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You wouldn’t mod one cylinder and not the other. It wouldn’t be balanced. Plus, that’s a huge difference in height. You’d definitely see it on the outside. If you want to check, gently put a long screwdriver or something into the rear spark plug hole. Bring the cylinder to Top Dead Center (TDC). Make a mark at where that is on what you’re using. Then do the same thing with the front. The two marks should be the same.

Chances are, when new plugs were needed, that was all they had available, and just went with it. The spark would still ignite the mixture. It just wouldn’t be ‘optimal’.
 

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See if you notice any difference in power to the way it was before. IX is iridium, I believe? Much longer lasting, and some say they find things a bit mellower between copper, platinum and iridium… but have never tried it, myself. Spark should be spark. Glad you figured it out! …Finally. 😄😉
 
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