Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500


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Aussie81Interstate
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Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:05 pm



Hi guys,

Asking from some input as to a recent problem I have had over the last week or so.

I have travelled from Sydney to Albury - about a 350 mile trip over two days - 250 or so the first day then 100 the next. The road type is basically two lane highway and running about 60-65 mph. Air temperature on the fist day gradually got hotter from 75 up to maybe 90 degrees. The radiator was checked and was full, coolant was replaced three months ago, but the temperature gauge slowly rose from under halfway and then sat on half for quite a while, then proceeded to slowly climb up to just under the red - thermo fans came on, but hard to tell if they came on when riding. When slowing down for a few small towns on the way I could hear the fans running - the temp gauge still remained up near the top of the gauge - but did not enter the red? I did pull over and stop and let the bike cool down a few times - and starting off it raised pretty quickly to the half way - then after about 10 miles or so went back to being maybe 3/4 up the gauge - but any uphill running and the temp quickly rose again.

Coming home yesterday it did exactly the same thing - and the temperature was really quite cool with me having to stop and put on another shirt and run the wet weather lining inside my dririder jacket.

The only thing I can think of is - do I have a blocked radiator or maybe a thermostat which is not opening or seized in the closed position? There is no oil in the water or water in the oil?

Any help would be appreciated - as I don't want to damage anything

Thanks for your responses - greatly appreciated

I looked also for the thermostat replacement on the 1500 but could not seem to find a DIY?

thanks

Charlie

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby warlock1954 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:01 pm

Could be the thermostat. Something else to check is the hoses to the suction side of the water pump. Years ago I had a suction hose would such together and would run hot. But sounds more like the thermostat. It's a bugger to get to it.
David

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Bluewaterhooker0
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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:22 pm

Is this a problem that has developed since changing the coolant ? I.E., you didn't have this problem 3 months ago, or before changing the coolant ?
When you say the radiators are full, do you mean the actual coolant under the radiator cap, or the coolant level in the reserve tank ?

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:05 pm

Well I suppose it has been since I changed the coolant, but the fluid that came out had the smallest tinge of green - I think it was very old. The bike had sat for while - and only had 13000 miles on it when I got it - which was 6 months ago. This is the first time it has run hot on me - and has got me thinking I need to check things out - before we fully get into summer weather. Even when I removed the drain plug - nothing came out and I had to poke a screwdriver up the hole to clear it of some sediment or blockage.

I have had the bike serviced and with a few things being done - I did the coolant change - the bike was run up to temperature, and then burped - then topped up with proper proportion of coolant. When the bike is dead cold the fluid level in the radiator was checked then topped up - replaced the radiator cap then filled up the reservoir/overflow tank.

Overflow tank level was fine when I checked it the morning after the first long run. So was the radiator level.

If it is the thermostat, what do I need to replace it - any "O" rings or gaskets, or hoses wile I have it pulled down?

The two hoses into and out of the thermostat housing I don't know their condition but would check for the need to be replaced if they have gone soft.

Thanks for the responses so far keep them coming. ;)

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:57 pm

I guess you figured that I was leaning toward air in the system, but it sounds like you've got that covered. The blockage in the drain would concern me. I can't help you with the O-Ring and Tstat replacement, as I have no first hand experience. Maybe someone on here can point you in a direction of a safe chemical to use for trying to clean out whatever may have blocked the drain, and could also be blocking hoses or passageways in the cooling system. I can tell you that my 97 doesn't exhibit the type of temperature readings you are experiencing. The fans only generally come on during extended very slow riding, or extended idling in traffic. Once you're moving, it should probably be about halfway up, or better. It could be the thermostat, but you may want to clean/flush the system before changing it out. Maybe the process of changing out the coolant disturbed whatever sediment was in the system, and is now causing a problem.

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:31 am

I think I still have some radiator treatment which is non damaging to water pump impellers and O rings. Have used before in a CX500 - I think that is worth giving a try. From what I have read so far - it looks rather a full pull down job to get the radiators out and then pull out the thermostat - might be better it seems to remove the thermostat housing entirely and then remove the top cover of the thermostat - seems some of the bolts like to shear off.

thanks again

more opinions or other options ? Could it be the water pump not working properly ??

