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Offline Tjnoma99

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Coolant question
« on: September 04, 2017, 04:15:57 am »
So before I pulled the bike apart, I noticed the temp gauge would rise in rush hour traffic. Not  to the red line but past half way. As soon as I would start moving, the temp would drop to the half way mark. Is this normal? If not what should I look at replacing/ fixing?  The coolant level is at the cap and the reservoir is filled to the line. I don't see any leaks and there isn't any excess smoke from the exhaust.
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Offline Bob_C_CT

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 10:32:38 am »
I see you are in the SW, I imagine air temp was hot. That seems normal for summer temps if you were in stop and go traffic. If you were able to get to highway speed for a couple miles it probably should of gone down below halfway.
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Offline cra-z1000

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 11:18:24 am »
Seems everyone's opinion differs here on this but I'd call it normal . Mine has been that way for 5 years and 40000 miles . I've gone through the whole system and it's remained consistent.
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Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 12:22:29 pm »
Seems normal. I would however highly suggest changing over to a superior coolant. Engine ice is a good substitute and is a bit more environmentally friendly. I also really liked the spectro coolant. My 86 went to red sitting in traffic just here in Indiana. Moved to the spectro and never saw it again.
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Offline Tjnoma99

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 01:25:25 pm »
Good to know! I've never had a water cooled bike before, so there is a huge learning curve. Not gonna lie, when I saw the needle start to creep forward, I panicked. It never went farther than just over half way. Glad to know that's normal!  Thank you!
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Offline Grant

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2017, 01:49:12 pm »
Good to know! I've never had a water cooled bike before, so there is a huge learning curve. Not gonna lie, when I saw the needle start to creep forward, I panicked. It never went farther than just over half way. Glad to know that's normal!  Thank you!
May also be losing the cooling fan pay attention to any odd noise when the fan comes on.
If it heats up when sitting still and cools off when on the move the isn't moving air.
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Offline Mettler1

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2017, 01:51:19 pm »
   That is normal in traffic in hot weather. When you are stopped in traffic the fan will turn on to keep the engine from over heating. At home start your engine and let it idle for awhile and you will see the temp rise to about 2/3 on the temp gauge. If you let the engine idle awhile the fan will turn on and off. Use a flashlight to see the fan turn on and off.  That's a good thing!! :) :)
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Offline Tjnoma99

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 02:32:36 pm »
The fan does turn off and on! So I have that going!. But no funny noises or anything.  >:D
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Offline DC Concours

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 02:47:06 pm »
It is normal for the needle to move around. But your fan should come on at midpoint and the needle should stay below the mid point. I ride in a lot of DC traffic in summer and it never runs over midpoint too long before it is brought back down. New clean coolant in the right ratio in a cleaned/flushed radiator helps.

Offline Tjnoma99

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2017, 02:50:32 pm »
I did check my reservoir when I got home and it was empty. I filled it but haven't had a chance to check if the needle moves like it did. Probably won't be able to for another 2 weeks. Need to get my carbs cleaned so the bike is down until then!
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2017, 08:49:40 pm »
So before I pulled the bike apart, I noticed the temp gauge would rise in rush hour traffic. Not  to the red line but past half way. As soon as I would start moving, the temp would drop to the half way mark. Is this normal? If not what should I look at replacing/ fixing?  The coolant level is at the cap and the reservoir is filled to the line. I don't see any leaks and there isn't any excess smoke from the exhaust.

Ok, what year bike? How many miles?

Now, your last post states the coolant bottle was empty... when initially it was full...
Better check the radiator again, and see how much is in there now....also......

So we get to the question...."where did the coolant go?"..
If there are no visible leaks, like hoses and clamps and such, start looking at the coolant logs on the rear of the engine... ez to do when you pull the carbs to send to Steve... if there are white deposits around the ends, its a leaker....
And even moreso, look at the thermostat housing, and the tube running from it to the log... look closely at the parting line between the top and bottom of the thermo housing for any sign of dried white deposits...

