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Discussion Starter #1
hey yall!
quick question for you, just did a full syn castro power 1 change, and she's perking up already, so I figure I do the coolant.
the articles have been helpful.

How early would you do the coolant, with less than 4k miles on it, but original coolant, and its been 6.5 years?

I check the fluid, its not super dark green, it has a little liteness color green to it, but not brand new either. Your suggestions and opinions
much appreciated, and what fluid to use? Thank you!
 

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If you feel that the coolant is original, then I would change it immediately. Ethylene glycol coolant (green coolant) is only good for about 2 years before it starts to break down. This is the same as a car with the same type coolant. I don't remember the chemical details, but there Is an ingredient that starts to come out of suspension that can begin to clog water passages.

I remember now, silicates are what come out of suspension. I went with Chevron Havoline Extended life Antifreeze. It is Dex-Cool compatible, orange in color, without the dreaded 2EH molecule that softens gaskets. It has a 5 year 150,000 mile life, and is safe for aluminum engines. It's been in my bike for 2 years now, with no problems.
 

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Change coolant every 2 years and flush (with commercial auto flush, not vinegar) every other coolant change, which means you should flush this time as the coolant is over 6 years old.

There are no silicates in the Kawi OEM coolant and only an OAT type (no silicates) coolant should ever be used. Even a hint of silicates is a no-no! The problem with old coolant is the acidity. Doesn't matter what type of coolant it is, it contains glycols, either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, that break down into free acids once the inhibitors are consumed. Dex-Cool may be OK, but I don't trust them as there are several auto standards and some "Dex-Cool" products don't even meet those standards. Most of the problems with Dex-Cool type coolants are in the past, but.... I use O'Reilly's Yellow 50/50 coolant. It is OAT. I flush with Royal Purple Flush. Just follow the directions on the label, and flush liberally with water, at least 3 rounds, after the chemical flush. Make sure you get the engine warm and the thermostat is open for at least 5 min. for each round of chemical and clean water flushes.

Propylene glycol coolants are better for the environment, but are not suitable for these bikes, in my opinion. They have much poorer thermal transfer properties that ethylene glycol based coolants (the "dreaded 2EH" I guessing in jbiggers post). The bikes run hot and need all the cooling they can get. I even add Royal Purple's Purple Ice to my coolant. It seems to help lower the temp a little bit and does provide extra corrosion protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
great stuff guys..........yea i have green fluid , is it ok to use a dex cool orange or yellow type? I'd like to stick with OAT green fluid....

2. the antifreeze has to say OAT" on the bottle? Also, wonder if I need 4 gallons or more, yall know off hand?

how often does thermostats go in the 900, since I am doin coolant change wondering if its a good idea to replace it?
 

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great stuff guys..........yea i have green fluid , is it ok to use a dex cool orange or yellow type? I'd like to stick with OAT green fluid....

2. the antifreeze has to say OAT" on the bottle? Also, wonder if I need 4 gallons or more, yall know off hand?

how often does thermostats go in the 900, since I am doin coolant change wondering if its a good idea to replace it?
1. See my comment above about Dex-Cool.
2. Many do not actually say OAT on the bottle, but you can look them up on the internet.
2.5. No, you will not need more than 4 gallons, or even 3, or even 2. I don't know the coolant capacity of a 900, but you can look it up online. Probably around 2.5 quarts of a 50/50 mix. A Voyager with a 1700 engine only needs 2.5 quarts so it should not be more than that. If you mix your own from concentrate, be sure to use distilled water, not tap.

3. It the thermostat is working, no need to change. However, it is recommended to change the hoses and o-rings every 4 years (every other coolant change) and that might be a good time to replace a thermostat, if you feel the need.
 

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You will need less than 1 gallon, so buy 1 gallon. I agree with Sabre-t, it's not silicates but acidity thats the issue with green fluid. I was sleepy when I posted. Some Dex-Cool fluids are good, some aren't. It's been over 2 years since I did the research on coolants, so I know the Chevron Havoline Extended life fluid is a good Dex-Cool compatible fluid. The fluid is orange, the label is orange and the cap is orange. It is OAT as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the reply this evening guys,...

so i can buy the havoline extended fluid dex cool, even tho i have green fluid?
also, yalll know or have a pic where the drain plus is on the 900?

when flushing the radiator, should i get rid of the resovoir fluid and fill it with distilled water instead while flushing rad?
or just flush a few times wo doing that?

finally what should i expect the bike to run any different way aftr flush and new coolant? just did the full synthetic castrol 1 change and wasn't a big change., thanks!
 

