Changing Coolant Question - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 12 Old Yesterday, 1:27 pm Thread Starter
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Changing Coolant Question

Does anyone know a video showing how to change the coolant on a late wethead RT?

Thanks, pics, instructions...anything will be appreciated
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post #2 of 12 Old Yesterday, 2:38 pm
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Re: Changing Coolant Question

This might get you going in the right direction.
https://xladv.com/topic/499-r1200gs-...lant-exchange/

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post #3 of 12 Old Yesterday, 6:57 pm
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Re: Changing Coolant Question

Straight from the BMW service DVD...
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Coolant.pdf (1.41 MB, 49 views)

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post #4 of 12 Old Yesterday, 7:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Changing Coolant Question

Much obliged NOObie!!!!
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post #5 of 12 Old Yesterday, 8:34 pm
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Re: Changing Coolant Question

Never gave it any thought that vacuum would be needed. Interesting.

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post #6 of 12 Old Yesterday, 9:53 pm
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Re: Changing Coolant Question

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Never gave it any thought that vacuum would be needed. Interesting.
It's a BMW; I'm surprised that it doesn't require even more things!

Is that vacuum-thingy something available at some place like HF?

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post #7 of 12 Old Today, 7:01 am
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Re: Changing Coolant Question

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Originally Posted by wethead View Post
Does anyone know a video showing how to change the coolant on a late wethead RT?

Thanks, pics, instructions...anything will be appreciated
I was going to recommend a Clymer manual, but I donít see one listed for the RTs post 2009. That is a bummer as their manuals are generally pretty good.

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post #8 of 12 Old Today, 7:15 am
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Re: Changing Coolant Question

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Originally Posted by TwoWheels View Post
This might get you going in the right direction.
https://xladv.com/topic/499-r1200gs-...lant-exchange/
This is a pretty good overall process, but I do disagree with a couple of things.

1. Many engines will create enough vacuum to drain the overflow tank along with the engine if you leave the radiator cap in place when you remove the drain plug(s). This saves having to suck the old coolant out of the coolant recovery tank. Not sure if the RT is one of these engines, but I would try that first. If this doesnít happen, I would be a little suspicious of the radiator cap and generally not much vacuum is required to open the valve that letís coolant be pulled from the recovery tank back into the radiator.

2. I donít like the recommendation to run the engine with the radiator cap off. The main reason is that many engines have localized hot spots, generally in the head, where the coolant can locally boil even if the overall coolant temp is below 212 F at ambient pressure. Even lower temp if you are above sea level. Having the system pressurized raises the boiling point of the water and lessens the chance of nucleate boiling. And the hotter water will help facilitate a better flush.

3. The article suggests the cooling fans come on before the thermostat opens. If this happens, you have either a bad thermostat or a bad temp sensor for the cooling fans. The t-stat should open 20 - 40 degrees before the fans come on.

Given that the water level will drop the first thermal cycle or two, I do not let my bikes idle too long after the initial fill. I usually feel the radiator hose and as soon as it gets warm indicating that the t-stat has opened, I shut the bike off, let it cool, and then remove the cap and top up the water. Usually, only a cycle or two is required to get it full enough that it will pull makeup water from the coolant recovery tank, which you remembered to fill with distilled water before starting the flush, right?

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post #9 of 12 Old Today, 10:58 am
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Re: Changing Coolant Question

Here are some vacuum generating systems. You need a decent air compressor to power these. Get one with a gauge and many adapters.
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=vacuum+ra...b_sb_ss_i_1_20
I use the OEM factory unit on The new generation K bikes, they require vacuum filling. There are other methods but I have not tried them nor recommend them. All these suggested techniques other than the factory manual need some thought and possible modification. If you do go by the OEM manual you will be safe. Many of their procedures seem like overkill and some are but if followed carefully you can keep out of trouble.

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post #10 of 12 Old Today, 11:10 am
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Re: Changing Coolant Question

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Originally Posted by beech View Post
Here are some vacuum generating systems. You need a decent air compressor to power these. Get one with a gauge and many adapters.
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=vacuum+ra...b_sb_ss_i_1_20
I use the OEM factory unit on The new generation K bikes, they require vacuum filling. There are other methods but I have not tried them nor recommend them. All these suggested techniques other than the factory manual need some thought and possible modification. If you do go by the OEM manual you will be safe. Many of their procedures seem like overkill and some are but if followed carefully you can keep out of trouble.
It is unfortunate that some engines are poorly designed and require vacuum filling. Sort of like the FDs that were manufactured without oil drain plugs. A well-designed engine will not contain pockets in the castings that will contain air when the system is filled at a reasonable rate.
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post #11 of 12 Old Today, 12:55 pm
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Re: Changing Coolant Question

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I was going to recommend a Clymer manual, but I don’t see one listed for the RTs post 2009. That is a bummer as their manuals are generally pretty good.
Voyager is right; Clymer doesn't seem to have a manual for the later models. Fortunately Haynes does have one for the wetheads. I have it; it seems completely adequate for the routine stuff.

https://www.amazon.com/Liquid-cooled...s=books&sr=1-1

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post #12 of 12 Old Today, 2:33 pm
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Re: Changing Coolant Question

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Originally Posted by Stooie View Post
Voyager is right; Clymer doesn't seem to have a manual for the later models. Fortunately Haynes does have one for the wetheads. I have it; it seems completely adequate for the routine stuff.

https://www.amazon.com/Liquid-cooled...s=books&sr=1-1
I have some Haynes manuals for some of my long gone machines and they were fully adequate for most tasks. I havenít had one of late though so I hesitated to mention that as my experience with Haynes is 20+ years old.

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