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This is a noob question on help in understanging this tuning stuff, and what equipment I need. I appologize in advance for the length of this post, but I have a lot of questions.

I've spent hours reading the posts here, and although learned a lot, still have questions. I have an auto repair shop, so have a basic understanging of internal combustion engines/fuel injections, but the bike/atv world is all foreign to me.

Background: My sons have 2 LTRs and we also race with their cousins and an uncle - there are 5 LTRs on our "team". My two both have full yoshi pipe, cherrybomb, air filter, outerwear, no air cleaner lid. Other three are similar - varius aftermarket slipon, cherrybomb or similar, filter, no airbox cover. They are all very lightly modified, with no immediate plans to modify further

One Problem: They all run fine with the exception of my youngest son's newest - an 08' (full yoshi/cherrybomb) he bought used this spring. This quad supposedly had "very light head work" by a previous-previous owner. The quad has some issues idling occaissionly and will sometimes die going into a corner (clutch in, throttle closed) - I think this could perhaps be a tuning issue, but I found a great list of possible issues to check out in the engine/drivetrain forum in the stickeys that I'm going to check out first. What concerns me about this quad is the headpipe (which he put on this spring) is a lot more blue than any of our other LTRs. Could this be a tuning problem, and if so, I reckon I need to get it fixed.?.?.. Or, I've read a few posts that it's "normal" for a hot pipe, and it won't hurt anything. It just seems abnormal compared to the other 4 machines.

Some "basic understanding" questions I need to figure out, partly for this quad with immediate issues, but also just for long term planning:

1) I'm understanding that I need a tuner to modify the fuel mapping on these machines. However, 5 machines (2 I'm financially "sponsoring", 3 I'm "aiding/abbetting"), adds up to a bunch of $$ PCIII or PCV budget. Is there any other options to modify the mapping, without a unit dedicated to each machine? for example I've seen the BikeTech MX programmer - is there something like this that can be used on multiple machines??

2) Best programmer? Just about the only one I read about on this forum is the PC. Is there anything better/cheaper for my situation? OK,let's say I buy a programmer - If I understand correctly, I still need to take it to a shop with a dyno to have it tuned?? Conversely, can a pro shop with a dyno modify the mapping without the tuner (directly in the PCM?)? Didn't think so, unclear.

3) I understand with a PC V, though, I could skip the dyno shop?? I read about this on some early posts (1/10), but wanted to ask how this is working out??

4) With the light level of work done on these machines, is a tuner even needed? From what I read on this forum, it sounds like the CHBM should richen the mixture adequately for these light mods to be fine??

5) if that is the case, if I continue to suspect tuning issues on the '08, would I be money ahead (or money saved) to just take it to the dyno shop to get it checked out to make sure there are no gross afr issues?

6) OBD tools: I see a couple OBD code readers (BikeTech OBD, HealTech) out there. Is this kind of thing needed or helpful to me?? Will either of them replace the powercommander? Does a PC make the OBD reader not needed? It seems to me they don't overlap, but I don't know if I would ever need an OBD tool?? Haven't read anything about them on this forum.
 

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Sounds like it is running lean because of the "very light head work". Buy yourself a used PC3 from someone here or on ebay for $150 or so and download a map for it from someone on here for free...problem solved. Make it worth you time and also add a larger open intake, like the one from FUEL ATV. Then the only problem that you will have is that the other four quads won't be able to keep up anymore.
 

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I would go through the fuel system first to see if that's why the 08 may be running lean. And possibly put it on a dyno to get piece of mind after that since it's hard to know what a previous owner may have done to it. If it is running lean I would suggest a pcv with autotune for the 08. That way you can tune the 08 and if you decide to mod any of the others in the future you can just put pcv's on them and swap the autotune between them to tune them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the info

Dave and Troy, Thanks for the info from both of you. I appreciate your advice.

Do you guys or anybody else out there have any more feedback on the other list of questions I had? I was afraid that was too much information or one post. Maybe I'll try later to break it down into questions more easily dealt with....

Thanks again,
Tracy.
 

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o.k., I'm gonna try to hit your q's in order for what I know....keep in mind that i am no mechanic, this is just my opinion.

1)You need a tuner only on the 08 (because of the head work it is probably breathing better than it is delivering fuel and running lean, which would cause the colored pipe, excessive heat and the shutting off). The other bikes should be fine w/ the mods that you have on them. You typically can do a full pipe, CB and no lid on the box with absolutely no probs, anything beyond that usually needs a fuel controller of some sort. There is no controller that can be used on multiple machines, but if you go with the PCV or the PIM2, you can use the autotuner or databox(these are sold seperately) to tune each bikes seperate controller. Hope that makes sense.
2) The PCV or the Yoshi PIM2 are probably the hottest things out right now b/c of their capability to tune themselves. In order to do that, you do have to buy the additional autotune kit for the PCV or the databox for the PIM2, both of thesee additional units can be used to tune other PCV's or PIM2's. If you buy a controller that is not autotune capable, you do not have to get it dyno'd, you can download a map from your computer into the controller that corresponds with the mods that you have and it should be pretty close....the dyno is only if you want the fuel curve to be perfect. You cannot, as far as I know, directly modify the bikes factory brain. If you can, I'm sure that it would cost more than just adding a PCV and an autotune kit.
3)The PCV along with the autotune kit does eliminate the dyno shop by adjusting and tuning the fuel curve itself. I haven't heard anything but praise on this unit, no mAtter what you read or who you talk to.
4)All of your bikes should be just fine the way that they are except the 08. The headwork on the 08 puts it beyond what the CB can do for it.
5)Once again, controller on the 08 should fix the problem...no need for throwing $$$ at the dyno guy.
6)Not very familiar with using OBD tools, but can't see how it would do anything to replace a fuel controller. It would also probably end up being on of those things that you buy and never use and end up regretting.

