Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I knew the coolant was really old and needed to be replaced but I have been putting it off so far. Anyhow, today I said enough is enough, time to flush the coolant!

I figured with the digital copy of the service manual, it should be a breeze, then I saw instructions and the only picture for the coolant drain bolt:


Needless to say, the tiny picture did confirm that there was indeed a drain bolt on the bike. Other than that, it was more like "Where's Waldo?"

OK, enough talk. I decided to find Waldo and share the info for those who also like to wrench on their own bike. The following steps should outline the steps I took along with my comments and suggestions.

Note: The fuel tank does NOT need to be completely taken off! I did out of curiosity but you can simply take the 2 12mm bolts off and slide the tank back and then to the right a bit.

Right side = brake side.
Left side = clutch side.

Advisable to run the bike till it warms up, then shut it off.
Step 1 - Remove the seat.
Step 2 - Move the fuel tank back by taking the two 12mm bolts off so you can slide it back:


- Do not open the radiator cap just yet!
- Also either secure the front wheel or use a clamp like I did the hold the front brake down so the bike doesn't move back and forth.

Step 3 - Remove the coolant drain bolt:






Before proceeding, it might be best to put the bike on a rear wheel stand for the drain procedure!

Step 4 - Time to open the radiator cap (make sure it is cool to touch!)


Step 5 - Let It Rain (more like drain)


At this point, I took the rear wheel stand out and put the bike on the side stand, then carefully swung it left to right. As I lean the bike to the right, I notice quite a bit more coolant came out.

Before continuing on to next step (putting the drain plug back on), I did pour down about a gallon of distilled water to flush out the remaining fluid and then shook the bike left-to-right again.

Step 6 - Put the drain bolt back on (video)

Once done, I put the bike back on the rear wheel stand so it would be level.

- Now, it is time to drain and also inspect the coolant reservoir tank. Remember; reservoir tank hose doesn't need to be disconnected just to drain the reservoir.
Disconnect the hose only if reservoir tank needs to be thoroughly cleaned too.

Step 7 - Remove the left side cover


Step 8 - Remove the reservoir tank cover


Step 9 - Remove the reservoir tank bolts (2x 4mm allen) and drain the tank (video)

- If reservoir tank looked really dirty, disconnect the hose at the bottom and remove it completely. I used Simple Green solution to clean mine inside and out. Then thoroughly rinsed and dried it before installing it back on


- My preferred coolant solutions (video)

Step 10 - Filling up the radiator with new coolant solution


Step 11 - Fill up the reservoir tank as well


Once done, close all the caps, check all hoses and cables, make sure there is no leak.

Run the bike for about 5 minutes then shut it off. Wait for it to cool off and then check the level on the reservoir tank. I ran mine again while keeping the radiator cap off the second time. While still running, I massaged the radiator hoses and even tapped on the thermostat block to free up any air bubbles (video).

At that point, a test ride would be best. I put everything back together except the reservoir tank side cover since I would be checking the level right after and went for a 15-20 minute ride around town.

After I got back, I let it cool off again, then put the bike on rear wheel stand to check the coolant level on the reservoir tank.

Once finished, install the cover for the tank as well.

I noticed when I pulled out the cover, the rubber ring piece came off with the side cover, so, if that happens to you too, you should first install the rubber ring back to the metal loop it came out of before putting the side cover back on.


I hope this helps others looking to do the same work on their bike.

~TL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
If you would like to see the entire album, here is the link.

:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Great write up! I am interested in doing this to my bike and you have given me lots of confidence.

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Awesome write up! How long would you estimate start to finish?

-D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thank you guys.

I forgot to mention this important step:

Before Step 6 (putting the drain plug back on), I did pour down about a gallon of distilled water to flush out the remaining fluid and then shook the bike left-to-right again.
There was still some in there because the water came out somewhat green like the original coolant. I was able to edit the original write-up and add that in it. :)

How long would it take? It all depends I suppose. Also, if you won't be monkeying around with a camera like I did, I'd say an hour or so should be enough even for a first timer.

