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Water Pump/Thermostat Help ('99 XX)

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I was going to see about getting a replacement thermostat for my XX since it's clear the current one isn't doing its job.  Looking at the diagrams (off hand), it appears that it's mounted near the bottom of the motor.  Any tips?  Other than the part itself, will I need to replace other things (e.g., gaskets) that I should order at the same time?

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On my '99, the thermostat is in the housing under the throttle bodies.

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What ever you do make sure to prepare the fetzer valve with 3 in 1 oil and gauze pads. Its all ball bearings these days.....

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What's the current one doing?

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Well, it's several things that I just recently learned more about.

 

The bike always seemed to "cool" properly, but on my first cross-country trip, I had a radiator leak and boilover.  What triggered it is unknown, but I fixed it and went on my way.  I know the XX runs hot, but nothing explained that the needle is supposed to be near the H as the norm.  In any analog system before this, going past midway meant you weren't cooling properly.  So, I wired in a bypass switch to the cooling fan and regulated temperatures accordingly.

 

Normally, the needle doesn't go past half-way when in motion.  On cold days, it stays near the bottom 1/4 of the gauge.

 

This is indicative of the thermostat being stuck open...although now that I think about it, I think the guy who sold me the bike said he did something because it always "ran too hot."  I won't be surprised if the thermostat's been drilled out or completely removed.

 

Lately, when I'm not moving, the bike wants to move to overheat and boil over too fast.  My fan does come on (manually) but shuts down on its own.  Probable cause is a short in my wire, but the motor could be failing as well.  In either case, I've been running 50/50 mix for coolant, and I've been educated that one should only use straight antifreeze in the system.  So, I'm going to do a deep clean of the system and access the thermostat to see what's what.  I likely need to change it anyhow, but I won't replace the radiator cap unless it still boils over once it's back together (it's an easy to reach part).  I think the cap is fine, but without a working thermostat, the radiator doesn't have enough time to cool down the coolant before it's put back in the engine...leading to overheat.  The 50/50 mix is also an issue because the water boils faster, and if that starts to happen, it only leads to more overheating.  That, and even distilled water is ionically bad for aluminum systems.

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Go ahead and put Evans no boil in it while it is cleaned out.

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1 hour ago, RXX said:

Go ahead and put Evans no boil in it while it is cleaned out.

 

Ordered.  Geez...I wonder why it's not just sold in standard 1 gallon jugs.  I had to pull up my XX PDF shop manual to verify system capacity so I knew how many I needed.  Curse you math!

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Mike,

I agree that Evans is the way to go . BUT.....

it is not going to stop overheating.  Fix that problem first.

Years ago, there was a post about a water pump that failed. I think the poster had used a silicate based antifreeze instead of glycol based. The vanes were falling apart. Low flow, poor cooling.

Air in the system can cause hotspots, and are a bitch to clear on some engines.

 

I would check out the thermostat, and hope for some feedback on where a analog gauge should read.

 

My 01 once leaked right after shutdown. 

Bill had been riding it in low gears, stop and go, Tallahassee summer weather.

The bike was only a year old.  I found all the hose clamps could be tightened at least two full turns.

Now I check them whenever I have the lowers off.

 

A possible point of reference.

My 01, Royal purple oil.

 

NC mountains, mid 40 degree temps. 

My bike warms to 176 degrees, then holds.

Agressive riding, 176 to 184 degrees.

Stop and go and stop some more riding in 88 degree ( it's October already) ,  riding in Gainsville, Ga hit a high of 240.

It cooled down to 184 within 5 minutes once up to 55 mph with clean air.

 

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7 minutes ago, redxxrdr said:

Years ago, there was a post about a water pump that failed. I think the poster had used a silicate based antifreeze instead of glycol based. The vanes were falling apart. Low flow, poor cooling.

 

Well, my plan is this...

 

Drain and use Prestone clean/flush.  Let it sit for a week for a good deep clean.  Rinse and drain completely.

 

I'll tear down the system to inspect things.  I need to pull the thermostat, and I intend to check the water pump anyhow.  I also need to determine why my fan starts and stops rather than stay on continuously when manually switched.  I'm hoping it's just a loose wire on the switch.  Otherwise, I need to switch out the fan motor.

 

If everything checks out, I'll do all I can to get all the water out...probably leave the system open for a week for good measure.  Install the new thermostat and do the Evans pre-fill treatment.

