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Discussion Starter #1
hi, guys
I just got my bike back from the dealership fixing the dreaded thermostat leak...and they filled my bike with BMW blue (G48 I believe) coolant instead of the new Triumph greeen stuff.

The BMW stuff is Ethylene Glycol, Diethylene Glycol, Sebacic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, 2-Ethylhexanoic Acid (2-EHA), and Silicates....

Anybody have some of the Triumph stuff who could list the ingredients? I suspect these two are very similar, but I'd feel a lot better knowing for sure...

thanks in advance,
John
 

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The SM says HD4X is 50% ethylene glycol, good to -31 F.
The formula is proving hard find it on the web. But it's high nitrite, low silicate. This is interesting because there is as much science in coolant as engine oil these days.

HD4X
MEG BASED UNIVERSAL ANTIFREEZE
Specifically designed to meet the requirements of heavy duty engine manufacturers, this antifreeze contains an advanced robust inhibitor package.
• Inhibitor package includes nitrite to provide additional protection against cavitation erosion / corrosion
• Low silicate content makes HD4X ideal for use in conjunction with Supplementary Coolant Additives\(SCA) as prescribed by many heavy duty engine manufacturers.
• Exceeds National Standards BS 6580
– 1992 and AFNOR NFR 15-601.
• Meets requirements of ASTM D-6210 for heavy duty engines.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hi, Diz
thanks for the info, yup I couldn't find it anywhere on Google. That's enough to warrant a call to Triumph IMO...the nitrite content (and lack of it in the BMW fluid) to prevent cavitation especially in Arizona heat is a concern at the least.
I'm hoping to get through to the big boys this afternoon...I'll post what I find out.

many thanks
John
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't have much to report after leaving several messages and finally getting Peter Carlio on the phone. What I have learned so far:

1) The single, only person to talk to at Triumph USA is this Peter Carlio guy. They refused to connect me with anyone remotedly technical.

2) Carlio knows nothing and seems to enjoy it. He repeatedly said that any coolant designed for "Aluminum engines" was fine...but couldn't even tell me where he was getting that from (noting that both the Owners manual and Workshop manual spec only HD4X). Nor did he address the nitrite content mentioned above regarding cavitation (nor did he seem to even know what cavitation was).

3) Asked whether the BMW coolant that Triumph put into my engine would invalidate the warrantee, his official response was "if it is designed for an Aluminum engine it's ok."

So the real question is how non-nitrite coolant will work in the long run, in the Arizona heat. Is cavitation actually an issue with this bike or not? I wrote a letter to Triumph UK to ask them (it's not like my dealer even carries the HD4X!).

Meanwhile, if anyone knows of a knowledgeable source at Triumph over here, a phone number would be appreciated. At present, I'm a little underwhelmed by their response.
John

PS Peter didn't know of any issue with leaking thermostats either. He said there isn't one.
 

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Dude, I feel your pain. The chemistry is carefully matched these days. Still, ignorance is not keeping up with science, again. Peter is a 20 something? Let's call his Mom. Seriously, cavitation erosion in aluminum is real. Metallurgy is real, and Dumbassery for a living seems acceptable. Hope for help.

One place might sell it.

http://www.brucerossmeyer.com/p-91483-hd4x-hybrid-coolant.aspx

and to further explore the differences in coolants:
http://www.search-autoparts.com/searchautoparts/data/articlestandard//motorage/162005/156227/article.pdf
 

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I went through this last year when I had my coolant leak. I wasn't leaking much, but wanted some spare coolant for a long trip just in case. My dealer had not received their shipment of Triumph HOAT so I picked up Zerex-05 instead. It is a different color so it fails the "don't mix colors test", but it is a nitrate-containing HOAT coolant.

It also says it is compatible with other brands, but I read somewhere that if you mix normal coolant with HOAT, you can't following the long change intervals associated with HOAT.

My dealer changes the coolant at major service intervals (every 12,000) so for me the long change intervals are moot anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the info guys...great humor, diz...and I completely agree with you on content as well. Thanks for the references too. I just wrote a letter to Triumph and will cool my heels for a little while til I hear from them. I can always just order in the HD4X and do the change myself. And I will if it comes to that. But I'm hoping to get some decent info from Triumph central...and a check or some coolant to cover that change if applicable.

I would like to know more about what going on...what alloy are they using for example, and whether silicate abrasion/erosion is likely (from the Beemer fluid) as well as whether nitrites were required based on testing or experience or just thrown in as a "just in case".

