Video: Your motorcycle's cooling system: How it works, and how to flush it!


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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WingAdmin
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Video: Your motorcycle's cooling system: How it works, and how to flush it!

Post by WingAdmin »



I created a video recently explaining the operation of your motorcycle's cooling system, followed by a tutorial explaining and demonstrating how to properly flush your cooling system and refill it with new coolant! If you've never thought of doing this, or weren't quite sure if you knew how, check out this new video that explains everything in simple terms:



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If you'd rather see the step-by-step pictures and description of the process, you can see that here: How to change (and optionally flush) your coolant



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rickdf
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Location: Shreveport, LA
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500SE

Re: Video: Your motorcycle's cooling system: How it works, and how to flush it!

Post by rickdf »

Fantastic video and instruction good sir. I would just like to tell a little story about my 1998 GL1500 just as an anecdotal oddity.

I purchased my GL1500 back in 2018 from the original owner. He gave me a bunch of parts when I picked it up, to include a gallon of plain yellow bottle Prestone antifreeze. He told me that's all he ever used.

A short time later after joining this group, I changed the timing belts (using your awesome guide) since they never had been done and noticed the step of putting in non-silicate antifreeze. So I flushed it and added the Honda OEM antifreeze.

So this bike had prestone in it for at least probably 15 years assuming he changed it out after 5 years (but not sure when he originally drained out what came with it).

As far as I know, he never replaced the radiator or water pump so guess he/I got lucky? Maybe I have an imminent water pump failure in my future tho!

Again, I'm in no way trying to debunk the silica free recommendation but just wanted to tell my story. Unless we buy the bike brand new, guess we just have to live with the PO's maintenance mistakes and it always makes sense to correct things as fast as possible. Cheers.

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DenverWinger
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Re: Your motorcycle's cooling system: How it works, and how to flush it!

Post by DenverWinger »

Somebody here contacted Prestone - It's in a thread here somewhere...

Turns out good-ol' green Prestone is silicate-free (doesn't say so on the jug though) and is OK in the 'Wings. It's all that's been in my 1100 since I got it back in '05 (before I heard of 'Wings needing silicate-free coolant).....
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

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rickdf
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Re: Video: Your motorcycle's cooling system: How it works, and how to flush it!

Post by rickdf »

DenverWinger wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:16 pm
Somebody here contacted Prestone - It's in a thread here somewhere...

Turns out good-ol' green Prestone is silicate-free (doesn't say so on the jug though) and is OK in the 'Wings. It's all that's been in my 1100 since I got it back in '05 (before I heard of 'Wings needing silicate-free coolant).....
Whew! The PO was just an Old School gentleman so that's all he ever used in all of his vehicles so guess he was right after all, ha! Thanks for chiming in with this info because I was starting to stress over this, ha!

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WingAdmin
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
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2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Video: Your motorcycle's cooling system: How it works, and how to flush it!

Post by WingAdmin »

DenverWinger wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:16 pm
Somebody here contacted Prestone - It's in a thread here somewhere...

Turns out good-ol' green Prestone is silicate-free (doesn't say so on the jug though) and is OK in the 'Wings. It's all that's been in my 1100 since I got it back in '05 (before I heard of 'Wings needing silicate-free coolant).....
It's actually in the owner's manual of every Wing:

From GL1500 Owner's Manual
From GL1500 Owner's Manual


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rickdf
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Re: Video: Your motorcycle's cooling system: How it works, and how to flush it!

Post by rickdf »

WingAdmin wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:25 pm
DenverWinger wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:16 pm
Somebody here contacted Prestone - It's in a thread here somewhere...

Turns out good-ol' green Prestone is silicate-free (doesn't say so on the jug though) and is OK in the 'Wings. It's all that's been in my 1100 since I got it back in '05 (before I heard of 'Wings needing silicate-free coolant).....
It's actually in the owner's manual of every Wing:

Silicate Coolant.GIF
Thanks WingAdmin. As I said, I was new to my 'wing so I didn't know any better but I have the OEM in mine now. I was glad to hear from DenverWinger that Prestone appears to be silicate-free even though it doesn't state it on the jug as that was my main concern and makes sense since the PO of my 'wing never used anything else and didn't appear to have any issues.

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DenverWinger
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Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Video: Your motorcycle's cooling system: How it works, and how to flush it!

Post by DenverWinger »

WingAdmin wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:25 pm
It's actually in the owner's manual of every Wing:
Yup. Simply never had a manual for either of my 4 cyl wings, both started out as project bikes in major disrepair... but when I bought the 1500 it was turn-key ready with owner's manual and original toolkit :mrgreen:
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

Dubdenny
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Location: Yardley, PA
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Video: Your motorcycle's cooling system: How it works, and how to flush it!

Post by Dubdenny »

Very good video, thanks for taking the time to produce it! Couple fine points you may want to consider:

1) Instead of simply running the engine for an arbitrary amount of time (in this case, 10 minutes), I always run the engine for at least ten minutes after the thermostat has opened. If you don't allow for sufficient time after the thermostat opens, the flushing agent will have cleaned the engine block but not the radiator, so the entire system won't be a clean as it could be.

2) After draining the flushing compound out of the motorcycle, use caution when adding fresh water. Always use warm or hot water; never add cold water to a hot engine, as you risk cracking the block. (Incidentally, hot water also contains less dissolved solids as well, since the solubility of hardness ions (Ca+2. Mg+2 and Fe+2) is inversely proportional to temperature, which is why scale forms in your hot water heater and also your engine block if you don't use distilled water for the final coolant mixture)

3) The crush washer that you said is in fine shape has actually been crushed at least 4X by the end of the video; once before you began, twice after you drained the old coolant and reinstalled to fill the engine with flushing compound, three times after you reinstalled to fill the engine with plain water, and four times as you reinstalled prior to adding new coolant. Although it's fine to reuse the crush washer during all the steps shown herein, I always replace aluminum crush washers after one use and anneal copper crush washers before reusing. Annealing copper washers is easy; simply heat the washer to cherry red, followed by quenching in cold water. The annealing process relaxes the internal stresses in the previously "crushed" metal, allowing you to reuse over again.


Bill in Yardley, PA
William K. Denton
Lazarus CycleWorks
“We Breathe New Life into Old Bikes”
wkdenton@verizon.net
267-980-7788 office/cell

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