GL1000/1100 Cooling System Servicing/Silicate Free Myth

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Sidecar Bob
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GL1000/1100 Cooling System Servicing/Silicate Free Myth

Post #1 by Sidecar Bob » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:07 pm

I AM EDITING THIS POST ON APR.17/10 SO THAT READERS DO NOT WASTE THEIR TIME WORRYING ABOUT SPECIAL COOLANT.
I did post the "new" information later in this thread but it seems that not everyone reads the whole thing.

WHEN I ORIGINALLY POSTED THIS IN 2006 I ERRONEOUSLY SUBSCRIBED IN THE "SILICATE FREE COOLANT" MYTH. WHILE SOME STILL BELIEVE IT IS REQUIRED IN LIQUID COOLED HONDA MOTORCYCLE ENGINES MADE IN THE '70S-'80S, I NO LONGER DO.


GL1000/1100 Cooling System Servicing:

Regular coolant is only good for a couple of years, and changing it is almost as important as changing the oil. Even the most expensive premium coolant is only good for 5 years. If your cooling system hasn't been properly serviced in the last couple of years, this would be a good time to do it. You should be changing the hoses, rad cap and thermostat too. If you don't it's like changing the oil without the filter - you are just wasting your time.
I assume you will be consulting a shop manual (Haynes, Clymer, Honda, or better yet 2 of them - if you don't follow what it says in one, you probably will follow the other.)

The rad hoses, thermostat, & rad cap can be bought at an auto parts store for a LOT less than you will pay at a bike parts store:
- Both rad hoses can be cut from a Dayco #71218 heater hose.
- The thermostat is the same one used in late '70s Civics (I have been using them in GoldWings & SilverWings for years).
- The rad cap is a standard automotive 13psi as used in a lot of cars & trucks. Curiously, the only car my wife has ever had that didn't use this exact same cap is the Honda CRV that she has now.

If you haven't already, you should replace the 0-rings at the ends of all the tubes &c in the cooling system.
There is also an o-ring in the thermostat housing that should be changed. I haven't found the right one anywhere except my Honda dealer.

If you leave the rad cap on while draining the old coolant, the stuff in the overflow tank will be drawn out too.

It's easier to change the hoses if you remove the rad. When you have it off, remove and throw out the thermostat, re-assemble the 'stat housing and flush the engine with a garden hose in the upper rad hose. Flush the rad too, and hose it off while you're at it. You wouldn't believe how much debris you can get out of the rad by spraying with a garden hose from the engine side. All those bugs &c that went in the front at highway speed and didn't come out the back for years are impeding the efficiency of your cooling system.

NOTE: If you are unsure whether the new coolant you will be using will be compatible with the old coolant it is imperative that you flush all traces of the old from your cooling system. Some modern coolants can form undesirable compounds when mixed with some other brands. Even if no odd chemistry occurs, mixing extended life coolant with compatible with regular (usually green) coolant will reduce its expected lifespan.

For reference, here is the original wording:
A word about coolants: You should use a coolant that is clearly marked silicate free. It should also be approved for use with "yellow metals" (like the brass in our rads).
There are many on the market that are fine, but do not under any circumstances use Prestone Long Life. Captain Jerry e-mailed them and they told him that their product is NOT COMPATIBLE WITH YELLOW METALS. I am sure Prestone Long Life is a fine product, but it just isn't suitable for use in our bikes.
I use Motomaster Long Life. I contacted Canadian Tire's tech support and they told me that it is specifically approved for use with yellow metals
.


Here is the correction:
The more I learn the less I tend to believe that there is a need for silicate free coolants in these bikes. No-one has been able to find any mention of this in any Honda manual. It does, apparently, appear on the label of Honda coolant, but there is no evidence that it wasn't put there by someone in marketing (whose job is to sell people more than they need) as opposed to someone in engineering (whose job is to provide the information needed to keep things running properly).

