Often the simple things as stated by BMW which makes them really simple are not as simple if:
#1. You do not have previous experience (Novice or little experience)
#2. All the tools [BMW are really shit and kinky about their own tools and sizing(unique)]
#3. Creative mindset to get around them or forget about it.
Surely, that there are endless blogs available on how-to but this one is for my own keep and anyone else who is to do this for the first time or repeat looking at nitty gritty.
My G650 XCo was acquired some 5years back and since then barely much was ever done, but was ridden for a good while and about 15000kms in between those 5 years until now.
Previous owner history, was through the service book as it seems all BMW services done were on intervals but something not quite right. Perhaps the bike has been sat too long between its active usage. I will write down the other issues as encountered in a another thread.
This was not purely an activity for Spark Plugs change but more to do with Cam Tensioner change, that is covered here in this blog. I decided to keep a track of this for only spark plugs replacement.
So to start with as little and as much, please note that following tools are needed:
- 18mm Spark plug socket (I somehow believed it was in my kit, but wasn’t) – check yours + a long deep arm to reach the Spark plugs. [Alternative to buy or an another cheaper option would be this]
- Special R-ring breaker tool (I hate those BMW hose clamps, extremely unpractical, so get them to normal screw driver hose clamps, found everywhere in a hardware shop). Take a note that once these clamps have been removed, you cannot re-use them. These R-rings are an extremely stupid idea by BMW!
- Coil Remover (I did not have this tool, but used a normal adjustable wrench for a coil undoing. You can order one from here or use the way I used the wrench to pull it out.
- Main stand or getting bike to be stable while you work on, is not a necessity but an extreme help. So anything would do that holds it in place.
Access to the Spark Plugs:
- Remove the plastic panels on the left, right, center [This is an easier bit, with an hex key, should be [10mins], you need smaller hex key to remove the front two top hex nuts on top of the radiator, holding the main plastic component] – In total, 8 bigger hex nuts, and 2 smaller hex nuts. (one of the small hex nuts, can be left in main tank tank part holding the small plastic part – the one above the radiator, loosen it up to just slide out easily.)
- Removing the Battery. [About 5mins, careful if your battery is stuck and need extra force, ensure the bike is well in its position] Remove from the terminal connections. You need to remove the battery as it sits in the air box chamber basket.
- Undoing the air temperature connector sensor wire on the let side.[2mins] You may need a nose plier to pull that clip out on the sensor and then it just slides out easily. Pull out the complete metal clip.
- Remove the relays mounted on the rubber mounts hanging from the airbox[2mins]. Easily done.
- Breather hose [5mins] . Additionally, when removing it may not be possible to keep the breather hose in its place and harder to get it back in easily. I cut the cable ties on this breather hose and removed it from the right bottom front corner. Easier to let it slide down next time when redoing to reverse the process.
- Remove the air box chamber [About 10mins, two hex nuts on the main front fork frame and two on the base near the seat]
Note: The front two nuts are different sizes, good to know from the beginning so you won’t hassle up like me in the end.
- Lifting up the complete airbox that connects to throttle body[2-3mins]. There was little struggle to pull it apart but is normal as long as all else has been followed above.
This now gives you a clear view of the top of the cylinder.
Note the positioning of the Spark plugs, this is where from all previous posts and forums I gathered this has to be in very specific position but I don’t see how or why it would make a difference. The coils are same inside and the positioning is rather to ensure that wires are in right place.
Note: The black coil is to the inner side of the engine and the grey one on the outer towards the frame.
Pulling out the coils, BMW reprom says, use special tool(as mentioned above) but after trying to be careful and without a tool, it was rather the case, of carefully pulling out the coils with the adjustable wrench
User an extra cloth in the mouth holding the top of the coil to ensure this is not too hard but was fine to get the coils pulled out.
You now have the full view of the spark plugs accessibility. Should be easier and simple but take a note of the tools and alternatives as may not always be the case, you have them all.
It so happens that my friend who offered me all his tools and garage, didn’t have an 18mm socket so it was going not so well, but then there was somewhere in the old heap of tools, he found a worn out 18mm which required an extra work but now, I know I have to buy a 18mm spark plug socket. Just a self note!
Coming to finally, the spark plugs.
I got the Iridium spark plugs to replace the old NGK one. It was in a pretty bad shape as the previous owner possibly didn’t take care of it or they seemingly have never been replaced before (I would say so looking at them)!!
You need to have a long enough arm on your socket to get down to the spark plugs. Just a caution if you have old traditional 18mm, it may not be enough on its own without a long arm going down.
Another pointer that surprised me was that the new NGK Iridium plugs didn’t have that round metal cap on its end but threads. So I was glad that my friend had them on his other spare spark plugs, these caps but I am suprised these ones didn’t come with these caps and my old spark plug was a fixed one, that means, when the old cap was tried to be removed, it break the whole long metal inside and these are not replaceable from all old spark plugs if you don’t have them.
Better to be aware than to be sorry when working on this “Simple” task! not that as I thought it looked in the Reprom, hey 10mins jobby, no please do not count on what the reprom tells, it looks very simple but NOT!!
Once you have had everything out, this would be a reverse process on its own to get back everything in order.
In my case, I was going for two more additional items, first one being easier to do – cleaning up idle actuator, while the other one, cam tensioner replacement was going to be fun! You can follow my next write up on that one.
Spark plugs – I found a cheaper discount going on spark plugs, so I was of the notion to buy an extra pair right now. So, I had to check if I can just buy and keep them for future use. I found out this is fairly possible to keep the spark plugs and they will remain the way they are without any issues. Feel free to store them in a dry place, if you may be wondering this works good. Yes, they have long storage life when stored in a dry place and the needle is kept secured, best to leave them in the original packaging.
Tightening torques 0164 – G 650 Xcountry
12 12 011 Renewing all spark plugs +12 12 513
Spark plugs Tightening torque Value 23 Nm