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Offline jonnster71

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Temperature warning light
« on: Jul 16, 2019, 07:05 AM »
Morning All,

I've done due diligence and searched the forum, including Mothman's epic post about replacing his thermostat and fan (that guys posts were epic), but as a mechanical noob I thought I'd ask for a quick check to see if I'm in the right direction;

Symptoms/Background
The bike has been running the fan a lot since before this years NVM, to the point that I took it to my local mechanic for a once over and to buy a litre of coolant to top up the expansion tank. We checked the rad and it was full, so technically it was not low but somewhere along the line it lost about 300ml of coolant (the amount I topped it up with).

Since then the bike has done some hard miles; NVM, Scotland, Isle of Man, London a few times and a camping weekend in Cornwall. Mostly fully loaded and near full throttle.

On the way back from IoM I got drenched and the bike started farting and burping. Stick coils and spark plugs replaced and while I was at it also removed my non-functioning Scottoiler and did the vac port mod on the throttle bodies.

Since then the bike ran well. A bit more backfiring on throttle off than before and occasionally the FI light comes on if I'm cruising on very low throttle at 65-70mph which it has always done since I had the SP Engineering stubby fitted (too much exhaust flow leaning the mixture more than the FI can handle perhaps?).

This weekend riding up the M5 approaching Weston, doing some naughty filtering in warm weather the temp warning light came on at above motorway speeds. Pulled off at the next junction, rode her a mile to the garage at low speed to try and get some heat out of the coolant.

What I Saw
No coolant loss, no dribbles under the fairings, no gurgling from the expansion tank.  Weird! I thought the temp warning came on at 115c?

Took off the side fairing, couldn't see any dampness around hose clamps or the rad cap..nothing obvious.

Took off some more fairings; spotted a frayed wire at the 5'o clock position on the clutch cover (figured this might be a cam sensor? - wrong!). Dunno, but frayed cables are never good so cleaned it with WD40, wipe with alcohol wipe and rewrapped in electrical tape. Perhaps a grounded signal was upsetting the timing? Nah, it was running fine, good enough to overtake everything on the M5 anyway.

Oil looked OK, bit dark for 3k mile old but given how much work its done nothing out of the ordinary. No creaminess, no particles, foamy gunk. So hopefully not a head gasket gone.

The question
Here's what I'm thinking.

1. Thermostat failed
2. Temperature sensor failing, sending wrong signal, ie. saying hot when its not
3. Temporary/intermittent pressure loss - rad cap, hose clamp, somewhere really awkward
4. Lean mixture/injection/timing issue
5. Failing water pump/mechanical seal


Am I looking in the right direction? Anything obvious I've missed

Online TowerMan

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Re: Temperature warning light
« Reply #1 on: Jul 16, 2019, 11:51 AM »
J

I had this problem a couple of years ago  :25:
See HERE for full explanation  :028:
It was the Radiator cap  weakening and not letting the cooling system pressure build up to 1.1 Bar  :157:
Richard    :001: 
         

Online uralrob

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Re: Temperature warning light
« Reply #2 on: Jul 16, 2019, 12:22 PM »

 
Second guess would be a stuck thermostat.

 If you decide to remove the thermostat it might not hurt to do a rad flush.

Agree about Mothman's posts  :2: :2: .

 Rob.
Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Offline jonnster71

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Re: Temperature warning light
« Reply #3 on: Jul 16, 2019, 01:01 PM »
Thanks lads, it probably doesn't seem like much of a bother to you but to me this is massively reassuring.

I've ordered a rad cap, some hoses and a thermostat as the bike is over 8 years old now and has been using incorrect blue coolant for some of that time, so I suspect some corrosion has also contributed to the issue.

I don't like throwing parts at a problem but in this case it's almost good maintenance to do this work.

Have yourself a hearty  :028: and an uncomfortable hug  :36:

Online uralrob

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Re: Temperature warning light
« Reply #4 on: Jul 16, 2019, 01:12 PM »

   :028:.

 8 years old, yeah, call it routine maintenance. The thermostat comes out quite easily but I don't remember off hand if it has a paper gasket or O ring, and if the latter whether it comes with the new thermostat or has to be bought separately. Paper gasket would almost certainly need replacing, O ring may be o.k. unless damaged during removal.

 Rob.
Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Offline jonnster71

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Re: Temperature warning light
« Reply #5 on: Jul 16, 2019, 01:20 PM »
*Originally Posted by uralrob [+]
   :028:.

 8 years old, yeah, call it routine maintenance. The thermostat comes out quite easily but I don't remember off hand if it has a paper gasket or O ring, and if the latter whether it comes with the new thermostat or has to be bought separately. Paper gasket would almost certainly need replacing, O ring may be o.k. unless damaged during removal.

 Rob.
Cheers Rob, O ring order along with thermostat. Also order a pair of main hoses (hot and cold side) as I figure they've done their duty and they only costs about a fiver each side so why not?

Online uralrob

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Re: Temperature warning light
« Reply #6 on: Jul 16, 2019, 01:25 PM »


 Exactly.

 Rad flush? Think mechanical enema. Might as well.

 Rob.
Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Offline jonnster71

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Re: Temperature warning light
« Reply #7 on: Jul 16, 2019, 01:56 PM »
*Originally Posted by uralrob [+]

 Exactly.

 Rad flush? Think mechanical enema. Might as well.

 Rob.
Roger that, ordered 5 litres of distilled water so I can get at least two flushes done with an initial one with tap water just to blow any crud out.

Will also think about removing the radiator so I can give it a once over and make sure the fins are straight and airways are as clear as possible.

Cheers Rob

Online Mothman

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Re: Temperature warning light
« Reply #8 on: Jul 21, 2019, 04:01 AM »
*Originally Posted by jonnster71 [+]


Will also think about removing the radiator so I can give it a once over and make sure the fins are straight and airways are as clear as possible.


Rad removal and clean-up is well worth doing IMO.  The amount of crud that I expelled when I pressure washed it was notable.  And yes, before the sharp intakes of breath...a pressure wash works fine and no scary damage providing jet nozzle not less than 1.5 feet away, perpendicular to the rad and move it parallel to the fins and not up and down at right angles. Fin straightening also very therapeutic.... :002:   
ride history 1971 on :
Honda CB125; Honda XL250; Yamaha XT500; Kawasaki Z1; Kawasaki GPZ900R; Honda CB900FA; Honda CB750R; Yamaha XVS650; Yamaha XVS1100; Kawasaki Versys 650

Offline jonnster71

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Re: Temperature warning light
« Reply #9 on: Jul 21, 2019, 05:50 AM »
*Originally Posted by Mothman [+]
Rad removal and clean-up is well worth doing IMO.  The amount of crud that I expelled when I pressure washed it was notable.  And yes, before the sharp intakes of breath...a pressure wash works fine and no scary damage providing jet nozzle not less than 1.5 feet away, perpendicular to the rad and move it parallel to the fins and not up and down at right angles. Fin straightening also very therapeutic.... :002:
Roger that Mothman, and mate your epic post was well worth the read on the matter. In a perverse way I'm kind of looking forward to straightening out some fins...I'm in need of some Zen meditation right now  :031: