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Discussion Starter #1
Ok. Did the plugs last night at 8750 miles. Made a huge difference in terms of idle and starting. Before I had a stumble in the idle, and I'd almost always have to use the choke if the bike was sitting for awhile. Not since the plug change :D

At least inspect and clean the plugs periodically. I think the first check per the service manual is 6000 miles (oops). Mine were a bit dirty, but not horrible.

I took some pics, so if others want to add to this thread or if the mods want to sticky it then go for it. I had never done a plug change on a bike, and I can say it really is not that hard.

Here are the steps:
Remove the rear passenger seat

Remove the bolt holding the bracket for the front seat.

Remove the four bolts securing the tank (two at top, two under the seat)

Turn the fuel petcock to OFF. Loosen the screw and remove the petcock.

Remove the fuel line from the petcock side of the hose. Bent needle-nose pliers and patience work best in this situation.

Remove the tank

Remove the bolts on the top of the air box. Remove the hose from the rear of the airbox.

Remove the top of the airbox, exposing the 2 bolts holding on the bottom part. Remove it.

Remove any hoses in the way, label where they go if you can't recall.

You should see four igniters with two wires going to each in a straight line towards the front of the bike. Igniters 1 and 4 are almost directly under the large air ducts.

Since most are familiar with removing the seat/tank and at least the top of the airbox I did not bother with pics.

Now we begin...
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
In the factory toolkit the larger of the two socket-style tubes is 16mm. Look in the end and you will see a black rubber insert.

This grips the plug once it is loose, and helps you pull it out. Use this tool. I'm not even sure a deep well socket would work. When you see how long an igniter is in a bit you'll understand why I say that. You will also need the open end 17mm wrench from the factory tool kit, or supply your own.

Here is the socket tube wrench from the factory kit:
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Sorry I did not get a pic of this next step, but notice the round topped things with the two wires going to them. These are the igniters, and they are quite deep inside the top of the engine.

Push down on the plastic clip and you will feel it unclick. Remove the socket from the igniter by gently pulling. To remove the igniter, pull up firmly and rock it back and forth. It may seem like it is stuck even once it gives a bit. They are rubber encased, and they can have some resistance against the walls.

Don't be shy when pulling them out (do take the wires off, else you may pull them out of the socket!)

Here is a picture of what the igniter looks like and the socket that unclipped from it:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Note how long the igniter is. The narrow end is what connects to the point of the plug. Now you know why you need the factory socket tube wrench. I have deep well sockets, but without an extension they would not work. You also do not have much room to work due to the ram air tubes (you'll have to shove those around to get plugs 1 and 4), so use the tool if you have it.

Drop the socket tube wrench down into the hole the igniter came out of. Rotate it by hand until you feel it drop onto the hex part of the spark plug.

It will go quite deep into the hole, and sometimes you have to angle it slightly and wriggle it to get around stuff in the way.

Here is the end result, as well as me using the 17MM open end wrench to turn it:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Turn counterclockwise until you do not feel any resistance. Remove the wrench and pull the socket tube out. If the plug was completely unscrewed it should be stuck in the end of the wrench. If not, drop the tube back in and continue turning it. If successful, the rubber insert inside the socket tube should grab the plus as illustrated here:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The plugs had 8700 miles or it, give or take. Looks about normal to me, and could use a cleaning. I bought new plugs, so I simply wiped these and put them in the boxes the new ones came out of.

Whether you are replacing or just cleaning and reinserting I suggested getting a packet of conductive grease and a packet of anti-seize from the auto parts store. They are cheap, and are good insurance.

Anti-seize keeps the plug threads from seizing to the threads in the engine at high temps, and conductive grease promotes a good connection and helps prevent corrosion. Put some of it on the battery terminals while you are at it. You will have plenty of each leftover.

Here is a new plug, and the pack of anti-seize I got at the register counter of O'Reilly auto parts. The grease was right there as well. The plug is an NGK Iridium IX CR9EIX plug. The standard plugs are also NGKs, but are CR9s.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Plug threads lubed (note copper stuff in solution on threads), conductive grease on the point (the end inside the socket tube). Ready to insert.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Note I did not mention gapping them. They can be gapped, but you have to be really careful since iridium is very fragile. If you hit the center electrode while gapping, or try and use the standard feeler gauge you may break the tip. Look in the pic above. The center electrode is *TINY*

I did not gap mine, and I'm happy with the result.

Insert the socket tube wrench into the hole with the plug in the end (the plug should stay captured by the black rubber insert). Lower it carefully and turn it by hand clockwise until you are certain it is threading. I turned mine by hand until i could turn not more, then used the 17mm wrench to tighten.

The service manual does have a torque setting, but I did not use a torque wrench nor could I see how in the limited workspace.

Nothing exciting to show in this step.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Proceed with all four plugs. Remove the wires on the igniter, wiggle the ignitor out, drop in the socket tube wrench, use the 17mm to break loose the threads of the plug, unscrew plug, remove.

Insert new plug (or clean one) into socket tube, reinsert, tighten by hand, snug with the 17mm wrench (torque wrench if you can figure it out), reinsert igniter, reconnect wires to igniter.

