Author Topic: Recent Coolant Change Process  (Read 4189 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline oldmots

  • Bicycle
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 11026
  • Membership Level: Expired - Expired Term
Recent Coolant Change Process
« on: February 07, 2013, 01:38:33 pm »
Having noticed that I had gone beyond the 3 year coolant change time, I decided to get on with it.
I got 4 qts of Coolanol at the Dealer which is premixed. This stuff is a light green color.
I removed the windshield and then the upper right black plastic panel on the cowling and the rubber intake tube above the radiator cap so I could get to it and see the coolant level in the radiator.
I then removed the same black plastic panel on the left cowling, then the deflector on the face of the left vent cowling, the glove box on the gas tank, the left vent cowling and the lower cowling to get to the water pump. Remove the radiator cap and get a flex funnel with a long tube for transmission refills to get the fluid to the radiator. Remove the 10mm drain bolt on the lower side of the water pump, draining the system into a pan. It comes out hard so be ready and don't lose the copper washer on the drain bolt..Reinstall the drain bolt.  I used a fluid pump to empty the overflow tank.
Fill the overflow tank to the full mark, fill the radiator to the top and start the engine. Watch the coolant level and add when it drops upon thermostat opening, run the motor until the fans start and then watch closely until bubbles STOP coming up in the coolant. This is important, you need to get ALL the air out.
Fill the radiator to the top and put the cap on. Stop the engine and let it cool completely. Fill the overflow to full and close the overflow bottle.
Run the bike until the fans start, watching for overheating. Let it cool fully once more to be sure the overflow bottle level is okay. You are done. Keep an eye on the overflow to be sure the level stays between low and full.
You're done, put the parts back on.
2009 Concours 14
1967 Velocette Venom Thruxton
1965 BMW R69S
1989 Honda GB500TT

Offline Big-Al

  • Scooter
  • ***
  • Posts: 261
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 07:16:03 pm »
Having noticed that I had gone beyond the 3 year coolant change time, I decided to get on with it.
I got 4 qts of Coolanol at the Dealer which is premixed. This stuff is a light green color.
I removed the windshield and then the upper right black plastic panel on the cowling and the rubber intake tube above the radiator cap so I could get to it and see the coolant level in the radiator.
I then removed the same black plastic panel on the left cowling, then the deflector on the face of the left vent cowling, the glove box on the gas tank, the left vent cowling and the lower cowling to get to the water pump. Remove the radiator cap and get a flex funnel with a long tube for transmission refills to get the fluid to the radiator. Remove the 10mm drain bolt on the lower side of the water pump, draining the system into a pan. It comes out hard so be ready and don't lose the copper washer on the drain bolt..Reinstall the drain bolt.  I used a fluid pump to empty the overflow tank.
Fill the overflow tank to the full mark, fill the radiator to the top and start the engine. Watch the coolant level and add when it drops upon thermostat opening, run the motor until the fans start and then watch closely until bubbles STOP coming up in the coolant. This is important, you need to get ALL the air out.
Fill the radiator to the top and put the cap on. Stop the engine and let it cool completely. Fill the overflow to full and close the overflow bottle.
Run the bike until the fans start, watching for overheating. Let it cool fully once more to be sure the overflow bottle level is okay. You are done. Keep an eye on the overflow to be sure the level stays between low and full.
You're done, put the parts back on.

A more difficult process than I would have thought. Thank you for the explaining the procedure. I guess more fun for me in the future.
2012 Kawasaki Concours (Arabian Red) (1400cc)
2008 BMW K1200GT (1200cc)
2004 BMW K1200GT (1200cc)
1998 BMW K1200RS (1200cc)
1991 BMW K1 (1000cc)
1986 BMW K100 LT (1000cc)
1980 BMW R100 RT (1000cc)
1975 BMW R90/6 (900cc)
1972 BSA Lightning (750cc)
1970 Norton Commando (750cc)
1969 Triumph Bonneville (650cc)
1968 Harley Davidson Sprint (250cc)
1967 Honda Super Hawk (305cc)
1967 Honda Cub (65cc)

Offline oldmots

  • Bicycle
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 11026
  • Membership Level: Expired - Expired Term
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 07:45:42 pm »
It is pretty involved just to change coolant! I wasn't too happy when I saw what was involved either. But looking at a plug change or valve adjust, that's just ridiculous. I posted this because there are some shortuctus in this process that make it slightly quicker than the standard way!
2009 Concours 14
1967 Velocette Venom Thruxton
1965 BMW R69S
1989 Honda GB500TT

Offline TimR

  • Global Moderator
  • Iron Butt
  • ***
  • Posts: 3124
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 9032
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 09:22:30 am »
Did you flush the system per the book or just dump and change coolant?
Blue 1975 Z1B 900, Red 09 C14     I might not be perfect but at least I don't ride a Suzuki

