Embarrassed to ask but -- is there a trick to removing the spark plugs? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Embarrassed to ask but -- is there a trick to removing the spark plugs?

This is my first motorcycle and the first time I'm taking out the spark plugs.

I have a socket wrench and an 18mm spark plug socket, and removed and replaced two of them relatively easily, the ones that are basically right on the surface -- but not the other two, the ones that are inset into the engine casing (if that's the proper way to describe it). I can't seem to get them out.

The owner's manual and the Clymer guide just say "remove the spark plugs", basically, as if this is not supposed to be a big deal at all.

The ones that I could see, I put the socket over them and gave it about a full turn twist counterclockwise, which loosened it enough that I could twist it out the rest of the way with my fingers. But the ones that are inset, I obviously can't use my fingers at the end, but no matter how much I twist they don't come out. In fact my socket gets stuck half the time and I have to wiggle it loose.

I know I must be coming off as a complete beginner at this, which is basically what I am, so it is what it is.

Any help?

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robardin View Post
This is my first motorcycle and the first time I'm taking out the spark plugs.

I have a socket wrench and an 18mm spark plug socket, and removed and replaced two of them relatively easily, the ones that are basically right on the surface -- but not the other two, the ones that are inset into the engine casing (if that's the proper way to describe it). I can't seem to get them out.

The owner's manual and the Clymer guide just say "remove the spark plugs", basically, as if this is not supposed to be a big deal at all.

The ones that I could see, I put the socket over them and gave it about a full turn twist counterclockwise, which loosened it enough that I could twist it out the rest of the way with my fingers. But the ones that are inset, I obviously can't use my fingers at the end, but no matter how much I twist they don't come out. In fact my socket gets stuck half the time and I have to wiggle it loose.

I know I must be coming off as a complete beginner at this, which is basically what I am, so it is what it is.

Any help?
Judging by the sounds of it, you're using a normal socket pretending (marketed as) to be a spark plug socket (I had the same issues) as opposed to a proper plug spanner which has a thinner wall. All you need to do is undo them to the point where they are completely released from the barrel and if you can't reach in to get them, use a pair of long nose pliers - that's the way I have to do it - even when I use the plug tool as bought from a stealer to suit.
Fitting the new plugs is easier, just sit the plug in the plug spanner and make sure you don't cross thread the beggar when you're doing it back up.

Last edited by compadres_carl; 08-30-2008 at 07:06 PM.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 07:41 PM
 
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did your tool kit come with kind of an extension to fit deep inside?
 
post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 07:52 PM
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I bought an 18mm deep socket and ground the walls till it fit the hole that the plugs are in.

02 honda sabre 1100
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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OK I just did some simple measuring, and the 18mm spark plug socket I have is not going deep enough into the hole to actually reach the plug. It stops about an inch of the way in. It's about 1 inch in diameter so I guess the hole or tube in the engine block must narrow down just a bit somewhere in there to a point where my socket can't go any further.

Well that kind of sucks. This was the one and only 18mm spark plug socket they had at my local AutoZone, the others were all 5/8" or 15/16", which were too small and way too large respectively (my spark plug kit came with them both and I had to buy the 18mm one separately).

These are marked as "Great Neck" sockets. Any particular make I should look for (maybe at Sears or something) that is known to fit for the inset plugs?

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)

Last edited by robardin; 08-30-2008 at 09:03 PM. Reason: the plugs are 18mm not 10mm.... fixed typo
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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OK I just did some simple measuring, and the 10mm spark plug socket I have is not going deep enough into the hole to actually reach the plug. It stops about an inch of the way in. It's about 1 inch in diameter so I guess the hole or tube in the engine block must narrow down just a bit somewhere in there to a point where my socket can't go any further.

Well that kind of sucks. This was the one and only 10mm spark plug socket they had at my local AutoZone, the others were all 5/8" or 15/16", which were too small and way too large respectively (my spark plug kit came with them both and I had to buy the 18mm one separately).

These are marked as "Great Neck" sockets. Any particular make I should look for (maybe at Sears or something) that is known to fit for the inset plugs?
Have a look around the auto sellers for an old (though still made) steel tube plug spanner - I got mine from a honda dealer eeek for 12 bucks
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 08:26 PM
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You can get one that it "a thin walled socket" this one should fit without grinding.
You mentioned 10mm, I think you meant 18mm.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 08:55 PM
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Thin wall Sears Craftsman deep set socket

Quote:
Originally Posted by robardin View Post
OK I just did some simple measuring, and the 10mm spark plug socket I have is not going deep enough into the hole to actually reach the plug. It stops about an inch of the way in. It's about 1 inch in diameter so I guess the hole or tube in the engine block must narrow down just a bit somewhere in there to a point where my socket can't go any further.

Well that kind of sucks. This was the one and only 10mm spark plug socket they had at my local AutoZone, the others were all 5/8" or 15/16", which were too small and way too large respectively (my spark plug kit came with them both and I had to buy the 18mm one separately).

These are marked as "Great Neck" sockets. Any particular make I should look for (maybe at Sears or something) that is known to fit for the inset plugs?
Somewhere on here or the VROC forum there was a post saying the the Sears Craftsman thin wall ,deep set, 6 point socket will fit into the Vulcan spark plug recess. Good luck OlHoss
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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You can get one that it "a thin walled socket" this one should fit without grinding.
You mentioned 10mm, I think you meant 18mm.
OK, I'll give it a Googling. I don't have any metal grinding equipment, short of some sandpaper which I don't think counts. (Yes, I mean 18mm, a 10mm socket does fit easily but not over the spark plug )

Meanwhile is it a problem to ride around with two Iridium spark plugs, and two "legacy" spark plugs? They didn't look in terrible shape when I took them out (the two that I could do easily).

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robardin View Post
OK, I'll give it a Googling. I don't have any metal grinding equipment, short of some sandpaper which I don't think counts. (Yes, I mean 18mm, a 10mm socket does fit easily but not over the spark plug )

Meanwhile is it a problem to ride around with two Iridium spark plugs, and two "legacy" spark plugs? They didn't look in terrible shape when I took them out (the two that I could do easily).
I don`t see how you could do any harm using two different plugs as long as they both match engine specs.
#2-a question. Do you have the tool kit that came with the bike. There is a thin walled steel tube spark plug wrench in the kit, from the factory. I hope you have it and that it works for you. Good luck--OlHoss
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