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Old 07-13-2007, 05:18 PM   59 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1 (permalink)
jeepcoma
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Default How to: Replace your sparkplugs in 20 minutes

There have been several threads about people having a hard time and spending hours removing spark plugs. I decided to make a picture guide to hopefully aid people who decide to do it themselves, and show you that it's really not that hard. In fact, it can easily be done on the side of the road with nothing but your factory tool kit and without removing anything. So, pop a cold one and read on.

Step one: Tools you'll need.

A) This one here is CRITICAL, and you won't be able to do the job properly without it. This beauty happens to be a hinged spark plug removal tool. "Where can I get one?" I hear you asking. Luckily for you, those smart guys that engineered the bike also engineered this tool for removing the plugs and gave it to you for free! It's in your tool kit.

B+C) 14mm hex socket and ratchet. Not necessary, you can use the 14mm open end wrench. It's all you need, and in fact might be better than the ratchet if your ratchet requires a great deal of travel before engaging. All you're going to use it for is to break the initial torque of the plug and snug it back in. The rest you do with your fingers.

D) 14mm combo wrench. Tool of choice. The one in your tool kit works well too.

E) Cooler full of cold ones, not pictured.




Step two: Take a look.

Take a look at the picture below. This is your work area. You'll need to be able to slide your arm down pretty much the whole way through. If your arm is too thick, you're probably a huge dude and should be able to strong arm a neighborhood kid or other person weaker than you into doing the job for you. You could possibly use a few cold ones as incentive.



Step three: Plug removal

Here's the easy way. Start with plug #4 and work your way towards the left of the bike. First you pull the boot off. For plug 4, just pull it up and towards the front of the bike.



Move the wire out of the way and slide the sparkplug socket in, pushing it down firm over the plug (the rubber grommit will grab the plug so you can pull it out). Only a bit will stick out over the top.


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Old 07-13-2007, 05:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Stick your 14mm tool of choice on the end and break the torque. Once you do that you should be able to unscrew the rest with your fingers. When you pull the sparkplug socket out of the hole, the plug will be stuck in there. If you're simply inspecting your plugs and plan to reuse them, be careful not to bash the electrode against anything solid.

Now move on to plug #3. The boot comes out easily if you bring the top end towards you slightly. Route it out of the way towards the right side of the bike and remove the plug the same way as the first one.



Cylinder #2 starts to get a bit trickier. To pull the boot out, orient it the way I have shown in the picture. Also check to make sure that the plug wires you've already removed aren't getting in the way. If you find yourself getting stuck trying to remove the boot from the hole, chances are that's why. There are also a few other rubber hoses under there, make sure you push them out of the way if they are interfering. Once the boot is out, again route the wire out the right side of the bike along the fan shroud. Plug removal is the same as the rest, although a longer wrench may be handy.



Now for the hardest part... cylinder #1. This guy can be a bugger simply because access is restricted the most. The boot can be hard to get off because you can't reach. I found the easiest way was to stick my hand in upside down, reach through the "tunnel", and pull it up. Once you have it loosened, you can remove it from the hole from the left side of the bike. In the picture below, it's resting on the radiator tube, but there's plenty of room to pull it out further so you can get access. If you simply can't get the plug out and need more room, it's a piece of cake if you unbolt and/or drain the radiator to give some more wiggle room.



To get the plug removal tool in, still working from the left side of the bike, slide it in the tunnel "top" end first (so the rubber grommet is facing you) past the hole (so that you can utilize the hinge) and it will easily go in. I broke the torque from the left side of the bike by pushing the radiator hose out of the way and using an open end wrench.



