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Thread: arcing between spark plug lead and valve cover

  1. #1
    Registered User Detroit Kim's Avatar
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    arcing between spark plug lead and valve cover

    Got stranded last night on the way home from work.
    My 1150RT started missing, then was only firing on the left cylinder.
    I heard a cracking from the right plug area and could see arcing from the lead to the cover.
    I switched the plugs left to right to check if the plug had failed, but the right cylinder lead still shorts.
    The lead looks perfectly healthy with no splits or cracks.
    Has anyone elase had this issue.
    Hopefully all thats needed is a new lead.

  2. #2
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Spark plug wire has failed. Nothing at either end causes this.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #3
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Does that bike have dual spark plugs and stick coils on the ends of the wires? I've heard of stick coils failing and arcing to the heads also.

    If it's just bad wires Euromotoelectrics has very high quality replacements for much less than BMW.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  4. #4
    Registered User Detroit Kim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy wanderer View Post
    Does that bike have dual spark plugs and stick coils on the ends of the wires? I've heard of stick coils failing and arcing to the heads also.

    If it's just bad wires Euromotoelectrics has very high quality replacements for much less than BMW.
    Single plugs.
    Thanks for the reply and I'll check out the non BMW plug lead link.
    So the coils are in the lead heads ?

  5. #5
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    I've seen this on an 1100 also; the owner had actually wrapped a band-aid over it in an attempt to reduce the arcing... it was all he had!

    There was a hardware store nearby, so we wrapped it all up with black tape; got him home.

    If you have two plugs per cylinder, yes the "stick" coil is right there on the end of the cable. They are a bit fragile, so it's quite worthwhile to buy an all-metal puller instead of using the cheapie P.O.S. plastic puller from the toolkit. If you have one plug per, then the coil is under the front of the gas tank.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Registered User Detroit Kim's Avatar
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    Whats involved in taking the tank off or can you just lift clear enough to replace leads. (1150RT).
    I removed the rear bolt from the RHS, but didn't want to start yanking on it before I new it would be safe.

  7. #7
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    'Taint no lifting it just to clear; it's tedious but not difficult. If it's like my '04:
    remove bottom cowling, seat, black sidepanels
    remove both mirrors (knock off)
    remove both body sidepanels
    remove glovebox (some hidden screws, one inside top rear and one outside bottom front; also helps to remove air intake snorkels)
    remove big tank screw from bottom right rear (don't drop nut or washers, note bushings)
    unplug 4-conductor connector (pump etc.) @ bottom right of tank
    Drain tank if you haven't already; gas is about 6 pounds per gallon and the tank is clumsy to handle
    disconnect two fuel lines (now is the time to install Quick Disconnects if you don't have them already)
    gently lift and pull tank to rear to clear
    I've probably missed a few details...

  8. #8
    Registered User Detroit Kim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    'Taint no lifting it just to clear; it's tedious but not difficult. If it's like my '04:
    remove bottom cowling, seat, black sidepanels
    remove both mirrors (knock off)
    remove both body sidepanels
    remove glovebox (some hidden screws, one inside top rear and one outside bottom front; also helps to remove air intake snorkels)
    remove big tank screw from bottom right rear (don't drop nut or washers, note bushings)
    unplug 4-conductor connector (pump etc.) @ bottom right of tank
    Drain tank if you haven't already; gas is about 6 pounds per gallon and the tank is clumsy to handle
    disconnect two fuel lines (now is the time to install Quick Disconnects if you don't have them already)
    gently lift and pull tank to rear to clear
    I've probably missed a few details...
    I quite easily managed to lift the tank away high enough to get god access to the coil pack to replace the leads. Ended up only being a 1/2 hour job. I've got taking the tupperware off to a fine art now.
    Thanks for the link to after market suppliers of the leads. Saved me $$$$.
    Its weired how leads just suddenly go from working 100% to complete failure. I did try to wrap the offending lead in electrical tape, but the arcing still took place

  9. #9
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    Smile I ordered a set for my Roadster, too!

    BMW-WSR641OE Original Equipment Style Spark Plug Wire Set - BMW R Oilhead; 12 12 1 342 641 / EnDuraLast
    1 $59.00

    Subtotal: $59.00
    Tax: $0.00
    Shipping & Handling Cost: $6.20
    Grand Total: $65.20

    LINK>>>euromotoelectrics.com
    Last edited by james1300; 08-16-2013 at 11:30 PM.

  10. #10
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    Smile Fast Service!

    My order arrived today!

  11. #11
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    The caps at the coil and spark plug ends usually have markings molded into the rubber.

    Are these Bosch or Beru items and what numbers are on them if anyone has a set out in the open.

    Also, how to the wires attach to the caps? Do they use a threaded brass end on the wires?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    The caps at the coil and spark plug ends usually have markings molded into the rubber.

    Are these Bosch or Beru items and what numbers are on them if anyone has a set out in the open.

    Also, how to the wires attach to the caps? Do they use a threaded brass end on the wires?
    No marking's found.
    Wires are one piece. Like my 1995 Factory wires.













    Part #: BMW-WSR641OE

    *Original Equipment Style Plug Wire Set ( x 2 wires) for BMW R850, R1100, R1150, R1200 thru 2006.
    *OE Style boot allows use of BMW spark plug removal tool (Part # 12 12 2 306 064)

    *Assembled with 7mm silicone wire, stud connected silicone boots, and internal brass tubing for positive spark plug terminal nut support. Includes nylon anti-chaffing sheath jacket over the full length of the cable.
    *Less than 50% the price of 2 wires from BMW Dealer !
    *Silicone withstand temperatures up to 1200?F / 650?C

  13. #13
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james1300 View Post
    No marking's found.
    Wires are one piece. Like my 1995 Factory wires.
    First, a big thanks for taking the time to post pics of the new cables.

    What I was looking for were markings on the original BMW ignition cables. I would guess that you might find Bosch or Beru marked on them along with some numbers.

  14. #14
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    Question And the point your trying to make is....?

    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    First, a big thanks for taking the time to post pics of the new cables.

    What I was looking for were markings on the original BMW ignition cables. I would guess that you might find Bosch or Beru marked on them along with some numbers.
    Yes, the O.E.M. have numbers and Beru on them. What is the point your trying to make?

  15. #15
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james1300 View Post
    Yes, the O.E.M. have numbers and Beru on them. What is the point your trying to make?
    I'd just like to know what the part numbers are. I can then find out if the cables are attached the same way as the Beru cables I made for my Porsche. And if so, I can make at least two of them for my dual-spark R1150 GS if needed.

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