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Distilled water is very cheap (you can buy it by the gallon at Walmart), and is perfect for flushing the cooling system. I bought 2 gallons. I flushed mine 3 times before it came out clear. I also had green fluid previously. Technically you can mix them, but I wouldn't. I bought the 50/50 mix so I didn't have to bother about mixing the antifreeze with distilled water.

I remember I drained initially then left the radiator cap off while flushing. I would start it and let run until the fan came on, blipping the throttle from time to time for upper cylinder lub. Then I'd pull the drain plug to drain each time. The third time (or maybe 4th time) it came out clear. Then I filled it with antifreeze. Started again with the cap on, let the fan come on, then let it sit for an hour to cool down. Checked the overflow bottle and topped off once to the "cold" line. Subsequent checks show it hasn't moved since then. The only thing I replaced was the radiator cap, bought a new one from the Kawi dealer. Give you self enough time to do all of this.
 

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on coolant, and the same applies to brake fluid, go by (time) and not by (distance), therefore for both coolant and brake fluid, change it out every 2 years regardless of distance or no distance, for oil changes go by (distance)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks yall, great flushing advice, no need to buy that fancy royal purple flush. So where is the drain located on 900?

Thanks!
 

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thanks yall, great flushing advice, no need to buy that fancy royal purple flush. So where is the drain located on 900?

Thanks!
6 1/2 years before the first coolant change? Your choice, but I still recommend using an commercial alkaline engine flush. It doesn't have to be RP. I strongly recommend that you not use vinegar.
 

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If you feel that the coolant is original, then I would change it immediately. Ethylene glycol coolant (green coolant) is only good for about 2 years before it starts to break down. This is the same as a car with the same type coolant. I don't remember the chemical details, but there Is an ingredient that starts to come out of suspension that can begin to clog water passages.

I remember now, silicates are what come out of suspension. I went with Chevron Havoline Extended life Antifreeze. It is Dex-Cool compatible, orange in color, without the dreaded 2EH molecule that softens gaskets. It has a 5 year 150,000 mile life, and is safe for aluminum engines. It's been in my bike for 2 years now, with no problems.
And the propylene glycol is environmentally a better choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i am concerned abot putting the tank bag on aftr shifting it to access the radiator cap, any triks or tips? thanks!
 

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And the propylene glycol is environmentally a better choice.
PG (propylene glycol is better for the environment, but EG (ethylene glycol) can be recycled. I take mine to the local Firestone or O'reilly's. EG is much more efficient at heat transfer than PG is. That may not be as important on a 900 as it is on 1700s, but it could be more important in hotter climes. Getting rid of engine heat when you are riding in triple digit temps is hard enough without reducing the efficiency by using PG.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks sabre, so what is called, this brand of EG ( oh and it has to be OAT i hear too), any brands u can suggest with this info, thanks again!
 

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thanks sabre, so what is called, this brand of EG ( oh and it has to be OAT i hear too), any brands u can suggest with this info, thanks again!
EG = Ethylene glycol. Not a brand, but the main ingredient in most coolants. If it is not EG, then it is PG (Propylene glycol). You need to research each brand to see what they use, but some do actually list the type of glycol on the label. Most don't, but will likely be EG if they don't specify. Yes, it needs to be OAT, but OAT can be either EG or PG. OAT is the class of anti-corrosion ingredients used in the coolant. In the old days, silicates were used for anti-corrosion, but you never want silicates in a motorcycle cooling system as they both bond to the aluminum surfaces, making passages smaller and they fall out of solution, clogging up the already small passages in MC cooling systems.

As noted in an earlier comment, I like O'Reilly's 50/50 Yellow Coolant. I think it does say OAT right on the container, but many do not. Dex-Cool is supposed to be OAT, but there are several different Dex-Cool standards (Ford and Chrysler have different standards for Dex-Cool) and there are Dex-Cool "Compatible" coolants that don't actually meet any of the Dex-Cool standards. If it does not say OAT on the container, you can go online to that company's web site and get more info. If they won't identify if it is OAT on their web site, I suggest not using it at all.

It gets even more confusing. There are some "hybrid" coolants that are a cross between OAT and the old silicate coolants. Since they have silicates, you definitely don't want them in a MC.
 

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My local (well trusted) bike shop recommends Engine Ice Coolant.

CMOS
 

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Engine Ice is based on Propylene glycol. They have to add inorganic salts that aid in thermal transfer to get it to perform as well as an Ethylene glycol product. You can add a additive like Royal Purple Purple Ice, which has similar salts, to an EG based coolant and get far better cooling than you will ever get from Engine Ice. Or you can just use an EG product to get similar performance to Engine Ice.
 
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