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Discussion Starter #1
It's probably been asked before but I need to ask anyway.
I have a 2004 1800 with 14000 miles on it. I noticed the Honda maintainence manual says change plugs every 16000 miles. With modern day electronic ignitions and unleaded gas I would expect to get a lot more than 16000 miles out of a set of plugs. This reminds me of the early 60's with leaded gas and point ignition. I pulled a couple plugs this AM and they looked good.
What would be a more relistic mileage that the majority of riders on the web are experiencing. I'm new to the goldwing lifestyle and am learning all the time.

:?: :?:
 

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Wayne - There is no majority answer to your question. Some never change them, some change them early, some change by the book. There are some who are convinced that Honda is out to screw them by requiring the owner to change the plugs at 16,000 miles, and they recommend changing the plugs at every concievable mileage. IMHO, change the plugs per the maintenance recomendation. You can't go wrong.
 

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If I pull them to look at them, I spend the $10 for new ones.

You hear mileages from 20,000 to 80,000 miles on plugs. It's like the oil thing. Do whatever makes you feel good! LOL...
 

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I had about 20 thousand on my current plugs and the bike ran great, but while at the homcoming, I got a great deal on a couple sets of plugs, and thought it would be a good idea to repace them before I left for a 4000 mile trip, what a noticable differece the new plugs made, I will start replacing them at regular intervals now.
 

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SPARK PLUGS

Pulled mine out at 26m. Checked gap on each plug (.047-.049). All were clean and could have re-gapped. Chunked em away and installed new NGK's per manual. Gapped each to .040, spec's call for .039-.043. Could not tell any difference in performance or MPG. What did I accomplish ??
Just feel better knowing I have new plugs I guess. Very little investment in $$$ and about 1 hour time as I had to remove Kury pegs and Mick-o-Pegs. JMO.


DEPUTY DAWG :cop2:
05 DARK GREY C.E.A.
 

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Wayne Saunders said:
I pulled a couple plugs this AM and they looked good.
Do you know what a worn plug looks like?

A plug is worn when the center electrode has rounded edges - compare your's to a new plug and you'll see the difference. This is the most common wear mode. Read this to learn more: http://www.gnttype.org/techarea/engine/plugs.html

The spark will jump the gap much easier if the center electrode's edge is sharp. When worn, the igniter/coil has to produce much more voltage to jump the gap. With a new plug, the coil produces about 20,000 volts. With a worn plug it can jump up to 40,000 volts. That determines if a plug is worn. How were your center electrodes? More reading: http://hypertextbook.com/facts/1999/DeniseLai.shtml
 

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I am on my second set of plugs, I now have 207,000 miles on the bike. The old plugs were working fine LOL
 
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I had a cage wrench tell me once that by pulling spark plugs at the recomended interval, prevents the plugs from seizing in the block.

But I'm sure he was talking about those 100,000 mile plugs in some cages.

Anyone feel plugs could seize?
 

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Two things happen to the plugs as they wear, as said earlier, the electrodes will round off resulting in a weaker spark, and the gap will widen. As cheap as they are, it doesn't make sense to re-gap them. If you remove them, you might as well replace them.

When the plugs wear, the big impact it will have is it makes the bike harder to start due to the weaker spark, which increases wear on both the battery and starter motor. It will also drop your mileage and power slightly. The weak spark will also contribute to unburned gas which will increase carbon build up on the valves and in the combustion chamber. A hotter spark results in a cleaner running engine, less pollution, and longer life for your engine.

I can tell a difference in how the bike starts and idles after putting in new plugs and I think it is worthwhile to do so. I typically try to change them between 16-18K miles.
 

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personally I like 33k when it's time to adjust (check ) valves but I change parts more often then may be needed, I'm a freak on maint. napa or auto zone a lot cheaper for stock plugs as listed in book
 

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Get the Iridium plugs. They work just as good as the OEMs and the Platinum's, but cost more......... :croc:
 

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Fred H. said:
Two things happen to the plugs as they wear, as said earlier, the electrodes will round off resulting in a weaker spark, and the gap will widen.
There's no such thing as a weak spark. Either the coil produces enough voltage for the spark to jump the gap or it doesn't. As long as there is a spark, all the gas will be burned. If not, you would hear backfiring in the headers and mufflers, which will happen if the plug misfires.
 

