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86 Eliminator dies after about 15 minutes riding

jeffb May 1, 2017

  1. jeffb

    jeffb New Member

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    My 86 ZL 600 runs great for about 15 minutes and then shuts off like the key got turned off or the kill switch got hit. No spark is getting to the plugs and the engine turns over but no vroom vroom. The weird thing is that it will start up great after sitting for about 20 minutes. Does anyone know what is going on?
     
  2. furchin

    furchin ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Supporting Member

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    Two possible ideas, #1,Bad CDI. Pull the connection apart and clean the contacts, put some dielectric grease on them and reinstall. This may or may not get you going. The CDI's on this model are known for going bad. Oh, and the CDI is located at the front of the rear fender under the seat. #2, clogged air vent valve. Although you should have spark with this scenario. Open the gas cap and go for a ride, if bike stays running then this may be your problem. To correct this remove the vent valve located on the underneath side of the gas cap, it is around 3/8 diameter under a small cap, easy to see location. Good luck.
     
  3. markus56

    markus56 ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Supporting Member

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    Hey Furchin, couldn't this also be the pick up coils?
     
  4. furchin

    furchin ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Supporting Member

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    Markus, it's possible but I have not seen this on a 600 as yet. The symptoms he describes are like the ones I have had with my 600. If the cdi is intermittent the bike will crank all day long and not fire. When it runs then shuts down instantly as mine has it always has been the cdi.
     
  5. slug

    slug Senior Member

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    I’m in the same situation I think with my 900, used to get hot then just die suddenly and then start again after about 10 mins. Eventually ended up no spark in any situation. I just bought a second igniter but still no spark. I feel less likely that it is that now I have tried two, so are there any other “no spark” suggestions anyone can offer, or is there a way to test one off the bike?
     
  6. Harriminator

    Harriminator Senior Member

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    Just my 2ct: if you have checked all electrical components with a multimeter and the values are in the range listed in the manual -> change the spark plugs. I read often in other forums that a new set of spark plugs solved this prob. :thumbsup:
     
  7. slug

    slug Senior Member

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    New spark plugs always a good idea certainly. But all dying simultaneously makes them unlikely to be my problem? Like the OP, after about 10 mins of it dying, it would just start up as normal, and then repeat again within a minute or two or riding, so it seemed to be based on heat of some component.

    It progressed to total failure of spark even when cold which is its current status.

    Out of interest I found I had a video of it cutting out on the motorway way back in February 2014, just uploaded it now:

     
  8. Harriminator

    Harriminator Senior Member

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    My sugg.: replace old spark plugs and then go further to 'eliminate' prob step by step; cdi should be okay, don't think both of them are defect. Pick ups, contacts, ground, battery(how old? condition?), broken cables etc.
     
  9. 87kawzl

    87kawzl Well-Known Member

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    Try jiggling the key while it is in its run position to rule out ignition switch, the switch can be taken apart and cleaned if need be.
    Fuse boxes can get faulty connections as they age too.
    I'd say take off the side cover and do loops around the neighborhood till it dies and go at it with the multi meter.
     
  10. rkerg

    rkerg Senior Member

    I agree with those who said pick up coils or CDI, been there, done that.
     
  11. ZLrider

    ZLrider Well-Known Member

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    Probably a long shot, but X2 on the ignition switch. My last Kaw behaved much like you describe and jiggling the key with a multimeter on the wires is how I figured it out. Drove me nuts for 2 years. It would go months with no problems too.

    That vid of your bike going dead on a highway makes my skin crawl. It only happened to me around town and usually I could coast off into a parking lot somewhere.
     
  12. R. J.

    R. J. Senior Member

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    :hello: My ZL 10 key switch also needs a good cleaning. Some times when turning on the key I have no power. I just turn it back a hair & power is restored. I may do mine today because sooner than later I'll stranded. :laughing7:.
     
  13. 87kawzl

    87kawzl Well-Known Member

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    It's been years since mine acted up but it was just like you describe, runs fine till it don't. Would start again after sitting on the side of the road trying to figure out WTH was happening. The grease on the internal switch connections was really nasty, cleaned it up and lightly lubed it with dielectric grease and been fine ever since.
     
  14. slug

    slug Senior Member

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  15. R. J.

    R. J. Senior Member

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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
  16. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Member

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    Beware Electric Sensor switches, Side/Prop-stand & Clutch!
    Right I did 110 miles on Monday, parked outside a pub in the Medieval city of Canterbury on my return journey home, to meet a mate on his old Yamaha; (I am "T" total, by the way)! Two hours later bike started but then constantly cut out revs lost, almost like the kill switch was being hit, (so an intermittent fault surfaced), as it did in 2015 & 2016! Left the bike overnight on a Mercedes Dealers Forecourt. But this time by doing some sleuth work with my main biking buddy, it turned out to by the electric switch on the Clutch engagement side that was killing the engine stone dead. Disconnected the switch and everything now runs fine!
     

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