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About 2/3 of my ride on Friday was great. I went to Florence, AL and visited Harbor Freight. Then to Aldi in Muscle Shoals, where I packed my trunk quite full, and strapped the cat food bag on the seat. Finally a trip to a nearby truck stop with ethanol-free petrol where I filled up and headed home in ~95F/~35C humid heat.

Not far along, the engine started to overheat. Initially there was also an oil level light. I stopped (in scarce shade) at a Burger King, got online and looked up about how to add oil. Walked to the petrol bar next door, got an overpriced quart of 10W-40, and proceeded to add it.

When I turned on the key the temperature indicated had gone down substantially, and the oil level light was out, so I was hopeful at that point.

But again, not long after starting out, the temperature was up. Next stop, a small petrol bar west of town, US-72 and AL-247. There I looked up how to add coolant. I added water to the overflow tank, hoping that would help. Departed south on 247 toward home.

I limped along at slow speeds toward the Rattlesnake Saloon, one of two businesses in the 27-mile stretch toward home. They let me park in a carport to cool down, and I hung out awhile in the air-conditioned saloon.

Again at slow speeds, it was overheating before I got back to Hwy 247. I limped on south to the other business, County Line Package [Liquor] Store.

As luck would have it, they were changing out the water for ice in some of their cold beer display cases. The fellow there took some of that cold water and splashed it in the radiator! Steam came up and the temperature plummeted. Only ~14 miles to go, I ought to make it, I figured.

No, it was overheating (five bars on the scale, red light flashing on the panel) within 2 miles again. My turnoff was in 3 miles, Franklin CR 90, where there is a Cedar Creek Baptist Church, only 11 miles from home. I stopped there. Oops, no cell coverage, sigh.

By now the plan is to just wait until it cools down, limp awhile more, repeat. Maybe someone along the way would spray my radiator with a garden hose. (I looked around the church, saw no hose spigot.)

A pair of vehicles turned off the highway and passed me sitting at the church. They went another few hundred feet past the cemetery. Then they turned around and headed back toward me. I smiled. God is good. :)

Turned out it was the young fellow who went with me to drive my car back when I bought the bike. "Hey, I know that bike, I have to stop," he told his companions.

He was driving a shortbed pickup truck. Hmm, this can work, we figured.

The church has a concrete porch about 4 steps high, fairly close to the height of the truck gate. And a nice ramp on one side, easy to get up on the porch. He backed up the truck to within about a foot of the porch, because the steps were going to hit his pipes. But we figured it wouldn't be too bad to lift it across such a narrow gap. It wasn't.

All we could come up with to hold it in were my bungee cords, sigh. But now we're on the backroads, no one tailgating and expecting to go 55+ MPH. One of his party sat on the bike and held the brakes, while my young friend drove slowly. About a 20-30 minute ride those 11 miles, and gave us a chance to catch up on things.

Unloading it was a mess. Yikes. I really need to make a decent ramp to have here. But we got it off, miraculously with no human injury, and only minor damage to the chrome trim on his truck gate.

So, yeah, all that belongs in the Road Stories section, but now we're getting to the on-topic part.

My plan now is:

1. Oil Change
It was due for a change awhile ago, but I was lazy and put it off. I didn't think it was that bad, only a few hundred miles after the oil change indicator started to show.

2. Coolant Flush/Change, Clean Radiator
I'll see if it helps to replace the coolant and wash out the radiator with a garden hose. Or a fire hose, if higher pressure would help.

Then I will test with short rides, no further than I am willing to walk home. It's about 2 miles to the fire station from home. I could take the truck and leave the bike while it cools off. :)

If those don't do it, I guess I could be looking at any of these:

  1. Radiator fan
  2. Thermostat
  3. Water pump
  4. Bad sensor? (I doubt it, I believe it was quite hot.)
  5. Something else
Advice appreciated; I'll update the thread with more information as I have it. It might take a few days.

BTW the forum archives helped me a lot as I was on my way home. There were similar threads before. I just thought it best to make a new one.
 

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It had to be extremely hot as very cold water steamed of the radiator when thrown on.

When starting to get hot the electric cooling fan should start immediately, if you are at a standstill and the engine is hot you should easily here the fan running. If you do not hear the fan there is something faulty there and I would start there. If it does not turn freely it may be jammed in the shroud, maybe blocked by debris you picked up or totally bad. A good rad cleaning is not a bad idea as well no matter what.

