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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I know we had the spot where we grounded our power Commanders, but somewhere near the rear of the airbox, isnt there a grounding point with several wires coming together?

I'm not sure code 39 is to be taken, literally, every time its displayed. If you google "Kawasaki code 39" people have solved the issue with new batteries. I believe it could be that the ecu lost communication because xxx happened, first.,....
I know which ground you are referencing. It has multiple grounds coming together at one place. This is where I had the Power Commander grounded, but it was clean and secured when I removed the PC earlier this summer.

You may be right about not taking the code 39 literally, but just to be certain I will perform the checks indicated in the service manual for this, and move on from there if I find nothing wrong. I did replace the battery a couple months ago but the issue remained.

I have the feeling that the root cause will be some minor issue, it's just that it is hiding very well.
 

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I know we had the spot where we grounded our power Commanders, but somewhere near the rear of the airbox, isnt there a grounding point with several wires coming together?

I'm not sure code 39 is to be taken, literally, every time its displayed. If you google "Kawasaki code 39" people have solved the issue with new batteries. I believe it could be that the ecu lost communication because xxx happened, first.,....
Those "joint connectors" that Kawasaki uses is precisely where I ran into issues. There are a few of them around the bike. Mine looked good, no obviously loose wires and no corrosion but wiggle the wires and watch the joint become intermittent. Since I could, I just soldered the whole mess together.

I often wonder how many electrical gremlins are fixed by the shop replacing the battery when it really was the battery connections. Of course the connections themselves get refreshed when you replace the battery. Sorta like my bouncy front brakes that the dealer indicated was warped rotors. New rotors would have fixed the problem but so did a bit of scouring of the old rotors.

Since parts are often cheaper than shop labor and good knowledgeable mechanics are few and far between, replacing suspect components is probably the economical way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Since parts are often cheaper than shop labor and good knowledgeable mechanics are few and far between, replacing suspect components is probably the economical way to go.
My thinking exactly. But it's getting expensive. Battery, fuel pump, and I may replace the relay box if investigating the code per the manual does not solve the problem.

By the way, what are these "joint connectors" you speak of?
 

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Kawasaki Joint Connectors are basically big crimp rings that they shove a bunch of wires into and crunch. Then they put a plastic jacket over the whole thing to make it waterproof. There are several on the 2011-13 Ninja. They run a heavier wire from a frame ground up to one of these connectors and then run smaller wires out to where they're needed. If you haven't noticed yet, black/yellow wires on Ninja's are all ground wires.

I highlighted some of the grounds and circuits I was modifying on my 2011Ninja and marked the Joint Connectors to show them.
31936
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Kawasaki Joint Connectors are basically big crimp rings that they shove a bunch of wires into and crunch. Then they put a plastic jacket over the whole thing to make it waterproof. There are several on the 2011-13 Ninja. They run a heavier wire from a frame ground up to one of these connectors and then run smaller wires out to where they're needed. If you haven't noticed yet, black/yellow wires on Ninja's are all ground wires.

I highlighted some of the grounds and circuits I was modifying on my 2011Ninja and marked the Joint Connectors to show them.
View attachment 31936
Thanks Kenors. Much appreciated.
 

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What if you removed the bodywork. Maybe have the tank propped up as well.

Power on the bike. Maybe you dont even need to start it. Or, start it but kill it with the killswitch. At that point, start grabbing sections of the wiring harness and moving it around. At some point, you might hit the section that causes everything to die and reset?
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
What if you removed the bodywork. Maybe have the tank propped up as well.

Power on the bike. Maybe you dont even need to start it. Or, start it but kill it with the killswitch. At that point, start grabbing sections of the wiring harness and moving it around. At some point, you might hit the section that causes everything to die and reset?
Problem now is that the fuel pump will not prime at all after it finally stranded me. No audible sound of it priming the injectors. This leads me to believe that when the problem was intermittent, it was shutting down fuel delivery due to some root cause other than the fuel pump. The fuel pump itself is not the problem as I installed a new one earlier this summer and the intermittent shut off issue remained. I also replaced the relay box and it has a new battery.

I started doing what you suggested this morning with what I could get to with all the plastics off and the tank in place. Most of the rest of the wires are below the airbox which means the tank has to come off. Wondering if it is safe to remove the airbox, reconnect the tank and try starting the bike without the airbox while manipulating the exposed wires.

I will probably remove the tank and airbox tomorrow for the third time and look at all the ground wires. If I find nothing it is going to the local mechanic. I am about at my wits end with this nonsense. Running out of patience.
 

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Yes, that's safe as long as nothing drops into the throttle bodies. No air filter protection, but that's nothing for a short test like you are doing. Hopefully you hit something and broke it loose? As in completly broken.

This is probably great news as it can be found where the intermittent is a nightmare.
 

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Had same issue with my 2015 and took long time to finally find issue. If you only replaced the fuel pump and not the whole assembly there is a very small passage for the fuel in the plastic section after the fuel pump outlet. Ethanol residue over time starts blocking the passage. Takes a lot of carb cleaner and air to unblock it. Turned out my original pump was fine just needed to clean this section. I have used Lucas Oil ethanol stabilizer for last few years and issue never returned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Yes, that's safe as long as nothing drops into the throttle bodies. No air filter protection, but that's nothing for a short test like you are doing. Hopefully you hit something and broke it loose? As in completly broken.

This is probably great news as it can be found where the intermittent is a nightmare.
Yes, intermittent is almost impossible to diagnose when it only occurs for a couple seconds while riding.

