GL1500 Overheated


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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bentleyss
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:27 am
Location: Englewood, Florida
Motorcycle: 1999 cbr1100xx Blackbird,
1995 GL1500 / Hannigan 2+2

GL1500 Overheated

Post by bentleyss » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:35 am



Just got back from a trip from Florida to Arkansas. The bike is a 1995 GL1500SE pulling a Hannigan Astro sidecar 2+2. It had 38000 on it at the start. I was stopping approximately every 100-135 miles for fuel and a stretch break. We arrived at Clanton Alabama the first evening after riding 630 miles and everything appeared to be OK. We decided to go to dinner after checking in at the hotel and unloading. After about 3 miles I noticed the temp gage rising and pulled over at a fuel stop. I let it cool and put some water in the overflow tank with bike running and the gage wouldn't move down. I opened the rad cap, carefully, and ended up putting approx. 2 liters of water in while running and the gage move back to halfway below midpoint. Next day we got to Arkadelphia and stayed 3 days , no problems. Sunday, left Arkansas and drove to Dothan Alabama and pulled over for a break and watched the gage rise again. Ended up putting in 2 liters. Gage goes to below midpoint and we get back to Florida, about 300 miles home and gage is below midpoint. I did not when I took the cap off that some Scale or calcium deposits were on the cap inside. Did not see any signs of a leak . Any thoughts appreciated.



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Mh434
Posts: 1178
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: GL1500 Overheated

Post by Mh434 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:45 am

A few things to consider -

All that coolant has to be going somewhere.

Is there a lot of steam in the exhaust when fully warmed up?
What's the oil look like on the dipstick (hopefully, it doesn't look like a McDonalds chocolate shake, as that would indicate a head gasket issue)?

Do you see coolant discharge on the ground when stopped with the engine running?

What kind of antifreeze are you using (most of the big name ones contain silicates which can destroy the water pump)?

You say there's a build up on the radiator cap - can you describe its color, etc. (or, better yet, post a pic)?

Do you hear your fans coming on at all when the engine's hot?

I know, that's a lot of questions, but the answers will really help us in trying to diagnose the issue!

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bentleyss
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:27 am
Location: Englewood, Florida
Motorcycle: 1999 cbr1100xx Blackbird,
1995 GL1500 / Hannigan 2+2

Re: GL1500 Overheated

Post by bentleyss » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:54 am

Thanks for the reply Mh434. First off, No steam when warmed up nor when I stopped until I popped radiator cap. Oil is perfect, checked it and no oil. No water or leakage visible on ground or in garage when stopped after use. Now, I don't know what type anti-freeze the previous owner used.. I will drain and change that out today with silicate free anti-freeze. The fans do come on when it's hot and the color of the build-up was whitish almost like plaque on teeth. Going to flush radiator out today and start fresh with new coolant. Owned bike since May 31 this year and have put over 15000 miles on it with no issues.

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DenverWinger
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: 1972 CL-350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS-550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL-1000 (2002-2006) sold
1980 GL-1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL-1500A Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)

Re: GL1500 Overheated

Post by DenverWinger » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:02 am

Another common fail point is the plastic elbow where the radiator overflow tube goes into the recovery tank. They leak, radiator overflow either leaks onto the road instead of the recovery tank, or when radiator cools it just pulls air from the leak instead of coolant from the recovery tank. Your radiator coolant level gets lower and lower.
They say 98% of all Hardleys ever made are still on the road..... The other 2% made it home. :lol:
(I stole this from somebody on another GW site...) :roll:

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Mh434
Posts: 1178
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: GL1500 Overheated

Post by Mh434 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:22 pm

Well, no steam in the exhaust & no sludge in the oil are both good signs. The fact that the system still pressurizes is good, too.

What it seems like is there is a substantial, actual leak in the system such that the bike runs fine until the coolant gets so low that overheating starts (which, of course, causes higher pressure, which increases the speed of leakage, etc.).

That would all lead me to go along with DenverWinger's thoughts on the coolant elbow. I don't think it's a really common failure, but it does happen, and it would fit the symptoms.

