Author Topic: "It aint runnin' right"  (Read 2911 times)

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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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"It aint runnin' right"
« on: December 11, 2012, 12:46:33 pm »
 So you're working on you concours. It's not running right, missing, popping, carb issues, etc. Maybe the fuel is old, maybe you just bought the bike and you're rehabbing it. Maybe you had a hydrolock. Maybe the carbs were just rebuilt. Still ain't right. Maybe you missed this simple, basic step...

  REPLACE THE SPARK PLUGS

 For whatever reason folks just don't do this. Plugs foul and don't clear. Any issues you had previously you've carried right into your new work. Plugs tell you the condition of the fuel system. I can think of a couple times I've done carbs and guys continued to have running issues that HAD to be the carbs. In each case it was bad plugs. Don't overlook the little stuff, and remember

  DO THE SIMPLE STUFF FIRST!   :great:  Steve
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Offline Mettler1

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 02:46:48 pm »
So you're working on you concours. It's not running right, missing, popping, carb issues, etc. Maybe the fuel is old, maybe you just bought the bike and you're rehabbing it. Maybe you had a hydrolock. Maybe the carbs were just rebuilt. Still ain't right. Maybe you missed this simple, basic step...

  REPLACE THE SPARK PLUGS

 For whatever reason folks just don't do this. Plugs foul and don't clear. Any issues you had previously you've carried right into your new work. Plugs tell you the condition of the fuel system. I can think of a couple times I've done carbs and guys continued to have running issues that HAD to be the carbs. In each case it was bad plugs. Don't overlook the little stuff, and remember

  DO THE SIMPLE STUFF FIRST!   :great:  Steve
 
   Jeez, that would be "way" to easy.  :-[ :-[
'94 Concours 115,000 miles-- 7th gear,2MM,KB fork brace,Over flowtubes,Stick coils,Tcro shifter,GPS,SiSF'sTorque cams,SPOOKFAK,block off plates, SS brake & clutch lines,KB risers, FENDA EXTENDA, emulators, SiSF carb Spa, Delkevic exhaust, Murphs' knee savers +grips, etc

Offline AirMonger

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 02:54:14 pm »
So is it a cardinal sin to run DPR8EA-9's in the bike? Last time in I replaced the D8EA's with them because I have a couple of boxes of them on the shelf from my "race" days. Hate to see them go to waste.
"It usually takes 20 years before people begin to appreciate a good design." Kevin Cameron

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 03:29:34 pm »
no, I've run them and prefer the projected tip, but the -9 indicates a wide gap of .036". I generally set my gaps much closer, generally around .026- .028" for better high rpm performance. That's just me though - steve
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Offline MrSkydriver

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 04:23:31 pm »
Just replaced mine with Iridium! ($28 @ O'Reilly Auto Parts for 4)  Bought the bike with 18,7xx miles, now have 25,5xx.  The plugs were new when I got it but I'm sold on Iridium..... :great:
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 03:51:57 pm by MrSkydriver »
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Offline wild man

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 10:54:03 pm »
Projected tips? I gotta remember that the next valve inspection, never new they existed for our application.  I'll just add that to my Amazon list!
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Offline AirMonger

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 02:43:31 pm »
they are still ridiculously inexspensive compared to some of the new fangled plugs. They run less than $10.00 for four at my local autoparts store.
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Offline Or'right

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Re: "It aint runnin' right" - replace plugs
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 03:19:57 am »
Okay - anyone out there got a YouTube of changing Connie plugs?
I had the tank off today (first time for me!) to check the fuel system and tank for leaks - fortunately there were none.
While I was there I took the opportunity to remove the little pebbles and grit sitting next to the spark plug connectors.

I know that others have posted that it is SUPER important to make sure to either blow out or otherwise remove any grit, dirt, etc sitting next to the plug before you remove it so nasties don't fall in the cylinders. I pulled the #1 and #4 connectors and cleaned out the floors next to each plug, but I was stymied about how to get at #2 and #3 since they seemed to be just about directly under the frame tubes.

Is there some trick that I don't know about, or is as simple as removing the tremendously complicated front fairing and voila, you have access magically? Looking at other posts, it seems like just removing the tank is all you need to do. Maybe my visual memory is just poor, but I swear it seemed pretty tight quarters to be able to do anything with #2 and #3. Of course, I didn't actually try, so bad on me for that.  Am I in left field?

