hello all, spring maintenance questions - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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hello all, spring maintenance questions

Hows everybody doing, ive been itching for the past few weeks to start riding, and I have a plan to get everything in shape just thought i would ask all you vets your opinions.
Planning on doing a good amount of maintenance in the next week to get the bike ready for the season since i havent done much since oil and filters since i purchased the bike 4 years ago. Heres the list of things i plan on doing and need some minor advice on!

Another side note I work at a Ford/Hyundai dealership so keep that in mind.

Brake flush - First I will be doing a complete brake flush front and rear since its old fluid and it wont cost too much to get it done anyways, however im a little torn what to use. I can get Motorcraft DOT4 LV or I can use Hyundai DOT4 brake fluid, Motorcraft bottle says it has a higher wet boiling point by about 20 degrees. Or obviously i can just go get the napa special dot4 as some people like to claim dot4 is dot4 regardless. any suggestions here, main point is i can get the motorcraft or hyundai stuff for practically the same price as generic fluids.

brake pads - Im pretty much settled on purchasing OEM pads here ( dont want the sintered pads since reading around says they are rough on the rotors and as those are expensive id rather have the cheaper pads wear quicker.) my rear outer pad is just about to start scratching the rotor so I have to get those done before i ride this year because 40$ pads are much cheaper than $200+ rotor. Looks like partzilla has the pads for 47 plus 8 dollars shipping, nearest kawi dealer from me is over an hour but havent been able to check on prices there, my guess it will be about a wash either way plus i wont have to drive a 2 hour round trip for pads, anyone purchase oem pads recently?

Coolant flush - Again here is another one im not totally sure on what I should do, I have access to green hyundai coolant, and the myriad of ford coolant products (orange, green, specialty green, yellow) the one i was considering was the orange ford coolant they use in all the ecoboost engines, as they are mostly aluminum engines but cant seem to find anything about it having silicates or not, ive read alot of ppl using dex-cool which makes me cringe as ive seen that stuff gel up and cause blockages on all sorts of vehicles but to each is own, however i can get the ford 50/50 orange coolant (vc3dilb) for under 11$ a gallon

spark plugs - I already ordered the CPR7EAIX-9 this morning from work, I get a discount from napa however my price that way was about a buck less than anywhere else but hey ill take whatever i can get.

oil change - Mobil 1 Racing 4t 10w4 a no brainer for me, however the last few years i used the supertech filter from walmart, cant remember the exact part number off the top of my head. The reason I added this section though is i remember seeing someone here mention they use the Hyundai oil filter 26300-35504 which we sell tons of those every day and i can get them cheaper than the supertech filter ($4.50 for the hyundai filter maybe its not cheaper than the supertech cant remember at the moment, anyone have any experience with this filter). Any one have any thoughts on this is it better than the supertech filter? Also I have never changed the oil plug gasket didnt know it needed it but ive read the past few days that your supposed to. Hyundai recommends to change the oil drain plug gasket when you change the filter too would this happen to be the same gasket (aluminum washer) i may have to snag one to see how it fits anyways.

valve check - And this brings me to the scariest part of my journey. Ive wrenched on cars for a number of years and consider myself mechanically inclined (tech inclined too) but never had to do anything internally with an engine that could cause serious damage. I do have the kawi service manual and have looked that over and it does seem pretty straight forward. My biggest concern is the feeler gauges should i spend the money on a nicer set or would a cheaper set be as accurate. And the hot cams shim kit, do i really need to spend 60 - 80 bucks on a kit or is there a kit around that anyone here would recommend as the most used shims to save a little dough.


thanks for taking the time to read my book, like i said ive been itching badly lately to start riding again and want to make sure my bike is tip top shape before this weekend if i can.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 07:37 PM
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When you buy brake fluid, get the DOT 4 yellow bottle, it is synthetic and will not harm your paint. It also does not absorb water like regular dot 4 does. I would not worry about the valve adjustment, it will be fine. Just leave it alone
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 09:29 PM
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All DOT 4 brake fluid is made from the same base - Polyethylene glycol (PEG) and all PEG is synthetic. There is no standard for the use of the word "synthetic" when applied to DOT 4. Some manufactures just slap it on any old DOT 4. Others use is to indicate that the process used to make the PEG produced longer molecules of more consistent size. What you should be looking for is the dry/wet boiling points. The higher these both are, the longer and more consistent size the PEG molecules are. Higher molecular weight PEG should last longer and absorb moisture less than lower molecular weight PEG.

