Author Topic: Overheating in town but not on highway  (Read 1052 times)

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Offline andyfield

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Overheating in town but not on highway
« on: April 21, 2018, 01:48:06 am »
Hi guys,

I just replaced my water pump.  I took off on a 5-state adventure today. Enroute, I had a bad coolant leak and found a crack in a radiator hose.  Fixed it in the Autozone parking lot and made it down the Tail of the Dragon for the first time ever! 

Here's the bad part:  I'm getting really high temps -- not redlining, but 3/4 or higher -- when at low city speeds or at idle.  And the fan kicks on.  Why?  Shouldn't it run pretty cool even at low speeds?

Thanks,
Andy
1984 Honda Shadow
2003 Kawasaki Vulcan
2004 BMW R1150-RTP
1990 Kawasaki Concours

Offline CRocker

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2018, 01:57:21 am »
Sounds pretty normal to me...

Offline Mettler1

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2018, 02:01:22 am »
  Same here. In warm weather and in traffic that is normal. Fan is doing it's job like it is supposed to.  :great:
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Offline Mcfly

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2018, 02:12:15 am »
Below 30 mph temps start to creep up.  Get back up to speed they drop back down.
Fan usually kicks on about 2/3 on my gauge, and stays there till I get back above 30 mph.
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Offline andyfield

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2018, 02:47:32 am »
Well all of that makes me feel better.  Thanks guys!  BTW, the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway were awesome!  I need to move here.
1984 Honda Shadow
2003 Kawasaki Vulcan
2004 BMW R1150-RTP
1990 Kawasaki Concours

Offline Harry Martin

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2018, 03:00:33 am »
Temp switch could be failing. Murph sells the temp switch.
When I replaced mine last summer, the fan kicked on sooner, and thus the bike ran a lot cooler at slower speed.

It's easy to test with temp gauge and boiling coolant on kitchen stove.
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Offline VTconnie

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2018, 01:28:18 pm »
The gauges are not super accurate, but the temp gauge shouldn't get too far past the half-way mark once the fan is running. You could have air in your system!
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Offline RWulf

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2018, 01:44:23 pm »
Yea, check and make sure there is no air in the system

Offline Grant

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2018, 03:10:08 pm »
C-10s are notorious for melting the plastic fan blades, when this happens air flow is diminished and a situation like you described will happen.
As mentioned in another post the temperature switch controlling the fans may also be failing. If a lease which will cause the same to happen and may also be the cause of melted fan blades. The fans proximity to the headers is so close that a failed switch and the resulting overheat while the fan is idle will melt the blades.
Not a big deal just look at it as routine maintenance and go through the entire cooling system.
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Offline TinDog

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2018, 07:23:58 pm »
As RWulf said, my first thought was air in the system too, at least if overheating at city speeds is a new phenomena.  At slower engine and coolant flow speeds, you might have an air bubble that is interfering with proper coolant flow.  At highway engine and coolant speeds, that air in the system might be forced though your coolant system as many tiny and harmless bubbles.

Did you burp your hoses and bleed off air from the bleeder bolt on the left side of the engine?


Offline WillyP

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2018, 01:43:43 pm »
This doesn't sound like overheating, it sounds pretty normal to me.

The bike runs hotter at slow speeds due to not having as much air flowing through the radiator. And then the fan kicks on to help compensate.

On the other hand, it certainly would not hurt to go over every part and make sure everything is good to go.
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Offline m in sc

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2018, 02:15:36 pm »
agreed. i had a coolant switch failure last year ont he parkway, right at the waynseville overlook. i hot wired the switch but damage tot he fan was done. I got one for a 98? civic and replaced it. also, wired in an over ride switch to turn fan on manually if need be -just. in. case. -. and, upgraded to an 8? blade spal fan as my blades were freaking junk.

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2018, 08:48:55 pm »
To the O/P
Having just done the WP replacement, and hopefully you bled it via the bolt noted above in the photo, I will suggest you look very closely at the thermostat housing, and remove it and replace the large o ring that seals the top and bottom halves.. they turn to mush, and you have a '90 model.. so I KNOW its mush now,  the issue with them is the bike gets "hot" and invisably looses pressure, and when cool, it seems normal, but as the bike cools, it can't suck coolant back in from the reservoir due to the "vacuume" leak, which progresses, and gives higher engine temps than normal.. take a look, you may see some white corrosion deposits around the parting line on that thermostat housing.. even if you don't, I can still say that gasket is mush... like bubblegum mush..