I'd like to check all the plugs if I am going to do any of them, but a little tip would sure be handy for those center ones (if there is one).
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Offline works4me

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 03:51:23 am »
While it SOUNDS like it would be a lot of work,
I actually find it easier to remove the coils
when changing the plugs.
Do it first off and save a lot of time struggling otherwise.

Offline Nosmo

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Re: "It aint runnin' right" - replace plugs
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2013, 05:18:37 am »
Okay - anyone out there got a YouTube of changing Connie plugs?
I had the tank off today (first time for me!) to check the fuel system and tank for leaks - fortunately there were none.
While I was there I took the opportunity to remove the little pebbles and grit sitting next to the spark plug connectors.

I know that others have posted that it is SUPER important to make sure to either blow out or otherwise remove any grit, dirt, etc sitting next to the plug before you remove it so nasties don't fall in the cylinders. I pulled the #1 and #4 connectors and cleaned out the floors next to each plug, but I was stymied about how to get at #2 and #3 since they seemed to be just about directly under the frame tubes.

Is there some trick that I don't know about, or is as simple as removing the tremendously complicated front fairing and voila, you have access magically? Looking at other posts, it seems like just removing the tank is all you need to do. Maybe my visual memory is just poor, but I swear it seemed pretty tight quarters to be able to do anything with #2 and #3. Of course, I didn't actually try, so bad on me for that.  Am I in left field?

I'd like to check all the plugs if I am going to do any of them, but a little tip would sure be handy for those center ones (if there is one).

I use a long 3/8 drive extension on my spark plug socket and it has enough wobble to allow it to slide past the frame tubes and fit onto the plugs.  Snap-on makes a wobbly extension (designed to allow a few degress of sideways motion) or you can use a universal joint between the extension and your socket, whatever works.  But then again I have a LOT more tools than the average person.  Ad, yes, pulling off the coils gives a lot more room.  Of course, the ultimate fix is to replace the coils with T-Cro's stick coils, then access to the top of the engine is no longer a problem, as well as eliminating most ignition troubles, too.
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Offline cra-z1000

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Re: "It aint runnin' right" - replace plugs
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2013, 08:37:08 am »
Okay - anyone out there got a YouTube of changing Connie plugs?
I had the tank off today (first time for me!) to check the fuel system and tank for leaks - fortunately there were none.
While I was there I took the opportunity to remove the little pebbles and grit sitting next to the spark plug connectors.

I know that others have posted that it is SUPER important to make sure to either blow out or otherwise remove any grit, dirt, etc sitting next to the plug before you remove it so nasties don't fall in the cylinders. I pulled the #1 and #4 connectors and cleaned out the floors next to each plug, but I was stymied about how to get at #2 and #3 since they seemed to be just about directly under the frame tubes.

Is there some trick that I don't know about, or is as simple as removing the tremendously complicated front fairing and voila, you have access magically? Looking at other posts, it seems like just removing the tank is all you need to do. Maybe my visual memory is just poor, but I swear it seemed pretty tight quarters to be able to do anything with #2 and #3. Of course, I didn't actually try, so bad on me for that.  Am I in left field?

I'd like to check all the plugs if I am going to do any of them, but a little tip would sure be handy for those center ones (if there is one).






The plug wrench in the stock tool kit works well . It's the only thing I have that works .
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Offline WillyP

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2013, 11:39:08 am »
Now we need a new topic a part 2 to this one... " So, you think your bike is running right "
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Offline 2fast

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2013, 12:52:36 pm »
Now we need a new topic a part 2 to this one... " So, you think your bike is running right "

If you think it's running right you just need to work on it until it's not :rotflmao:
Brian in Minnesota

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2013, 01:03:10 pm »
Willy - "so you think your bike is running right" is a COMMON conversation I have with guys who I've done carbs for. I just did a set yesterday that had really low fuel levels and the petcock vacuum hose was connected to the #1 and #2 vacuum nipples, which makes a vacuum leak and ruins the idle, along with causing the petcock to not function. This was 100 miles AFTER ANOTHER SHOP DID A FULL REBUILD on the carbs. the owner told me it "ran fine" for 100 miles, then when switched to reserve it wouldn't run. Obvious petcock issues aside, the 1-2 vacuum leak and the low fuel levels clearly show the bike really didn't run fine at all.