Cheap DOT 4, made by conventional processes are usually pretty compatible, but you do not want to mix DOT 4 of different boiling points unless you mix them in a single container before you use them. Even then, there is some risk of separation due to the additives used regardless of the relative boiling points. Once in the brake system, they will not mix much and you get zones with different boiling points, compressability, and moisture absorption rates. Not good. Best to completely drain the system, add one single brand/grade of fluid, and drain again before the final filling.

A yellow bottle does not indicate the quality of the brake fluid. You can find high boiling point DOT 4 in red, black, blue, and yes, even yellow bottles.

Regardless of molecule size, PEG will damage paint. Larger molecules may slow down the rate of damage, depending on the quality of the vehicle paint, but it will still do damage.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Well considering the bike just rolled over to 18k before i put it away and ive owned it since 6700 miles and valves have never been checked with me, I will be doing that before this season gets rolling. As far the DOT brake fluid i figured a higher boiling point was better so im leaning towards the motorcraft fluid unless my research shows a better brand.

I planned on flushing the whole brake system, top off the reservoir and bleed the brakes until its clear completely as its my understanding this will make sure all the old is out and all new remains.

thanks for the replies so far, looking to get everything going here this week, like i mentioned i already ordered the plugs and think i have the pads in line ready to go, will be stopping somewhere this week after work to get the oil.

Still gotta figure out the shims and feeler gauges and coolant yet

2010 Vulcan 900
Cobra swept exhaust
Cobra FI2000 fuel manager
Baron Big Air Kit
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 09:46 PM
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Brake pads: I prefer sintered pads. Yes, they are rougher on the rotors, but they provide superior braking. I would rather have more stopping power and replace my rotors sooner. Organic and ceramic pads do not provide the same stopping.

Coolant flush and fill: Use a good alkaline flush. Better for the aluminum. There is no one standard for Dex-Cool. Because of that and the lack of information available on what additives are needed to meet the different Ford and GM Dex-Cool specs, I won't use Dex-Cool or "compatibles" in my bike. There are a lot of folks that have used Dex-Cool products with no problems, though. I prefer a straight OAT product like O'Reilly's Universal 50/50 (but, again, not the Dex-Cool compatible one).

Oil and filter: Sounds like you have a preferred oil, so... I used to use SuperTech oil filters. I have seen quite a few comparisons between filter brands where SuperTech faired quiet well. I just use K&N now, though, and am happy with them.

Installed:
RAM mount for TomTom Rider 400 (with anti theft module)
6000k LED Headlight & Spots; Kisan Headlight Modulator (works with LEDs),
__Brake Light Modulator, LED License Plate Holder
Longer Kickstand
Dobeck EJK 3.0
Lucky Mirror Extenders
Misc. RAM Mounts for Cup Holder, SPOT, Phone, etc.
Chuckster BAK, Trailer Hitch and Cooler Rack
Wiring for Trailer
Ray's Throttle Mod
Things to do:
Drilling Baffle Plates (Maybe)
Paint HF Tag Along Trailer to Match Bike

LET'S RIDE
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanked402 View Post
Well considering the bike just rolled over to 18k before i put it away and ive owned it since 6700 miles and valves have never been checked with me, I will be doing that before this season gets rolling. As far the DOT brake fluid i figured a higher boiling point was better so im leaning towards the motorcraft fluid unless my research shows a better brand.

