Author Topic: Stelvio and 8V Spark Plug Caps. Need NGK SB05E  (Read 39622 times)

Offline leafman60

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Stelvio and 8V Spark Plug Caps. Need NGK SB05E
« on: April 15, 2013, 08:17:18 AM »
This is the kinda thing that makes be very reluctant to recommend a Guzzi to non-mechanical or non-Guzzi riders.

Spark plug caps are a known weakness for the Stelvio and probably other 8-valve Guzzi bikes.  About 2 months ago it happened to me not far from home.  I was not sure what was going on.  I tried several things to fix the unknown-to-me issue including fuel injector removal and testing and substitution of another plug wire. I ended up taking the bike way the hell to Steve at Riders Hill ( I needed him to do some other stuff anyway).  Steve and Ian discovered a broken plug cap and replaced it under warranty.

Now it's happened again.  Thankfully, it's in my back yard again. (I guess taking numerous pictures of churches on my travels has bought me a little concession from above.)

As indicated by another current thread of mine, I just completed a 1200 mile sojourn on the Stelvio.  Yesterday morning, my 4-hour return route to home was done completely in a relentless and heavy rain on the Interstate.  The bike rain flawlessly.  It never skipped a beat.  I also found out that my Traxx bags did not leak a drop.

At home, the rain continued.  I didnt even try to unload the bike and I left it parked outside in the rain for about 3 hours.  When the rain stopped, I unloaded all my gear and cranked it up to run it over to my storage location. It ran rough and died a few times.  Very unusual. Within a short distance, one cylinder dropped-out just like before when I had the plug cap problem.

I know it's one of the plug caps again.  It's either the "new" one Steve installed or it's the other one that we probbaly should have replaced at the same time.

I will not go back with the stock caps.  I know Steve would provide me another one under warranty but I would not trust it.

Several threads exist, especially over on Guzzitech, regarding this problem and the fix of replacing the stock plug caps with NGK caps.  That's what I'm gonna do.

http://forum.guzzitech.com/forum/190/4740.html

http://forum.guzzitech.com/forum/219/4310.html


I suggest other 8-valve owners pay attention to this. It's another known, and apparaently non-addressed, fault with the Guzzis.  It could leave you stranded.

For Stelvio owners, add this to the list of problems that include the pervasive wiring short inside the auxiliary lamps.  The short is bad enough but the problem there is that it can also shut down the bike since it blows the main charging circuit and causes the battery to go completely dead.  The fuse has been moved to new location on the NTX models that is not explicitly identified in the owners manual.  It's behind the right side panel.  I suggest doing what PYoung and I did and install individual fuses inside the lamp bodies, even with replacement lamps.

These sort of things are BS.  Its like the known fuel line/filter problems that stranded riders a few years ago.  None of these issue involve significant mechanical issues and they are easy to address IF YOU KNOW ABOUT THEM.

Many riders are not inclined to have to learn all the known problems with a new bike that they better fix before venturing out very far on it.  Guzzis remain a quirky bike that may be best for a quirky rider accustomed to fixing all these things than can go wrong with it.

People new to the brand should BE AWARE.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 10:17:01 PM by leafman60 »

Online Wayne Orwig

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 08:37:12 AM »
If you remove the plug caps as they show, with a long screwdriver in over the exhaust port, you'll likely never have a problem.
If you pull on the wire to remove the cap, then it is toast.
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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 08:45:24 AM »
There was a very low millage V65SP for sale at the spring Florida rally with original plug caps.  My first thought was those thing need to be replaced with NDK caps.   :BEER:
Matt

Offline boxermoose

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 09:08:47 AM »
13.5k miles on original caps - probably 1800miles or more in rain (including a 700mile day LLLOOOONNNGGGG stretch one miserable day last Sept thru West Texas) without a problem - except for about 15ml of water in the CARC

I use the nylon tie under the elbow to pull mine off - but wouldn't hurt to carry a spare using the theory that if you have it you will never need it
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 09:54:05 AM by boxermoose »

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 09:08:47 AM »

