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Question on spark plugs

3768 Views 37 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Hans471
I was at a Suzuki dealership today and was going to order spark plugs for my 18 1000XT. He said I only needed two but I was thinking I needed four. So tonight I checked on Partzilla and there are two spark plugs per cylinder head, or at least that's how I'm reading the parts list. Am I going nuts?

While I was counting spark plugs I noticed the price and Partszilla must love those plugs because they're asking over $26 a plug. I'm sure Suzuki loves them just as much, maybe even more. Is this normally what a person would pay for plugs? If so I'll stop whining and fork over the money.

The bike only has 7,000 miles on the clock so I'm fairly certain that the plugs don't need to be replaced, but I always do a baseline maintenance when I get a bike so I know where I'm starting from.

As always, your comments and suggestions are always appreciated.

John
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Pretty sure you need 4. The NGK iridium plugs are indeed pretty spendy, 20 bucks a pop or more. But practically speaking, they never wear out.

Not sure what they come with from the factory. If they are iridium, I would run them a good long while.

The name brand NGK iridium is $23.64 on AliExpress. The generic iridium copies run from 12-25 bucks for a set of 4.

So if your dealer wants 80-100 bucks for a set of 4 NGK iridium, I don't think you are being abused.
 

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The spark plugs in your bike will last FAR longer than what the manual states. In a typical automotive application plugs can go 60,000 to 100,000 miles. It would be conservative to change them at 25,000 to 30,000 miles at the least.
 

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On my 2017 650 the plugs are also very expensive and non Irridium. I ended up buying them from the UK from the Green spark plug Company. Quick delivery and big savings over the dealer. My bike had about 9,000 miles on it. The plugs looked perfect , but the gap was off considerably and it ran noticeably better afterwards.
 
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As folks state above You will get way much more mileage out of Your current plugs. It would be a travesty to change them at 7000 miles. My 2016 Strom has 32,000kms on the current plugs and not a hint of issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree Griff. The bike is running great and I'm sure there are plenty of miles to go. Nicad brought up a good point so I will pull the plugs just to check the color and gap and call it good. I'm just a little neurotic when it comes to maintenance on my motorcycles. I'll make note of the plugs in my maintenance log when I do my baseline maintenance (oil and filter change, coolant and brake fluid fuse) which should be in the next week or so.

Good point NP. I usually order my stuff from Partszilla or Revzilla. I hope they don't sell the knockoff parts.

That brings up another thought. I've used Engine Ice on all my motorcycles with no problems. I'm assuming it will work just as well on the V.
 

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On my 18 1000 they were checked at 15 and 45K. Then changed them at 60K just because. It was running perfect and they looked near new when pulled. 74K now alls well. Bought from a Mid-west Auto Parts Store for $45 on the web.
This is the best price I could find (Now) from a US supplier.
 

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As everyone else already stated, 4 plugs are definitely needed, 2 per cylinder. Scroll down to response #19, in the thread below to see the plugs I replaced around 45k miles.


Cheers,
Erik
 

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The Engine Ice will work fine in the V. I have never felt that my 650 had a marginal cooling system that would really benefit from a premium product like Engine Ice. The big big advantage is that it's not toxic like ethylene glycol.
 

