NEW spark plugs - Correct method to replace current spark plugs with new spark plugs? - VTXOA
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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NEW spark plugs - Correct method to replace current spark plugs with new spark plugs?

I'm interested in changing all spark plugs now that I'm going to have the V&H Big Shots installed. Bike is a VTX 1300 S and has 17,000 miles with original OEM spark plugs. I'll be changing spark plugs to Honda's OEM.

I've read many times that, before installing the spark plugs, you should check a "gap"? I haven't still gotten to know what this "gap" is.

Can anyone please let me know what "gap" or whatever else I need to check before screwing the new spark plugs in?

Also, am I correct in thinking that all I need to do to put new spark plugs is to:

1) Unscrew old spark plugs (and check for tanning)

2) Check said "gap" of new spark plugs

3) Screw in new spark plugs with care so they're seated securely but not screw them in too hard as the threading can break.

I've also read something about using water (or wetting spark plugs) to make sure the spark plugs work correctly. Anyone know about this too?


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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 08:16 AM
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Never use a tool to START screwing in a spark plug.. Fingers or a small rubber hose.. NO TOOL.. till plug is seated..

Use Honda Owners manual for proper spark plug number. and gap.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:37 AM
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The GAP is the distance between the electrode and the tang on the bottom of the plug. The proper setting is in your manual is on a sticker located on your bike mine is under the seat close to the battery .
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:26 AM
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17K is nothing for the stock plugs, but if you feel like changing them, then it won't do any harm. The OEM plugs are iridium and generally do not require one to gap them before installation. If you do gap them, be careful to avoid damaging the electrode. The iridium plug electrodes come to a very fine point and that is easily damage. If you get the plugs from Honda they will come correctly gapped.

This from NGK:

Do I need to set the gap when installing a new set of plugs?

A: Maybe. A spark plug part number might fit hundreds of different engines from many different manufacturers. Although the NGK factory will set the gap to a preselected setting, this may not be the right gap for your particular engine. The incorrect plug gap for your engine can contribute to a high rate of misfires, loss of power, plug fouling, poor fuel economy and accelerated plug wear. It is always best to check the gap against the manufacturer's specifications. If adjusting the gap on fine wire or precious metal plugs such as platinum or iridium, be very careful not to apply any pressure or prying force to the fine wire center electrode or insulator as they can be damaged. The gap should be adjusted by only moving the ground electrode.

Another consideration that should be taken into account is the extent of any modifications that you may have made to the engine. As an example, when you raise compression or add forced induction (a turbo system, nitrous or supercharger kit) you must reduce the gap (about .004" for every 50 hp you add). However, when you add a high power ignition system (such as those offered by MSD, Crane, Nology) you can open the gap from .002-.005".
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:51 AM
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My concern is, if you do not know what a spark plug gap is, you should not be changing spark plugs. Just saying.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 11:27 AM
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go to youtube and learn about sparkplugs. Put about 30,000 more miles on the ones you have

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 11:36 AM
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Having Big Shots installed isn't a reason to change plugs, IMHO. I'd be more inclined to change to a K&N air filter or something similar to maximize the air flow. The spark is going to be the same, and as said above, 17K miles for these plugs is nothing. Maybe consider changing around 50K. But as also stated above, if YOU want to change the plugs, then change them. After all,,, it's YOUR bike!!!

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:21 PM
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Round plastic gauges should be used for checking gap on plugs with exotic (Iridium) plating on the center electrode. Steel gauges, flat or round, can cause damage. Please read the instructions in your SM thoroughly. Torque is stated @ 13 lbs. ft. but, that is ONLY for plugs that are being re-installed. Initial installation of these plugs (which use a crush seal) require being threaded in to contact with head, and then an additional 1/4 turn.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jackk View Post
My concern is, if you do not know what a spark plug gap is, you should not be changing spark plugs. Just saying.
Yes this is my opinion also... !!!!!
To easy to screw up and end up with some big $$$ to fix, stripped threads/damaged heads or poor gap that will cause running/missing problems....
Also not needed at 17,000.......

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Harkon View Post
17K is nothing for the stock plugs, but if you feel like changing them, then it won't do any harm. The OEM plugs are iridium ......
The 1300 doesn't come with iridium plugs. Service manual calls for 8k replacement.
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