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Cylinders 2&4 plugs were oiled up but 1&3 were decent, not perfect but good. (if I can figure to post a pic, I will). What would cause such distinctly different plug readings? I thought it would be a matter of individual cylinders, independent of one another, but this seems clearly related.
 

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Leaving your bike on the sidestand for a period of time? Oil migrating into the combustion chambers from being left on the side stand?

Hobie
 

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Hobie-wan, that may very well be. I left the bike on the sidestand for an hour previous to looking at the plugs. Hmmm.
 

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Are you getting the tell tale puff of smoke on start up? If the plugs burn clean after riding, then it appears that the valve seals are bad. There's no history on the bike, so the rings don't seem to be bad. Plugs on the left side do foul up before the right side does, but they should run clean for the life of the plug on both sides.
 

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Renegade, yes I get that puff of smoke on the left side when starting. Is that indicative of the oil that Hobie mentioned or something else? I have to check the plugs after a ride soon and will report back. Time to get to work on that other problem I posted about, though
 

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Hobie-wan has the force with him and is correct about the oil settling..

The valve seals are also worn out. They deteriorate with time, temperature, acids from the oil and heat from the engine.. Once they become brittle, or wear at the top where the valve stem rides, oil weeps past and down the valveguide..Oil sits on top of the cylinder and when you start the engine, you get the puff of grey smoke.. The smoke clears away after a few minutes and is somewhat normal for the wings..

I feel that ifthe seals are bad enough to cause discoloration on the plugs, they should be replaced. Oil consumption will almost dissappear and you won't get the puff of smoke..

Replacing the valve seals is not a difficult job, but it is time consuming.. Prepare to spend about 1 1/2 to 2 hours per head if you've never done it before. Use plenty of oil when installing the seals, and pick up a stem protector (or make one out of Saran Wrap). :12beige:
 

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You don't have to remove the heads to replace the seals, just use compressed air in the spark plug hole or the old standby of feeding some nylon rope down the spark plug hole and turning the engine until the piston is pressing hard against the rope. Either method will prevent the valve from falling into the cylinder. I like the rope method since I don't have to listen to air hissing.
 

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thanks, Paul W. I will have to look into that. to say nothing of what are some timing problems, apparently. (see other thread on "popping")
 
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