My least favorite work to do on the XR

Well, its spring time, and Im getting thru the maintenance plan for this year..

- steering stem

- clean and lube suspension

- repack bearing

- bleed brakes, lube controls

- check/set timing

I enjoy working on the XR4, she's given me lots of great miles, and I give it back to her in the winter maintenance.

However the *one thing* I like the least about working on the XR4 is anything that has to do with that darn spark plug !

I have the worst time trying to get that taken care of. I have the stock plug wrench and I do feel that is probobly the best tool to work on it (you can jam some 3/8 black rubber gasline up in the top to help hold the electrode).

I had the plug out while doing the valve adjustments. I blew out the hole area, hit it with some WD40 before putting a wrench on it. After that it came out fine. I noticed it was rusted where the plug compression gasket meets the head, must be moisture sitting in the plug area. So I cleaned the plug base area very carefully, and now I always use a nice articulated dental mirror to try to see what going on down there.

When I go to get a plug back in, is where it *always* scares me. I try to finger turn it, but you cant even get your fingers where they need to be. I try using the plug wrench but then you lose feel and can get it cross threaded. I have a compromised method where again I put some black rubber gas line into the plug tools, and that snugs on top of the ceramic and holds it from falling. But I go back and forth between not being able to feel what its doing, or not being able to turn it with my fingers because there is too much starting friction and not enough room to move. This is definitely my least favorite part of working on the bike, everything else is fun!

God help me if I ever have to change a plug in the field !

Anybody else have such a tough time with this ?

-cheers

get a long socket which is able to fit into the hole with the plug in place

and then, use ya finger to feel the threading

as long ya don't force it, it will be fine

practise practise and practise..

or even practice. :naughty:

i curse the honda "engineers" every time i try to take out the plug. my biggest fear is having to do it on the trail and have bits of rock, sand, and dirt fall into the cylinder.

i am thinking about making a plug hole stopper to prevent stuff from falling in...but i wonder if this will cause things to get too hot in there...

For years I have used the same method with no problems,I put the plug down to the hole even if its not on the threads then slide the plug wrench over the plug and with my fingers spin the wrench and you can feel the plug searching for the hole and in it goes,never had a problem with crossthreading.Has the plug crossthreaded before?Maybe the threads are a little messed up.

For years I have used the same method with no problems,I put the plug down to the hole even if its not on the threads then slide the plug wrench over the plug and with my fingers spin the wrench and you can feel the plug searching for the hole and in it goes,never had a problem with crossthreading.Has the plug crossthreaded before?Maybe the threads are a little messed up.

Yes, its a used bike and it has always felt like the threads were never smoothe trying to put it in by feel.

With really poor access, hard to see, hard to clean out, you can imagine how the threads can get messed up pretty easily.

I like the "old Plug Wire Insulator Boot of an old car" idea - didnt think of that one yet, and it might give better feel to the fingers and still be able to turn the thing.

thanks guys !

One thing I always do after washing my bike (or riding in really wet conditions) is let it idle and get warm enough to evaporate the water around the plug. This will prevent the rust you mentioned above.

I share your concern about having to replace a plug on the trail and getting dirt or other foreign objects in the cylinder. I always spray the plug recess with my garden hose and then start the bike to warm it up and evaporate the water before removing the plug, but this isn't possible on the trail. Guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed in hopes that I will not have to remove the plug on the trail.

Precisely why I carry a length of fuel tubing in my tool pack. To blow out the plug well on the trail if I need to. I have also fitted a flap that hangs from my plug wire that covers the plug well and prevents debris from accumulating in there in the first place. I have pics if interested.

i curse the honda "engineers" every time i try to take out the plug. my biggest fear is having to do it on the trail and have bits of rock, sand, and dirt fall into the cylinder.

i am thinking about making a plug hole stopper to prevent stuff from falling in...but i wonder if this will cause things to get too hot in there...

Precisely why I carry a length of fuel tubing in my tool pack. To blow out the plug well on the trail if I need to. I have also fitted a flap that hangs from my plug wire that covers the plug well and prevents debris from accumulating in there in the first place. I have pics if interested.

interested?! is the pope catholic?

Trailryder

post that pic of the plug well protector...i'd like to make one for my ride, thanks

Precisely why I carry a length of fuel tubing in my tool pack. To blow out the plug well on the trail if I need to. I have also fitted a flap that hangs from my plug wire that covers the plug well and prevents debris from accumulating in there in the first place. I have pics if interested.
Im packing my Shop Vac hose not only can I blow dirt from the plug hole but pick up a few extra bucks in the fall blowing leaves just put it on the end of your muffler/silencer. Turns a boring chore into some roosting good times :D

All seriousness the F/L hose is a good idea!

I'm thinkin you could have some other fun with it Mar :naughty: .......... :naughty:

Dirty boy is me nickname only after a 110 long miles and afterword I'm getting a lapdance from some young lass :naughty:

I used a piece of nylon reinforced rubber gasket material, about 1/16" thick. I cut a hole for the plug boot to slip thru, made it a tight fit to seal well.

PlugWell.jpg

My most annoying thing is the rear brake, trying to take it off the spline and adjust and putting it back on. There's nary any room between the engine case and frame to move that thing around. Talk about some retarded engineering. And what the heck is up with splitting a case down the middle?

Ok Kev do this:

Quickly click on the link below and close your eyes (make sure your speakers are on).

This will simulate what your doing at the clubs and where your money goes :naughty:

Click and Close your Eyes

The motorcycle sound while checking out TT is pretty fricking sweet.

A little trick to help line the threads is to spin the bolt/nut/plug whatever is to go counter clockwise first you'll get a feel for the threads lining up then strat the threads clockwise.

My way is to put the plug into the wrench then slide it into the motor. I don't know if I'm lucky but I have now issues get the plug in or out. When it's clean at least.

And I thought I was the only one doing it that way... :naughty:

Yep, if you spin it counter-clockwise in the plug hole first you'll feel the plug rising up slightly as you turn (because you're turning it the wrong way obviously), and then when you feel the plug drop back down into the threads you know it's right where it needs to be, and you start turning it clockwise.

Always worked well for me this way too.

it looks extremely complex but I'm gonna try and build that plug well protector :naughty: tanks ryder

some anti seize on the plug works wonders

i been there fighting that plug once a year since 1997 but in 2000 i got some thing's from dennis kirk it's a plug socket made to fit the xr400 and you can even use a rachet or it has the hole on the top side for the little strate bar in most bike tool bag's it's made by motion pro 18mm i even have the part number # 08-0175 you might even put a little anti sieze on the plug threds before putting the next plug in i bet i have loaned it out to a doz people a year just be sure to get it back it cost me $20.00 dollor's and worht every penny good luck and watch out not to harm the cly head this great plug tool make's it a snap

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