Saturday, February 19, 2011

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

This post documents replacing the spark plugs on a 2001 BMW R1150GS. The 2001 is the single spark plug model with later models having two. The process is still basically the same.

The tools I used:

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

The single ignition bike like my 2001 use a NGK BKR7EKC. The dual ignition bikes use the same for the primary, but use a NGK DCPR8EKC or Bosch YR6LDE for the secondary.

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

The electrode gap is 0.8mm with the end of life at 1.0mm. BMW does not recommend bending the prongs to make an adjustment. Notice how they are also curved around the electrode. A normal feeler gauge will not fit. Instead, use a wire gauge or a ruler. The BMW comes pre-gapped to 0.8mm.

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

You can find the stock tools in under the pillion seat.

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

1) Remove the spark plug covers if you have them. Carefully slide the pulling tool onto the boot. Pull with slow steady pressure. The stock plastic tool is known for breaking with jerky motions.

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

The boot is quite long. Set it out of the way for now.

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

Stock spark plug tool with screwdriver through the hole

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

2) Push the tool all the way in and remove the spark plug. Note how far it goes into the cylinder head. I found my normal spark plug sockets were too wide to fit all the way in.

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

Old spark plug removed:

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

New vs Old:

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

Verify the gap (0.8mm) on the new plug and put it onto the tool and back into the cylinder head. I carefully tighten by hand first before using a wrench. The engine is aluminum and can easily cross thread or strip. I hand-tighten until snug.

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

3) Torque to 25 N-m.

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

I used my DIY Spark plug torque tool.

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

4) Replace the boot. Firm even pressure seemed to be the best way. Push it all the way on.

2001 BMW R1150GS Spark Plug Replacement

5) Replace spark plug cover. Mine didn’t come with the bike, so I bought two from bikebandit.

spark plug cover

6) Repeat steps 1-5 on the other side.

7) Go for a ride!

11 comments:

  1. I don't know if it is recommended or not by BMW, but I usually use a bit of anti-seize on plugs going into aluminum heads. Very nice write-up.

    Richard

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  2. RichardM: Great comment! I normally use anti-seize on my Ural plugs since they offer a range. If I understand correctly, anti-seize acts as a mild lubricant, and thus could cause the plug to be tightened to a higher torque. I think it'd work well on plugs that have a torque range ie: 20-25 or none at all like the Ural which is just 1/4 - 1/2 turn past snug.

    My Haynes guide didn't mention anti-seize, and it only had one number not a range. I assumed it to be a "dry" torque value and did without.

    What do you think?

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  3. If the plugs are removed with some frequency then it probably isn't an issue. If they aren't changed for years, I would put a very small amount on the threads being very careful not to get any on the electrode. And this is only if the plugs are actually threading into aluminum. There may be a steel insert for the plug. I'm not at all familiar with any motorcycle engine except my old airhead...

    I used to be a mechanic on the old Mazda rotary engines and we've had engines come in with seized spark plugs.

    Richard

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  4. RichardM: That makes sense. I'm only familiar with my few engines, and I'm still very much an amateur. I change mine regularly, so I'm not too worried about them seizing. I'm more worried of stripping threads.

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  5. Hi guys, can anyone advise the procedure in changing the plugs on my R1150RT twinspark. This may seem silly but I don't know where all 4 plus are located.

    Gerry

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  6. Gerry: I'd recommend getting a copy of the haynes manual for your R1150RT: http://amzn.to/ebxz2o

    When I look at copy of the haynes manual, on page 1-7, the first plug is on the outside edge of the head like on my R1150GS above. The second plug looks to be behind a cover bolted on the bottom of the head. I hope that helps. good luck!

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  7. Hey there, I lost my spark plug cover strip on the way home after not fitting correctly (I know now to hook on the back end bit first, then put pressure on front bit til it clicks in) and looked up a replacement - £25 (I'm in the UK) from a good BMW breakers, £40 (used) on ebay, then I rang up BMW - £9 for a brand new one :>

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  8. Thanks anonymous. I got a set after I wrote the above. I updated it and added the photo. :)

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  9. @Chris Thanks for the advice

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  10. As an (ex) pro tech, I would find most amateurs seriously overtightened fasteners. Worst with small sizes until at some point they would flip over and leave bigger sizes too slack. Yes, I know, it can be tricky wanging on 250 ft/lbf but it should be done when called for.
    Just resting my hand on a foot long spanner will give around 3ft/lbf, a 6mm bolt needs 8ish ft/lbf - a bit of practice will get it close enough. These are bikes, not space vehicles!
    I don't carry my snapon torque wrenches around, in my early, pre torque wrench days, the rule of thumb was finger tight + 1/4 turn. And I always always dab a small smear of anti seize. I have never, ever had a plug come loose. I have however had to deal with many seized, hence stripped threads, not a nice job.

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  11. It's a good idea to blow the spark plug 'hollow' out with compressed air before removing the plug, to eliminate any chance of crap entering the cylinder. And yeah, I''m in the anti-seize camp.

    ReplyDelete