Coolant Change - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Coolant Change

Hi there. Once weather warms up a little here in Virginia, I think I want to change the coolant in my 2001 vn750. I bought the bike last march and I dont know how old it is. Any tips? Is it as simple as draning the radiator, both cylinder drains, and flushing the radiator?

1986 Vn750
18,800 miles, and counting
Bone Stock
New cam chain tentioners
all fluids changed
Spline Lube
windshield
Engine Guard
B-stone S11 RWL-stock sizes
*wanted*
New grips

2001 Vn750
13,100 miles, and counting
spline lube
Bridgestone S11 100/90
Shinko 170/80
rear end oil change
aftermarket mirrors
windshield
otherwise all stock
*anticipated mods*
Engine Guard
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 01:34 PM
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1. Start engine and warm it up, shut it off.
2. Remove drain plugs from radiator, bottom of engine by right footpeg, base of both cylinders.
3. Remove the 2 plastic pieces of the steering head cover, and remove the filler cap on right. Let all coolant drain.
4. Put all plugs back, finger tight.
5. Start engine, and SLOWLY fill with DISTILLED water through the coolant filler neck. Must be done slowly to let air out.
6. Let engine run a few minutes to circulate the DISTILLED water.
7. Shut off engine, remove all drain plugs. If the water looks clean, go to next step. If it looks dirty, repeat the above procedure until the water comes out clear.
8. Install all plugs and tighten them. You may want to use new copper washers to prevent leaks. They are very cheap compared to having to deal with a leak later on. Use only oem washers, not something from a hardware store.
9. Start engine, start filling cooling system with coolant through filler neck, again VERY SLOWLY, so air does not get trapped in the engine. Fill to top of filler neck, install filler cap. Do not install steering head covers yet.
10. Remove overflow reservoir on right side behind engine. Pour out old coolant, rinse good with DISTILLED water.
11. Install coolant reservoir and cover, making sure hoses are routed properly. Also make sure rear brake cable fits into the recess in the reservoir properly. Fill reservoir with coolant to lower level.
12. Ride the bike, keep an eye on the temp gauge. After a couple of heat/cool cycles, remove the filler cap by the steering head, the level should be full. If it is, reinstall the cap, and the plastic covers. If it isn't add coolant till it is full, replace the cap, and the plastic covers.
13. Check the level in the reservoir. It may have dropped. If so, add more coolant.
14. After a few days, check all the drains, make sure none are leaking. If you have a leak, you will have to remove the plug to fix it.
15. If no leaks and cooling system works ok, job is complete.

NOTES:

1. The manual makes reference to an "air bleed screw" that you have to remove the tank to get to. Don't bother. The bleed screw is only inches away from the filler. Just fill slowly, and all the air will come out through the filler.
2. Use ONLY distilled water to flush the system. Tap water and flushing chemicals contain corrosive elements that can start corrosion in the cooling system.
3. I recommend only premixed motorcycle specific coolant. I use Maxima brand, but any name brand is fine. Some people recommend using car coolant concentrate, and mixing it with water to save a couple $$. IMO, it isn't worth it. The coolant is good for 2-3 years. Over that amount of time, the savings is irrelevant. Do it right and it will work right.
4. I DO NOT recommend Engine Ice. Living in a HOT climate, I tried it. It took a lot longer for the engine to warm up, which meant it had to idle longer. When the engine was shut down, it cooled off a lot faster, sometimes requiring the engine to need to be warmed up again after sitting only a couple of hours. More unnecessary idling. Actual operating temperature, which is what I was trying to lower, remained the same. Ethylene glycol (the green stuff) is the coolant to use.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 01:57 PM
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good stuff Jerry!

I think I read somewhere to not use coolant with silica in it.
Dex-Cool should be a safe coolant for aluminum engines.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Dex-cool is the RED 5 year coolant correct? I think I will just use the Green 2 year formula.

1986 Vn750
18,800 miles, and counting
Bone Stock
New cam chain tentioners
all fluids changed
Spline Lube
windshield
Engine Guard
B-stone S11 RWL-stock sizes
*wanted*
New grips

2001 Vn750
13,100 miles, and counting
spline lube
Bridgestone S11 100/90
Shinko 170/80
rear end oil change
aftermarket mirrors
windshield
otherwise all stock
*anticipated mods*
Engine Guard
1986vn750 is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 09:44 PM
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Here is a link to Harvey Birdman`s coolant change illustrated with pictures:
https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6116

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/11-vn750-general-discussion/9127-top-ten-items-you-would-suggest-new-owner-do-his-new-ride.html
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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I removed my filler cap, just to look and see how clean everything is. It looked really nice. So i believe the PO took good care of it. I will still change the coolant once temps rise a bit. thanks guys!

