|April 7th, 2016, 02:52 AM||#1|
1199 Spark Plug R&R
Spark Plug R&R:
Ducati calls for the spark plugs on the Panigale 1199 to be changed every 2 years or 15,000 miles. Does that mean you should wait for 2 years or 15,000 miles to inspect your plugs? No. Those two little $12 spark plugs might tell you more about your engine than any other tool in your garage. Maybe your bike is heavily modified and you’ve equipped it with all the latest performance upgrades. You can hook up your laptop and adjust fuel maps, run diagnostics, calibrate system components, etc. and that’s great… it really is, but you’ve only drawn a picture; you haven’t colored it yet. It’s recommended that you remove, inspect and read your plugs on a more frequent basis. This is especially true when dealing with heavily modified street bikes or track bikes.
Basically, your spark plugs are going to capture a picture of the engine at the last moment before you turn the ignition off. For all practical purposes removing and reading your plugs at any time can reveal a great deal of information regarding the overall health of your engine. However, if you’re racing your bike and want to get an accurate read on the plugs you’ll have to shut it down immediately after crossing the line and have the bike pushed or towed back to the pits. I ran a ‘70 Buick GS 455 for many years while living in the U.S. I would shut down at the end of the track and tow the car back to the pits. The primary concern at the track was to get the jetting right on any given day. Track temperature, elevation, humidity, etc. all affect the way the engine performs. Your engine breathes the same air that you do. When it’s hot and humid and you find it difficult to breath because the air is so thick… well, that’s what your engine feels too. Have you ever noticed how your engine perks up on a nice cool day? You can adjust your fueling to optimize your engine’s performance on any track and under any conditions, and the ability to read your spark plugs provides you with a great tuning aide.
What more can a spark plug tell you? You might be surprised… a close look at your spark plugs can reveal a lot about what’s occurring inside of your engine… for better or for worse. Your spark plugs can indicate an engine that’s running too rich or too lean, incorrect ignition timing, wrong spark plug heat range, poor gasoline quality, detonation, pre-ignition, oil leak, vacuum leak, low compression, dirty air cleaner, cooling system problems, internal mechanical collisions, piston ring problems, valvetrain problems and more.
It’s best to read a plug using a magnifying glass and under good lighting conditions. The four key areas that you’ll probably want to focus on are shown below (refer to Figure 1):
1. The center electrode
2. The insulator around the center electrode
3. The ground strap
4. The base ring of the spark plug
There’s an endless number of pages dedicated to reading spark plugs available on the internet. Search on “How to read a spark plug” and see how many results are displayed. Many sites will contain a variety of photos that will help you accurately assess the conditions exhibited by your spark plugs. Examine the ground strap to determine if your plug is in the right heat range, look at the base ring for clues about fueling, check the insulator around the center electrode for signs of pre-ignition or detonation, etc. With your spark plug in-hand, power up your laptop and compare the plug to online images to help you make an accurate assessment.
Ducati didn’t make it particularly easy to access the spark plugs on the Panigale 1199; there’s a little bit of work involved. Nevertheless, this is not a difficult operation to perform and if you want to inspect or change your spark plugs more frequently you might want to do the job yourself; allowing a service facility to perform the work would quickly become prohibitively expensive. A couple of notes before beginning:
1. Clean the spark plug hole (the threads on the cylinder head) before installing the spark plugs. When it comes time to tighten/torque the spark plugs any dirt or debris on the cylinder head threads or the spark plug threads may prevent the spark plug from being tightened properly. Improperly tightened spark plugs (too tight or too loose) have the potential to create major problems. A nylon chemistry brush works well (refer to Figure 3). Turn it in clockwise and turn it out counter-clockwise to clean the cylinder head threads.
2. Whenever possible, removal and installation of the spark plugs should be performed when the engine is cool.
3. Once installed, torque the spark plugs to 7.2 - 8.7 foot pounds. As a general rule of thumb (when a torque wrench is not available), tighten the spark plugs hand-tight plus an additional ¼ turn. If you’ve changed plugs before you probably already have a good feel for this.
Vertical Cylinder Spark Plug Removal:
1. Begin by removing the fuel tank.
2. Remove the allen bolt retaining the seat to the bike.
3. Slide the seat forward slightly and lift up removing the seat from the bike.
4. Remove the (2) 8 mm bolts (Figure 1, Item A) and the (2) 8 mm nuts (Figure 1, Item B) securing the rear fuel tank retaining bracket (Figure 1, Item C) to the frame/lower bracket assembly.
5. Remove the bracket and set it aside.
6. Move to the front of the fuel tank. There are (4) bolts retaining the ignition cover. (2) bolts are used to secure the ignition cover to the left and right air conveyors (one bolt is located on each side) and (2) bolts (located closest to the ignition switch) are used to secure the ignition cover to the front fuel tank/ignition switch mounting bracket. Remove all (4) bolts.
7. Remove the ignition cover and set it aside.
8. Remove the (2) torx bolts at the front of the fuel tank used to retain the fuel tank to the front fuel tank mounting bracket (Figure 2, Item A).
9. Grasp the rear of the fuel tank and lift it up and out of its cradle. Remove the ground wire from the fuel tank and disconnect the connector feeding to the fuel pump.
