Overheating, Need HELP!


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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SgtCharlie
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Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by SgtCharlie » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:04 pm



Ok, I just did a find on the words "FAN" and "OVER HEATING" and spent the last 30 minutes reading everything I could find on here about the fans on my 1995. The bike has always run hot especially since I'm in El Paso, TX where the temp gets to 100+ routinely, so I didn't think much of it when it ran a "little hotter" than normal this morning on the way to work. However, when I had to slow down to come through the gate at my military installation, the temp gauge rocketed past the white line and into the red! OH NO!
I went to the gas stations immediately and hosed down the radiator with water which brought the temp down and there's no knocking or abnormal sounds so I think the engine is ok, but...
Both of my fans have quit working! I checked the fuse, which was ok, changed it out just for S&G's and that didn't change anything. Now I'm on here.
I've read that they are both controlled from the same switch. Where is that switch and how do I check the switch itself. I'm planning on conducting the 12V power check on both fans to make sure they are working, but no one so far (that I could find anyway) has a video or pictorial of checking the fans switch or changing the thermostat.

Please help with any information! I'm a pretty good "backyard mechanic" so I'm definitely planning on doing the work myself. Unfortunately, this is my primary vehicle right now and I really can't have her down for more than a day or two. It would hurt a lot if I had to wait for parts to come in.

I'm assuming, since it's still summer time here in EP, TX that it wouldn't hurt too much to just remove the thermostat all together (if that's part of the problem) temporarily until I get one in from online? Although it sounds like a job that I don't want to have to do twice, if I can help it.

Thanks again for any help!
Sgt Charlie


Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

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SgtCharlie
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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by SgtCharlie » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:06 pm

Oh, just in case someone hasn't seen the schematic that I found on another post here on this forum, I'll put it here.
Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

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ct1500
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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by ct1500 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:52 pm

When the engine has cooled off first thing to do is check coolant level by removing radiator cap. If it takes a quart or two you got a leak that must be fixed first and would be the reason fans did not come on.

To gain access to cap remove right plastic handlebar filler. Cap is to the right and below ignition switch. If OK go to left side radiator and ground wire from sensor at base of radiator to confirm fans will come on.

Contrary to popular belief running an engine without a t-stat will almost certainly lead to running hot.
This is what I do
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SgtCharlie
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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by SgtCharlie » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:06 pm

Roger that. I plan on doing the ground test as soon as I can. I've already determined that I don't have a leak.

Sgt Charlie
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Fort Bliss, TX

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by ct1500 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:20 pm

Do not take for granted coolant level, it must be checked by removing cap.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

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Fiberthree
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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by Fiberthree » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:08 pm

ct1500 wrote:...Contrary to popular belief running an engine without a t-stat will almost certainly lead to running hot.
+1 There! The thermostat also keeps the coolant in the radiator long enough to let the radiator cool it some.

When my 1500 started to run hotter, I checked the overflow tank right after a ride and found the coolant was cold! My thermostat had stuck shut, not allowing the stuff to flow anywhere.
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by SgtCharlie » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:25 pm

Yeah, I thought about it sticking shut but the overflow reservoir was boiling when I stopped, so its definitely not that.

If the fans work when I ground the switch wire to ground, then where can I get a new switch? Also, will it be ok to just make the fans "constant on" with the ignition on until I get a new switch?
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86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:17 pm

SgtCharlie wrote:Yeah, I thought about it sticking shut but the overflow reservoir was boiling when I stopped, so its definitely not that.

If the fans work when I ground the switch wire to ground, then where can I get a new switch? Also, will it be ok to just make the fans "constant on" with the ignition on until I get a new switch?
Item 15, part number 37760-MT2-003, thermostat switch, $39.56: http://partsfinder.onlinemicrofiche.com ... ING-SYSTEM

And yes, no harm in running the fans 100% of the time until you get a new switch.

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by ct1500 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:19 am

SgtCharlie wrote:Yeah, I thought about it sticking shut but the overflow reservoir was boiling when I stopped, so its definitely not that.
During an overheat steam will also be pushed into recovery tank.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by Fiberthree » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:49 am

Antifreeze in a pressurized system will boil at a higher temperature than 212 degrees, so thats got to be pretty hot! That boiling could also be a blown head gasket and you are getting air pumped into your cooling system by the pistons. The fan switch might be reading hot air and not coolant. You could check your spark plugs to see which cylinder it is. What was the result of checking the radiator fluid level? Did you have to top it off?
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by ct1500 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:35 am

Your typical coolant/temp sensor will not work correctly if they are not immersed in a liquid.

A slow leak over time would drop level below fan switch (knocking it off line) but not the temp gauge sensor yet which is on tstat housing and still reading correctly.

