VTX Plug Fouling Cure
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Thread: VTX Plug Fouling Cure

  1. #1
    Senior Member Apache's Avatar
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    Default VTX Plug Fouling Cure

    I found this article while doing a search for another subject. After reading this I realized it may be of interest to many owners of early 02 VTX's besides myself. The problem is I cannot relate to what hose the writer is referring to "under the right side bottom of the fuel tank". Can anyone tell me what hose the writer of the article is referring to? I don't think it is the gas tank vent hose. Besides, the vent hose is under the left side of my 02.

    Thank you,
    Jack


    VTX Plug Fouling Cure!
    Recently, I was thumbing through the service manual for my 2002 VTX-180OC (VIN sequence 6125, mfg 06/01) when I realized it was time for a plug change. After a trip to the local dealership for four NGK IFR5L11 plugs (at a list price of $15.99 each), I pulled the right front plug to start the change process. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the plug, though similar in size, had quite a different electrode. The following Monday, I checked with the service department at the dealership. I wanted to know why my bike had come from the factory with other than the specified plugs.

    The service manager explained that some of the early production VTX1800s had a fouling problem (of which I was aware) and that Honda had used the different plug from the time when, they discovered the problem until the fix was implemented. The actual problemthat caused the plugs to foul was a kink in a hose under the right side bottom of the fuel tank. He was unable to tell me what the hose was, but he did point it out to me on a floor model. Seems that the nose was cut too long, and when it was put into the allotted space, the extra length caused it to kink. This kink was the culprit in the early fouling problems. The "work around" plug wasn't any better at stopping the fouling, but it did a much better job of working when fouled, which is why Honda used it as a temporary fix. Sure enough, when I checked my bike, the hose had a nifty kink in it. The solution was simple, though. Just trim the hose until it was able to fit without kinking. The biggest hassle in the fix was fitting a pair of cutters into the limited space available. It's worthy to note that the plugs that Honda originally put in the bike were somewhat fouled when I pulled them, however, the fouling never caused any rideability problems. The plugs, according to the service manager, could be used as a straight substitute for the IFR5L II for the life of the bike without problem (or loss of performance).

    But, here's the kicker: The NGK BKR5Eli plug that came from the factory with my bike list for $3.79 each. The set of four would be less than one IFR5L11. Hope this clears up the plug dilemma for my fellow VTX'ers.
    All that is needed for the evil to succeed is for the decent human beings to do nothing.

    Darkside Bridgestone Potenza G019 grid 205/60/16 V-rated, 2002 VTX1800C with a bunch of extra crap it probably doesn't need.

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    Senior Member Smoken'JOE's Avatar
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    Default Re: VTX Plug Fouling Cure

    My 02 had the same fouling problem but was given the hotter plugs to resolve the situation. I don't remember any hose on the right side and I'll check again soon.
    Wonder if it has something to do with the desmog junk I took off???????????????

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    Senior Member Morgan Buchanan's Avatar
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    Default Re: VTX Plug Fouling Cure

    I'll be interested in hearing what the spark guru's think of this... I've read a lot on the subject and this is the first time I've heard that someone suggested the original plugs were NOT the culprit of the original problem.
    Ex-X-Rider... Now on a Kawasaki Concours 1400! Wheeeeeeeeeee!!!

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    Senior Member dbx's Avatar
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    Default Re: VTX Plug Fouling Cure

    Quote Originally Posted by Apache
    Can anyone tell me what hose the writer of the article is referring to? I don't think it is the gas tank vent hose. Besides, the vent hose is under the left side of my 02.
    Must be pair valve or cc vent, neither would foul a plug on a tight motor, sounds like another dealer blowing smoke.
    18C-31T-215/65

  6. #5
    Senior Member Smoken'JOE's Avatar
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    Default Re: VTX Plug Fouling Cure

    Quote Originally Posted by dbx
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache
    Can anyone tell me what hose the writer of the article is referring to? I don't think it is the gas tank vent hose. Besides, the vent hose is under the left side of my 02.
    Must be pair valve or cc vent, neither would foul a plug on a tight motor, sounds like another dealer blowing smoke.
    That sounds like more about what I was thinking.

