Do spark plugs really go bad? (Ponderment)


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
  • Sponsored Links
tinwacker
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:12 pm
Location: Port Orange FL
Motorcycle: 2004 GL 1800

Re: Do spark plugs really go bad? (Ponderment)

Post by tinwacker » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:18 pm



Wow those are way more burnt than his was. As a matter fact his looked good except for the seedie on the bottom
The electrodes were still fairly good
I know he runs regular pump gas but so do I and mine have never looked like that. I would have to look at my records but I bet I’ve changed mine almost half dozen times



winguyjo
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:26 pm
Location: b.c. Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 gl1100 interstate; resurrection complete.
1980 gl1100 interstate; resurrection underway.

Re: Do spark plugs really go bad? (Ponderment)

Post by winguyjo » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:08 pm

"this picture shows the results of improper fuel burn, from bad fuel/air mixture."

too rich or too lean ?

tinwacker
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:12 pm
Location: Port Orange FL
Motorcycle: 2004 GL 1800

Re: Do spark plugs really go bad? (Ponderment)

Post by tinwacker » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:45 am

NO Picture ??? DID you mean the other ones

User avatar
OldguyGlen
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:55 am
Location: Mound,MN
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 Interstate
1966 Honda 90

Re: Do spark plugs really go bad? (Ponderment)

Post by OldguyGlen » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:59 pm

A few general comments from an old guy.
While platinum and iridium alloys are an improvement, the real reason spark plugs last so long today is in the ignition voltage. Back in the day (40's, 50's) point type ignitions and magnetos might produce 5,000-10,000 volts. Today's electronic ignitions produce 40,000 - 80,000 volts. More volts = less current for the same energy level. It is the current that erodes the plug materials. I ran my '02 Monte Carlo 300,000 miles on the original plugs. But there is a price to pay... higher volts puts more stress on the wires. Most "misfires" today are wire flaws (the newer coil-in-cap design helps here). You may need to change the wires more often than the plugs! The comments on square edges is also true. You can square up the electrodes with a file and re-gap. And yes, I have replaced plugs that would have cleaned up from fouling, but it is easier to install new ones. Gas Stations all used to have spark plug cleaners in the shop. Usually would let you clean up a plug or two at no charge. Small bead-blast machines that looked like a pencil sharpener. But they would also abrade the gloss off the ceramic and lead to quicker fouling in the future.

DaveO430
Posts: 1081
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:28 pm
Location: Amity. Ar
Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800
2004 Suzuki DR200

Re: Do spark plugs really go bad? (Ponderment)

Post by DaveO430 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:10 am

Most of these replys are something that happened TO a spark plug before it's normal life expectancy, not the plug's fault it failed. I have seen bad plugs new out of the box, it happens, but once the proper plugs are installed and running correctly they usually last far longer then the recommended change interval.

User avatar
dingdong
Posts: 3532
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:35 am
Location: Oklahoma City
Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1993 gl1500
2004 NRX1800 Rune

Re: Do spark plugs really go bad? (Ponderment)

Post by dingdong » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:17 am

DaveO430 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:10 am
Most of these replys are something that happened TO a spark plug before it's normal life expectancy, not the plug's fault it failed. I have seen bad plugs new out of the box, it happens, but once the proper plugs are installed and running correctly they usually last far longer then the recommended change interval.
This is the exact reason I started this thread. It is almost never a bad plug but a poorly tuned bike. However one of the first suggestions is to replace the plugs on a poor running engine. Replacing fouled plugs will only get you more fouled plugs unless you address the cause.


Tom

John F. Kennedy would be impeached by todays liberal Democratic socialist party.

Post Reply