 

Considering the bike's just hit 95K and I bought it around 17K, it's had this problem all of these years and I never realized it.  It will be nice to have it working as it should.  It still irks me that the shop manual tells you to use 50/50 mix for coolant when the motor is supposed to run this hot (close to boil-over) normally.  

 

The Prius takes a special coolant.  It's expensive (compared to other options), and you could opt to try a 3rd party brand that promises to be the same, but most Prius owners just save $$$ by doing the job themselves but using the Toyota brand.  After all, the Toyota formula is certified good for 100K, so you may only change the fluids (engine coolant, inverter coolant and transaxle fluid) once for the time you own the car.  Use cheaper stuff and you might have to do the job every 25-50K to be safe.

 

Had I known, I wouldn't have been doing what I've been doing all this time.

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Don't rule out the radiator cap.  Seems a lot of people over the years I've been reading had unsolved overheat issues that were rectified by a new cap.  Its cheap and easy.

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26 minutes ago, rockmeupto125 said:

Don't rule out the radiator cap.  Seems a lot of people over the years I've been reading had unsolved overheat issues that were rectified by a new cap.  Its cheap and easy.

 

I'll call the local shop and ask what they charge to test a cap.  If it's more than 50% of the cost of new, I'll just buy a new one and see what happens.

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8 hours ago, Aunt Zero said:

 It still irks me that the shop manual tells you to use 50/50 mix for coolant when the motor is supposed to run this hot (close to boil-over) normally.  

 

The thing that you don't understand is that water transfers heat more affectively than antifreeze. 

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19 hours ago, Aunt Zero said:

Well, it's several things that I just recently learned more about.

 

The bike always seemed to "cool" properly, but on my first cross-country trip, I had a radiator leak and boilover.  What triggered it is unknown, but I fixed it and went on my way.  I know the XX runs hot, but nothing explained that the needle is supposed to be near the H as the norm.  In any analog system before this, going past midway meant you weren't cooling properly.  So, I wired in a bypass switch to the cooling fan and regulated temperatures accordingly.

 

Normally, the needle doesn't go past half-way when in motion.  On cold days, it stays near the bottom 1/4 of the gauge.

 

This is indicative of the thermostat being stuck open...although now that I think about it, I think the guy who sold me the bike said he did something because it always "ran too hot."  I won't be surprised if the thermostat's been drilled out or completely removed.

 

Lately, when I'm not moving, the bike wants to move to overheat and boil over too fast.  My fan does come on (manually) but shuts down on its own.  Probable cause is a short in my wire, but the motor could be failing as well.  In either case, I've been running 50/50 mix for coolant, and I've been educated that one should only use straight antifreeze in the system.  So, I'm going to do a deep clean of the system and access the thermostat to see what's what.  I likely need to change it anyhow, but I won't replace the radiator cap unless it still boils over once it's back together (it's an easy to reach part).  I think the cap is fine, but without a working thermostat, the radiator doesn't have enough time to cool down the coolant before it's put back in the engine...leading to overheat.  The 50/50 mix is also an issue because the water boils faster, and if that starts to happen, it only leads to more overheating.  That, and even distilled water is ionically bad for aluminum systems.

JEEZUS.

Radiator leaked and lead to a boil-over and you don't know why....The radiator leaked, which just happens with age and luck, and caused an overheat...no mystery there.

 

Without testing temperatures you're making guesses based on needle position.  If you think the thermostat has been altered or removed simply check the temp of the hot side of the radiator after a cold start.  It should stay fairly cool 'till thermostat temp is hit and it'll suddenly heat up.  At that point the needle will probably drop a bit or at the least stop rising for a little while.

 

Overheating only at low speed indicates a fan problem, not a thermostat problem.  General basic rule of any engine with a liquid to air radiator; low speed overheat is a lack of airflow, overheat at high speed is a lack of fluid flow.  There are exceptions of course, but this applies to the vast majority of overheats.

 

If your manually activated fan shuts off while you're feeding power to it it's obviously fucked up and probably the reason it's overheating at low speed.  The motor likely wore out due to being overused.  If it was a short in your wiring I'm guessing that the smoke & melted wires would have shown where the short is and it would not work again after the first time it shut off.