After that move on to thermostat, water pump, etc.

Keep us informed as we can all learn from this.

Good luck,
.
 

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I'd say the cooling fan isn't working. There is a switch at the bottom of the radiator. If you jumper the wires with the key on the fan should come on meaning you have a bad switch or if it doesn't you either have a problem with power or the fan itself.
 
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But the very first thing to check with everything turned off - get on the floor, reach underneath and check the fan is free to rotate by hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Fan turns freely, but I am pretty sure it won't turn on.

There's an electrical plug which on the Ron Ayers microfiche shows as being a part of the "FAN ASSY,RADIAT 17800-10G0". At the bottom of the fan. That plug is broken. :(

I'm sure this broken plug needs to be replaced now, but I am not confident that it was the cause of the problem while I was out on the bike. It looks like it might have happened while unloading from the truck bed. I can't think of any other incident which might have caused this.

Yikes, the whole fan assembly lists for US$456.55. Seems like I need to find one from a junked bike, or do some splicing.
 

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Well you have eliminated one good item and now confirm that it is most likely overheating because the fan is not drawing air through the rad, personally I would proceed to find out if it is the plug that is the problem and solution as well by bypassing it and turning on the ignition or connecting it directly to the battery via extension wires, if it turns when powered up it is an easy enough fix and you already have the solution, if not move on to a further test.
 

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My experience.....

Mine was overheating, the fan had rubbed pin holes in the radiator. I had to have them weld it closed. Easy fix and some spacers to take the fan off the radiator.
 

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There's an electrical plug which on the Ron Ayers microfiche shows as being a part of the "FAN ASSY,RADIAT 17800-10G0". At the bottom of the fan. That plug is broken. :(
That plug is the one that connects the fan to the thermo switch in the radiator. The thermo switch turns the fan on when the radiator water temp gets to high. You do need to get that fixed but I doubt it is the cause of you problems based on your description of them. You indicated your bike was overheating while moving at road speed. The fan does not normally run when the bike is moving at road speed. Movement of the bike provides plenty of air through the radiator. It usually just comes on when you are moving slow or stopped with the engine running. I would more suspect a stuck thermostat, a bad water pump or a clogged water passage in the radiator or engine.

Another possibility is the radiator fins are clogged with dirt and debris so the air does not pass through them. Shining a flashlight through the radiator is a way to determine if it is clogged. Flushing from back to front with a waterhose can clear this up.
 

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Interestingly, my '03 fan, I have never seen it, or heard it. I don't believe I have one.

Is that a regional thing?
 

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Interestingly, my '03 fan, I have never seen it, or heard it. I don't believe I have one.

Is that a regional thing?
They all have it. If you leave it idling it will come on once you hit 3 bars on the gauge usually. It's pretty quiet normally.

There's an electrical plug which on the Ron Ayers microfiche shows as being a part of the "FAN ASSY,RADIAT 17800-10G0". At the bottom of the fan. That plug is broken. :(

I'm sure this broken plug needs to be replaced now, but I am not confident that it was the cause of the problem while I was out on the bike. It looks like it might have happened while unloading from the truck bed. I can't think of any other incident which might have caused this.
Sounds like the problem but when you fix that I'd probably flush the cooling system with a good 50/50 mix and top it up. You probably got air in the system if you blew coolant out.
 

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They all have it. If you leave it idling it will come on once you hit 3 bars on the gauge usually. It's pretty quiet normally.



After a mile or so, my 650 always maintains 3 bars on the temperature gauge. Is that normal?
 
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After a mile or so, my 650 always maintains 3 bars on the temperature gauge. Is that normal?
As long as it doesn't go higher, especially sitting idling, I don't normally pay attention to mine other than in the garage idling.
 
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After a mile or so, my 650 always maintains 3 bars on the temperature gauge. Is that normal?
Yep, sounds pretty normal to me and it should stay at 3 bars all day long whether riding at 30 or 75 mph be it alone or two up riding.

It has always been 3 bars on my 2004, 2009 and present 2013 and this from March to December as we do not ride in the cold, snow and ice of winter here.
.
 
