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post #1 of 19 Old 08-05-2004, 9:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

I need some opinions as to what this might be pointing to, if there's a problem with injectors or valve clearance or more serious or maybe nothing.

It all started when I noticed oil residue (Pic #1) under exhaust header #1. I didn't even know this port? hole? relief spot? even existed. What is it's function?

I investigated the other cylinders (Pic #2) and they were all fine/clean.

Upon opening the airbox, I noticed more than usual residue built up near cylinder #1 (Pic #3). I'm assuming this might be because of the angle the bike sits when on the stand? I know a little residue in the airbox is normal, but is this too much?

While removing the plugs, I noticed plugs #1 and #2 came out with almost no resistance (unthreaded or removed by hand alone). Removing plugs #3 and #4 seemed more normal with the initial breaking loose and removing by hand.

As you can see (Pic #4) these plugs do not have many miles on them (3,900 miles). Plugs #1 and #2 came out with a wet fuel around the threads (tips clean and dry). Plug #3, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? Carbon? Blowback? And finally plug #4 had a wet oil residue around the collar and threads (tip dry).

The changes from last plug change at 11,500 miles is the custom mapping and the removal of the PAIR valve system. According to the Dyno operator, my bike was incredibly rich throughout the entire RPM range (notice the 11,500 mile plugs). So he leaned out the bike. So why don't the plugs look lighter? I also have ran the bike pretty hard with the custom mapping and the 2 days at Grattan. I changed the oil with only 1000 miles since last change due to running it harder than usual.

I installed new plugs, air filter, (oil change and filter), and rechecked Starter Valve Synch. The bike idles fine and has smooth throttle response.

Can anyone give some insight to what these conditions might be spelling? I'm getting the bike ready for the 16,000 mile valve clearance maintenance. Should I show the dealer all this? I still have a year on the extended warranty.

Thanks (somewhat worried )
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-05-2004, 1:27 PM
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

Sorry I can't answer any of your questions, but could the oil residue in pic #1 be from leakage at the header and not from the port? I'd be interested in hearing others comment on this too...

"It is better to post and risk reposting than to have never posted at all."




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post #3 of 19 Old 08-05-2004, 1:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Rider
could the oil residue in pic #1 be from leakage at the header and not from the port?
I don't know. If I remember right, even the #1 vacuum screw had a similar residue on it. But I do see a little of that residue on Pic #2 around the header tube.

What's weird is all the different symptoms. A couple plugs are wet with fuel odor, one is like all black carbon/soot, and one has an oily residue. I have no clue what's going on. I pm'd Joel to see if he had any insight.

Again, I haven't experienced any bogging, misfire, or anything else that I'm aware of.
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post #4 of 19 Old 08-05-2004, 3:13 PM
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

I'm not much help either, but when I changed my plugs, some of them had an oily residue on the threads. Someone told me it could be from a slight leak in the O-ring gaskets in the valve cover around the spark plug holes. As for the little hole under the header pipe, I've never even noticed them. I'm gonna check my bike later and see if it's even got them. What the hell could they be for?
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-06-2004, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

Well, I've narrowed it down to 3 things I think are it. Mind you I'm no mechanic.
RedRider and Slowpoke got me wondering with their replies.

So, I'm guessing it's either;

1. Leaking head gasket (RedRider you were right, the residue does not appear to be coming from that hole in the block just below the header. It's either coming from the head gasket or somehow from the exhaust header gasket and spilling over that hole. I need a compression test to verify.

2. I've also thought about what Slowpoke wrote, and some of the conditions of the plugs might be related to my inexperienced (first time) plug replacement. Maybe I didn't snug down the new plugs all way or have the boots pushed down all the way. Hence plugs number 1 and 2 coming out so easily.

3. Maybe related to the removal of the PAIR valve or just a lot of junk coming from crankcase breather tube, emptying into the airbox and maybe mixed back into velocity stacks.

I have a dealer service appointment Aug 17th to see if it is a possible leaking head gasket and complete the valve clearance 16,000 check.

I really thought I was going to get lot more help and or opinions/recommendations from here. Oh well, I'll let those interested know what the dealer finds.
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-06-2004, 10:13 AM
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

Did you use a torque wrench when you installed the spark plugs ? I think I remember reading something about lack of torque affecting the heat range of the plug.
I'd take the exhaust off and check the copper gasket.
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-06-2004, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat
Did you use a torque wrench when you installed the spark plugs ? I think I remember reading something about lack of torque affecting the heat range of the plug.
I'd take the exhaust off and check the copper gasket.
No I didn't. I'll have to check the specs. I just finger tightened with plug tool then turned 1/4 turn snug.