Offline brlawson

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 11:14:43 AM »
I replaced mine with the NGKs the week I got it and have had 30+ thousand trouble free miles. In that regard.
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Offline pauldaytona

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 02:24:06 PM »
After the dealer replaced one at the 10000km maintenance, I orderd the japanese silicon ngk for japan. The ones in you link. They fit, but are after a while also a bit tight to get off, and they don't break but it doesn't feel good. I would go for the cheap ngk option, with some lenght new wire, not to fancy.
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Offline leafman60

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 04:14:52 PM »
If you remove the plug caps as they show, with a long screwdriver in over the exhaust port, you'll likely never have a problem.
If you pull on the wire to remove the cap, then it is toast.


I've never pulled on the wires.  I attached a nylon tie around the boot rubber from the beginning and pull on that.  Two people that I know tried to pry the caps off with a screwdriver and cut the boot rubber.

Pete R and Daytona Paul have also had similar problems and I imagine they too know how to remove a plug boot. lol

Apparently the boot of mine that is going bad now is the one Steve installed recently and it's never been removed !
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 05:18:04 PM by leafman60 »

Offline leafman60

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 09:39:30 PM »
So you're not recommending a Stelvio to Mr. N. to replace his K1200S?

 ;)

Offline bad Chad

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 10:25:30 PM »
This is the kinda thing that makes be very reluctant to recommend a Guzzi to non-mechanical or non-Guzzi riders.

Spark plug caps are a known weakness for the Stelvio and probably other 8-valve Guzzi bikes.  About 2 months ago it happened to me not far from home.  I was not sure what was going on.  I tried several things to fix the unknown-to-me issue including fuel injector removal and testing and substitution of another plug wire. I ended up taking the bike way the hell to Steve at Riders Hill ( I needed him to do some other stuff anyway).  Steve and Ian discovered a broken plug cap and replaced it under warranty.

Now it's happened again.  Thankfully, it's in my back yard again. (I guess taking numerous pictures of churches on my travels has bought me a little concession from above.)

As indicated by another current thread of mine, I just completed a 1200 mile sojourn on the Stelvio.  Yesterday morning, my 4-hour return route to home was done completely in a relentless and heavy rain on the Interstate.  The bike rain flawlessly.  It never skipped a beat.  I also found out that my Traxx bags did not leak a drop.

At home, the rain continued.  I didnt even try to unload the bike and I left it parked outside in the rain for about 3 hours.  When the rain stopped, I unloaded all my gear and cranked it up to run it over to my storage location. It ran rough and died a few times.  Very unusual. Within a short distance, one cylinder dropped-out just like before when I had the plug cap problem.

I know it's one of the plug caps again.  It's either the "new" one Steve installed or it's the other one that we probbaly should have replaced at the same time.

I will not go back with the stock caps.  I know Steve would provide me another one under warranty but I would not trust it.

Several threads exist, especially over on Guzzitech, regarding this probloem and the fix of replacing the stock plug caps with NGK caps.  That's what I'm gonna do.

http://forum.guzzitech.com/forum/190/4740.html

http://forum.guzzitech.com/forum/219/4310.html


I suggest other 8-valve owners pay attention to this. It's another known, and apparaently non-addressed, fault with the Guzzis.  It could leave you stranded.

For Stelvio owners, add this to the list of problems that include the pervasive wiring short inside the auxiliary lamps.  The short is bad enough but the problem there is that it can also shut down the bike since it blows the main charging circuit and causes the battery to go completely dead.  The fuse has been moved to new location on the NTX models that is not explicitly identified in the owners manual.  It's behind the right side panel.  I suggest doing what PYoung and I did and install individual fuses inside the lamp bodies, even with replacement lamps.

These sort of things are BS.  Its like the known fuel line/filter problems that stranded riders a few years ago.  None of these issue involve significant mechanical issues and they are easy to address IF YOU KNOW ABOUT THEM.

Many riders are not inclined to have to learn all the known problems with a new bike that they better fix before venturing out very far on it.  Guzzis remain a quirky bike that may be best for a quirky rider accustomed to fixing all these things than can go wrong with it.

People new to the brand should BE AWARE.

