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Old Oct 24th, 2010, 7:33 pm
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changing spark plugs

I know I'm getting way ahead of myself here but it's not clear just how to remove plugs
I have repair dvd but... does that black cover just pop off and then disconnect the wire to the plug cap ...then pull out plug cover

Maybe my real ques is: is it worth getting the dvd by jim vonbaden even tho it only covers up to 09 I have 2011? It seems like some of the basics would still be the same ie. plug removal and removing fairing etc
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Old Oct 25th, 2010, 12:38 am
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Re: changing spark plugs

Your bike is like mine, which is a 2010. Yes, the black plug/wire cover pops off, start at top or bottom and bush it in towards the center of the cover and pull out. It has several grab points. There is another set of plugs on the bottom of the cylinders. They use different configured coils. The dealer trashed one of my covers just pulling straight off. I am not sure this can be avoided. $15 each. The plug coil has a three wire connector. Remove this connector before trying to remove the coil, it has a little latch over a bump, ever so carefully lift the latch with a pick just over the bump while pulling off, lift it too high and it will break, There is a repair kit for 28 bucks. Now you need to use the official puller that slips over the grouves in the coil/plug cap. If you just grab this device with pliers or such okay, but you run the risk of cracking or trashing a 100 buck item. There are plastic coil pullers, one in your tool kit and metal ones at the dealer. I make metal ones for sale at 25 bucks. Pull the coil off. Now you need a 14 mm deep socket to pull the plug. It is reasonably clean down in there. The valves are very stable. They use the K bike cam follower/hemispherical shim system and will not require much maintenance in the long run. And, I think they are easier to deal with than the older tappet system. Look at these pictures, the specs are: intake .13 to .23mm and exhaust .30 to .40mm. The shims are in .05mm increments available from Maxbmw for about 6 dollars each or your dealer. You will need a digital micrometer or caliper or a good manual micrometer. Go to the Maxbmw site and look at their parts diagrams, very interesting.
\http://sanjosebmw.smugmug.com/Other/...bHf66/1#P-1-10
The bike has 4 plugs, two O2 sensors and a great ECU. It is really two engines split down the middle. Minimum maintenance and very few throttle body balance jobs, unlike the older oil heads. Every time you let it go through the start up check when you turn it on it checks its idle air openings besides the rest of the stuff. The bike runs much better than the previous ...09 and earlier bikes. Maybe I should say differently. Anyway I like it and the little bit of torque increase in mid range makes a good difference. Ride it hard after you get a couple of hundred miles on it. Baby it and you will burn oil forever. (I mean go to 7 grand, run up hills hard, hit it on the on ramps. let it cool for five minutes and do it again. Have fun. (running well, I get 50 to 58 mpg depending on how hard I use it, and I like cruising at 85 where it gets about 48 mpg.) my buddies kawasaki concourse gets 36, yikes.
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Old Oct 25th, 2010, 5:19 pm
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Re: changing spark plugs

sounds like a lot of good advice.
those pictures that show the valve adustment procedure it looks like you just need feeler gauge when your just checking valves or is there more to it?
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Old Oct 25th, 2010, 7:01 pm
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Re: changing spark plugs

If you are just going to check them and if changes are needed take to the dealer, yes feeler gauges are all you need. You will be doing the trick that this feeler fits and the next does not. The reading is in between. (Reading hundredths of a millimeter is not in the usual feeler gauge kit. They go in .05mm increments. You could go annal and add the .08 feeler to the others and narrow things down or use a dial indicator but that is when you are really short of things to do.) And for 95% of the riders this is the way to go, using the dealer for the work. I think you will need a selection of hemi shims and a micrometer if you intend to do the work. Or, a dealer that is not too far away to purchase them from. Save the old ones. Marvel at the engineering of the machinery in the top end while you are there. If you have time on your hands (I hate leaving a bike apart) you could mail order them. I can't remember if they are etched with their size. But it is always good to measure anyway. And the good news is that with this system actual adjustment will not be as often as with the tappet system. The factory does a great job of setting them towards the loose end of the spec and all very close to each other. I checked mine after 9000 miles and they were all exactly the same and at the upper end of the spec. I suspect they will be there the next time I check them in 12K or so miles. This is going to be a very good bike for its users. One thing I noticed is that it is nice to change the throttle cable (s) at 35 or 40K. Makes a noticable change. These are lined so do not lube them. And with fancy spark plugs out there such as the NGK iridium guys, plugs last practically as long as you can stand it. I pull them out so they don't become one with the aluminum.
I have one cylinder on my K bike that when I pulled the plug it was snug all the way out. I am worried about that hole. This was from the factory because I was the first to service it. This says something about letting the dealer do the first job, or maybe not. I was extra careful putting it back in, a tiny tiny amount of neverseize and crossed fingers. Next time it comes out I have a 12x1.25 thread chaser lined up to smooth up things but even then I will be sweating bullets. No matter what happens now I own it as it could be construed that I did the damage. The K bike plugs are small. But wait until you see one of the R bike plugs. They too are really narrow guys. None of my traditional plug socks fit these. I bought the factory one for the K bike and as mentioned a 14mm deep socket will work on the R bike.
PS be careful with the rocker cover bolts, the torque spec is very low. 10 N/M or about7.2 ft/lbs. and if the gasket for the spark plug opening falls off the two tabs go towards the the head at 12 and 6 O clock.
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Last edited by beech; Oct 25th, 2010 at 7:08 pm.
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Old Oct 25th, 2010, 7:39 pm
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Re: changing spark plugs

