blocking radiator when really cold out


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Joe_
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Motorcycle: GL1500 Aspencade 1991 Champion sidecar Daytona 2+2

blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby Joe_ » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:36 pm



Has anyone tried blocking 1 of the radiators with cardboard or something when it is in below freezing out so that the engine runs further off the cold mark?

I'm wondering if anyone does this and how much affect it has. Is blocking 1 radiator too much if it is in the mid 20's F?
The bike has a sidecar so falling down on ice isn't much of an issue. I'm hoping someone has done this and can share their experience.



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Bluewaterhooker0
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Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing GL 1500 SE

Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:32 pm

This may be addressed by someone more knowledgeable, but I think your concern should already be addressed by the thermostat, assuming it is working properly. The thermostat has open and close temperature points that should restrict the coolant flow to maintain a proper engine temp under any conditions. That is the way and automotive t-stat works. It stays closed on a cold start to heat the engine to operating temp as quickly as possible. Then starts to open as needed to maintain the correct temp range. The Goldwing should be the same. If you have an unusually low operating temp, I would be suspicious of the t-stat.

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raven41951
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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby raven41951 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:17 am

I know what you mean. I live in the Northeast and have noticed the wide range of the temp gauge. On hot days it runs half way to three-quarters depending on speed and on those 30 degree mornings (my personal limit) it barely clears the lower hash mark driving down the interstate. I am not sure why you want it hotter as it wont do much to deliver heat to you. As far as running warmer for fuel economy, I cannot say. I don't think running this cold will hurt the engine as long as you give it the proper warm up time before operating.

I checked the schematic on Bike-Bandit to confirm my own inspection. There is only one radiator. I don't see why partially blocking the radiator in cold weather would hurt BUT I caution you to be aware of the outdoor temp as when it warms up it could easily overheat and damage the engine if there is insufficient cooling due to the blockage.

If you are looking for body warmth, check out the many heated clothing suppliers. They have battery operated outfits if power is a premium.

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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:45 am

I agree with the others. There is nothing really to gain by blocking a radiator, regardless of the ambient temperature. The bike's thermostat will automatically compensate for the added cooling capability offered by the cold air, and will keep the coolant in a healthy operating range. Make sure you have proper 50/50 coolant/antifreeze in the bike.

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spiralout
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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby spiralout » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:58 pm

raven41951 wrote:I checked the schematic on Bike-Bandit to confirm my own inspection. There is only one radiator.

Then you need to check and/or inspect again. :P

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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:13 pm

spiralout wrote:
raven41951 wrote:I checked the schematic on Bike-Bandit to confirm my own inspection. There is only one radiator.

Then you need to check and/or inspect again. :P


Correct. Two radiators:

GL1500 Radiators
GL1500 Radiators

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wingman12
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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby wingman12 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:34 pm

I can confirm that the 1500 has two radiators and they need to be removed to replace the thermostat, and the short hose that connects the two radiators at the top is a real PITA. this hose was so hard and brittle when I tried to remove, it broke into two pcs and I had to get a replacement hose and clamps. :D :D

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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby FM-USA » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:01 pm

IF one was to "Quick Look" at that parts picture, #16 could be misconstrued as a single radiator.
Following the large radiator hoses would lead to the correct parts, 2 radiators.
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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby rzaugg » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:47 pm

The other thing to be cautious of is to make sure you remember that the cardboard is in there when it starts to warm up again. If you have it blocked off well enough and the fan needs to run, no air going through the radiator means that the fan blades will actually be pulled forward and into the radiator itself. I don't know if it actually would happen on these but have seen it happen on a tractor/trailer engine and that fan was a lot more rigid than these.

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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby Joe_ » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:06 am

Thanks for the replies.
It all worked out well. It never got as cold as I feared it might and the temp gauge stayed in the operating range, though on the low side of it.

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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby FM-USA » Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:48 am

Joe_ wrote:Thanks for the replies.
It all worked out well. It never got as cold as I feared it might and the temp gauge stayed in the operating range, though on the low side of it.

I ride 24/365 and 2 years ago it got down to -17*F. Temp gauge still registered but about 2-3 needles lower. Same for last year at -11*F.

