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Author Topic: Chronically wet spark plugs  (Read 947 times)

feverdog

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Chronically wet spark plugs
« on: February 06, 2013, 02:21:07 AM »
I posted this elsewhere in the wrong section.  Here's what I posted:

<quote>Hi all,

I'm having major problems with spark plugs constantly getting fouled.  I've always had misfiring and a bit of a problem with acceleration but about a month ago it started getting really bad.  I changed the spark plugs.  Problem came back after two weeks.  I changed the spark plugs.  Problem came back after one week but this time it wouldn't start.  Changed the spark plugs.  It started.  The next day it didn't start.  Now it won't run until I remove both spark plugs, dry them off completely and wire brush them.

Aparently, what is happening is my plugs are getting wet.  I was told I had bad fuel (I live in Bangladesh) and that this was preventing the moisture from evaporating/burning off the plugs.  I changed the fuel and added octane boost but still having the same problem.  Is this worse than bad fuel?  A problem with the fuel injector?  Something leaking somewhere?

I'm an absolute beginner.....     Thanks in advance.</quote>

I received a couple of responses to this.  One said it was due to the lack of an O2 sensor.  The other suggested I take the bike to a dealer.  The problem is that I live in Bangladesh (next to India).  As far as I know, I have the ONLY bike like mine in this country because according to law only 150cc or below are allowed here.  I'm from the U.S. so was able to get around that law.  The problem is that there are no mechanics and no parts.  I can order from the U.S. or go to India to pick up parts but I'm basically stuck without Enfield repair expertise.   

JVS

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 02:35:46 AM »
First of, does your RE have a carb or is it EFI twin-spark? If it's the latter, you might be having the side-stand kill switch that causes problems. It might be a good idea to disconnect the side-stand switch and try it out. These bikes can run on most grade of fuels but there is a good chance that the fuels in bangladesh might be 'spiked' with water..as you know, corruption.

Don't worry, other members here will provide you with better information than I can! Good luck

Edit: If you say it doesn't have the oxygen sensor, is it safe to assume that yours has a carb? You might need to adjust the settings on the carb to run a bit leaner mixture.

Sorry, I just noticed your original thread topic you posted under a different section. So yours is a Classic EFI. It must be an electrical issue, such as the side-stand kill switch. Make sure you tighten the spark plugs enough. Can also be water in the fuel..
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 02:45:09 AM by JVS »
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Arizoni

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 03:36:54 AM »
As I think I mentioned in the other post, Royal Enfield came up with a improved computer map.  If your bike has not been to a Royal Enfield dealer/service department you should take it in to have the new map installed in the computer.  I'm sure the upgrade is free.

Another thing to check if you haven't already is the condition of the air filter.
Being a paper element filter if it has been oil soaked it will choke off the inlet air which will cause the engine to run rich.
Ideally, the filter should be dry and dirt free. 
By the way, these bikes suck the air into the air plenum thru the inside of the filter so the outside can look nice and clean even though the inside is packed with dirt.
Totally remove the paper element and remove the dirt that may be inside it.

The Bosch spark plug Royal Enfield installs for the US models is garbage.  I don't know what spark plug you installed but if it is available try to find a NGK 6ES.
Changing to this spark plug fixed the mis-firing my 2011 G5 (Electra) had when it was new.

While your getting your computer map updated (if it is needed) the mechanic should check the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor).  If it is out of adjustment or defective it could cause the problem your having. 
Oh.  Some people who don't understand fuel injection (like most of the mechanics in India) might have adjusted the screws on the exposed side of the injector body.
Some people seem to think these screws are for adjusting the idle speed.  They ARE NOT.

Changing the settings of these screws without having the proper knowledge and meters can really mess things up.  Your RE mechanic should be aware of these problems and know how to fix them.
Jim
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feverdog

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 06:19:49 AM »
Thanks for the responses.  Let me describe in more detail whatís going on. 

It may or may not start.  If it does, it tends to run for about five minutes and then die.  If it dies, or if it doesnít start at all, I remove the spark plugs, wipe them down and put them back.  It starts in most cases although sometimes not.  Also, possibly related, is that the seal between the tank cap and the tank is worn.  Some water might have gotten in the tank. 

<quote>First of, does your RE have a carb or is it EFI twin-spark? If it's the latter, you might be having the side-stand kill switch that causes problems. It might be a good idea to disconnect the side-stand switch and try it out. These bikes can run on most grade of fuels but there is a good chance that the fuels in bangladesh might be 'spiked' with water..as you know, corruption.</quote>

It is the latter.  Can you explain the relationship between the kill switch and watery fuel?  Or, in the case of Bangladesh, itís more likely to have been doctored with kerosene.  Anyway, I donít get the connection between the kill switch and the fuel.  Also, although I did not remove all the fuel, I added a half tank and some octane boost.  Would the problem persist for a few days and then go away?  Or should I add more boost?