 

Dismissing the importance of a working pressure cap is dumb with standard coolants or water.  Evans coolant works without pressure AFAIKBZITE.

 

As for the straight coolant thing it depends on whether you bought concentrate or "ready to run" coolant, follow the directions.  If it's Honda coolant I believe it's ready to run and not supposed to be diluted.  I did dilute it for my SuperHawk and it stopped the water pump from leaking and cooled just fine.  Automotive coolants are either concentrate and need water, or 50/50 pre-diluted and ready to run.  Regardless, having more water than coolant makes it more efficient at transferring heat.  A weak coolant concentration can lead to corrosion, freezing, and water pump seal wear, but water cools better than coolant does.  It does have a lower boiling temp than coolant, but at mild engine load with a good pressure cap it generally won't be an issue.

 

Lastly, a needle above the mid point does not indicate an overheat.  Many vehicles with electric fans will go over the mid point, some to 3/4, before the fan turns on and brings the temp down.  "Fixing" an overheat issue by rigging the fan to a manual control is not a fix at all.

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I'm not trying to dismiss what you have to say.  

 

I would normally agree 100% with everything you posted, but my experience at TeXXt and the "education" I got from others who not only ride the XX but RACE the XX showed me that a lot of what I thought I knew about how coolant systems operate DOES NOT necessarily apply to the XX and many other applications.

 

As a good example (comparing things to cars), my Prius SHOULD NOT have it's engine and inverter coolant changed with off-the-shelf coolant.  Even if they are guaranteed to be "safe" and/or "compatible," it's not Toyota's formula...which off the assembly line needs no changing until 100K miles.  Yeah, the Toyota stuff is significantly more expensive, but most Prius owners will never change the coolant more than once in the lifetime of owning the car.  You might not damage the systems with the aftermarket coolant, but you can't expect to go 100K until your next change.

 

Sorry in advance for the long reply. :wacko:

 

Quote

JEEZUS.

Radiator leaked and lead to a boil-over and you don't know why....The radiator leaked, which just happens with age and luck, and caused an overheat...no mystery there.

 

Nothing newsworthy there.  I know this, and it's why I eventually replaced the radiator (didn't leak or fail pressure testing but I could still see puffs of steam when it was hot telling me that there was still something wrong).

 

Oh, and I should have pointed out that the radiator leak was back in 2006.  Not this past week. :unsure:

 

Quote

Without testing temperatures you're making guesses based on needle position.  If you think the thermostat has been altered or removed simply check the temp of the hot side of the radiator after a cold start.  It should stay fairly cool 'till thermostat temp is hit and it'll suddenly heat up.  At that point the needle will probably drop a bit or at the least stop rising for a little while.

 

This I know as well.  What I was told expressly at TeXXt was that the needle being above midpoint was normal and the fan largely does not come on until it's even higher than that.  Since I'm going to flush the system (it's due anyhow) and pull the system apart to inspect, I don't need to measure the engine temp.  Once I've done the needed repairs, I will see for myself what is "normal."  As I was told, the needle will slowly go up and down in a given range when the system is operating as it should, and it won't boil over.  Right now, on a night run or cold day, the needle never reaches midpoint, that tells me the coolant is constantly circulating as it only warms up to midpoint when I'm stopped.

 

Quote

Overheating only at low speed indicates a fan problem, not a thermostat problem.  General basic rule of any engine with a liquid to air radiator; low speed overheat is a lack of airflow, overheat at high speed is a lack of fluid flow.  There are exceptions of course, but this applies to the vast majority of overheats.

 

Normally true, but if you've lost coolant (air now in system), a fan won't do enough to cool enough coolant to bring down engine temperatures.

 

Likewise, the thermostat allows longer retention time in the radiator.  The XX does not have a big radiator or excellent air flow.  So, the longer coolant is kept in the radiator, the cooler it is when it is drawn into the motor.  The thermostat (if working as it should) effectively regulates the coolant exchange rate so there is adequate time to chill the coolant before it gets pulled back into the motor.  A bad thermostat negates this retention time and can lead to overheat...even with the fan working...especially on a hot day.

 

Quote

If your manually activated fan shuts off while you're feeding power to it it's obviously fucked up and probably the reason it's overheating at low speed.  The motor likely wore out due to being overused.  If it was a short in your wiring I'm guessing that the smoke & melted wires would have shown where the short is and it would not work again after the first time it shut off.