  I had another set of carbs in here that the owner said the bike "ran great" but he really wanted the overflow tubes, which is why he sent the carbs in. Come to find out there were 3 yes 3 ( :-\) diaphrams with holes in them, and all the drain screws in the bowls were epoxied in because of bowl cracks. No way it ran well - and he now knows the difference.

  Many guys - especially new owners - are really unaware about how well a concours can run. If they try to repair previously damaged carbs and don't know what should / shouldn't be, they just perpetuate the problem, and just figure "well that's how they run, I guess". Steve
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Offline JimBob

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2013, 02:56:33 pm »
Just replaced mine with Iridium! ($28 @ O'Reilly Auto Parts for 4)  Bought the bike with 18,7xx miles, now have 25,5xx.  The plugs were new when I got it but I'm sold on Iridium..... :great:

I don't think the iridiums do anything for you on a vehicle as old as the Connie. Iridiums are designed for modern ignition systems which have some special features in them (something to do with current switching, which would burn out a conventional plug). As I recall (so take this with a grain of salt) these systems use paired plugs on a coil/coil set which alters the current direction on each firing cycle - iridium can handle this double duty cycle.

I don't think the iridiums hurt anything, just not necessary.

Offline mdr

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2013, 08:24:53 pm »
I don't think the iridiums do anything for you on a vehicle as old as the Connie. Iridiums are designed for modern ignition systems which have some special features in them (something to do with current switching, which would burn out a conventional plug). As I recall (so take this with a grain of salt) these systems use paired plugs on a coil/coil set which alters the current direction on each firing cycle - iridium can handle this double duty cycle.

I don't think the iridiums hurt anything, just not necessary.

I ?think? the reason for Iridium tipped plugs is they last a heck of a long time.  That way they can spec really long change intervals and put them in awful places since THEY'LL never have to change them...

The lastest couple vehicles I bought have 'stick coils' (2005+).  Ones I have / had before that have the wasted spark systems you're talking about.  The C10 came with a wasted spark system.  Both are pretty common since distributors went the way of carbs.
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Offline JimBob

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Re: "It aint runnin' right"
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2013, 08:43:00 pm »
I don't think the iridiums do anything for you on a vehicle as old as the Connie. Iridiums are designed for modern ignition systems which have some special features in them (something to do with current switching, which would burn out a conventional plug). As I recall (so take this with a grain of salt) these systems use paired plugs on a coil/coil set which alters the current direction on each firing cycle - iridium can handle this double duty cycle.

I don't think the iridiums hurt anything, just not necessary.


I ?think? the reason for Iridium tipped plugs is they last a heck of a long time.  That way they can spec really long change intervals and put them in awful places since THEY'LL never have to change them...

The lastest couple vehicles I bought have 'stick coils' (2005+).  Ones I have / had before that have the wasted spark systems you're talking about.  The C10 came with a wasted spark system.  Both are pretty common since distributors went the way of carbs.


Long ago, with a different car (one which required a lot of love) I did some reading up on this issue, since changing iridiums back then was much more expensive than conventional plugs. The iridiums do last a lot longer, but the current-switching ignition was the big driver for them, since it would burn out conventional plugs rather quickly. And the development of the current switching ignition was part of the need to meet pollution control and durability requirements (apparently that second firing during the exhaust cycle helped reduce emissions). As I recall, part of the reason the iridiums last longer is because the reversed current helps prevent the iridium coating from detaching from the plug (while conventional plugs would just erode quickly). But, that was a while ago, my memory ain't great, and I'm no electro-chemical-materials engineer. Wish I'd kept the article.

Still, I don't see any harm in using them in Connie, I just wonder at the value proposition...after all conventional plugs are cheap, and don't need replacing all that often. Plus, I know definitively that the ignition is designed for them...while there's a slight unknown with iridium.

Let us know how it goes if you use them. I would be curious to see photos of the plugs at different mileages, to see how they're burning (color of the plug can be used to see if the cylinders are rich, plug is running hot, etc).

See here:
http://www.pcmforless.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53:how-to-read-spark-plugs&catid=34:tuning&Itemid=56