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Be careful about what you put in your cooling system. All antifreeze solution mixtures are NOT the same. 50 years ago things were different. Antifreeze was green and it worked in all vehicles. Times changed, materials changed, antifreeze additives had to change with this. There are so many mixtures available now and they are NOT all the same. Whatever liquid is in your cooling system has to be compatible with every part it touches. That includes the metal in the radiator, the engine block parts, the rubber seals and gaskets, the water pump parts, etc. The wrong antifreeze mix can cause premature wear and failures in the cooling system.
Antifreeze contain corrosive inhibitors. There are different inhibitors in the various coolants and they are not necessarily compatible with one another. Inhibitors provide a layer of protection for the metal or alloy engine components. When these break down, it raises the likelihood of engine corrosion. The lifespan of coolant is determined by the exhaustion of the inhibitors included within it.
When the engine is new and the original coolant is installed the additives create a protective layer over the metal parts. Its like when you paint a metal part to keep it from rusting. If you break through this protective layer you can get corrosion or rust. Once that process starts it can continue to spread just as if you scratch a painted surface and rust starts to build under the paint layer. It can spread from the original break (scratch) and continue to spread. The same can happen in a cooling system. The additives in coolant can, and will, break down over time. This is especially true if you have a defective or old radiator cap that leaks air (oxygen) into the cooling system. One of the most overlooked service items is the radiator cap. GM had some defective new radiator caps and it cost them millions in warranty costs due to the accelerated rust and corrosion that built up in the cooling systems of those vehicles.
The key to protecting a system is to never let it have a chance to develop the problem. Change the coolant using the factory recommended coolant. Replace the radiator cap when you do this. Most say every three or four years. There is a simple test we do with a volt meter that can spot a hidden problem with antifreeze. Acid can build up in the system and damage parts. By the time you discover this by the coolant looking bad the damage is done. Changing antifreeze and the radiator cap periodically is just cheap insurance.
For the record, pure water will transfer heat the best. Antifreeze solutions actually decrease the efficiency of the cooling exchange (a little) but they are needed to stop rust and corrosion and to prevent freezing. The key then is to use the antifreeze with the right chemical additives to be compatible with the parts in your vehicle's engine and to use the optimum mixture ratio to get complete protection and freeze point for the environment you are operating in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Hans! I run full synethic oil and still change the oil and filter every 3000. I've had more than one person tell me I'm wasting money but I don't care. It's not taking food off the table!. I also change the coolant every 2 years. I'm certainly no master mechanic but in my opinion it's not the miles on the coolant but the time, so it's changed every two years. This bike only has 7000 miles but I'm sure it hasn't been changed so it will be next weekend. Two complete flush cycles and fresh coolant equals peace of mind. And because of what you wrote, I'll be changing out the radiator cap as well. Like you said, it's cheap insurance.
 

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I go three years on the coolant in the vehicles, but would never fault anybody for 2 years. Radiators are expensive and the labor is much worse.
It will never hurt anything to change fluids sooner rather than later. Time is only one factor, there are many others. The real killer in coolant is acid that develops. This happens over time due to various issues. One of the quick and simple tests we do is to check for acid. This can be done with pH strips that change colors based on what is in the coolant. We use those on our large diesel engines that run nearly constantly. On your vehicles, including your motorcycle, you can do a quick and easy test with a volt meter. Where there is acid in the system it causes your engine to act sort of like a battery. It comes from dissimilar metals with acid on them, just like a simple battery. You put your voltmeter on a low DC voltage scale. Then remove the radiator cap, put one lead into the coolant so that it touches only the coolant, not any metal parts. You place the other lead on the engine block and take a reading. If the meter reads .3 or .4 Volts or above, change the coolant! If it low, like .1 or .2 volts or less you are OK.
I had some students check the antifreeze on a Honda car one day. They told me the freeze point was -30 F and that the liquid was very clean looking showing no rust or other foreign matter. In their view it was find and didn't require service. I had them run a voltage test. The meter showed like .5 volts, well above the acceptable limits. The coolant needed changed now. Oh, and put a new radiator cap on that Honda, boys!
 

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In a previous life, I worked at an Allis Chalmers dealership. In the fall, it was my job to go around and test the antifreeze in everything that had a radiator, new or old. We had test strips (which were probably simple pH strips, but I don't recall) and a hydrometer with the floaty balls of various densities. If it failed the hydrometer/freeze test it got new antifreeze. If it passed the specific gravity test, but failed the paper strip test, AND it looked good, we had a 5 gallon bucket of anti-corrosion additive. We added a turkey baster full and called it a day.

I see you can still buy an additive to "top up" the anti-corrosion abilities of you old antifreeze. But given the complexities and non-compatability problems of the antifreeze chemistry today, I would never use it.

And use pure water, either steam distilled or reverse osmosis/de-ionized. Most tap water has lots of minerals that do nothing to help your engine or antifreeze.

My standard protocol is to drain the old stuff, fill with RO water, run an errand to town, drain that and then fill with new antifreeze. The classic flush and fill.
 
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