 

Dismissing the importance of a working pressure cap is dumb with standard coolants or water.  Evans coolant works without pressure AFAIKBZITE.

 

I'm guessing the motor is still good, but that's something I'm going to check.  It's just as possible a wire has come loose.  I won't know until I pull panels off.  I had a "failing" voltmeter that turned out to be nothing but a wire coming loose from the unit.

 

The cap will either be pressure tested or just replaced.  It depends on what the shop wants to charge for a test.  At $25-30 for a new cap, there's no point paying for a test unless they waive the fee if I buy the replacement cap from them.

 

Quote

As for the straight coolant thing it depends on whether you bought concentrate or "ready to run" coolant, follow the directions.  If it's Honda coolant I believe it's ready to run and not supposed to be diluted.

 

This is true, BUT the shop manual (from Honda) says 50/50 mix (not specifying Honda brand...just type [ethylene glycol]).

 

The counsel I got at TeXXt was to never use water.  Evans was recommended, but they said straight antifreeze is better than 50/50 mix. 

 

While water DOES improve heat transfer, it's also a weak link.  Water vaporizes faster than the ethylene glycol, and once it does, it's not "cooling" anymore and can actually displace coolant out of the radiator, leaving less behind to transfer heat.  Straight antifreeze is slightly less effective, but it won't vaporize...ultimately cooling more effectively as you have all your coolant at work.  So, unless your coolant fan, pump or thermostat fails, you should never overheat or boil over on straight antifreeze.

 

THERE IS ALSO THE ISSUE of the damage water does to an aluminum engine.  Normally, every antifreeze (and pump treatments) have additives to try to negate the damage the water component does to aluminum (even distilled water does some damage), but straight antifreeze eliminates this problem completely.  The chief reason you need to drain, flush and fill coolant every couple of years is because of what the water does in the system that needs to be cleaned out to maintain proper function.  The only reason tracks require "water only" in bikes is because it's easier to clean up in a crash/leak and doesn't leave the track slick.  Water (with some additives) does an adequate job for the track, and a biker can just drain the system once the day/weekend is done.  For prolonged retention, water = bad.

 

Quote

Lastly, a needle above the mid point does not indicate an overheat.  Many vehicles with electric fans will go over the mid point, some to 3/4, before the fan turns on and brings the temp down.  "Fixing" an overheat issue by rigging the fan to a manual control is not a fix at all.

 

Normally, this is true, but again, other people who run the XX hard say that the needle position I'm getting IS NOT normal because the XX inherently runs on the hot side as "normal."  I was always judging the situation from my experience with trucks and cars...where anything more than mid range indicates poor cooling.  This was a quirk of the XX I was not previously aware.  

 

Hell, I told the guys at TeXXt that if the bike normally runs on the hot side (above mid range), why didn't Honda accordingly mark the analog gauge on pre-2000 models to show the normal range as being much higher.  Those of you with the digital dash displays get a temperature number, which is more revealing.  A mis-labeled analog gauge is not very helpful.  I was told once I get things checked out and have proper coolant in the system, I'll see where on my gauge is "normal" from this point forward.

Edited by Aunt Zero

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Mike,

a couple of clarification points.

A thermostats function is to get the engine heated to a minimum operating temp.

Engine too cold, increases wear, won't burn off waste products in oil, etc.

Once the coolant in the block reaches a certain temp, the thermostat opens allowing coolant to flow through the radiator to cool the engine.

Thermostats fail. They are designed to fail open, but that doesn't always happen.  Sometimes they don't open all the way up.

Partically closed, partial fluid flow. Easier to overheat.

Always test your thermostat, even NEW ones.  Put them in a pot of boiling water and make sure that the open fully.

 

Another thing about thermostats. They must have some fluid flow.  Look closely, and you will see a small hole near the edge of the thermostat.  Sometimes there is a loose rivet in it.

This hole must be aligned properly when the thermostat is installed.  It allows a small amount of fluid ( and trapped air) to pass, even when the engine is cold. 

A  plugged hole, ( someone used RTV as a gasket), or improper alignment can cause real problems.

The hole is always orientated up.

Thermostats can be installed backwards on some engines. I'm not sure on the bird.

The spring section goes towards the block. Reverse it, and it doesn't open as soon, and tries to close quicker.

