Improving spark plug performance


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
Kalamata
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 5:51 pm
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200A Aspencade

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by Kalamata » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:01 pm



gunner54727,

Thank you for your input on this topic and thank you for testing the theory on your bike. LOL. I am glad to know that there has not been any internal changes (damage) on your engine and that you confirmed that there is some performance improvement. There has to be some consumption improvement but it will be so small that is hard to notice it.


Jose

Current Ride:
1984 GL1200 Aspencade
1999 Kawasaki Vulcan 800

Previous Bikes:
1982 Yamaha Seca 750
1986 Honda Rebel 250
1975 Honda CB360T

User avatar
canuck623
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:50 pm
Location: Glendale, Arizona
Motorcycle: 2008 GL 1800 Level 3

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by canuck623 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:12 am

I used to do this back in the day with my performance engines. When you remove material from the ground electrode you also increase the temperature of the plug. There is less material to hold and dissipate the heat so your plugs will not last as long. I did the math and replaced my 1800's plugs with an iridium version of the same plug. These have a much hotter spark and will last more than 3 times as long. The stock plug is changed every 16K if your stick to the schedule. The iridiums will go 60K at the least. They actually work out to be cheaper per mile by far. My fuel economy also increased by 2 MPG. Sometimes it pays to spend more if your goal is long term savings.
2008 GL1800
1990 GL1500
1986 GL1200
1983 GL1100
1982 CBX 1000
1972 CB750
1966 305 Dream

Paulcf
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:53 pm
Location: not listed
Motorcycle: not listed

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by Paulcf » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:23 pm

All interesting comments but no one has definitively said exactly what is gained by doing this? Is it more power? More MPG?
I see lots of risks. I have to believe that the engineers who designed my GL1800 engine knew what they were doing and it is optimized for performance and longevity.
If I see the manufacturer recommending a specific brand of electrode-less (is that a word?) spark plugs, then perhaps I'd buy them. Often times these 'enhancements' offer little value other than the tweaking satisfaction. I'd sooner be riding my luxury touring machine! Besides I am getting 57 mpg with my 2003 GL1800 so unless they come out with a hybrid model, I think I'm going fine.

organgrinder
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 9:33 am
Location: Olympia, Washington
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200i Interstate

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by organgrinder » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:07 pm

57 MPG on an 1800 GL? Best I have ever heard of. I did a 878 mile trip up mountain passes last weekend and hi8t 49 MPG with a 1985 GL 1200.

User avatar
canuck623
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:50 pm
Location: Glendale, Arizona
Motorcycle: 2008 GL 1800 Level 3

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by canuck623 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:10 pm

57 is pretty high. Best I have seen is 47 right after I switched to the Iridium plugs. With the 5% speedo error upping the mileage figures it's really hard to tell for sure what you get. I could see 57 if the speed was never above 40 or 45 MPH.
2008 GL1800
1990 GL1500
1986 GL1200
1983 GL1100
1982 CBX 1000
1972 CB750
1966 305 Dream

User avatar
truckindrummer
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 2:53 am
Location: Wabash, Indiana
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500A Aspencade
Contact:

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by truckindrummer » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:35 pm

Is it safe to use an octane booster and are there any advantages or disadvantages in its use on the 1500?? Also, what about the use of fuel system cleaners every so often to "clean" up the system? I've been told not to use either of these as Honda doesn't recommend their use...your thoughts or experiences? thanks...
"Always protect yourself, your family, your Country, your Flag, your Rights, your Constitution. Calm down and carry.." Member Indiana Patriot Guard Riders

organgrinder
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 9:33 am
Location: Olympia, Washington
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200i Interstate

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by organgrinder » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:55 pm

I have used STP fuel cleaner additive for years. Kept my system clean. The only time I didn't use it (two years), I had gummed up carbs and had them rebuilt. GL 1200 (1986). I'm a believer.

