Has anyone removed the thermostat - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Has anyone removed the thermostat

I'm wondering if anyone has taken the thermostat out permanently and what where the results? Did it have any affect in lowering the normal running temps? What temp range did the bike run with the thermostat removed?

Although the thermostat opens at 143F the bike runs in the 180F-204F range in normal ambient temperatures. An indication the cooling system is marginal at best and probably the temperatures are to satisfy the EPA. In the winter my bike runs around 160F so I don't see why not let it run in that temp range all the time. Off the top of my head I don't see any detrimental issues in letting the bike run cooler other then burn a little more gas.

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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 01:58 PM
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Never a good idea on modern engines. I guess if you never ride in cold weather, maybe you could get away with it. I ride in temps as low as freezing (that's my personal limit.) That cold, the engine will never get to operating temperature. This can lead to not only excessive fuel use, but things like early fouling of plugs and thinned oil from unburned fuel washing past the rings. Keep in mind this comes from working with cars, but I see no reason that the same would apply to our bikes.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 03:28 PM
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The cooling system is a supplemental part of the over all package. It is not designed to be like your car, just to help with the cylinder head cooling. I would leave it in since I'm sure the computer has some sensors to control motor function per cooling temp. When I had my 900 with no cooling gauge nothing ever bothered me about cooling system temperature. So now as long as it is not in the red zone I just ride.

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 06:28 PM
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Cooling systems work surprisingly well. Think: "never quite warmed up". I had an old Chevy when I was young and dumb. I took the thermostat out of that, and it never even got warm enough to register on the temp gauge. I would also imagine that the thermostat "begins" to open at 143*, but 200* is what just about every other gasoline engine on this green earth is designed to run at. Its the perfect line between hot enough for the fuel to burn efficiently, and not so hot that the engine begins to melt. If it runs cooler, the cooling fins on the engine itself are doing their job too well.

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Comparing car cooling system to the Voyager is apple an oranges. Until somebody takes the thermostat out and publishes the results none of us can say with certainty what the results would be. That's why I'm asking.

Thanks for the replies.

2009 Voyager
2003 Goldwing
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 01:04 PM
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Back in the old days you could take the thermostat out and it would run cooler but now days they use thinner and smaller radiators and the thermostat slows the coolant down where it can let the coolant cool down . Taking it out you may take a chance on overheating your bike because the coolant travels thru your system to fast and cause overheating and if you do not have a gauge you could melt down your engine .
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Increasing coolant circulation will cause the engine to overheat is preposterous.

Gent's we can't see the forest for the trees here. A few givens:
1. With no air flow over the radiator this bike will overheat even with the thermostat removed.
2. At speed with air flow over the radiator the engine will run cooler if I remove the thermostat.
3. By controlling the air over the radiator it is possible to make it run any temp between steps 1&2 with simple piece of cardboard.
4. Making the engine run hotter is a lot easier than trying to make it run cooler.

I ride in cold weather also and the bike runs around 160F in the winter. That's the target I would shoot for during the summer by controlling the air flow... and that IS doable. I'd be happy to just lengthen the time the fan kicks in at red lights. Yesterday at 90F it took less than 30 seconds and roasted my inner legs.

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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 04:39 PM
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I do not believe the radiator is big enough to do what you are asking. You can wire in a fan switch like racnray did to keep temp down in slow traffic or at red lights. The faster the coolant runs through the motor it has less time to absorb the heat from the motor and send it to the radiator, doesn't seem that preposterous to me. Remove your thermostat and report back and let us know how it works for you.

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 07:42 PM
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Question - does the coolant temp sensor do anything besides turn on the fan? If so removing the thermostat may cause some serious drivability issues. Certainly a possibilty if the bike has an O2 sensor. Even when open the thermostat reduces the flow since it is not a full port "valve". Without a thermostat it will certainly warm up more slowy. however if it will run cooler or not when warmed up could not say. Even racers that remove thermostats on cars often run a restrictor. According to the manual there is no large bypass for coolant to flow when the thermostat is closed. However there is a bleeder hole. which I assume is in the thermostat. One couls possably drill it out to a larger size. However for street riding would not mess with it. VMax tend to run hot - REAL hot in town when doing what they do best. The remedy to that was replace the cooling fan temp witch with a more accurate lower temp one. Adding water wetter also helped, but that can cause other issues such as foaming.


http://www.vmaxoutlaw.com/merchandise/index.htm

Scroll down a little to see info about the temp switch and water wetter.

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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 08:42 PM
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Is there a way to change the resistance on the fan relay to turn on sooner? I know my 900 I put in a resistor to correct the fuel gauge, maybe that could be done on the fan. Maybe racnray will add something, maybe this would work without adding a manual switch to turn the fan on. I know he talked about the bike being more comfortable when stuck in traffic with his switch he added.

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