When I first read on the forums that I should be using silicate free coolant (maybe 2001?) I had been using ordinary inexpensive green coolant that made no mention of silicates on the label in my GL1000 engine for 7 or 8 years with no ill effects but I assumed that those who were promoting the use of silicate free coolant had done their homework and I had just been lucky. At that time I contacted Canadian Tire tech support about their Motomaster Long Life coolant and was assured that it was safe for yellow metals so I started using it (that was a long time ago and they may have changed supplier or their supplier may have changed the formula since then).

Some Silicate free coolants are not compatible with "yellow metals" (like the brass in our rads) and could potentially do a lot of harm. Some long life (silicate free) coolants will, over time, dissolve the solder used to hold brass radiators together. Captain Jerry (who some of you may remember from the old MSN group) contacted Prestone at the time and was advised not to use it in a brass or copper rad.

A number of people have had water pumps fail shortly after the first time they changed the coolant and have been told that silicates in the coolant were to blame. I could claim the opposite: After all those years with cheap coolant, my 'Wing's original water pump failed a couple of years after I changed over to silicate free!! Should I blame silicates or the lack of silicates? The answer is neither - the bearing on the oil side let go. It was just plain old age - how many 25 year old cars do you know of that still have their original water pumps?

On the other hand, Joe-the-Bike (who lives in Queensland Australia and has owned his bike from new) put well over 210,000 Km on his CX500EC with no mechanical seal problems using regular bargain priced ethylene glycol coolant. He did replace the seal when he had the engine apart for a general rebuild in 2008 but it had not begun to leak.

I don't buy into the silicate free coolant myth any more and I no longer worry about whether I the coolant I buy has silicates (although almost all of it is either silicate free or low silicate these days).

I have since started using Nascar Advantage colour changing coolant because I like the fact that it tells me when it needs replacing (pink when new, replace when it turns amber). I can't remember if the label says anything about silicates.



Sidecar Bob

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Last edited by Sidecar Bob on Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Cooling system

Post #2 by gaillarry » Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:14 pm

anyone have the part number for the thermostat from a Honda car dealer. I took the old thermostat off my 81 GL1100 and they couldn't match it up !

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Post #3 by octane » Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:35 pm

Thanks Bob!

Good stuff.

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Re: Cooling system

Post #4 by octane » Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:40 pm

gaillarry wrote:anyone have the part number for the thermostat from a Honda car dealer. I took the old thermostat off my 81 GL1100 and they couldn't match it up !


# 19300-611-005
Same as on GL1000, GL1100, GL1500, CX500 and several other Honda's

Looks like this:

Image


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Post #5 by Sidecar Bob » Wed Aug 16, 2006 6:07 pm

Canadian Tire # 14-4000-4

When I got my first 'Wing in '91 I priced the thermostat at a Honda dealer & then bought it from CT for less than 1/4 of what the dealer wanted.
Mr. Honda ('83 GL1000/Dnepr) summer
The Famous Eccles ('84 GX650EI/Velorex700) winter Never Ending Build (CX500forum)
Click: Colour schematics for all GL1000 & GL1100 and GL1200 standard models plus instructions on how to download the full size version
Image "A guy with two sidecars can't be all bad." - Cookie
Another guy with two sidecars..... Hmmmm... must be something to that....

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Post #6 by heraldhamster » Fri Aug 18, 2006 6:28 pm

I just did mine a couple of weeks back and used the PEAK Global, it's gold colored stuff.

http://www.peakantifreeze.com/peak_global_lifetime.html

I changed from regular and flushed my system with clear water and ran it for a minute or two. drained it again and put in a 50/50 mix with filtered water.