I'm still concerned over the whitish participate on the inside of the radiator cap, though. Silicates can really ruin a 'Wing's coolant pump's seals & cause it to leak to the point of engine overheating. A good flush of the system, using silicate-free antifreeze, is absolutely a good idea.

One more thing to check - look for coolant leakage at the bottom of the water pump itself. The pump is at the bottom of the engine, beside & just to the left of the oil filter (from the rider's perspective - to the right of the oil filter if you're viewing the bike from the front & looking toward the back). There's a weep hole at the bottom of the pump. If it's dry, your pump seals are probably fine. If it's weeping there, though, that may be the point of your coolant loss. Apparently, silicates in antifreeze can wear down the pump's internal seals, causing coolant to leak past & out the weep hole. If that's the case, a new pump is probably called for. From what I can find, new OEM Honda pumps run in the $130 - $150 range, so, not really that bad price wise. Changing the pump appears to be very simple, provided you remember to drain the oil first!

Hope this helps - Keep us posted!

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bentleyss
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:27 am
Location: Englewood, Florida
Motorcycle: 1999 cbr1100xx Blackbird,
1995 GL1500 / Hannigan 2+2

Re: GL1500 Overheated

Post by bentleyss » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:43 pm

Thanks for the replies. I’ll be pulling the plastic pieces off Friday and check that elbow and also be looking around the pump area.

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WingAdmin
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: GL1500 Overheated

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:15 pm

Pull the spark plugs out and check to see if any of them are shiny and clean (i.e. steam cleaned).

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bentleyss
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:27 am
Location: Englewood, Florida
Motorcycle: 1999 cbr1100xx Blackbird,
1995 GL1500 / Hannigan 2+2

Re: GL1500 Overheated

Post by bentleyss » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:17 pm

OK, it's Friday and I pulled the plastics off the bike and drained the coolant. I also checked the plugs and they are Normal not steam cleaned, sigh of relief there. I went to Advance Auto and got some Prestone Radiator Flush and Silicate Free Coolant and also 6 new NGK spark plugs. The plugs were only $15.99 with tax. Went back home changed out the plugs and emptied the Radiator Flush in per instructions. As I'm waiting for the temp to come up I noticed the fans are not turning on so I'm reading the Forum and come to post on checking the Thermo Fan Switch. I shut the bike down as the temp is now past Midpoint and pull the black wire from the switch and short it per post instuctions.....BINGO...the fans come on. Ordered new switch for $5.90 (Honda Replacement 37760-MT2-003 ) and will install when it arrives. Then I'll finish the radiator coolant fill. Thanks to everyone and to those that write up the HOW TO article. Next project......A/C for the sidecar. :P

'

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DenverWinger
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: 1972 CL-350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS-550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL-1000 (2002-2006) sold
1980 GL-1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL-1500A Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)

Re: GL1500 Overheated

Post by DenverWinger » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:57 pm

My fans don't come on 'til temp gauge is about 3/4 scale...
They say 98% of all Hardleys ever made are still on the road..... The other 2% made it home. :lol:
(I stole this from somebody on another GW site...) :roll:

User avatar
bentleyss
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:27 am
Location: Englewood, Florida
Motorcycle: 1999 cbr1100xx Blackbird,
1995 GL1500 / Hannigan 2+2

Re: GL1500 Overheated

Post by bentleyss » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:34 pm

I went out again and fired it up and it got really up past midpoint and noticed coolant running down outside of one of the plastic tubes on the reverse lever side of bike. Dripping down under the bike . Fans never came on so shut it down again.

User avatar
bentleyss
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:27 am
Location: Englewood, Florida
Motorcycle: 1999 cbr1100xx Blackbird,
1995 GL1500 / Hannigan 2+2

Re: GL1500 Overheated

Post by bentleyss » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:27 am

Well the Thermo Fan Switch/Sensor finally arrived on Thursday in the mail. I had put radiator flush in the bike per instructions and let it sit for a few days and rinsed it all out real well and followed with filling with Silicate Free coolant. With the fan sensor replaced I fired her up and watched the gage. Fans come on at just a tad before the center mark of the temp symbol. Took a long ride yesterday and no issues at all, it ran great. Thanks for all the thoughts, tips and help. The bike also runs and starts easier with the new plugs.



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