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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2017, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Having problems. New Vulcan owner.

Hey guys.

I purchased my first motorcycle today. 1990 Vulcan 750. Its cosmetically in excellent condition, however, it appears to be over heating. My temp gauge gets right on the line that separates the white bar from the red bar. Plus i'm leaking coolant, which then touches hot parts and next thing I know im in a cloud of coolant fumes! I really dont know what to do, I filled my coolant res to the top but I feel like it might not have to be filled that high, and as a result its being ejected out of the overflow, but all the manuals I have read on changing the coolant dont actually tell me how high in the res the coolant has to be. Could you guys help a new rider out? I dont know what to check and I certainly dont know what is normal and what isnt normal. Something I noticed that I feel is not normal; when I turn my bike off after its all warmed up (possibly overheated) it makes a gurgling/bubbling sound and the coolant in the res is boiling.

ANY help is greatly appreciated!

Hayden
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2017, 09:16 AM
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Where is the leak coming from? As you just picked it up today, was the overheating disclosed in the sale? Was the bike being ridden prior to sale or has it sat for a long time?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2017, 10:42 AM
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Overheating

One thing for sure, the reservoir being over-filled would NOT make the bike overheat. It could make it leak, but it sounds like it is leaking because it is over-filled and when the bike overheats it causes it to boil and leak. There are marks on the reservoir for full and low. Need to see if it is leaking anywhere else but the reservoir. Also, Don't ride it anymore till you get this worked out, overheating the engine to the point that the coolant is boiling is bad for the engine. If you don't find any other leaks, it could be a number of things. It could be a bad thermostat, it could be that someone put water instead of antifreeze in it, If you are riding the bike at low speeds in very hot weather and the cooling fan or fan thermostat doesn't work, etc. etc. First thing though is to determine where it is leaking.

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FYI :
Kawasaki introduced the 750 cc class Vulcan worldwide in 1985. Due to tariff restrictions in the United States on bikes over 700 cc imported from Japan, the initial US spec model was limited to 699 cc. The tariff was lifted in 1986 and the Vulcan went to 749cc.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2017, 01:08 PM
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Is the fan running when the gauge reads high?

High level on the coolant bottle is for the warm level. If you fill it to that level cold, it's overfull. Agreed, overfull doesn't cause overheat.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2017, 01:59 PM
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On hot days, mine would get very close to the red if driving in the city. That's ok, but leaking isn't. As stated, make sure the fan comes on occasionally. It won't run a lot. If not, check to see if fan is obstructed. Mine was and had to replace the whole thing. If fan spins freely, over ride it with a 2 wire from battery. If it works, replace your stat, not expensive, and flush system. You need a special antifreeze as there are plastic and aluminum parts that will corrode. Your dealer will have it. Now you could just put a switch to manually run the fan, but I'd go with the thermostat. Check your radiator for leaks and bent fins. Hoses as well. Good luck.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2017, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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I cant seem to pinpoint where its leaking because the coolant overflow tube is spraying it all over everything else. I left the bike overnight with it filled to the correct level of coolant, and it seems to have not leaked. However I believe it will leak when i turn the bike on because thats what I noticed yesterday.

Edit: I forgot to mention that my bike is stuck in first gear, so im riding it around at like 4-6k RPM. Could this possibly be making it get too hot?

Edit 2: So I took the bike for a spin up and down the street, I still see smoke coming out of the right side and it appears to be coming from the exhaust inlets, like where the exhaust first leaves the engine into the tail pipe. Im not sure if its because I spilled collant there or something. but im uploading a few videos to show you what i mean.

Here are the links to the videos:


Last edited by hayflana; 07-22-2017 at 05:02 PM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2017, 07:23 PM
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Hope this isn't insulting, because it's not meant to be. Have to make sure cooling system is full and bled (air removed) before worrying too much about what's in the overflow bottle. There's a bleed screw near the radiator cap, which on my '06 is hiding behind a plastic panel in front of the fuel tank on the right side of the bike.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2017, 07:30 PM
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Another thought... Inspect the various cooling system fittings. If they've leaked in the past (and possibly the present), you'll see either liquid or "grunge" at the leaky ones. Where coolant lines enter some spots on the engine via metal tubes, those tubes have O-rings that love to deteriorate and leak. My '06 was leaking from one of those fittings near the top of the rear cylinder. Easily fixed.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2017, 07:35 PM
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Sounds like you have air in the system. You need to pull off the neck cover and take the radiator cap of and add fluid till is stops bubbling up. I would start there and see what happens.

A bigger concern is why it doesn't shift out of 1st. If your shift rod broke in the engine casing then it will require a complete tear down.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2017, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shark88 View Post
Sounds like you have air in the system. You need to pull off the neck cover and take the radiator cap of and add fluid till is stops bubbling up. I would start there and see what happens.

A bigger concern is why it doesn't shift out of 1st. If your shift rod broke in the engine casing then it will require a complete tear down.
Yea im under the impression that the shift rod is snapped as well. So the bike will have to be drained later anyway in order to split the case, but im just trying to see if the cooling system is functional before I attempt any major repairs on it.

I just drained all the old coolant and added more to the radiator and the tank. Right now im just trying to figure out how to bleed the system. I have a 90' vulcan 750 and my manual works with vulcans from 85'-95' but the pictures are black and white so I cant decifer a damn thing from them

Hayden

Last edited by hayflana; 07-22-2017 at 11:46 PM.
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