Oh please! ::)
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Flashman

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2013, 11:14:32 PM »
I will not go back with the stock caps.  

Leaf, sorry to hear of your troubles.  The solution is this - abandon the OEM caps.  As at the link you posted, get a set of NGK SB05E plug caps - about $5 a piece.  Dealerships that know will stock them and suggest them to the owner of every Stelvio that comes into the shop.  Sure, you shouldn't have to do stuff like that on a new bike, but it's a cheap enough fix and bluntly the price one sometimes pays for riding an essentially boutique production, hand assembled (with the inherent faults from human error) exotic Italian motorcycle.     

For Stelvio owners, add this to the list of problems that include the pervasive wiring short inside the auxiliary lamps.  The short is bad enough but the problem there is that it can also shut down the bike since it blows the main charging circuit and causes the battery to go completely dead.  The fuse has been moved to new location on the NTX models that is not explicitly identified in the owners manual.  It's behind the right side panel.  I suggest doing what PYoung and I did and install individual fuses inside the lamp bodies, even with replacement lamps.

Those wires short because folks put them in the wrong spot during PDI.  The slack in the wire needs to be curled up in the rubber boot, not in the metal body.  Most people stuff the wire into the body, then put the boot on.  This means the wires constantly vibrate against the metal and shortly wear through.  The prevention (or fix) is to stuff the wires into the boot, then put the boot on.  It's the subject of a tech bulletin and covered in Guzzi tech training now. 

Flashman

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 11:18:25 PM »
This is the kinda thing that makes be very reluctant to recommend a Guzzi to non-mechanical or non-Guzzi riders.

A fair point actually - and probably good advice for anyone who would self identify as non-mechanical.  Although I'd also suggest that it's beneficial to posses mechanical skills any time one ventures 1200 miles from home on a motorcycle, regardless of brand.  It can certainly come in handy at times.      
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 11:20:49 PM by Flashman »

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 11:23:41 PM »
David, as I replied on Guzzitech if you are swapping to SB05E caps buy a couple of feet of copper core HT lead too as you will probably find the LH lead a bit too short for the NGK caps.

Pete

Offline leafman60

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 07:22:30 AM »
Yes, thanks, I picked up on that short wire situation already.   I should have already just replaced these caps but I just didnt pay enough attention.  Luckily, I was not stranded or anything bad.

Thanks, Pete.  As with the others, I always appreciate your input and help.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 07:37:35 AM by leafman60 »

Offline leafman60

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 07:29:57 AM »
Those wires short because folks put them in the wrong spot during PDI.  The slack in the wire needs to be curled up in the rubber boot, not in the metal body.  Most people stuff the wire into the body, then put the boot on.  This means the wires constantly vibrate against the metal and shortly wear through.  The prevention (or fix) is to stuff the wires into the boot, then put the boot on.  It's the subject of a tech bulletin and covered in Guzzi tech training now. 


Yes, thanks for the reminder post.  I covered that along with pics in a thread on Guzzitech back when it happened to me. 

After talking with more than one dealer, I am not sure the problems was with dealer PDI.  I'm told the internal lamp wiring is something that dealers have nothing with doing.  The lamps come from the Guzzi factory like that.

As big or bigger a point is the fuse situation.  Regardless about who packed the wires in the lamps, these should not be wired in such a way that a shorted lamp will blow a main charging fuse that can shut down the whole darn bike ! lol Crazy. This is especially true after they moved the main fuse and didnt clearly indicate its location in the manual.  A smaller separate fuse should be on the lamp circuit alone.

Offline leafman60

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2013, 07:32:01 AM »
A fair point actually - and probably good advice for anyone who would self identify as non-mechanical.  Although I'd also suggest that it's beneficial to posses mechanical skills any time one ventures 1200 miles from home on a motorcycle, regardless of brand.  It can certainly come in handy at times.      

Lol, oh good lord.  1200 miles is nothing and modern bikes should not need a mechanically-minded person to ride one that far.

