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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Whatsup everybody. I hate to ask for help on my very first post, but I'm up against the wall here.
So last riding season I wrecked my '04 klr (a woman in the lane next to me waived another car through to dart out in front of me . . . apparently not caring that I was driving on that lane). Anyway, the bike was paid off, but I couldn't part with it and have since been working towards a rebuild title.
So far I've ordered new fairings, straitened the handle bar, got a fork brace, new tires, etc. One of the only things left bugging me is the bike is still running hot, even when idling for a couple minutes. I mean it goes all the way to the right. I even blew a radiator hose just while idling, so I know it's actually getting hot, and not a faulty gauge (I've since replaced the hose). I've spent a lot of time on this forum reading, and so far, I've taken off the radiator cap (no visible circulation), completely taken out the thermostat (it looked like the previous owner welded the thermostat open or something anyway) and it still ran hot. I took off the pump cover (actually have to get a new pump cover gasket now. It ripped when I took the cover off) and checked the shaft. I doesn't appear to be broken, nor is impeller spinning freely. There wasn't any noticeable oil or coolant coming out the weep hole (There was oil in the skid plate, but I think that was from a sloppy oil change).

I'm running low on options here. All the shops are booked up for a month out. I found one "mobile" mechanic that canceled on me for the next week or so due to who cares what. The better the weather gets, the more I'm freaking out. Any advice??

Thnx in advance.

Note: Forgot to mention, the fan doesn't spin at all, even when the gauge reads hot. The fan comes on when I jump it though. I'm not sure the thermo switch is bad though since I doubt coolant is even getting to it.
 

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Well, IMHO, you gotta have an operational cooling fan to stabilize engine temperature in a safe range, idling in hot weather. Manual switch or thermal switch; fan's gotta blow.

If you saw no coolant circulation with the thermostat open/disabled/thrown away and the engine running, cooling system obviously deficient. Water pump problem.

Good luck!
 

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apau-

Along with Damocle's train of thought...

With the water pump cover off, start the bike for a few seconds. Look at the water pump to make sure it is spinning. Don't rely on 'it's not spinning freely'. Better to put eyes on it.

If that's a positive, then look for blockage.

Tom
 

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If the water pump impeller is turning, and won't turn on the shaft by hand with engine stopped, I'd start looking for a blockage in the hoses and radiator. The fan switch in the bottom of the radiator closes to operate the fan at a temperature above about 210 F so if there isn't hot coolant reaching the thermal switch, it won't operate the fan. It sounds to be a result of the root cause rather than a cause.

The KLR will operate without the thermostat however that is not ideal for the long term. It can be run without the thermostat to confirm that the issue is not that the 'stat is not opening.

It might be time to remove the radiator and hoses to inspect them and especially where the hoses connect, to see if something is blocking the passage. It may be that a hose inner liner has detached or something else is plugging the hose or connection.

Check the radiator upper tank to see if there is something blocking the tubes.

Last but first is: Have you by any change put the two water pump hoses onto the wrong nipples on the water pump? That will cause overheating under some conditions but usually only when the thermostat is in place. The pump intakes coolant from the lower radiator tank by way of the lower radiator hose, then pumps it to the engine by way of the pump to engine hose. Coolant moves up through the cylinder passages, through the head passages and into the head passage to the thermostat.

Heating of the coolant around the thermostat is responsible for heating the thermostat to open which allows coolant to pass to the radiator and down to the bottom hose and water pump. There is no significant flow with the thermostat closed.

