Spark plug wires and caps


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Elmobile
Posts: 255
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:35 pm
Location: Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500SE

Spark plug wires and caps

Post by Elmobile »



I am about to get started on my winter list. I was just wondering as a lot is coming off, if I should consider replacing the wiring for the spark plugs. The bike is 1990 and I am quite sure they are original. Starts well and run well as far as I can say, even so it is the only GL1500 that I have ever ridden so not much to compare too. Sometime I feel that it is not firing as it should... Very faint, hard to describe...
Any comments? Where is the best place to get a full set. Does not look like Cyclemax has them. I am going to get a lot of stuff from them and could save money on shipping by getting what I need from the same place.
Cheers...


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newday777
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Re: Spark plug wires and caps

Post by newday777 »

Start by unscrewing the caps and wires and look for corrosion in the wires, the wire ends at the coils too.
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ct1500
Posts: 1500
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:09 pm
Location: Glastonbury,CT
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500
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Re: Spark plug wires and caps

Post by ct1500 »

I have had a couple 1500's that had a bad spark plug wire. Most noticeable when engine cold warming up and identified by doing a cylinder power balance test. Just the one wire was replaced. They are not cheap at about $20 U.S. per. If in that deep with fans out now would be the time to do it (all). A good indicator is burned out cores where the lead attaches to coil.
The only solace to spending the coin on a set is to keep telling yourself you got your moneys worth out of the originals. :)
Old and new.
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Charlie1Horse
Posts: 600
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:35 pm
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200A Aspencade
1992 GL1500I Interstate

Re: Spark plug wires and caps

Post by Charlie1Horse »

The hole in the end of the spark plug wire is caused by the pinpoint connector in the end of the coil that sticks into the core of the wire to make a solid connection. What you should do is follow the diagnostic information in the Honda factory service manual. You check resistance across the 1 and 2 plug wires, the 3 and 4 plug wires, and the 5 and 6 plug wires. Then check resistance on the primary coil (there are 3 coils) connections in a 4 pin connector near the control module. My 92 Interstate had low resistance in the secondary process and so then low resistance at the 4 pin connector for the number 3 coil. That coil was bad after 120K miles so, I bought three new coils and replaced them all and with new spark plug wires it runs better than it did when I bought it. I don't remember if you can change the wires without removing the coils because I replaced them as a complete unit. If you find the resistance out of range on one coil primary, don't replace just one as the other two are just as old as the one bad one and it is a real PITA to change them. I hope this is helpful to you.
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Elmobile
Posts: 255
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:35 pm
Location: Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500SE

Re: Spark plug wires and caps

Post by Elmobile »

Good point Charlie1Horse. I will do that.
It may be a while before I can get to it but I will report back when I have some numbers.

Cheers
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wingdings
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:48 pm
Location: mells , England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: Honda Goldwing gl 1989

Re: Spark plug wires and caps

Post by wingdings »

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ct1500
Posts: 1500
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:09 pm
Location: Glastonbury,CT
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500
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Re: Spark plug wires and caps

Post by ct1500 »

A good mechanic knows not to stake his work reputation on a simple wire resistance reading alone as it cannot tell how the wire is performing when the secondary 30kv high voltage is firing through. Back in the day before OBD just about every auto repair/tune-up shop had an ignition scope to read secondary firing voltages while running under load to find faults/misfires.
If you look closely on the new wire in the picture above it has seven conductors, the old misfiring one has about three left. The burned out core of the old went down a distance of about an inch and a half into the wire, a good distance more than than where coil makes contact to the wire. :D After 30yrs. things like spark plug wires can start breaking down. :)


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