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Thread: sparkplug terminal covers

  1. #1
    Registered User ezwicky's Avatar
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    sparkplug terminal covers

    hi all,

    for some this might seem an elementary question, but i wonder whether i should use the sparkplug terminal post caps or not. the things that screw onto the ends of the plugs.

    i just got a new set of plug wires and i don't want to waller out the mating part of the plug wire caps. but i did read somewhere, maybe in clymer's, about installing the screw-on post caps. so i'm not sure about the accepted procedure.

    thanks in advance for your advice,

    -eric
    BMWMOA #182796

    '76 R90/6

  2. #2
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
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    Some spark plug caps don't use the screw on part and some do. Thats why you can remove what you don't need. Without going to the garage, I don't think any of my bikes use the cap. You should be able to look up into the plug cap and tell if you need it.
    AKA SNAPGADGET
    Lifes too short to ride an ugly Motorcycle

  3. #3
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    If you're using the "right" NGK's - then NO, don't use.

    Good to see that you're making progress.

    Snowbum's articles are GOLD -- a little hard to plow throught, at times, but you should always cross-reference his info with that contained in your Clymer and Haynes. YOU MUST READ SNOWBUM VERY CAREFULLY, as one little word or phrase makes all the difference, and -- as you likely already know, both Clymer's and Haynes manuals have some outright errors (few), BUT -- they have many questionable "approaches" -- meaning, there are better (and often easier) ways of accomplishing your task. This is true, in part, due to the manuals attempting to cover several models of airhead, and they "forget" to point out that their advice ONLY applies to a particular model, or applies to a model with, for instance, points vs. electronic ignition or vice-versa.

    We are all SO lucky to have so many resources available for old airheads. Personally, my fear of screwing something up drives my multiple inquiries and detailed research!

    Keep on, and you'll have that 900cc's pumping power in no time.

    Walking Eagle

  4. #4
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    This is somewhat off the subject, but it is related to ignition system.





    If you're still using the OEM spark plug terminals (above) I'd strongly suggest replacing them with NGK part number LB05FP; they're about $3 each at any bike shop.



    Not "authentic" in terms of appearance, but they are excellent in the performance category. Totally water proof.
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  5. #5
    Luddite Looney wecm31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lmo1131 View Post
    Not "authentic" in terms of appearance, but they are excellent in the performance category. Totally water proof.
    I have used the NGK plug caps on my POS snowmobiles, Jap on Bombardier I can handle. Hey, you can't see 'em under the hood anyways...

    ..but on my Airhead?? Not a chance. I know I should rise above the fashion angle, but NGK and BMW won't play on my ride
    Gerald P
    The last thing I want to be is just like everyone else...
    1985 R80RT
    1969 Sport Fury Convertible

  6. #6
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wecm31 View Post
    but NGK and BMW won't play on my ride
    Then what else is there? I can't recall anyone suggesting anything else. For my R69S, I opted for some bakelite brown caps that Vech sells...not original but far better than the metal ones that I think were first installed, like those the Lew showed.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  7. #7
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
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    When I got my 1988 R100RS a few years ago, it had NGK spark plug wires on it. I just blacked out the NGK logo with a magic marker.
    AKA SNAPGADGET
    Lifes too short to ride an ugly Motorcycle

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    Just asking.....whats wrong with the OEM caps?

  9. #9
    R100GS, '89 Guenther's Avatar
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    One problem I have is after cleaning with a spray hose at the car wash I have problems to start the motor: no ignition. I have to remove the caps, blow out the water and wait until the inside is dry. Then the motor wroooms again.

    /Guenther

  10. #10
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    I just blacked out the NGK logo with a magic marker.
    Exactly my solution to the aesthetics problem. I lost a few points at our Classic Motorcycle Show because of them, but I was able to argue that they were available "back in the day". But I also lost points because my /5 has an H4 conversion in it... Don't care... I can see at night, and it runs well.

    Just asking.....whats wrong with the OEM caps?
    Well, if you don't mind hanging out under a freeway overpass some rainy night, waiting for the spark plug caps to dry out, there is no problem.

    From personal experience, read: You know it's going to be a long day... I replaced my old NGKs that I had had on the bike, when I did an update about two years ago, for no other reason than they looked "period". The new BERU's bit the dust after less than a year; their waterproofing is basically non-existent.

    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  11. #11
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    If you're still using the OEM spark plug terminals, I'd strongly suggest replacing them with NGK part number LB05FP; they're about $3 each at any bike shop.



    I bought 3, 2 to use and 1 to keep as a spare.

    The BMW ones are hard to find is a NAPA Store on Sunday when you need to get home!
    Ambassador BMW MOA Ontario Canada
    President Niagara BMW Riders #298
    Knights of the Roundel #333
    1977 R100RS, (Retired) 1993 R100GS (just getting started)

  12. #12
    Luddite Looney wecm31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    Then what else is there?
    I haven't replaced my plug wires for four or five years, am I to understand that the OEM leads are NLA??

    Current ones were from either a dealer or Motobins, but are BMW AFAIK.

    Have ridden through some torrential rain, one high speed slab soaker coming home from Bloomsburg comes to mind. No ignition troubles yet.
    Gerald P
    The last thing I want to be is just like everyone else...
    1985 R80RT
    1969 Sport Fury Convertible

  13. #13
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    As far as I know they are still available, expensive though!

    Unless you have a show bike? Just say'in!
    Ambassador BMW MOA Ontario Canada
    President Niagara BMW Riders #298
    Knights of the Roundel #333
    1977 R100RS, (Retired) 1993 R100GS (just getting started)

  14. #14
    Luddite Looney wecm31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DARRYL CAINEY View Post
    As far as I know they are still available, expensive though!

    Unless you have a show bike? Just say'in!
    No, I'm a long way from a show bike.....

    .....but what the Airhead wants, the Airhead gets
    Gerald P
    The last thing I want to be is just like everyone else...
    1985 R80RT
    1969 Sport Fury Convertible

  15. #15
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    Aesthetics - NGK Caps

    You can also grind/sand off the raised "NGK" and use progressively finer sandpaper to polish the area so that it looks as if the raised NGK was never there. . .just generic-looking black caps, nice and shiny -- no paint needed.

    Painting them also works, but the above treatment takes but a few minutes, and - to me, looks a lot better.

    Walking Eagle

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