Hey, Bob,

what did you mean by drain the cylinders? I screwed up, I knew it!! dang.
sorta bulldogged custom 1978 GL1000 - "geekster" - daily rider
full Vetter dress 1979 GL1000 - "Barge" - daily rider (currently down)
1978 for $100 - project in worx
1978 from a previous member here - taking up space
my original '79 bought in '91 - replacing engine

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idlED

thanks bob

Post #7 by idlED » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:54 pm

glad I read this post cause I just picked up prestone LL at wally world for bike guess i'll us in cars now .. I think they have peak gold at parts store good post thanks ED

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Post #8 by Q » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:01 pm

Another thing about coolant: If you're having problems with the engine running hot, try running a 70% distilled water/30% antifreeze mix instead of the standard 50/50. Water transfers heat better than antifreeze. Be sure to change it back to 50/50 before winter if you live where it gets really cold.

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Post #9 by Sidecar Bob » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:21 pm

heraldhamster wrote:Hey, Bob,

what did you mean by drain the cylinders? I screwed up, I knew it!! dang.

Oops. I adapted that from a similar article I wrote about CX/GL500/650 cooling systems and I thought I changed all the differences. I guess I missed one. It's changed now.

The twins have drain screws on the fronts of the cylinders (behind the rad). If you don't remove the screws you leave something like 100 ml of the old coolant in each cylinder's jacket.

GoldWings don't have drains on the clinders.
Mr. Honda ('83 GL1000/Dnepr) summer
The Famous Eccles ('84 GX650EI/Velorex700) winter Never Ending Build (CX500forum)
Click: Colour schematics for all GL1000 & GL1100 and GL1200 standard models plus instructions on how to download the full size version
Image "A guy with two sidecars can't be all bad." - Cookie
Another guy with two sidecars..... Hmmmm... must be something to that....

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coolant change

Post #10 by brian beal » Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:10 am

Hi
Do you have to remove the gas tank(fake) above the radiator to re-fill the coolant? or can it all be filled from the overflow bottle in the compartment? I cant figure out how to remove the fake tank covering the radiator cap to fill it? any hints or answers??
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Post #11 by Sidecar Bob » Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:44 pm

The cover that looks like lesser bikes' gas tanks is called the "shelter". (As you know, GoldWings have their tanks under their seats where they belong so that they help keep the centre of gravity low.)

There's an old saying: whatever you want to do you always have to do something else first. To remove the shelter you have to first take the seat off, but in order to do that you need to remove the saddlebag lids.

Once the lids are off, feel along the rubber seals until you find the places where the top edge of the bag has a half round cutout (one on each bag on the side nearest the seat). You can then pass an allen key through between the cutout and the rubber seal to undo the bolts that hold the seat (one on each side). Slide the seat back about an inch and lift the front up and forward and it should come out.

You will find two 6mm bolts (10mm wrench) where the back of the shelter attaches to the frame. There are two more at the bottom edge of the shelter near the front. Once these bolts are out the shelter should lift upward and off. I find that I always have to fiddle a bit to get it over the wires &c on the left side.
Mr. Honda ('83 GL1000/Dnepr) summer
The Famous Eccles ('84 GX650EI/Velorex700) winter Never Ending Build (CX500forum)
Click: Colour schematics for all GL1000 & GL1100 and GL1200 standard models plus instructions on how to download the full size version
Image "A guy with two sidecars can't be all bad." - Cookie
Another guy with two sidecars..... Hmmmm... must be something to that....

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Post #12 by Roady » Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:34 pm

I have found that, after you have the four shelter bolts off, tip the tank to the right (as sitting on bike) a little and then it should shimmy right up and off the top.

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coolant fill

Post #13 by brian beal » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:23 am

Thanks for the info.
This is an 82 Aspencade Gl1100 with fairing.
Does that same procedure still apply with the fairing?
Can the coolant only be filled by the radiator neck or through the overflow bottle?The neck looks very hard to get at unless the shelter is removed?
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Post #14 by sodbuster » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:29 am

Should some of this info be added to the How-To links in "ShopTalk" ???
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Post #15 by brian beal » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:46 am

yes
if the info on changing the rad coolant can be expanded on for the wings with fairings.it would be very helpfull to know how to remove the shelter to get acces to the rad neck for filling the coolant change.
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