Good advice Beech. I appreciate the valve clearance specs. I will order a RepROM for this bike, but I need to do a 600 run in service in the next day or two. Like you, I always do my own service but this new bike is a bit different in the areas you mention. I realize the 600 doesn't call for the valve check, but I want to get a baseline measurement to see what is happening when the 6000 service rolls along. Good advise on the measuring of the hemispheres. You need an accurate measurement of what you have to calculate where you need to go. It is always a good practice to measure the new replacement shim for accuracy so the outcome is known.

I agree, the system used in this, the F800 twins and the K1300 engines has proven to be very stable holding the clearance for extended mileages. The OHC boxer is a superior design. My F800GS has been ridden hard for 20000 miles and it is still within spec and it hasn't been changed since new.
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Old Oct 25th, 2010, 9:17 pm
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Re: changing spark plugs

Just a word or three about the plugs.

First... you do not need to pull the plugs to check them ... Trust me they are good until the 24k service, if not the 36 or beyond.

Next, if you are going in to do a valve clearance check- then yes you have to pull the plugs. The Plastic cover needs to pop off. It may seem as if there is no place to grab, but go for it.

3. The plug wire is a combo wire and Coil... we call this a "stick coil". It should be pulled straight off the plug. You have a tool in your kit that slides over a small ridge that grips the top of the stick coil... pull straight out. 8 out of 10 times it will slip off... then on number 9, the coil will pop out. The better solution, especially if you like to play with the plugs a lot is to get the Marc Parnes puller. Stainless steel- sweet- works every time. My shop mechanic just grabs the coil with the pliers but then he has magic hands and knows how hard he can grip.

D. The spark plug hole is verrry skinny and verrry deep. You will need a long narrow-wall plug socket. Not hard to find, just has to be long and thin walled. A good one at Harbor Freight less then $5.

e. Just my opinion, but never, ever, not once... put thread lock on a spark plug. This is an aluminum head. Figure out what the torque value is and use a damn good torque wrench. You will be amazed at how lightly you should tighten it. Just do it by the numbers and trust the guys at the Mother Ship.

6. Regarding the bottom plugs... they are under plastic covers... remove the cover and viola as they say in France, another stick coil. Be damn sure you pull it straight out and not at some funny angle. You will be laying down on your side, unless you have a lift... there will a great tendency to pull it downward... or upward... straight is the way to go...

G. I went to get new plugs for my 24k service even though they were not needed. The parts guy at the independent shop convinced me to try an NGK SINGLE element plug... oh the horrors... not using a dual element plug... runs better than ever... just like he said it would. He said to try them and if I didn't like them he would take them back... I will bet he has never had one return.

p.s. Do not use thread lock....

p.p.s Thread lock is for applications where the factory DVD says to use it... like on the little screws that hold the mud guard... which you think of as a fender but it is a mud guard.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 1:26 am
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Re: changing spark plugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by beech
Your bike is like mine, which is a 2010. Yes, the black plug/wire cover pops off, start at top or bottom and bush it in towards the center of the cover and pull out. It has several grab points.
Hi Beech,

Can you go into a little more detail on the spark plug cover removal? I am coming from the Hexhead version where it was a simple matter to pull the cover off from the rear of the cam cover. This new cover has me a bit perplexed. I was looking at it tonight and was pulling from the bottom edge and got nowhere. There is very little to grab there and I was pulling fairly hard. I don't want to break it or damage the stick coil under the cover.

I don't see anywhere else to grab it. Maybe a photo or more detailed instructions would help.

Thanks,
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 12:28 pm
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Re: changing spark plugs

Removing the cover is about the same as your previous bike, it has more holding points so it is on tighter. No way of hurting wire beneath as it just covers it and has some channels to hold the wire snug but not enclosing areas that would pull the wire. Take a worn out screwdriver (no sharp edges) or something you can pry with and not hurt your paint. Stick it in either the top or bottom. This will push it in a little and release those catch points, then pry it out. It will pop out. The way it is made will eventually lead to needed a new one. Once you do it you will see how to work it next time.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 1:02 pm
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Re: changing spark plugs

Just to clarify - Beech mentioned using neversieze on the plug threads. That's not the same thing as threadlock, in fact it's the opposite (it's more like a lubricant than a lock). Threadlock is the same chemical family as superglue (cyanoacrylate) and I don't think any of us would knowingly superglue our plugs in! But it's true that except in the most unusual of situations it's best to dry thread spark plugs.

And yes it's not all that difficult to crossthread a spark plug into an aluminum cylinder head and screw up the threads. Don't ask how I know (fortunately not a BMW head).

