View Full Version : Distilled water in the radiator - emergency fix

01-30-2005, 11:36 AM
So I was putting the exhaust wrap on last night, and after starting it to let it 'burn in', about a cupfull of coolant P*ssed on to the floor. On closer inspection I see that it looks like it is trickling out of the lower left side of the radiator. I don't think there is much of any coolant left in there right now :mad:

So my question i whether it would be ok to fill it with distilled water to just get it to the dealer? Plus, whether it would be ok to ride it down there even if it looses a bit of coolant on the way - it doesn't seem to be overheating at the moment (although what temp would be considered overheating?).

01-30-2005, 11:58 AM
Dang that sucks... :( Distilled water good. Pure distileld water OK until it get's cold (ask my cracked boat engine what water does without anti-freeze). The anti-freeze also acts like a lubricant. Ideally I'd get some of that pre-mixed coolant that is AL motor safe and put that in there until you can get down to the dealer.

Now.. that said, if you cooling system is compromised (IE leak) you need to get that corrected before you head off into the wild blue yonder (or in this case the mucky grey weather). Thing is, the pressure in the cooling system is an important compoent in it's overall function. With the higher temps these bikes are designed to run the margin of error is even more narrow that it used to be (ie thermostat opens closer to boiling point than in vehicles of old). Without pressure in you cooling system the boiling point (especially sans anti-freeze and such liquids) will be at or very close toe 212F and that's not a hard tempt to reach whne a thermo initially starts letting water really circulate around 195F!

If it were me, I'd only ride it to the dealer if:
- they were VERY close
- I was CERTAIN I would not be caught in any stop-go-traffic
- it's well above freezing (if ya break down and have to leave it, freezing could crack the motor)
- I knew that I could get it trailered or towend in without busting my bank if the thing start to overheat unexpected.

I don't recal who you purchased it from but on Tuesday I'd give a ring and find out if they have the ability to come and pick it up so there is no chance of overheating problems trying to get it to the shop.

(OK, so I need to cut back on the caffeen but I hope that's helpful)

01-30-2005, 12:03 PM
Superbike fans kick on at about 220 F. I'd check on the physical connections - simply draining the coolant shouldn't cause bad things to happen like a breached rad. Did you drain from the water pump or from a coolant hose at the radiator?

01-30-2005, 12:16 PM
Thanks for the advice Holeshot - last thing I want to do is let it overheat, so maybe I'll just call the dealer (Eastside) on Monday and either get them to pick it up, or see what they say. I haven't had any warning lights come on with the bike regarding temperature, and haven't seen it go over 220, so I'm hoping I caught it in time. I 'think' that it even immobilizes if the temp goes too high (but I may be confusing that with my car, or something else).

Torben - I didn't drain the radiator, it drained itself :( . It appeared to be coming from the lower connection hose on the radiator, which is worrying because ALL the coolant could go from there.

Oh well, the weather looks nasty for next week so I can live without it for a few days, and maybe the dealer will wash it before they give it back (it's filthy), which would be a bonus :happy57: Just an inconvenience really (well, I hope that is all it amounts too!).

01-30-2005, 05:49 PM
Ok, I took the side off and it was coming out of the lower pipe. I tightened it up and put in at least 1 pint of distilled water - radiator was full to the top. Once I tightened the clamp on the pipe, I ran it to see if it was still leaking. It cut out after about 1 minute - which was scary, but then I filled it up with water and it ran no problem. Going to take it for a ride down to Shucks now to buy some cleaner to wash the bike, then will take it in to the dealer on Tuesday. Noticed a small discharge from the battery too - roll-on 600 mile service!

01-30-2005, 07:14 PM
All systems working good it seems - thanks Torben for talking me in to monkeying with it :) . I actuall tightened two hoses that were a little leaky (including the main one). The hose on the bottom of the radiator is attached to a radiator pipe that has a big bend in it that slightly squashes it to a cylinder shape, which was not easy to seal with the Jubilee clip in the position it was in. I moved it and tightened it right down without pinching it (I hope). I'll keep an eye on it for leaks. Kept a constant 158 degrees on my ride, which seems very acceptable. Bike is going like a rocket - a bloody rocket!!! :D

01-30-2005, 07:52 PM
Bike is going like a rocket - a bloody rocket!!! :D

Isn't that such a wonderful feeling? :) Your new ride looks hot, mate.

01-31-2005, 08:54 AM
Awesome man. Glad it was a simple fix. :)