Poll: How often do you replace spark plugs? - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

View Poll Results: How many miles before you change spark plug set on your goldwing(s).
OEM Recommended Schedule 1 3.23%
Only as necessary(sets, no specific mileage) 10 32.26%
Never - only fouled plug(s) 1 3.23%
Less than 5,000 0 0%
5-10,000 3 9.68%
10-20,000 2 6.45%
20-30,000 3 9.68%
30-40,000 4 12.90%
+40,000 2 6.45%
---secondary answer---I remove plugs for "periodic" cleaning 5 16.13%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Texarkana , Texas, USA
Model: 88 GL 1500
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Are you one for following recommended/routine scheduled spark plug replacement?

Leaded gas has not been around for a lot time. IMO great. IMO, the tetraethyl lead is what caused spark plug fouling and running richer mixtures eventually would cause carbon fouling. The combination forced routine replacement, like in the old days 10,000 - 20,000 miles was typical.

I remember when Cadillacs recommended plugs be changed at 100,000 miles. I could not believe it.But, as I upgraded to lean running engines with fuel injection withO2 sensors, time showed me yes 100k was very easily obtained. Now, that I got lazier, my car has+140k with no replacement probably because I do not want to buy them high dollar plugs. I overhaul my other engines, so I do not have the high mileage comparison.

My goldwing is carbed and may run a little rich. I plan to only replace my plugs when necessary like on my chain saw or lawn mower. Maybe if I could get 50,000 or 75,000 on a set, I would consider replacing, but I tend to believe I will foul a plug or two sooner.

So, here is a poll. It is not engine specific.

Let's not include an occasional one plug cleaning.

Poll to run 7 days.

Texas _Foosman
1988 GL1500
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 09:40 AM
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I agree with the comments about unleaded gas. Definitely has made a difference. I used to change spark plugs yearly on all my vehicles. Now, only when I notice dropped mileage, or rough idling. And then, only after I give it a seafoam treatment, cars included.

Secondary cleaning? If I'm going to go through the trouble of removing, I'm replacing.

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Finally, old enough to know better. Just need some common sense now......
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1986 GL1200 Aspencade
1993 GL1500 Aspencade
1986 GL1200 Aspencade
1985 GL1200 Aspencade
1985 Suzuki Madura 700
1973 Honda 350CB
1965 Honda 50

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 09:42 AM
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The plugs in my 76 have been in there since June of 06. They are Iridiums and are still working fine after about 20,000 miles. They still look and run like new.

99 Aspencade Totaled 6/14/18(Deer)
84 Aspencade
79 GL1000 with VW carb
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 09:42 AM
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Unleaded fuel has certainly changed things. I do 'em around 20-30k miles because they usually start to look just a little "worn" and I figure it's about time to break the threads loose in the head anyway.

Past bikes in no particular order -

65 Yamaha 80
67 Yamaha 305 Scrambler
71 & 75 HD Sportster
72 Suzuki T500
74 Suzuki GT550
77 Suzuki GS750
72 & 81 BMW R75/5, R100RT
83 Yamaha XT200

Current bike:

81 Honda GL1100
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 11:55 AM
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Location: Beaverton, Ontario, Canada
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I don't know when the plugs were last(if ever) changed on my bike, before I bought it, with 20,000k on it.

I put over 40,000k on it last season and will change them out as a set, during my winter maintenance program, just so I know that they have been done. It still runs purrrfectly, just peace of mind.

1992 1500 Aspencade - 213,178 showing on the clock

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 11:26 PM
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the last set of stock NGK plugs removed from my 1800 had 40,000+ miles on them, the gap was a lot wider than it was supposed to be but it seemed to run just fine, the new plugs didn't make any noticeable difference

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 07:38 AM
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I use an independent mechanic who I trust. A few weeks ago, I had my 1800 in for change of coolant, brake and clutch fluid, and mentioned the manual recommendation of 16,000 mile plug replacement. He sort of laughed, and said to look at them around 75K. IMO, the manual is way overboard on service intervals.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 07:52 AM
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On the NGK I couldnt get a year out of them, on my AC's I change them when the bike starts to run rough.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 01:03 PM
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Electronic ignition also has a lot to do with spark plugs lasting longer then they did many years ago. The spark is much better timed then in years past.

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