When the big o ring that seals that cover turns to gooo, and they ALL do this, it will weep during usage when hot, and as the engine cools, and the liquid evaporates, it will end up dry, and not disclosed its problematic... and, you will find coolant magically dissapears rapidly, without a clue where it went..
While the carbs are off, its the perfect time to access that buried bolt that retains the down tube from the housing, disassemble it, and replace the big o ring, and also if needed the ones on the log, and base of the down tube.. do it before reinstalling the carbs, its a p.I.t.a. with them in place, and virtually impossible to do without a lot of cursing, pain, and redoing it 3 times, to get things sealed correctly... might as well replace the thermostat at that time also, as that cover is also a pain to remove with the housing in place...using an end wrench in tight quarters...

Re fill everything to insure no leaks before installing the carbs... take it from me, its not fun to redo a couple times to learn that lesson.

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Offline Tjnoma99

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2017, 08:59:46 pm »
Sorry. It la an 03 43k miles. I honestly don't know if the reservoir was full or not. I would bet that it was empty. The last owner did let it sit a while. Not sure how long. He said only a few months but I don't know if I believe that. I did open the radiator cap and there is coolant there. Plus I haven't seen any leaks but it's just been sitting. Only ride it twice before I pulled the carbs.
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2017, 10:27:11 pm »
Pull the cap off the reservoir, and stick a finger in as far as you can... if you get it wet, there's coolant, if not, add some till it touches your finger.. the reservoir is difficult to judge by sight alone.

As for the leaks I described, you will never see a "wet" telltale sign, it will evaporate before you can get the plastic off, and leave nothing to see, only a hint of white corrosion maybe...

When the seals go, it leaks, and depressurizes the system, creating a hot condition, as the bike cools, the seal if invisibly compromised, will not completely.allow coolant to be sucked back up into the radiator...

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Offline Tjnoma99

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2017, 10:38:31 pm »
Guess I'll change out all the seals. I ordered them last week. Should have them tomorrow! Just need to drain the system and get to it!
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Offline KellyfromVA

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2017, 10:49:22 pm »
Guess I'll change out all the seals. I ordered them last week. Should have them tomorrow! Just need to drain the system and get to it!

At the risk of garnering the barrage of negative comments from some folks on this site who haven't tried it, some of us here have swapped our bikes to Evans Waterless Coolant.  As long as you're going to drain the system, it may be worth consideration.  I did the conversion a couple years ago, and have been very pleased with the results. 

Advantages:

* Because there is no water used, the boiling point of the coolant is above 400 degrees F.  No chance of boil-over,
* With no water there is no steam to create hot spots in places like the cylinder head.
* Because of no water, there is no corrosion.
* Because of no water, the cooling system pressure is greatly reduced.  Less likely to blow seals and hoses. 
* Waterless coolant is permanent.  If you need to work on the bike, drain the coolant and reuse it.

Disadvantages:

*  Cost: Waterless coolant requires a complete flushing to get the water and old coolant out of the system.  You drain the old coolant, put in some "Prep Fluid" to flush out the water coolant, drain the Prep Fluid, run the bike to circulate, then refill with the waterless coolant.  The prep fluid and powersports coolant is about $60 a bottle, but it will be the last time you'll need to worry about coolant.  When I converted my bike, I replaced all the hoses too.  Not necessary, but the hoses and coolant will probably outlast me.

*  It's very important to purge out all the old coolant and water.  Since the prep fluid comes in a gallon jug, you can run prep fluid through twice just for good measure.   

Offline Tjnoma99

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2017, 10:52:35 pm »
Someone on facebook recommended that i do that too. I live in San Diego so it has the potential to get hot! Have you had to top off or add more fluid?
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Offline DC Concours

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2017, 11:46:55 pm »
I'll be the first to say use what has worked for most. Honda coolant.