Offline oldmots

  • Bicycle
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 11026
  • Membership Level: Expired - Expired Term
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 02:30:41 pm »
I never, ever flush a cooling system, I change them before they get corroded and that means flushing is not needed. The act of flushing with chemicals has damaged way more cooling systems than it has helped, and if it's flushed with water, it does no good if you are refilling with the same type coolant (which you should be), you might as well just refill with coolant. If the coolant is changed every three years or so and the same stuff is put back in, flushing is a waste of time. You know if it needs work if you look in the radiator and there is corrossion. Then you will need to do something.
2009 Concours 14
1967 Velocette Venom Thruxton
1965 BMW R69S
1989 Honda GB500TT

Offline TimR

  • Global Moderator
  • Iron Butt
  • ***
  • Posts: 3124
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 9032
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 01:30:23 am »
I was just asking because the book does state to flush the system when doing a anti freeze change. Nice thing about doing our own work it allows us to do as we please. I was also asking because I'm going to be doing the same when we get a few degrees higher in temp.
Blue 1975 Z1B 900, Red 09 C14     I might not be perfect but at least I don't ride a Suzuki

Offline oldmots

  • Bicycle
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 11026
  • Membership Level: Expired - Expired Term
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 06:48:27 pm »
If the system is in bad shape, or you are changing coolant types, all the old needs to get out of there and flushing is a good idea.  If there is corrosion, a chemical flush will help some to get the loose crud out so it doesn't block the passages. When using chemicals, it is very hard to get them all out though, and they can be worse than the corrosion if left in there.
2009 Concours 14
1967 Velocette Venom Thruxton
1965 BMW R69S
1989 Honda GB500TT

Offline TimR

  • Global Moderator
  • Iron Butt
  • ***
  • Posts: 3124
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 9032
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 12:17:19 am »
Maybe this is why you flush twice with fresh water after the chemical flush. Repeat if needed.
Blue 1975 Z1B 900, Red 09 C14     I might not be perfect but at least I don't ride a Suzuki

Offline Tundra Tom

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 562
  • XLR8
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 8925
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2013, 02:59:36 pm »
Great write up on the Coolant changing process Oldmots  :great:
At just about 50,000 miles on my '08 I thought I would take care of this also.
A couple of added thoughts. When emptying the system having the cycle on the side stand gets more of the old coolant out. Also using the side stand when filling the radiator puts the fill neck at the highest point of the system allowing more air to escape the horizontal tubes in the radiator. I filled the rad. to just below the neck and started the motor till it the coolant rose to the edge then shut off the motor bringing a large burp of air to the top. Cycling the motor several times like this purged the system well. Carefully rocking the C-14 helps too. After capping the rad and running the motor (on the center stand) till the fans cycled a couple times then checking after complete cool down had the overflow res. lowered about a inch.
I dumped the old coolant plus the overflow jug into a clean, white 1 gallon milk jug and found zero sediment, no need for flushing.
2 - two quart jugs of pre-mix coolant is more than enough to do the job.

While you have the various fairing panels off check all 8 hose clamps on the four coolant hoses (6mm socket). I found two that were VERY loose. One behind the #1 cylinder pipe from the motor to the coolant pump and the lowest clamp from the small hose traveling from the right side of the C-14.
Good wrenching !
"When my time has come I'd rather be in the Saddle then the Recliner"
1974 Kawasaki H-1 500
1975 Norton 850 Commando
2013 BMW GS 650 Sertao
2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250 Yes, I ride all four of them.

Offline Roger M.

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1108
    • www.ratcycles.com
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 8867
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2013, 03:20:24 pm »
Good info!!!  :great: I gotta do this.  :-[


AMA#2993745

Now servicing all bikes. www.ratcycles.com

Offline TimR

  • Global Moderator
  • Iron Butt
  • ***
  • Posts: 3124
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 9032
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2013, 03:23:22 pm »
When I changed mine, I had the Drain bolt just loose enough to dribble coolant. I should have walked away and let it do it's thing and not make a mess. But oh no, I had to make it dribble faster. AS soon as I touched the drain bolt, it completely came out. I was not prepared for the stream of anti freeze resulting from a removed drain bolt. So much for not making a mess and I needed a change of clothes. The anti freeze shoots out a couple of feet so be ready.
Blue 1975 Z1B 900, Red 09 C14     I might not be perfect but at least I don't ride a Suzuki

Offline Stlheadake

  • Bicycle
  • *
  • Posts: 100
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 9142
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2013, 07:31:09 pm »
Tim this made me laugh out loud!  Alas, I'm not the only one!!!!  I have done this SO many times, what's worse? I work so hard at not making a mess.  Get right to the point where I have things moving even if it IS slowly.  I tell myself "go get a beer, come back in a bit" but no, just one little bit more WHOOOSH!!  My BMW was exactly the same way! 

