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Old 27th October 2010, 13:14   #1
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Default RE Thunderbird - Water in silencer - Help!

Late last night riding my RE Thunderbird from office, I got stuck in the rains and when riding through a water-logged road, water entered the silencer. Tried to maintain high revs, low gear but bike spluttered and went off. Quickly got down and pushed the bike to safety.

Ran it up a sloping pavement in the hopes that water would run out of the silencer and tried to kick start the bike. No avail. Pushed it to my home which is close by (thankfully!!). But now in the morning, bike not starting at all. There is a small hope when I kick but it is damn hard kicking an Enfield over and over again.

I am giving 30 mins break and re-kicking. Any ideas anyone? Or is the only option a mech?
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Old 27th October 2010, 13:18   #2
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hi !

This does not seems to me as a silencer issue. Check if the battery is ok and check if the carb got some water on it ?

It would be best if you call a mech at your place.
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Old 27th October 2010, 14:21   #3
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Yeah - checked battery and no response(against engine sidewall and kick start). But horn and lights working.
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Old 27th October 2010, 15:05   #4
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Water getting into a silencer should not affect much because it cannot enter the engine that ways (working against gravity as well as exhaust gases).

There has to be some other problem.

There is a simple possibility of water leaking into the fuel tank/fuel line because of riding in the rain.
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Old 27th October 2010, 15:44   #5
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Check your spark plugs , there might me some moisture causing it to short. Remove the spark plug , clean & wipe it dry then try . If you are not getting a good spark then probably there is something wrong with the ignition coils check that.
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Old 27th October 2010, 19:06   #6
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Check if there is water in the air filter. And also the spark plug. Remove the plugs and try kick starting. If at all the water has entered the cylinders, this is one way of getting it out. PS: Experience from my drowned Pulsar three years ago.
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Old 28th October 2010, 00:31   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Water getting into a silencer should not affect much because it cannot enter the engine that ways (working against gravity as well as exhaust gases).

There has to be some other problem.

There is a simple possibility of water leaking into the fuel tank/fuel line because of riding in the rain.
Yeah - cleaned carb too. No luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullinb View Post
Check if there is water in the air filter. And also the spark plug. Remove the plugs and try kick starting. If at all the water has entered the cylinders, this is one way of getting it out. PS: Experience from my drowned Pulsar three years ago.
Checked spark plug, all fine.


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Originally Posted by tj123 View Post
Check your spark plugs , there might me some moisture causing it to short. Remove the spark plug , clean & wipe it dry then try . If you are not getting a good spark then probably there is something wrong with the ignition coils check that.
Yup, finally had to push it to a mech. Looks like some coil had shorted. He actually opened up the clutch casing to check - but could the coil there have gone just because of the rain - how is that possible?
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Old 28th October 2010, 09:13   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Yup, finally had to push it to a mech. Looks like some coil had shorted. He actually opened up the clutch casing to check - but could the coil there have gone just because of the rain - how is that possible?
there are two coils in RE.
  • the charger coil in clutch.
but the Thunderbird will run till battery lasts.
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  • the ignition coil.
if this goes kaput then bike dose not starts.
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also check for blown fuses & disconnected wires .
older bullets have them behind head lamp assembly, i don't know about Thunderbird.

if you don't trust this mechanic then consult another one. (see link)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorbikes/14053-royal-enfield-mechanics-thread-all-mechanics-requirements-queries-here.html

Last edited by jeepster : 28th October 2010 at 09:19.
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Old 28th October 2010, 12:07   #9
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How much of the bike was drowned? How high was the water level?
When you kick, does the bike respond sometimes?

If the water level was only till the silencer, then you can try this:
  • Clean the spark plug.
  • Remove the silencer and and drain the water.
  • Switch fuel tap to OFF. Drain the float bowl. Start the petrol again. Pull choke and try starting.
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Old 29th October 2010, 02:05   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
there are two coils in RE.
  • the charger coil in clutch.
  • the ignition coil.
if this goes kaput then bike dose not starts. also check for blown fuses & disconnected wires .

if you don't trust this mechanic then consult another one.
Thanks Jeepster - looks like it was the charger clutch coil. It was checked and found to be faulty. But in this process, he had to check the "coil" under the seat and also the ignition coil. Looks like I had to pay for checking all that :(

Also, in this course, the mech told me that that coil has a metal casing around it (inside the clutch cover) - a sort of cup into which this coil sits. He showed me how the inside of this cover has worn a groove on the inside. Didn't touch that for now - but will this be a problem in the long run? He said it is something to do with the crankshaft bearing. Let me know about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
How much of the bike was drowned? How high was the water level?
When you kick, does the bike respond sometimes?