10. Continue to lift the fuel tank from the rear until you can reach below the fuel tank and disconnect the quick-coupler feeding to the throttle bodies. The coupler can be removed by depressing the small release button on the side of the connector and gently twisting it free. A few droplets of fuel may escape while doing this but don’t be alarmed… the entire fuel tank is not going to dump into the airbox.
11. At this point the only remaining connections to the fuel tank are the two vent hoses. You can continue to lift the tank upwards from the rear or you can lower the rear of the tank back into its cradle and lift the front of the tank slightly to expose the vent hoses located towards the front of the tank on the right-hand side.
12. Grasp the forward-most vent hose with your finger tips and twist it from side to side to break it free from the nipple. There are no clamps used to retain the vent hoses to the fuel tank nipples but they tend to stick over a period of time. Work the vent hose free from the nipple. Remove the remaining vent hose in the same manner.
13. Lift the fuel tank off of the bike and set it aside.
14. Remove the spark plug cable from the vertical cylinder spark plug.
15. Remove the spark plug. I use a 14mm deep-well socket with a protective rubber inner sleeve to offer the plug some protection while being removed or installed.
16. Inspect the spark plug and replace if necessary.
17. Clean the spark plug hole, reinstall the spark plug and tighten as described above.
18. Reconnect the spark plug cable to the vertical cylinder spark plug.
19. Place the fuel tank back into position on the bike.
20. Lift the tank up slightly as previously described and slide each of the two vent hoses back on to their corresponding nipples. Let the tank rest in place.
21. Grasp and lift the tank from the rear. Reach under the tank and connect the quick-coupler. Push the connector in firmly until a click is heard. The connector should now be properly engaged.
22. Lower the rear of the fuel tank until you are able to reconnect the wiring harness connector to the fuel pump. Reconnect the ground wire to the fuel tank at this time as well.
23. Lower the fuel tank completely and let it rest in its cradle.
24. Reinstall the (2) torx bolts used to retain the fuel tank to the front fuel tank mounting bracket and tighten bolts. Do not over-tighten. Ducati calls for 10 Nm (approximately 7 foot pounds).
25. Reinstall the rear fuel tank mounting bracket. Secure with the (2) nuts and the (2) bolts removed previously and tighten.
26. Reinstall seat and secure with allen head bolt removed previously.
27. Reinstall the ignition cover securing it with the (4) bolts removed previously.
Horizontal Spark Plug Removal:
Note: The access hole through which the spark plug is removed is large enough to remove the plug. The problem I encountered with the removal of the spark plug from the horizontal cylinder head pertains to the length of the rubber spark plug cable boot (the end which connects to the spark plug). Due to the length of the spark plug cable boot and the insufficient slack in the spark plug cable I’m unable to remove the cable from the plug and work it out of the horizontal cylinder head and through the access hole. There’s just not enough working room for me… so I proceed as follows:
1. Remove the conveyor on the left-hand side of the bike.
2. Remove the upper fairing on the left-hand side of the bike.
3. Disconnect the horizontal cylinder spark plug cable from the horizontal ignition coil.
4. Release the spark plug cable guide from the component mounting holder/tray.
5. Free the spark plug cable where it runs between the component mounting holder/tray and the front fairing.
6. If this cable has never been removed before it may be secured to the main wiring harness where the harness runs between the horizontal cylinder/underside of frame and the radiator by one or more tie-wraps. Snip the tie-wraps.
7. Remove the 2 screws retaining the horizontal cylinder spark plug access cover located just behind the front tire.
8. Remove the horizontal cylinder spark plug access cover.
9. Pull the loose end (the end portion previously removed from the ignition coil) of the spark plug cable through the access hole.
10. Remove the spark plug cable from the horizontal cylinder spark plug.
11. Remove the spark plug.
12. Inspect the spark plug and replace if necessary.
13. Clean the spark plug hole, install the spark plug and tighten as described above.
14. Reconnect the spark plug cable to the horizontal cylinder spark plug.
15. Route the small end of the spark plug cable (the end which connects to the ignition coil) back through the access hole and back into position between the component mounting holder/tray and the front fairing.
16. Reinstall the spark plug cable guide on the component mounting holder/tray.
17. Reconnect the spark plug cable to the horizontal ignition coil.
18. Reinstall the horizontal cylinder spark plug access cover and secure with the 2 screws previously removed.
19. Reinstall the upper left-hand side fairing.
20. Reinstall the left-hand side conveyor.
The replacement plugs that you purchase will in most instances be gapped correctly and ready for installation. However, you should always check the gap before installation. An inexpensive spark plug gapping tool or a set of feeler gauges will help you accurately verify/set the gap (refer to Figure 2).
The OEM spark plugs installed on the 1199 Panigale are manufactured by NGK, Type: MAR9A-J. Referring to the numerical portion of the spark plug type... the higher the number, the colder the plug.
Last edited by Khmer1199; April 10th, 2016 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Additional Image Added
|April 7th, 2016, 04:28 AM||#3|
Join Date: Sep 2013
|April 7th, 2016, 05:54 AM||#4|
You should do a valve cover gasket R&R post. The more information we can share with one another, the better. Chances are, the more proficient you become with regards to servicing your bike the less likely you'll ever want a service center to touch it again.
|September 14th, 2016, 06:00 AM||#6|
Sorry, I neglected to mention that the 14mm deep well socket used to remove and install the spark plugs has to be shaved in order to reach down to the plug. I trimmed mine down to size with a hand grinder.
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