RC51 Power Commander 5 PCV Problem - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 199 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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RC51 Power Commander 5 PCV Problem

I was instructed to start a new thread, so here it is.

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Intro
If you own a Power Commander 5 for your RC51, have you ever noticed weird surging or power fluctuations around the 5000 RPM range? If you have the auto tune, have you noticed that the trims will excessively lean the 4500 - 5500 RPM range? If so, read on! I'm looking for individuals who are using a Power Commander 5 (AKA PCV) on the RC51, who are willing to run a simple test to see if your PCV is having the same issue I have run across on two separate bikes with two completely different PCV units.

Back Story
Long story short, I purchased a PCV about a year ago (Sep 2014) with auto tune. I added the O2 bungs, installed everything and was off and running, only... it wouldn't run right at certain RPM ranges. I tweaked, adjusted trims, fiddled, advanced the map, demoted the map you name it, I tried it out. What I finally discovered, is that the PCV has a fundamental problem where I "believe" it is receiving RF interference from the bike, causing the RPM to bounce 400 - 800+ RPM with a constant throttle position. The issue is most common around 5000 RPM (+ or - 300 RPM) but I have also noticed the same issue around 3500 and 6500 (give or take) though it is nowhere as severe, it still causes problems.

The Problem
The problem with the RF interference (to my best guess) is that it causes the PCV to begin pulling fuel from not one cell, not two cells, but across three different cells simultaneously if you're on the 500 RPM map. Drop the map to the 250 RPM and it will try compensating for 6+ different cells. If the PCV is trying to pull fuel from more than the target cell at the exact same time, what do you thing is going to happen? Well, when the auto tune is hooked up, it freaks out and goes "whoa! That's way too much fuel!" so it leans out all of the problem cells, regardless of what you have dialed in for your AFR value. If the AT isn't hooked up, it doesn't matter WHAT you plug in for fuel values because the PCV is trying to give the bike too much fuel (if you have a downloaded map).

See the problem in action:
https://youtu.be/53I7zpZjlt4


Testing
So, in order to test the issue, hook your bike up to a computer, fire it up and begin revving it while in neutral. (You're gonna piss the neighbors off) When you get around 4800 RPM, begin slowly increasing the throttle. If the PCV is working properly, you should see the RPM bounce approximately 40 - 80 RPM. However, if it has the same problem as I have discovered on two different PCV units across two completely different 03 RC51's, you will notice the RPM bounce around, way beyond the 40 - 80 range. As you move past the trouble area, it should clear back up. The problem area is usually only in a window of about 100 RPMs but within that area, it will be very noticeable if it's acting up.

Problems with DynoJet
DynoJet is aware of "my" situation. I can't get their warranty manager Stan Lass to call me back, even though I started the issue with them back around March of this year (2015). I've spoken to those guys countless times and I've only spoken with Stan twice, despite multiple promises that he would call me back from various people. The last time I spoke with Stan around the end of July, he sent me out a second PCV unit to test (same issue). I can't get a hold of him to find out if he wants it back and since it doesn't work, I can't even sell it out from underneath them (not that I would...). I'm at wits end and finally biting the bullet to ask for help from the community to get enough people to test and hopefully confirm that it is an issue that needs to be properly and professionally addressed by DynoJet.

Additional Thoughts
Note: The problem does not appear on a Power Commander III, only the PCV. Changing the PCV negative location from the battery to the frame, does not help. Adding filters around various power wires, does not help. I was informed by Stan from DynoJet that the PCV runs on a lower voltage than the PCIII, so it might be more susceptible to interference. DynoJet thought maybe it was a stuck injector. The way you can check for a stuck injector, is to watch the "Duty Cycle". Normally the Duty Cycle will increase gradually with engine load. If the injector is sticking, you'll see the duty cycle spike way up to a crazy high %, then drop back down to normal. In my testing, the duty cycle remained fairly constant at 10% - 15%.

Several things need to be determined if we want DynoJete to look into this:
1) How many others are experiencing the same problem.

2) What years are being affected? (SP1? SP2? Both?)

Current Update as of 11/11/2015
If you haven't been following this thread and don't feel like going through its entirety, the current "fix" for this problem is to run a Power Commander 3 inline first, then the Power Commander 5. Yes, you will need to run two power commanders to currently fix the problem. The PC3 does not suffer from the RPM bounce problem and cleans the fuel injection pulse, which then sends it to the PCV. So, ECM -> PC3 -> PCV. In theory, it doesn't matter what values are in the PC3 tables, however it is recommended to zero all of the tables.

