Painting a Spark Plug - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-27-2018, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Painting a Spark Plug

This isn't specifically a V-Strom question; more along the lines general knowledge.

I have a Super Tenere. The four spark plugs on the parallel twin engine sit down into spark plug wells that are about four inches deep. The coil sticks don't make a complete seal over the spark plug wells, so water can sometimes get into the recesses and just sit there. This ends up causing rust and corrosion on the plugs, which can get pretty severe. I'm trying some techniques to seal the coil sticks better, but I'd also like to "rustproof" the plugs so it water does get in, they'll be a little better protected. One of the solutions I thought of was to paint the portion of the plug that tends to get rusty and corroded with some high temperature engine enamel, which I happen to have sitting on a shelf in the garage. It's supposedly good up to 550 degrees F. I planned on painting them between the arrows indicated in the photo:



Some guys have suggested ACF-50 to me, but it's not available locally and it'll take about a week to get here. Since I already have the paint, that solution is easier, but I'd like some input on whether it's a workable solution.

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post #2 of 14 Old 02-27-2018, 02:44 PM
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The paint may not stick well, especially where the socket contacts the hex and you may end up with paint flakes that will want to fall into the cylinders.

I think AFC-50 is the better option although it may not give as much protection as you want.

Aren't there drain holes like the Stroms have?

Other option is to make sure the engine is hot when its wet before you put the bike away, possible?

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post #3 of 14 Old 02-27-2018, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Good point about the paint flakes; I hadn't considered that. The manual recommends blowing out the recesses with compressed air before pulling the plugs (a good plan for any recessed plug), but of course that's no guarantee that you'd get every single paint flake out of the recess. As far as drain holes, I can't find any, though I agree, I'd expect them to be there.

The bike gets ridden almost daily (it's my main vehicle), so it doesn't sit around a lot with a cold engine. At my first plug change I didn't see any evidence of water, but after 13,000 additional miles, and reading about the problem on a S10 website, I pulled my plugs and two of them were pretty rusty.

I imagine that particular area is going to be too hot for WD-40......

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Last edited by RCinNC; 02-27-2018 at 02:54 PM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-27-2018, 03:19 PM
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I wouldn't worry about the rust, just change the plugs maybe once a year, and keep a couple of spares in the toolkit just in case one develops a missfire. You could try the paint, but I doubt it would last in that environment. I don't think tiny paint flakes in the cylinder would do any damage.

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post #5 of 14 Old 02-27-2018, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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I was actually surprised how badly the plugs were rusted in a relatively short period of time. The plugs were replaced during a valve clearance check, and 13,000 miles later (which was less than a year), I pulled them to check on them, and they were pretty grody. Not functionally impaired, but surprisingly corroded.

I'm going to install Viton o-rings on the coil sticks, and use some grease to beef up the seal between the coil stick and the cylinder head, so maybe that'll be enough to make the corrosion-proofing of the plug a moot point anyway.

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post #6 of 14 Old 02-27-2018, 04:23 PM
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Not knowing your exact setup I can see 2 scenarios:

1. Try to prevent water from getting into the sparkplug well. This may or may not work 100%. But it may make it more difficult for any moisture to escape by evaporation, thus causing corrosion which is accelerated at elevated temperatures.

2. Don't try to prevent water getting in there but allowing reasonably good ventilation for moisture to escape.

That AFC-50 spray may actually do some good here. The stuff is apparently quite potent. Worth a try.

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post #7 of 14 Old 02-27-2018, 04:39 PM
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I was going to recommend a bead of grease on the wire boots to help seal, but sounds like that already crossed your mind.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-27-2018, 06:15 PM
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I would use grease or chain lube on the plugs.

I use chain lube, grease or ATF for rust proofing many things, keeps the moisture and oxygen off the metal and after using a tool to remove and replace the plug the grease kind of stays put unlike paint.

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post #9 of 14 Old 02-27-2018, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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I'm leaning towards grease too, Rolex, if I can't locally find any of the corrosion inhibiting sprays that were suggested to me on another forum. I have a tub of Bel-Ray waterproof grease that I used when I repacked my steering head bearings; that stuff is pretty sticky. My only concern with a petroleum based grease is how hot it gets down in that spark plug recess on top the combustion chamber. The specs say the Bel-Ray grease is good up to 300 degrees F; I have no idea how hot it is at the spark plug location.

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post #10 of 14 Old 02-27-2018, 07:07 PM
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Copper-cote is perfect for this application. I have used it myself. Prevents rust, seizing, oxidation. 1000C rated.
http://www.itwpf.co.nz/rocol/coppercote/

Can you source this or similar up your way?

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