Help diagnosing an cooling system issue - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Kenny Page's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 4
Help diagnosing an cooling system issue

Hi guys, I just bought my 2000 Vulcan 800 Classic, had someone ride it home from the dealer as I'm brand new at this and it was 2 hours away, sat for about a week as i got my endorsement and now since I've been riding it, the coolant seems to be boiling out of the overflow hose and white steam (I'm assuming) is also coming from the hose. When I'm riding it there's no issue, at stop lights no issue, but if it idles for more than 5-10 minutes it starts steaming and dripping out of the little hose on the bottom right of the bike near the exhaust. The radiator hoses seem to be pretty firm and hot. The top of the radiator is definitely cold and the bottom is pretty warm, as in too hot to touch for more than about 5 seconds. Its not getting to overheating temperature, to where the light kicks on, no matter how long it idles it just steams out and drips all of the coolant from the reservoir. The levels are correct and i thought it may be that the fan was turning on however,
I had raised the idle speed pretty high to where the engine temp light kicked on, which DID trigger the fan, but at normal idle its not "overheating " and the fan never kicks on. Any idea what could be causing this? I have some mechanical knowledge from cars but not much otherwise. Im starting to think either the radiator is clogged, the cap isnt building pressure all the way, or the thermostats busted, but im not sure where to start in part replacements. Or could it be the water pump.
PS: i verified theres no coolant in the oil and no oil in the coolant.

PPS: also noticed the fan switch things/terminals are on the top of the radiator instead of the bottom where they seem to be on most of the videos i found of the Vulcans but that couldbe a model/year difference
Kenny Page is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 01:21 PM
Top Contributor
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: St Paul, MN
Year/Make/Model: 1995 Kawasaki Vulcan 500
Color: Black / grey
Gender: Male
Posts: 625
You posted this -
"I had raised the idle speed pretty high to where the engine temp light kicked on, which DID trigger the fan, but at normal idle its not "overheating"

How can you raise the idle yet at "normal idle" it not raised??


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 1 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
1995 en500 stock with windshield - 30,000 miles
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 1 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
vulcandoc is online now  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Kenny Page's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 4
What? I raised the idle with the idle speed knob since a higher idle should run the engine hotter. I did this as a test to see if the engine would in fact overheat, or if the fan was functioning at all. This then kicked the fan on and the engine temp light lit up. Once i again adjusted the idle speed knob back to normal, and idled the engine until it started boiling the coolant and let it steam off for a while, but the engine temp light never comes on when it idles normally, it just boils out the coolant gets a little warm and steams from the overflow hose.
Kenny Page is offline  
 
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 02:10 PM
Top Contributor
 
DESERT ANGEL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 545
Welcome to the forum / motorcycle world I feel water cooled motorcycles really reliable the only time my bike got really hot was at a Mexico USA border crossing during summer otherwise I never had issues, I would start by making sure that you have enough anti-freeze to make coolant stable, I would try to find, rent, borrow, a laser thermometer at tool loan auto parts, harbor freight and confirm the actual temperature are critical, hope this helps

Ride Safe Ride Defensive


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 1 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
DESERT ANGEL is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 06:54 AM
Top Contributor
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: St Paul, MN
Year/Make/Model: 1995 Kawasaki Vulcan 500
Color: Black / grey
Gender: Male
Posts: 625
OK at idle you should never get hot enough to turn the over temp light on, no matter the idle speed.
As posted above make sure the system is full of the 50/50 mix of coolant and water.

If good it then is possible that you have a head gasket leak from exhaust to coolant.
That would explain your problem.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 1 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
1995 en500 stock with windshield - 30,000 miles
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 1 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
vulcandoc is online now  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 09:49 AM
Top Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 11,701
You must check coolant level at radiator tank, not recovery tank.
sfair is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Kenny Page's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 4
How do i even check the level at the radiator? There's no indication as far as i can tell. And even though the top of the radiator isnt heating up and the steam is only coming from the overflow hose, it could be the head gasket? Lol im sure that repair will be more than what i paid for the bike. Never using that dealer again
Kenny Page is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 12:51 PM
Top Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 11,701
The top tank is cool because there is no water in it.
Remove the speedometer and under there you will find the fill cap.
Also, fan and temperature sensors will not function correctly if not submerged in coolant.

Last edited by sfair; 12-14-2018 at 12:55 PM.
sfair is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 06:22 AM
Senior Member
 
CarGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: San Marcos, TX
Year/Make/Model: 2014 Nomad ABS
Displacement/CC's: 1700
Color: Black/White
Gender: Male
Posts: 297
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfair View Post
The top tank is cool because there is no water in it.
Remove the speedometer and under there you will find the fill cap.
Also, fan and temperature sensors will not function correctly if not submerged in coolant.
Listen to what sfair says. I had overheating problems on my 900 that didn't show up until about 6 months after doing a coolant change. It only happened when decelerating off high highway speeds (70mph +). The coolant bottle was always full. When I pulled the tank and checked at the fill cap, it was over a cup low. That's quite a bit when the whole system only holds about 2 qts. Not enough to cover the sensors and it didn't create enough contraction to draw coolant from the bottle.

Go for the ride!
2014 Kawasaki 1700 Nomad ABS
2008 Kawasaki 900 Classic LT (sold 2015 42k miles)
1975 Kawasaki KZ400 (sold ~1985)
1970 Suzuki TS250 Scrambler (stolen 1971)
1968 Bridgestone 200 MKII RS (sold 1970)
Patriot Guard Rider
USN 1971-75
CarGuy is online now  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 02:32 PM
Top Contributor
 
btom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Year/Make/Model: '05
Displacement/CC's: 800
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,138
Garage
there is no top tank on a 800, you fill the rad up thru the cap then close it then fill up the reserve tank on the right side to the F mark, you check the L (low) and F (full) marks on the reservoir tank at the side when cold to determine rad fluid levels, you need to determine which hose exactly is giving off the steam because some hoses are for gas tank vents and some hoses exiting out below the bike can be for crankcase vent (as mine is)

Thunder Mfg teardrop 40's K&N 170MJ 48PJ 2.75turns DynoJet Needle DNO106 2nd notch V&H Cruzers Aeromach risers Michelin Commander IIs Wix 51358 filter 17T/40 Sprockets, 2357 rear bulbs
btom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need help diagnosing overheating issue Kenny Page New Member Introductions 1 12-13-2018 09:40 AM
Vulcan 900 died during commute. Need help diagnosing the issue. Kawasaki Vulcan 900 16 03-15-2016 12:16 PM
Help diagnosing knocking sound dashpot Vulcan 2000 44 11-09-2013 05:23 PM
air cleaner issue/ cooling issue related?? help!! dseptshun Vulcan 800 16 07-13-2012 07:25 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome