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Discussion Starter #1
I've pulled the plugs on my '04 VTX S with about 13K miles on it. The rear plugs look perfect. The center electrodes and insulator are evenly light brown and the side electrode changes color right at the bend. I take that to mean there is a good air fuel mixture and the plugs are the right temp range.

The front plugs look dry fouled. Both plugs look the same. They are evenly covered with black, dry soot. It feels slightly oily.

So, what does this mean? The bike doesn't appear to be burning oil so that makes me think its a fuel mixture problem. But a fuel mix problem in only one cylinder? That doesn't sound right.

And one more thing, there was a light coating of engine oil in the bottom of the air filter housing and up to the botton of the throttle body. Don;t know if it means anything but thought I'd mention it.

Thoughts?

[BTW, the color differences are not coming out in the pics I tried to take]
 

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I'd say your X's engine is definitely not wrecked. Before the people on this site check in, maybe give them some more info so they can help you get squared away. What exhaust mods, what spark plug types, what carb jets, if you know, and what air filter mods if any. There are any number of guys who can answer just about any question you have if you give them the right info...so, dont worry, your engine is fiine. :cheers:
Bry
 

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I haven't pulled my plugs yet but I check my airbox and it has a bit of oil build up in the same place ad yours. The bike itself runs great. I asked my friend about the airbox and he says that's just what some bikes do. Seems a little odd to me but I haven't had any reason not to agree with it.
 

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All four plugs won't look exactly the same....Even with liquid cooling, the front cylinder gets more air to it, so it will run slightly cooler than the rear one...As long as the bike is running good, I wouldn't worry about it...

The oily stuff in the bottom of the airbox is from the crankcase breather tube...There's a drain in the bottom of the airbox for just that reason..You should drain the gunk out of it periodically...
 

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Does the 1300 have one shallow and one deep plug per cylinder, like the 1800? On my 1800 I see a distinct difference between the shallow plug and deep plug on a given cylinder. I can't remember which is which, but they look just as you describe.

However, I don't see a variation between cylinders.The shallow plugs look similar between cylinders, and the deep plugs are similar to each other as well.

Please don't be offended by my question, but are you sure you didn't accidentally lose track of which cylinder a couple of the plugs originated from?
 

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I'm no expert by any means... but it's not uncommon on a V-Twin to burn differently between the front & rear cylinders, and there's not much you can do to change that. An easy solution would be to leave the same plugs in the rear cyl and run one step hotter plug in the front to get a cleaner burn on the front cyl.

The oil in the airbox is normal and nothing to worry about, it's in there because the crankcase vents into the airbox. There's a drain plug on the back of the airbox to drain it off when needed (without having to pull the cover)
 

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I haven't pulled my plugs yet but I check my airbox and it has a bit of oil build up in the same place ad yours. The bike itself runs great. I asked my friend about the airbox and he says that's just what some bikes do. Seems a little odd to me but I haven't had any reason not to agree with it.
It's not just what some bikes do - it's what ALL VTX's do if you don't open that small drain at the bottom of the air box and drain it....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The plugs are Denso XU20EPR-U, stock for '04 according to the manual. The wear indicates to me that they've been in the bikes for a while. I wouldn't be surprised if they are the original equipment plugs. The air intake is stock with a stock filter. I have no idea how long this filter was in the bike, but it seems quite dirty. There was a light spray of oil inside the filter housing on the bottom and the air filter itself was pretty black in that same spot indicating engine oil is getting in the filter housing.

I image the jetting is stock. I don't know how to tell. But nothing else has been modified and the the carb doesn't look like it's ever been touched.

The exhaust pipes are definately stock.
 

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I haven't pulled my plugs yet but I check my airbox and it has a bit of oil build up in the same place ad yours. The bike itself runs great. I asked my friend about the airbox and he says that's just what some bikes do. Seems a little odd to me but I haven't had any reason not to agree with it.
Asked the same question the first time I pulled mine. Response I got was that this was common.
 

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I've only had my x a few months and of all the bikes I've ever had, strangely enough I never had or noticed the oil build up in the airbox. I guess that's just what they do. Heck.... I'm just happy my x doesly leak oil or have electrical issues like most of the people I know who has harleys. I got one friend with 4 harleys and he's forever fixing on them. Hahaha.
 