JayJay
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 1:33 pm
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Re: changing spark plugs

Thanks JayJay, I was thinking about saying something but it was divergent and I thought I might cloud things up. Neverseize and Anti seize are compounds intended to keep two parts from becoming one under stress conditions such as heat or two fittings that can gall such as same types of stainless steel threaded together. Usually made from aluminum, nickel or some such compound. People use to put it on spark plugs, it messes with head conduction though and changes the needed torque value for installation. It is now considered poor practice to use it on spark plugs and as much as you may be tempted never use it on wheel lug bolts or nuts, cars or bikes. Just wire brush them. Most vehicle manuals will tell you which bolts need neversieze and which need a thread lock compound. This will be reflected in given torque values also. Those of you who have worked on cylinder heads will remember about the use of oil or lube on the head bolts as part of the process. This is a specific use and part of the plan. As a lube neversieze lowers needed torque by 15 to 30%. (same with any other fastener). I was in a jam with that spark plug and I did not want to do any more thread damage and when that plug comes out next time, I want all the cylinder head threads to stay where they should. Your typical loctite thread locker is nasty stuff, Loctite brand makes 222, lavender for 1/4" (6mm) and less bolts, 242 blue for "normal" use and the hard hitter 262 red for permanent installation. All, especially the red, can be loosened with heat. Generally about 320*F. Some fasteners on the BMW use red, (some blue) and one is the drive shaft housing pivit pins just ahead of the rear boot. This has to be heated or you will tear the threads taking it apart. No, thread fastener on the spark plug is not the way to go.
If you plan on working on your bike you need at least two torque wrenches, one in the range of 0-25 ft/lbs and another that goes 0-100 or so. You can't get good enough accuracy out of a high range unit to do the small stuff with confidence. And please don't work on your friend with a $9 torque wrench. Get a good brand name used one on Craig's list or some save your shop money up. Of course you are talking to a tool freak. See how easy I get off track?
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 8:11 pm
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Re: changing spark plugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by beech
Removing the cover is about the same as your previous bike, it has more holding points so it is on tighter. No way of hurting wire beneath as it just covers it and has some channels to hold the wire snug but not enclosing areas that would pull the wire. Take a worn out screwdriver (no sharp edges) or something you can pry with and not hurt your paint. Stick it in either the top or bottom. This will push it in a little and release those catch points, then pry it out. It will pop out. The way it is made will eventually lead to needed a new one. Once you do it you will see how to work it next time.
Thanks Beech, I was able to pull off the cover by pulling the bottom of the piece. I am going to make a tool that hooks the bottom that is not sharp enough to damage the wire yet strong enough for the pulling force required. I appreciate your help.
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 12:28 am
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Re: changing spark plugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by beech
Neverseize and Anti seize are compounds intended to keep two parts from becoming one under stress conditions such as heat or two fittings that can gall such as same types of stainless steel threaded together.

Not to mention that you can paint an entire house with a thimble-full of that crap.

A little dab'll do ya.
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 12:33 am
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Re: changing spark plugs

Very cool, buena suerte my friend.
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 12:38 am
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Re: changing spark plugs

Oh Man Scottly, you struck a memory. I have worked most of my life in the engine room on boats. When I was a young pup on one boat my superior, an old fart assistant engineer, always kept a can of neverseize in his back pocket of his overalls!!! He was a chain smoker. His cigarettes were always silver because his fingers were too! What a hoot that memory, thanks. beech
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 12:31 pm
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Re: changing spark plugs

I know this thread has died a natural death, but I need to chime in with a Mea culpa... it was my mistake for confusing the respondent who said anti-seize and heard thread lock.

I have and use both products, but last time I recall using the anti-seize was on the exhaust studs on all those Harleys I rode before I saw the light and switched over.

I think what threw me off was his comment about running a thread chaser down the hole...
I assume this got me off track, thinking about any residue from thread lock floating around inside the bore... but in any case... looks like you are on the path now... with little or no help from me.

Bob
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 11:18 pm
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Re: changing spark plugs

while there is still some smoke rising from the ashes of this thread one more rt rookie dumb question.

I did all my maintenance on v twin vulcan 1500 it really was a no brainer plugs, oil, air filter, didn't have to do valves they are self adjusting.

once I get into it I'm hoping that the RT won't be as intimidating as it seems ie taking off fairing
the plugs are different than anything I've done before. Air filter, valves etc. etc

You don't see a question yet? it's implied ha! ha!

Is it really that technical or is it something you just have to do to see how it's done?
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 10:42 am
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Re: changing spark plugs

Technical=No

Challenge= only one time

Difficult= no, pay attention

PITA= depends... for me... no, I like it.

Time= complete strip in about 10 minutes... but then I use a power driver and I have room to lay out the plastic.

Discuss:
The plastic bits come off in a logical way... read this link... magnificent posting from one of the guys on this board but this is from the BMW MOA Forum... I "think" you can read the MOA but you may need to be a member... try it and see.

linky: http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=35262
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 6:10 pm
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Re: changing spark plugs

thanks hopz
I appreciate all your helpful comments
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