducatidiag, or will I need dealer intervention again?
 

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Before we start jumping around first let’s see if the injectors are doing their bit. If you have a strong spark then at present the CPS gap is ok. We’re all the same and want the easy way out but sometimes we just have to go the hard slog. Again, check the injectors to see if it’s getting fuel. Then come back and let’s see where we need to go. Let’s establish the trilogy or fuel/spark /fire before we move on. One piece at a time.
Its bedy-bys time in my part of the world so I’m off to shake the slug and hit the hay and I’ll catch up on this thread in the morning 😴
 

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You’ve gone through so much I hate to bring up something so simple but I’ve been through something similar before and it was just that I’d missed hooking up the ground wire on the ECU. Sorry if I missed where you already looked at this.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have a feeling it is something simple, so I'm taking all the suggestions I can get. Are you referring to the ground wire that attaches to the vertical cylinder?
 

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I have a feeling it is something simple, so I'm taking all the suggestions I can get. Are you referring to the ground wire that attaches to the vertical cylinder?
No. It’s right next to the ECU and connects to one of the bolts mounting the ECU.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Progress! Well actually the opposite for now. Went to unscrew the heatshield screw from the battery box to see if I could examine the ecu ground without having to take the battery box off (nope). That screw was in there tighter than I expected and the impact function in my little driver kicked in. Upset that I was facing disassembling the battery box yet again, I figured I'd give it one more try to start the bike, since it's nice and warm out today. Turned the key, lcd lit up, but was blank, and tach needle went to 13 and stayed there. Seems like the vibration from the impact knocked something loose. Hoping this is the identification of the problem and not the start of a separate one. Took the battery box off and pulled the ecu out. Ground contact there was pretty dirty. The adhesive on the tape down there seems like its disintegrated, so I'm going to pull everything apart tonight, inspect, and retape as necessary. Fingers crossed that after that and cleaning the ecu ground we will have actually made progress.
 
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