I used your regular "all makes/models" car coolant.

Everything else is snake oil.

Offline JimBob

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2017, 01:55:42 am »
I'll be the first to say use what has worked for most. Honda coolant.

I used your regular "all makes/models" car coolant.

Everything else is snake oil.




Yep.
Millions of cars, with trillions of miles, over decades, have run fine with conventional coolant.


Not seein' any reason to change (and I'm one for upgrading to "better" whenever I have to repair something).


Every vehicle I've owned has eventually had a cooling system failure. Easy to limp home on just water, swap out broken component, and refill w/conventional fluid. On my third radiator in my truck (200k miles). Crap happens.

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2017, 03:05:22 am »
Personally I would not spend the money, for something that does not cool my machine "more"...
Meaning,
I change my cheap coolant regularly, and have no issues.
If I have the need to add some, due to some mechanical failure, I can top up with water, and no big deal..
You can add conventional coolant, or water to the Evans, but then afterwards, you have to re drain, re purge treat, and refill with new coolant... $$$$$$$

Now, there is nothing noted by Evans, that it actually reduces engine temperature... which in reality is what we desire...
Plainly put, common 50/50 blends, efficiently shed heat thru the radiator, better than the waterless coolant... period.
Evans carefully skirts this issue, and pretty much admits it, even tho they use a lot of other mumbojumbo to convince its better...
Per their website;

WILL EVANS COOLANT LOWER THE OPERATING TEMPERATURE OF MY ENGINE?

The effect of Evans waterless coolant on cooling system temperatures will depend on the engine and cooling system configuration, as well as driving conditions. Vehicles running under normal operating conditions should show either no change or a slight increase in temperature. In high horsepower applications, the temperature effect of running Evans waterless coolant will depend on the engine and cooling system components.

IS EVANS ADVOCATING OPERATING ENGINES AT HIGHER TEMPERATURES?

Not really. With Evans waterless coolant, operating temperatures may be modestly higher than those of water-based coolant, depending on driving conditions and whether the vehicle is stock or configured as high-performance. When the engine is stressed, the coolant absorbs more heat and temperatures rise. This is not a concern when using Evans waterless coolant. The combination of the high boiling point of Evans waterless coolant and a correctly-sized cooling system means that an increase in temperature can be accommodated without cooling system failure.

Frankly I could care less if the boiling point was 600* F, that doesn't mean I want to subject my machine to those temps ever, or 400* for that matter...
The seals, gaskets, materials used in our bikes are designed for operation up thru the boil off point of conventional coolants.... period...
And if you are boiling 50/50 blends consitantly, you have mechanical issues you need to rectify....
Its almost like saying using the waterless coolant, you might as well disconnect your temp gauge, because not heeding its redline, thinking the engine is protected, is pretty silly.  My analogy, and not thiers...
There are coolaant cocktails out there that do actually allow a cooler running engine, but living where I live, in the arctic of Ohio, makes those a none use for my application also...

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Offline DC Concours

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2017, 03:41:25 am »
Thanks MOB. Now I know Evans is full of sh**.

Offline KellyfromVA

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2017, 09:47:02 am »
Someone on facebook recommended that i do that too. I live in San Diego so it has the potential to get hot! Have you had to top off or add more fluid?

In two years of use, I haven't had to top off coolant even once, because waterless coolant doesn't expand like water-based, you can fill your overflow reservoir half way and it just stays there.   

Offline WillyP

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2017, 11:47:36 am »
Boil-over is a safety device to let you know you have a problem. It's not the boil that damages the motor, it's the excessive heat. The excessive heat is not caused by the boil, but the boil is caused by the heat.

If your coolant ever got to 400 but didn't boil, you might not realize you have a problem. The motor isn't designed to run anywhere near 400, though I am not sure what would happen, I know it wouldn't be good.

