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Old 12-13-2006, 07:25 AM   #1
SWriverstone
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Default PHOTO: Is this bike running hot?

I'm still trying to determine whether my '06 is actually running hot, or not. Take a look at this photo:



Here are the circumstances:

• air temperature was 60F degrees (15C degrees)
• I'd been riding about an hour when the photo was taken, with times/speeds as follows...
- 30 minutes at 40-60mph (highway)
- 15-20 minutes at 15-30mph (small back roads)
- idling for maybe 3-5 minutes

Just prior to idling for 3-5 minutes, the needle was holding at about the 60% mark on the gauge (a litle over halfway); after idling 3-5 minutes, it rose up to the point in the photo.

While cruising on the highway at 50-60mph, the needle fell back down to about the 20% mark and stayed there as long as I kept riding at higher speeds.

So basically, the photo shows the temp (as indicated on the gauge) after a couple minutes at idle.

So...how does this compare with your bike? Specifically, where does the needle sit on your bike after idling for 2-3 minutes?

It looks way hot to me, but I just want some confirmation/validation from other people (or not) before I go tearing the bike apart to figure out what's going on.

A few other facts:
• coolant levels are fine - radiator was topped off and reservoir is half full
• the radiator is clean and undamaged
• the fan works...but I'm not sure whether the fan's temperature sensor is working properly—this could well be the problem, as the fan didn't seem to always come on when it should and stay on after shutting the bike off.

Any ideas?
Scott
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:54 AM   #2
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My experience (60-90 degrees):

I have never seen my temp. gauge register as high as your photo.

At highway speeds my temp. guage is normally at the 1/3 mark, (unless it is below 55 degrees)

At city speeds, or trail speeds, my gauge is normally just above 1/2 mark.

At idle the gauge goes to the 3/4 mark and the fan kicks on. This stabilizes the temp or drops it just a bit.

When does your fan kick on? (it is very noticeable when it does)

I suspect a bad sensor or fan relay.
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:23 AM   #3
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Thanks DMZ—I thought it was pretty high too. I'm not sure exactly when the fan comes on, but I suspect you're right—the sensor is bad. I guess it could be the thermostat. <sigh> In either case, I suppose it's time to tear apart the bike and start poking around. Thankfully the sensor and thermostat are fairly easy to get at.

I guess while I'm at it, I might take the plunge and pull aapart the water pump to check the impeller (and I guess I should clean the oil screen while I'm at it!).

Funny how these little things can lead to massive bike deconstruction projects! LOL

Scott

PS - Where's the best place to order a new sensor or fan relay?
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:55 AM   #4
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Scott,

You didn't mention age of your KLR or the mileage.

Did this high temp reading just start occurring or has it always been that way?

I would run the bike around and not when the fan kicks on and kicks off. If it comes on when the temp gauge is near touching the "H", I would replace the temp sensor. (Probably have to order that through your dealer, as I am unaware of an aftermarket supplier of that part).

If your fan kicks on and the temp keeps rising to the "H", then I would turn my attention to the waterpump. Parts/gaskets for it can be found at:

https://www.angelfire.com/ut/moab/

I you do not have one, I would stongly recommend acquiring a service manual before doing any surgery and parts replacement.

A final thought would be that the temp gauge is bad and registers to high. I know that when my engine is hot, when the temp guage is ~3/4 and I am not moving, I can feel the heat radiating upwards and off of it. In other words, it feels noticeably hot to the rider.

Nonetheless,

Goodluck on troubleshooting this problem.
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:01 AM   #5
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Compared to my 06 that is HOT. Even on 90+ degree days this summer the gauge would only run just a tad past half way in stop and go and maybe 35% of the way on 60+mph highway driving. This past weekend when it was 40 it ran about 20%(average) on the gauge.
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:05 AM   #6
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The manual says anything in the central arc is OK, so technically you're not overheating, but clearly have no margin.

When riding in very *cold* weather, I see the opposite: the needle just barely moves into the central arc. But that's OK--- it's within operating norms.

My fan kicks on at about the halfway mark. Once, in summer, I saw the needle to the 3/4 position, but never higher than that...
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:19 AM   #7
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DMZ—the bike is a 2006 with about 7500 miles. I rode it to Newfoundland in October (a 5,000-mile ride) and it never ran hot, was fine for the whole trip.

I'm pretty sure it's the temp sending unit (sensor), 'cause I'm pretty sure the fan does NOT come on around the halfway point. But I'll take it out for a spin today and check on it.

Scott

PS - I've already done the doo, valves etc. (with help) and have all the service manuals + Clymer, so I'm in good shape there!
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:21 AM   #8
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If your sender and gauge is working properly - something is wrong. Sorry about the bad news..... find out if it's the gauge or sender, and get it fixed.

wishing you the best,

Mike
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:23 AM   #9
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That sounds correct.

Bad sensor.

I can't imagine a bike that new having the waterpump go bad or the radiator lose efficiency due to mineral buildup.
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:31 AM   #10
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Mine never goes over 50-55% even on 100+ days while moving along.

It might go to 60-65% at a stoplight, but that's it and it comes back to normal once moving along a bit.

You gots issues my friend...
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:33 AM   #11
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Some KLR fans have been known to be wired wrong. They push air instead of pulling air.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:00 PM   #12
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Okay...NOW I'm confused. I just started up the bike, puttered around the neighborhood for a few minutes (never above 2nd gear, never above 25mph), then sat in the driveway and let the bike idle for a good 5-7 minutes.

I specifically wanted to see when/if the fan came on...and it did, perfectly. Right when the temp gauge was just a wee bit above the midway point (50%), the fan kicked on, stayed on for a minute or so 'til the temp gauge dropped a bit, then turned off. It continued to perform perfectly at idle for the next 2-3 minutes, turning itself on/off without a hitch. The temp gauge never registered above 55-60%. I also checked the direction of fan rotation, and it's correct—it's pulling air through the radiator.