If you don't have or want to run a PCIII, then you do NOT want to use the AT (auto tune) system as this amplifies the problem and can potentially create dangerous scenarios. If you do not wish to run the AT system and you also don't want to run the PCIII, then it is highly recommended to run your base map at 500 RPM instead of 250 RPM which creates a smaller window of error for the problem to amplify itself. Drive ratio gearing (sprocket teeth changes) can also affect the perception of the problem. By changing the drive ratio, you can move the problem window into RPMs where you are not doing static, constant throttle cruising. There are no suggestions for magic ratios at this time.

Last edited by philsward; 04-13-2016 at 01:47 PM. Reason: status update
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post #2 of 199 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 10:03 AM
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This is from your earlier post
Quote:
Originally Posted by philsward View Post
As a result, the AT if hooked up, leans the map WAY out... It's an issue with the PCV though, NOT the AT. Turning off the AT or zeroing the AT not to tune in those ranges, wont solve the problem because it is fundamental to the PCV unit.

The map doesn't matter either; advanced, demoted, 250 RPM, 500 RPM, AT attached, no AT attached, I can replicate the issue. I've contacted DynoJet and gotten nowhere, so if you also notice the same symptoms, call DynoJet and make it an issue! As far as I'm concerned, the PCV isn't worth buying for the RC51 until this problem is fixed.

Watch for an example:
https://youtu.be/53I7zpZjlt4

Interesting. Though this potential issue should not affect a fixed fuel map. The PCV does not alter the fuel map (and trim tables) unless the AT is on. With the AT off, the PCV will adjust fuel to whatever is in the corresponding cell, whether it is from one or three cells. There will be no issue with leaning, etc.

And if you want the have the AT on and not have this potentially affect the AT adjustment , one can zero out the AFR in these corresponding rpm/throttle opening cells to get around the problem. You can manually tune the fuel settings in the map to what you want.

My AT has pulled a lot of fuel at 5% throttle opening from 3250 to 5250 rpm, but it is also with a map that had added a lot fuel to this range. So I don't know what is the actual cause. I'll also note that I don't run the AT at 2% throttle opening.

I do see a relatively stable pattern to how my AT is altering the loaded fuel map. Trim values of pulling fuel become less as the throttle opening increases.

Of note though, I don't have a lot of miles so the trim maps still have many areas that need to be populated, not to mention more sampling runs to better average out the values.

I need a laptop to confirm the bouncing rpm measurements, which I have not done yet.

Last edited by kwtoxman; 09-17-2015 at 02:14 PM.
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post #3 of 199 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 11:23 AM
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Are you running a super lightweight lithium battery?
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post #4 of 199 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 01:00 PM
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With the AT off I haven't noticed the surging.

I'm running a Shorai (relocated to under the oil filter) with a MOSFET R/R (stock SP2 location).

I'll post up more after I do the "testing."
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post #5 of 199 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting. Though this potential issue should not affect a fixed fuel map. The PCV does not alter the fuel map (and trim tables) unless the AT is on. With the AT off, the PCV will adjust fuel to whatever is in the corresponding cell, whether it is from one or three cells. There will be no issue with leaning, etc.

And if you want the have the AT on and not have this potentially affect the AT adjustment , one can zero out the AFR in these corresponding rpm/throttle opening cells to get around the problem. You can manually tune the fuel settings in the map to what you want.
The issue DOES affect a fixed fuel map. The video I posted, is from a fixed fuel map with the AT completely disconnected from the bike. (I didn't have O2 bungs installed yet). When you watch the video, you can see it highlight three plus cells at the same time. It should never try to be in more than two vertical cells at the same time and ideally, it should only be in one cell as a constant. The only time / reason it will be in two cells is at the crossover point where the RPM is high enough to bounce to the next cell, but not high enough to keep it there permanently. You can adjust the fixed map to your hearts content, but it will always cause issues at the affected area. Zeroing out the AT AFR cells is a work around, and zeroing out the fixed map for those cells is a workaround, but it is not a solution that fixes the problem, it just makes it less noticeable. I know, I've tried.

Keep in mind, unless you are at a constant throttle in the problem range, you'll never notice it. It is a very small window that causes issues but if you manage to find that problem area, you'll surely notice it.

I need to ask: "Are you running the 250 RPM map or 500 RPM map?" The 500 map makes the problem less noticeable and a lot more bareable. With the 250 map, it will register fuel from 5 - 6 vertical cells simultaneously.