User avatar
canuck623
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:50 pm
Location: Glendale, Arizona
Motorcycle: 2008 GL 1800 Level 3

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by canuck623 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:14 pm

What fuel grade do you use now? I use the mid grade in my 1800. I would think that would work for your 1500 as well and probably be cheaper in the long run than octane booster. The higher the octane the harder it is to burn so if you put in too much booster it would run worse.
2008 GL1800
1990 GL1500
1986 GL1200
1983 GL1100
1982 CBX 1000
1972 CB750
1966 305 Dream

User avatar
truckindrummer
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 2:53 am
Location: Wabash, Indiana
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500A Aspencade
Contact:

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by truckindrummer » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:49 pm

I usually run 87 but occasionally put in a tank of premium. I really haven't found any difference in performance or mileage between the two. I'll try a tank of a mid-grade just to see what happens
though. they usually average about 40 41 miles to the gallon out on the road with the 87 octane. thanks for the input..
"Always protect yourself, your family, your Country, your Flag, your Rights, your Constitution. Calm down and carry.." Member Indiana Patriot Guard Riders

goldminerusa
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:20 am
Location: Southern NH, home again!
Motorcycle: 1982 gl 1100standard, 1983 1000c

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by goldminerusa » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:04 pm

Glad you brought that up OldGold76, i was thinking the same thing as read the threads. Back in the early 80`s i was into snowmobiling and owned several domestically made sleds with electronic ignitions that used surface gap plugs and i have no memory of replacing them on the sleds i owned.

User avatar
SilverDave
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:39 am
Location: Langley, BC
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 GoldWing Aspy

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by SilverDave » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:23 pm

Another way to improve "plug performance" :
also , apparently not well known :

If you have ever installed an Electrical Connections harness on your 1200 :

http://www.electricalconnection.com/wir ... charge.htm

Aside from the improved performance derived by feeding the coils directly from the battery...
My installation instructions on the harness said to increase the spark gap to .045 to .055... depending ... which also gives you a fatter, hotter spark ..

and ..... Be still my heart ... doing this adds about 1 to 1 1/2 hp to your Goldwing ....apparently

I never noticed THAT ( But then I rarely attempt wheelies on my machine )
But I do notice it starts and runs very easily with a gap of .045...

" Not well known " because I have met at least 6 people with EC harnesses, and none of them changed their plug gap ....

Tsk, Tsk ..
SilverDave

goldminerusa
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:20 am
Location: Southern NH, home again!
Motorcycle: 1982 gl 1100standard, 1983 1000c

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by goldminerusa » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:32 pm

This remind`s me of a plug i used in a 1969 Mercury Sno-Cruiser snowmobile w/ CDI igniton. The plug`s thread body was flush with the electrode and separated by an insulating material, also flush. Thinking back on it i remember thinking that the spark must arc to a near point in the combustion chamber or to the piston top. I never had need to remove the head and dont know how the plug was oriented in the chamber, nor where the spark made ground. This much i do remember, that sled was a missile on a long lake but didn`t handle too well.

FM-USA
Posts: 2562
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: here, there
Motorcycle: mc

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by FM-USA » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:06 am

"IF" anyone is interested, I have a simple yet very cost effective modification of a standard spark plug.
.
Way back in the late 60's, when I first started driving, I experimented with grinding the tips of spark plugs.
I took a standard plug and hand filed the negative tip to a pointed "V". (We now have small die grinders)
I later found it needed a little flat area on both tips for plug longevity. Live and learn. :mrgreen:
.
I went a little further by carefully filing a "V" on the positive electrode.
With this I noticed it created more open area for the flame front to escape or expand.
Later in life, after seeing building demolitions, they used angled metal with the TNT.
This was called Directional Blasting or Shape Charges. It magnified the TNT's speed and power directionally.
.
I guess I stumbled onto something for higher performance spark plugs.
I seen manufactures toy with different shapes and number of electrodes but none seem as simple as my idea.
If you're attuned to your vehicles power you will actually feeling this performance increase.
.
No cost in trying this out. I simply ask you take a marked Start/Finish and time yourself several times before and after this modification.
You WILL be surprised. ;)
.
DO let me know what you have felt in power and probable fuel increase.
THANKS!
8-)
Attachments


"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." W.C. Have a wonderful flat tire day while doing 99mph.

bearsclaw2
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:22 pm
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200A Aspencade, 1980 KZ750LTD custom