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Mine gets to three bars pretty fast and holds. Even in 100+ weather
 
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Same problem here, if I sit in slow traffic for 10 min with an ambient temp of 80 the temp on my 2013 650 w/37K will rise from 3 to 4 and when it hits 5 bars I pull over and shut it down to cool. At 30 mph it's fine, 3 bars solid. I've:

Flushed the cooling system 5 times, then filled with fresh coolant
Replaced the water pump
Replaced the oil (to reduce friction)
Removed the thermostat (new one on order)
Tried to clean radiator

When the fan is running (air is pushed through the radiator) and I can feel it in front of the radiator, except for the bottom middle third.. could this alone be enough to cause the bike to overheat? Since the fan does go on, I'm not going to deal with removing the leg shield to get at the relay. I suppose it could be a false reading and the bike is actually ok. My last Burgman, an 07Exec had the same problem but I never figured it out, just rode in cool weather.

My next plan is to remove the radiator and clean it through and through in the hope that increasing the airflow by %10 will rectify it.

Leaving on a trip from Boston to Gettysburg next Sunday (7/9/17) and need to get to the bottom of this soon.

Appreciate any ideas!

Paul
 

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Same problem here, if I sit in slow traffic for 10 min with an ambient temp of 80 the temp on my 2013 650 w/37K will rise from 3 to 4 and when it hits 5 bars I pull over and shut it down to cool. At 30 mph it's fine, 3 bars solid. I've:

Flushed the cooling system 5 times, then filled with fresh coolant
Replaced the water pump
Replaced the oil (to reduce friction)
Removed the thermostat (new one on order)
Tried to clean radiator

When the fan is running (air is pushed through the radiator) and I can feel it in front of the radiator, except for the bottom middle third.. could this alone be enough to cause the bike to overheat? Since the fan does go on, I'm not going to deal with removing the leg shield to get at the relay. I suppose it could be a false reading and the bike is actually ok. My last Burgman, an 07Exec had the same problem but I never figured it out, just rode in cool weather.

My next plan is to remove the radiator and clean it through and through in the hope that increasing the airflow by %10 will rectify it.

Leaving on a trip from Boston to Gettysburg next Sunday (7/9/17) and need to get to the bottom of this soon.

Appreciate any ideas!

Paul
Fresh 50/50 coolant? When you hit 5 bars have you verified the fan is running and does it seem at proper speed? (Could work intermittently with poor relay contacts or have voltage reduced due to resistance). There could be air in the system or a partial blockage in the radiator (can check temperature in various areas of the core looking for colder/hotter spots and also verify actual temperature). Some thing like a inexpensive infrared thermometer to carry and check when it acts up to see what the actual radiator temp is. This way you can see if therequired is a real problem or a perceived one from a bad temp sensor.
 
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I had this problem until I "BURPED" my AN650 twice. Had an air pocket.
 

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Overheating also

I have forgotten the thread where I got advice on my heating system from y'all but it fits in here also.

I drained my rad.
Flushed it once with distilled water; some grit came out.
A second rad full of distilled water is now in the bike.
I'm getting three bars and the fan comes on in slow traffic - but no fourth bar yet.

Major Question: My understanding is that you are supposed to check the radiator fluid level by looking at the marks of the overflow bottle. I had syringed-out 90 % of the anti-freeze in this bottle BUT none of the water from the rad has made its way into this bottle. So the rad APPEARS empty but is not. So what/how is the connection between the bottle and the rad?

Why do we look at the overflow bottle to tell how full the rad is.

If i look at the bottle now it indicates that my rad is almost dry but I know it's full.

Anybody? :serious
 

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When I did my last service to the cooling system I did it the easy way. I drained it and removed the hoses and back flushed the radiator and got some crud out. Then I put the hoses back on and filled with distilled water, $1.10 a gallon with tax. Rode it for a few hours and redrained it. I then filled it with 50/50 Distilled water and Prestone GREEN that is safe to all systems. After riding it, it was over heating so in the service manual it says something about tilting the bike left and right to get the air pocket to "BURP". I then topped it off. I had to BURP it a second time too.

After it is topped off I also drained the reservoir and filled it with the 50/50 mix. The only way fluid will move to and from the reservoir is by pressure when hot and vacuum when it cools.
When the engine get hot the water expands and pushes out the sealed but double sprung radiator cap @ 16 PSI or so. When the water cools and contracts it creates a vacuum and pulls a second spring in the cap down and water mix from the reservoir is pulled back in. YouTube has the answer.
 
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