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Engine Problems?? With the ZX9

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Yawhae, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Hey guys. After washing my bike (but I had no turned it on that day before washing it) I noticed that when the engine was revving it sounded a lot deeper and slower and I've lost a considerable amount of power.

    When I first turned it on after washing it and took it for a ride there was a lot of stuttering in the engine which went away after about 5 mins but still there was a loss of power. There is also a lot more backfiring when I throttle off.

    I've checked and cleaned the fuel lines and drained the carburetor float bowls and found no water in there. So if there is water in the engine it must have entered through the air intakes.

    My other thoughts are maybe something to do with the spark plugs. I will be removing them today to have a look.

    Any ideas on what could be going wrong and how to fix it would be great.
  2. G'day mate. As a ZX9 fan I feel your pain!

    What did you wash the bike with? Hose or pressure washer? Did you get water up into the electrical areas?

    I suspect that the plug area may be wet causing weak spark or missing spark, or the electricals are wet causing some current leakage.

    If water did get into the ram air, you'll know about it in a couple of ways, but the main one would be to remove the tank and fairings, check the knock out "bottle" on the air intake duct and also whether there is any free water in the air box.

    There is one other possible reason that I can think off. There is a hose that connects the ram air to the throttle bodies or air box (well there is on the 2002 model - can't quite recall where it connects at the moment) and if that hose has disconnected you will get truly shitful performance... I learned the hard way once.

    Good luck with the beast.
  3. I only washed it with the hose, however the photo above isn't exactly how it looks now. I had a low speed crash a couple of months ago which only really caused cosmetic and some minor damage to the handle bar and finally got it fixed up, and it is now semi naked. No fairings makes it 10x easier to work on, just not as pretty.

    I removed the air intake and shortened it up to where it goes back into the frame so there is no water catch any more. However the air filter/air filter box didn't appear to have any water in it (after the fact that it was run for about 30mins). The ram air is still normal and the hoses are all connected up right back to the carburetor.

    My thought were water is deeper into the engine like the piston chambers (I hope to death not) or there is water around the spark plugs or spark plugs have failed. I will also check electricals but I would assume most of the issues arising from that would dry up.
  4. I think water in to the pistons is unlikely, if there was enough to cause problems then it would not be able to compress the water and not start. Anything less should boil away.

    I would persevere with the spark plugs and spark leads. Water around the spark plug or its connecting leads can cause flash over of the spark.
  5. Confirmed it to been the spark plugs replaced them with some iridium style plugs. They appeared to be dry fouling due to the air/fuel ratio running rich. Apparently they hadn't been done in over 6 years.

    I will change the spark plug coils and fuel filter in the coming weeks.
  6. Good news.

    Not sure why the wash would have made a noticeable downward change.

    Irridiums last for ages, but they're not free of fouling issues, so get that fuel mixture right. When was the last time you replaced the filter? I had let my K&N go on for a long while without a check... it was so dirty that it had been colonised by a new life form. What a difference a clean filter made :) (where's the twisted evil emoticon when you need it? :( )