Ask The Experts

A place to discuss matters related to Honda Helix scooters.

Ask The Experts

Postby zozman » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:15 pm

Hi Group!

Recently, a friend who has a 1997 Honda Helix asked me to help him with start ability issues with his scoot.

Issue:

The scooter starts, runs for 15-20 seconds then stalls. Its like someone turns off the scooter when it’s running.

Tried:

I rebuilt the carburetor. Gas fills the bowl and I’m able to drain gas from the carburetor bowl.

I changed the autobystarter to a new OEM Honda one.

There are no vacuum issues.

A new air filter was installed.

I replaced the fuel filter.

Strong battery cranks the scoot well.

The fuel pump is supplying ample amount of gas to the carburetor and passed the service manual test

100-octane gas is being used. Either will not keep scooter running after 15-20 seconds.

The spark plug is supplying a hot spark on test to the cylinder. The cranking test confirms this.

The CDI was the only part I was unable to change out.

What has others exhibited with similar issues? Give me some ideas here.

zoz
87 & 98 Helix
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Re: Ask The Experts

Postby charlie55 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:30 pm

Sure doesn't sound like a fuel issue - even a vapor-locked tank would give you more run time than that.

Curious - did you run the spark test for 15-20 seconds or more? I know that might be a little rough on the starter, but there might be an electrical fault (CDI/coil/ignition pulse generator) that only occurs after that much time has elapsed, so you'll get 15-20 seconds of spark before it goes pffft. Just spitballing, but I'm thinking maybe a bad capacitor in the CDI that's losing its ability to hold a charge after "x" number of charge/discharge cycles.

Also, are you able to restart it immediately, or do you have to wait?
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Re: Ask The Experts

Postby zozman » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:17 pm

Hi Charlie.

I ran the spark test for ten seconds. Plug is good. Spark is good.

Once the scoot shuts itself off. If I wait 30 seconds or so, it will restart then fails again.

I'm leaning toward the CDI or pulse generator.

I'm going to see if I can get a used CDI then armed with that I'll also do a pulse generator test with my meter while there. I don't have the scooter at my home. I have to drive nine miles to the scooter.

zoz
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Re: Ask The Experts

Postby Dan_Lockwood » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:47 pm

I would imagine that you have the air breather off to the carb, but if not, take it off.

When the motor starts to die, place a rag or the palm of you hand over the carb throat and see if it picks up again for a few more seconds. This will tell you fuel or spark really quick.

Or even a shot of WD-40 in the throat will bring about a few more seconds of run time if it's a fuel issue.

Good luck and let us know what you find out.
Dan

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Re: Ask The Experts

Postby dano60 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:10 pm

Definitely sounds like an electrical issue.

Check all wiring and connections, and all switches and or sensors that could kill the engine like
the kick stand , handlebar switch, and ignition. Something might be loose or insulation worn off to
cause it to short. I had a honda lawn mower do the same thing and took into the mower shop, and turned out to be the spark plug.

Good luck Zoz, and I'm sure you'll figure it out.

Dan
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Re: Ask The Experts

Postby scootcat » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:51 pm

I had similar problem, I gave up and bought eBay carb and problem solved. But I must say by starter does not work well.
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Re: Ask The Experts

Postby zozman » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:16 pm

On the original post follow-up:

I checked all the fuses and they are good.

I replaced the ICM/CDI "brain box" and the issue remains.

If the owner of the scooter wants to remove the plastic to have me check the pulse geenerator, that would be the next option.

Doesn't look like it. I see no further action in this matter.

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Re: Ask The Experts

Postby Dan_Lockwood » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:31 pm

Still sounds like a fuel delivery issue of some sort. But I've been wrong before... :(
Dan

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Re: Ask The Experts

Postby zozman » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:48 am

Dan_Lockwood wrote:Still sounds like a fuel delivery issue of some sort. But I've been wrong before... :(


jayb79 wrote:I think it is your fuel pump, these pumps are plunger style pumps and it will stick intermittently causing it to stop pumping. I was fighting this same problem for a couple of years before I gave in and tried a different pump(after changing lots of other parts first) no more problems. I think the ethanol fuel causes the piston in the pump to get a rust spot on it making it stick. Since I changed my pump I always add about 1-2 ozs of 2 stroke oil when filling and have not had any trouble.


I believe the assessments by the above "experts" are correct. Although the fuel pump appeared to be pumping when tested, it may have then failed under pressure causing the scooter to stop running. The owner will know when and if he takes it in to the dealer. The fuel pumps are $147.


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