Last edited by philsward; 09-17-2015 at 04:11 PM.
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post #6 of 199 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Are you running a super lightweight lithium battery?
Nope. Nothing fancy with the battery. On the old bike, I thought maybe it was a battery issue, so I replaced it. Didn't help.
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post #7 of 199 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philsward View Post
The issue DOES affect a fixed fuel map. The video I posted, is from a fixed fuel map with the AT completely disconnected from the bike. (I didn't have O2 bungs installed yet). When you watch the video, you can see it highlight three cells at the same time. It should never try to be in three vertical cells at the same time. You can adjust the fixed map to your hearts content, but it will always cause issues at the affected area. Zeroing out the AT AFR cells is a work around, and zeroing out the fixed map for those cells is a workaround, but it is not a solution that fixes the problem, it just makes it less noticeable. I know, I've tried.

Keep in mind, unless you are at a constant throttle in the problem range, you'll never notice it. It is a very small window that causes issues but if you manage to find that problem area, you'll surely notice it.

I need to ask: "Are you running the 250 RPM map or 500 RPM map?" The 500 map makes the problem less noticeable and a lot more bareable. With the 250 map, it will pull fuel from 5 - 6 vertical cells simultaneously.
My point was that it is not a significant issue with a relatively smooth "fixed" fuel map (AT off). IMO. The way your first post was written it could be interpreted by readers that the PCV would lean out from this potential rpm reading issue under all running conditions. It won't if the AT is off, or if the AT is adjusted to manually trim that area.

The issue may technically be there, but it won't significantly affect the bike performance with the described work-arounds.

I'm running the 250 rpm gradient map.

Hope we get more info and samples, and that DJ responds back. Until then, at least it sounds like we have some work-arounds.

Last edited by kwtoxman; 09-17-2015 at 02:09 PM.
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post #8 of 199 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
My point was that it is not a significant issue with a relatively smooth "fixed" fuel map (AT off). IMO. The way your first post was written it could be interpreted by readers that the PCV would lean out from this potential rpm reading issue under all running conditions. It won't if the AT is off, or if the AT is adjusted to manually trim that area.

The issue may technically be there, but it won't significantly affect the bike performance with the described work-arounds.

I'm running the 250 rpm gradient map.

Hope we get more info and samples, and that DJ responds back. Until then, at least it sounds like we have some work-arounds.
Sorry if I made it sound like the AT would cause issues across the board... That was not my intent.

You're right in saying that the workarounds make it bareable, but it doesn't fix the underlying problem with the PCV and it only makes the symptoms less noticeable.

Bare in mind that the RPM range is the issue. In my video, I'm showing it off while in neutral, with no load on the bike. It's only sitting in the 2% - 5% columns. When you ride the bike, those RPM areas will cause issues in every single throttle position, regardless of what gear you're in because the PCV figures its cell position based on throttle position and RPM. It pulls the RPM from the injector pulse. So, if a person were to "work around" the problem, they would have to zero out the entire row for 4750, 5000 and 5250. For me, that's normal cruising RPM on the highway if I'm in traffic and need quick response.

So, if you're having issues with the surging around 5000 RPM, with the AT enabled, you'll see it making lean trims for the 4750 5000 5200 5500 5750 6000 6250 and 6500 cells and that's the entire row through the throttle position. You can zero the most offending row, but if you're riding at that particular RPM, it's now making incorrect trims for the other RPMs because the PCV thinks its in those RPM cells when it really isn't...

Anywho, point of this is to get others to test it and either confirm or disproove that the PCV has an issue that needs attention by DynoJet. I'm one guy. Big company's won't drop what they're doing for one person. If we can get 5 or 6 guys to confirm it, they might be more willing to look into it further.

Since the problem seems minor and isn't easily detected without setting the proper conditions, I'm guessing most guys just think "eh, it's an old bike..." Or "eh, it's a vtwin... Vtwins are always funky", then dismiss it and live with it. I would have never even noticed the problem had I not strapped a netbook to the bike and rode it around, watching what the software was doing at the time of the problem. For the longest time, I thought it was a fuel map issue. It wasn't until I disconnected the AT and applied multiple maps, including a zero map which uses the stock ECM map, that I realized it's a PCV problem. I thought maybe it was just my bike, until I totaled it in May and picked up a different RC51, only to discover the same problem.

Super curious to see what you figure out... Keep me posted :-)

Last edited by philsward; 09-17-2015 at 04:15 PM.
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post #9 of 199 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 04:21 PM
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We're the second largest Powercommander distributor in the world. I'm sure there will be some eyes on this.
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post #10 of 199 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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We're the second largest Powercommander distributor in the world. I'm sure there will be some eyes on this.
Thanks LDH. Any help on getting this resolved will be awesome. When I discussed this with Stan at DynoJet the second time I spoke with him, he did say there aren't a lot of PCV sales for the RC51. I theorized that they haven't heard of the issue before now because there aren't many folks using it.

I'll say there are more threads on the PCV for the RC51 now than there were close to a year ago...

Last edited by philsward; 09-17-2015 at 05:33 PM.
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