I planned on flushing the whole brake system, top off the reservoir and bleed the brakes until its clear completely as its my understanding this will make sure all the old is out and all new remains.

thanks for the replies so far, looking to get everything going here this week, like i mentioned i already ordered the plugs and think i have the pads in line ready to go, will be stopping somewhere this week after work to get the oil.

Still gotta figure out the shims and feeler gauges and coolant yet
If you drain the brake fluid, then fill, you get agitation that removes more of the old fluid. Just pushing new thru on top of the old can result in pockets of old fluid not getting flushed out. You're starting out your new fluid with some residual moisture contamination which is going to shorten the life of the fluid and could affect the boiling point and compressability.

Installed:
RAM mount for TomTom Rider 400 (with anti theft module)
6000k LED Headlight & Spots; Kisan Headlight Modulator (works with LEDs),
__Brake Light Modulator, LED License Plate Holder
Longer Kickstand
Dobeck EJK 3.0
Lucky Mirror Extenders
Misc. RAM Mounts for Cup Holder, SPOT, Phone, etc.
Chuckster BAK, Trailer Hitch and Cooler Rack
Wiring for Trailer
Ray's Throttle Mod
Things to do:
Drilling Baffle Plates (Maybe)
Paint HF Tag Along Trailer to Match Bike

LET'S RIDE
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 10:10 AM
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Thanks, I was not aware of that,only what the parts counter man has told me. I have used the yellow bottle ever since it first came out. I have noticed that every 2 years when I replace my brake/clutch fluid, that there seems to be no moisture content in the fluid, like it did with the old dot 4, brown bottle.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre-t View Post
If you drain the brake fluid, then fill, you get agitation that removes more of the old fluid. Just pushing new thru on top of the old can result in pockets of old fluid not getting flushed out. You're starting out your new fluid with some residual moisture contamination which is going to shorten the life of the fluid and could affect the boiling point and compressability.
How would you drain the system that way since the reservoir is lower than the caliper? (At least for the rear brake) I got some of the motorcraft dot 4 lv this morning so ill be ready to do the brake flush tonight possibly.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 04:10 PM
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Coolant - I have used Chevron/Havoline DexCool since the first coolant change on my '07 900 in 2010 and have no problems, which is expected since that coolant meets all of the coolant requirements published in Kawi manuals. Brake fluid - moisture in brake fluid if over the limit (generally 3%) is a brake system killer since its continued use will lead to metal parts corrosion, and it reduces the boiling point of brake fluid. One can buy an inexpensive and accurate tester via Amazon, Ebay, etc.I use any available DOT 4 fluid in the each two years change interval in the Owner's Manual. As suggested in previous posts I do not mix brands, but generally speaking all DOT4 brake fluids are mutually compatible. Bleeding out old brake fluid by replacing it with new in the reservoirs may not fully get rid of the old fluid in the brake cylinders, but by doing some flushing beyond what is needed to where one can see that new fluid is bleeding from the system one can be assured that will be sufficient even if not absolutely perfect.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanked402 View Post
How would you drain the system that way since the reservoir is lower than the caliper? (At least for the rear brake) I got some of the motorcraft dot 4 lv this morning so ill be ready to do the brake flush tonight possibly.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
Use a speed bleeder device to suck the fluid out.

Installed:
RAM mount for TomTom Rider 400 (with anti theft module)
6000k LED Headlight & Spots; Kisan Headlight Modulator (works with LEDs),
__Brake Light Modulator, LED License Plate Holder
Longer Kickstand
Dobeck EJK 3.0
Lucky Mirror Extenders
Misc. RAM Mounts for Cup Holder, SPOT, Phone, etc.
Chuckster BAK, Trailer Hitch and Cooler Rack
Wiring for Trailer
Ray's Throttle Mod
Things to do:
Drilling Baffle Plates (Maybe)
Paint HF Tag Along Trailer to Match Bike

LET'S RIDE
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