What really pisses me off though is the fact that this did not start happening until the first time I let someone else work on the bike. I took it to a shop for valve clearance inspection and this crap started happening shortly after I got it back. The shop that did the work was very nonchalant about the whole thing and was not interested in offering any help. I understand the mechanic who did the valve inspection has since been let go.
 
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Fuel pump wiring! We had a discussion on another forum that the fuel pump wiring was intermittent. The ground to the tank bolts up and the nut had come loose. That wiring gets tugged and moved every time the tank gets moved. His symptoms were that with the tank raised, everything worked fine. With the tank down, no fuel pump priming. It still doesn't explain the reset of the ECU, however, or the error 39.
 

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The mechanic did a valve inspection. That would have him disconnecting the tank. That would include fuel pump wiring.....makes sense.

In this video, at 1:30, notice how most of the connectors the mechanic messes with are at the front of the fuel tank, left side. That might be a good spot to check?

Remember when our friend, Jay, got the job working on bikes? He was a good mechanic to begin with, but had very little motorcycle experience. Oh yea, and he could barely walk. Within a few weeks, he was one of the best mechanics in their shop. He said the owner was better, but none if the others were even in his league. I believe he made 15.50, per hour. His oil field job started him at 30.00.


 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
The mechanic did a valve inspection. That would have him disconnecting the tank. That would include fuel pump wiring.....makes sense.

In this video, at 1:30, notice how most of the connectors the mechanic messes with are at the front of the fuel tank, left side. That might be a good spot to check?

Remember when our friend, Jay, got the job working on bikes? He was a good mechanic to begin with, but had very little motorcycle experience. Oh yea, and he could barely walk. Within a few weeks, he was one of the best mechanics in their shop. He said the owner was better, but none if the others were even in his league. I believe he made 15.50, per hour. His oil field job started him at 30.00.


Back when the problem was intermittent those three connections were among the first ones I checked. Started the bike and manipulated the wires and connectors trying to get it to cut out.....but it never did. I could check them again with the key on, this time seeing if the pump primes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
A huge thanks to all who have offered ideas and suggestions in helping me track down this gremlin. I appreciate all of you! I really miss riding the Ninja.

I am painting the basement and hope to get back to working on the Ninja in a couple days.
 
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Had same issue with my 2015 and took long time to finally find issue. If you only replaced the fuel pump and not the whole assembly there is a very small passage for the fuel in the plastic section after the fuel pump outlet. Ethanol residue over time starts blocking the passage. Takes a lot of carb cleaner and air to unblock it. Turned out my original pump was fine just needed to clean this section. I have used Lucas Oil ethanol stabilizer for last few years and issue never returned.
Thanks, but the problem is the fuel pump will not prime, the electrical whirring sound you normally hear when turning the key on. Not a fuel blockage issue.
 

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Even though the fuel pump is new, would it be possible that, for some reason, the fuel pump motor has gone bad and hence does not turn?
One way to check would be to disconnect the pump from the harness and poke the leads of a multimeter into the socket and then turn the ignition switch on. If there is a voltage shown in the multimeter (for about 3-5 seconds) then you know the ECU is powering the pump to prime it and therefore the pump is suspect.
If there is no voltage change, then something is wrong from the plug towards the ECU...Maybe a relay is bad
 

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Naren, what you say is possible, but....

His stuff is brand new. The pump and relay. If it's bad, now, its likley something caused it to go bad. Is there anything we can learn, from that?

Of I were to throw parts at that bike, my first throw would be a voltage regulator. I think?

Then again, this started after the valve adjustment. What electrical parts could the tech have damaged doing that job? Maybe damage isnt a great word. The bike runs good, when it runs, so it's not like the timing is off. Seriously, the guy/gal/they mechanic had to be somewhat competent. Timing is the hardest part of that job, assuming shims were changed.
 

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So, connectors were pulled out and plugged back in.... If any one contact in any of the connectors was now marginally mated with it's counterpart in the connector housing, then it is plausible that over time (and heat and vibration) you might get into a scenario that's causing this issue to surface.... If that was a +ve rail contact, then the intermittent contacts might cause voltage spikes that might be big enough to cause more damage down the line on parts that may be voltage sensitive
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
So, connectors were pulled out and plugged back in.... If any one contact in any of the connectors was now marginally mated with it's counterpart in the connector housing, then it is plausible that over time (and heat and vibration) you might get into a scenario that's causing this issue to surface.... If that was a +ve rail contact, then the intermittent contacts might cause voltage spikes that might be big enough to cause more damage down the line on parts that may be voltage sensitive
That is a possible scenario, but right now the bike will not start due to the pump not priming and nothing else. Tachometer goes through the start up sweep and the marker lights come on.

I am going to make one more trip through the wiring harness and connectors next week and if I can't find anything I am taking it to a local mechanic I know at the dealership. He says he may have a way to diagnose the system with a program that Kawasaki now has, that may allow him to hook a laptop into the bike and run diagnostics. Not sure how as the 2013 does not have an OBD port that I am aware of.
 

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I was reading through the old Cycle World archive. The test of the 1977 kz650 was pretty cool. That was the first Kawasaki 4 cyl to use the shim under bucket valve system. Others had shims, but they were on top of the bucket, and easy to change.

They asked how often valve clearance should be checked. Their kawasaki rep said, "I dont know...every 20-30,000 is probably enough."

I know it's not the same. That bike had 1/3 the power, and a lower redline. But, it was built from 1970's technology and materials. It makes me thing modern valve adjustments are emissions related and not for any mechanical reason.

A good way to look for this might be to use the manual, but go through the valve adjust backwards. It's very specific in what electrical connections you need to remove?
 
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