 

Radiator cap. 

It wont cause overheating directly.  BUT. 

It keeps the cooling system under pressure . Higher pressure, higher boiling point.

If your cap goes bad, you boil sooner. So the coolant goes to the overflow bottle.  

The bottle is small on the XX. With a bad cap, you can pump more coolant out of the radiator than the bottle can hold.

When the bike cools, it SHOULD pull the coolant back to the radiator.  

 

My XX had crap on the radiator cap seal. It would hold less pressure, and leaked air under cool down.

End result, coolant in the overflow, air in the radiator.  

I cleaned the cap seal, and the radiator neck, problem solved.

 

You are following up on someone else. Check everything. 

Make sure that your cap is the correct psi rating for your bike.

you mentioned radiator. Was it OEM or aftermarket? 

Tighten those hoses. A loose one can act like a bad cap and let air in.

 

 

 

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Thanks.

 

Radiator is an OEM I bought off someone here.  I may have saved the old one, but I just decided one year to replace it to ensure it didn't spring a leak again.  A shop "fixed" the old one by using epoxy on all of the fins surrounding the leak.  It did the job of making it usable again, but obviously at the cost of a percentage loss in surface area for cooling.

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Well, so far....

 

Finally got the system apart.  Thermostat looks a bit worse for wear, but it appears to work properly when I test it in the kitchen.  Given the age of the bike, I'll replace it anyhow.  Coolant pump looks fine.  Pulled the fan switch sensor, and I can't get it to test positive.  I don't see how a part like that EVER wears out, but there's nothing in the manual on how to test it other than, "Try A, if not A, then B, if B replace the switch."

 

I did that on my last bike, and the replacement part switch didn't work either.  I'd like to have a way to test if the circuit completes at X degrees, but there's no specs here.  Had the thing submerged in boiling water (210 F), and nothing I did tested with continuity on the multimeter.

 

Dang, the plumbing on the XX is complicated.  Way too many hoses.

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5 hours ago, Aunt Zero said:

Pulled the fan switch sensor, and I can't get it to test positive.  I don't see how a part like that EVER wears out,

One went bad on my 84 1000 Interceptor.  I didn't bother to reason why.

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I just with they'd put a spec in the manual of how to know if it's working (other then testing it on system).  I want to confirm a working part BEFORE I reassemble and fill a coolant system with expensive fluids.

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21 hours ago, blackhawkxx said:

One went bad on my 84 1000 Interceptor.  I didn't bother to reason why.

thermostat switches which directly control a fan have a large inductive load which causes the contacts to erode every time they open. Definitely a wear item.

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On 10/20/2016 at 5:24 AM, Aunt Zero said:

I'

 

 

 

Likewise, the thermostat allows longer retention time in the radiator.  The XX does not have a big radiator or excellent air flow.  So, the longer coolant is kept in the radiator, the cooler it is when it is drawn into the motor.  The thermostat (if working as it should) effectively regulates the coolant exchange rate so there is adequate time to chill the coolant before it gets pulled back into the motor.  A bad thermostat negates this retention time and can lead to overheat...even with the fan working...especially on a hot day.

 

 

Will you stop repeating this idiocy! The speed of the water flow has NOTHING to do with the heat transfer. Yes the coolant will be at a lower temperature if it moves slowly through the radiator, but guess what? The coolant in the engine will be that much hotter when it exits the motor  cancelling out the effect. This age old fallacy came about when people would remove their thermostat to improve cooling and found the overheating problem got worse. Thinking that the water was moving too fast when in reality the water pump was cavitating and not pumping effectively.

 

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22 hours ago, mikesail said:

Will you stop repeating this idiocy! The speed of the water flow has NOTHING to do with the heat transfer. Yes the coolant will be at a lower temperature if it moves slowly through the radiator, but guess what? The coolant in the engine will be that much hotter when it exits the motor  cancelling out the effect. This age old fallacy came about when people would remove their thermostat to improve cooling and found the overheating problem got worse. Thinking that the water was moving too fast when in reality the water pump was cavitating and not pumping effectively.