I hope this answers your Q's and helps out. Once again though, just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for info...TOO LEAN???

Thanks, Dave, for taking extra time to reply to this. I really appreciate the extra help. What you said is pretty much what I have figured from all the other research I've done before and since I've posted these questions.

Since these problems have surfaced, we've replaced the swirl filter, which seemed to be dirtier than I'd like to see it, but who knows if it was actually dirty enough to cause an actual lean condition?? We put in an in-line clear view filter instead. We had one race after the replacement at Galion (2 motos) and it died one time going hard into a corner (he said the clutch was in so he didn't think he killed it) We went practice riding today at Briarcliff, and the boy said the quad ran fine all day, no issues. But then it died twice getting it off the trailer into the shop when we got home. That could be normal, though, I guess, although these FI motors don't seem to have dieing issues!! So at this point I may be chasing a ghost with the running issue.

So, with the lean issue (sounds like I have one) my question is How lean is TOO LEAN? I know Lean is Mean, but if it's only a slight issue that won't hurt the motor, I don't think the boy wants to spend the money on a tuner if it's just to get a few more hp (he just bought a truck...). If it's a danger to the motor, I'll pay for getting it in tune if I have to, but I'm trying to teach them financial responsibility, so my sponsor money is limited. I've read a lot that "slight bluing is normal", but what's too much??
I don't know if this will work, but I'm trying to post pics of the 08 pipe, thought to be lean, and the 06 pipe (no problems). The 08 pipe was a like-new yoshi pipe he put on this spring - has pretty low hours on it on this bike.

06 pipe - Suzuki LT-R450 Photo Gallery
08 pipe lean? - Suzuki LT-R450 Photo Gallery


SO if these pics came through, do you think this is a problem??

Thanks again for the help, Dave or anyone else with more knowledge than I have....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
fuel filter issue

I would go through the fuel system first to see if that's why the 08 may be running lean. And possibly put it on a dyno to get piece of mind after that since it's hard to know what a previous owner may have done to it. If it is running lean I would suggest a pcv with autotune for the 08. That way you can tune the 08 and if you decide to mod any of the others in the future you can just put pcv's on them and swap the autotune between them to tune them.

Thanks - I found one issue - swirl filter was pretty dirty, so we changed it. I have a big list of other stuff I found on this forum that could be potential fuel issues, that we're going to check out next.

THANKS FOR THE HELP!!!!
 

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So, with the lean issue (sounds like I have one) my question is How lean is TOO LEAN? I know Lean is Mean, but if it's only a slight issue that won't hurt the motor, I don't think the boy wants to spend the money on a tuner if it's just to get a few more hp (he just bought a truck...). If it's a danger to the motor, I'll pay for getting it in tune if I have to, but I'm trying to teach them financial responsibility, so my sponsor money is limited. I've read a lot that "slight bluing is normal", but what's too much??
I don't know if this will work, but I'm trying to post pics of the 08 pipe, thought to be lean, and the 06 pipe (no problems). The 08 pipe was a like-new yoshi pipe he put on this spring - has pretty low hours on it on this bike.

06 pipe - Suzuki LT-R450 Photo Gallery
08 pipe lean? - Suzuki LT-R450 Photo Gallery


SO if these pics came through, do you think this is a problem??

Thanks again for the help, Dave or anyone else with more knowledge than I have....
I'm not a believer that you can tell a quads running lean by head pipe color. If I did, going by the color of that pipe compared to mine I would say it's running rich if anything. I'm running an autotune and my Yoshi head pipe is the blue that yours is in the first couple inches all the way to the second heat shield mount.
 

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Definately wouldn't say it's lean solely because of the header color, just a sign to look for. Check your plug too, there's a post on here somewhere with pics of the good, bad and ugly as far as plugs go. Also, change that in-line filter religiously....those can be a big culprit for quads diing on you randomly if they are not in tip-top shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks again

thanks dave and troy for your time, again, in the replies. I appreciate it. We'll get it in the shop to give is a closer look asap.

The plug looked fine the other day, but it had just been put in not long before we pulled it, and had few hours on it. I was planning to pull it again when we give it the next once over to look at it again now that it has a couple more races on it. I understand from what I've been reading, though, that the plug could look OK but still could have either a rich or lean condition at certain segments of the power band. makes sense.

I appreciate your feedback, it eases my mind a little.

Thanks, Tracy.
 
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