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby 702scottc » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:34 am

The problem you are experiencing is a faulty thermostat, you need to replace it. It's a commonly overlooked item in the cooling system in most water cooled engines. It's a good weekend project on a 1500, but not that difficult. Some folks here have said they can do it without removing the radiators, I tried but couldn't. The radiators and fans are not to hard to remove once the side covers are off. It also sounds like you had a sediment buildup in the drain hole, it is the lowest point in the system and if the cooling system has been neglected then you would expect to see that. You can back flush the entire system once you have it apart. You can order a new thermostat and o ring from cyclemax, replace the radiator cap as well. There is also a short piece of hose connecting the top tanks of both radiators, it will be hard as a rock so be sure to replace it. A piece of 5/16 fuel hose works great.
A word of advice when reassembling, get yourself a spray bottle of armor all and coat the radiators and fan housings, they will drop right back into place without prying or possibly breaking something. An old trick I learned years ago.

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:23 pm

Scott,

Thanks for that information, I'll probably order the thermostat and O ring before christmas and do a tear down xmas-new year timeframe. The bike is now 27 years old - and I think it is probably time that maybe a few things like hoses get replaced.

I might take some pictures of the whole process - when I do it. Radiator cap is also a worthwhile replacement item.

:)

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:28 pm

I just changed out my thermostat. I suppose it could be done without removing the radiators but it would be difficult.
After doing it, it really wasn't that hard. But I was also fighting the fear I'd mess up my new to me bike.
If you're going to change out your thermostat, my tip is get all your parts first and take plenty of photos.
Even when you see something and think "Ah, I can remember that" take a photo. I thought I took plenty, but It wasn't enough.
If you have a problem, don't keep it a secret. Plenty of guys on here will have first hand experience and they'll know exactly what you're experiencing. :)
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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:40 pm

Just turned the bike on this morning and everything seemed normal. I shut it off after 20 seconds.

When I started it again - the fans came on straight away and after riding to work - only about 4-5 miles the fans did not cut out, the temperature gauge never climbed much due to the short run.

any other thoughts now - ?

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:45 pm

If you're not low on coolant, if your bike is like mine, there is a sending unit, for the fans, mounted in the bottom of the left radiator.
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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:46 pm

That sending unit may be defective.
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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:56 pm

Or covered in crud.

Have booked in to get my radiators flushed this Friday (day off work)

Will try and get the thermostat as well and O ring - then be able to check things out over the weekend for faulty switch etc..

:)

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:02 pm

When I was ordering parts, I was advised to get the factory Honda gasket/o ring for the thermostat. It is supposed to be a bit beefier than some of the aftermarket ones. Good luck. :)
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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:51 pm

If the bike was "known" to be cold, and the fans came on, you either have a bad fan thermostat, or a grounded fan control wire somewhere in the circuit. Assuming nothing is different about the '88 fans compared to later years, the thermostat simply completes the "ground" circuit to turn them on. The fans are "hot" (electrically) when the key is turned on. Therefore, a "ground" anywhere along the wires from Stat to fans will also turn them on.

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby bohdan » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:32 am

I have a small leak somewhere on top of the engine. Its small enough that I think that once I decide to tackle it, I probably switch all the rubber out that I can get to. vacuum hoses, cooling, etc.. Just like 702scott said. There is a small crossover pipe on top of the radiators. After fighting them to come off the nipples, I ended up cutting them and getting a new piece. IF you are thinking of changing the tstat, you may want to do the remaining rubber that may have not been touched in 27 years. Cheers

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:06 am

Well I haven't got the thermostat out yet.

I have removed the belly panel, radiator shroud, lower fairings, and partially removed the fans, removed the coolant, and had a degree of difficulty removing the radiators, mainly because the PO must have been a monkey and put in the screw clamps in the most difficult position to get to them. After getting the bottom hoses off (good easy access), all the hoses are in good condition. The top hoses had the screw clamps put in with the screws inaccessible to normal tools - finished up removing them with a very small socket and ratchet for the left hand radiator and an extra long phillips head screwdriver for the right side radiator. The linking hose between the two had normal spring clamps with the grip points being inwards towards the centre of the bike. I will replace these spring clamps with stainless band clamps - just to make it easier if I have to do it again in the future.

Access to the thermostat cover itself is very tight - but I might go this route instead of removing the whole thermostat housing.

The bottom of the right radiator had a bit of brown sludge in it - so I presume there must be more in the lower sections around the thermostat itself and the water pump areas - will take a few photos of that when I get it out.

