honda shadow 600 vlx how to: replacing spark plugs

honda shadow 600 vlx replacing spark plugs: I was attempting for quite some time to figure out what was wrong with this damn bike for close to three months. It would attempt to start – run for a second or two then just quite on me. So after changing the battery, and the fuel pump, we determined that we should look into the spark plugs.


Thank goodness we did. Two of the four were completely black old and crusty. So then the task of trying to find out what specific tool I needed to replace my spark plugs. The rear right and front left ones seem a little deeper down and at a slight angle. Both of these plugs caused such an issue due to the fact that the socket we bought from Honda was not going to fit into the odd location without making a few modifications.

So not only my regular 18mm deep socket not reach the plugs. I had to purchase “Motion Pro 18mm Spark Plug Socket Wrench

  • Originally designed for Honda XR400s as a trail tool but fits many models with 18mm plugs
  • The thin wall socket is designed to fit into the plug cavity
  • Can be driven with 3/8in. ratchet, Motion Pro Ratchet spark plug wrench, 13/16in. wrench, tool kit bar or phillips screwdriver

purchased this socket for $22.95 off some website and unfortunately it didn’t work, this socket was too long for this Honda Shadow.

Luckily I have a 3/8 ratchet set, with “Wobble’ Angle Extension Bar Set – 1/4, 3/8 & 1/2-Inch
” but the manual asks for a spark plug tool specifically and every socket I tried to fit around my spark plugs seemed to slip or did not have enough room to drop down low enough in spark plug cavity to securely spin spark plug.

After running around and searching for any advice from friends or shops I determined I would use a Craftsman 18mm Easy-To-Read Spark Plug Socket, 3/8 in. drive” to replace my plugs.

Note: In order for this to Spark plug socket to work, my husband had to grind it a bit on top and sides to fit. (Thinned the walls around end of the Craftsman 18mm socket) So regardless of the appearance, which made us believe it would be perfect – it was not and required additional assistance in order to fit perfectly. (It WORKED) Socket dropped down low enough in Hondas spark plug cavity that eventually grabbed the spark plugs and turned them out.

So if you look at the task through the photos you will see that the whole procedure was not that bad – just getting the parts and finding out how to make them all work together was the true puzzler

So in conclusion: For this bike i tried recommended and didnt work for me but did a little modifying of a common Craftman 18mm socket and was able to do my spark plug job without it costing me an arm and a leg.

Hope this helps some one out there.

Added this video I found on youtube about

Honda Shadow VT600, 1988-2009 (Haynes Service & Repair Manual)

Inside this manual you will find routine maintenance, tune-up procedures, engine repair, cooling and heating, air conditioning, fuel and exhaust, emissions control, ignition, brakes, suspension and steering, electrical systems, and wiring diagrams.

List Price: $ 45.45

Price: $ 23.90

NGK (2202) DPR8EIX-9 Iridium IX Spark Plug, Pack of 1

NGK (2202) DPR8EIX-9 Iridium IX Spark Plug, Pack of 1

  • You can depend on NGK for quality and reliability
  • Constructed from durable material
  • Fine Iridium tip ensures high durability
  • Features superior anti-corrosion and anti-seizing properties
  • Iridium alloy has extremely high melting point, perfect for today’s high-tech, high-performance engines

NGK Laser Iridium Spark Plug is manufactured to provide superior ignitability. It is constructed from durable material that is corrosion and abrasion resistant. This spark plug features smallest tip diameter. The iridium, platinum surfaces ensure slow wear rate providing stable idle, superior anti fouling, improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions. It ensures longevity and can be easily installed.

List Price: $ 11.88

Price: $ 6.99