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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-16-2011, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Hello and tech question

Hi all. A recent new belgian owner of a Versys here.

After my 2008 XT660Z Tenere was stolen last month I started looking for a replacement that was comfortable for long trips and could be picked up at reasonable 2nd hand prices. After test riding the Versys it seemed to fit the bill nicely.
So I got myself a 2007 silver one with 20000km on the clock.

Riding it reminds me abit of my old TDM900. It has a little less grunt, but is much more eager to go to higher revs and a bit more nimble as well.

I was expecting to have a lot of fun with it, but the first 3-day trip to the French Vosges last weekend caused me a bit of a head-ache. The first symptom was boiling cooling liquid. It was ok while riding, but at a stop it would start boiling for about a minute. Ambient temps were not really high, about 22C.

It seemed to settle quite quickly though and the level would not reach the overflow pipe. So we just continued our ride.

But when we came to a busy village center with a bit of a traffic jam it started pissing out cooling liquid through the overflow pipe. I also noticed by now the radiator fan would never kick in.

I have read a number of topics on the problem here on the forum and found some helpful tips to identify the cause.

So I started with checking the fan was still functional. Hooking it up directly to the battery quickly taught me it was working just fine.

Next I measured the fan relay. everything seems to be ok. I will try to bypass the relay by directly connecting pins 17 and 20 of the plug that goes in the relay box. That should give me complete certainty that it's not the relay, right?

I read on the forum as well that the radiator caps sometimes leak a bit so that the system can't get to optimal pressure, making the coolant boil at lower temps than required. But if my problem was with the radiator cap the fan should still kick in before the coolant started pissing out of the overflow, no?

The only other thing I can think of is the water temperature sensor; What is the easiest way to check this? Can I just short the pins in the plug to bypass the sensor and make the system think coolant temps are high enough to start the fan?

Or are there other possible causes I may be missing? Electrickery is not exactly my forte, so I am happy to learn.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-16-2011, 08:10 PM
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Hopefully some good mechanical help is on the way!
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 11:13 AM
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Not a techy duibhcek, but it's a good place to ask...

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 04:19 PM
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Hi this is what the service manual say.
Water Temperature Sensor Inspection •Remove the water temperature sensor (see Removal/Installation
in the Fuel System (DFI) chapter). •Suspend the sensor [A] in a container of coolant so that
the threaded portion is submerged. •Suspend an accurate thermometer [B] with temperature
sensing portions [C] located in almost the same depth.
NOTE
○The sensor and thermometer must not touch the container
side or bottom.
•Place the container over a source of heat and gradually
raise the temperature of the coolant while stirring the
coolant gently. •Using the hand tester, measure the internal resistance of
the sensor.
If the hand tester does not show the specified values, replace
the sensor.
Water Temperature Sensor Resistance
Temperature Resistance (kΩ)
–20C (–4F) *18.80 2.37
0C (32F) *(About 6.544)
40C (104F) 1.136 0.095
100C (212F) 0.1553 0.0070
Hope you can find an easier way
You can find the service manual on the forum.
By the way welcome here
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the welcome, guys.

I had some time to do a bit more fettling today.

The relay seems fine. I hear a clear click when applying current directly to pins 18 en 19. So that leaves the radiator cap and the water temperature sensor.

Can someone confirm that a faulty radiator cap could cause the coolant to boil at a temperature lower than what the water temperature sensor requires to trigger the fan?

Also, is there a way to check whether the water temperature sensor is functioning correctly without having to remove it?

EDIT: sorry didn't see your post before I started my reply JBG. I already have the service manual, but I was hoping there would be an alternative way to check it without having to uninstall. If not it 'll be a weekend job and I'll have to convince the misses I require the use of the kitchen...

Last edited by duibhcek; 08-17-2011 at 04:43 PM.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 05:26 PM
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Not sure if you are already aware but you can download the service manual for the tech section of this site.

My fan will kick on if I am siting at a traffic light idling but otherwise does not run. Sounds like the thermostat or something else is not working right.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duibhcek View Post
The relay seems fine. I hear a clear click when applying current directly to pins 18 en 19. So that leaves the radiator cap and the water temperature sensor.

Can someone confirm that a faulty radiator cap could cause the coolant to boil at a temperature lower than what the water temperature sensor requires to trigger the fan?

Also, is there a way to check whether the water temperature sensor is functioning correctly without having to remove it?
Maybe we can figure this out with information already on the forum...

I searched and found this post http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...33&postcount=5

If this is true (and who would doubt Invader), then your fan should come on before your coolant boils since coolant boils at a temperature of at least 100C at atmospheric pressure (i.e. whether your cap is broken or not).

I certainly had a dirty radiator cap and I cleaned it the same time I solved my problem. I never tried to listen to the radiator fan when my coolant boiling problem was occurring. I did notice that, when I spun my fan by hand, a small rock fell out of the assembly (the kind of rock that may have bound my fan).

Given all of this and the fact that you are actually paying attention to whether your fan is coming on or not, then your temperature sensor may be defective.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 06:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mursili View Post
Thanks. That's very useful information. It does indeed seem that the fan should have kicked in before the coolant started boiling.

