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Author Topic: Spark plug health  (Read 1786 times)

jammydodger

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Spark plug health
« on: June 14, 2013, 09:27:22 AM »
Hi All,
 I pulled out the spark plug recently and found what you see in the picture...I've tried to clean it with no luck and still looking very charred. What are your thoughts on the cause and suggestions of resolution.

Given that the bike is secondhand and have no idea how it was riden before...

Cheers
j

jammydodger

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 09:31:36 AM »
I have changed it over now, I'm looking to hear your comments of how this would have occured and how to avoid in the future with the new plug.

Cheers

JVS

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2013, 09:38:50 AM »
One of the members named the spark plug you're holding the Bosch POS. One of a kind. Getting charred since birth.

If you've changed to a newer Bosch POS, it will keep happening. The only way to get rid of this richness is to switch to an NGK BPR6ES plug. That is the spark plug almost all the members are using. You will have no more of that crap. The bike will run better than ever, idle smoothly. And you can then try (consider) disconnecting the side-stand switch..
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jammydodger

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 10:26:50 AM »
Ah, you're spot on and the plug I've changed to is identical to the one you see in the picture (It was included in the oil change kit from Hitchcocks) I’ll take your suggestion and keep the Bosch as an emergency spare.

How will the disconnection of the side stand switch help?

shamelin

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 01:14:47 PM »
The RE side stand is somewhat sensitive and many members have had their engines cut out during a ride because there was just enough motion in the 'up' side stand to engage the safety switch.

It won't make a difference with your spark plug carbon, but disconnecting the side stand switch is often one of the first modifications we make on the RE.  Just  ensure your side stand is up before putting the bike in gear- left hand turns with the side stand down can be a scary proposition.

Welcome to the forum.

barenekd

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 02:03:53 PM »
I don't think the Bosch is even a good "emergency" plug. It will obviously cause more emergencies than cure, as you've already noted For about three dollars each, you can buy several NGKs and have all the spares you think you need. I think I changed my first NGK at about 14000 miles because I had one. There had been no problem with the one that was in there.
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rvcycleguy

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 02:38:27 PM »
I'm having a hard time locating the NGK plug you guys are recommending.  As a rider living in the 4th largets US city, I find it hard to believe its that difficult.  I'e been to my local Auto Zone, Advance, Bap Geon, and NAPA.  When I look at the thread reach, its good but the cap is a push on type and the one I need for my coil wire is a threaded type.  As you know, it does not thread on it just grips it different.  In the old days, the cap would spin off and you could use it either way, but not anymore?
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heloego

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 02:47:29 PM »
Go to O'Reilly's.
They have the BPR6ES for about $3 and the BPR6EIX iridium for about $7.
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Bulletman

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 02:51:55 PM »
I'm having a hard time locating the NGK plug you guys are recommending.  As a rider living in the 4th largets US city, I find it hard to believe its that difficult.  I'e been to my local Auto Zone, Advance, Bap Geon, and NAPA.  When I look at the thread reach, its good but the cap is a push on type and the one I need for my coil wire is a threaded type.  As you know, it does not thread on it just grips it different.  In the old days, the cap would spin off and you could use it either way, but not anymore?
You need to unscrew the little cap on the tip, and that will reveal the threaded part.
+ 1 for O'Reillys.
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rvcycleguy

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2013, 03:35:15 PM »
does not unscrew.  They don't all do that.  They used to, not anymore.  I've been through the spark plug boxes on the shelf at the parts store and its not there...
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 03:44:33 PM by rvcycleguy »
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rvcycleguy

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2013, 03:38:02 PM »
Go to O'Reilly's.
They have the BPR6ES for about $3 and the BPR6EIX iridium for about $7.

thanks.  I'll check that out.  I've not found an O'Reilly's near me but I'm heading out of town to Austin tonight, so maybe I'll see one on the way.
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2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50 (800cc) Touring set-up. white walls, pearl white w/ ghost flames

gremlin

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2013, 04:50:12 PM »
Plug looks fine.  engine is running a little rich though.
Does your bike have an O2 sensor ?  If so, there may be an exhaust leak where the pipe meets the motor.

