temp gauge retro fit - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 30 Old 02-15-2015, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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temp gauge retro fit

Hey guys. I have an aussie spec C9 (euro) 2003 model. These have the poverty pack gauge cluster-speedo and idiot lights only. The old fitter/turner in me likes to see gauges. I have been considering a vaportech dash, but part of me just like plain old analogue gauges.
Anyway, is there a good temp gauge out there that fits easily and if so do I tap into the temp sensor in the head or the radiator?
I'd like a rev counter too but we'll see about that.
This may not happen, but I have a desire to put a aux switch in so I can turn the fan on at my will and that isn't really worth it if I don't know how hot it is.
Reality is if I want to do this cost wise the vapour dash would be about $200 with the indicator light set and a bit of mucking around.
A couple of gauges wouldn't be that expensive (if they were it would be the vapour installation on nothing) but probably a little less fiddly stuff.
I do realise a gauge just give you something to worry about over just a light, but as said nothing may happen yet.
Advice anyone?
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post #2 of 30 Old 02-16-2015, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by csmiffy View Post
This may not happen, but I have a desire to put a aux switch in so I can turn the fan on at my will and that isn't really worth it if I don't know how hot it is.
A manual fan switch remains totally redundant to a functioning thermal switch, IMHO. Further, considerable temperature difference may exist between the coolant in the cylinder head (where the temperature gauge sensor is located) and at the bottom of the radiator (where the thermal switch rests).

At the end of the day, the KLR650 engine is dependent upon radiator air flow (including any fan action) and coolant circulation for cooling; getting a "head start" on the thermal switch with a manual switch is at best, a limited short-term cooling enhancement--the steady-state thermodynamics don't change with a manually-activated fan.

A manual switch may offer the ILLUSION of control, but . . . only an illusion, seems to me.

More useful, IMHO, is a light bulb indicating fan activation; connect the bulb between the BLUE fan lead and frame ground. Such an indicator tells, end-to-end, whether thermal switch and fan relay are operational.

I have both indicator light and fan switch on my KLR250; consider indicator light useful, manual switch--not so much. YMMV!


Last edited by Damocles; 02-16-2015 at 01:59 AM.
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post #3 of 30 Old 02-16-2015, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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mmm, Damocles, I like the idea of a light when the fan is on. As written the switch may/may not happen and pretty reliant on a gauge but who knows what will happen if I'm bored one day. I do have the bits for the switch so it's not costing me anything. Maybe buy a light anyway.
There is a "sensor" in the head but that's the switch for the fan isn't it (going by my 95 schematic)? Temp light is in the radiator yeah?
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post #4 of 30 Old 02-16-2015, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by csmiffy View Post
There is a "sensor" in the head but that's the switch for the fan isn't it (going by my 95 schematic)? Temp light is in the radiator yeah?
Vice-versa on US models, csmiffy; thermal fan switch is in the lower radiator, temperature gauge sensor is in cylinder head.

http://www.buttonhome.org/gallery2/m...serialNumber=3
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post #5 of 30 Old 02-16-2015, 10:58 AM
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I don't have an Oz wiring diagram handy but it doesn't make sense that the fan switch would be placed into the cylinder head and warning light into the radiator. The fan should run when the exit coolant temperature (lower tank) exceeds a set point because, for the purposes of fan operation, it doesn't matter as to the temperature of the coolant entering the radiator. What matters in terms of fan (needing to operate) operation is the temperature of the coolant leaving the radiator because when coolant exits at a sufficiently cool temperature, despite entering while very hot, the radiator is doing its job.

While moving at highway speeds, the fan is generally not required because the air flow created by motion is sufficient to provide sufficient heat transfer from the radiator. It is only when the passive air flow (movement created air flow) is not sufficient that the fan is required. If the fan switch is in the top of the radiator or in the cylinder head, the fan will run during many periods when it is not required. That is simply one step from having it run all the time = poor efficiency in terms of fan wear and power consumption.

The warning light switch could reasonably be placed into the radiator's top tank but this would be less desirable than in the cylinder head (before the thermostat) because a faulty/not opening thermostat would prevent coolant flow and cook the engine without the warning light coming into operation. Placing the warning light into the lower radiator tank would be very poor strategy for much the same reason: a badly over heating engine under conditions where the radiator is able to cool the coolant sufficiently (such as riding in heavy rain) would be likely to cook without the warning light coming into operation.
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post #6 of 30 Old 02-16-2015, 11:04 AM
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I agree with Damocles assessment of the need for a manual fan switch but do wish to point out that he is missing one of the most critical technical factors involved: Once one has installed a modification, one will go to no end of lengths to justify rather than to admit that it may not be useful. He overlooks this because he likely tends not to be caught on the horns of that middleman, unlike others of us. ;-)

Kidding aside, my experience with a manual fan switch (on my previous KLR but not this one as yet despite 98 other modifications) is that it is not needed. Bill Watson (Wattman) has some interesting data on his Thermobob web site regarding cooling which relates to the same line. I share Damocles appreciation of the fan on light as do find that to be informative.

There has been no shortage of bent fan shrouds which jammed the fan, for example, so when I see the fan light I begin to monitor the temperature gauge to insure that the temperature remains under control. It seems such a simple to implement feature.
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post #7 of 30 Old 02-16-2015, 11:58 AM
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I have a far superior mod than you, Norm.

On my bike there is a LED that is wired in to indicate when the fan is on. It is also precisely calibrated to begin to glimmer when I get to 65mph, as the fan begins to turn with sufficient speed to glimmer the LED.

Neener, neener.

Tom

p.s. The first time I saw it glimmer after installing it I got a bit freaked out. I was heading up over the Grapevine in near-freezing temperatures. It took me a while, in between involuntary shivers, to figure out what was going on.

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 02-16-2015 at 12:01 PM.
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post #8 of 30 Old 02-16-2015, 12:18 PM
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Yes, I've seen that and have installed a blocking diode for the purpose. I'm not going to strain credibility by suggesting that the diode was something I thought of before hand. ;-)
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post #9 of 30 Old 02-16-2015, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
On my bike there is a LED that is wired in to indicate when the fan is on. It is also precisely calibrated to begin to glimmer when I get to 65mph, as the fan begins to turn with sufficient speed to glimmer the LED.
A riding partner has a similar "advanced" mod on his '08 KLR650. My own incandescent jewel indicator light has never beamed from "wind power" and the free-wheeling fan, AFAIK; better take a close look next time I ride the Interstate express lane! An LED typically will glimmer with much lower voltage than an incandescent bulb, regardless.
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post #10 of 30 Old 02-16-2015, 12:58 PM
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What you really have to watch, Tom, is that the fan current doesn't over charge your battery. ;-)
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