I am fast with taking the fasteners off or putting them back on but I don't rush when it comes to draining/putting fluids and also cleaning. Make sure you have some clean rags around though I didn't spill any, you never know.

For instance; I placed a rag around the radiator cap when I was putting in the new coolant because even with a cone, you may spill/splash some and I am working but I try to be fast with taking the bolts off or putting them on.

I removed the tank completely but if you will leave it on the bike, cover the tank with a rag in case if you splashed any.

Remember to keep the bike on a level surface when filling it up with new coolant. Also check the levels after a short 15-30 minute ride, chances are the coolant level on the reservoir will drop a bit.

Good luck!

~Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
658 Posts
Tag for later reference. Thanks for the write up!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,335 Posts
Perfect write up and pics. I especially like the pics of the different angles showing the location of the drain bolt. That alone will save me time. Great job!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
You are all welcome, again, if it makes the job easier and quicker, then mission accomplished.

I did notice a performance boost too! It seems to pull stronger and even the way it sounds (from exhaust) is much better! :)

Shame on me for putting it off this long!

Let me know if you notice the same thing with yours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,620 Posts
what a GREAT write-up!

This thread has been 'stuck' for future reference!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Coolant Flush

Thanks for the heads up on this tip to flush the radiator and change the old fluid. What was the radiator fluid you used to replace the old coolant. Is there a special coolant you have to use or can you use the same coolant you use in your car. That would be of some help to others who need to change there's so we can replace the coolant with the correct coolant for our motorcycles. Again thanks for this info.

KawasakiVulcan900 a.k.a. Unk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,620 Posts
Thanks for the heads up on this tip to flush the radiator and change the old fluid. What was the radiator fluid you used to replace the old coolant. Is there a special coolant you have to use or can you use the same coolant you use in your car. That would be of some help to others who need to change there's so we can replace the coolant with the correct coolant for our motorcycles. Again thanks for this info.

KawasakiVulcan900 a.k.a. Unk.
Check your owners manual for the proper coolant. Generally, silicate free and safe for aluminum engines are a must. There are advantages to certain types of coolant, but a lot will work. If you do a forum search you'll find some info on products like engine ice. Otherwise, just use the color and type found in the owners manual.

If you don't have an owners manual you can get it online for free at Kawasaki.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the heads up on this tip to flush the radiator and change the old fluid. What was the radiator fluid you used to replace the old coolant. Is there a special coolant you have to use or can you use the same coolant you use in your car. That would be of some help to others who need to change there's so we can replace the coolant with the correct coolant for our motorcycles. Again thanks for this info.

KawasakiVulcan900 a.k.a. Unk.
Pretty much what Roman5.8 said but here is my personal answer if you are still curious! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Thank you to everyone who answered my question about what coolant to use. I finally got the video to work that described what coolant he was using and what coolant additive he was using. I was able to purchase both the 50/50 Dex Prestone coolant and the Hy-per Lube coolant additive from my local O'Reilly's Auto Parts tonight. I shall try and change out my coolant sometime next week so I can be ready for our next club ride and be ahead of the game before winter gets here. I plan to still ride my bike during the winter, but it will be shorter trips and close to home. I ride to far out one day and I got back a little after dark. I had to stop a couple of times to get something to drink and warm up a bit before getting back on the road. I was a little on the frozen side, but i was ok. I learned a good lesson that day. To get back before it gets dark.....lol. When you have a nice day during the winter time with the sun out and the temp is some what nice you just can't fight the feeling to get out on the open road and ride that steel horse and feel the freedom it gives you. Thanks again to everyone. Keep the shiny side up and the two wheels down and ride free my brothers and sisters.

KawasakiVulcan900 a.k.a. Unk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Thanks for this

What would we do without people like you guys!
Your so excellent write up finally got me going for a coolant change, which I was postponing every month at already past 42,000kms...

Now after doing it what I found was that the old girl is a lot more happier running in hot weather, especially at the moment commuting by 35 - 40 degrees C (about 104 F.).
Where before the bike ran like a dog and the fan would go on and off all the time, it is now only turning on/off 2 or 3 times on the same distance.

thanks again Turc.
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top