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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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2003 Sprint, coolant airlock?

Hi all

Encountered heavy traffic on the Sprint for the first time in 500 miles or so of my ownership, temp gauge climbed from its usual position of just above the second mark (above the "C", analogue gauge) to just below the red. Pulled over, fan was on but radiator didn't seem that hot. Parked up for 15 minutes or so, no coolant visible in filler to expansion tank, tank plastic is clouded so difficult to be certain about level. Topped up with hot water, 60 miles home and gauge was generally OK, moved about but nothing to be concerned about.

Seller stated recent coolant change, reading through previous posts it's possible there was air in cooling system that didn't cause a problem until the heavy traffic. I can see the radiator cap, looks like some of the fairing needs to come off to remove cap. I can also see a bleed bolt on the other side of radiator, looks accessible without removing the fairing.

I need to add some neat anti-freeze to the coolant, any tips re: bleeding? Front of bike in the air? Run engine with cap off? Back of bike in the air and just fill via the expansion tank?

Current anti-freeze looks to be green, owner's manual states blue, what do other Sprint owners use?

Edit to add: I can reach the radiator cap without removing the fairing

Last edited by Dibnah; 10-26-2016 at 08:06 AM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 11:18 AM
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Dibnah, a lot of times you'll find that a trapped air bubble after a coolant change causes the 'hot' condition. I've had good luck just running the bike around on short trips once or twice, checking the reservoir when the engine cools and adding coolant as necessary. Problem usually goes away in short order.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 06:25 PM
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That sounds like Prestone in there which is fine.
If the problem persists after a few rides you'll want to open the bleeder on a cold motor, start it up and let it run until you're just getting fluid coming out and then top up the radiator and put some in the overflow tank as well (if necessary).
A big drip pan is a good idea for this one.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.

I found some more heavy traffic yesterday, the temp gauge moved to about 1/2 way, the fan cut in and held it there. The gauge quickly moved back down when moving. Ambient temp approx 15'C 65ish'F.

Gauge seems to move quickly, so probably driven from the ECU. I'll carry a laser temp gauge to monitor.

Possibly an airlock then, I'll buy some Prestone
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 03:09 AM
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Dibnah,

I'll try to add my stone to the edifice. One of the possible causes of trapping air bubbles in the coolant circuit may be that the thermostat was mounted up side down. The second is that the PO didn't wait for full temp cycles after changing the coolant or didn't open the bleeder screw on the radiator when filling up.

An other point is that on those bikes the overflow system is a bit tricky because it's above the engine. So as explained by Steve you might want to top up in the overflow tank. You also might want to clean the radiator cap w/ a soft tooth brush to allow the two valves (over pressure and under pressure) to act freely.

Please note that the level in the overflow tank is supposed to be at the minimum level when cold and at the max level when hot.

And while I am in it, we don't care about the coolant color. In this bike the antifreeze should be just polyethylene glycol w/ some anti-oxidant agent in it. So regular one. I don't think water wetter is necessary in the 955 unless you're living in Texas or south California or south of Spain.

Fred
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 04:16 AM
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Squeezing that thick tube that runs low from the radiator to the pump housing is an important part of the bleed process, as is having the radiator bleed screw a hair open. In an ideal world, you would open the three bleed screws before filling and close them as they start leaking, but I've always ended up with extra air in the system in spite of that. Truth is, I've never managed to fill the cooling system fully the first time in nine years of owning a 955. It's a huge pain.

Cheers,
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 04:57 AM
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I can feel it .

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 04:59 AM
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BTW on my GT I add the under pressure valve stuck and this hose became flat when cooling down. Scary.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. The gauge has indicated overheating again in traffic since my last post, pulled over and checked temps with a laser thermometer, nothing over 90'C / 194'F at the cylinder head, temp into radiator was around 70'C / 158'F, temp out of rad was around 50'C / 122'F, all of which seem low. Gauge soon dropped down when moving off again.

Left bike for 24 hours, then topped up rad and coolant reservoir with about 1/2 pint of Prestone, the reservoir needing a torch behind to see the level (mentioned in another post on this forum). Squeezed hoses. 30 miles but only moderate traffic, no issues with gauge. Temps measured at 95' - 100'C everywhere. Possibly air pockets forming around the coolant temp sensor? Hopefully now cleared.

Is there only one coolant temp sensor? Or is there one for the gauge and one to trigger the fan? Unlikely if both driven from the ECU, but need to close off the possibility.

I have a couple of bleeding questions:

I can only find the bleed bolt on the top of the rad (RHS facing forward), are there others?

How many turns for the bleed bolt on the rad? I removed it when filling and lost the sealing washer inside the fairing. Does it bleed OK if unscrewed by a couple of turns?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 04:14 AM
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IIRC, the top bolt holding the pump cover on is the lowest bleed screw, then there's one about halfway up the left side of the motor, then the one on the radiator. I think you can tell them from the others because they all have crush washers? Sorry, been a while...

Not sure what you're asking about the one on the radiator. Just open it a hair until it leaks, then crank it to 10 or 12 Nm or whatever the spec is when you're done. You do need to find or replace that copper washer.

Cheers,
-Kit

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