But, then again, with such low miles, it's just barely run-in ....

a quick scrub & run it again.
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hortoncode3

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2013, 05:00:34 PM »
ALWAYS carry a spare plug in a single cylinder bike ...DUH! Also, a pair of vice grips isn't a bad thing either. BIG ones.

singhg5

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2013, 05:51:01 PM »
thanks.  I'll check that out.  I've not found an O'Reilly's near me but I'm heading out of town to Austin tonight, so maybe I'll see one on the way.

If you don't find at O'Reilly's, go to a Yamaha Motorcycle dealer or Honda Motorcycle dealer who usually carry such spark plug.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 08:49:41 PM by singhg5 »
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gashousegorilla

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2013, 05:56:41 PM »
Plug looks fine.  engine is running a little rich though.
Does your bike have an O2 sensor ?  If so, there may be an exhaust leak where the pipe meets the motor.

But, then again, with such low miles, it's just barely run-in ....

a quick scrub & run it again.


  +1

   Could also be from after a start up, and a short Idle.  The bikes do run rich at start up for a reason... There is a manual by starter there until that o2 sensor starts doing it's thing, should you need it . A nice soft start ain't a bad thing for the sprag, and probably easier on the leg if your kicking it. I Never had a problem with that Bosch plug. But my idle was adjusted correctly....
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2013, 06:56:20 PM »
does not unscrew.  They don't all do that.  They used to, not anymore.  I've been through the spark plug boxes on the shelf at the parts store and its not there...

I bet you're having the same problem I ran into.  Our (mine, yours, ERCs ect) vintage bikes are very old and a bit rare and there really isn't a listing for the correct plug anywhere except for in the owners manual.  Which until the joys of the internet weren't readily available until recent years I'm guessing.  My point is, when you're trying to get a plug to work on something this old but have nothing to go off of, you literally will try anything that works.  Which for our old vintage bikes, happens to be a tractor plug that does NOT have the threaded nipple. 

I'm willing to bet that being our bikes are the same era, they take the same plug.  Try NGK part # B6HS.  I called NGK personally to sort this out and this is the plug the crosses over from the vintage Champion plug listed in my repair manual.

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Arizoni

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2013, 10:45:12 PM »
The carbon on the plug shown in the original post is due to the engine running rich.

The leak at the exhaust pipe up by the O2 sensor (if it has one) probably could be felt as a blast of hot air where the pipe meets the cylinder head.

Another thing to check out since the bike is used is the condition of the paper air filter.

If it is oil saturated or plugged with mud or dirt that would also make the engine run rich and foul the sparkplug like that.
Jim
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jammydodger

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2013, 09:32:14 AM »
I've checked the filter recently and tapped it out. It was perfectly dry with little to no particles.

Yep, the bike has an 02 sensor. I'll see if I can determine if there's a leak,  I remember seeing somewhere that you can spray some sort of cleaning product around that join between the pipe and engine to make it easier to spot a leak- is this something that you guys have heard of?

the guy I bought the bike off 'advised' me to use the choke and hold it down whist the engine warmed up...maybe that contributed to the carbon?

The thing now is that any changes I make now I won't be able to test fully on the open road until I've passed my tests and riding around the car park probably won't help I guess?

rvcycleguy

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2013, 09:50:05 AM »
I bet you're having the same problem I ran into.  Our (mine, yours, ERCs ect) vintage bikes are very old and a bit rare and there really isn't a listing for the correct plug anywhere except for in the owners manual.  Which until the joys of the internet weren't readily available until recent years I'm guessing.  My point is, when you're trying to get a plug to work on something this old but have nothing to go off of, you literally will try anything that works.  Which for our old vintage bikes, happens to be a tractor plug that does NOT have the threaded nipple. 

