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mopedgirl
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:34 pm  Reply with quote
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Anybody wanna talk dirty sparkplugs?

I'm pretty new to my vespa, and and a very basic understanding of how it works, but wish I knew more. I come up with lots of dumb questions to think about but don't usually get around to figuring them out.

So, I've ended up changing my sparkplug every 300 miles since I got my bike. It just seems to get harder to kickstart, and then I curse a lot, and its embarrassing (I work around little kids--swearing isn't allowed.) What is the recommended milage per plug?

I do have a manual but its wandered off, and I can't seem to find it.

If anyone doesn't mind sharing their knowledge i'd be grateful, otherwise sorry for the babble.

Amy Noel

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nate
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:45 pm  Reply with quote
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There's different camps on the sparkplug issue.

One thought is that changing sparkplugs very frequently (300 miles or less, in some cases) is a good way to keep things 'in top form'.

The other (correct) thought is that if your plug is fouled after a mere 300 miles, there's something not right in your bike. I usually don't change my plug during the course of a season. (of course, being a vintage 'rider', I only put on 2 miles a year, ha ha) If the plug is that dirty, then the Air/fuel mixture isn't right, you're adding too much oil in the premix, jetted incorrectly, or something similar.

Tuning the carb properly is kind of an art, and I don't profess to be any good at it. When you change your plugs, If the inner core is a nice toasted marshmallow brown and the electrode looks relatively clean, you're in good shape.

If it's wet and filthy black, adjustments need to be made.

Dialing in your carb requires that you take into account the carb size, the cylinder size, and the exhaust (stock/performance, etc). Then you can buy the right jets to suit the environment, and then you can use the air screw in back to dial in the proper mix.

You can look through the haynes manual which explains the dialing in process, or just get somebody to help you with it, as that's one of those black arts I'll just defer to a real mechanic on.

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chris
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:53 pm  Reply with quote
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Honestly if your changing your plug that much it's a waste. I change my plugs only when I rebuild an engine cause I'm a cheap bastard but I would say your problem is that your running rich and fouling the plugs. Check your mix and your jeting, or maybe I'm wrong.

Chris

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Brooke
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:17 pm  Reply with quote
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if it's running well and fouling I'd bet it's not jetting. It's probably got a bad clutch side seal.
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Spikehead
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:58 pm  Reply with quote
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Data point: I get years/thousands of miles on the plugs in my P200's. Have never had a fouling problem or "needed" to change plugs due to a running problem.
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chris
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:08 pm  Reply with quote
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Brooke wrote:
if it's running well and fouling I'd bet it's not jetting. It's probably got a bad clutch side seal.


YES! That was going to be my second guess.

Chris

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Brooke
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:03 am  Reply with quote
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did you find the glass and harness? I called but no answer so I just went in the garage. I put one wrench in my pants before I left and then put it back on the bench. It's up to you to figure out which one.
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mopedgirl
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:27 am  Reply with quote
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Thanks for all the info. I kind of thought that something was probably amiss, and it sounds like I need to find my manual and learn some stuff.

I really appreciate the help, and I promise I'll actually read up on questions better before i post them from here on.

Amy Noel

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Kevin K
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:11 am  Reply with quote
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Brooke wrote:
did you find the glass and harness? I called but no answer so I just went in the garage. I put one wrench in my pants before I left and then put it back on the bench. It's up to you to figure out which one.

You Dirty Sanchez'd the wrench?!

Amy--I have a P manual you can look at if you can't find yours.
-K

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nate
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:11 pm  Reply with quote
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you mechanic types, all able to diagnose a problem just from accurately interpreting the symptoms. That's why I don't work on 'em.
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mopedgirl
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:11 pm  Reply with quote
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Quote:
Amy--I have a P manual you can look at if you can't find yours.


Amazingly enough, all it took was asking the almost 3 year old if she knew where it was. I was halfway through "Have you seen mommy's red book with the scooter on the front?" when it appeared at the bottom of a pile of shite I was looking through.

I appreciate the offer, though.

The plugs were pretty block all around except the middle, and there even appears to be some sort of gunk around part of the outside edge. It looks to me like too much oil.

I've been contemplating the fuel oil mixture adjustment, although Haynes says there are like five things to rule out first and i think I've only done two of them.

It will be an adventure. . .

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