I'm laughing with you!  I'm going to do mine this summer too!  I'm sure I'll make a mess AGAIN!

When I changed mine, I had the Drain bolt just loose enough to dribble coolant. I should have walked away and let it do it's thing and not make a mess. But oh no, I had to make it dribble faster. AS soon as I touched the drain bolt, it completely came out. I was not prepared for the stream of anti freeze resulting from a removed drain bolt. So much for not making a mess and I needed a change of clothes. The anti freeze shoots out a couple of feet so be ready.

Offline TimR

  • Global Moderator
  • Iron Butt
  • ***
  • Posts: 3124
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 9032
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2013, 08:05:51 pm »
Scott, there is another thing I should have figured out. The parts break down shows a "gasket" for the drain bolt. So I delayed until I could get a couple on the shelf. The gasket is a copper washer. I did not reuse the old one but there is a good chance I could have with little problem.

I'm glad you enjoyed my experience with the drain bolt. Next time I'll leave it alone.  ;)
Blue 1975 Z1B 900, Red 09 C14     I might not be perfect but at least I don't ride a Suzuki

Offline Tundra Tom

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 562
  • XLR8
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 8925
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 11:38:00 am »
I removed the bolt with the rad. cap sitting loose on the fill neck and had the same impatient reaction.
Took the cap off but had a large funnel in front of and below the drain into the milk jug. Of course since there was a large plastic tray under it all there wasn't going to be a mess.  I spilled more filling the fresh coolant.  ;D
"When my time has come I'd rather be in the Saddle then the Recliner"
1974 Kawasaki H-1 500
1975 Norton 850 Commando
2013 BMW GS 650 Sertao
2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250 Yes, I ride all four of them.

Offline oldmots

  • Bicycle
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 11026
  • Membership Level: Expired - Expired Term
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2013, 04:45:47 pm »
There is no way not to make a mess doing this. When the rad cap is off with the engine running, the coolant will expand and go all over the floor, that's how you know its full and the air is bubblng out. I have never tried to stop this. I just hose it off the floor and the bike after.
2009 Concours 14
1967 Velocette Venom Thruxton
1965 BMW R69S
1989 Honda GB500TT

Offline Mad River Marc

  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2277
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 8442
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2013, 10:31:34 am »
Good write up,  this is pretty much what I do too :)  Few notes...

When I fill the radiator, I make sure to fill it VERY SLOWLY,  this reduces the amount of air bubbles in the system that have to work out.

I don't really watch for ALL the little bubbles out,  I usually just top it off when the thermostat opens and let it run for 2 fan cycles.  Small bubbles are not a big deal and will work themselves out while riding, it's the big pockets of air you need to get rid of, those can cause the water pump to cavitate.   I don't let it cool then run it again... I just watch the level in the overflow bottle the first time I ride :) 

YMMV :)
You only need two tools in life – WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn’t move and does, use the duct tape.

Offline LURCH

  • Tricycle
  • Posts: 36
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: 12329
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2017, 07:31:49 pm »
An under bed storage contain on wheels is your best friend

Offline Deepsea

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 702
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: 10376
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2017, 12:49:48 am »
One additional step I've taken when changing coolant is to draw a vacuum on the radiator while running the engine and after shutting it off. It's amazing how much additional air comes out. I do the same thing after flushing the brakes and clutch. Drawing a vacuum on the master cylinders will remove any micro bubbles from the system.
BSA Gold Star, Norton Commando, Moto Guzzi V-7 Sport, Norton Commando, John Player Norton, BMW R90S, Kawasaki Z-1 and Z-1R , Honda CB-650, C-14
El Mirage Record Holder A-BG 3000cc 11/83 184.049 mph  CDA#0438
(twin engine, twin turbo, Z-1)
Retired Navy Saturation Diver

Offline flashback50

  • Scooter
  • ***
  • Posts: 263
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2017, 01:35:05 pm »
If you flush the system it will be very hard to get 50/50 mix again, unless you flush with 50/50.

Offline khager01

  • Training Wheels
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Recent Coolant Change Process
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2017, 03:39:04 pm »
A couple of added thoughts. When emptying the system having the cycle on the side stand gets more of the old coolant out. Also using the side stand when filling the radiator puts the fill neck at the highest point of the system allowing more air to escape the horizontal tubes in the radiator.

I do this also on my V-Strom,  on the side stand, fill slowly and never had a problem.  I have not done the Connie yet but was wondering if it would be better to do it on the driveway since I have a pretty good uphill slope, the radiator would be higher than the engine, put on the sidestand and it would be even higher still!  Bonus points,  I can hose down my driveway a lot easier than I can clean the garage floor. :dance:
2017 Concours 14
2012 V-Strom 650