DIY - Coolant flush and refill - KawiForums - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Post DIY - Coolant flush and refill

Most tracks ban the use of antifreeze since it's extremely sticky and hard to clean up. Dealers usually use antifreeze since it's less corrosive than water, and (of course) has a freezing point of well below 0 Celsius. Here's how to replace your stock coolant with distilled water or, better yet, water with WaterWetter.

You will need:
- 10mm socket wrench
- 8mm socket wrench
- Everything listed in DIY Fairing Removal
- Distilled water (from your local grocery store, 3+ gallons)
- Water with WaterWetter (i use this one from Cycle Gear)
- 2 buckets
- Funnel

How to flush the coolant:

1) Follow the DIY Fairing Removal to get your bike naked.

2) Locate the first coolant drain bolt. It's at the bottom of the water pump cover on the left side of your bike, in front of the shift lever:



3) Place a bucket under this drain bolt, and using the 10mm socket wrench, remove the drain bolt. Be careful though -- the coolant will spray up to a foot away! Leave the bucket there as we proceed with the next steps.



4) Locate the second drain bolt in the cylinder housing at the front of the engine. It's right below the exhaust pipe connections:



5) Place a bucket under this drain bolt, and using the 8mm socket wrench, remove the drain bolt. The coolant here will leak all over the engine housing and exhaust pipes... this will need to be rinsed with water and wiped down when we're done. Leave the bucket there as we proceed with the next steps.



6) Now, unscrew the radiator cap (pictured below), and pour distilled water into the radiator. As you pour, the water should flow out of the two drain plugs and into the buckets. Keep pouring as long as the fluid coming out is green... i used an entire gallon of water!



To be continued....
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Last edited by pastafarian; 07-17-2009 at 08:42 PM. Reason: pretify
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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7) Now, grab one of the buckets and place it underneath the bottom of the reservoir tank. Unclamp and remove the top hose (pictured below) on the reservoir tank.

8) Hold the funnel underneath the bottom hose clamp of the reservoir tank (this allows us to redirect the coolant flow away from the engine casing). Unclamp the bottom hose, using the funnel to redirect the coolant flow away from the engine and into the bucket. Don't worry if you get some on the engine... our final step will be to rinse everything.



9) Now, unscrew the cap on the radiator filler neck. Leave the hoses unclamped. Using the funnel, pour distilled water into the reservoir tank, and watch it drain out the bottom hose clamp and into the bucket. Keep pouring until there isn't a hint of green at all.

10) The fun part begins. Screw in the water pump drain bolt and torque to 87 inch-pounds (7.25 foot-pounds). Screw in the cylinder cover drain bolt and torque to 87 inch pounds (7.25 foot-pounds) as well.

11) Clamp the hoses back onto the coolant reservoir, but leave the filler neck cap off.

12) SLOWLY fill the radiator up to the filler neck with WaterWetter. The SLOWER you go the better, since less air bubbles will form in the pipes. Also fill the reservoir tank up to the max line with WaterWetter. Leave the caps off both the radiator and the reservoir tank.

13) Start up the bike. Continuously tap on the radiator hoses on both sides of the radiator so as to expel the air bubbles. Do this for about 30 seconds.

14) Stop the bike, and SLOWLY fill up the radiator with WaterWetter until it comes up to the filler neck. Install the radiator cap. Check the level on the reservoir tank and, if necessary, refill with WaterWetter until the max line. Install the cap on the filler neck of the reservoir tank.

15) Start up the bike. Keep the bike running at least until you hear the radiator fan come on (I just rode the bike around the block a few times). When it does, turn the bike off and refill the reservoir tank with WaterWetter until the max line.

16) Voila!



17) Now, THOROUGHLY rinse the areas that coolant might have sprayed onto with water. If you got any coolant at all on your tires, you'll need to wash it out with soap and water... although it sounds like fun, drifting around on a motorcycle isn't!

18) Replace your fairings, and you're done! Use the DIY Fairing Removal if necessary.
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Last edited by pastafarian; 07-17-2009 at 08:45 PM.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 11:25 PM
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Nice write up. Should add this to the 250 DIY sticky.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 10:45 PM
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Various questions about this process:
Feel free to answer any/all .
I realize some questions may seem ... rather ridiculous, however I am new to this, and would like to ask - rather than do something wrong .