While underway fans will not operate as air flow through radiator is enough to cool. Most likely cause of running hotter than normal underway (which Sgt. noticed) would be low coolant level, followed by tstat malfunction and then plugged radiators.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by Aussie81Interstate » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:49 pm

Bump this post - just so I can see it when I get home tonight

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by MikeB » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:17 pm

I'm curious if he got it fixed or not.
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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by OldZX11Rider » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:25 pm

If I understand right, the fans, when the key is on, are electrically "hot". The fans come on by completing the ground circuit.
If that is correct, then all he needs to do is complete the grounding of the fans. Couldn't he do that and just put a simple toggle switch in the ground wire to turn the fans on & off as needed? Just until the problem was figured out, parts ordered and time to make proper repairs was made.
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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by seelyark1 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:37 pm

Look for that switch on the bottom of the left radiator. Remember that adding coolant to the overflow tank does not get it to the radiator.
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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by spiralout » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:20 pm

Aussie81Interstate wrote:Bump this post - just so I can see it when I get home tonight
Bad forum etiquette. There are tools you can use for that instead.

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by Aussie81Interstate » Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:32 pm

sorry Spiral - how do I do that - I'm a bit of a neanderthal when it comes to this sort of stuff. :)

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by Aussie81Interstate » Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:16 am

Spiral

thanks - I now know how to do non-neanderthal things - much appreciated. :)

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by hearseman » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:16 am

I just went thru the same issue with my 95 1500. Any time I was stopped, or running slow for any length of time the bike would "head for the RED", and I was getting a face full of steam. Thought, at first, it might be one of the fan control switches or a bad thermostat.
Turns out it was a lot simpler (and less expensive) than that:
There is a line that runs between the radiator and the coolant reservoir - rubber tube, to a 90deg plastic fitting, to the rubber fill tube that goes into the reservoir itself. This tube has a molded "grommet" at the top of it, where the fitting pushes in, with a wire snap-ring holding it in place.
If the fitting itself cracks, or (in my case) the "grommet" degraded to the point where IT failed to seal around the fitting, then the entire cooling system pressure is compromised! Heated fluid gets OUT of the radiator - but cannot be drawn back IN from the reservoir (no vacuum because of the crack). Your reservoir fills up, then boils DRY!! The radiator also shows constant LOW LEVELS, making you think you have a leak somewhere (like the thermostat housing seal maybe).
The fix? order the reservoir tube and/or fitting and replace THEM first! Total cost: less than $15, and 20 minutes time.
I did this, and all my overheating troubles have disappeared!

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Re: Overheating, Need HELP!

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:03 pm

hearseman wrote:I just went thru the same issue with my 95 1500. Any time I was stopped, or running slow for any length of time the bike would "head for the RED", and I was getting a face full of steam. Thought, at first, it might be one of the fan control switches or a bad thermostat.
Turns out it was a lot simpler (and less expensive) than that:
There is a line that runs between the radiator and the coolant reservoir - rubber tube, to a 90deg plastic fitting, to the rubber fill tube that goes into the reservoir itself. This tube has a molded "grommet" at the top of it, where the fitting pushes in, with a wire snap-ring holding it in place.
If the fitting itself cracks, or (in my case) the "grommet" degraded to the point where IT failed to seal around the fitting, then the entire cooling system pressure is compromised! Heated fluid gets OUT of the radiator - but cannot be drawn back IN from the reservoir (no vacuum because of the crack). Your reservoir fills up, then boils DRY!! The radiator also shows constant LOW LEVELS, making you think you have a leak somewhere (like the thermostat housing seal maybe).
The fix? order the reservoir tube and/or fitting and replace THEM first! Total cost: less than $15, and 20 minutes time.
I did this, and all my overheating troubles have disappeared!
That's actually a fairly common failure on the GL1500 coolant system. The radiator cap has a pressure valve in it. When the coolant heats up, it expands, increasing the pressure - which increases the boiling temperature, meaning the coolant can carry more heat away from the engine.

When the pressure gets to a set amount, the radiator cap pressure valve allows some of the hot coolant to escape into the reservoir through the hose shown in yellow below.

When the radiator cools off, the coolant contracts, and it pulls coolant back up from the reservoir through the yellow hose. Inside the reservoir, this yellow hose goes right to the bottom of the reservoir, so it sucks coolant up like a straw.

The problem is the reservoir and hose - with age and heat, they become brittle, and can crack, or the seal can degrade.

Now when the pressure in the radiator increases, the excess coolant is pushed through the yellow hose into the reservoir, like normal. You might notice a few drops of coolant escaping through the crack or failing seal, you might not. But when the radiator cools off, instead of sucking the coolant up from the reservoir, it sucks air into the radiator. Ever tried to suck a beverage through a straw that has a hole in it? Same thing.

So the radiator's excess coolant moved into the reservoir - but it DIDN'T get pulled back into the radiator. Now there is less coolant in the cooling system, plus it has AIR - and air does not carry heat, in fact it is a very good insulator. So you have less coolant trying to do the same job. The coolant gets hotter, and more gets pushed into the reservoir. When it cools off, it sucks more air back into the radiator.

Eventually, the reservoir is full, and it's still trying to push more coolant into it. Instead of exploding, it has an overflow, which is the hose shown in red. This hose just goes to the bottom of the bike, where it dumps the excess coolant on the road.

Your bike is trying valiantly to stay cool, but it has less and less coolant, and eventually there is so much heat that it exceeds the coolant's boiling point, and when that happens, you get steam.
GL1500 coolant reservoir
GL1500 coolant reservoir



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