If the water pump hoses are reversed, the pump is trying to move coolant from the base of the engine into the bottom of the radiator but can't enter the cylinder head unless the thermostat is open. Thermostat won't open because the coolant in the upper rad hose will never be hot enough....excepting if the engine is sitting while very hot as that can allow heating of the coolant in the head and open the thermostat. The thermostat will only open very briefly until the cold coolant from the upper rad hose cools the thermostat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everybody for all the help.
Normk: The radiator hoses haven't been switched as far as i know. The only other time the bike has left my sight was to have a rear tire mounted, and unless I made some enemies, they shouldn't have touched the cooling system. The hoses are already disconnected now so it's no way I could tell if that was an issue before I took it off, but I'm assuming it wasn't the problem since whatever the set up was, must have been like that for the past 2-3 years; and it never ran this hot, this quick before. . . There was that one hose coming from the radiator that blew a few weeks ago, but when I replaced it I didn't disconnect any other hoses.

Damocles and Tom Schmitz: I took your advice and checked the impeller with the pump cover off. Here's a vid:
www [dot] axu8 [dot] com/files/klrTroubleshooting1.mov
You think it's safe to rule the pump out at this point? . . . Like I said, I tore the gasket when I took the cover off, but I should have another one coming hopefully tomorrow or Saturday. The one thing that I did think was kinda odd was that there wasn't hardly any coolant that drained out before I took the pump cover off. . . Also, the little coolant that did come out was purple; and the coolant that's in the reservoir is blue. It's almost like the coolant is not leaving the reservoir or something?

I take it based on everybody's advice that the radiator's coming out to check for blockages? Any easy way of testing for blockages or verifying that the radiator actually works?

Thanks again.
 

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This might get messy, so move your bike onto your neighbor's driveway.

Remove the hose that goes to the bottom of the radiator and see what's obstructing it. With the cover off like that and the cap off the radiator, there should be no coolant left in the radiator. If it is not draining it must be blocked.

Remove the hose that goes to the cylinder and make sure it is not blocked.

Put the hose back on and blow through the hose to make sure that the cylinder is not blocked.

Remove the radiator and back flush it.

If you go in this order, you should find the blockage.

As Norm pointed out, make sure that the hose that goes from the port labeled 'Cyl' on the cover goes to the cylinder when you reassemble. Easy to mix up.

By the way, I have to ask this as you're talking about the reservoir. There was or is coolant in the radiator, right?

Obviously the impeller works. When I watched the video it was a mirror image. The impeller looked like it was on the left side and 'Kawasaki' was 'ikasawaK'.

Tom
 

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Tom, that's the right hand drive version of the KLR. It was made for the Japanese, UK, Oz & Kiwi markets.



This might get messy, so move your bike onto your neighbor's driveway.

Remove the hose that goes to the bottom of the radiator and see what's obstructing it. With the cover off like that and the cap off the radiator, there should be no coolant left in the radiator. If it is not draining it must be blocked.

Remove the hose that goes to the cylinder and make sure it is not blocked.

Put the hose back on and blow through the hose to make sure that the cylinder is not blocked.

Remove the radiator and back flush it.

If you go in this order, you should find the blockage.

As Norm pointed out, make sure that the hose that goes from the port labeled 'Cyl' on the cover goes to the cylinder when you reassemble. Easy to mix up.

By the way, I have to ask this as you're talking about the reservoir. There was or is coolant in the radiator, right?

Obviously the impeller works. When I watched the video it was a mirror image. The impeller looked like it was on the left side and 'Kawasaki' was 'ikasawaK'.

Tom
 

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Is the OP from down under? lol
 

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Then I'm sure the impeller was running backwards.

"There's the problem, right there," Tom said correctly.

Tom
 
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Here's the video so it doens't have to be downloaded:
 

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The video may be harder to solve the cooling issue itself! ;)

ahhh, Normk do you suppose the water pump impeller is turning backwards?
 

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Ok apau,
So in all seriousness,
Quite a few years back, I encountered a Ninja 600 4 cylinder which had for lack of better description, "congealed glycol" gumming up the internal passages of the radiator.

I think we back-flushed from the bottom-up. With HOT city water pressure, straight from the water heater. Not one of these newer, wimpy, couldn't scald anything, Eco friendly, energy misers. Like 160 degrees F. and 50-70 PSI.

