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Discussion Starter #1
Ok I could be over-reacting but I need some advice...

I bought a 2001 Sprint, and it looks like it hasn't been run sinse at least April, probably longer, and I have no service history.

Anyway, I noticed I couldn't clearly make out the coolant which made me worry.

On the way to work I notice how the temperator gauge never seems to go over about 1/4 the way up the dial. I dont know how warm they are supposed to run and I can feel the heat from the engine. The fans kick in though, which is a relief.

When I had a look in the coolant refil bottle tonight, I couldn't manage to get the seat cowling off but I get get a look inside and noticed that its , well its not blue. Around the coolant bottle there is a slight powder that is almost like clay, and the coolant is sort of similar, though not dark, but certainly not blue.

So I've had a head gasket go in a car, and it reminded me of that though I seem to remember that being alot more oily.

Does this sound like its just because its been left standing a while and needs flushing out or should I really worry.

I'm scared to ride it to work tomorrow now. I noticed today on the way home in some of the slow moving traffic it was a bit stuttery though that could be me being paranoid.

Help!
 

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If you had oil in the coolant, it'd be like very slick choc-milk.

Cheapest and easiest place to start is to drain/flush/refill cooling system with PROPER coolant. Check service or owners manual for coolant specs. (i.e; donot use tap-water) Its gonna be messy if you do it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i read another post just now

http://www.triumphrat.net/sprint-forum/95576-coolant-colour.html

While I can't tell if its the same color as this, the comment about the rusty mud/clay like stuff around the filler cap sounds similar.

I'm a little confused though why the temp needle doesn't go up much, though there is a solid bottom line, another thin line just a little after that and then a big big gap before you hit red. The needle on mine doesn't go much over the thin line.

I'm starting to think (and hope) that its just due to the guy before me not really taking care of it and the fact its been unused for a while.

The roughness on slow moving in heavy traffic when the bit was obviously getting warm is a sign that it really needs a good flush out and clean of everything.
 

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it sounds like your coolant is just old. My 99 had similar coolant in it and I was told it goes redish colored when its old. Flush the system and refill with new coolant and you should be good.

As for the temp, I assume they run cool cause I've sat in stop and go traffic for over an hour in 100 deg F heat and the gauge never made it hight then what you described. Me on the other hand, I was drenched and needed a shower ASAP, Black jackets aren't to fun when sitting still.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After racking my brains I remember what the coolant was like in my car when the gasket went, and happy to say it isn't like the disgusting mess that was.
 

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ztolley,

You're okay until you can get into changing and flushing the coolant.

Two hints on the job. First, in addition to the removal of the left side fairing (to drain the old coolant), just go ahead and take off the left rear fairing. By the time you're done, you'll be glad you did.

Second, if your bike is like my '00 was, the vent cap (the hex head next to the filler cap) was frozen to the casting. Do not try to take it off!

NOTE: The following procedure is not in any manual. The procedure in the manual proved to be very effective in making a mess and testing the 'HOT' reading on the temperature gauge. My procedure seems to work, although it's a PITA.

CAUTION: Running the engine on the centerstand creates toxic fumes, a good bit of noise and, depending on the bike, some rotation of the rear wheel. So, take appropriate precautions.

Filling the bike becomes an entertaining ritual of- fill it until it overflows, then put the cap on. Sit on the bike and rock it side to side. Dismount, take the cap off. Add fluid. Replace cap. Rock the bike. Remove the cap. Then, hoist the bike onto the centerstand.

Carefully fill until the fluid is visible, but not topped up. After ensuring the exhaust is directed outside, and no small children or housepets are near, start the bike and allow the engine to warm up. Like a car, when the thermostat opens you will see the fluid level in the radiator drop. Slowly add more coolant until the level reaches the neck. Replace the cap. Turn off the bike. Fill the overflow reservoir to the 'high' or 'hot' (whatever) line.

CAUTION: Clean up any spilled coolant. It is extremely slippery!

Take the bike for an easy spin around the block. Try to get some revs once or twice, and swerve right and left a bit. The object is to free any air pockets in the engine and radiator.

Get home, and check the rez level. You might want to remove the radiator cap (quickly!) to verify you've filled it, and then replace it. Refill the reservoir to the proper level.

Before you put the rear fairing back on, carefully check the nylon 90's that connect to the radiator and the overflow. They tend to get brittle, and break. I know of a couple of '03s that have had this happen. It may be the '03 had a different vendor, or the fairing and overflow tank sit just a bit different, but the tank to radiator 90 is the one that breaks, which drains the tank.

