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Thread: Dead 2004 GS NEED HELP!!!!

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    Registered User jpm1074's Avatar
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    Dead 2004 GS NEED HELP!!!!

    I?ve got a 2004 R1150GS with 15,000 miles. Replaced the battery with a new BMW gel battery at about 13,500 miles. About 4 weeks ago I returned from my daily commute and put the bike away for the night. When I returned the next morning the bike would not start. It would crank but it would not fire. Initially I thought it may have been a fuel problem because lately I?ve noticed that it would knock and ping around 4000 RPM. However that was not the case after draining the fuel and replacing it with fresh fuel it still would not start. Checked for spark and noticed that it was intermittent at best.. At that point I took it to the dealership to let the pros with the diagnostic dohickies figure it out. They first thought it was the HES sensor and replaced it with a new one. Still dead. They thought it was the control module. The new one being $1300 the dealership wasn?t willing to take the gamble of getting stuck with the part so I suggested used from Beemer Boneyard. Ordered and installed?. Not the control module and after 4 weeks my GS still sets at the dealership with intermittent spark and fuel.

    Has anyone else experienced these symptoms and if so what is the remedy?
    Any ideas, suggestions welcome at this point!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpm1074 View Post
    I?ve got a 2004 R1150GS with 15,000 miles. Replaced the battery with a new BMW gel battery at about 13,500 miles. About 4 weeks ago I returned from my daily commute and put the bike away for the night. When I returned the next morning the bike would not start. It would crank but it would not fire. Initially I thought it may have been a fuel problem because lately I?ve noticed that it would knock and ping around 4000 RPM. However that was not the case after draining the fuel and replacing it with fresh fuel it still would not start. Checked for spark and noticed that it was intermittent at best.. At that point I took it to the dealership to let the pros with the diagnostic dohickies figure it out. They first thought it was the HES sensor and replaced it with a new one. Still dead. They thought it was the control module. The new one being $1300 the dealership wasn?t willing to take the gamble of getting stuck with the part so I suggested used from Beemer Boneyard. Ordered and installed?. Not the control module and after 4 weeks my GS still sets at the dealership with intermittent spark and fuel.

    Has anyone else experienced these symptoms and if so what is the remedy?
    Any ideas, suggestions welcome at this point!
    I have not experienced this but in the interest of others getting trying to get a diagnosis - can you be more specific about your experience with pinging? Normally that engine will ping on 87 octane or lower; I would run 91 octane and zero ethanol if you can find it.
    Under heavy loading it might ping on 89 but it should be just barely perceptible.
    If you are getting pings with 91 octane that might be a diagnostic clue.

    I would also be very reluctant to swap out the entire Motronic since it is both incredibly expensive and incredibly tough.
    Before that I would first replace spark plugs, then plug wires, then the coil (I only have one - you may have multiple), and then finally the HES plate.

    How did you check the spark?

    When you switch on the ignition, do all the normal lights come on, and do you hear the fuel pump come on for roughly half a second?
    The instruments, lighting, Motronic, and fuel pump should all power up together.

    I ask because the "kill switch" circuit is more complex than you might think on this bike, and there are at least 4 switches involved in being in the "not killed" state. Also, since this circuit "turns off" the Motronic, there may not be any diagnostic information available for the doohickies.

    There is also a fuse for the motronic - On my R1100RT is is fuse 5 - someone with the 1150RS will have to provide accurate location.

    It sounds like some connector has worked its way loose, frankly.

  3. #3
    Registered User jpm1074's Avatar
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    I always run 91 octane. I believe its an electrical problem. It sure has the techs at the dealership scratching there heads!

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    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    With the limited description of the problem, it surprises me that your dealer jumped to a Motronic replacement since they don't fail that often.

    With the describing of pinging as a backdrop, and then a sudden failure to start, the first thing that comes to mind is a fuel delivery problem.

    When the key is turn to on, does the fuel pimp run for a few seconds as it should?

    If it does, did your dealer check fuel pressure?

    If there was pressure, did your dealer check for fuel flow in the return line? (They should pressure in the supply line and 2 liters per minute in the return line usually mean your fuel system is healthy.

    There is a long list of systematic questions related to fuel, spark and compression that should be asked.

    RB

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    Fuel line

    Had a very similar situatuon on my GS. Turned out to be the curved fuel line from the filter to the pump. It was ruptured on the back side where it was not easy to see. Good luck.

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    Registered User jpm1074's Avatar
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    With the tank off the dealer has a device that indicates spark and fuel injector pulses. As you crank the engine there are few indications of spark and or fuel injector pulses. I called the dealer yesterday and they indicated that they were behind in the shop and would get back to my bike when they got caught up. Winter I'm guessing. Kudos to Beemer boneyard, at least they are taking the mototronic in for a return. At this point I think I can guess as successfully as the dealership without the cost.

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    You have to think diagnostic strategy. The easiest thing is fuel, because it is easy to replace. Have some spray cleaner, take out the air filter and squirt a little (1 second burst) down each tb. Then crank. If it fires and runs briefly, then you know you have fuel problem. If not, then remove spark plugs and check for spark. If you have none then you work from there. If yo do then it must be timing compression etc. Either way a few minutes of work have eliminated over 1/2 of the things it can be, and the job is now much simpler.

    Rod

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    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    I don't want to sound like a smart--s but I have a good way of sounding like one.

    If I understand this right, the ride is at your dealership and you are providing "interpreted" information that you were given, correct so far? No start? intermittent ignition spark and injector signal?