<quote>you should take it in to have the new map installed in the computer</quote>

I canít since I live in Bangladesh and there are no Enfield dealers

<quote>The Bosch spark plug Royal Enfield installs for the US models is garbage.  I don't know what spark plug you installed but if it is available try to find a NGK 6ES.</quote> 

Iím not sure which plug but itís not the Bosch. Might it be that my plugs are ďrunning coldĒ and that I need a hotter running plug?

JVS

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 07:33:16 AM »
+1 to Arizoni.

These REs now come with a side-stand safety switch, which effectively doesn't let the bike start when the side stand is down. Due to a possible lose electrical connection at this point, and the constant shocks/bumps the bike goes through, this switch can confuse the ECU to deliberately cut off fuel supply (thinking that the side-stand is down, even though it is not) and then out of nowhere pump more fuel than what is needed - causing intermittent operation of the bike such as you are experiencing. Not that this is the case, but it can be. So, if yours does have a cable going to the sidestand, just disconnect it and see what happens.

Also with the spark plugs, as Arizoni has mentioned, try to get 2x 1x NGK BPR6ES as your main plug and adjust the gap to 0.7mm-0.8mm. Or try setting this gap on your current plugs.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 12:18:31 PM by JVS »
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JVS

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 07:55:29 AM »
Also, I am confident that the following might not be the case -

However, if the MIL (Malfunctioning Indicator Lamp) next to the low fuel light stays on even after the initial 3 second 'pumping' of the fuel continuously, then one of the other sensors in the bike is malfunctioning. For this, the bike needs to go to the dealer and get sorted out there. They have the necessary cables to plug in to the EFI/ECU system and pin-point which sensor/part is malfunctioning.

But let us not go there yet.  :D
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feverdog

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 08:44:59 AM »
Except that the side stand is currently removed and the kill switch cable is already hanging loose.  Hanging loose out of ignorance of what it is but in any case....  not attached to the side stand.  Could that be the problem or could that mean that that issue has already been tested...?

Also, regarding the NGK 6ES sparkplugs, there are two different sized spark plugs in my bike.  I assume the NGK is for the smaller.  Which to buy for the larger?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 09:13:39 AM by feverdog »

JVS

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 09:32:04 AM »
Really not sure about twin spark configuration. Whether they always need to be of a different grade or not. Also check the spark plug lead's top cap for any damage/irregularities.

I haven't removed the side-stand cable from mine, but I assume it is like a plug and should not be interfering with anything. Hopefully other members who have done this will have a better insight.
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BRADEY

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 09:41:18 AM »
The twin spark configuration is the Indian version of Classic. Where did you buy this bike.....??
Anyway, NGK BPR6ES is your main (bigger plug). Leave alone the support plug (smaller one) and see what difference it makes.....
If the situaiton remains the same then this needs to be reviewed by a good mechanic.

feverdog

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 10:17:17 AM »
Thanks for the info on the spark plug size.  I live and work in Asia.  I purchased the bike in Nepal (go Himalayan Enfielders!) and currently live in Bangladesh.

Arizoni

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 10:12:30 PM »
If your sidestand switch is just dangling I suggest you follow the wiring to its connector.
This is located down towards the engine on the seat downtube.  By disconnecting its connector (as many of us already have), it can no longer effect the computer but as the sidestand was removed you may as well remove the switch too.
Jim
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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2013, 02:33:53 AM »
For peace of mind and to eliminate potentially bad gas as a factor, take a sample. Either drain or siphon some gas in to a clear glass jar or bottle. A turkey baster would work. Let it sit over night and see how it looks. If the gas has a high water content, you will clearly be able to see the separation, with the gas floating atop.
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feverdog

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2014, 07:53:30 AM »
One year on and still having troubles although the trouble seems to be different. 

Tried better fuel, tried fuel boost....  nothing.   Then, I had a mechanic change the piston, valves and head gasket.  Installed a new fuel injector.  Now the plugs are dry black soot instead of wet black.....  Had a mechanic adjust the valve/piston timing...  still didn't solve the problem and now the spark plug changes come more often..

However, I think I might know the answer.  Where I live, Bangladesh, I can't get the proper battery for this bike.  I can get the right specs but not the correct physical size for it to fit in the battery box.  The work around was a battery with lower amperage.  I've had a battery with lower amperage for 6-8 months now. 

I can't remember when the problems started in relation to the battery change but could the problem be that the fuel injector isn't getting enough power due to the lower amperage battery?  Thus, not enough fuel in the mix?  Thus black soot on the plug? 

barenekd

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Re: Chronically wet spark plugs
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2014, 05:40:59 PM »
It sounds like the bike is flooding. One post mentioned the air cleaner, have you checked it? If it's clogged, that could well be your problem.
If the battery has enough juice for the electric starter to work, it has enough juice to run the EFI. The black soot on the plug is from getting too much gas. Or not enough air, which takes us back to the air filter. Just take the air filter off and see if it runs!
If that won't do it, take it to a dealer, whatever it takes to get there.
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