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The spark will jump the gap much easier if the center electrode's edge is sharp. When worn, the igniter/coil has to produce much more voltage to jump the gap. With a new plug, the coil produces about 20,000 volts. With a worn plug it can jump up to 40,000 volts.
Wow, that's something new! Variable coil voltage?

There's no such thing as a weak spark. Either the coil produces enough voltage for the spark to jump the gap or it doesn't. As long as there is a spark, all the gas will be burned
I guess that means that all these years I have been wasting my time gapping my plugs. As long as I get a spark, it will be correct. :roll:
 

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What I learned in school:

The coil produces the voltage necessary to bridge the gap of the spark plug with a spark.

The voltage necessary to bridge the gap is determined by the size of the gap (and other environmental considerations).

The larger the gap, the higher the voltage must get before it will bridge the gap. At that point he voltage is depleted.

If the gap is too small, you will not get a nice, fat, hot spark to better ignite the fuel.

If the gap is too large, you will not be able to bridge the gap and will not get a spark.

The gap is selected to produce an adequate spark that will continue to perform as the spark plug electrodes wear (vaporize).

Any drag racers out there that gap their plugs slightly larger? Maybe .045" instead of .040"?
 

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Honda installs the lowest grade plug that NGK makes. NGK is the one that reccomends these plugs be replaced at 16K. I am sure they have done the testing to determine when the plug starts degrading its useful life cycle. You spend a little more money for the Platinum plug and you wont have to change it as often, go to a Iridium plug and you extend the interval even more.
 

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LarryM said:
Wow, that's something new! Variable coil voltage?
Something new? It's always been that way. A spark plug is an "on demand" device. It's needs change from idle to full throttle acceleration. At idle it may only require 15,000 volts. During hard accelertion it may require 30,000 volts. The coil senses the potential across the gap and provides the necessary power to bridge that gap.



richard,

All true except that any spark will ignite the air/fuel mixture. Even hot spots will ignite it, although they will cause spark knock (pinging) or run on when there is no spark. One can pay more for plugs that advertise hotter spark, but they are a waste of money because the coil is more responsible for the spark than are the plugs.

Just for info, spark knock, or pinging, is caused when the air/fuel mixture is ignited in two places at once. The knock occurs when these two separate flame fronts come together, or collide. One other point, the air fuel mixture doesn't explode, it burns. Octane is a measure of how the fuel will burn.
 

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I think that Honda recommends that the spark plugs be changed every 16,000 smiles is because each plugs in our Wing's engine fires twice in each four cycle instead of once as do automibile's spark plugs.

Ride safely,

Mike T.
 

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Wanderer said:
LarryM said:
Wow, that's something new! Variable coil voltage?
Something new? It's always been that way. A spark plug is an "on demand" device. It's needs change from idle to full throttle acceleration. At idle it may only require 15,000 volts. During hard accelertion it may require 30,000 volts. The coil senses the potential across the gap and provides the necessary power to bridge that gap.
Wanderer, I've been in electronics for over 30 years and have never encountered a coil that can sense anything. The coil for an engine is nothing more than a simple step up transformer. It's output voltage is determined by the ratio of the windings and the voltage appied to it. A coil just puts out a multiple on the secondary of what is put into the primary windings. The only affect the load (in this case the spark plug) has on the output voltage is that if demand increases the voltage will actually drop, not go up, because transformers are very inefficient and saturate easily. The only way possible for the output voltage to go up is if the ignition system increases the voltage supplied to the coils input.

There may very well be some high performance ignition systems out there that can increase the voltage to the coil base on rprms, but that is a totally different scenario. There was an MSD aftermarket system years ago that sort of did that, but it wasn't because of the spark plugs. It was because the coil would saturate at high rpms and the voltage would drop. (increased load) Even if there is such a system today, saying that it has always been that way is simply not true, and it is not true on the Wing, which has a very simple ECM and a relatively low revving engine. Even that would still not have anything to do with the coil itself.
 

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Wayne,
You asked a good question. I personally don't worry about following the schedule rigidly, but I do start thinking about changing them and pay close attention to how the engine is running. I didn't do my first change until I hit 25,000 miles. The plugs were definitely worn, but I could have gotten another 5,000 miles out of them.

It's a cheap easy maintanence item. Do it at your convenience as long as the engine is running fine and you don't have a long trip planned.

Keep in mind that how you ride has an affect on how fast they wear out. Highway riding is very easy on plugs and you will usually get more mileage out of them. I do most of my riding off highway, so they probably wear out faster than others.

Just my opinion.
 
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