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Old 05-15-2014, 02:22 PM   #1
I_am_10_ninjas
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Default One plug too rich shovelhead

So I pulled my plugs on my 1980 fxwg shovelhead the other day because it breaking up a little when you'd whack the throttle and farting through the carb when you'd kickstart. I found a nicely tanned plug in the front cylinder, but a VERY black plug in the rear? Soooo....how does that work? I'm running a single S&S Super E on pretty close to default tuning. I assume if there was an intake leak I'd have a lean plug not a rich one, no? Any ideas how one cylinder would be running so rich?
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

Pick one.

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Old 05-15-2014, 02:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

Oh man. I dunno. Always so hard to tell from these pictures. It was damn black. maybe the carbon fouled one?
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

Leaky valve guide/seal?
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

A leak with rich carb could cause that ,valve adjustment?
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Old 05-16-2014, 03:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

I'd clean'm both and switch'm or try a new set and see if it still does it before I'd start messing with it,could be it just got fouled a bit.....cheap an easy first,
good luck,
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

I like Mike's suggestion. Makes sense to check it, damn good thinking mike.
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

bad plug, plug wire, or connection will do that. swap and test. repeat. I bet the carb is fine.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

Pull air cleaner off so you can see into carb and intake. Watch stream of fuel shooting put of accelerator pump nozzle. it should be shooting about 1/4"-1/2" in front of where inner intake manifold forms the "V". Why you ask? Inertia...that fuel will go into the rear intake tract as the bike moves forward and the fuel doesn't. Just have to tweek the nozzle forward a hair. Of course thats assuming everything else is correct.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

I'd look at the spark, spark plug wires and coil. A dark rich spark plug can be caused by a weak spark. Take the spark plug out and check to see how the spark looks and if it's travelling from the centre electrode to the ground electrode and not out to the side. I've had new spark plugs where the spark does this. Apparently there are some fake spark plugs on the market. The spark might look good and blue but it has to travel correctly. Try a different coil and wires if you have one but I'd start with the above first.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

Fake spark plugs?
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

ain't china wonderful

http://www.ngk-sparkplugs.jp/english/techinfo/fake/

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Old 05-18-2014, 01:26 PM   #13
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

Didn't we have this discussion recently? It was at length too I'm memory serves.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:47 AM   #14
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

Leaky valve guide....
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:12 AM   #15
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

.......something very familiar about this thread.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:20 AM   #16
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Default Re: One plug too rich shovelhead

yep..sure is familiar!!!
I've already PMd 10ninjas to see if he sorted his problem out..and what was it
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