Possible cooling issue - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Possible cooling issue

1986 Vulcan 750. It has only 1200 miles on it from its first eight years of life, then it sat in its first owner's garage from 1994 until I bought it a couple of months back. I have not yet had much time to ride it but have been pecking away at a couple of issues.

(I posted a separate post regarding its inability to idle with the choke off, but I have a cooling system question here.)

When I bought it, I put a (very) few miles on, then changed the oil, topped off the final gear assembly oil, and replaced the air filter.

Then I went to flush the coolant. I did not use a flush kit; I just saw that, although I topped off the overflow container with fresh coolant, it all turned rusty very quickly.

With the engine cold, I removed the radiator cap, the radiator bottom plug, and the coolant system plug from the side of each cylinder (per the operatorís manual), then ran a hose into the top until it all ran clear. I did a couple of very brief (probably two-second) engine starts just to circulate the bad coolant through the system and out. I got a lot of rusty coolant out the radiator bottom plug and out of the rear cylinder coolant plug (left side).

So far, so good (I would expect some rust after 20 years in a garage). But here is what bothers me: there was never any rusty coolant (or flow of any kind) from the front cylinder coolant drain plug (right side), either when I opened it, when I put the hose into the radiator, or even with a two-second start. Unlike the rear cylinder plug, which had rusty coolant dripping out it as soon as I removed it, there was no sign of any rusty fluid inside the front cylinder coolant plug--it simply looked clear (although not necessarily dry) inside.

It makes me wonder if everything is circulating correctly to that front cylinder.

Ideas?

(In my separate post on the choke/idle issue, I also noted that although the Vulcan runs smoothly, it seems fairly weak going uphill--not sure that is related. Maybe it is running on one cylinder or something and my expectations started out way too low...).
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post

Then I went to flush the coolant. I did not use a flush kit; I just saw that, although I topped off the overflow container with fresh coolant, it all turned rusty very quickly.

With the engine cold, I removed the radiator cap, the radiator bottom plug, and the coolant system plug from the side of each cylinder (per the operatorís manual), then ran a hose into the top until it all ran clear. I did a couple of very brief (probably two-second) engine starts just to circulate the bad coolant through the system and out. I got a lot of rusty coolant out the radiator bottom plug and out of the rear cylinder coolant plug (left side).

So far, so good (I would expect some rust after 20 years in a garage). But here is what bothers me: there was never any rusty coolant (or flow of any kind) from the front cylinder coolant drain plug (right side), either when I opened it, when I put the hose into the radiator, or even with a two-second start. Unlike the rear cylinder plug, which had rusty coolant dripping out it as soon as I removed it, there was no sign of any rusty fluid inside the front cylinder coolant plug--it simply looked clear (although not necessarily dry) inside.

It makes me wonder if everything is circulating correctly to that front cylinder.

Ideas?
With the coolant plug out, poke a piece of wire in the hole? Maybe some sludge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
it seems fairly weak going uphill--
Maybe it is running on one cylinder
Real possibility.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 11:25 PM
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Running one one cylinder should be fairly noticeable...

I forgot to reconnect a plug wire and it ran worse than hershell from the walking dead (guy had one leg)

If you say it runs smooth, I would bet against one cylinder. I'd think maybe it's lean and not getting the oomph it needs uphill.

Pull your plugs and check them. Do you know what to look for?

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 12:22 AM
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Brian....ya got access to a compressor ?....if so, PM or call NewRider...you need to not only clean yer radiator, but also blow out the cooling jacket....thats done by blowing compresed air thru the coolant drains near the bottom of each jug....he can walk ya thru it....I was amazed at how much crud came outta mine....



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