So in 20 minutes of idling and slow riding, the bike's temperature was normal, never above 60% on the gauge.

Yet you see the photographic evidence from my last ride that the gauge was showing 90%—way hot!

So...it seems like one of three general possibilities:

a) there is some sort of electrical short (or some other intermittent glitch) somewhere that affects the fan's normal operation...or

b) for some reason, riding the bike for extended periods at highway speeds heats the engine **more** above some sort of "point of no return" where it starts to overheat and the fan can't cool it back down...or

c) the temp gauge (and temp sending unit) is just acting erratic.

Can anyone think of any reason why riding the bike for 30 miles at 60mph would cause it to overheat...where idling and puttering around the neighborhood at 20mph would **not** cause it to overheat? (I know, seems backwards!)

Scott
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
Is this bike running hot?
Scott



If the coolant is not boiling over, No.

Cooling system troubleshooting 101:

Is it full of coolant?

The gauge or sensor is wrong if the coolant was not going into the overflow during that pic.


If you are having cooling problems and the gauge could be suspect, NEVER TRUST THE GAUGE!

Water boils at 212F, 100C at sea level, and expands some 1600 times which can more than pop the rad cap. "HOT" as in, your engine is running to hot, would be a coolant temp over 260F with a 50/50 water glycol mix since the coolant additive raises the boiling point. Take off the radiator cap, run it, and use a thermometer to measure temp. Or use an infrared laser thermometer and shoot the metal cap, they are about $40. If you can grab the hose without it burning you, it aint hot.

https://da.harborfreight.com/cpisearc...eter&Submit=Go

Daniel
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:20 PM   #14
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I wonder of there's an air/vapor bubble in the system? If the bubble migrates to a safe spot (ie top of the radiator) then things work OK. But if/when it migrates to the pump or a high spot in the piping, you don't get enough water movement.

Mighth be worth a drain/flush and careful refill, pouring slooooowly so no air is trapped inside, and tilting the bike side to side and fore/aft so that the fill neck is the highest point in the system.

I'm just guessing here, but I know trapped air can be a problem in other bikes.
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:30 PM   #15
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Compared to my '87 that is TOO HOT!

Quick test when the temp gauge is above about 5/8ths - 3/4 scale:
if you turn the motor off -you should hear the fan run for 1-2 minutes.

If the fan does not run in this situation, then either the sensor is bad, OR the
radiator does not have a proper ground.

You can test the ground issue:
1. Gently disconnect the wire from brass temp sensor on bottom of radiator.
2. Ground this wire to the bare aluminum fins on the head. The fan should
com on. If fan comes on, then fan, fuse, and relay have all tested good.
3. Now, try grounding this wire to the brass base of the temp sensor.
Not easy as you'll need to pull back the plastic cover on the female spade
connector at the end of the wire, and touch this firmly to the base. You're
looking for a bare metal to metal contact. If the fan comes on with this
step, you know that the radiator is grounded.

Report back with the findings and we'll help you with the next step.
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:43 PM   #16
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Given the problem, I'm not sure if this'll work, but if you'd like to use the bike while waiting for new parts, you might wire in a manual override switch. Simply run a wire from the thermostat switch (on the bottom of the radiator), through an 'on-off' switch (Schuck's, hardware store, etc.), to ground. This will allow you to turn your fan on manually.

Brian
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:23 PM   #17
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Thanks for the replies guys. I checked today, and the fan, switch and relay are all fine. I idled the bike and rode it at low speeds for 20 minutes or so—the fan came on/off as it should, and the temp gauge never climbed past about the 60% mark.

The fan also ran for 1-2 minutes after shutting off the bike.

But the temp gauge said TOO HOT a couple days ago. Why the flakyness? Could there be some intermittent thing going on? Or possibly an air bubble as flanga said?

I'm going to take it out for a longer street ride tomorrow, maybe 30 minutes at 60-70mph, then roll around at slow speeds and idle for several minutes and see what happens.

Scott
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:08 PM   #18
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Last summer I had a large rock chip that somehow bounced up and became lodged in the fan, between the blade and the bracket, blocking the blade from turning. The bike ran way hot all the way to work & back that day, and I even had to pull over on the way home because it was way up there, just like yours.

When I got home I reached down to see if the blade would spin, and I tried to spin it the wrong way. The rock chip fell out, the fan started up and it has worked fine since.

The only thing I cant figure out is why it didnt melt the center plastic where the blades mount to the motor... but it didn't.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:49 AM   #19
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My "87 did this exact thing 7 years ago. High temp at low speed, still hot but closer to normal when over 60kph, fan on almost all the time (cuts in at just over half). I replaced the head gasket, thinking that was the problem, but nothing wrong with the old one, and still overheating.
It went on for a couple of weeks till I was accelerating hard from walking pace and I heard a screeching noise from the clutch. The clutch wasn't slipping, so I investigated further. Turns out the water pump impeller is neither keyed nor splined onto it's drive shaft, relying on the tension of the retaining 6mm nut to hold it all together.
The bike had about 80,000km on it at that time, and the shaft had stretched just a fraction in the summer heat, and it was spinning inside the impeller, giving no water flow. After spinning a couple of times there was a bit of wear on the impeller/nut mating faces, and it slipped more, and on and on.
A liberal coating of red Loctite between shaft and impeller, an extra grunt when torquing up the nut, and the temperature dropped to where it was supposed to be, and hasn't moved since.

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Old 12-14-2006, 06:02 AM   #20
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G'day Woolly,
Just looked at the map, how's the East coast of Austrailia? The deserts are more to the West aren't they? Great having you here!
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