Hot engine cold water - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-26-2013, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Hot engine cold water

I was wondering if there are any related problems from running a hot engine and then crossing a cold river and submerging the engine under the cold water. Will it affect the strength of the engine casing?
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-26-2013, 06:20 PM
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Never heard of such, gaucho10!

Maybe other forum members have direct, personal experience or observation of the phenomenon.

Hey, don't they HEAT-TREAT white-hot (or, red-hot) metal by quenching in cold liquid?

Seriously, the heat-capacity of an engine remains borne by not only the metal molecules, but also the coolant and oil present . . . I think it would take a rather frigid body-of-liquid (as in, total immersion in a vat of liquid nitrogen, etc.) to affect materially the structural integrity of engine cases, but . . . only an opinion, a conjecture . . .

Last edited by Damocles; 02-27-2013 at 11:10 AM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-26-2013, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Your theory sounds good to me. I was thinking hot glass into cold water...maybe something similar with a MC engine.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-26-2013, 11:42 PM
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I don't believe there is a problem. If there was, splashing through a deep puddle on a hot day would be too. I have done both with no ill effects.
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-26-2013, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
Never heard of such, gaucho10!

Maybe other forum members have direct, personal experience or observation of the phenomenon.

Hey, don't they TEMPER white-hot metal by quenching in cold liquid?

Seriously, the heat-capacity of an engine remains borne by not only the metal molecules, but also the coolant and oil present . . . I think it would take a rather frigid body-of-liquid (as in, total immersion in a vat of liquid nitrogen, etc.) to affect materially the structural integrity of engine cases, but . . . only an opinion, a conjecture . . .
The word is HARDEN. Tempering is done to soften and toughen the previously HARDENED metal to a specific hardness to make it useable without breaking. When hardening the steel is not taken up to "white-hot" but is usually only bright orange.
In the interest of accuracy....Regards....justjeff

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post #6 of 17 Old 02-27-2013, 01:13 AM
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I've ridden engine-deep through a few really cold Rocky Mountain streams and small "rivers" with a hot engine and never had an issue with it. I've never heard of anybody cracking a motorcycle engine case riding it through cold water or spraying cold water on the engine while it was still hot.



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post #7 of 17 Old 02-27-2013, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by justjeff View Post
The word is HARDEN.
I stand corrected!

I substitue, "heat-treat" for "temper," in search of a sufficiently ambiguous weasel-word!

And, maybe the process you describe is sometimes called, "annealing."

You'd never know I once worked for a firm with among the most advanced steel, and even titanium, foundries in the country, would you? Reckon I knew less about metallurgy than the boys on the loading dock!

Last edited by Damocles; 02-27-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-27-2013, 11:40 AM
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While I've never balked at riding through really cold water with a hot engine, I seem to heed the old warning of not spraying cold water onto a hot engine. Is there a difference? Beats me. I've been warned about this since I first started operating anything with an engine.

I suppose it was more relevant back in the day of cast-iron small engines operating at a million degrees.



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post #9 of 17 Old 02-27-2013, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
While I've never balked at riding through really cold water with a hot engine, I seem to heed the old warning of not spraying cold water onto a hot engine. Is there a difference? Beats me. I've been warned about this since I first started operating anything with an engine.

I suppose it was more relevant back in the day of cast-iron small engines operating at a million degrees.
I have wondered about this many times.




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post #10 of 17 Old 02-27-2013, 08:06 PM
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When I was racing stockcars we used to spray water through the radiator and over the engine to cool it down before shutting it off between races. The exhaust system would be literally glowing. I can't imagine the thermal shock but I never saw any adverse effects.
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