Roady and Olered67 requested I post a couple of how-tos here so here goes. There will be a bit more detail in these than my resto post.
I was shocked (literally
) by the condition of the spark plug wires on my girlfriends '82 GL1100I. Besides leaking electrons everywhere, they were as stiff as a clothes hanger. I tested all four spark plug caps as well, and all four failed. The coils tested fine. I decided to replace the wires on the bike, and set off to get copper core wire at a local auto parts place.
What is the world coming to? Not a single place carried copper core wire!
I remember when you could buy it by the foot from a spool...OK, enough reminiscing. One place recommended I get it from the Internet, so I did.
I bought new NGK caps, spark plugs (current set were the wrong heat range), and a set of 7 mm black copper core ignition wires. These items can all be bought from Crescent Moon. When the parts arrived, I removed the coils from the bike. This allowed for easy disassembly and cleaning. I then removed the ignition wires from the coils.
I decided to remove the original sleeving and wire numbers (if still there), and place them on the new wires. To remove the sleeving and wire numbers, I slicked them up with brake parts cleaner. This stuff is great, it makes the wire very slippery, but leaves no residue. I placed the hose from the can under the edge of the sleeving to get them lubricated, but that was not required on the numbers. They all came off easily.
When I was finished, I had one wire number each for wires 1, 2 and 3, and both for number 4. The others had long since disappeared. I also had the sleeving for all four wires.
Next I took a new ignition wire, cut the end cap off, and started working the sleeving and wire number back on. Use brake parts cleaner again to lube everything, but it will not be as easy as the removal. Patience wins out.
After the sleeving and wire number(s) are put on, the spark plug cap and coil cap assembly completes one wire. Repeat three more times. The spark plug caps screw firmly on to the end of the wire, don't forget to put the dust boot on first. The coil cap assembly consists of the plastic nut, a seal, and a washer. If they are in bad shape or anything is missing, replace them (also available from Crescent Moon).
The completed set, with boots. If you do not like how the boots fit around the raised "NGK" you can grind this off, or you can remove the resistors from the NGK caps and place them in the OEM caps (if they are in good shape). I did not worry about the letters, I have had the same caps on my GL1000 for over 20,000 miles with no problems.
Finishing touches were to clean all the contacts and connections (including the ground at the coils mount), greasing all of the contacts with dielectric grease (except the ignition wire connections), and testing the ballast resistor. I then put the coils back in, and hooked everything up. She did idle smoother once this was completed, and an annoying erratic exhaust "pop" went away.