    Every engine needs the same thing, spark, fuel and air at the correct time. In every circumstance, something has to provide that "timing sense". I'm going with basic simple, based on the comment about the HES, is it possible that the HES is not reading the crankshaft at the right time or not at all? Since they changed the HES with no effect, is it possible the tab on the reluctor plate isn't there or worse, you've got too much crankshaft bearing play?

    At this point, I'd be hooking up an old fashioned timing light and see when I get ignition trigger through the little rubber plug hole on the side of the block. Tell the dealership not to loose and if the do, refer them to this forum.

    I doubt your dealership has a timing light that works on the dwell break but an inductive one might work.

    Your story about the dealership doesn't sound wonderful and I can relate. That was one of the biggest reasons why I retired early. In my day, your job becomes priority. Oh well, that's the way it is now.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

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    The reason we ask questions is because we can eliminate things that the problem is not, based on your answers.
    The problem is that which remains after eliminating everything it is not.
    We always want to eliminate the easiest and/or cheapest thing first; often the only way to eliminate a part is to replace it.
    Obviously, or maybe not, observations cost nothing.
    So when two of us ask "do you hear the fuel pump whir for a couple of seconds when the ignition is switched on" you should answer the question.

    The dealer tech has already tried the go-to shortcut, now it is time to diagnose.
    The dealer techs hooked up a gizmo and saw no/erratic injection and no/erratic ignition at the same time.
    That does classically point to the Hall Effect Sensors, since that is the only part that directly relates to both those functions.
    (other than the Motronic itself).
    So if you're just looking for validation in the form of "the tech is an idiot" - no, sorry, can't help you with that.
    More likely is they are going by a playbook of rote procedures, those failed, and now it is going to take some actual diagnosis, read time to figure it out. The whole time they're working on your bike and not getting anywhere they could be actually getting things done on other bikes.

    You could probably diagnose it faster yourself but you're going to have to answer questions, you're going to have to try things and report back.
    You'll have to have the bike in your possession. You may have to use some of the tools in the toolkit.

    So, go get the bike and report back. Or, leave it with the dealer and be patient.

  10. #10
    Registered User jpm1074's Avatar
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    UPDATE: Problem solved!

    Several weeks ago my 04 R1150GS with 15,000 miles would not start. I at first ran the fuel route checking the fuel pump, filter and pressure. All checked out good. Next it was on to spark and I found that it was hit or miss. New plugs at 12,000. The spark was intermittant on both sides so I figured that one coil could go bad but not all of them. So after some time and frustration I took it to the dealer. 4 weeks of the techs probing, testing replacing the ignition sensor and trying a different motronic control module, none of which did the trick, they were at a dead end and contiplating an email to BMW motorad engineering dept. As a last ditch effort with some incouraging on my part, (The dealership was great about letting me have a hand in troubleshooting the bike later in the testing stages) a starter was borrowed from another bike in the shop and switched out for the one on mine. It worked!!! Silly simple stupid right? The original starter was drawing too many volts due to the fact that the starter pinions bushings were toast robbing the system and not allowing enough voltage to fire the spark and pulse the injectors. As soon as my new starter arrives I'll be back on the road!
    Thanks to all submitting ideas and comments to my thread.

  11. #11
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpm1074 View Post
    Several weeks ago my 04 R1150GS with 15,000 miles would not start. I at first ran the fuel route checking the fuel pump, filter and pressure. All checked out good. Next it was on to spark and I found that it was hit or miss. New plugs at 12,000. The spark was intermittant on both sides so I figured that one coil could go bad but not all of them. So after some time and frustration I took it to the dealer. 4 weeks of the techs probing, testing replacing the ignition sensor and trying a different motronic control module, none of which did the trick, they were at a dead end and contiplating an email to BMW motorad engineering dept. As a last ditch effort with some incouraging on my part, (The dealership was great about letting me have a hand in troubleshooting the bike later in the testing stages) a starter was borrowed from another bike in the shop and switched out for the one on mine. It worked!!! Silly simple stupid right? The original starter was drawing too many volts due to the fact that the starter pinions bushings were toast robbing the system and not allowing enough voltage to fire the spark and pulse the injectors. As soon as my new starter arrives I'll be back on the road!
    Thanks to all submitting ideas and comments to my thread.
    I am once again, amazed. Starter drag can indeed drop system voltage low enough to kill spark and injection. But usually this amount of starter drag makes the process of turning the engine over very sluggish. Cranking usually sounds labored. If indeed starter drag is the culprit, a simple check with a volt meter would have shown low voltage while cranking.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I am once again, amazed. Starter drag can indeed drop system voltage low enough to kill spark and injection. But usually this amount of starter drag makes the process of turning the engine over very sluggish. Cranking usually sounds labored. If indeed starter drag is the culprit, a simple check with a volt meter would have shown low voltage while cranking.
    I would have thought the first clue to a problem was the engine turning over too slow?
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

  13. #13
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    I would have thought the first clue to a problem was the engine turning over too slow?
    Agreed!
    Ensuring the Motonic has enough operating voltage during cranking is one of the first tests I do.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  14. #14
    Registered User jpm1074's Avatar
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    Actually the tech said he checked the rpm's on both starters and they were the same. The only thing that concerned him was that my bikes starter didn't sound right. It just didn't sound smooth and made sort of a slight grinding noise. I too am amazed. Haven't picked it up yet, waiting for a new starter to be shipped to the dealership. Haven't even discussed the labor costs but hopefully they will be gentle!

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