Faulty (old) ECU - is this a big deal? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 4:37 am Thread Starter
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Faulty (old) ECU - is this a big deal?

Being a faithful reader of these threads (!) I approached my dealer the other week and asked him about the ECU version on my 2003 GT. I mentioned that, whilst I could not (personally) identify the ECU, what I did know was that the bike needs a couple of minutes warm up from cold, if the engine isn't going to cough and perhaps die if the throttle is blipped too soon from cold.

My BMW dealer mentioned that these are big engines and they do need to warm before being able to spin-up quickly. He asked me if it was an issue in practice. I had to confess that I haven't had any problems.

However, are there any other aspects to this? The reason I ask is because, when I pointed this out, the bike was still under BMW's extended warranty. It no longer is, but if the ECU issue can lead to other nasties, then I need to be armed with the right information!

Thanks

John I. Stephen - Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 5:40 am
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advice?

your dealer is full of sh^&t! my '04kgt starts and runs up the road immdiately. advice? never tell the truth to a liar. make up a bunch more symptoms, all safety related, and ask if u need to go to bmw corp with your problem. scream enough, u will get the ecu.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 7:30 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIS
Being a faithful reader of these threads (!) I approached my dealer the other week and asked him about the ECU version on my 2003 GT. I mentioned that, whilst I could not (personally) identify the ECU, what I did know was that the bike needs a couple of minutes warm up from cold, if the engine isn't going to cough and perhaps die if the throttle is blipped too soon from cold.

My BMW dealer mentioned that these are big engines and they do need to warm before being able to spin-up quickly. He asked me if it was an issue in practice. I had to confess that I haven't had any problems.

However, are there any other aspects to this? The reason I ask is because, when I pointed this out, the bike was still under BMW's extended warranty. It no longer is, but if the ECU issue can lead to other nasties, then I need to be armed with the right information!

Thanks
The boards are full of posts about ECU problems, but I don't think they are all what you describe. If you have the time, get the part numbers off your ECU.

My older KRS runs the opposite. From cold I can tell it's very rich as I can smell the gas and the exhaust is sooty. There's no stumble at all and if you open the throttle hard it pulls smooth like a train. Since the motor isn't up to optimum temperature it must be running very rich like full choke to do that and using a lot of gas from the small tank.

I think I'd prefer something like yours, lean at startup for a couple of minutes provided the bike wasn't unsafe and cut out if you put on throttle. They are big heavy engines optimised for hot running. If you want the 'full on rich' just for the first couple of minutes you're just pouring bad emissions into the cat, which isn't going to clean it up anyway whilst it's cold.



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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 8:41 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
[snip]I think I'd prefer something like yours, lean at startup for a couple of minutes provided the bike wasn't unsafe and cut out if you put on throttle. They are big heavy engines optimised for hot running. If you want the 'full on rich' just for the first couple of minutes you're just pouring bad emissions into the cat, which isn't going to clean it up anyway whilst it's cold.
Thanks Mr Vox; that's what I felt was the case (and confirms what my dealer said).

Bill (Beemer) I also see you point but, part from generating bad relations with my local BMW dealer, are there any other real issues with the "old" ECU. I won't expect you to reapeat them if they are posted elsewhere; just say the words and I'll hunt. Although after some 3500 miles on my GT, I have yet to have a problem

John I. Stephen - Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
K1300 GT (quite superb ! )
Triumph Tiger 1050 (2008)
K1200 GT (2003)
R1150R (2002)
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 9:42 am
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Funny we should be talking about this because I was speaking to a boneyard breaker about ECU variants. Mine is so old the memory chip is a dinosaur, but everytime BMW brings out an ECU (and there have been many) they claim 'backwards compatibility' to mine. Now my contact reminded me that USA and EC ECU's may be different anyway and that over the years of production models, EC emission regulations have got tighter. They weren't going to re-design the bike significantly, so the ECU is the easiest part to modify.

I'm not suggesting the ECU's have got better over time, probably the opposite from the ride, power and control when you want it. But that might explain why my old ECU makes the bike run like a train and fuel consumption isn't too impressive. I've also noticed more sooting on the plugs and exhaust than I'd expect to see from a really lean Eco high mpg motor.

