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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! I just recently got my ZX10 and love it! :thumbsup:

I have recently been having a problem with it though. The day after I got it, it gave me a trouble starting. It would crank over fine but wouldn't start and the FI light came on. I turned the key off let it sit for a second and tried starting it again and it started up instantly with no FI light. I figured it was just a fluke.

Now (a few weeks later), the bike is doing the same thing but won't start at all and the FI light flashes if you crank it over. I have traced it to code 23, which is the cam position sensor. Now why there is a cam position sensor, and a crank position sensor on a machine without VCT is beyond me but the problem remains. I have checked all of the wiring and all of the plugs/connections look perfectly fine. I tried pulling the battery lead off to 'clear' the code and it is still there as soon as you turn the key to ignition.

The local Kawasaki dealership is an honest business and they don't scam people. They quoted me $200 for the sensor and install if it is in fact just the sensor but I'd like to try to avoid the $200 bill if I can.

Is this a common problem with these bikes? I have heard of the alternator problems but I'm hoping that there is something simple to look for here. Any tips or suggestions on how to fix this?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys!

Does the ZX10 do a self test at ignition before you start it? I'm assuming that if the sensor is shot, perhaps it can tell by continuity? I wonder if, as a test, I could just plug the electrical plug in (and ground the housing)for the new sensor and see if the light goes away at ignition. What do you think?
 

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You cannot bypass the cam sensor, It's needed when the ecu calculates the rpms, you will possibly destroy your engine. Not worth the risk imo...Just wait for the part.
 

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Did you check the pins going to the cam position sensor connector. I've found those to be culprit majority of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tasos- I didn't say anything about starting it without the sensor. I was asking about if the ECU does a self-test at ignition BEFORE startup. It complains about the sensor before cranking which leads me to believe that it does some sort of a self-test. Or does it just remember an issue and complain until it sees the issue is gone when it is running?

Why does the bike have a cam position sensor and a crank position sensor?


I've reseated the connection on the sensor loom, a large connector behind the left engine mount, and the connections on the ECU. They look like they are in good shape too. Are there any other ones?

Thanks again for the suggestions guys!
 

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The connector sits on top of the valve cover on the right side smog plate. I've seen a lot of people pull the pins out of that connector when trying to remove that connector to pull the valve cover. Look at that connector.
 

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Yes it does a self test on all sensors everytime you turn the switch. When the sensor is fixed the FI light will go off and the bike will start.

It uses the sensors to calculate the rpms so it knows where to engage the rpm limiter.

Are you from around my place?
 

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Why does the bike have a cam position sensor and a crank position sensor?
It needs both to determine proper spark timing i.e. cylinders #1 and #4 are top dead center at the same time. Which one is at the end of the compression stroke? Which is at end of exhaust stroke? The cam position sensor will tell.

Older (4 cyl) bikes with only 2 ignition coils use the "wasted spark" type ignition where 1 coil simultaneously sparks 2 cylinders at a time, but of course only one results in a power stroke. In this type system, the crank position sensors (2 of them, diametrically opposed) are sufficient.

I also had a CPS failure, once. Turns out after a valve adjust I mis-routed the sensor leads and the cooling fan chewed through the insulation.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The sensor should be in today! I'll try looking at those pins tonight. I reseated the connection there already an it looks like it was OK but I should double check.


I know it uses the sensors for those functions, but why does it need two sensors vs just having the crank position sensor?


Thanks for the tips guys!
 

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Pistons 1 and 4 are both at TDC at the same time. The same is true of 2 and 3.

But when 1 is TDC at the end of compression (when the valves are closed and it gets spark)
4 is also TDC but spent exhaust gasses have just been evacuated and spark is not required.

The only thing that determines which piston is which is the camshaft position I.e. which valves are open, and which are closed..

The equivalent component on a car engine would be the distributor, where camshaft position determines which cyl gets spark.

The crank position sensor only tells it when either pair of pistons is at TDC. There is no way to determine which of the 2 pistons needs spark from crank position alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Lenshead- thanks for the info. I overlooked your first post somehow- think I was on page 1 and went to reply without noticing page 2.

That makes perfect sense. Cams which turn half crank speed need a sensor to tell which cyls are on which stroke. I forgot the ZX has coil on plug ignition instead of packs. I remember my old SVT had the coil packs that would fire in pairs. Seemed to work well enough.


I'm going to try swapping this sensor tonight! Of note, the bike only throws 23. There are no other codes. Doesn't the ecu keep historical codes? Perhaps she has never had a code before.
 

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I'm glad you said that, 'cause I was going to suggest you might want to stay away from engine work...:mrgreen:

When my CPS failed, I was 7 miles from home. The FI light woulld come on and the engine would stall. Crank but no start. Waited 2 minutes and would start right back up again, only to stall 30 seconds later.

Turns out the fan would come on, opening the frayed connection, which would close again when the fan turned off.

I was able to repair the wire as opposed to replacing the sensor. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So I tried reseating all connections. I connected the "new" sensor to the loom and still no go. I'm somewhat at a loss at this point. I think it's either the ECU or the wires are bad somehow. I tried running a continuity test from the pins by the ECU (with it unplugged) but I don't think I had the correct pins selected....
 

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Merely connecting the sensor to the loom won't do it! The sensor has to be installed!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just ran a continuity test from the pins on the ecu connector. Tested 395 ohms. Also checked for ground fault per service manual recommendations. Wiring I think is good.

Will the light remain on until it successfully starts again? With the new sensor plugged in (but only wiring wise) should the FI light turn off right away?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just ran a continuity test from the pins on the ecu connector. Tested 395 ohms. Also checked for ground fault per service manual recommendations. Wiring I think is good.

Will the light remain on until it successfully starts again? With the new sensor plugged in (but only wiring wise) should the FI light turn off right away?
 
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