If you are stuck in traffic on a hot day, with conventional coolant, you will be warned, by the smell of antifreeze, before the bike overheats.
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Offline KellyfromVA

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2017, 01:14:16 pm »
Boil-over is a safety device to let you know you have a problem.

If you are stuck in traffic on a hot day, with conventional coolant, you will be warned, by the smell of antifreeze, before the bike overheats.

At the risk of getting into a back and forth with amateur scientists discussing engine coolant, I believe by the time your coolant boils, some form of damage may have already occurred.  To me, what you're claiming is like saying the sound of connecting rod bearings knocking is an indication you have lost oil pressure. 

The coolant temperature gauge is the best and most reliable indication of engine temperature, not the smell of steaming glycol water mix.

You missed the point of waterless coolant boiling at 400F:  Running waterless coolant, boiling point is taken out of equation.  The coolant continues to work all the way up to 400F.  50/50 Glycol/water based coolants won't provide cooling above 223F.  Of course no engine will function at 400F, but with coolant that contains no water, cooling will continue up to that level.  Once 50/50 water/Glycol boils, steam pockets around hot areas in the passages form and the coolant is no longer carrying away heat from those hot areas.  Thermal distortion of metal, especially aluminum, can occur when coolant boils.           

Offline KellyfromVA

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2017, 01:31:46 pm »
Someone on facebook recommended that i do that too. I live in San Diego so it has the potential to get hot! Have you had to top off or add more fluid?

Sorry, I didn't reply to the first part of your question:  As a reference, I commute with my C-10 42 miles each way up and down I-95 in Virginia to the Washington DC area year round. (unless snow and ice is on the ground)  In the Summer months, it isn't unusual to get several days in the mid to upper 90's with high humidity with summer travel stop and go traffic.  As mentioned prior, I haven't had to add coolant, nor does my temperature gauge indicate any negative issues since running waterless coolant.

Everyone has an opinion of the benefits or negatives of things like waterless coolant.  All I can vouch for is my personal experience having used it, and been pleased with the results.  That said; does it make your bike run cooler?  No, it won't.  What it does do is eliminate damaging corrosion, cooling system pressure, and keeps thermal cycling down because of more consistent ability to carry away heat than glycol/water mix. 

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Coolant question
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2017, 08:04:01 pm »
I'll agree with you Kelly, right up to the last part of your last sentence... which is what Evans does as a "selling point", when in reality, that only comes into effect when 50/50 boils... and at that point, its only due to the higher boil point on Evans...

The fact is, the waterless coolant holds heat, and does not release that heat as efficiently thru the radiator, as the 50/50 coolant... period.... it thermal retention is its downfall..its high boil point and reduced corrosion possibilities are its sale point.. I want my machine, to shed heat as fast as possible when it does get hot. Period.

Now, let's go back to the first post... the one that I began to answer...
O/P didn't have a boil over... he just asked about the heat on the gauge, and was it normal... so, again, waterless coolant would not have made an improvement upon his issue, it may have exascerbated it in fact. Well, minimally, but still possible, and the heat retention certainly would be seen.

As for not needing to be topped up... nice feature, but mechanical failures such as waterpump seals, coolant log seals, thermostat housing seals, old hoses, and clamps, hole in a radiator, defective cap, etc., all occur, and when they do, there is a leak. And when there is a leak, additional coolant is needed... and 500 miles from home, after fixing a hose, you still have to put something back in.... and when you get home, start all over from scratch... flush, fill, etc.  At $75+ a pop.... for prep and coolant...

I don't dispute you have many trouble free miles, and you feel comfortable with it, that is great.
If your temp gauge never gets into the red zone, that's great also... but then it probably would never get to the red zone using 50/50 either.
All I can say is how many times I have replaced hoses, and mechanical parts on peoples neglected bikes, in parking lots during rides and rallies, in the middle of the night..

This was an interesting conversation, and I do thank you for the discussion where we can see the pros and cons both.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 08:34:22 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

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