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Old 11-13-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
ben2go OP
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Question Motorcycle Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plug Caps

The victim Suzuki GS500E

I need to replace the plug wires and spark plug caps.I know I need 7mm wires, but what resistance should the spark plug caps be?The bike uses a standard CDI ignition.Also,where do you purchase your plug wire and caps?
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:03 PM   #2
bomber60015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben2go View Post
The victim Suzuki GS500E

I need to replace the plug wires and spark plug caps.I know I need 7mm wires, but what resistance should the spark plug caps be?The bike uses a standard CDI ignition.Also,where do you purchase your plug wire and caps?
you don't need 7mm . . . . . any diamter will work (it's mostly insulation) . . . . ..

Caps, resstance . . . . .doesn't make a great deal differnece either.

If you are wanting to make up your own set, grab the old set, and find the local hotrod shop . . . .. they'll have all sorts of high-zoot wire and caps . . . . .

and not so high zoot, which will likely work just as well for your application.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:21 PM   #3
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If you're using resistors in the wires make certain you're not also using resistor plugs.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:50 PM   #4
CycleDoc59
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Resistance can be in plug wires (carbon thread core), plug caps, and/or
the spark plugs themselves.

The primary purpose is reduction of stray electromagnetic interference;
mostly with radio-type communications... But, those stray currents can
cause backlash problems for on-board systems; CDI units, computers and
the like.

With the simple Kettering system (battery/points/coil) no resistance is needed
except for radio interference. Not so with modern no points, high output systems.

Also, resistance in plug wires depends on length and resistance per foot; change length,
change wire type, change resistance.

So, changing the original amount of ignition system resistance can cause
running problems.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:37 PM   #5
ben2go OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CycleDoc59 View Post
Resistance can be in plug wires (carbon thread core), plug caps, and/or
the spark plugs themselves.

The primary purpose is reduction of stray electromagnetic interference;
mostly with radio-type communications... But, those stray currents can
cause backlash problems for on-board systems; CDI units, computers and
the like.

With the simple Kettering system (battery/points/coil) no resistance is needed
except for radio interference. Not so with modern no points, high output systems.

Also, resistance in plug wires depends on length and resistance per foot; change length,
change wire type, change resistance.

So, changing the original amount of ignition system resistance can cause
running problems.
This is exactly what I need to know.I just don't don't know what wires and caps to use.I know that my plugs are NGK DPR8EA-9 which I believe to be non resistor type plugs.The problem I am having is an occasional back fire on the left bank and an occasional dead left cylinder.Coils check out,CDI has been swapped to a known good unit,and crank triggers have been swapped out for known good units.Oh yeah,plugs have been swapped several times for new ones.Battery and R/R has tested good.I did the relay mod to power the coils directly from the battery,and ran new grounds directly from each coil mounting post to the battery negative terminal.All connections are clean and secure.The only thing I haven't changed is the coil wires and plug caps.7mm is the largest wire that will fit down inside my coils on the screw posts.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:22 AM   #6
CycleDoc59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben2go View Post
This is exactly what I need to know.I just don't don't know what wires and caps to use.I know that my plugs are NGK DPR8EA-9 which I believe to be non resistor type plugs.The problem I am having is an occasional back fire on the left bank and an occasional dead left cylinder.Coils check out,CDI has been swapped to a known good unit,and crank triggers have been swapped out for known good units.Oh yeah,plugs have been swapped several times for new ones.Battery and R/R has tested good.I did the relay mod to power the coils directly from the battery,and ran new grounds directly from each coil mounting post to the battery negative terminal.All connections are clean and secure.The only thing I haven't changed is the coil wires and plug caps.7mm is the largest wire that will fit down inside my coils on the screw posts.
With a couple of bikes that were ignition problem children, I've connected a timing light.
Then taped the trigger down, and taped the light to the gas tank so I could see it flash
while riding the bike.... Of course you have to stop and change leads from one plug wire
to another. That pins down the grumpy cylinder. I also use a home-made spark tester
almost daily, which adjusts so I can see how strong (long) and regular each spark is.
Resistance-type plug wires can break internally if they are ancient and/or twisted all around.
Plug wire size matters little unless the coil output is super high, as used in some
very high performance hot rods/race bikes...

If you already know which cylinder misbehaves, you may be able to swap plug leads between
cylinders, or even coils/etc. If the problem moves along with the relocation..........

There are other causes of backfires. Too lean, which can be a due to vacuum leaks, partially
plugged jet or injector, valve out of adjustment or slightly burned, change of exhaust system and/or
intake systems, leaky head gasket. Vacuum leaks are common between carburetors and heads.
One recent Yamaha here popped and banged while running and when the air box was pulled back,
the carb fell off. The rubber manifolds had perished. Easy to check for vac leaks with a propane
torch (hey, not lit!)

Point is, since swapping parts is pricey, you really need to pin down what's what before maybe
buying more stuff you don't need...
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:05 AM   #7
bomber60015
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^ This . . . . . . it may not be the ignition leads at all . . . . . .
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:39 AM   #8
ben2go OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CycleDoc59 View Post
With a couple of bikes that were ignition problem children, I've connected a timing light.
Then taped the trigger down, and taped the light to the gas tank so I could see it flash
while riding the bike.... Of course you have to stop and change leads from one plug wire
to another. That pins down the grumpy cylinder. I also use a home-made spark tester
almost daily, which adjusts so I can see how strong (long) and regular each spark is.
Resistance-type plug wires can break internally if they are ancient and/or twisted all around.
Plug wire size matters little unless the coil output is super high, as used in some
very high performance hot rods/race bikes...

If you already know which cylinder misbehaves, you may be able to swap plug leads between
cylinders, or even coils/etc. If the problem moves along with the relocation..........

There are other causes of backfires. Too lean, which can be a due to vacuum leaks, partially
plugged jet or injector, valve out of adjustment or slightly burned, change of exhaust system and/or
intake systems, leaky head gasket. Vacuum leaks are common between carburetors and heads.
One recent Yamaha here popped and banged while running and when the air box was pulled back,
the carb fell off. The rubber manifolds had perished. Easy to check for vac leaks with a propane
torch (hey, not lit!)
Valves checked and in the middle range.Carbs are clean and jetted properly.New carb to head intake boots.I have a pod style filter and never had issues with it except in extremely gust (40+mph) winds.No head head gasket issues,holds compression hot or cold.

Point is, since swapping parts is pricey, you really need to pin down what's what before maybe
buying more stuff you don't need...
I had done all the maintenance on my bike and about 300 to 500 miles later,I get this.So I tear the bike down and check everything.Everything checks out.So I strip down another bike I'm working on and use all the ignition parts on mine except the coils which have mysteriously went missing.I figure $10 to $15 for new plug wires and ends on a bike built in '89 isn't to much to spend.Napa has bulk 7mm plug wire for 69c a foot.I need two.They can also get plug caps in 1k,5k,and 12k resistance.
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