    B.F.L............W.I.V.O.
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    Senior Member Apache's Avatar
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    Default Re: VTX Plug Fouling Cure

    I'm thinking along the same way that it's a service manager blowing smoke. I did a complete desmog and pair valve removal so there are few hoses left under the tank.

    Jack
    All that is needed for the evil to succeed is for the decent human beings to do nothing.

    Darkside Bridgestone Potenza G019 grid 205/60/16 V-rated, 2002 VTX1800C with a bunch of extra crap it probably doesn't need.

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    Senior Member cycledude's Avatar
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    Default Re: VTX Plug Fouling Cure

    Quote Originally Posted by Apache
    I'm thinking along the same way that it's a service manager blowing smoke. I did a complete desmog and pair valve removal so there are few hoses left under the tank.

    Jack
    1+
    My thoughts exactly. I did the total desmog years ago on my 03R. I don't have a fouling problem on mine.
    But, these machines have never produced the prettiest plugs.
    Ride like your ass is on fire.

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    Default Re: VTX Plug Fouling Cure

    If there was a hose that was a bit too long, instead of replacing the plugs Honda would of had the supplier come in and trim all the hose stock. I've been a Honda supplier for over 10 years and a automotive designer at Honda Research and Development for 6, they would not spend money on a hotter plug to fix/counter a supplier hose issue. I see smoke as well!
    '03 1800C, Mustang Vintage Tour w/Paladin Backrest, 1300 final drive, Darkside, Fi2000, P4, DeSmog, switchblade shield
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    Default Re: VTX Plug Fouling Cure

    I don't Know about the hose but I buy my plugs at the advance auto. About $5 each
    2002 VTX 1800 C, Illusion Blue. National Cycle Windshield, Higway Bars and Lights, Mustang seat, Paladin Backrest and Luggage Rack, Willie and Max Saddlebags.

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    Senior Member mark_1bx's Avatar
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    Default Re: VTX Plug Fouling Cure

    Why would this "kinked" hose cause plug fouling? I fail to see how a kinked/pinched hose will cause plug fouling. Maybe running the wrong octane or a electrical problem but a kinked hose.
    I'm open for any ideas.....
    M STAR KMA

  12. #11
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    Default Spark Plug Fouling

    My first hand experience is that while on a 5000 mile journey this last Aug., I had NGK IFR5L11 spark plugs fouled with in 1500 miles. The weather was in the 90s and 100s. I could tell when they went South because my fuel range diminished. When I arrived in Texas (about 2200 miles), I changed the fouled plugs and replenished the 10w40 synthetic oil that had been used (nearly 3 qts) with 20w50 synthetic. My '02 VTX 1800c does not normally consume oil but it did this trip. I continued to ride around with my Son in Texas and with my return trip back home. I watched the oil level closely as well as monitoring fuel consumption. I had no further spark plug fouling or oil consumption and the weather remained in the 90s and 100s the entire route. I pushed harder on my return home making it in 2 days.
    I had read an email on this site about spark plug fouling being related to oil fouling and in my case, this appears to be the cause. I will use 20w50 oil now.

  13. #12
    Senior Member roughrider's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm not all that familiar with the fuel system, (never had any trouble) but if the fuel return line was kinked it seems possible that the engine could run rich? sb
    Tolerance is the virtue of a man without principles. G. K. Chesterson

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    Engines that are normally used for short commutes, like mine,
    less than 5 miles to work and the same to my home from work,
    tend to not get thoroughly warmed up.
    During these short rides, there is a tendency for the engine to
    burn off a small amount of oil until the engine warms up,
    which it never gets to do, unless you ride for more than
    about a half hour.

    Blowby gases and moisture can get around the piston rings and
    will condense into the oil and any oil burning is masked by the
    addition of the blowby to the oil. Your dipstick will show full.
    This happens in cars as well as motorcycles.

    When you go on a long trip, the engine gets warmed thoroughly
    and the blowby that was in the engine oil burns off, so when you
    check your dipstick a hundred or two hundred miles into the
    trip, you might notice that you need to add oil.
    For the rest of the trip, your oil consumption will be minimal
    because the engine is always warm and running smoothly.
    2003 VTX1800 C model Retro fenders

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