Offline leafman60

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2013, 07:36:23 AM »
I have a pair of SB05E caps on the way.  I just ordered them off amazon.  They were under $3 each with shipping added of a little over $2.  My total bill is under $10 delivered.

Like the lamp fuse issue, these fixes are cheap and simple BUT they are problems that could have serious consequences and leave a rider stranded way the hell out in the middle of nowhere.

If I was a Guzzi dealer, before selling a new bike I would replace all 8V plug caps with the NGK ones and Id wire-in separate fuses to the aux lamps even after I made sure the wires were in the rubber boots.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 10:19:59 AM by leafman60 »

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2013, 10:01:38 AM »
Leafman, why are you going "way the hell out in the middle of nowhere" in the first place.  The only place I know of a Starbucks "way the hell out in the middle of nowhere" is in New Mexico.  ;D  :BEER:
Matt

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2013, 10:56:03 AM »
Leafman, why are you going "way the hell out in the middle of nowhere" in the first place.  The only place I know of a Starbucks "way the hell out in the middle of nowhere" is in New Mexico.  ;D  :BEER:
Matt

  ;D

Or a Kristy Kremer.  :o
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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2013, 12:10:25 PM »
Lol, oh good lord.  1200 miles is nothing and modern bikes should not need a mechanically-minded person to ride one that far.

What is the distance limitation? ~; I was at Crater Lake when my aux lights decided to strand the bike. That was + or - 3000 miles from home. ;D

Good thing I turned things off before I put in the last fuse I had other wise I might still be there. :o ;D

John Henry

edit: when my plug caps failed, I insulated the bend with electrical tape for a couple of weeks until I got replacements. They were lovingly delivered to me at the Virginia rally at the time. Using Waynes advice. I have had them out several times since and have not had a problem.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 06:40:31 PM by Zoom Zoom »
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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2013, 03:11:13 PM »
Yes, thanks for the reminder post.  I covered that along with pics in a thread on Guzzitech back when it happened to me. 

After talking with more than one dealer, I am not sure the problems was with dealer PDI.  I'm told the internal lamp wiring is something that dealers have nothing with doing.  The lamps come from the Guzzi factory like that.

As big or bigger a point is the fuse situation.  Regardless about who packed the wires in the lamps, these should not be wired in such a way that a shorted lamp will blow a main charging fuse that can shut down the whole darn bike ! lol Crazy. This is especially true after they moved the main fuse and didnt clearly indicate its location in the manual.  A smaller separate fuse should be on the lamp circuit alone.

That's not quite correct; the lamps come with the wiring all curled up in the end cap, and at PDI the dealer has to remove the cap and pull the pigtail to the vehicle harness out.  Unfortunately the Hella instructions don't come with the lights, which stress to tuck the excess into the boot not the body... hence the disconnect.

Offline leafman60

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2013, 04:22:46 PM »
Received my NGK SB05E spark plug caps for my 2012 Stelvio NTX today.  They look fine and I expect to install them later tonight or tomorrow and hopefully forget about this issue.








Update-

Okay, here we go.

The sealing boot of the SB05E does not fit tightly around the stock Stelvio spark plug.  


The proper cap would be an SD05E but they are not available in US.  The solution is to swap a smaller sealing boot from an SD05F cap (that is available) onto the SB05E.  The SD05F will not fit the terminal of the stock plug but its boot fits tightly around the stock plug.




Boots are easily swapped between the SB05E and SD05F


A little dielectric grease will help installation of cap onto plug


A grab tab can be fashioned to the cap to facilitate removal later


Inserting new cap into plug well may require slight working but it fits easily
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 08:19:58 PM by leafman60 »

Offline Lannis

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2013, 05:23:15 PM »
Received my NGK SB05E spark plug caps for my 2012 Stelvio NTX today.  They look fine and I expect to install them later tonight or tomorrow and hopefully forget about this issue.



I haven't changed mine out yet (27K miles) but I guess I should think about it.

Are you going to change out the HT leads for additional length, or re-route the stock ones?

Lannis
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Offline leafman60

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps. Need NGK SB05E
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2013, 05:58:56 PM »
I'm gonna check the length of the stock wires.  If I can re-route them and use them as several folks say is possible, I will.   Otherwise,  I'll replace them with some custom-cut leads.