Step four: Installation

Now you've got all your plugs out. Pat yourself on the back and open another cold one (unless you plan on riding when you're done). Installation is pretty much the same thing in reverse. Start with cylinder #1 and work towards #4. Stick your new plug into the socket and feed that towards the plug hole so that you don't drop it in there. Be careful not to smash the electrode against anything hard. Once you get the plug down the hole, tighten it BY HAND until the plug seats against the head. DO NOT use ANY tools to tighten it until you are 100% positive that the plug is fully seated against the head. If you crossthread your head don't complain to me about it. I warned you. Now that you double checked the plug, it doesn't take much to properly torque the plug. Each plug should have a crush washer on it, so all you have to do is "snug" it in there with the wrench. Don't make it gorilla tight. If you decide you want to do it by the book and can get in there with a torque wrench, good on ya. If you snap your plug or strip your threads by overtorquing it with a 1/2" torque wrench, it's your own damn fault.

Hopefully you've properly installed plug #1 by this point. I found it easiest to put the boot back on from the left side of the bike. When you get the boot down the hole, you need to firmly press down on the top of it to seat it. You'll hear it clicking into place on the top of the spark plug. Then push the rubber moisture seal back into place around the top of the hole and get ready for the next plug. Keep in mind that it takes me about as long to do cylinder #1 (the left most side of the bike) as it does to do the rest of them combined. So if you find yourself getting frustrated, relax for a bit and cool off before you break something, take a look at why you can't do what you're trying, and figure it out rather than trying to force it. Maybe you twisted a plug wire around 360 degrees and it's now not long enough. Maybe a vent tube is in the way. Maybe you're trying to put the wrong wire in the wrong hole. Or maybe you're using my guide but in fact aren't working on an FZ6, who knows. Analyze the situation and find a solution.

Cylinder #2 I found the most difficult to reinstall the boot until you know the trick. If you orient it the way I have shown below, such that the wire can slide through the upper tube (top arrow) and fan shroud (bottom arrow), it'll go right in. Go slowly and don't force anything. I have no idea what's required to break one of those plug boots, and I don't want anyone reading this to find out either. Also make sure you're putting the #2 wire back in the #2 cylinder, otherwise it's going to be a struggle. Fortunately they're labeled from the factory.



#3 and #4 are super easy, and you should have the hang of things by now. I've done the job several times now and it literally takes me about 20 minutes start to finish. Your times may vary of course, but hopefully you can see now that it's not such a daunting task after all.
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Old 07-13-2007, 05:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow - thanks for that REALLY excellent procedural! I'm possibly going to get one of my kids with their tiny little hands to do that for me tonight. Only problem is, I'll have to get one of the other kids to bring me the cold ones while I "supervise".

But seriously - that's a nice write up. Someone should sticky that.
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Old 07-13-2007, 05:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas4fz

But seriously - that's a nice write up. Someone should sticky that.

+1 ... good job.
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Old 07-13-2007, 05:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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where cam i buy the plugs whats the part number i have advance autoparts close to my house the dealer its like 1h away..help find the part number thanks
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andress
where cam i buy the plugs whats the part number i have advance autoparts close to my house the dealer its like 1h away..help find the part number thanks
It's in your manual or on the side of your old plugs...
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nice! Sticky this JCaesar?

Thanks jeepcoma!!!
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Outstanding, Jeepcoma!

It's guys like you that contribute so much to this FZ6 forum that make me love it so much!!!
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Great write up. Added it to the sticky'd FZ6 How to: thread
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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+10 Excellent job
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Nice write-up, Jeep!

Only thing I'd do differently is replace the plug immediately after taking the old one off one at a time. I get paranoid having the combustion chamber open while I'm working over it.
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Old 07-14-2007, 12:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Well hell...while you're at it ...why don't you give away the secrets to these effing tokens fred has hidden aroound this place.

J/k

You just shorted a lot of shops about $200 per bike.

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Old 07-14-2007, 03:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Spark Plug Change

Great job and photos. I'll follow your advise and instructions.

Now were is that redheaded step child of mine?
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Old 07-14-2007, 09:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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WOOTWOOT!! i can change my own spark plugs now.. im going to need a red headed step child also.. maby i can borrow one from ya FZSTLDude?
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Old 07-14-2007, 09:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Thank you!

Thanks for all the work to write this up and taking the pics as you do the job.

Now to grab some tools!
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