Cali 1100i Misfire

In July I purchased a 1994 Cali 1100i, with 34k on the clock, from a friend who, having owned it for 2 years, was buying a new Triumph. On it’s first ride, after about 30 miles it developed a misfire. I nursed it home, and after various checks, found a small flat washer hanging off the crankcase ignition trigger pick-up, located behind the r/h cylinder. Once removed, it ran perfectly. My mate said that the PO had a new starter motor fitted, and had been told to expect some swarf to be around for a while…!? He had experienced swarf on it once in his ownership, causing a misfire, removal of which restored it to perfect running.
I rode it to the IoM Classic TT in August, 1000 mile round trip, and whilst there a fuel pipe split. A local bike shop recovered it and replaced the pipe, but it was clear they all needed replacing, 9 in all. Rode back ok, and set about changing the pipes, also brake lines, and various other servicing jobs. Other stuff got in the way, building a workshop on my new house etc, but eventually completed the work, when the bike fired up and ran ok. MoT was out by that time, so didn’t ride it. Booked in for an MoT a few weeks later, went to start it; no spark. Various checks, included fuses, all ok. Couldn’t find any info on what the bank of 6 relays do, so I swapped the front two over, and got a spark. Fired up, headed off for the MoT, but after 1/2 a mile it started misfiring, coaxed it home, took out the aforementioned ignition trigger, and it had swarf on it. Removed the swarf, but no improvement.
It is difficult to start, and the misfire is equally on both cylinders, so is unlikely to be coils. I am suspecting a relay issue, but do not know what each one does. However it may be something else entirely.
Any ideas?

Not an expert, but it might be worth starting with some basics, e.g. check the earth strap, clean it up, ignition connections (leads, coils etc). I assume it is charging properly?

I would have thought it most likely to be corrosion related, or just possibly a duff coil.

Not working again after being left a while (where it did before) does suggest electrical connections going bad.

Gents. Thanks for your replies. It actually hasn’t been laid up too long, from early September until November/December when the fault showed up after putting it back together. I will check the earth as suggested. I am still thinking it may be related to something I have done, or disturbed, whilst changing fuel pipes etc, but that could be a red herring, and an entirely new fault may have occurred.

Could it be fuel related? Maybe an air lock in the new pipes, or somesuch?

Can anyone please tell me what each relay controls? There are 6 under the right-hand side panel along with the fuses; 4 together nearer the back, then two together at the front of the connection block. The sticker inside the side panel shows what the fuses do, but not the relays. I have the workshop manual and owners handbook, but can find no information on them.

Regards. Ian

Hi Ian, if you haven’t got a wiring diagram you could google “Carl Allison This Old Tractor”. Might help.
Cheers Ian

Hi Ian.
I have a wiring diagram, but it does not show the position of the relays, in relation to what they do. To attempt to trace the wiring in order to find that out would be pretty tedious! One would have thought that the info would be readily available. MG mechanics must know which relay does what, surely?
Regards. Ian

Update! Ian, have found the diagram you mention, and sure enough it does appear to show the relays in their positions, so that is a great result. The problem may not lie there, but it gives me a starting point.
Thanks Ian

Could the fuel have degraded?
Opinions vary but I’ve had unleaded that has gone stale and caused misfires following a 3 month layup.
The good news is that if the fuel is OK you can put it back in!
I’ve also had ‘ethanol proof’ fuel line hat has degraded rapidly when exposed to fuel.
Good luck

Hi Steve. Not the fuel. I use ethanol-free, and have used it in my '95 Ducati 900SS and '03 Benelli Tornado with no issues. I believe it was ethanol which caused the original fuel lines to degrade and leak. It does seem a bit like fuel starvation though. I had similar symptoms some years ago on an MGB which had been fitted with an aftermarket fuel pump to by-pass the original one. It couldn’t pump enough fuel to keep up with demand! . Whatever the issue is, it affects both cylinders equally, so I am not suspecting coils at the moment. Unlikely both would fail at once. There appears to be a relay for each injector, so once again, unlikely they would go t#ts up together. I may not get an opportunity to look at it until the weekend. I will check out connections, relays etc; but I am not convinced.
Regards. Ian

Originally you said “no spark”. (?)