Would it be safe to use normal garden hose pressure to force through the thermostat housing and lower pipes to flush and reverse flush out the engine?

I was even thinking of taking the front cover off the water pump housing to see what it looks like - hopefully not full of sludge?

Still too hot to go back and work on the bike, have taken the radiators to a shop and they will be giving them a treatment to clean them out. No blockages in the radiator fins or any visible leaks, apart from a few bugs - but very minimal.

More progress tomorrow - fingers crossed. ;)

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:32 am

Hers is a few photos I took this morning and just now - it is about 5 degrees cooler outside and it's 6:26pm.

New Trailer I brought home last weekend - swapped it for two cx500 turbo blinkers
New Trailer I brought home last weekend - swapped it for two cx500 turbo blinkers
Attachments
the offending hose
the offending hose
can you see the thermostat housing ?
can you see the thermostat housing ?
I knew I could use the trailer for something good
I knew I could use the trailer for something good

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sat Dec 19, 2015 8:19 pm

New thermostat installed this morning and bike all back together - apart from plastics.

Reinstalling the top radiator hoses are awkward - and removing the fans and reinstalling them is even more painful.
Top hose joining the radiators I installed some stainless band clamps, which will make it easier to undo the next time (if ever), and the top hose clamps I oriented towards each side of the bike - so at least you can get a long handled screwdriver in for access. I used a small spray of lanoshield inside each hose to assist with re installation and that made them slip on easier for sure.

Reverse flushed the engine last night until I had clear water running from all hoses - no great deal of sludge but it took several minutes to get all traces of coolant out - especially the smaller bottom hose on the right hand radiator - I presume this one might connect to the carburretors?

When I picked up my radiators Saturday morning the owner said it took a few minutes for the left hand radiator to flow properly and there was some blockage in the radiator itself - I also flushed them both again when I got home.

Have run the bike up to temperature - only filled with plain water at the moment - but will run some coolant through it in the next day or so. Very hot here today - gauge came up to half after about 7-8 minutes of fast idle, both fans came on and then went off after a minute or two - then a few minutes later came on again - so I think I am good to go, gauge never went past half way with the fans on.

Let me know what you think?

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:32 am

That sounds like pretty normal operation to me. Be sure to use distilled water (mixed with whatever coolant you are using) (silicate free) when you fill them for real. Keep those shiny, newly cleaned radiators in good shape.

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:56 am

When it cools down in an hour or so I will be off to do the weekly shopping - I will be buying some demineralised water to go into the radiators with some new coolant I already purchased.

Just did a another cycle - took 13 minutes from startup and just let the bike idle about 800rpm - until the fans came on - temp gauge again under the halfway mark - so I am a happy camper at the moment.

Will be giving the bike a wash after I come back from shopping - and should also be in the shade by then. On my recent trip I had to travel over some roads where they were resurfacing - and one of them was a slippery slide of mud as a water tanker had just gone through to settle the dust from a newly compacted dirt surface - and left me slipping and sliding at 25mph trying to keep the bike upright for a few miles (lots of unexpected fun), and listening to the clods of mud slamming under the bike.

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:22 am

By the way, do not use garden hose pressure to pressure test your cooling system. The cooling system is intended for pressures of around 12 psi, whereas typical house water pressure is between 50 and 80 psi - and can be as high as 100 psi.

If you can get a bucket or tank of water 28 feet up in the air (on the roof or wherever) and have a hose running down from it, that will give you almost exactly 12 psi of pressure.

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:36 am

OK,

In the last few days the fans have come on quite literally as soon as the bike has started from dead cold sand have not cycled off at all - I have ordered a new thermo fan switch - as I didn't take the old one out after the radiators and engine were flushed, and it seemed to check out OK.

After doing some more research I will short the black wire connecting the thermo switch to the frame to confirm the fans work - which I'm sure will be the case. The new switch will be few weeks in delivery so have plenty of time to check further steps if required.

Any other suggestions ?

thanks

Charlie

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:00 am

Unplug the wire from the thermo switch and see the fans continue to run. If they do, then chances are you pinched and shorted that wire during your work, and that's what's causing the fans to run.

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Re: Temperature Gauge questions -1988 GL1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm

Thanks Scott,

I'll check that out in the next few days. I'm thinking the switch might have just deteriorated to the point of being closed all the time - I'll know more soon.. thank you.

:)




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