So i'll be checking out the water temperature sensor this weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket View Post
Sounds like the thermostat or something else is not working right.
I did consider the thermostat, but I don't think that is it.
If it would remain open all the time then the coolant would not be able to get anywhere near as hot and it would take ages for the engine to warm up.
If teh thermostat would remain closed (or opened too late) than the engine would overheat, but the radiator and the coolant in the reservoir would not warm up as much. And teh fan should still be kicking in as it gets it's temperature reading from the engine.

Let's see what the water temperature sensor says this weekend...
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I spent some time in the kitchen with a big pot of water, a thermometer and a hand tester. Resistance in the temperature sensor at 100C is around .280 kOhm. It should be around 0.155 kOhm.

I guess the culprit has been found. So I'll try to score a new water temperature sensor from the dealer. Should be good to go again after that.

Last edited by duibhcek; 08-20-2011 at 07:32 AM.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 07:50 AM
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I really hope that will solve your problem, and please keep us updated.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I installed a new water temperature sensor yesterday evening. After checking that it was functioning correctly with some more "cooking" in the kitchen.

The fan now kicks in as it should. But after about 10-15minutes of running on idle with the occasional blip of the throttle to raise the running temp I noticed that the coolant still started boiling after turning of the engine.

So I am a bit at a loss now. The fan problem is solved, but there seems to be a secondary problem as well. What could it be? The radiator cap releasing at too low a pressure?

Could really use some tips now.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 06:08 AM
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Could it be a blown cylinder head gasket?
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 06:21 AM
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It is my understanding that in cars the radiator cap is designed to increase boiling temperature and allow the escape of coolant that exceeds its rated pressure.

I would assume the same is true for motorcycles. If you have a bad cap I could see the pressure dropping to atmospheric, in which case your boiling temp would go down to close to that of water. An engine can exceed this temperature. Boiling would cause an overflow.

My old bike used to go up to 220 F before the fan would kick in on idle.

It seems like a cheap fix so its worth a shot. A temp gage is the one thing I wish the versys came with. Everything else I'm happy with.

Last edited by Norrick; 08-25-2011 at 06:28 AM.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonerider View Post
Could it be a blown cylinder head gasket?
Not sure how that would cause the boiling coolant? But then again, I'm far from an expert, I just learn as I go
Plus if it was the head gasket would that not result in one or all of the following:
- bad or irregular running
- oily wet spots around the gasket
- coolant and oil "mayo"
- steam from exhaust

As I said, I'm still learning so I may be missing something obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norrick View Post
It seems like a cheap fix so its worth a shot. A temp gage is the one thing I wish the versys came with. Everything else I'm happy with.
Yep, I'll try the new cap next (can strip one from a crashed er6 from a riding instructor friend). And I'll probably get a temp gage to replace the oil cap as well. Just to be sure the engine itself is not overheating...
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duibhcek View Post
Ok, so I installed a new water temperature sensor yesterday evening. After checking that it was functioning correctly with some more "cooking" in the kitchen.

The fan now kicks in as it should. But after about 10-15minutes of running on idle with the occasional blip of the throttle to raise the running temp I noticed that the coolant still started boiling after turning of the engine.

So I am a bit at a loss now. The fan problem is solved, but there seems to be a secondary problem as well. What could it be? The radiator cap releasing at too low a pressure?

Could really use some tips now.
Personally, I think you had something happen very similar to what happened to my '08 Versys. If your sensor failed to activate the fan (in my case, a small stone may have prevented the fan from operating) then the coolant got too hot and boiled. While it was boiling over, it left a mess on your radiator cap that now has the cap popping at less than the design pressure. Of course, if you have checked your cap and it is clean, then I am wrong. Perhaps you will need a new radiator cap as well.

Unless there is something preventing the coolant from reaching the radiator, then the radiator should be able to cool the coolant to the point where it will not boil over.
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 01:56 AM
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Like Mursili mentioned, start by cleaning your radiator cap, or replace it if its seals show any damage. It's also well due for a coolant replacement if it wasn't already done.
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help guys!

The coolant was replaced when I replaced the temp sensor. Radiator cap was cleaned at the same time. It had some grit in it indeed and a bit of wear on the rubber, but nothing that seemed like it would cause any problems. It seems my assessment may have been wrong so I am replacing it.

One other question: should the fan stop when the engine isn't running but ignition is on? On my other bikes the fan would only stop when turning of the ignition, but with the V it seems to only spin when the engine is actually running.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Well, installed the new cap, but couldn't really tell whether that has fixed the boiling. The ride-out today was way too cold and wet for the engine to get really hot. We'll see how it evolves over the coming days.
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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I've been riding to work with the V the past few days and didn't notice any more problems. collant does not boil anymore and the fan kicks in when I'standing idling ofr a long time at a red light.

I'll do a bigger tour on Saturday to be entirely sure, but it does look like the problem is now completely solved.

It is always annoying to diagnose a problem if there are multiple causes (temp sensor and radiator cap in this instance)
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duibhcek View Post
It is always annoying to diagnose a problem if there are multiple causes (temp sensor and radiator cap in this instance)
I think that it is the case that the first time that the cap "releases", then any grime in the coolant spoils the cap. In most of the cases, this can be solved with cleaning the cap. Clearly in your case, the cap has to be replaced some times. Thanks to Invader for giving me the appropriate replacement unit that I can order from amazon.com as soon as my current cap doesn't perform its duty.
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