Anyway, I'm only good for a hundred miles or so a week right now...I figure I can wait a bit. I'll let you know what I learn when the time comes!
best regards,
John
 

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I can point you to the one guy i know of who may know and should be straight forward with you unlike Peter, who by the way is exactly who you described him as. he's pretty much useless and gets irritated easily. Anyways, call mickey cohen. Hes the triumph press fleet manager. He has his own independent shop but triumph chose him to manage thier press bikes because of his prowess as a top notch triumph mechanic. If anyone should know this it's him, and he doesn't have that "shrouded in secrecy" garbage happening as carlio does. He'll tell you like it is. But the only problem with him is that his mood at the moment you talk to him will dictate how much or little he wants to talk. So you may or may not get a lot out of him. But if he's at all talkative he will give you the full lowdown, at least in HIS opinion is it's subjective at all. here ya go... http://www.cohenmotorsports.com/
 

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I can point you to the one guy i know of who may know and should be straight forward with you unlike Peter, who by the way is exactly who you described him as. he's pretty much useless and gets irritated easily. Anyways, call mickey cohen. Hes the triumph press fleet manager. He has his own independent shop but triumph chose him to manage thier press bikes because of his prowess as a top notch triumph mechanic. If anyone should know this it's him, and he doesn't have that "shrouded in secrecy" garbage happening as carlio does. He'll tell you like it is. But the only problem with him is that his mood at the moment you talk to him will dictate how much or little he wants to talk. So you may or may not get a lot out of him. But if he's at all talkative he will give you the full lowdown, at least in HIS opinion is it's subjective at all. here ya go... http://www.cohenmotorsports.com/
If this is a service issue, and the correct coolant is not being added, then it should be addressed, constructively, in a letter or e-mail, with some of these comments attached, to Triumph U.K. It is imperative with a new excellent Thunderbird offering to have these questions answered. You should not have to guess which coolant to use, and get a definitive, KNOWLEDGEABLE answer. It is pretty easy to make an intelligent choice, once you have reliable information.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
hi, guys
Sorry about being late to respond, for some reason I haven't been getting email updates that there was action on this thread. Anyway, thanks for the suggestions and info. I'll definitely follow up with Mickey Cohen, Daz...thanks for that lead! Also, I'm reading everything on coolant that's been advocated...I appreciate that as well. I still haven't heard back from Triumph UK, but it's only been 3 weeks. I'm still hoping for a decent answer of simply....do we need the nitrites in this motor (not to mention is the silicate content in the BMW fluid good or bad for the Tbird motor). I also wouldn't mind something from them to make it cheaper or easier to swap out the current fluid, should that be their recommendation. So far I'm a little bummed by the crummy dealer and corporate response, but heartened by the camaraderie of you fellow Tbird lovers. I'll let you know if and when I get word from the UK office. And of course, if all else fails I'll just locate some HD4X and do a coolant flush myself. Hard to go wrong that way I guess...
best regards,
John

PS the weather's been great here lately....loving my bike!!
 

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I have a bottle of the proper Triumph HOAT coolant in my garage so I just went out to see what it lists for ingredients, but I forgot that the individual bottles show no ingredients (doesn't even have a part number). The bottles come packaged several to a box and the box has all the info.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
hi, guys
Nothing exciting going on so far, but I did hear back from Triumph (sort of) and thought I'd report in.
To recap, the dealership filled my bike with BMW HOAT coolant during servicing and insist that any "aluminum rated" HOAT meets Triumph spec. They don't even carry HD4X.
So I called Triumph USA, pretty much only Peter Carleo is available for information. He repeated the same thing (despite my quoting the Workshop and Owners Manuals to the contrary)..."any aluminum rated" HOAT coolant is what he said.
So I wrote Triumph UK...and asked them. Well...all they did was reroute the letter back to Carleo. I get a letter from him yesterday that says..."actually HD4X is the only coolant recommended for the Tbird"...which he says "is an aluminum rated HOAT as he told me on the phone". This guy's a bureaucratic clown...very clever twist of the truth to cover his butt. Meanwhile, he completely ignored my warantee question.
At least we know Triumph seems to saying HD4X is required for the warantee...if indistinctly. I might add that Carleo expressly refused to tell me the composition of HD4X. I wrote Carleo back to specifically address the warantee issue...and copied the UK. Hopefully keeping the UK in the loop will light a fire under this guy's butt.
At present, I am not thrilled with Triumph. If they're are this hard to pin down on such a simple thing, what if it were a big thing? Meanwhile, I still have to call Daz's guy in LA, Mickey Cohen. I'll get to that later in the week.
thanks
John
 

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If I were a betting man, I'd say Peter was right the first time - any aluminum-rated HOAT will do, but that he was told after-the-fact that Triumph's policy is to stick with their coolant.