If the water level was only till the silencer, then you can try this:
  • Clean the spark plug.
  • Remove the silencer and and drain the water.
  • Switch fuel tap to OFF. Drain the float bowl. Start the petrol again. Pull choke and try starting.
Thanks Gordon. Well, the water was just above silencer level. But bike was running in it and spluttered. I then had to push it quickly out of this water. Don't think it was a problem with the silencer in the end? But am not too sure though
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Old 3rd May 2011, 10:55   #11
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird - Water in silencer - Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Also, in this course, the mech told me that that coil has a metal casing around it (inside the clutch cover) - a sort of cup into which this coil sits. He showed me how the inside of this cover has worn a groove on the inside. Didn't touch that for now - but will this be a problem in the long run? He said it is something to do with the crankshaft bearing. Let me know about this.
I hope this is not the Twin spark model. I am not aware of any metal casing over the coil on the normal TB. Its just the coil and the magnet which sits inside it. If the position of the coil is not adjusted properly, then the magnet may rub against the inner walls of the coil, which may result in the battery charging issues. Setting it right is quite easy: run a feeler guage between the coil and the magnet and ensure that there is sufficient gap between them at every point and tighten the coil mounting nuts. Thats all about it.

If the crank shaft bearing is gone, then its a serious damage and can lead to numerous other issues. Do you feel undue vibrations from the engine, especially when climbing uphills? When you change the engine oil next time, check for any metal particles in the oil/filter.
Watch out! Bangalore has a lot of bullet mechs who choose unscrupulous ways to make money. Replacing the crank shaft bearing is no minor job: its close to a fully blown engine job.

Just like others have pointed out, check the following:
  1. Sparkplug
  2. Ignition coil/bottle coil (the rubber cover at the head of the coil is prone to water leaks and its sort of a common issue when it rains)
  3. CDI ignition kit/wiring/fuses/RR unit
  4. To be on the safer side, change the engine and clutch side oil.

Last edited by jeeva : 3rd May 2011 at 10:57.
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Old 11th May 2011, 22:36   #12
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird - Water in silencer - Help!

Been a looong time since I posted this but thanks anyway....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeva View Post
If the position of the coil is not adjusted properly, then the magnet may rub against the inner walls of the coil, which may result in the battery charging issues. Setting it right is quite easy: run a feeler guage between the coil and the magnet and ensure that there is sufficient gap between them at every point and tighten the coil mounting nuts. Thats all about it.
Yup, this had been checked and seems no issues....but....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeva View Post
If the crank shaft bearing is gone, then its a serious damage and can lead to numerous other issues.
I have a small feeling this is NOW an issue...
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Old 13th October 2011, 11:52   #13
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird - Water in silencer - Help!

Yesterday morning needed to take my bike to office as I had some shopping planned out. Because I cycle to work, the bike does not see this activity often. I had last used it on Sunday. There was absolutely no issue with it.
I tried to start the bike. But it refused to start. It finally did come to life once. But would not rev up and died after 2 mins.
I changed the spark plug. But still no life.

As I was getting late for a meeting, took the car instead.

Today morning tried to fix the issue.
The bike was still not starting.

1. Opened the air filter box. Its dry inside.
2. Removed spark plug and checked for sparks. Good clean sparks.
3. Drained the petrol in the carb by loosening the screw at its bottom.
4. Success. Bike starts up and I let her idle for sometime without any issues.

On a sad note. The silencer clamp is broken. The silencer has also gotten rust at its end point.
Anyone got a old tb silencer for sale. Let me know. I am interested in it.
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Old 13th October 2011, 17:15   #14
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird - Water in silencer - Help!

@ bblost, hope you didn't miss checking vaporlock in fuel tank?
it though happens when least expected.
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Old 13th October 2011, 21:20   #15
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird - Water in silencer - Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennjit View Post
@ bblost, hope you didn't miss checking vaporlock in fuel tank?
it though happens when least expected.
No odometer/tripmeter on my bike. The first thing I checked was if I had fuel inside the tank.

That would have taken care of the vapor lock, if any

But that is a very good point. Thanks. Its usually forgotten.
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