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Wait...

You want to add an auxiliary 12v battery that's NOT being charged while you're riding in order to power the fan (that you haven't tested yet), instead of just diagnosing and fixing the original problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Don't get me wrong Fastpakr, I'm gunna have her diagnosed and repaired ASAP! All im doing and mulling over possible mods so that if this ever happens again, my bike won't be in the immediate danger its in now.
 

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Like others have said, "Check out the fan first" to see if it even works.
Just run a couple of jumper wires to it.
There is a reason for diagnosing in a proper sequence. Cuts down on wasted time and money.
But it your bike and your money.
Good Luck
 

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A battery will cost as much as a new sensor and fail sooner. I can see a switch for an emergency but a battery is overboard. Where do you draw the line of "just in case" because you are going to end up carrying 4 spare tires and an extra jacket. Sooner or later you will be towing a whole bike behind you "just in case."
Just keep it simple man
 

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To test fan:

1. Run a jumper between blue/white and blue/black wires at fan switch.
2. Key on, fan should run.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
hahaha i see your point. I'm still a very fresh rider and all these problems arn't exactly boosting my confidence. Going a bit overboard so as to have as many options as possible and let me feel "safer", even if its placebic, may be what I need right now so close to the starting gate. As I make more discoveries and become more comfortable, yeah I'll keep it simple(r). Right now, when i ride, its just another thing on my mind. "please don't over heat - please don't over heat - please don't over heat - " Potentially deadly distracting thoughts. And besides like ive stated, she will diagnosed and treated ASAP
 

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Agreed. Don't even get on it to ride again until you're sure the problem is fixed. Stop riding. Continue wrenching. Read the manuals, ask questions, and proceed to fix the problem. We'll be here to help along the way. There's no reason to reinvent the wheel here. These systems are well engineered and quite effective in cooling the bike when maintained properly.
 

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As an add, if the test in post #25 causes the fan to run, the switch is bad.
No need to test in water, measure resistance, etc., etc., etc. Just replace it.
 

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Good job guys. Good advice and guidance without berating the new guy. Its a community and it indeed functions best when all are welcome. And when folks listen as much as talk. I've learned something and hopefully others have too by reading this thread. Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Agree w/ Peruano! Yall have been so helpful and treated me like an old friend :) Thank you all!

Now the shit news:
She won't even start properly anymore. I can get her going with a couple revs on full choke but she idles very VERY low. Even after I adjusted the mix screw. If I push the choke half or off, she dies immediately. Possible fixes Ive read around include:

1) Your carbs bro, They're dirty, seafoam!
2) Your gas bro, They're dirty, seafoam!
3) Your valves bro, too loose, Tighten then seafoam!
4) Your battery bro, she ded, Trickle charge, seafoam!
5) Your carbs again bro, leaking somewhere, WD40, seafoam!
6) Your carbs again again bro, out of sync, sync then seafoam!

I'm kidding about seafoaming the battery but still. Im so well over my head with all of this that I'm just gunna do what every proud american does and just throw money at my problems. Taking her to the shop in a couple hours. Please pray for me that this doesn't cost in the upper threes or even into the four figures.

Again thank you thank you everyone for your patience and guidance. Ill be sure to check in soon after shes all fixed with pics :)
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Sorry for not checking in guys!

Yeah, the switch was bad. In fact, there was SOOOO much bad about the bike but most of the problems were fixed. Still haven't had her valves adjusted and my head gasket is leaking but mostly she works well after the fixes (duh). I've had such an awful time with her for about 3 months. Just about everything was kicking me in the ass, from shitty mechs to random dying to of course the overheating problem.

The fan switch was busted so I just directly wired a manual override on my bar and it works very well. The fan switch is still on the radiator, just unhooked. Lately I've had some bad cold starts, sometimes needing full choke if I leave her for a while at night. I'm in SoCal so the weather doesn't get so cold, even at night, that I would assume I need full choke to even start her, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm chalking up the bad cold starts on valve clearance issues as I've heard that its a very common symptom. I'll have a good mech check it out once I have some extra funds in a couple weeks. I'd do it myself if I had someone who knows what they're doing on a one-to-one basis guide me to it but I don't know anyone like that who isn't also a mech....and they ain't free. Also I don't wanna follow online guides or PDFs in case I fuck something up.

And before you say it, yeah I know how "easy" it is for many of you. But I'm very new to all of this and learning rapidly but I just don't think I'm ready to open her up myself, sadly
 

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Thank you @revrider. Ill do my best to keep this thread abreast with more info as it happens for other newbs like myself.

Speaking of newbs, if you are one and reading this, pay attention:

You'll hear the Vulcan is bulletproof by lots and lots of people, both here and elsewhere. But many fail to mention the second part of that statement:

"Vulcans are bulletproof......with proper maintenance"

And "proper maintenance" is a highly subjective term. Proper maintenance for a Vulcan is different from the one for, say, a Shadow which is different from one for a FZ07 or a BMW r1200c or a R1 or a pos scooter...you get the idea.

Sometimes, due to schedule or finances or whatever, you may not be in a position to "properly" maintain your bike. Yes, the Vulcan 500 is a great starter. Its why I got mine, and I truly do love her, but if you've haven't bought a bike yet...well....(don't hate me vulcanforums) perhaps you should get something a bit easier to maintain. CBs are super easy from what I've I heard. So are Shadows (get a later model if you can, look up "honda shadow 3 wire issue" thank me later)

Of course, with any bike, 99.9999% of issues start from the OWNER and trickle down. All bikes need proper service. I'm just saying that there are more forgiving bikes than the Vulcan. There are substantially LESS forgiving ones also of course, just don't make the mistake I did. I DIDN'T do my due diligence when I was shopping around. Bought my Vulcan from a shisty prick who swore up and down that he babied her and there are no major problems. I didn't do my research, if I had, then I would've known the POS I was buying. I thought I was getting a nice used bike. What I actually bought was a shitty running semi-project that I was not ready for, both financially and time wise.

But after the 3 month hell to get her up to "proper-ish" form, I've learned a ton more than I ever imagined and I know how to fix so many thing which is a huge confidence booster. I know more about my bike than ANY of my rider friends knows about theirs. One guy didn't know petcocks have a RES setting....yes, seriously. Also he tells me he has "self-adjusting carbs"...

I don't really speak to him anymore.

So there definitely are benefits to being dragged, gagged and blind, through the mud. But to be perfectly honest, if you'd ask me if I'd do it all over again, I'd respond with a loud resounding NO! I never want to go through that shit again. Lessons don't have to smack me in the face every single day for me to learn em. I could've learned everything I know now through the coarse of a year, not some AP accelerated shit like it has been. So consider these words, newb, when looking for a Vulcan. Buy one new and enjoy it but if you have to buy one used, bring a mech you trust.

rant/
 

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Self Adjusting Carb??? Wth ? Love that,,,,Agree and Disagree w ya D,,Sorry bout ur bike,Doesn't matter what you Buy,Take a chance w Anything used,Had a shadow,Ran great,But Had some issue Always bouncing,Didn't go thru it When bought,Ended up b n bent frame,Took it to shop,Lesson learned.So I go up ,ovr around and under Now
 
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