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by bearsclaw2 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:48 am

I am running the NGK iridium plugs and have noticed better cold start up and gas mileage they cost me $6.85 each but I have checked then for gap erosion and they are holding perfectly.

dkcloud
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:04 pm
Location: corpus christi texas
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by dkcloud » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:49 am

Here is the Simple way to Improve Spark Plug Performance.
I have a 1984 1200 that had weak spark issues. I replaced my Original Stock Coils with Dyna Coils thinking that that would improve my spark, but that was not by much.
I began to have additional problems with my spark plugs, that is when I began to question the plugs and Boots.
The book called for a Fancy High End Resistor Plug that Was Not Produced at that time .
I Quickly figured out the problem in the boots. ( the resistance in the boots had increased)
The Resistor in the spark plug is about 4,000 ohms and the NGK spark Plug Boot has a Resistor in it. ( 4,000 ohms)
The Plug Resistor AND the Boot Resistor. (8,000 ohms is way too much)
You Do Not need 2 Resistors inline, all you need is 1
I bought some Non resistor Auto lite plugs and ran them Without the NGK Boots, the result was Spark/performance Gain but I had Radio noise.
I installed a set of Auto lite Resistor Plugs Without the NGK Boots and I had a Very Hot Spark/performance gain and No Radio Noise.
Conclusion: If you use the NGK Boots, use Non Resistor Plugs or use Resistor Plugs without the Boots to Increase your Spark.
Now I have a Retirement Rocket that can really Roll. :-)

User avatar
Wingrider44
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:46 pm
Location: Leighton, IA
Motorcycle: 2009 GL1800 Dark Blue Metallic

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by Wingrider44 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:15 pm

Kalamata wrote:Hi there,

I know that its been some time since someone posted on this topic, but I have some concerns about this modification. By cutting the electrode on the spark plug will increase the spark but if the piston comes to close to the spark plug at the time of the spark it may with time cause a perforation (hole) on the piston. I have seen several pistons with hole on it when using performance spark plugs and also high performance coils. I will recommend to probably try this on a engine that has been inspected before installing these modified spark plugs and after about 1k miles or so, open the engine and see if any visible damage has been done to the pistons.
It's been a long time since you've posted this, but I just ran across it and I thought I would comment.
I've never heard of burning holes in pistons when you modify a correct model spark plug to increase it's spark performance. The main thing that will burn holes in the tops of pistons is detonation (commonly called spark knock or pre-ignition). The modern Goldwing has a knock detector and will retard the ignition timing if detonation is detected in an attempt to protect the engine from damage. I can't say that older models of the GL engine had this but the 1800 does and I believe the 1500 as well.

I'm not sure that the effort of doing this modification to your plugs would be worthwhile from an increased street performance standpoint. Although we all know that we can make lots of small tweaks that give psychological performance boosts. :roll: :roll:
Jaap Kroes
Amateur Radio Callsign: KR0ES
2009 GL1800 Dark Blue Metallic

FM-USA
Posts: 2562
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: here, there
Motorcycle: mc

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by FM-USA » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:07 am

Burning holes in pistons is from too lean of a fuel mixture.
ANY modification to spark plugs to create a hotter spark only creates that heat between the electrodes.
Fuel will burn at a rather constant rate throughout is burn span. When the oxygen is depleted, the burn stops.

Think of how an An Oxy-Acetylene torch works to cut through metal and you'll understand. ;)
"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." W.C. Have a wonderful flat tire day while doing 99mph.

User avatar
IBArider
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:00 pm
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
Motorcycle: 1999 Honda Goldwing 1500 SE
2005 Honda Goldwing 1800

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by IBArider » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:38 am

This sounds good for better performance but I have a question. Since you will get better fuel mileage with better performance and last as long, why does a major manufacture not produce this type of spark plug for the GL 1500 and GL 1800?

FM-USA
Posts: 2562
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: here, there
Motorcycle: mc

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by FM-USA » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:25 pm

IBArider wrote:This sounds good for better performance but I have a question. Since you will get better fuel mileage with better performance and last as long, why does a major manufacture not produce this type of spark plug for the GL 1500 and GL 1800?
One simple answer, $MON.EY Every step added to it's mfg the more costly it is.
When that item proves to be good, said mfg will easily double+ its real cost, that's basic $GRE.ED
The other mfg point is (as someone else said) heat dissipation. Don't take off anymore material than needed, the grounded side post is the heat remover. Just remove the material about 3/16 inch from the tip. While you're at it, knock off the 4 corners of the ground post end. Those pointed ends can become a glow-plug. I learned this the hard way from my racing days where pre-ignition was near impossible to locate without the proper equipment.

The picture I made is very close to what you can get with a Dremel 'die grinder'. Anytime you can open the spark area you will get a % of improvement.
My new 1980 D50 2600cc 5-speed mini pickup, I tried said plug mod and there was enough improvement to actually feel it. I did an approx 1/4 mile VASCAR run several times before and after I redid the plugs. Before said run was about 15 seconds, after was about 13.75. A hand held stopwatch is only as consistent as long as the user is the same person and around the same time of day. Fuel mileage definitely went up but since I was younger (late 20's) my throttle foot was heavier.
OK-ok, I don't exactly remember how much but it did go up and the truck WAS faster.

Hey the price is right. The modification is free and you get a pix what it looks like.
"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." W.C. Have a wonderful flat tire day while doing 99mph.

kennygramlin
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:55 pm
Location: glasgow ky.
Motorcycle: 1981 gl1100 goldwing

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by kennygramlin » Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:41 pm

thinking a hotter spark will burn a hole in a piston well lets say a lean burn will do that but the hotter arc at the plug just helps with the burn in the cylinder and completes more fuel power transfer.

FM-USA
Posts: 2562
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: here, there
Motorcycle: mc

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by FM-USA » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:37 pm

kennygramlin wrote:thinking a hotter spark will burn a hole in a piston well lets say a lean burn will do that but the hotter arc at the plug just helps with the burn in the cylinder and completes more fuel power transfer.
I seen a movie like this decades ago in our mechanics shop. This video is newer but shows the same thing.

The spark plug is no where near the piston for the piston to burn.



"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." W.C. Have a wonderful flat tire day while doing 99mph.

Grasshutperformance
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:00 pm
Location: Detroit MI.
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: spark plugs

Post by Grasshutperformance » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:39 pm

WingAdmin wrote:Incidentally, this isn't really a secret, as the same method of ignition is used in all light aircraft spark plugs:
Aircraft spark plug.jpg
For the pro stock car (1500HP from 500 inches) we used plugs with the short ground straps just like you see here. They were cheap, not exotic. Changed them after every pass, not that they needed to be changed, just that you can't read a plug twice, so used once and tossed. We also found that indexing the plugs added about 4 or 5 HP to the 1500 HPO motor.
Tom

briand53
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:33 am
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1986 1200GL A

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by briand53 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:09 am

Thanks for the well illustrated report!
I had completely forgotten about this advantage as it's been 30yrs since racing and engine tear down was in my vanes. I do hope this might help the occasional misfire and shorten engine warm up time too. Thanks again and I'm off to buy 4 new plugs and wait another 10 week to test them. Today is -15C out side so 10 week seems about right for this region of Canada. Brian
PS: Have any preferred plug type for a 86 Aspincade?

User avatar
The Bus Driver
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:25 am
Location: Port Charlotte,Florida
Motorcycle: 2013 Honda F6B

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by The Bus Driver » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:26 am

Just did the plugs on my '98 SE.I missed this article on trimming the side electrode.Oh well,now I know where the article is the next time I change out the plugs.The old plugs I removed looked good,so no problems inside that engine.

briand53
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:33 am
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1986 1200GL A

Re: Improving spark plug performance

Post by briand53 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:53 pm

The cut back ground post is really a great idea and since there is allot more material on the ground post re-gaping can be preformed many times on the same plug. I can't prove it but suspect there is allot of money wasted on expensive sparkplugs. From my background years in mechanics' I strongly recommend carrying extra sparkplugs is your into troubleshooting a fire / misfire problem. Plugs can look perfect yet be at the source of your problem. This was one of the more important post especially if the ride is old wing. Thanks!



Post Reply