Dropping random cylinders, any advice? [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

Dropping random cylinders, any advice?

12-05-2011, 10:13 PM
I have a GPZ 1100 / ZX 1100 E1 and for some reason I keep dropping randon cylinders. It started with #2 and after a bit of time all 4 ran for 10 minutes but when the bike was restarted then #1 was down and #2 was still fine. Can anyone out there help me narrow down this issue since the shops will just redo the 8 hrs of work I have already done and charge me $500 to get where I am. I cleaned the carbs and jets, adjusted the jets, replaced the air filter, and valve cover and plug gaskets since they were all bad and now I am stuck. Thanks for your time and any help you can offer, D

12-05-2011, 10:31 PM
If you did the carbs and valves maybe its time to look into the ignition. I have had random misfire problems on cars when the coils and/or plug wires start to go bad. Maybe start by changing plugs and wires (if you haven't already) and check the coils (check resistance). A trick I have used to see if the coil(s) is degraded (on cars but should work on a bike) is start the engine and spray water on them (mist from a bottle like a windex bottle). If they are cracked/degraded sometimes the moisture will cause a misfire. Though the coils could be going bad internally and so the water may not necessarily affect them, just one of those random things I have seen work at times. Hope one of these things helps.

12-05-2011, 10:46 PM
This may apply to your bike, but was written for the 80's large Kawasaki's:

Ohm Checking Pickup(Pulsing) Coils

The pickup(Pulsing) coils on the Kawasaki’s with the factory supplied electronic ignition can sometimes fail or become intermittent due to heat and vibration.

1.Trace back from where the pick up coils are mounted,(under a right side CD sized cover) locate and disconnect a small 4 pin connector. Using a multi-meter set on OHMS and range of 2K, check between the BLUE and BLACK wires(#1 and #4 sparkplug wires) for between 360- 540 OHMS.

2.For #2 and #3 sparkplugs the wire colors will be YELLOW and RED, again 360-540 OHMS. The 550’s,650’s & 750’s may be backwards to the Z1’s,Kz900’s,Kz1000’s & Kz1100’s.

3.If the pickup coils are suspect of failing due to heat, they can be stressed using a hair dryer without the need of the engine running.

4.A replacement set of pickup coils might be obtained from a dealer who serviced the police Kawasaki’s.

5. If replacement pickup coils are not available, your next choice would be to order a Dyna “S” electronic ignition system from Z1 Enterprises, Inc. - Quality New Parts for Vintage Japanese Street Motorcycles (http://www.z1enterprises.com) It replaces the IC igniter with a smaller module located where the mechanical ignition advancer was mounted.

6. Checking with Kawasaki.com website has determined that the Pick up(pulsing) coils are available . The pulsing coil # is 59026-1133 and replaces the older # 1002, 1012 which were used from the MKII motors until the 2005 P24.

7.Check the small 4 pin connector that the pickup coils connect to for corrosion/loose pins too.

Ignition Coil Primary And Secondary Wiring

Ignition coils on the 80’s Kz1000,Kz1100’s and Gpz1100’s are wired the same, that is as you sit on the bike, the LEFT ignition coil primary(small wires) are two wires, RED and BLACK. The secondary (or sparkplug wires) go to #1 and #4 sparkplugs(your primary wiring may be different).

The 550’s, 650’s, 700’s & 750’s are backwards to what is listed for the bigger 4’s.

The cylinders are numbered left to right as you sit on the seat; #1,#2,#3, and #4.

For the RIGHT ignition coil, the primary wires, again are two wires, RED and GREEN, with the secondary going to #2 and #3.

The RED wire gets it’s voltage from the run/stop switch on the right handlebar switch pod. Your primary wiring may have a different color.

The BLACK and GREEN wires connect to the IC Igniter(if the bike has the Kawasaki supplied electronic ignition) it actually gives the coils their grounds to fire the sparkplugs.

Primary(small wires) side of the coils will read between 1.8 to 3.0 ohms.

Secondary(sparkplug wire ports)side of the coil will read between 10.4K to 15.6K ohms. These ports are wired together, so it makes no difference which is used, as long as the correct coil to sparkplug configuration is followed.

The sparkplug caps should read 5K OHMS(5000), any higher, or a reading of infinity means new caps should be ordered.