IMPORTANT:
It is easy to not push the igniter down onto the plug point all the way. Put some force on the top until you do not feel it giving, else you may wind up with a loose connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Final steps:

Reconnect the wires, else you get no spark.

It helps to remove the ram air covers, unhook the front of the large tubes from the ducts and shove those large tubes forward when getting plugs 1 and 4 out. #1 plug gave me the most trouble, but moving the tube helped some.

Make sure you connect all the hoses and wires you unplugged.

Put the airbox on, reconnect tube on back of the airbox.

Put the tank on. secure it with the 4 bolts and the bracket that holds the battery in place.

Reconnect the fuel hose to the petcock

Put the knob back on the petcock, line up where it reads 'OFF' and tighten the screw.

Put the front seat on, use the bracket that holds it from the rear and tighten that bolt.

Reinstall passenger seat.

Turn the fuel to ON, start the bike and see what the result is.

Note that you could start the bike without reinstalling everything, which is what I did. I did put the airbox back on and connected everything. If anything doesn't seem right, look to see what did not get connected back correctly.

Every tube under the airbox goes to something, save for the two lines capped off which go to carbs 1 and 4.

The only wires you should have disconnected were the sockets going to the igniters. Check those if the engine seems like it is not firing on all cylinders.
 

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BOOYAM
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Just replaced my plugs yesterday! Everything went pretty smoothly. Here are some tips though:

-The igniters are REALLY hard to pull out. There is limited space for your hand, and not a lot of grip on the igniters to pull them out easily, especially #1/#4. I used a large set of pliers to grip around the igniters and pull them out. Just make sure to grip them well before pulling, as you dont want to damage the plastic igniters.

-You can use a regular spark plug socket (I have one with my socket kit), but as its been said, the spark plugs are DEEP in there, so you will need a spark plug socket and an extension. I also used a universal joint and another extension to loosen the plugs, especially #1/#4.

-If you cannot remove the plugs for whatever reason (my spark plug socket wasnt tight enough, and the plugs kept falling back in), USE the Kawasaki tool. It's very tight and will help you pull out the old plugs, as well as install the new ones.

-Oh..and #1 and #4 are a real pain because of the ram-air ducts, Be prepared to squish and squash them just to get to the plugs :p
 

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Great Job Ray on the "How to", Thanks
 

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If you do not have the factory tool, you can use a regular spark plug socket with an extension to loosen the plugs, and then use an extendable magnet to pull them out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, but there is not much room to remove the 1 and 4 plugs.
 

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After reading that I now understand why routine service at the dealer cost so bloody much $$$ 8-O. I like my snowmobile sparkplug maintenance.

1. unlatch hood straps
2. raise hood
3. remove sparkplug caps
4. remove spark plugs
5. replace spark plugs
6. replace spark plug caps
7. lower hood
8. latch hood straps

All in all about 5 min work. I was really really looking forward to prepping the Kat for sale .. I hope it's not as intensive as this was!!! Or does it seem worse in writing than it actually is? LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #17
All in all about 5 min work. I was really really looking forward to prepping the Kat for sale .. I hope it's not as intensive as this was!!! Or does it seem worse in writing than it actually is? LOL

It's not bad, there just is a lot to take off to get to them, and plugs 1 and 4 don't give you much room to work. Not a job I would recommend doing in a hurry - just pick a rainy day, rollup the garage door and wrench on the bike since the weather sucks...
 

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I'll be having lots of opportunities for that .. we get a lot of rain. I won't be tackling that this summer though I think .. I'm hoping to put as much as 2000km of riding in this season. Not a lot but it's really all I get time for. That will put the ZZR up to around 31-3200km ..
 

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Well Ray I had my 250 mile ride yesterday, got the new Conti's scrubbed in really good. Today which is usually the day that I spend riding with the guys was spent changing the spark plugs. It was forecasted to rain today, so after sleeping in. I managed to make it out to the garage and start the job. You were right #1 was the hardest to get out and put back in. #2, #3, #4, were much easier. I checked all the gaps of the new NGK Iridium plugs and they were all within specs, 0.7 to 0.8 mm. I put anti-seize lubricant on the threads of the new plugs and also put a very small amount of lithium grease on the igniter boots before re-installing, to make them easier to remove next time. I got her all back together, also cleaned the air box of grit and bugs. Washed, dried, and re-oiled my K&N air filter and got her all buttoned back up. Re-installed the gas tank, seats etc. Started her up, and I can definitely see a difference. I'll have to post my opinion after my next ride.

My stock plugs had 21,274 miles on them.

I also got rid of the stock grips and the grip puppies and installed a pair of comfort grips that I purchased from my friend Greg at ZX14.net. Sprayed the insides with 3M spray adhesive per the installation instructions and slid them on. The should be good and dry in a few days. All in all it was a pretty productive Sunday afternoon.
 

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+ 1 Bro.. this really helped. You dudes rock. I would eventually like to do this on the side to earn some extra money. I've come a long way by following you guys suggestions. BTW my stock plugs had 23k on them.
 
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