There are more requirements on EC emissions within the last 18 months and it wouldn't surprise me if they ditched the multiport injection and went for sequential, even direct injection with accurate timing of the fuel packet. I'll keep my bike a while longer because eventually it may out perform the new bikes and be less complicated! Sitting in the wings I'm sure will be plans to put more memory in the ECU to hold electronic signatures of the major EFI electronic components. That could stuff aftermarket chip tuning and even using boneyard parts whose signatures won't match. They'll license dealers to match new replacement Efi parts through a diagnostics port, so your vehicle is more likely to continue meeting the emission regs.

Scary stuff and Big Brother is already here in UK.



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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 12:12 pm
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Faulty (old) ECU

The only drawback to the old ECU is poor throttle response when cold. The "good" ECU for late K1200RS/GT has the suffix 717 in it's Bosch part number label. The "bad" ones usually have 616. The trouble with the "717", in my opinion, is that it runs very lean, almost to the point of surging once the motor is warmed up. I'd rather live with waitng for the motor warm up than surging, so I reinstalled the "616".

If your bike is under warranty and you want the "improved" ECU, your dealer should give you one. The other option is an aftermarket chip, whch usually run rich enough to eliminate the cold throttle response issue.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 12:34 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
I'm not suggesting the ECU's have got better over time, probably the opposite from the ride, power and control when you want it. But that might explain why my old ECU makes the bike run like a train and fuel consumption isn't too impressive. I've also noticed more sooting on the plugs and exhaust than I'd expect to see from a really lean Eco high mpg motor.
This is why I installed and am so pleased with the Power Commander on my '04 GT....better throttle response, power and control without interfering with the ECU, although, as you say, a few less mpg's!

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 2007, 12:59 am
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I got the new ECU,but...

Funny...I had cold start wouldn't run,so my dealer changed the ECU within the time set out by BMW(I think the free exchange ended last year).
I didn't notice any difference at all.It still stumbles when cold.Given the engine,I am not surprised.Gas mileage is the same..Maybe the dealer didn't really change it?Maybe the issue was over dramatized and not really very important?
Dunno.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 2007, 5:07 am
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Originally Posted by milkman
This is why I installed and am so pleased with the Power Commander on my '04 GT....better throttle response, power and control without interfering with the ECU, although, as you say, a few less mpg's!
Yes, Power Commander is an interesting relatively simple device. It can never 'optimise' the fuel mixture because it is post the ECU, after the ECU has made it's decisions as to what it thinks the injectors need to supply. Power commander just modifies the injection quantity, so it doesn't surprise me the ...oomph comes from increasing injection times = more fuel.

These days that's considered a bad concept and the whole idea of Eco engine managment is based on getting the highest efficiency lowest emissions for all motor conditions. This type of motor should consistently give better gas mileage and you shouldn't see sooting on the plugs or muffler. Our original Bosch Motronic is pretty old and out of date. They've probably gone as far as they can squeezing the software as the complaints about cold start show the mixture control is on the limits most accept. I think newer bikes will have to use a much more sophistocated injection system to meet tighter regulations. I may not be the first to consider buying one and there'll be plenty looking for 'The Golden Year' model in older bikes.



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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2007, 12:32 am
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The "symptom" was that until the bike was warmer, the throttle would hesitate when you twisted it open "semi-quickly". Quickly, and you'd get a response. But the amount you opened the throttle when starting off? It'd either stumble or the engine would die.

I realize there are some that consider the motor big enough that a bit of warming up is warranted. That's fine...but when I got the ECU replace 3 years ago, the throttle response issue was gone. Completely. It's got a reasonable computer to deal with the temps, so it should handle the throttle response cold as it does warm.

I'd start the bike for the commute to work, put the gloves on, and back it out of the driveway. Go 20 yards to the first left. 20 yards to the second left. 2/10ths of a mile to the stoplight, where I'd wait for a hole in traffic to get onto the freeway onramp. Bike would die if I didn't compensate before the fix. After the fix, no issues.



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