The possible exhaust gasket issue, wouldn't you see more of a carbon residue rather than an oily residue?
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-06-2004, 10:31 AM
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDave
No I didn't. I'll have to check the specs. I just finger tightened with plug tool then turned 1/4 turn snug.

The possible exhaust gasket issue, wouldn't you see more of a carbon residue rather than an oily residue?
I'm just guessing, I'd try the easy and cheap stuff first. It might do the trick. Call Doug and run it by him, he's helped me alot with his advice.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-06-2004, 10:48 AM
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

Anybody know what the [email protected] those little holes below the exhaust pipes are for?
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-09-2004, 1:22 PM
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat
Did you use a torque wrench when you installed the spark plugs ? I think I remember reading something about lack of torque affecting the heat range of the plug.
I'd take the exhaust off and check the copper gasket.
Dave,
The fact that you could remove the spark plugs by hand is alarming. I had one of mine go AWOL, taking the threads in the head with it. You should use a torque wrench and anti-sieze when you install spark plugs in these bikes. It's a good thing you caught it now.
I think the issue is that these plugs have a very small thread diameter for the high compression the engine generates. Also the fact that it's an aluminum head. Those threads are NOT very stout.
Personally, I'd put new plugs in there with anti sieze and a torque wrench. Give it another 4k miles (or less if you're concerned), and re-inspect.

I've got a spare cyl. head at home. I'll take a look at that hole tonight and reply again.
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post #11 of 19 Old 08-09-2004, 1:50 PM
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

Assuming you pulled the plugs at the right time (engine up to full temp freshly back from a ride without too much idling).
#1 and 2 are getting washed which causes blow-by and can thin out the oil and cause more crap to get up in your air box. It actually looks like you had three plugs that were hand tight only. You'll notice that #3 has carbon above the sealing ring, which tells me that you had blow-by through the plug threads. The burnt gas pushing through the threads and building up carbon is what made you think it was tight. #4 looks like there was some oil present when you installed the plugs the last time. If it were a valve cover leak I would expect to see oil above the sealing ring. By the way, none of the sealing rings on any spark plug looks like it was properly crushed. Please use anti-seize on the plug threads next time you install them. You'll get a better feel of the plug bottoming out. I don't use torque wrenches for spark plugs, there's just too many variables.
Like stated before, put them back in properly and go another 5K.
I would however look into #1 & 2 injectors. You may have a problem there. It could also be the reason the exhaust port is seeping spooge.

Ride Red
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-10-2004, 12:28 AM
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowpoke
Anybody know what the [email protected] those little holes below the exhaust pipes are for?
I know what those holes below the exhaust pipes are for. They are a drain for the air side of the spark plugs. If you stick a wire in there you'll see it come out right at the top of the threads where the spark plug threads into the head. The fact that #1 was loose would explain why the oil was draining out that little hole. You were getting goop blowing by the threads, and that's it's way out if it doesn't evaporate.

I think your only problem here is that your spark plugs were not properly seated in the head. I suspect that you've caught the problem before the plug started banging too hard on the threads in the head, and you should be fine.
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post #13 of 19 Old 08-10-2004, 2:30 AM
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

To me it seems your airbox has too much oil/residue in it. I would suspect that maybe you overfilled your crank case with oil at some point. As for the spark plugs I agree with nedro. You should never just hand tighten spark plugs. If they were hand tighetened I am surprised the spark plugs just didn't shoot out of the engine.
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-10-2004, 8:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaim
To me it seems your airbox has too much oil/residue in it. I would suspect that maybe you overfilled your crank case with oil at some point. As for the spark plugs I agree with nedro. You should never just hand tighten spark plugs. If they were hand tighetened I am surprised the spark plugs just didn't shoot out of the engine.
Hey, thanks for all the replies!!! I feel a little better (and embarrassed ) I think you're all right. I've wiped away that area by the air hole (thanks Joel for the air hole explanation), and have re-installed new plugs. I will open her back up and follow your recommendations as to anti-seize and torque.

jaim, I've always noticed some oily residue in the airbox but not this much. I would attribute that amount to my apparent improper plug replacement, no PAIR valve?, and running the piss out of it at Grattan.

I'll recheck everything after some miles and see if it improved, I've already noticed no more leaking in that area.

Thanks again for the replies, I appreciate it.
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-10-2004, 10:26 AM
 
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Re: Need help analyzing 929 plugs and oil residue

I think the torque range is 8 ft lbs.- 12 ft. lbs for the plugs. when you use anti seize use the lower torque reading. the anti- seize makes the torque reading higher than it really is. I hope that makes sense.

Using the higher torque reading with anti- seize could possibably strip the Al. treads in the head.

Last edited by oldgoat; 08-10-2004 at 10:30 AM.
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