help me start my bike - Honda Rebel Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-17-2017, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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help me start my bike

I bought a 02 Honda Rebel for $400 I hope that turns out to be a good deal. The man that sold it to me said that it was just out of time and it would be an easy fix. The engine turns over and he pulled the plugs and showed me that it was getting gas and the plugs where new. I read that the timing chain was self correcting but I don't know much about motorcycle engines. So I hope that you can help me out and get me on the road. The only place that works on bikes said that it would be $87 to check it out and diagnose the problem
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-17-2017, 11:24 PM
 
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I'm afraid the guy you bought it from either lied to you, or didn't know much about Rebel engines.
The ignition timing on Rebels is fixed and non-adjustable. The ignition trigger that initiates the spark is a sensor that detects a metal tab on the outside of the alternator rotor that is located under the left side engine cover.
The valve timing is another story. The cam chain must locate the cam in exactly the correct relation to the crankshaft which turns exactly twice as fast as the cam. The only time this would need to be checked would be when the engine is rebuilt, or if the camchain tensioner had failed and the cam chain may have jumped on the sprockets. If the engine turns over OK, it is highly unlikely there is a problem with cam chain timing.

If your engine does not make a spark on either cylinder with new plugs, you will need to check as much as you can before replacing the ignition control module (ICM) which is a solid state unit that can't be checked except by replacement with a known good unit.
Get a wiring diagram and check all the wiring for loose connectors or short circuits.
The ignition system has wiring between the main components of the system as follows.
ICM to Ignition trigger and Pulse generator both located behind left engine side cover near the alternator stator.
ICM to Left and Right Coils located under the front of the fuel tank.
ICM to ignition switch (This wire is grounded when the ignition switch is off)
ICM to chassis ground point.
The ICM is located under the gas tank so the tank must come off to check or replace it.
Here is a wiring diagram.
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2004 Rebel 250, 2003 BMW K1200GT (roadburner), 2004 BMW R1200GS(all purpose),
1996 Ducati 900SS CR (California Bike), 1973 Norton Interstate (in a box in the basement)
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-18-2017, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick response, Do you think that there is something really bad wrong with it? I hope that I might have gotten a good deal? I drove 244 miles to get it could there be a simple thing that that he missed? Other than putting in new gas and new spark plugs and wires I don't know what to do. Also there are a few cosmetic issues but that can wait. Right now I want to get it running so I can get my motorcycle license and get on the road. I have been reading & learning a lot on this site. But hearing opinions will help quite that nagging voice saying I shouldn't have jumped into this without knowing more.
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post #4 of 23 Old 01-18-2017, 01:15 AM
 
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You have purchased a non-running motorcycle. You can expect to spend some unknown amount of money to make it run. If you can't do the work yourself you can expect to spend quite a bit more .
If you can find a local independent motorcycle shop they are usually more reasonable for labour than a Honda dealer would be.
When looking at buying a non running motorcycle, NEVER accept the owners assurance that it only needs this or that to run. If he says its easy and cheap to fix, have him fix it and adjust the asking price to reflect the added cost. Otherwise walk away.
Without looking at it it's difficult to say how serious your problem is.
The ICM is probably the most expensive item you might need to replace. Other components are the ignition Power winding in the alternator stator and the ignition pulse generator These items are both located behind the dry left side cover on the engine. There is no oil in there, so the cover can be removed without draining the oil. These can be checked with a Multimeter is you know how to use it.
The spark plugs and ignition coils are both visible on the engine and below the gastank. If you have no fire on both plugs, the problem is probably not these items, because both coils or plugs would have to be bad.
The last main component is the ICM up under the tank . If you could borrow one of these to try as a replacement, and it works, then you have identified your problem, but you don't want to buy one unless you are sure it isn't something else.

2004 Rebel 250, 2003 BMW K1200GT (roadburner), 2004 BMW R1200GS(all purpose),
1996 Ducati 900SS CR (California Bike), 1973 Norton Interstate (in a box in the basement)
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post #5 of 23 Old 01-18-2017, 11:08 AM
 
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I'm running a $7 Chinese clone ICM/CDI off Amazon.

I was stumped why my (new to me '87) bike was running so badly after blowing $150 at a reputable local shop for an ultrasonic carb clean and tune up.

$7 was below my 'impulse buy' threshold and I lucked out. The 30 year old CDI was the issue and the clone is running great.

