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My battery is making a popping noise.. not good right?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by sammy_sam, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. Hi All,

    My Spada (which is the suck) has been not starting very well in this Melbourne cold - this morning I wanted to go for a mission ride to get some experience. Tried to start it up and it started but normally I have to hold the throttle open for a couple of minutes at about 3 grand before it starts warming up and doesn't stall when I let go of the throttle.. So anyway I did this and got a little distracted and let the throttle close - lo and behold it stalls. So I try and start it up again and it just keeps making the "trying to start" noise, I think well okay I'll leave it for a little while as ya do and it still won't start - the next 8 times over the course of two hours it still isn't going and I'm getting sick of that dying cat sound when it tries to start. I charge battery so it's full and try again - then I notice theres this weird popping sound coming from the battery when I hit the start button and bike still isn't roaring into life.

    Question 1: what could it be?

    Question 2: Will a roundhouse kick to my bike do too much damage?

    Question 3: Does anyone want to buy a Spada? (just serviced! yay)
  2. I wonder how your battery fluid levels are going, whether all the leads are connected properly and there's no short(circuit)ing happening.
  3. The other query is how long you have been charging it and at what rate.
  4. Yeah it all seems to be okay I didn't fiddle around with anything and I was riding it yesterday when it was running sweet but it had the same issues with warming up. So yeah. New battery time I think. New bike time I think as well, I've only had it for a few weeks but its already been to the mechanic for a service and they changed the fuel vaccum tube thing and spark plugs - so I think I bought a lemon :(

    I'm not exactly an authority though - when you said short circuiting my first thought was of that zany robot from the 80's.
  5. I bought one of those chargers from peter stevens that stops itself when battery is full I think it's a 12 volt one.
  6. You sure its the battery popping not just the starter motor solenoide trying to pull in?
    How loud are these pops?
    Is the dying cat sound the engine turning over as normal (just not firing) or a higher pitched ticking noise?

    A stuffed battery that is boiling off will make little squeeking and "little bubble popping noises" like a can of coke bubbling I guess. You will see water (acid) bubbling out the top.

    How cold is it? If its less than zero the battery might have frozen overnight and killed it.
  7. Thats not a lemon, thats just a bike.
    They consume spare parts 10 times faster than a car. Big sportsbikes are even worse :cry:
  8. Yeah, I know... seems like it's had nothing but issues from the start - I'd prefer to keep it until its running fine then sell it on that way, not like the chick I bought it off did to me. She had an evil glint in her eye ... :)

    There's no bubbling or lots of popping or squeaking noises.. it's just the normal engine turnover sound (dying cat - when I think about it it's nothing like a dying cat at all really). I doubt it would get to zero here at night as it wasn't that cold at 7 when I tried to start her up.

    It's just kind of like ifyou would flick a piece of rubber, Or bubble wrap if you popped one loudly and it's only when you initially press the starter button.

    I'll try it again later on and see if it's still doing it.
  9. WTF??

    It's called a choke. Use it.
  10. The choke was /and is fully open when I start it - I'm not retarded.... The revs just keep falling unless I hold the throttle open for a couple of minutes as well.

    Everything was fine with the bike it just has trouble starting in the cold - ALOT of trouble.
  11. If its already warmed up dont use the choke.

    You probably dont need it fully open, both my bikes need it half way to start, full open and they just splutter.
    So play with it in different positions.

    If the starter motor will turn the engine over for a good 5 seconds then theres nothing wrong with the battery (though every time you run it flat you kill a good percentage of its life).
    More of a fuel issue if that is the case.

    Possibly related to these spark plugs that were changed. If they were changed due to being fouled up, but the carbs werent re-tuned to fix the problem (engine running rich) then they may have fouled up again, which will cause starting problems.
    Is the "pop" mabey a backfire from accumulated unburnt fuel?
  12. hmm good thinking. I can feel all of the tubes and things around the battery area move suddenly when it pops so I thought it might have been a fuse or something but all the fuse things are fine. It could be the spark plug on the back cylinder as thats connected upto where the battery sits.

    When I got it serviced the smoking that it was doing (becuase of the vaccum pump) stopped (wasn't as bad anyway) so you could be onto something with the spark plug issues - I'll phone mechanic back tomorrow and ask exactly what he did/didn't do.

    Bike can't even start without the choke all the way out unfortunately :/ and can't bring it in until at least 5 minutes or it stalls, even if I take it in a millimetre or two when it's just been started it drops the revs like a stone and stalls.
  13. Thats what I thought also.
  14. I was told by a very good mechanic to either have the choke fully open or not at all, runs too lean or something.
  15. That was my thought as well (I am an ex-Spada owner)

    The symptoms described sound like those I had once. The mechanic I took it to did sweet FA (but charged me anyway) so I decided to solve it myself. The Spada does have a recurring problem (unless you pay very close attention to the oil levels) in that it refluxes oil vapour through the carbies and coats the air filter. The engine is then starved of air which prevents it from firing but has no effect on the engine turning over (until the battery is drained)

    Its frustrating as hell but easily fixed. A new air filter for the Spada cost $52 when I bought on last year and in 18 months it was the only one I needed. The first time I had this problem (admittedly I overfilled the oil) I cleaned the oil from the filter with solvents (dont try this at home, at the time I was working in an oil lab and had access to fume hoods and solvent waste collection) so realistically I should have needed two but on the other hand, that isnt bad because I did ride about 40,000km before the bike had a terminal case of Nissan Bluebird.

    Have some patience, Spadas are great bikes!
  16. Yes.. agreed. The general rule with lead acid batteries is not to take them
    below 66% charge. A lead acid battery in good condition will operate in most
    conditions (unless you live somewhere silly like Verkhoyansk). Here is an
    excellent tech note-- http://www.unionbattery.com/images/2.6.pdf

    Assuming your coupling (lead/cable connections etc) are good, a stuffed
    cell for example will prevent the battery from holding up your headlights..

    As for the funny popping noise of a battery,... anything is possible I guess.
    How hot does the battery feel after a short crank ?. If it's hot, then something
    is up.
  17. When you say solvents, do you mean petrol or degreaser ? I cleaned my 83' GSX250 filter
    with petrol once, and it reacted.

    I don't know how the spadas air filter is constructed, but most service manuals
    recommend warm-soapy water and then completely drying it. It isn't a perfect
    cleaner, but it does a good enough job (i use the hotter side of warm ;).
  18. The Spadas filter is compressed fibre so the solvents didnt do much damage that I could see. Importantly it got the bike working for a few months before I did a swap for a new one.

    The solvents - mostly X55 pet spirit and acetone (had bulk containers of both on site)

    I thought about using surfactants but there was too much oil for this to be an easy solution (compared to rince and dry)
  19. Some filters are designed to be cleaned others are just supposed to be replaced.

    On my bike its supposed to be cleaned, the manual says to soak in kero and gently squeeze, then wash in water and let it air dry. Then dab thick oil on it (I just use motul air filter stuff).

    But others are paper like in cars, and have to just be replaced (or change to an aftermarket cleanable one)

    If I leave my choke in one position while the bike warms up the revs gradualy climb up to 5000rpm, but if I shut it right off it will stall.
    So I have to gradually decrease it until the bike reaches 45deg, then it can be shut off (which is about 10 seconds down the road).
  20. The Spadas filter is definitely meant to be replaced. I was just economising.