I'm willing to bet that being our bikes are the same era, they take the same plug.  Try NGK part # B6HS.  I called NGK personally to sort this out and this is the plug the crosses over from the vintage Champion plug listed in my repair manual.

Scottie

Thanks Scottie.  I appreciate the advice.  I have a PDF of the old manual and the Champion plug back in the day was L10.  As you say, I tried and became frustrated locating the correct plug.  Did not want to put the wrong one in.  Had a coil problem that got sorted out and did not want to mess up with the plug.  It's been a learning curve for me and one that has been rewarding so far.  This forum makes it a little easier.  Thanks.
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JVS

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2013, 07:24:50 AM »
I've checked the filter recently and tapped it out. It was perfectly dry with little to no particles.

Yep, the bike has an 02 sensor. I'll see if I can determine if there's a leak,  I remember seeing somewhere that you can spray some sort of cleaning product around that join between the pipe and engine to make it easier to spot a leak- is this something that you guys have heard of?

the guy I bought the bike off 'advised' me to use the choke and hold it down whist the engine warmed up...maybe that contributed to the carbon?

The bike if turned off before its optimum operating temperature can lead to the carbon. Regardless, I am pretty sure that these Bosch plugs are not great for UCEs and end up getting sooted anyway. Something to do with the gap and the two-side ground/electrode.

Try the BPR6ES. Pretty confident that you will have very little carbon build up on the electrode of the NGK. You'll still have some on the outer ring of the plug, but not as bad as the Bosch. I've been using this NGK plug and it shows signs of perfect mixture.
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mattsz

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2013, 01:25:20 PM »
the guy I bought the bike off 'advised' me to use the choke and hold it down whist the engine warmed up...maybe that contributed to the carbon?

You may know this already, but as I understand it, the "choke", which is called a "manual bi-starter" on our bikes (and I still haven't heard why), isn't a choke at all.  It doesn't change the mixture, it simply opens the throttle by a small amount.  Is this right, guys?

Arizoni

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2013, 06:53:11 PM »
That's the way I understand it mattsz.
It just opens a small bypass that allows more air thru the throttle body.
Jim
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barenekd

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2013, 08:03:58 PM »
I have some BPR6ESs with both removable and nonremovable caps The boxes with the removable caps has a number 7131 under the part number. I can't locate the other plugs with the fixed cap, but I'm sure that number would be different. The price on those boxes is $1.39. I would guess they're about 20 years old. I must've gotten them for the GB500.
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jammydodger

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2013, 09:26:05 PM »
Thanks guys, I've ordered a BPR6ES and will keep an eye on how things proceed.

With any luck I won't need to adjust anything just yet.

J

rvcycleguy

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2013, 10:04:21 PM »
Put a new NGK in and the bike starts on first kick and runs well.  Got some spunk now and really smooth.  Thanks for the advice.
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Arizoni

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2013, 10:32:40 PM »
RE could do all new owners a favor by installing a quality spark plug in their new production bikes.

I think their engineers have some sort of fascination with those Bosch twin electrode plugs. 
Sure, they look neat and the idea that if one electrode is good, two is better  must prevail there but such is not always the case.
Simple single electrode spark plugs are hard to beat.
Jim
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High On Octane

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2013, 03:55:38 PM »
Let me tell you guys something about Bosch spark plugs.....  They make better butt plugs than they do spark plugs because they're crap.  The ONLY vehicle I know off that Bosch plugs work in is Dodge/Chrysler, a match mate in automotive failed-design heaven.  You couldn't pay me enough money to use Bosch spark plugs in anything I own.

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gremlin

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2013, 06:08:19 PM »
Let me tell you guys something about Bosch spark plugs.....  They make better butt plugs ............

Too Much Information.
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High On Octane

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2013, 07:17:20 PM »
Too Much Information.