1. Distill water - Where would you find distill water? is it simply boiled water?
2. Are gloves required? in other words, would the coolant harm your bare skin?
3. Clarification - WaterWetter is simply a type of antifeeze/coolant, correct?
3. Is there motorcycle-specific WaterWetter?

Last edited by UltrA_09; 02-07-2010 at 10:50 PM.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltrA_09 View Post
Various questions about this process:
Feel free to answer any/all .
I realize some questions may seem ... rather ridiculous, however I am new to this, and would like to ask - rather than do something wrong .

1. Distill water - Where would you find distill water? is it simply boiled water?
2. Are gloves required? in other words, would the coolant harm your bare skin?
3. Clarification - WaterWetter is simply a type of antifeeze/coolant, correct?
3. Is there motorcycle-specific WaterWetter?
1. Distilled water is just that; water that has been distilled to remove all minerals, sediment, etc. It's just regular water boiled off, and the steam is collected and condensed back into distilled water. I got some from Safeway.

2. Gloves aren't required, coolant isn't corrosive. But it is really slippery so make sure you completely rinse off any that gets on your tires..

3. WaterWetter is *NOT* antifreeze. I repeat, WaterWetter is *NOT* antifreeze. If you live someplace where the temperature may go below freezing, you'll want to replace the WaterWetter with anti-freeze during the winter.

4. Nope, just plain ol' WaterWetter You can either get the pre-mixed WaterWetter (I think it's called Super Cool or something) and use that directly, or you can get the WaterWetter additive and mix it with distilled water. I opted for the former.

Good luck!

Last edited by pastafarian; 02-07-2010 at 11:05 PM.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 11:40 PM
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Thanks for answering my questions. I suppose I'll head to my local grocery store for some distill water when I decide to get this 'procedure' underway.

Appreciate the quick reply!
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 01:29 AM
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when should i flush and change my fluid coolant??my ninja is on 6k miles right now would u think its necessary??
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltrA_09 View Post
Various questions about this process:
Feel free to answer any/all .
I realize some questions may seem ... rather ridiculous, however I am new to this, and would like to ask - rather than do something wrong .

1. Distill water - Where would you find distill water? is it simply boiled water?
2. Are gloves required? in other words, would the coolant harm your bare skin?
3. Clarification - WaterWetter is simply a type of antifeeze/coolant, correct?
4. Is there motorcycle-specific WaterWetter?
Answers:

1. Canadian Tire (automotive section) or Shopers Drug Mart usually have it in stock, so should your local grocery, but ide go to CT since you will be heading there for the WaterWetter anyways..

2. It's always safe practice to wear gloves, dishes gloves should do.

3. WaterWetter, also sold at Canadian Tire, is a coolant additive, it should be mixed with coolant and should not be used alone. I would highly recommend Inugel from Motul. EngineIce would be my second choice.

4. This is just general purpose stuff, it should be compatible with your bike, but isn't always compatible with the coolant.. (although, it probably is compatible with yours)
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 06:58 AM
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Remember that you must have anti freeze in to avoid engine and radiator damage if the temperature drops below freezing. Anti freeze also has better corrosion inhibition than water wetter or engine ice. I'd only use these for the track. Anti freeze is usually banned there because if there's a crash and it gets spilled, it's very slippery.

Boiling water drops out most of the mineral content as lime scale and boiled water is fine. There's no real need for distilled water - although the purists will disagree.

There's also no real need to flush the cooling system unless you think that you have bits in it. Draining and re-filling is adequate. Any small amount of anti-freeze that's left will be so dilute that it'll pass scrutiny at the track.

Rob

Last edited by williamr; 02-08-2010 at 07:01 AM.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamr View Post
Remember that you must have anti freeze in to avoid engine and radiator damage if the temperature drops below freezing. Anti freeze also has better corrosion inhibition than water wetter or engine ice.
I live in Canada and temperatures do reach below 0 degrees Celsius, so would this mean I should replace the use of WaterWetter with Antifreeze in every instance listed in the steps provided?

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