Please be careful, or take the radiator to a radiator Shop, if it is plugged/restricted.
 

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We saw that with some Fords which where in the transition between poly-v and v belts. The two drive belt types had water pumps which turned in opposite directions so identical other than the impellers. The belt pulleys would bolt onto either pump. That gave some shops some real problems until everyone worked out the problem.

The jelled coolant is a good thought. We ran into quite a few problems with the early duracool and some other names used in GM.




The video may be harder to solve the cooling issue itself! ;)

ahhh, Normk do you suppose the water pump impeller is turning backwards?
 

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What I would do with the thermostat out and the radiator full and the radiator cap off and a water hose handy.

Disconnect the top hose from the top of the radiator and run the engine at idle. You should get a good flow from the top hose. If you do, run the water into a bucket and keep the radiator full with the water hose above the neck, but not poked into it forcing water in. My 2008 will pump 5 gallons of water in three minutes while idling at 1,500 rpm with the thermostat removed and 5 gallons in one munite at 3,600 rpm.

If you don't get a good flow through the top hose, try putting the water hose in the radiator neck and sealing it with a rag just to see if you can force water through the system.

Then work backward down the water flow path disconnect the bottom end of engine-to-radiator hose. Then the top end of the pump-to-engine hose. Then the bottom end of the pump-to-engine hose. Then the bottom end of the radiator-to-pump hose. Finally disconnect the radiator-to-pump hose from the bottom of the radiator.

If you don't get good flow at any point all the way back to the radiator, the radiator must be plugged.

You can do this in a different order that may be easier if you like. The point is to keep checking joints until you find where flow is lost.
 

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A puzzle to me in the narrative . . . with thermostat removed, engine running, no circulation of coolant . . . suggests profound blockage, and/or water pump disabled, to me . . .
 

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A puzzle to me in the narrative . . . with thermostat removed, engine running, no circulation of coolant . . . suggests profound blockage, and/or water pump disabled, to me . . .
It sure sounds that way.

Here is an easy quick check for the piping. With the thermostat out and the radiator cap off disconnect both hoses at the pump. Press a water hose to to the disconnected radiator hoses. If there is no blockage in either route, water should flow through each hose and out through the radiator cap or back down out the other hose.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You guys are hilarious. . .

Thanks Tom. I didn't have enough replies to post a video yet.

I couldn't work on it yesterday. I spent all day banging the rotors off a car (why would honda use phillips head screws to mount a rotor?. . . Heads up, save yourself a Sat and just drill them out to begin with).

Back at it today, I took a combination of everyone's advice. I basically completely took out the radiator and reservoir. Flushed them, took out all the hoses, and flushed them. Right as I finished that, the mailman brought my pump housing gasket and new thermostat. Perfect, installed both of those. And finally. . .

With everything back together, I crank the engine, it fires up perfect. Ran it for a few minutes with the radiator cap off to burp it. This time the needle did not skyrocket up, but actually stayed pretty steady. The fan didn't switch on, but according to the meter, it never got hot enough for it to. Plus, who cares anyway; I had planned on installing a manual switch as so as I got done whether the fan came on or not (I know the fan motor works). All around, I'd say SUCCESS!! . . . Until major failure.

I turn off the engine, put back on the radiator cap. Turn it back on just to make sure, but this time it doesn't start. It just keeps rotating. Worse, I see white smoke coming out the exhaust. I'm hoping its not a blown head gasket. That's out of my league. A mechanical seal I can deal with. Any thoughts on testing for either malfunction?
 

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................I turn off the engine, put back on the radiator cap. Turn it back on just to make sure, but this time it doesn't start. It just keeps rotating. Worse, I see white smoke coming out the exhaust. I'm hoping its not a blown head gasket....................
Did you still have the tank off when it wouldn't start? Can you test the plug to see if it's firing?
 
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