To stress the ignition coils, take a hair dryer, heat the coils and see if the ohm readings change from cold to hot . If they do, it’s time to buy new coils.
Keep in mind, the wiring is reversed for the 550’s, 650‘s,700’s, and 750‘s, that is the RIGHT coil primary will be two wires, RED and BLACK with the secondary(sparkplugs) going to #1 and #4.

The LEFT coils primary wiring would be again two wires, RED and GREEN, with the secondary(sparkplugs) going to #2 and #3.

An indication of black and sooty sparkplugs may not mean a carb or carbs are in need of cleaning, but may mean the input voltage is low.

When checking the input voltage to the ignition coils, first have a fully charged battery, and the using a multimeter, set it up to measure VDC(Volts, Direct Current), range of 20.

Put the RED probe from the multimeter on the same terminal that either a RED wire or ones that’s RED with YELLOW stripe, and the BLACK probe on either a good frame/Earth ground or the battery Negative(-) terminal/post.

Depending on the motorcycles current draw(lighting, and other high amp needs) the reading might be 10 volts or more, but if the reading is down around 8 volts or less, this indicates a corrosion or wiring problem needs correcting to improve input voltage to the coils.

These engines have what is known as a “Wasted Spark” that is, a sparkplug will fire during an exhaust stroke. It does no damage and many other motorcycle engines have this design.

12-05-2011, 11:19 PM
sounds confusing but probably int as hard as it sound so I will give it a go, thanks for the advice Mike. I found a set of coils and plugs on E-bay for only $25 so maybe I will just pick then up and put them on and see if that fixxes the problem if I cant figure out how to test everything. The bike flies around the world with me for work so a shop really isn't the answer.

12-05-2011, 11:37 PM
I'd do some simple checks first, if your bike has the ignition coils under the tank, check the input voltage, If you have the "Stick Coils"(the ones on the sparkplug wires) I'd not familiar with them.

Testing Kawasaki Ignition Coils For Input Voltage

When voltage testing Kawasaki Ignition Coils, the following needs to be done:

1. Remove the fuel/gas tank to access the coils.

2. Fully charge the battery.

3. Using a multimeter, set it up for VDC(Volts, Direct Current), range of 20.

4. Turn on the ignition switch and the run/stop switch to “Run”.

5. Put the multimeter’s RED probe on where the red or red/yellow wire goes on the ignition coil.

6. Put the multimeter’s BLACK probe on either the battery Negative(-) post/terminal or a good frame ground.

7. You should be able to see battery voltage at the ignition coil connection, but this depends on the current draw of other items in the same circuit.

8. If the tested voltage is down to 8-9 volts, you probably need to clean the many and various electrical connectors.

9. The sparkplug caps unscrew from the sparkplug wires, and can be checked with a multimeter set on "Ohms". They should test at 5000 ohms resistance. Also check the primary (small wires side of the ignition coils) for tight electrical connections. Kawasaki used 1/4" push on connections that over time may get loose due to vibration

12-25-2011, 06:46 PM
So here is the latest on my problem, put new coils and wires on and it runs great until i hook up the pepcock and then I lose #1 every time. Had all running for about 2 weeks then back to 3 cylinders. Pepcock is working fine and all gaskets are in good shape. I guess it is time for the closest shop to work on it but no one in this area has ever worked on this type of bike so that makes me a little nervous but it seems like a vacume or fuel system issue so maybe they can figure it out.

12-25-2011, 07:00 PM
That's one of the major problems of owning an "Older Bike", as most bike shops will not work on motorcycles older than 10 years. I'd ask around to see if some older mechanics have a shop where your bike would be welcome. Do you have a shop manual? Most have troubleshooting pages that may cover these problems.

Some of these websites sell used manuals, just ask:

Repair Manual | Owners Manual | Haynes Repair Manual | RepairManual.com (http://www.repairmanual.com)
ManualsNMore.com: Factory Service Motorcycle & Auto Repair Manuals (http://www.manualsnmore.com)
Books4Cars.com - Every Repair Manual, Service Manual, Owners Manual and Book for your Car, Truck and Motorcycle (http://www.books4cars.com/)
RepairManualClub Download Area (http://www.repairmanualclub.com/motomanuals/)
moto-manuals-service (http://moto-manuals.com/)
Vintage and classic motorcycle manuals and literature (http://www.e-classicbike.com/)
Free File Sharing Made Simple - MediaFire (http://www.mediafire.com/)