Its a very hidden thing, and technical gurus have pondered over this in a manner, overlooking it, I found it trying to help one of the best Conni mechanics I know, just by happenstance...
Good luck

30 YEARS OF KAW.....Rich R. (the other one..)  COG 5977  JUSTAMEMBAHNOW
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Offline Hardhead

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2018, 12:06:53 pm »
Well all of that makes me feel better.  Thanks guys!  BTW, the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway were awesome!  I need to move here.
You can install a toggle switch that bypasses the temp switch and turn the fan on at any time you fill the need. HTH JD
 

Offline andyfield

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2018, 06:26:08 pm »

Thanks everyone!  I'll take a look at all of this.  Yes, I did burp it, so I'll look at the thermostat housing and fan blades. 


To the O/P
Having just done the WP replacement, and hopefully you bled it via the bolt noted above in the photo, I will suggest you look very closely at the thermostat housing, and remove it and replace the large o ring that seals the top and bottom halves.. they turn to mush, and you have a '90 model.. so I KNOW its mush now,  the issue with them is the bike gets "hot" and invisably looses pressure, and when cool, it seems normal, but as the bike cools, it can't suck coolant back in from the reservoir due to the "vacuume" leak, which progresses, and gives higher engine temps than normal.. take a look, you may see some white corrosion deposits around the parting line on that thermostat housing.. even if you don't, I can still say that gasket is mush... like bubblegum mush..

Its a very hidden thing, and technical gurus have pondered over this in a manner, overlooking it, I found it trying to help one of the best Conni mechanics I know, just by happenstance...
Good luck
1984 Honda Shadow
2003 Kawasaki Vulcan
2004 BMW R1150-RTP
1990 Kawasaki Concours

Offline Hardhead

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2018, 11:14:41 am »

Thanks everyone!  I'll take a look at all of this.  Yes, I did burp it, so I'll look at the thermostat housing and fan blades. 


To the O/P
Having just done the WP replacement, and hopefully you bled it via the bolt noted above in the photo, I will suggest you look very closely at the thermostat housing, and remove it and replace the large o ring that seals the top and bottom halves.. they turn to mush, and you have a '90 model.. so I KNOW its mush now,  the issue with them is the bike gets "hot" and invisably looses pressure, and when cool, it seems normal, but as the bike cools, it can't suck coolant back in from the reservoir due to the "vacuume" leak, which progresses, and gives higher engine temps than normal.. take a look, you may see some white corrosion deposits around the parting line on that thermostat housing.. even if you don't, I can still say that gasket is mush... like bubblegum mush..

Its a very hidden thing, and technical gurus have pondered over this in a manner, overlooking it, I found it trying to help one of the best Conni mechanics I know, just by happenstance...
Good luck

If you get in to a lot of stop and go traffic you might want to install the toggle switch. The temp switch will operate as normal. With the toggle switch you can turning on the fan before the engine gets hot. HTH
JD     

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2018, 09:14:36 pm »
Seeing that you posted this solution twice, I'm sure he can do that, but does that "cure" the problem, or simply provide a bandaid, to something that may be faulty and in need of repair....? JMHO that when a bike that was running fine, with no prior complaint, begins having an issue, its worthy of finding the reason the syptoms have cropped up.

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Offline Hardhead

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2018, 09:39:46 pm »
Seeing that you posted this solution twice, I'm sure he can do that, but does that "cure" the problem, or simply provide a bandaid, to something that may be faulty and in need of repair....? JMHO that when a bike that was running fine, with no prior complaint, begins having an issue, its worthy of finding the reason the syptoms have cropped up.

A good idea is a good idea. I think you are the one that first told me about?. Mob do you carry a tire pump
or do you just call AAA. It's hell getting old. 

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Overheating in town but not on highway
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2018, 09:59:26 pm »
Seeing that you posted this solution twice, I'm sure he can do that, but does that "cure" the problem, or simply provide a bandaid, to something that may be faulty and in need of repair....? JMHO that when a bike that was running fine, with no prior complaint, begins having an issue, its worthy of finding the reason the syptoms have cropped up.

A good idea is a good idea. I think you are the one that first told me about?. Mob do you carry a tire pump
or do you just call AAA. It's hell getting old.

Yes, I do carry an electric pump, and also a fresh kits with plugs, glue and the tools, along with about 20# of other tools and commonly needed (in the event other folks don't carry them) supplies and stuff like wire, connectors, tape, velve cores, tiewraps, and enough tools in multiples, to rip the bike down for fixing...(again, for the benefit of those I ride with or stumble upon doa).., at all times.

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and if you are gonna call me names... it's MR. Analdweeb if you please...