I will post pics and results in a day or two.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 06:05:55 PM by leafman60 »

Offline charlie b

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps. Need NGK SB05E
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2013, 09:46:27 PM »
  ;D

Or a Kristy Kremer.  :o
Leafman, why are you going "way the hell out in the middle of nowhere" in the first place.  The only place I know of a Starbucks "way the hell out in the middle of nowhere" is in New Mexico.  ;D  :BEER:
Matt

Careful!  We only have a few Starbucks.  :)  And Wayne, there is Krispy Kreme in NM, only two I think :)

And, yes, you can be way out in the middle of no where and only have ridden a couple hundred miles  :)  Join us at Datil and see ;)
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Offline Furbo

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps. Need NGK SB05E
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2013, 03:48:41 AM »
Not to hijack,

but remember when my Sport 1100 fell over at the gas station and broke the LH plug cap off...

Had to jsut stuff the wire onto the top of the plug and glom on a buttload of electrical tape to get home...

And - back to the subject, it WAS an NGK cap.
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Offline leafman60

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps. Need NGK SB05E
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2013, 06:52:37 PM »
Ok boys.  The new caps are installed and it's a very simple job.

You do not need to remove any of the side covers of the bike for this operation and I did not need any wires longer than the stock leads.

First, remove the snapped-in MG logo badge with a small screwdriver or similar pry.



Remove the screw that holds the silver wire cover.



The stock spark plug boot cap is exposed.



Pull the boot cap off the spark plug.  I typically use a nylon tie wrapped around the boot.  
It should come off easily. The Guzzi manual says to use a screwdriver inserted through the exhaust port cooling fins to pry up on the bottom of the boot.





If you wish to remove the wire lead from the boot before cutting it, grasp the wire firmly and screw it out from the rubber boot.  
The brass threads of the wire terminal end is obvious.



Cut the stock wire above the shrink-fit covering of the terminal end.  



Check the length of the wire to verify that it is long enough to reach to the top of the plug well.  My Stelvio had more than enough wire on both left and right cylinder to easily reach the plug well.  If the left side is too short, you can re-route the wire around the frame member, shown here near the coil, to gain more slack.



Note that the plug wire is routed inside a protective plastic conduit.  While performing this task, I discovered one of my conduits filled with water.
To make sure water will drain from the conduit and to give enough wire exposure for fitting the new spark plug cap, cut back the protective conduit about an inch and a half or 35-40 mm.



I suggest removing the weather seal boot from the NGK cap instead of trying to insert the wire through it.



The wire end of the NGK replacement cap showing the male threads that go up into the plug wire end in order to make electrical contact.



Slip the sealing boot onto the plug wire. Then, hold the wire and cap firmly.  Insert the wire end into the cap and screw the wire onto the male threads inside the cap. The male threads screw up into the metal wire conductor in the center of the insulated plug wire.



Work the rubber sealing boot onto the plastic plug cap and insert the cap down into the valve cover until it snap snugly onto the spark plug. A little dielectric grease on the plug or inside the sealing boot will help.



Fit the wire down into the holding area and install the silver cover with the small screw and reinstall the snap-in MG logo piece.  A good idea is to apply some silicone or glue under the logo badge to make sure it does not vibrate out.




« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 10:50:40 PM by leafman60 »

Offline canuck1969

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps. Need NGK SB05E
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2013, 08:50:38 PM »
Leaf....you the man.....

Ordered my caps earlier this week and was looking for some detailed instructions.  

We are even now so thanks....that is unless you ended up getting that speeding ticket from the last favour.... :+=copcar

« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 08:51:11 PM by canuck1969 »

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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps. Need NGK SB05E
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2013, 09:56:51 PM »
Leaf....you the man.....

Ordered my caps earlier this week and was looking for some detailed instructions.  

:+1
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Re: Stelvio Broke Down Again- Spark Plug Caps. Need NGK SB05E
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2013, 01:24:41 AM »
Nicely documented.  Thanks!

Bob
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