What are the odds that Triumph custom formulated a coolant?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
hi, engage
ah...so shall we talk about betting and reality versus the politics of this situation? works for me *grin*
I have really only two questions....does the bike design require nitrites, and will silicates in this bike cause some erosion. My best guess is that the answer to both is a qualified "yes". That is the only reason I am pressing this issue. (reminder: the BMW coolant has silicates and no nitrite additives).
The problem I have with Carleo is that he has shown no motivation whatsoever to give a thoughtful answer to a customer with a legitimate question. Just to be clear, there was nothing thoughtful, cordial, forthcoming or frank about our conversation. It took me 4 days to get him on the phone and then he was terse and aloof. This guy is so uptight he wouldn't even change up his sentence structure. No matter what I asked, or for example, when referencing the Workshop manual...he just kept repeating "any aluminum-rated coolant." It was pretty clear that despite being in charge of customer relations, he didn't relish actually talking to customers.
Now you may disagree with me, and I am certainly open to learn more about this...as a guy who has spent a lifetime restoring vintage equipment, this is my first excursion in the vagaries of HOAT coolants...but from what I've read, there does seem to be a bit of variance in the requirements and weaknesses of various aluminum engine designs, and quite a bit of variance in the coolants designed to address them.
It may indeed be that this design is robust enough to withstand any of those options...specifically that it does not require nitrites for cavitation-resistance and can easily withstand any abrasion from silicate content (and doesn't care which organic acid base, or form of glycol content). But it seems to me that this is a legitimate question, deserving of a respectful answer.
Meanwhile, even if you are going to carry a generic private label coolant that is simply for branding and has no technical r'aison d'etre whatsoever...why spec it but not require your dealers to use it? This whole thing seems a little sloppy to me. And I am beginning to get a little annoyed personally at being treated in such a standoffish manner (by them).
John

PS it is possible Carleo is annoying but correct (before getting the word from Triumph to toe the line on HD4X). I am open to any other info you have on this. And of course, it's time to start actually trying to find out the answer and stop wasting time with Triumph at this point. I'd be happier if I even knew the alloy content of the relevent parts (!)
 

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Traveler - don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to agree or disagree, I just suspect Peter was right (informed or not).

I suspect this for a couple of reasons: 1) it seems that most motorcycle manufacturers (and boat motor, snow machine, etc.) private label many items like oil and coolant. My son has "Yamaha" oil for example. They do this to charge a lot of money for a commodity item and they always strongly suggest or insist on using their products.

2) The service manager at my Triumph dealer claims what Peter originally did - that any coolant rated for motorcycle will do (although they have the Triumph stuff and used it on my bike).

I've only had one conversation with Peter and he was helpful, but others have had a similar experience as you. I guess the guy has good and bad days.

Having said that, I understand your frustration and wanted to get a straight answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
hi, engage
yup, thanks for that info. I do agree with everything you're saying, and it's good to know that at least in your case, Peter was helpful. Maybe he and I got off on a bad footing, I don't know. I also understand what you're saying about Private Label products and how the various Brands push them. Many many years ago I was a salesman for a Private Label Chemical Bottler. Often the very same stuff goes into a different bottle, and may sell at a different price. Normally I assume this is the situation and buy generic.
The only reason I am holding out in this case, is simply because the various generic options from what I've read, are not actually superposible. And I could be wrong, but that's my current understanding...that there is no such thing as one generic which is beneficial to all current engines, but actually a couple variations which are appropriate for a couple different design, flow and alloy content combinations. If it's as simple as HD4X actually IS BMW coolant with a different color...I'm fine with that. I'm fine with anything...just want to know one way or the other *grin*
Sorry about the long answer. I do really appreciate your considered opinion, and wouldn't be surprised if your guess is right in this case. Meanwhile, I think it's time to just do a little more in-depth research and take my best shot. This isn't rocket science *grin*
thanks again for your thoughts...and, incidentally, I enjoy reading your posts on a variety of topics...
John
 
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