Think I'm In Trouble

Change the sparkplug on my XR 600 this weekend and think I inadvertently knocked some dirt into the hole, put the plug back in, fired it up. I ran for a couple seconds and quit and has not restarted since.

What have I done, how can I (or the dealer) fix it, what'll it cost? It still sparks but won't light so it must be fuel related, no?

Thanks for the help.

Grimmy: A little dirt should not break the engine. Does it not have compression? If so it may be one of the valves has some dirt holding it open. Did you try bump starting it? A third gear tow may dislodge the culprit. With the plug out for easier towing. How about a compression check? Is the plug wet? If so it is getting fuel.

Try a few tests yourself and learn as you go. Did you change anything besides the plug? Make sure the wire is snapped to the cap properly and not damaged. Some guys remove the resistor inside the cap behind the brass plug and replace it with a similar sized piece of copper wire or aluminum.If that is the problem then get a new resistor cap for a few bucks.

Not that much can go wrong all at once. Was the bike was running just before the problem. If it was sitting then change the gasoline and drain the carb. That is usually the problem with most no starts. If it sat long then remove the bowl and jets and clean the jets. Especally if the bike has compression. Then it would not be related to the dirt in the plug hole.

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