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The plugs are Denso XU20EPR-U, stock for '04 according to the manual. The wear indicates to me that they've been in the bikes for a while. I wouldn't be surprised if they are the original equipment plugs. The air intake is stock with a stock filter. I have no idea how long this filter was in the bike, but it seems quite dirty. There was a light spray of oil inside the filter housing on the bottom and the air filter itself was pretty black in that same spot indicating engine oil is getting in the filter housing.

I image the jetting is stock. I don't know how to tell. But nothing else has been modified and the the carb doesn't look like it's ever been touched.

The exhaust pipes are definately stock.
It sounds like your fine, I'd say put in some fresh plugs and wipe out the airbox & toss in a new filter and enjoy it. Then in a 1000 miles or so take another look and see what you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Does the 1300 have one shallow and one deep plug per cylinder, like the 1800? On my 1800 I see a distinct difference between the shallow plug and deep plug on a given cylinder. I can't remember which is which, but they look just as you describe.

However, I don't see a variation between cylinders.The shallow plugs look similar between cylinders, and the deep plugs are similar to each other as well.

Please don't be offended by my question, but are you sure you didn't accidentally lose track of which cylinder a couple of the plugs originated from?
Yes, the 1300 has one deep and one shallow. The plugs for each cylinder look very, very similar. I did not get them mixed up. I labelled each with a sharpie marker when it came out. The front cyclinder looks like what I would call "dry" or "carbon" fouled. The rear cyclinder plugs look like a poster child for the gracefulyl aging spark plug.

One more thing, guys. I checked the gap on the used plugs and they are all the same at 0.8mm.
 

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I've only had my x a few months and of all the bikes I've ever had, strangely enough I never had or noticed the oil build up in the airbox. I guess that's just what they do. Heck.... I'm just happy my x doesly leak oil or have electrical issues like most of the people I know who has harleys. I got one friend with 4 harleys and he's forever fixing on them. Hahaha.
Not all the VTX engines are the same, some have a lot of blow by and some have none at all go figure... There's a thread about on this topic here somewhere if you can find it.

The one person I know has talked about this a few times is Charlie D, before he put an external breather on his bike would use oil because it was being sucked from the crankcase and into the carb. Once the external was put on it stopped using oil.

I've been lucky with mine, it has never had any blow by so my air box never had a drop of oil/slim (oil & condensation = slim)
 

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It sounds like your fine, I'd say put in some fresh plugs and wipe out the airbox & toss in a new filter and enjoy it. Then in a 1000 miles or so take another look and see what you have.
+1 with what doug says. Manual says to replace plugs every 8 thousand miles, so we arent talking Car spark plug life. My air filter has a drop or two of oil on the bottom of the housing most times when i yank the air cleaner cover off for whatever reason..:icon_blah never seemed important to me. Good luck with your bike. Bry:cheers:
 

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Manual says to replace plugs every 8 thousand miles, so we arent talking Car spark plug life..
Whomever at Honda decided that the plugs need to be changed every 8000 miles must be smoking some good crack!!... Got about 17,000 on mine, with the original plugs....They looked great last time I had them out doing the valve adjustment, so I stuck them back in...Bike runs great, so I ain't changing them yet...
 

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I swap out the plugs once a year, usually in the spring, regardless of mileage or condition. I know it may be overkill, but for the cost of the plugs, I don't consider it a big maintenance expense.
 

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OK.
Oil in the bottom of the air cleaner --- normal --- it's the fumes being removed from the crankcase that's a good thing.
Fouled black plugs is caused by using the choke too much.

Everything sounds normal-- and you haven't hurt the engine.

Donut/Doug:patriot:
 

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Whomever at Honda decided that the plugs need to be changed every 8000 miles must be smoking some good crack!!... Got about 17,000 on mine, with the original plugs....They looked great last time I had them out doing the valve adjustment, so I stuck them back in...Bike runs great, so I ain't changing them yet...
I have 50,000 on my plugs and they look and work fine
 

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I swap out the plugs once a year, usually in the spring, regardless of mileage or condition. I know it may be overkill, but for the cost of the plugs, I don't consider it a big maintenance expense.
Im close to this.. Ill run a set of plugs 15k or so, then change them. They just arent that expensive ($8 for Champions) and yearly I ride 10-12k miles..

-Gonz
 
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