Sounds like it’s a wasted spark system tho, if there is only 1 ignition trigger sensor. But no probably not coils if both affected.

About 3 months, long enough. Here (Boston Lincs) it’s raining but even when it isn’t, the outdoors is constantly damp. My tarmac drive never dries out. My bikes are outside under covers and I’m seriously thinking of somehow rigging up a fan heater to dry them out once in a while. I’ve now got one in the shed on a timer to keep the contents in there dry, and the shed itself come to that, as otherwise the doors swell and start jamming. If we get a sunny day it’s too brief and too weak.

Sorry that turned into a bit of a rant

Mike H. I did have no spark, but then explained that by swapping 2 relays over it restored the spark. I swapped them back again after having it running, and once again, no spark. I have bought some relays from Gutsibits to weed out the iffy one.

Fair point about corroded connections.

Sounds like you need to move somewhere warm and dry! :smiley:

Cheers. Ian

Yeah Cayman Islands would be good.

Very salty air tho, not good for motor vehicles.

I had a cali 1100i back in the day and was advised (by a guzzi dealer) to change all the relays to bosch items rather than siemans. Not sure how relay can cause a misfire as they either work or not - they are, after all, just switches. Suggest you change them all now anyway.

Another thought - faulty ignition trigger? I had to regularly “defur” mine but it never actually failed. Have you checked the other ignition inputs (not sure how many there were, temp one on left cyl head)

Padgman. I need to sort out the relays, because when I went to start it to go for MoT, there was no spark. Swapping the two front relays over restored the spark, so there was a fault there somewhere. As. it happens they were both Bosch! The remaining four are Siemens. Do you know what each relay does? There are 6; 4 together at the left end of the bank, then a gap, and 2 at the front, nearest the off-side cylinder.
I was surprised when cleaning the fur off the crank trigger did not cure the misfire, so it could now be faulty, although I do not know how to test it, or the any other for that matter. :blush:

Cheers Ian

Ian, have a look at Carl Alison’s wiring diagram here I hope it helps :smiley:

Thanks Chris.


This may help.
I thought that to stop an oil leak at the crankshaft sensor, puting in a slightly larger diameter o ring would solve the problem, but the bike started misfiring/spitting back. At this stage I thought it was the tuning of the fuel injection, but I couldn’t tune it out.
Eventually, I took out the crankshaft sensor and discovered that by trying to be clever, I had made the sensor sit about 0.25 mm further away from the crankshaft. So, it was back to the original size o ring and a drop of gasket cement and a much sweeter running engine.
It would seem that the sensor/crankshaft clearance is critical.

Hi Davy. I am a bit puzzled, because as far as I can tell the sensor works off the flywheel, which is part of the clutch assembly. As it is a dry clutch, there shouldn’t be any oil in there?

That aside you may be onto something. When I bought the bike and had the fur on the sensor issue, I found the sensor had no flat gasket and no o ring. I assumed these were there to keep cr#p out, so I fitted new ones. This was before I rode it to the IoM, when it ran fine. However, if the clearance is marginal, maybe removing and re-fitting it a couple of times has just tipped the balance. I will take the gaskets out, re-fit and try it. You never know, it could be something that simple, because I am suspecting the trigger.

Thanks. Ian

PS I have have just checked the wiring diagram and found there are 2 sensors… One has obviously eluded me. I will dig deeper… The ‘missing’ one is probably the one you were referring to Davy. Same principle applies though. I will report back. Ian

You try turning stuff on and seeing which relay clicks? I assume there would be relays for: fuel pump, injectors, horn, indicators, starter, perhaps lights. Are hazards fitted - would they have one?

The sensor I’m referring to is the one in front of the left cylinder.