Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I finally got my 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 running after fixing just about everything on it since I bought it back in August. I took it out for its first ride yesterday, just through my neighborhood so I only got it into third gear, but about the time that I got it into third my engine temp light came on. Once I saw that I quickly turned around and got the bike home. As soon as I parked it and turned the bike off it started leaking coolant out of the bottom of the engine (not sure exactly where it's coming from) and bubbling out of a large black tube that connects the area where the clutch is.

Has anyone else had this happen? Is it a quick fix or a larger issue I need to deal with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Could possibly be the water pump leaking. Any noise from that area when running? Any trace of coolant in the oil, or oil in the coolant, or bubbling in the coolant overflow tank or radiator, could indicate a leaking head gasket.

Unlikely to be the thermostat, as you only travelled a short distance.

May be an air lock in the cooling system.

Could also be a faulty radiator cap, you can get the cap pressure tested at a bike workshop or radiator repair shop.

Another possiblity is a rusted up or blocked radiator.

Try draining the remaining coolant and then flushing the system with a water hose, until clear water comes out. You could then use a flushing agent to clean out the radiator. Refill with distilled water start her up and let the engine idle/run at around 2000rpm. You should then be able to trace exactly where the coolant is leaking. Keep an eye on the temp. light and switch off if it lights up again. If it is ok, drain the distilled water and refill with 50/50 antifreeze.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,756 Posts
What all did you do/have apart in the fixing department?

Without questions, there can be no answers.

The engine is boiling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
What all did you do/have apart in the fixing department?

Without questions, there can be no answers.

The engine is boiling.
Lots of carb work, tank/petcock work, spark plug work, a bit of messing with the electrical stuff on the bike (short in the braking system), but nothing to do with the engine itself. According to the guys I bought it from it had been sitting/not running for a LONG time. 5-6 years maybe. I have no clue if the radiator fan comes on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
1. 6,500 - but the speedo is currently either not working or not hooked up so it could be more.

2.Yes. Put fresh coolant in it about a week ago.

3.Yes. Completely rebuilt.

4.I don't quite know what you mean.

I got the bike with carbs that were cracked and had to replace them. So I bought used ones, rebuilt them, and put them on the bike. Then I had tank and petcock problems but finally got that sorted out. Then I had a short in the bike (previous owner zip tied the rear brake light cable to the muffler), got that sorted out. But then I was having issues with the carbs over flowing with gas; turned out I had the overflow tube and the main gas tube switched, so gas was flowing into the airbox, the manifold, etc. Could that be causing some of my problems?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,756 Posts
1. If you had carb flooding problems, your oil is probably full of gas and needs to be changed.
2. Did the overheat occur after the coolant change?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Ok, I'll change the oil tonight. Could the engine be getting so hot that it boils the coolant? I'm new to working on bikes, so please forgive the dumb questions!

And the bike wasn't even running when I changed the coolant so I have no reference point. I had to take the coolant bottle off when I had the short because I was checking the wiring harness underneath of it. When it was off some of the coolant dumped out so I figured I might as well change it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Emptied out the coolant reservoir and then refilled it.

I'm guessing that since you're asking I missed some key steps in the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,756 Posts
I'm guessing that since you're asking I missed some key steps in the process.
Yes.

Either look in this section for how to change coolant or one of the good fellows here will come along and explain how.

Also, valves should be checked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Ok, from what I've been reading I'll need to pull the coolant drain plug and drain the whole thing out, but what confuses me is people saying I'll need a 50/50 mix of coolant and water. I thought the premixed coolant was all I needed?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
994 Posts
The premix kind is all you need. Some don't like paying for watered down coolant. They prefer to buy the coolant and distilled water and then mix it. So you can buy the regular coolant and mix it with distilled water or buy the premix, either way is good. Just make sure distilled water is mentioned if you buy premixed coolant.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
Ok, from what I've been reading I'll need to pull the coolant drain plug and drain the whole thing out, but what confuses me is people saying I'll need a 50/50 mix of coolant and water. I thought the premixed coolant was all I needed?
Premix will be 50/50. If you decide to mix your own, make sure you use distilled water. You also want to make sure the distilled water doesn't have minerals added in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
REALLY dumb question - do I add coolant to the radiator as well? And there's a tube running from the top of the coolant bottle but it is not connected to anything...should it be??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Yes, you want to fill the radiator if it is low. The hose may be a over flow hose.
Ok. I've read that the bike should take about 1.2 quarts of coolant, but the reservoir only takes about a third of that. Should I pour the rest in the radiator?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Ok. I've read that the bike should take about 1.2 quarts of coolant, but the reservoir only takes about a third of that. Should I pour the rest in the radiator?
After you have flushed the system, fill the radiator with coolant, switch on the engine, without putting the cap on. You will see the level in the radiator drop as the coolant circulates. Switch off and top up the radiator again. Put coolant into the expansion tank, half way between the min and max marks on the expansion tank. Start up and run the engine to normal operating temp. Switch off and let engine cool. Check coolant levels in radiator and expansion tank and top up if necessary. Keep the level in the expansion tank half way between min and max.

Yes the pipe from the expansion tank is an overflow.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top