Not much heat came out the vents but I believe that little heat was mixed with a lot of cold. ;)
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby joeincalif » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:48 am

Several years back an after market company made a plastic insert that went in the vent openings and you could adjust the opening from fully closed of partly closed to stop the warm air from going out the side vents and funnel it towards your legs. Every now and then on e-bay you can find a set for sale
Wingstuff.com still has them
http://wingstuff.com/products/36960-smo ... for-gl1500
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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby PastoT » Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:30 pm

I see your concerns but I've ridden between 125 and 5 degrees F and within a mile of my house the thermostat raises and sits nicely a half notch below half way and stays there. If your bike is running significantly cooler I'd double check your coolant level and thermostat before blocking a radiator. It could be the thermostat is stuck open and thus always running coolant through the radiators. If you start up in a garage and let it idle a few while you're dressing out I would imagine you'll see a faster warm up and ensure better oil flow before your ride. Even at 65mph in 5 degree weather my bikes temp only dips slightly, actually it was barely noticeable (maybe a needle width). In my old 76 Cougar, I'd close off the radiator half way to bring the temp up so I had heat and its thermostat was fine; the motor was just too big to warm up within the 10 miles to work!
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f1xrupr
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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby f1xrupr » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:35 pm

I have a new oem t-stat in my 1100 and it is ambient temperature sensitive when driving hwy speeds in cold weather. I suspect the design of the engine cause it with the water jackets exposed to the wind. There are also cooling fins on the bottom of the 1100 engine that possibly contribute by cooling the oil.
My exercise bike is a goldwing.

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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby Joe_ » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:05 am

Looks like I may indeed have a problem with the Tstat on this bike then.
This bike runs about 1/4 up the temperature gauge when it is in the high 20's but closer to the 1/2 mark when i is in the 70's and 80's.
It has a large hack that doubles the required HP at 60 mph. It takes a good 10 minutes to get warm enough to ride when it is 30 outside.
Does that sound right?

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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby f1xrupr » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:59 am

If it's been like that for a long time, and does well, if it were me, I think I would leave well enough alone-it's temp being in the operating range and all.....just saying....are you going to gain anything by working on it?
I like the 1500 because it seems to go the farthest mileage wise, but by looking at the pictures of them tore down, I just bet they're hateful to work on.
My 1100 is easy to work on...
Last edited by f1xrupr on Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
My exercise bike is a goldwing.

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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby FM-USA » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:36 am

f1xrupr wrote:... I like the 1500 because it seems to go the farthest mileage wise, but by looking at the pictures of them tore down, I just bet they're hateful to work on.
My 1100 is easy to work on...

As humans go, if it takes 'X' more steps to do something, they won't want to do it.
Hopefully the next generation Wing will have this in mind, "MAKE IT EASY" to work on. Many-many have said this over the years... ummm, decades. :shock:
Pins and grommets work well for so long and in warm temps but the rubber become stiff and breaks the pin.
Screws take a while to remove. And they can become loose and drop out.

As for pins and grommets. Either the pin should be rubber mounted, that gives a little when it's misaligned or it's in a 'slip base' where it self aligns. BUT this adds weight and more movable parts to go wrong/broke.
What to do... OH what else can be done?
So, what would be the next probable?
:idea: Any :?:
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

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raven41951
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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby raven41951 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:44 am

OK so I checked again and I sit corrected. I don't know what I was looking at but next time I will wait for the caffeine to kick in before responding!

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spiralout
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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby spiralout » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:46 am

Joe_ wrote:Looks like I may indeed have a problem with the Tstat on this bike then.
This bike runs about 1/4 up the temperature gauge when it is in the high 20's but closer to the 1/2 mark when i is in the 70's and 80's.
It has a large hack that doubles the required HP at 60 mph.

What does this mean?

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suvcw04
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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby suvcw04 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:50 pm

spiralout wrote:
Joe_ wrote:Looks like I may indeed have a problem with the Tstat on this bike then.
This bike runs about 1/4 up the temperature gauge when it is in the high 20's but closer to the 1/2 mark when i is in the 70's and 80's.
It has a large hack that doubles the required HP at 60 mph.

What does this mean?


Sidecar?

Joe_
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Re: blocking radiator when really cold out

Postby Joe_ » Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:04 pm

spiralout wrote:
Joe_ wrote:Looks like I may indeed have a problem with the Tstat on this bike then.
This bike runs about 1/4 up the temperature gauge when it is in the high 20's but closer to the 1/2 mark when i is in the 70's and 80's.
It has a large hack that doubles the required HP at 60 mph.

What does this mean?


It has a wide side car. The increase in frontal area doubles the load on the motor at 60 or 65.
It's been a while since I did the math.




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