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Old 01-15-2006, 09:30 PM
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Which Coolant to use?

Quote:
I noticed the owner's manual says to use antifreeze that is safe for aluminum engines. Now for the stupid question of the day! Is regular old green antifreeze safe to use in our engines?
I think you are better off (again) being safe and not sorry...Buy an antifreeze that SAYS on the bottle.. " For aluminum engines and radiators" Knifemaker

I checked the antifreeze I have been using when I got home. It is Supertech from Wal-Mart. It says on the very front "All metal corrosion protection including aluminum". It's what I have been using. Warren D.

Try Dex-Cool. It's orange in color, and is silicate free. Safe for aluminum engines, and widely available.

Dex-Cool! I run it in my VN750 and my Suzuki. It's also a favorite of Gold Wing owners. Don't forget to mix it with Distilled water.


Quote:
I just had at look at what Google brought up (re dex cool). Seems like most auto makers are switching to it if they haven't already. It might be a problem in the 4.3 liter Chevy motor for whatever reason but if we use it and change it every two yrs we should be fine. I'd never leave a coolant in my car or bike for 5 yrs anyway. I drop a gallon and refill with fresh 'freeze every year - I really don't like changing water pumps, radiators and heater cores! As I've mentioned before Dex- Cool is quite popular in the bike world for a reason. -Bruce Detroit
If your current freeze isn't that old all you have to do is drain and refill with Dex-Cool. As I understand it, (from a fair amount of research and conversations with chemical techs) the traditional green stuff will work just fine if mixed with new type Dex-Cool but it obviously won't last the "advertised" 5 yrs/150,000 miles. When I drained out my 750's green 'freeze I measured the amount and it was almost the entire capacity of the cooling system so I just refilled with Dex-Cool. Dex-Cool is also a bit thinner then conventional 'freeze, (you can actually feel the difference) and dissipates heat a bit faster! I'll drain my freeze again this spring and then probably do it every 2-3 yrs. FYI - The green Japanese 'freeze that you'd find at at dealer, which is usually the Honda stuff and sold in qt bottles is silicate free and labeled as such. FYI - Silicates are actually good thing, just not in our bikes.


You can purchase Kawasaki Anti-freeze from your dealer. They come in a plastic bottle that you will then dilute on your own with distilled water. With a 50/50 mixture there is enough to refill the bike. I recently paid about $7 for it.

GO with the Kawasaki antifreeze. Regular automotive antifreeze contains silica in it. It is not good for motorcycle engines. Mike '89 vn 750

You are not supposed to use antifreeze with silica in it. Which most automotive antifreeze contains. I use the Kawachem for bikes. Some use Dexcool which does not contain silica.

I don't think Honda Goldwing riders take kindly too Prestone so we should learn from all the waterpumps they've lost over the yrs.

Note: this next post did not come from the VN750 group.
Below is some info I ripped from another group I thought was interesting: The green stuff is almost always silicate-based. Dex-cool uses organic compounds for corrosion prevention and is a pissy orange color. You will hear a lot of babble about "motorcycle safe" coolants much like you hear about motorcycle oils. Malarkey. Texaco is the only company making this crap in the US and they rebottle it for all the OEMs as well. The different color is to let the planet know this ain't your daddy's silicate. This is is as good as it gets and you can buy a whole gallon of concentrate for what motorcycle dealers charge for a liter of 50/50 premix.

The green stuff is the Prestone silicate forumla. Used to be it wasn't safe for aluminum engines but the current one is. Double check to make sure it says so on the bottle as some cheapie brands are not cool for Al. The only downside to using this is the anti-corrosion additives wear out in a couple of years, something of real import in aluminum blocks cause if you let it go it'll cause erosion like nobody's business.

The other alleged downside is gelling which the silicates are prone to. This is not a problem in all but the most poorly maintained cooling systems and even then I doubt motorcycles would be prone to it. It occurs most commonly the the heater cores of cages which don't see the kind of flow that radiators do.

Now many moon ago, Honda Goldwing eat pump seal and some say it was due to the incredibly abrasive silicate. To date this is the only bike with a known issue. If silicates were bad then the "motorcycle coolants" that are sold would be organic based, but many are not. Read the bottle carefully and they simply advertise "safe for aluminum". The R6 came with the green fill.