Hold On!  I didn't say that I'd recommend it for use as a butt plug, I'm just saying that the pure sh!t performance of Bosch plugs, maybe they'd be better off....  Oh never mind.    :-X

Scottie
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Royalista

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2013, 08:54:51 PM »
you guys are a weird bunch!  ;D  ;D


Seriously I'm baffled with this issue from the start. Why oh why do so many have problems with the Bosch plug?

My electra still runs on the initial Bosch plug. Bike fires up first kick, always. Rain, shine, cold, hot, whatever. An audience does not scare me off, nor starts a mild panic: prep and kick, there she blows.
The mileage is good also. I get an average of 27 kpl for mostly short runs, and a definitely not economic style.

Every 3000 km plug is cleaned.
Currently at 21000 km. I'm considering to detach it to reserve on the next service while it still has life in it. Replacement will be an original Bosch, an obvious choice given its state.

You may subtract 1000 km from that 21000 km. A year ago, reading all the bad reports I tried a BPR6ES. It made no impression. There was no significant improvement. To be honest, it hinted not to be as long living, which after all is logical and not a big issue considering the price is nearly a quart of the Bosch plug.

So, do I have the odd one out, the one that slipped through Bosch's quality control? The one that got away?
If not, there must be a detectable cause. Could it be the ethanol?  :-\
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Arizoni

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2013, 10:33:22 PM »
It's possible the 10 percent ethanol used in our fuel is contributing to the problem.
It certainly can and does cause other problems with other parts.

I've used Bosch spark plugs in the two Mercedes I've owned and they seemed to work fine, but they were the single electrode style.

I am surprised that you saw no difference when you used the NGK BPR6ES plug but as you say, your Bosch was working fine.

In my case, my new RE G5 was having misfires at idle speed and when just cruising at a steady 40-45 mph (65-73 kmph).  Changing to the NGK totally eliminated those issues.
Jim
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1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

no bs

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2013, 11:35:10 PM »
over the years we toyota mechanics have been pulling bosch plugs out of 22r/22re engines due to poor performance. people get them for cheap at the parts store and can't figure out why their "home tune-up " failed. as to the screw tips, the nd plugs we get from toyota don't come off. don't know why.
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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2013, 12:08:59 PM »
I ran my electra EFI for about 1300 miles on the original Bosch plug.  The bike ran fine once warmed up, but was reluctant to idle from cold until the engine had run for a couple of minutes. I changed from the original Bosch to the recommended NGK, and the difference when idling was like night and day. It will tickover from cold without help, and the tickover is generally much more even.

The other thing I noticed was that the Bosch plug (twin electrode one) looked far older than a plug that has covered only 1300 miles should. I have taken spark plugs out of my car after 10,000 miles that look better than it. From now on it is NGKs for this Enfield.
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barenekd

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2013, 04:27:54 PM »
I changed my Bosch out at about 250 miles. The NGK was still good at 15,000 miles when I changed it because I had more. The idling was still uneven at first, but a lot better than the Bosch. It improved as the miles went on. It was a non issue after about 1500 miles.
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Royalista

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2013, 12:09:58 AM »
Thanks for the replies so far.

I'd like to know whether all who had issues with the Bosch plug run on ethanol added fuel (aka bio fuel i believe).
Eventually other suggestions for the malperformance.

I also understand that not allowing the engine to warm up as in start and ride off will cause erratic behaviour. It will then take longer than the regular 90 seconds for the ecu to get its bearings right, all the while running way too rich.
Although I cannot understand how this would lead to a different result in both plugs.

moriunt omnes pauci vivunt

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Re: Spark plug health
« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2013, 02:11:20 AM »
Most all the fuel in New Mexico is 10% ethanol.
I fill at a Chevron station, but there isn't a placard declaring the 10% dilution. It is well documented that the 10% dilution adversely affects power. The police here draw from their own reserve and refuse to add the ethanol because of that.

I changed out to a NGK plug just after the 300 mile service and there was a big improvement in idling and power.
Rather than have a homeless person for the holidays, I decided to stick with ham.