1986 Vn750
18,800 miles, and counting
Bone Stock
New cam chain tentioners
all fluids changed
Spline Lube
windshield
Engine Guard
B-stone S11 RWL-stock sizes
*wanted*
New grips

2001 Vn750
13,100 miles, and counting
spline lube
Bridgestone S11 100/90
Shinko 170/80
rear end oil change
aftermarket mirrors
windshield
otherwise all stock
*anticipated mods*
Engine Guard
1986vn750 is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 09:36 PM
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Dex-Cool is a GM folly. I do not recommend it in any engine. We have had a lot of coolant leaks on GM 3.1, 3.4, and 3.8 engines at the head gasket. There is at least one, and I believe several class action lawsuits against GM about this problem. Use only silicate free ethylene glycol coolant, and change it every 2 years. Against GMs recommendation, we have been switching GM cars and trucks that came with Dex-Cool over to ethylene glycol, and have not encountered a single problem in the 7-8 years we have been doing it. Ethylene glycol can last more than 2 years if it does not become contaminated, but it is just good practice to change it.

Most new cars come with extended recommended service intervals, some even say the transmission fluid is good for the life of the car. That is true only if you don't want the car to last very long. Today's computer controlled epamobiles require the same maintenance as cars did 40 years ago as far as changing fluids, replacing filters and belts, chassis lubrication, etc. Only thing I've found that last longer is the spark plugs. I almost think the manufacturers might be recommending longer service intervals to prevent owners from changing fluids, because that leaves the old fluid to deal with. It also requires the manufacture and sale of more new fluids, such as engine oil, transmission fluid, gear oil, coolant, and brake fluid, which the epa can't be happy about.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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I've never heard of GM's issue with their cooling systems. I have a 1998 Camaro z28, 5.7 liter. It has 196,xxx miles on it, NO coolant leaks, has dex-cool. Did they have a recall on some cars or something? We also have a 2002 Yukon XL 5.3 liter, no issues (dex-cool)

1986 Vn750
18,800 miles, and counting
Bone Stock
New cam chain tentioners
all fluids changed
Spline Lube
windshield
Engine Guard
B-stone S11 RWL-stock sizes
*wanted*
New grips

2001 Vn750
13,100 miles, and counting
spline lube
Bridgestone S11 100/90
Shinko 170/80
rear end oil change
aftermarket mirrors
windshield
otherwise all stock
*anticipated mods*
Engine Guard
1986vn750 is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 12:19 AM
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Guess you never had a '72 Vega. There was a cooling system issue with the early Vega years. But I've have several other GM cars with no cooling problems. I really liked the '67 Malibu I had, even if it was a 4 door with a 6 in it.

Last edited by CW-4; 02-13-2012 at 12:25 AM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 03:23 AM
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The problem seems to be mainly those 3 engines, in front wheel drive cars. Apparently someone within GM traced the problem to an issue with the Dex-Cool, and word got out. These were all V6 transverse engines, and were used in the Chevy Impala and Malibu, and the Buick, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile versions of those cars.

The Vega, all years, had serious engine problems, due to it's use of an aluminum block without a liner. I do have a '72 Pinto, with the 2000cc OHC German made engine in it. Never had any kind of problems with that car in the 8 years I've had it.

The '67 Chevelle was a tried and true old school design, I would not expect to have any problems with a car like that. I also have a '64 Fairlane, also a 4 door with a 200 c.i. straight 6, and have never had any problems with it either. Back then things were made tough and simple. I have no idea what GM engineers were thinking with the Vega engine, it totally ruined the reputation of an otherwise pretty decent car.

About a year or so ago, I watched an early model Vega blow a near new Z06 Corvette into the weeds at the local dragstrip. This was a car built in someones back yard, and it easily beat GMs flagship $60,000+ sports car. Beat it by more than 2 seconds if I remember right.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
VN750Rider/Jerry is offline  
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