In reality the bigger danger is allowing an aluminum engine to operate minus its anti-corrosives in place. This will wear **** left and right and surprise surprise, your pump starts leaking.

Now here's the best part... if you bike was ever filled with green silicate coolant using Dex-Cool is a moot issue. The silicates are permanently "installed" in your cooling system and no amount of flushing will rid you of them. They will continue to leach out and compromise the anti-corrosive action of the organic Dex based stuff. What this means is your "unlimited life" Dex is now going to age as rapidly as ordinary Prestone. So use Texaco Dex-cool if you're paranoid about silicates and want unlimited drain intervals or go for the commonly available Prestone and be done with it. Also realize that Dex-cool does not really last as long as the claims. A 60k drain is suggested for optimal performance by those in the know. Of course if you ever had silicates in your rad you gotta drain as often as the regular stuff. How do you know if you have silicates in your system? You don't! If you've ever had the green stuff in there treat it as it were Prestone. Greg Davis
End of that post

Reply to above post: That info makes it sound as all green 'freeze has silicates. I'm fairly certain that's not the case. It also way oversimplified the whole 'freeze issue. Silicates aren't bad, their just not for use in our bikes. In many cars they are beneficial - they scrub loose scale and deposits and keep them in solution so that they drain out when a car's cooling system is emptied. There are currently between 8-11 different formulations being used in new vehicles. I'd say if one is in doubt about which one to use then just go with the Kaw stuff and do a drain and fill every 2 yrs to be on the safe side. I personally like the Dex-Cool. It;s probably working in at least 50 million cars as we speak, in other words if it didn't work we know that by know, just like we know Fram oil filters are garbage.


I think you are better off (again) being safe and not sorry...Buy an antifreeze that SAYS on the bottle.. " For aluminum engines and radiators" Knifemaker

Quote:
GO with the Kawasaki antifreeze. Regular automotive antifreeze contains silica in it. It is not good for motorcycle engines. Mike '89 vn 750
Quote:
Try Dex-Cool. It's orange in color, and is silicate free. Safe for aluminum engines, and widely available.
Quote:
Dex-Cool! I run it in my VN750 and my Suzuki. It's also a favorite of Gold Wing owners. Don't forget to mix it with Distilled water. -Bruce Detroit
On their website, their product description reads; "Havoline Extended Life Anti-Freeze/Coolant DEX-COOL is manufactured from ethylene glycol and a highly effective long term corrosion inhibitor package based on carboxylate technology. This inhibitor system eliminates the need for silicates, phosphates, borates, nitrites, nitrates and amine additives traditionally used for this purpose. The replacement of these inhibitors is significant for water pump life because many of these conventional inhibitors have been shown to be abrasive to water pump seals. In comparison field tests with conventional coolants in taxi fleets, Havoline Extended Life Anti-Freeze / Coolant DEX-COOL significantly reduced the need to replace water pumps during the 100,000 mile test."
Quote:
From: "Gary Settles" <gss2@p...> Date: Thu Jan 1, 2004 10:01 am Subject: Re: antifreeze (post 30555) The antifreeze I'm using doesn't say silicate-free on the jug, but when I looked them up on the web (www.pittpenn.com) and found the spec sheet, it does say so, so I'll stick with it.
If you current freeze isn't that old all you have to do is drain and refill with Dex-Cool. As I understand it, (from a fair amount of research and conversations with chemical techs) the traditional green stuff will work just fine if mixed with new type Dex-Cool but it obviously won't last the "advertised" 5 yrs/150,000 miles. When I drained out my 750's green 'freeze I measured the amount and it was almost the entire capacity of the cooling system so I just refilled with Dex-Cool. Dex-Cool is also a bit thinner then conventional 'freeze, (you can actually feel the difference) and dissipates heat a bit faster! I'll drain my freeze again this spring and then probably do it every 2-3 yrs. FYI - The green Japanese 'freeze that you'd find at at dealer, which is usually the Honda stuff and sold in qt bottles is silicate free and labeled as such.

FYI - Silicates are actually good thing, just not in our bikes. -Bruce

NOTE : DO NOT USE DEXCOOL IN A VN 700/750 !!!!!!

Last edited by Wolfie; 02-14-2013 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Safety note
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