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Sportster Motorcycle Air intake, Carburetor, EFI, Fuel, and Exhaust Problems, advice and/or how tos for Sporster and Buell motorcycle carburators, Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), Air Intake, Fuel and Exhaust.

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  #1  
Old 9th June 2008
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Default Spark Plug Color Difference

I installed a new set of NGK Regular plugs for this season not Irridiums like I have had and also did some jetting changes. The rear cylinder plug has always looked oil fouled while the front plug looks like it is not getting enough fuel.

Here are the changes I made this season

I rerouted the oil blowby to vent external.

Reinstalled the #48 Pilot Jet that the Stealer put in to correct the farts.I am at sea level.

Lifted the Screamin Eagle Dynojet Needle to the 6th clip position from the 5th to see if I could get it to run rich.

Bike ran great for 2 days had lots of power, idled smooth but milage way down. It then started to buck at low speeds like it was missing on one cylinder just like it has since it was new.

I pulled the rear plug and it was looking really black and sooty. The front plug had a nice tan color starting to develop but still looked clean and lean.

My backyard brain is saying that

1) the jettng is way to rich on the needle position

2) the front cylinder has an Intake seal problem

I switched the plugs fron to rear and it idles smooth etc but I cant get out to test it as the rain wont stop here.

Any ideas??

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 10th June 2008
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It does sound like an intake leak. Check that first before trying to jet around it.
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  #3  
Old 10th June 2008
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I have read in many posts that the rear cylinder on these motors always runs richer that the front. The rear plug is always darker than the front. I know from personal experience that in cold weather it is almost always the rear that floods and shorts out with gas soaked carbon. That's when I switch the plugs or change them if that doesn't work.
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Old 11th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLOYD883 View Post
I have read in many posts that the rear cylinder on these motors always runs richer that the front. The rear plug is always darker than the front. I know from personal experience that in cold weather it is almost always the rear that floods and shorts out with gas soaked carbon. That's when I switch the plugs or change them if that doesn't work.
I think there is something else going on here like a leak. I have read also lots of people with 2 tan color plugs. I did switch the plugs around and will go for a ride as soon as the damm rain stops. It has been pouring down everytime I am able to get a few spare moments. It has been cold and damp here more than usual for this time of year so that might be having an effect.
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  #5  
Old 11th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shu View Post
It does sound like an intake leak. Check that first before trying to jet around it.
Do you have any tips for a good testing method for intake leaks?.

I have read lots of methods ie: water, propane,WD40,Windex, or just anything that will choke out the engine when it is sucked past the seal. I dont want to stain the case using something that I have to scrub off.
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Old 11th June 2008
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One good way to check for leaks in the intake manifold is to spray WD-40 all over it while running if you hear a change in the idle speed you have a leak. Have you had the intake off, if so did you follow the directions in the manual for installing it? It is a real PIA to do it by the book but it works. One other little trick an old Indy told me, Gap the rear plug wider than the front , still within the range though. This does help to burn off the extra carbon somewhat.
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Old 11th June 2008
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You don't say what the main jet is, or what other changes have been done to the motor. Where is the idle air mix screw (on the bottom of the carb), set?

The rear plug normally runs a little more carboned than the front.

The early rubbermounts (04, 05) had an issue with valve stem seal failure. This may be indicated by higher oil consumption, but in my case, it was not. This can contribute to erratic running, or at leat it seemed to on mine.

Could be an intake seal leak, as you noted.

A 48 pilot strikes me as very rich, but that depends on the way the rest of the sytem is set.

I run a 2005 1200C, with a stage I motor. I am at about 1,000 ft in altitude. The carb is set to a 42 pilot, 165 main. I am not sure where the neede is clipped. The Dyno puts it at 76 HP @ 5500, 77 Torque @ 4600. Front plug slightly tan to white, rear plug slightly darker. Plug color can be tricky though. Tends to reflect the most recent rpm. Probably need to do a hot cut to read accurately.

Pouring fuel to it can disguise other issues, sometimes.
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  #8  
Old 11th June 2008
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by misterT View Post
One good way to check for leaks in the intake manifold is to spray WD-40 all over it while running if you hear a change in the idle speed you have a leak. Have you had the intake off, if so did you follow the directions in the manual for installing it? It is a real PIA to do it by the book but it works. One other little trick an old Indy told me, Gap the rear plug wider than the front , still within the range though. This does help to burn off the extra carbon somewhat.
I will give the WD 40 a try. I have suspected an intake leak for a while now and have been to lazy to get off my butt and really troubleshoot it properly.

I have never had the intake off and all the mods are listed in my sig. I picked up a intake seal set at my indy and they are part#26995-86B I hope that they are the right ones if I need to replace them. I have the MoCo manual and was trying to find the section that lists the procedure. I recall reading it somewhere but cant find it right now.

I am going to WD 40 test it and see where I need to go from there.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback I will update soon.
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  #9  
Old 11th June 2008
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Hi.

As a Mastertech, I use NGK on just about every car that I tune, there really good plug.....well for cars.
On my 2003 sporty, I had it dialed in on the 4-gas, and it ran perfectly.....until I installed a new set of standard NGK's, about two day, and I was right were you are.

It must be a heat range issue with them, but a new set of Harley plugs, and all was well again.
Later on, I tried a set of Autolite double platinum, and they ran just fine.

As much as I do like and use NGK, I won't use them in a Harley.
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  #10  
Old 11th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffytune View Post
Hi.

As a Mastertech, I use NGK on just about every car that I tune, there really good plug.....well for cars.
On my 2003 sporty, I had it dialed in on the 4-gas, and it ran perfectly.....until I installed a new set of standard NGK's, about two day, and I was right were you are.

It must be a heat range issue with them, but a new set of Harley plugs, and all was well again.
Later on, I tried a set of Autolite double platinum, and they ran just fine.

As much as I do like and use NGK, I won't use them in a Harley.
Thats really interesting. The stealer said to stick with the OEM but hey I thought he was givin me the line

If it passes the leak test I will try the Autolite DP. I have always had good experiance and long life with the Autolite's I have used.

What about the Champion plug?

Do they make Harley oem plugs?

Thanks
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