1987 Rebel 250. 60K miles. Ex-school bike.
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-18-2017, 11:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedwards View Post
I'm running a $7 Chinese clone ICM/CDI off Amazon.

I was stumped why my (new to me '87) bike was running so badly after blowing $150 at a reputable local shop for an ultrasonic carb clean and tune up.

$7 was below my 'impulse buy' threshold and I lucked out. The 30 year old CDI was the issue and the clone is running great.
Its good to know that there are alternatives. FWIW I have just replaced the failed touch screen digitizer on my Garmin Zumo 550 with an $8 Chinese item from Ebay and its working perfectly again. Some of those Chinese companies provide excellent value for the money.

2004 Rebel 250, 2003 BMW K1200GT (roadburner), 2004 BMW R1200GS(all purpose),
1996 Ducati 900SS CR (California Bike), 1973 Norton Interstate (in a box in the basement)
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-18-2017, 05:21 PM
 
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I'd like to know which Chinese CDI ya bought @sedwards.
replacements I have found are for 2nd generation Rebels and require a wiring harness hack to work..

Not sure how you were shown it was getting gas?
if the plugs were wet you may be getting to much.
if it was flowing out carb drain when opened cylinders may be getting none..
So that statement makes me suspect fuel first off..

checking for spark as Duckster suggests should be your next step..

Welcome to the forum

96 VS800GL Suzuki Intruder, 87 CMX250C Rebel,
79 CB400 Hawk (sold 93), 75 CB350 (sold 83), 71 CB350 (stolen 74)
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-18-2017, 10:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoakedKarma View Post
I'd like to know which Chinese CDI ya bought @sedwards.
replacements I have found are for 2nd generation Rebels and require a wiring harness hack to work..
My bike's a first-gen '87.

This CDI was plug-n-play for me:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
And it keeps getting cheaper!

1987 Rebel 250. 60K miles. Ex-school bike.
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post #9 of 23 Old 01-18-2017, 10:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedwards View Post
My bike's a first-gen '87.

This CDI was plug-n-play for me:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
And it keeps getting cheaper!
Looked at one like that years ago, viewed it as too good to be true.
thought it covered to many engines
at >$5 w/free shipping i'm willing to give it a try on my 87.

can check the advance with timing light and tachometer.
Thank You

96 VS800GL Suzuki Intruder, 87 CMX250C Rebel,
79 CB400 Hawk (sold 93), 75 CB350 (sold 83), 71 CB350 (stolen 74)
Help others help you, Include Year and Displacement in your signature...
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-19-2017, 02:54 AM
 
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Some very simple things to do. Does the engine turn over with the electric starter? The starter will need to work before you can check for spark. If it turns over and you don't hear any horrible noises, then the cam chain is probably timed right. Remove both plugs, put the wires back on them, and lay them on the engine so they are grounded. turn the engine over with the starter. It should turn pretty fast with the plugs out. You should get a big fat blue spark at each plug. It helps to do this check in the shade, out of direct sunlight. If you get a good spark from both plugs, the ignition system is fine. The spark at the plugs is the final step in the ignition process. If you have a good spark, everything from the plugs back is ok. If the spark is good, do a compression test. You should get close to 160 psig compression. It might run with less, but not very well. If the compression is low, you have a mechanical problem inside the engine. If you have compression and a spark, and the valves and ignition are timed right, all you need is a proper air fuel mixture, which is the job of the carburetor.

As was said, ignition timing is not adjustable on the Rebel. I don't know about the Rebel, but I have been able to test the pickup coils (that trigger the CDI and provide the spark) on some bikes using a couple of 3V DC LEDs. If you connect the LEDs to the wires that go from the pickup coils (known as a Hall Effect sensor) to the CDI, and turn the engine over, the LEDs should flash.

There are a lot of things that can prevent current from getting to the primary side of the ignition system. The ignition switch, kill switch, clutch nanny switch, sidestand nanny switch, or any wire connection could be bad, breaking the ignition circuit.

What puzzles me is that the seller said the timing was off. I wonder what he meant? You're just going to have to get a manual, a multimeter and a compression gauge, and track it down. A low or no compression reading could mean the valve timing is off, but not far enough for the pistons and valves to collide.

Sounds like an interesting problem. I'd like to get my hands on that bike myself. I could at least figure out what the problem was. I like solving mechanical puzzles. You need to do methodical troubleshooting, and find the problem before throwing expensive parts at it. Take it one issue at the time. Either confirm or rule out problems as you go.
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