substance on spark plugs - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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substance on spark plugs

Ok guys, I might have a problem.
My 2009 Versys has 12,000 miles and I just replaced the sparkplugs.
I noticed the one that came from the right side of the block had this dark gooey liquidy stuff on the threads, but not on the tip. I havent noticed any oil burning, or any issues with performance at all.

Any ideas as to what this stuff is? I'm hoping its just anti sieze compound left over... but not sure.

Any thoughts are welcomed.

PS... Oh since the plug change it runs like a new engine, very smooth and full of pep!
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 03:30 PM
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My guess would be oil. It's gooey because of the heat and it is thickening. But, that's just my guess based on what I've seen before.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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If it is oil, am I looking at bad rings? kinda strange with the low mileage..

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 06:06 PM
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Since you changed the plugs, I'd wait to see if it happens again. I would check them after maybe 1000 miles. Maybe it was oil from assembly or transport before you bought the bike. Your new plugs might come out clean. A compression check would let you know if you have a problem with the valves or rings. Oil could come into the cylinder either way. I wouldn't fret much at the moment. I would guess you're not seeing smoke when you start up. If you are, then I would definitely do the compression check. I'm sure you've changed oil at least 2x by now. If the crankcase was overfilled, then it might lead to oil getting in even if your rings are good. All things to consider.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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You just reminded me, when I changed the oil a few months ago I did over fill it a bit. But I changed the oil this weekend while doing the tune-up and put in the correct amount of oil this time.

Thanks for your help, sometimes you just need a memory jog to find the answer.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 08:17 PM
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It's not related to oil level. There is no anti-seize compound on original spark plugs, which shouldn't be used anyway.
That would just be from a slight combustion chamber leak up in the spark plug's threads from a not perfectly sealed spark plug gasket... Was it easier to loosen compared to the other one? Was it a bit dirty up higher on the spark plug or on the stick coil as well?
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAkawa View Post
If it is oil, am I looking at bad rings? kinda strange with the low mileage..
From looking at your plugs - I'd be surprised if it wasn't oil that migrated DOWN the threads for whatever reason.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 08:02 AM
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burnt oil on spark plug threads


+2 on what invader says.........
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 08:38 PM
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Gakawa, do you use a lot of engine braking? The scavenging effect from your 2 into 1 exhaust will draw oil past the rings which is normal and maybe the plug wasn't properly tightened.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 09:17 PM
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Looks like residue of high temperature exposed oil. Like to say that the oil went past the seals from the engine cover and find its way via the recessed bore of the plugs but the top clean threads doesn't suggest this is happening.

Are you losing oil when you ride and need to top up? Could you upclose the pics on the electrodes, focusing more onto the ceramics that holds the electrode? Like to see the condition of the ceramics.

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 09:18 PM
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It was being pushed up from the high pressures in combustion chamber, and didn't leak down from an upper valve cover oil leak... Both your spark plugs are in fact very dark and sooty compared to my original ones at the same mileage. Apart from some possible oil burning from Blipco's noted scenario or for some other reason, you might be running richer from a dirty or over-oiled air filter... How much excess oil was in the engine?

Here's my original plug on the right as it was when removed at 12500 Kms:
(ignore the added thinned gasket I had used to index it)


Last edited by invader; 02-27-2012 at 12:14 AM.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 09:25 PM
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Invader, your right side plugs appears to be running very lean. Ceramic looks too 'clean' Did you experience any engine pings?

My recent check on my car's plugs shows the same lean condition. Engine was pinging under load. Checked all vacuum hoses and all possible leaks entry point but all is in order. Finally, theorized that it is carbon deposits on the intake valves 'absorbing' portions of the fuel vapour and causing the lean condition. In goes with a fresh tank of fuel, a ABRO fuel system cleaner. After 550km of driving with that special concoction, the pinging went away, power is back, and so is the smile on the face. Then I cleaned up my K&N air filter (never clean since day 1, and have used for 80 km), reoiled, car sets into pinging again under load but within a couple of days, the ECU relearned and is now back to smiling again.

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 09:49 PM
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No, my plugs show a perfect beige color, and the outer ridge is black. It is well tuned and maintained, and runs flawlessly... They also achieve a good self-cleaning temperature.


Last edited by invader; 02-26-2012 at 09:51 PM.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help, I'm going to check them again in 3000 miles, when I do the valve inspection. It is concerning even though the bike runs perfectly, with no "blue smoke" or any signs of a problem.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 11:15 AM
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You never mentioned your riding style. Also, what grade fuel do you use? These bikes take 87.
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Riding style, very conservative, very little engine breaking, and 87 octane only.

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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:43 PM
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Hmmm, and those are the original OEM plugs?
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
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Riding style, very conservative, very little engine breaking, and 87 octane only.
Uck.
How did you break in your engine? If you were too careful, you might now have ill-seated rings, which allows oil into the combustion chamber.
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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When I bought the bike last year it had 1600 miles on It. Not sure how the previous owner treated the breaking period. As far as I know those are the original OEM plugs.. I don't like the idea of Having an internal oil leak... Getting kinda bummed out..lol

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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 09:33 PM
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You'll see if your oil level even goes down at all over more mileage. It's probably fine. I haven't heard of anyone burning any noticeable amount of oil from blow-by at piston rings, no matter how it was broken-in, and even at high mileage, and I don't think it'd be leaking oil at the valve seals... Do you know how much excess oil was in it before? That could cause some aerated oil to blow out the crankcase vent into the airbox and onto the air filter. Could your air filter have been dirty or over-oiled after it was cleaned? That would make it run rich, resulting in more black carbon deposit on both spark plugs. It seeped up on one of your plug threads from a slight leak at the spark plug gasket, and it's nothing to worry about.
Have you given it a good go yet with some acceleration runs from low-mid rpm up to redline in mid gears at wide-open-throttle yet, and once in a while to blow out any carbon buildup in the piston ring grooves?

Last edited by invader; 03-03-2012 at 09:48 PM.
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