Put the bike back together and ride it! Watch the level in the reservoir, and top it up as necessary. The above procedure works well enough, and I've needed to top off only once. Except when the 90 broke...

Of course, if the vent cap on your bike isn't frozen, most of the above procedure is unnecessary.

OnD, Dave, Dolson - Any comments?
(You'll notice I didn't address the choice of coolant!)
 

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Is coolant blue in the UK? It should be green. If you are worried about it, flush it. The white residue you see is a by product of antifreeze when it evaporates.

If you had a head gasket problem you would probably have a plume of white smoke out your tail as well.
 

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That is strange? Every time I've had a head gasket problem, the smoke came out my ears. I'll have to check my tail next time. :D

The only thing I would add to pushr0d's procedure is related to safety. If you are a klutz, or not comfortable running your bike at anything above idle on the center stand, tie the stand to the front wheel. That will prevent an inadvertent stand retraction. If you do not get above idle, it should not be a concern.

 

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Coolant is blue here in Arizona also (bright, light blue) - I just bought a bottle from the Triumph dealer last weekend so I some around 'just in case'.....
 

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Normal coolant over here in Sweden is a deep blue/green colour and when diluted and viewed through the coolant reservoir it looks green-ish.
 

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Bright blue in Canada is windshield washer antifreeze.

Despite all that. THe OP needs to flush it out and move on with his riding.
 

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I like to do my own maintenance as much as possible, but will take mine to the stealer to change the coolant. It is probably due about now actually.

I got some pinhole leaks in the radiator of my dear departed '99. The genuine article was unfeasibly expensive, and it is made of aluminium so you can't just take it to the corner shop. I found a place that would replace the core for a price that was only mildly extortionate, they blamed the failure on reaction between the improperly flushed old coolant and the new stuff I put in. I had drained the system 3 times and replaced with fresh water, then added the new coolant, Mr. Man in shop deemed this not adequate!

Also note my '99 used to accumulate a gritty, yet slimy substance in the overflow tank resembling baby crap. My '02 doesn't.

And my coolant is green.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well at least the bay crap slime is not just me.

Anyway, I've handed my bike over to a nice man who I am reliably informed is a good mechanic and very reasonably priced. If a police rider trusts all his bikes with him, and he has a garage in the middle of nowhere with no advertising and yet seems to be always fully book then he must be ok.

So I'm without my baby for a few days while he does everything, including a valve timing check, which I guess means if there's is anything bad he'll spot it.

I'll flick though my haynes manual and at some point build up the courage to do something simple myself.. maybe the next oil change.
 

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US motorcycle coolant color depends on the brand. Two popular brands of motorcycle coolant are Engine Ice which is blue and Coolanol which is green. Either one works fine.
 

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When I bought my bike (new, outta the crate) it came with blue coolant. When I went back to the selling-dealer to pick up coolant for annual change, they sold me Suzuki coolant, and it was green. Like stated earlier Color depends on manufacturer. Now I run Coolinall (i think thats how its spelled) It doesnt matter what brand you use, as long as it meets Triumphs spec's for these bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Am a very happy bunny.

Mechanic gave the bike a total going over today and said the bike is sound. Checked valve clearences and needed a couple of shims only, everything else fine except rear baring was crushed (I dont know what bearing) simply because it had worn and not been maintained correct. He didn't seem to think it was any big thing and parts will be abour £40 for a new paid. Alternator was loose but just a new o-ring and tighten up (so that was the strange rattle).

Apart from that, bikes good and I get it back in a few days when the parts turn up and are done.

Not a cheap service (its as big as it gets), but then again he's a very good guy and way way cheaper than a Triumph dealer (they would have charged 3 or 4 times the money I imagine).

Now I have peace of mind that my bikes good and it's up to me to keep it that way.
 

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If you are a klutz, or not comfortable running your bike at anything above idle on the center stand, tie the stand to the front wheel. That will prevent an inadvertent stand retraction. If you do not get above idle, it should not be a concern.

I tried your idea oldndumb but afterwards as I attempted to ride off the ties stopped the front wheel from rotating and I kept falling off.

Pete
 

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I tried your idea oldndumb but afterwards as I attempted to ride off the ties stopped the front wheel from rotating and I kept falling off.

Pete
....you sure it wasnt because of your twelve-year-old tires???? LOL LMAO

sorry...I just couldnt resist! j.k.
 
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