 

Actually, the speed of the water does make a difference.  You're assuming the temperature loss going through the radiator is the same as the temperature gain going through the engine.  This would be true for the given designed flow rate of said engine and radiator.  However, as the flow rate increases beyond the design window, less BTU is transferred to the air in the radiator.  Same thing happens in the engine, except for the fact that the metal of the engine will continue to get hotter and hotter, increasing the temperature differential between it and the water.  This increased differential means more BTU is transferred despite the flow rate.  Same goes for the radiator.  The big difference is that the radiator is transferring heat to the atmosphere, which unlike the engine, remains a constant temperature.  In other words, the rate of BTU exchange for the radiator is now less than the rate of BTU exchange for the engine.  Result:  Over-heating

If the pump was cavitating, wouldn't that slow the flow rate?  And yes, a flow-rate slower than the design window would also allow over-heating (but at a faster rate), because of too much pressure in the cooling system due to water boiling in the block and pushing past the radiator cap.

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2 hours ago, jon haney said:

Actually, the speed of the water does make a difference.  You're assuming the temperature loss going through the radiator is the same as the temperature gain going through the engine.  This would be true for the given designed flow rate of said engine and radiator.  However, as the flow rate increases beyond the design window, less BTU is transferred to the air in the radiator.  Same thing happens in the engine, except for the fact that the metal of the engine will continue to get hotter and hotter, increasing the temperature differential between it and the water.  This increased differential means more BTU is transferred despite the flow rate.  Same goes for the radiator.  The big difference is that the radiator is transferring heat to the atmosphere, which unlike the engine, remains a constant temperature.  In other words, the rate of BTU exchange for the radiator is now less than the rate of BTU exchange for the engine.  Result:  Over-heating

If the pump was cavitating, wouldn't that slow the flow rate?  And yes, a flow-rate slower than the design window would also allow over-heating (but at a faster rate), because of too much pressure in the cooling system due to water boiling in the block and pushing past the radiator cap.

Sorry but not true. Should I call UCLA and give back my engineering degree? The heat flow relationships are true regardless of velocity, the part that changes is the delta temp in the parts of the system. At zero water flow all the heat stays where it is generated and the radiator is at it's coldest. At infinite water flow all parts of the fluid are the same temperature, this temperature being set by the thermal resistance of  the entire system and the heat source/sink temps. At any water flow between zero and infinite there will be a temperature gradient across the radiator as well as a gradient across the engine block. This gradient is proportional to the flow rate of the fluid. It likely is true that one might measure a difference in heat transfer as the water turbulence changes, but that is outside of our discussion topic. None of these concepts change as you go over or under the design flow rate until the flow slows to the point where boiling occurs, then it becomes a different system.

 

For those who believe that the flow rate affects the heat transfer I ask you this. How fast would the water need to flow before you could hold a metal pipe with 200 degree water in it? Do you really think that the pipe magically stays cool?

 

Yes, pump cavitation means that the flow rate drops and lessens the heat flow capability. We all agree there.

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I read an interesting thread on BITOG about using oil instead of coolant. Nearly total corrosion control. It wont boil over in any foreseeable set of circumstances, and if you change it periodically you can use the drain oil as chain lube. Repurposing it saves you money, and further reduces global warming.

I will never go back to Prestone ever again.

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I took a bunch of shit to the dump in my old pickup today. Only about 3, maybe 4 miles. It was pretty full, since I left the key on last month and the battery was dead. I tried to charge it last week, but the charger I grabbed had crapped out on me last year. Never got rid of it, just bought an exact replacement. Well, SIL had taken the good one without letting me know. Threw the junk one in the back of the truck.

well, finally charged it. With all the shit in the back, there was no room in the back for the 2-5 gallon (yellow) diesel cans I was gonna fill up with off-road diesel so I threw them in the cab.

fucker started overheating on me halfway there. I killed the engine and coasted when possible. When I threw all the junk out, I grabbed the cans to throw them in the back.

 

And uncovered a (yellow) empty antifreeze jug sitting in the floorboard. Fuck me. I forgot that happened to me LAST time I went to the dump. So I borrowed a gallon or so of water from the dump and went on my way. I will try to fix it over the next few weeks, without as much drama as the OP.

 

My question to you Nicolas Carnot wannabees is, did it make diddly-squat difference coasting with the engine killed? Why or why not? Atmospheric conditions pretty much STP. Low humidity, low 80's. V8 FI, not running AC (cause it's broke). Windows down, side vents wide open, sliding glass rear window open. No dogs, no beer. 

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