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noodles

How to: Coolant flush and change

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noodles

This is a short how-to on flushing your cooling system and replacing the coolant. I used Engine Ice, a propylene glycol-based coolant, but the manual calls for a "high quality ethylene glycol coolant safe for aluminum engines".

 

Note: this procedure should be done on a day above freezing temperature to avoid the coolant flush from freezing in your engine and cooling system.

 

Tools/supplies you'll need:

  • 2mm hex key for radiator retaining bolt
  • 5mm hex key for the reservoir bolt
  • 6 (8?) mm box or flare nut wrench for the coolant drain bolt
  • New coolant drain bolt [95022-06010-00] and copper washer [90430-06014-00] (if you so desire)
  • ~0.5 US gal coolant of your choice - I used Engine Ice
  • 1 gal distilled water
  • 0.5 gal distilled white vinegar
  • Drain pan for coolant
  • Empty containers for old coolant
  • Funnel (unless you're brave)
  • Household measuring cup

 

1. WARNING! BE SURE ENGINE AND RADIATOR ARE COOL TO THE TOUCH BEFORE PROCEEDING!

You will hurt yourself if you try to open the radiator while the engine or radiator are still warm.

 

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2. Remove the radiator cap's retaining bolt and then remove the radiator's cap (is the engine cool?!) by pushing down and turning. Replace the radiator cap without turning it after you remove it. This is so when we crack the drain bolt, the flow isn't so strong at first while we orient the drain pan to catch the old coolant.

 

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3. Carefully loosen the coolant drain bolt (located on the bottom-most coolant pipe leading to the radiator). This is a delicate small bolt so don't wrench it too hard. Remember it's upside down, so don't turn to the left ... Ask me how I know that won't work... Also, don't lose the little copper washer if you plan on reusing it!

 

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4. Ready the drain pan of your choice - I use a cut out old oil jug.  Drain the coolant into the pan, removing the radiator cap entirely when you have the pan aligned.

 

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5. While the coolant is draining, mix the white vinegar and distilled water in a 50/50 ratio to make your coolant flush. When the coolant is dripping instead of flowing, it's time to remove the reservoir on the other side. Loosen and remove the retaining bolt and undo the quick fastener. Remove the coolant reservoir altogether by peeling back the top cap. Pour the old coolant into the drain pan. Wash the bottle if you'd like - just rinse it with distilled water when you're done. Mine had sediment all along the bottom. When you're done, fill the reservoir halfway with the flush solution and replace it on the bike - torque the retaining bolt to 3.6 ftlb (not super tight!). Make sure the rubber cap is completely sealed on the tank.

 

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6. Replace the coolant drain bolt and washer, torque to spec (5.1 ft lb - not super tight). Fill the radiator with the flush solution you just made - pour until you can see the flush solution at the filler neck, then replace the radiator cap. Don't worry about any air, this isn't a brake line - just be sure it is as full as you can make it so your machine doesn't overheat.

 

7. Run the machine until your radiator fan kicks on - about 210 degrees F. I had to ride mine around the corner and then some to get it this warm. I did this to get the water pump to work through the flush solution. You can just leave it idle if you'd like, too.

 

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8. LET THE MACHINE COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE PROCEEDING.

 

9. When the engine is cool again, remove the radiator retaining bolt, the radiator cap (is the engine cool?!), crack the drain bolt again, get the flush solution out, replace the drain bolt, pour distilled water in until the radiator is full, crack the drain bolt again until the radiator is empty ... Truly, rinse and repeat as needed into the drain pan. Don't forget the drain your reservoir tank, too. Rinse it with distilled water too. When you're satisfied no more gunk is coming out, fill the radiator with your coolant mix this time to the filler neck, and fill the reservoir to the "F" line.

 

10. Recheck your work for leaks or missed connections/fasteners, then run the bike and recheck the coolant level in the reservoir when it settles. Fill it to the halfway mark if necessary with more coolant. Keep an eye out for leaks, and change your dash to the temperature readout to keep an eye on it for the next day or two to be sure everything is working OK.

 

11. Revel in the glory of doing maintenance yourself - your wallet will thank you!

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 3

his face seems pulled and tense
like he's riding on a motorbike in the strongest winds

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r1limited

NIce,

Forgot to add

Pour everyting in the Gutter, salmon love that shet

Edited by r1limited
  • Like 2

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.” --Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria

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mjh937

Thanks for the great write up, @noodles.  I pinned it and added it to the master list of "how to's" so it will be easy for people to find. 

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bakamoto

great write up! Nice job!

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shinyribs

How long have you been using this "flush solution"? Do you do anything to neutralize the acidic nature of the vinegar? 

Vinegar works well to remove rust from fuel tanks and such, but it will continue to eat away until neutralized. It can be corrosive to the rubber seals in fuel tanks and petcocks, and will cause further flash rusting. I know coolants are manufactured with additives in them intended to neutralize any acids that may develop inside a cooling system, but I wonder if they are able to cope with the amount of acid being supplied in a flush like this?

Just thinking out loud.

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phanomenal07

dos anyone know what size copper washer i need for the drain bolt? or is it ok to reuse again since the torque spec is so light?

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mossrider
Just now, phanomenal07 said:

dos anyone know what size copper washer i need for the drain bolt? or is it ok to reuse again since the torque spec is so light?

Reuse it.

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noodles
On 3/25/2019 at 11:58 PM, shinyribs said:

How long have you been using this "flush solution"? Do you do anything to neutralize the acidic nature of the vinegar?

That's the point of flushing with more distilled water at least once after emptying the vinegar solution. The vinegar is in the system for such a short time I have no worries about corrosion or seals. By flushing with pure water, it will dilute any residual vinegar to such low concentration I have no fear at all about damage to the cooling system.


his face seems pulled and tense
like he's riding on a motorbike in the strongest winds

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ShiftHer

Thank you soooo much for this tutorial! I just changed coolant for the first time in my life! 

  • Like 1

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