Author Topic: Radiator cleaning  (Read 697 times)

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Offline Andym535

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2018, 12:24:34 pm »
I expect to be corrected, but I don't think there's any engineering reason the radiator has to be directly behind the front wheel. Some Hondas (VTR1000 maybe) have side mounted rads so it's probably just a case of getting the plumbing and airflow sorted. Putting it out front like most other water-cooled engines might be the most common approach but BMW don't seem to mind non-conformist design in other areas so that shouldn't stop them. Maybe there are no cows anywhere near their test track... Something for a K1400S perhaps.

Offline Blobby

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2018, 06:51:55 am »
I expect to be corrected, but I don't think there's any engineering reason the radiator has to be directly behind the front wheel. Some Hondas (VTR1000 maybe) have side mounted rads so it's probably just a case of getting the plumbing and airflow sorted. Putting it out front like most other water-cooled engines might be the most common approach but BMW don't seem to mind non-conformist design in other areas so that shouldn't stop them. Maybe there are no cows anywhere near their test track... Something for a K1400S perhaps.
The old Austin Mini's had their rads to the side too.. Not much help i know but i thought i'd point it out..  ;D

Offline Phmode

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2018, 11:36:49 am »
The problem with the K design is that the engine is canted forward and the tapering-toward-the-bottom design of the fairing doesn't help get the rads to the side only as they would need to be higher and the head and cam cover are in the way.

The very simple answer is the long front mudguard. Who the fark gives a damn about whether it doesn't look cool from the side....

Offline richtea

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2018, 04:45:35 pm »
OK, today is radiator cleaning day! (And tomorrow, now.)

Bodywork is off.
- 5 longs screws. What!? 4 are from the inner front, but the 5th? Any ideas?
- 1 washer on the floor. What!?

Plastic * 2 from the front of the radiator is off.

Fan bolts * 4 are off (I will file the pesky one with flats like you said, Brian, Tom - excellent suggestion.)

However, the fan won't come out without the lower bracing rod/contraption coming off, but it's not obvious if the bent 'thing' on either end is some form of lock nut.
It's not something I've seen before, and the one on the rad itself has no hex - its just flat. Weird.

Lastly, do the fan electrics unclip somewhere, like the temp gauge did from the front plastics?

Lots of questions - sorry  :-[

Pictures below. Thanks in advance...

Engine end of rod:


Engine end of rod:


Rad end, with flat centre:


Offline drumwrecker

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2018, 05:32:06 pm »
they are circlips that just pull out.
Each end is rubber mounted as can be seen in your pictures.
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Offline richtea

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2018, 05:50:05 pm »
Ah!
Excellent. Will pull!

Offline TomL

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2018, 06:26:59 pm »
The fan will come out on the right hand side without removing the radiator clips. The fan wiring connector is on the right hand side towards the top of the radiator .
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Offline TomL

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2018, 06:28:03 pm »
You didn't show us how dirty your radiator is.
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Offline richtea

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2018, 06:40:07 pm »
As clogged as yours, plus some surface corrosion - not surprising since it's aluminium.
Since I've only seen yours, it difficult to know if it's normal.
I'm guessing yours is younger, being a Motorsport? 2015 - 2016?

This is a 2011 model, 36k miles, rad never cleaned by me (maybe not by prev owners either), but with a fender extender in place:





Offline richtea

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2018, 06:46:07 pm »
I'd say most of the holes are open, bar the bottom corners which I've captured on purpose, and a few damaged ones partway up.
Assuming airflow is even all over (it won't be - but for argument's sake), I'm surprised the crud makes a big difference.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 07:00:55 pm by richtea »

Offline Phmode

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2018, 08:46:20 pm »
Well done Richard. Gold House Point and Special Star ⭐️

You are now an expert in BM's cooling system.

Hence, you will note that the plastic side 'tanks', through which the hot water must pass before and after passing through the rad core, are much narrower at the bottom than at the top.

This means that the total amount of water passing through the the bottom 1/3 of the core of the rad from one side to the other (unlike 'most' rads which pass the water from the top to the bottom) is probably lower, proportionally, than through the rest of the core.

You would think that this would make the clogging of the narrow lower section of the rad less important. This just goes to show how marginal the rad design and the cooling system in general actually is.

I think that a shorter (top to bottom, leaving out the bottom third) but thicker (front to back) rad would probably do a better job.

But what do I know...

Offline TomL

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2018, 11:43:34 pm »
I think that it is important that the area in line with the fan is kept clear. This area is in the lower part of the radiator and most of it has very little cooling airflow because there is a four inch wide mud flap blocking the front. This leaves a woodruff key shape area either side of the mudflap. Half of this critical area becomes blocked very easily and if it is not kept clear, overheating will start to become a problem. When sitting in traffic the only effective parts of the radiator are the small woodruff key shaped segments and if half of this area is blocked the bike will overheat.

50mph no problem. Traffic jam on a hot day and keep an eye on that temperature gauge.

That gauge that you hadly ever noticed until you overheat for the first time suddenly becomes the focus of your attention.
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Offline capnvini

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2018, 02:48:34 am »
Careful touching or disturbing fins as they are super delicate and bend and break  at the slightest sparrow fart.

Offline richtea

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2018, 07:42:21 am »
I think that it is important that the area in line with the fan is kept clear. This area is in the lower part of the radiator and most of it has very little cooling airflow because there is a four inch wide mud flap blocking the front. This leaves a woodruff key shape area either side of the mudflap. Half of this critical area becomes blocked very easily and if it is not kept clear, overheating will start to become a problem. When sitting in traffic the only effective parts of the radiator are the small woodruff key shaped segments and if half of this area is blocked the bike will overheat.

50mph no problem. Traffic jam on a hot day and keep an eye on that temperature gauge.

That gauge that you hadly ever noticed until you overheat for the first time suddenly becomes the focus of your attention.

Ah yes - the fan trying to pull air through the lower crud. That makes sense now. (I did have to go and find a picture of a woodruff key :P)

I've not had it overheat, but it's one mark higher on the gauge this year at 10-15C in town - hence the cleaning.
Will have another go at getting the fan out today, without resorting to unbolting the wire radiator brace thing.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 07:44:03 am by richtea »

Offline Phmode

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Re: Radiator cleaning
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2018, 08:29:28 am »
There are no bolts holding the radiator Richard.

WD40 all the grommets and circlips and then simply prise/slide/pull/flick the circlip washers from under the head of each stud by moving the raised portion away from the centre of the stud. It is merely an interference fit. Rotating each washer a little to get the WD to work is the best tip here.

Then simply prise/pull/ease/tease the two rubber grommets off the studs on the stay rod and the grommets will come away together with the rod. The one on the rad OR the one on the engine block itself will do to give you the leeway you need.

It is normally enough just to remove the bottom stay but if you need more room do the same with the two studs at the top and the rad will move away and be suspended on the hoses.

On my old K12 these circlips were not in good condition and I replaced them with new ones from NOG. They popped them in the post to me for a few pence from memory.